Yes, some people did show up on September 20, 2019 for the Area 51 Raid. However, not very many of them. The only aliens they discovered were the green inflatable ones they brought with them. Some wore tinfoil hats (literally). Some donned spacesuits. Some laughed when other people jokingly tried to storm the gates. You can watch live videos and see photos from the big event throughout this article.
This summer, the Area 51 raid ignited after a Facebook event page went viral. The page read, “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.” Area 51 is a secret U.S. Air Force military installation that is located at Groom Lake, Nevada. Some people think the government took alien bodies from Roswell, New Mexico and hid them there. It’s more likely that the government uses the facility to test secret spy planes. But who knows?
One now-over livestream video from the scene announced that the stormers had “failed.” It shows them gathering in the darkness to plot the raid, which occurred from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. on September 20, 2019.
Some people kept streaming.
What is a naruto run? It’s inspired by “Naruto Uzumaki the Japanese manga character who runs with his head down and arms stretched behind him,” according to Time Magazine. One kid went viral when he did the naruto run behind a reporter:
Did anyone actually storm it? Well, sort of. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, some alien hunters at the scene “acted” as if they were going to try, but other people started to laugh, so they stopped. The song “Final Countdown” played. Of course it did.
You can watch other live videos from the scene here. Pictures from the scene show a relatively small group, some wearing costumes and others carrying signs, at the gates, countered by a slightly smaller number of law enforcement officers.
Things carried on after the official raid time.
Here’s what you need to know:
About 100 People Showed Up, With Some Waving Signs & Others in Costumes
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, “law enforcement officers blocked the road about a mile from the gate, with attendees walking the rest of the way.” One sign announced its carrier wanted to “save ET from the government.” Whether ET was inside remains unproven. The mission failed. But some people had a lot of fun anyway, and there weren’t many serious problems with law enforcement.
Law enforcement officers were there in force, though, guarding the security perimeter. After all, some 2 million people once expressed an interest in going, so you never knew who would show up.
“There were about a dozen officers at the gate, and they even brought a police dog at the 3 a.m. scheduled start time,” the newspaper reported, adding that, by its estimate, about 100 people showed up at the gate. They didn’t make it inside.
People dressed up in spacesuits complete with helmets. The Guardian said 75 people were at the gate. According to the Guardian, more people showed up for various alien festivals tied to the raid than were at the actual raid, estimating that number at about 1,500.
In all truth, far more people were writing about the raid on Twitter on September 20 than were at the actual raid.
Michael Ian Borer, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, sociologist, told CBS News that it all was “a perfect blend of interest in aliens and the supernatural, government conspiracies, and the desire to know what we don’t know.”
Those Who Did Show Up Found a ‘Rugged’ Journey Ahead of Them
Those who did journey to Nevada for the storming event found a “rugged” journey, according to the Guardian. The gate is located “on washboard dirt roads,” but about 150 people managed “to get within selfie distance,” the Guardian reported. “They’re just here to see what’s going on,” said Sergeant Orlando Guerra of the Nevada Department of Public Safety Investigation Division to Reuters. “They’re here to have fun.”
Jason Strand, 23, of Utah, told Reuters that he and friends “came out here to see the dumb people make a run for it.” There were a couple aliens at the scene: Plastic ones. Aliens carried alien hunters. Yes, you read that right. Here’s the photographic evidence:
There’s a website for the Area 51 raid, which you can see here. The event was called, “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.” It was planned for Friday, September 20, 2019 from 3 AM – 6 AM PDT. CBS News reported that one person was arrested at the raid. That charge was for public urination.
The Independent reported that “at the gate to Area 51 itself, some people did gather. They gathered round, chatted, took some photos and joked. While there are reports of at least one arrest, there was no attempt to storm Area 51.”
Other alien-related events were also occurring in the area: Alienstock in Las Vegas; a festival celebrating aliens in Hiko; and another Alienstock in Rachel. The security gate to Area 51, though, was supposed to be the big attraction. “It’s public land,” the sheriff told The Associated Press. “They’re allowed to go to the gate, as long as they don’t cross the boundary.”
Rebekah Scholes, 27, from Colorado, was there. She told the Review Journal she “had to come back. It’s pretty out here. I thought it would be interesting to see what happened.” You can also sign up to watch a livestream here:
The attendance was nowhere near the number who indicated on Facebook that they were going during the height of the craze. One person was briefly detained by law enforcement but then released. Pam Kinsey, who works at an area motel, told The New York Times that people showed up in costumes. “We’ve got someone coming in a panda bear suit right now,” she said to the newspaper. “There’s all kinds of all kinds.”
At 3 a.m., on September 20, 2019, people were already showing up at the Area 51 gate, but they weren’t getting very far.
“Hundreds show up at #Area51 gate around 3am. One woman in her 20s tried to cross, but was detained,” wrote journalist Gerard Ramalho, of KSNV-TV. He also reported a crowd outside the gate, but no major incidents.
Even brands got into the fun. On July 15, 2019, Bud Light initially wrote on Twitter: “We’d like to be the first brand to formally announce that we will not be sponsoring the Area 51 raid.” However, the brand then had a change of heart. “Screw it. Free Bud Light to any alien that makes it out,” Bud Light wrote on Twitter.
More Than 2 Million People Once Expressed an Interest in the Raid
At one point this summer, the Facebook page for the group said that more than 1.7 million people were going, and 1.2 million people were interested in going. That number grew to more than 2 million. Fox Business describes Area 51 as a “top-secret military base in the Nevada desert.” For years, rumors and conspiracy theories have flown that aliens landed on earth and were being kept at Area 51.
Only a few of those people showed up, though, perhaps deterred by the Air Force’s warnings about invading the base.
The U.S. Air Force has warned people not to show up for the raid. “[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. … The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets,” Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews told The Washington Post.
The event’s creator, Matty Roberts, insisted he never really meant for the raid to happen; rather, he’s said it was satirical in nature.
“It’s entirely satirical,” he told NPR under a pseudonym, “and most people seem to understand that.” However, the raid has exploded on social media where it appears that some people are taking it seriously after all. According to NPR, people have been booking hotel rooms in the area for the date of the supposed raid.
Alienstock also held a free event in the area on September 19.