Air Force vows to block UFO fans seeking a glimpse of legendary Area 51

Hundreds of thousands of people say they’re on board with a joking online drive to storm Area 51, supposedly home to captured flying saucers and aliens, but the Air Force isn’t laughing, The Washington Post reports.

“(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,” said a military spokeswoman, according to the publication.

“The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets,” she added, The Washington Post reported.

More than 1 million people have pledged online, most jokingly, to storm the legendary Area 51 in Nevada on Sept. 20, CNET reported.

The “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” event page on Facebook shows 1.1 million people registered to take part in the supposed 3 a.m. raid.

“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” reads the event description.

“If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets,” the description reads, referring to the running style of a Japanese anime character. “Lets see them aliens.”

However, the author also says in the comments on the event page that it’s strictly an online joke.

“Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan,” the comment reads. “I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet.”

The U.S. government revealed in 2013 that Area 51, long part of UFO mythology, exists at the Nellis Air Force Base Complex near Las Vegas, CNN reported.

But the Air Force says Area 51 is used for top-secret military aircraft projects, not alien autopsies or other science fiction experiments, according to the network.

Las Vegas entertainment complex Area 15 says it will livestream the raid, if it actually happens, though details remain scarce, MovieWeb reported.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.