The raid on Area 51

Everything that went down


Kaitlyn Breton holding a picture of an animated alien. Photo courtesy of private collection

Jasmin Kaur, Author

An event was posted on Facebook to storm Area 51 on September 20 and catch aliens. After being posted, the event went viral on all platforms of social media, hashtags relating to the raid were trending on Twitter, and multiple news outlets provided coverage about September 20. A total of 2 million people signed up to take part in the raid. Yet after all of the extreme planning and excitement, the raid on Area 51 did not go as planned.

The event was originally created by 21 year old Matty Roberts in July. He supposedly created the event as a joke and titled it “Storm Area 51, They can’t stop all of us.” Within the first week, over 400,000 people signed up to go. With preparations for the raid, Roberts decided to make this raid a little more interesting and entertaining by arranging Alien-Stock, a music festival.

The festival was planned to be held at Rachel, a small town 45 miles away from Area 51. Residents were not the happiest when this news was brought to their attention. The town itself was not meant to hold thousands of people. The town website released a statement warning potential travelers, “Note: There is no gas or store in Rachel. The nearest gas station or store is 50 miles south in Ash Springs or 110 miles north in Tonopah.” The event was then moved to downtown Las Vegas, and Bud Light sponsored the festival. Many believed was going to be a flop, but everyone, including festival goers, were surprised by the outcome. Merchandise relating with aliens and quotes from the original event post were sold. Festival goers were decked out in alien spirit as they bonded with others with live music from DJs and conspiracy talk about what was beyond the gates of Area 51.

 On the official day of the raid, September 20th, raiders gathered outside a closed off area at 3am in the morning with posters and stuffed aliens. They clashed with security, and instead of fighting each other, they took pictures and had a good laugh. 

Junior Kaitlyn Breton was shocked to hear that the plan with the raid became a reality. “I thought that the whole post and everything was a joke from the start. I hope people didn’t think that they’d actually be able to get through the gates.” She also joked about going to the festival next year.

While the alien raid might have not gone the way it was originally planned, it became an event to bond with others and make friends from all over the country.