CULTURE

The Area 51 Raid Happened, Kind Of

Or is that what the government wants us to think?

Thankfully, the Area 51 raid didn't exactly go as planned.

Of course it's much easier to make promises and to threaten a revolution online than it is to actually go out into the world and make that revolution happen. Out of 2 million people that promised to attend the raid of the Nevada military base, around 50 actually showed up. On the other hand, the event's creator, a Nevada senator, and the U.S. government strongly advised people against going, because trying to invade a U.S. military base would probably be one of the stupidest things one could do, ever, though that was part of the appeal for some.

There were no arrests, as no one actually tried to storm the base. One woman tried to duck under a protective gate and was detained by the authorities and released. It seems like most people gathered wearing strange costumes and carrying signs just to see what would happen. Maybe the aliens were the friends we made along the way?

LIVE NOW: AREA 51 RAID www.youtube.com

One person did manage to successfully turn all the memes into reality. During a local news report, one young legend ran behind the reporter in the Naruto run style, head down and arms held back, and his actions quickly went viral on Twitter. The Naruto run is inspired by the Japanese manga character Naruto Uzumaki, and during the event's early planning stages, organizers advised everyone to storm the base by running at it, Naruto style.

More people showed for the Alienstock music festival being hosted in Rachel, Nevada, a tiny town about 12 miles north of Las Vegas. Actually, it seems promising that someday people will look back at summer 2019 the way we now look back at the summer of '69. 1969 may have had Woodstock, Charles Manson, and the moon landing, but we've got Alienstock, Jeffrey Epstein, and the climate movement, right?

The Area 51 raid may not have been the massacre that some wanted it to be, but so far, today's global climate strikes have been incredibly successful. Millions of people have taken to the streets so far. Though we might not have freed the aliens or secured a host family on Mars, maybe there's some hope for Earth yet.

CULTURE

How Memes Sparked an Area 51 Invasion

1 million people have said they're going to Area 51 to meet the aliens. Is this the result of a collective millennial/Gen-Z desire to die, to revolt, or a little bit of both?

It started as most revolutions start: rather innocuously, the product of a half-hearted joke that managed to hit a nerve.

The first whispers of an Area 51 invasion began with a Facebook event called "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us." Hosted by three primary parties—"Shitposting cause im in shambles," "Smyleekun," and "The Hidden Sound"—the page quickly amassed support, with a total of 1 million users committing to "going" as of Monday, July 15.

Several plans of attack have been proposed: "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. Let's see them aliens," posted one of the group's creators.

Other plans were more detailed, dividing raiders into ranks. Revolutionaries could identify themselves as "Karens," "Kyles," "Tylers," and "Daltons," among other things. Karens are, presumably, momager-types, aggressive and fast-talking women. One proposal suggested that we send a "Karen" with "no-nonsense hair" to the front gate to attempt peaceful negotiations; should that fail, the Kyles, pumped up on energy drinks, would be unleashed.

According to Know Your Meme, "Kyle is an online caricature of a white boy referenced as an antagonistic character in memes. Similar to how Karen is used online, 'Kyle' jokes parody of a certain kind of person with a set of characteristics one associates with the name; in 'Kyle's' case, these are characteristics of an angry white male teenager. 'Kyle' is generally presented as rage-filled and aggressive, and he is a fan of Monster Energy Drinks and Axe body spray, which has been documented in the Kyle Punches Drywall meme." In essence, Kyle is the heart and soul of the Area 51 attack. Perhaps Kyle is the heart and soul of the fragile, toxic masculinity at the core of America, or more likely, Kyle is the wreckage left behind when this fragile masculinity reveals itself for the hollow shell that it is.

From there, the memes blossomed like fireworks on the Fourth of July, filling the web with increasingly outlandish theories about what it might be like to actually "see them aliens."




The Call of Area 51

While the Area 51 invasion might be more based in absurdity and conspiracy theory than anything else, the amount of support it's has amassed is not a joke. The U.S. Air Force is scared, as they should be, because the popularity of this event is proof that the people have the capability to organize and take down the government, should they so desire. "[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," stated the Air Force, confirming that it knows about the planned raid, and that it's prepared to defend whatever it's hiding inside the base, even at the cost of citizens' lives. That's right: a Facebook meme has the U.S. Military on alert.

Why Area 51? The super-secret military base in the Nevada desert has long been at the center of conspiracy theories that which propose the US government is hiding aliens inside. Other theories include the belief that the government is conducting experiments on teleportation and time travel inside the base.

There's a definitive allure to the prospect of discovering alien life, and that certainly plays a role in the interest. More likely, Area 51 is so alluring because of what it symbolizes. In some ways, it's the perfect representation of the distrust that American people feel in their government and in the state of the world.

In its surreal, almost mystical absurdity, Area 51 just might be the perfect symbolic portrayal of our postmodern hellscape, which seems to be entirely run by the Koch Brothers, juul companies, and tech bros who have achieved god-like status, like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Area 51 feels like it could be the source of whatever oozing, radioactive substance has made the world the way it is today. In a way, it's represents the Truth in a world beyond truth.

In light of this, planning to storm Area 51 via memes feels like a way of meeting our world's absurdity—be it the government's, the Internet's, or any of life's many other oddities—on its own terms.

Even more fascinating than the causes of the proposed Area 51 raid, though, is the rapidity with which the event gained traction. Its success reveals that a full-on political revolution is really just one meme page away. The success of the Area 51 venture shows that it's not hard to amass the kind of support needed to make the government take notice—and that's at least a start.

So grab your Monster drinks, Karens and Kyles of the world, and channel that rage into some hefty Photoshopping. You just might be our best hope at a revolution yet.




Conspiracy Theory Area 51

Area 51. The remote location in Nevada some 83 miles outside of Las Vegas has proved to be one of the most intriguing places in the US and was for years the worst kept secret of government agencies.

The area six miles wide by ten miles long is surrounded by fences with maximum security, and it's existence was only acknowledged officially for the first time by the CIA in 2013. In a series of documents released as part of a Freedom of Information request, they admitted it was a test ground for the United States government but that's about it.

More recently though, Major Charles Bolden, who has led NASA since 2009 said that extra-terrestrial life does exist and didn't unequivocally deny that aliens were hidden in Area 51—just that he hadn't seen them;

"There is an Area 51...I never saw any aliens or alien spacecraft or anything when I was there.  I think because of the secrecy of the aeronautics research that goes on there it's ripe for people to talk about aliens being there."

The Theory

The general belief is that Area 51 holds the key to extra-terrestrial existence. The remains of any UFOs landing on earth are said to be stored there and government scientists and researchers carry out reverse-engineering on the alien technology.

The 'Proof'

  • The strange light.  Mysterious lights frequently appear in the sky over Area 51 that are said to emanate from extra-terrestrial beings.

  • Roswell.  The Rosewell incident can't be ignored, even though the alien autopsy video was proven to be a hoax.  The fact remains that in 1947 a rancher named Mac Brazel found strange metal strewn over his land in New Mexico.  He took the debris to the authorities in Roswell and commanding officer at the time, Colonel Blanchard  ordered an investigation.  The first Army press release stated that they had recovered some type of "flying disk".  Soon after this, a General Ramey retracted the statement and said the shrapnel was from a weather balloon—even posing for photos with the debris.  However Major Jesse Marcel, a Roswell Air Force Base intelligence officer said different.  He was the first at the scene and when he finally spoke about the incident some 30 years later, said that the material publicly shown by General Ramey was a substituted weather balloon and not the real debris.  The real material was, he said "not of this earth" and exhibited highly unusual physical properties beyond human technology.

The original newpaper reporting of the Roswell incident.

  • Bob Lazar. In 1989 Lazar gave an interview where he says he worked at Area 51 in a top secret facility called S-4.  He said he worked on reverse-engineering alien technology.  His story hasn't changed in over 25 years (even though he no longer talks about it).  He doesn't try to profit off his story and doesn't have an agenda—he and his wife run a scientific equipment and supply store called United Nuclear. Officials of course, dismiss his claims, saying he never worked for the government, and there are no records of his existence as a government employee or his education history.  However, it's not like the CIA haven't made people's details disappear before and there are several pointers proving Lazar's credibility;

    • He has passed several polygraph tests.
    • His W2 form shows he worked for Department of Naval Intelligence and includes a zipcode which is classified.
    • Several people witnessed a CIA agent in Lazar's house making a random security check.  Why would that happen if he wasn't working on top security projects?
    • The journalist who interviewed Lazar, George Knapp gave him a quiz prepared by a proven ex-employee at Area 51.  Random questions about how meals would be paid for, what color the main hall was etc were asked and Lazar passed them all.
    • A Los Alamos National Labratories phone book listed him as an employee.
    • Bob says he researched an unknown scientific element which he called '115, Ununpentium' that had been reverse-engineered from an alien aircraft.  In the '80s he was dismissed by scientists as a fantasist.  Years later in 2004 scientists release their findings on a "new" element they had "discovered" called....115, Ununpentium.

Bob Lazar

  • Boyd Bushman.  Bushman was a former Area 51 scientist who gave several interviews about anti-gravity and increasingly alluded to having secret knowledge about UFOs. Bushman also passed a polygraph and said he knew Lazar. Shortly before his death in 2014, Bushman spoke to Mark Q Patterson, an aerospace engineer, about his work and experience in Area 51 over many years. He also shared photos of aliens, which of course have been dismissed as similar to alien dolls that can be bought (although how easy would it be for the government to just create a toy similar to the real thing, so it can be used to undermine credible evidence?) . The video of Bob Bushman's final interview can be found here. His revelations include;

    • Discussion about his work in reverse-engineering alien UFO technology for the military.
    • Some aliens are kept alive and functioning on the base.
    • A planet, previously unknown, names Quintumnia exists approximately 68 light years from earth.
    • The aliens used aircraft that were saucer shaped and measured 38 feet in diameter.
    • They were no more than 5 feet tall and resembled humans, with different eyes and noses.

Bob Bushman with his photos of aliens.

  • The tourist.  In 2014 a tourist named Sandra was on a bus and happened to be filming out the window near Area 51.  She saw something fly past her at high speed which she tried to follow with her camera.  She thought it  was a bird or something but later reviews of the footage showed it to be something completely different.

The biggest factor that makes Area 51 such a huge deal is the secrecy that surrounds it.  The fact that the government refused to address even it's existence for so many years surely means there is definitely something going on there that they don't want us to know about. You expect secrecy around national security developments, but to not even acknowledge the presence of the base, when it's patrolled by armed guards?

What do you think?

And, check out Popdust’s previous Conspiracy Theory Thursday posts here!