Over the last week, a new Internet meme has taken off.
Someone on Facebook thought (correctly) that it would be a funny idea to create an event inviting everyone to gather together on one day and storm Area 51. Unless you have been living in an underground military facility for the past 70 years, you probably know about Area 51. It is a highly classified part of the Edwards Air Force Base in Lincoln County, Nevada. According to conspiracy theorists, it is a facility where they store aliens or alien spacecraft recovered during the "Roswell incident", or just a place where aliens are studied in secret, away from the rest of the world.
The prankster's idea is simple:
"We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry," the Facebook event says. "If we naruto run," – lean over with your arms behind you like a character named Naruto in an anime movie – "we can move faster than their bullets. Let's see them aliens."
It took off in a big way, and now over 1 million people say they are attending the event on September 20. People, it is fair to say, are quite into it.
It's unlikely that anyone but the most avid Internet memesters will even come close to showing up to an actual military base in an attempt to see the alien. But just in case it is real (it isn't, nobody will actually show up, let alone attempt to run at the base whilst striking an anime pose) the US military has felt the need to respond pre-emptively with a warning.
Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews released a message to people thinking of actually trespassing in September.
“[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force," she said in a release seen by the Independent. "We would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces," she continued, casually reminding any reader that there are probably quite a lot of guns on site.
“The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets."
Internet alien hunters, consider yourselves officially threatened warned.