Much like Fox Mulder on the iconic television series The X-Files, many if not most Americans “want to believe.” However, that overwhelming feeling of wanting to believe is causing quite the firestorm on social media.
A Facebook event, what many are referring to as a viral phenomenon, is calling those who want to believe to storm a Nevada military base—widely known only as Area 51. The call to arms, as it were, has gained momentum and is poised to be a somewhat juggernaut if it continues.
Although the idea is more of a running online joke, than a real plan, it is none the less causing authorities some concern. The event meant as more of a tongue-in-cheek attempt to prove that aliens are indeed being hidden if not held, by the government at the “secret” installation, has proven to take on a somewhat life of its own fueled by the zeitgeist known as the internet. The event has even received its fair share of comments and nods from celebrities and brands, not to mention it owns meme on the video app Tik-Tok.
Guy Fieri, a well-known celebrity chef, offered to cater the event, jokingly, with radioactive ribs. Not be outdone, an Area 51 beer can was created and released by Bud Light, with MoonPie throwing their branding into the fun. The coup de gras, in the opinion of many of his fans, rapper Lil Nas X released an exclusive video, with an Area-51 them, for “Old Town Road,” his recent smash hit.
With all this hype, it would come as no surprise that an estimated 1.6 million Facebook users have marked themselves as “going” to the event. Even though it is assured that the majority of those who seem to be embracing the event see it as the satire it was aimed to be, there is still some concern that a few thousand may attempt to flood the area around the military base.