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Friday, October 15, 2021

Get your hiking shoes on and perfect your “Naruto run” because in another case of ‘the internet made me do it,’ it looks like we are raiding Area 51. 

In a totally sarcastic, not at all real bid to free the facility’s resident aliens, one million Facebook users have RSVP’d to raid the U.S. military base in the Nevada desert on Sept. 20. If you’ve seen memes of attack plans or reactions to what people will do with their newly freed alien friends, you can thank the public meme page “S--tposting because im in shambles” in collaboration with Twitch video game streamer, SmyleeKun. It’s just a Facebook event, but the Air Force is taking it seriously, which has us half-laughing and half-hoping no one actually books a ticket to Nevada to “see them aliens.”

As anyone would expect, the Air Force discourages anyone from trying to come into the area. But when Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews said, “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets,” we’re sure everyone planning to go started giving each other major side-eye. Her comment also had us thinking, “Hmm, that's exactly what someone trying to keep us away from our aliens would say,” and wondering what would happen if someone does end up making it on base. 

Section 1382 of Title 18 forbids anyone from entering any military base without permission. If you are found guilty of trespassing, you may find yourself with a $500 fine, six months imprisonment or both. According to IFL Science, a restricted area surrounds Area 51 with signs saying, “Use of deadly force authorized.”

If you think the Air Force will play along with the meme — don’t. In January, a man was fatally shot on sight after driving past the security gate at the National Nuclear Security Administration and refusing to obey security officers and police. Also in 2012, a BBC team was held at gunpoint and forced to lie on the ground for three hours while the FBI arrested them for trespassing Area 51. 

If that is not enough to put the fear of the alien overlord in you, the Active Denial System exists, which is a non-lethal, direct-energy weapon developed by the military. It’s the closest thing we have to laser vision as it hits base-raiders with an intense feeling of heat. Our bets are on this bad boy being the perfect tool for dispersing any meme-crazed individuals trying to storm Area 51.   

With the mystery of what would happen if people raided the alleged alien hostage facility out of the way, naturally the next question down the spiral of our consciousness is why? The only answer seems to be in the name of the meme group that created the event: s--tposting. 

Excuse our language, but s--tposting is a term that describes content used to derail a discussion or argument. The term has morphed into something else in recent years to encompass a type of internet activity characterized by posting a lot of memes or jokes "aggressively, ironically and trollishly poor quality," as the Daily Dot’s Miles Klee describes it

Over 1 million people stand behind this meme. One. Million. People.

Yes, the meme is hilarious. We would love to share a dorm with an extraterrestrial and have them translate our EDM music and explain to us why astrology is real. But if this many people can rally behind one online joke, what else can we band together to do?  

If you are this passionate about alleged extraterrestrial aliens being held captive, wait until you hear about how there are currently human men, women and children in immigration detention centers being held against their will. Children have been separated from their parents for reasons out of their control. 

You think the extraterrestrial aliens in Area 51 need to be reunited with their planet? What about the immigrant children separated from their families at the border.

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If you actually plan on storming Area 51, at least rescue your own kind first.

The Alligator Editorial Board includes the Opinions Editor Jackie De Frietas, Editor-in-Chief Mark Stine and managing editors Hannah Beatty and Lindsey Breneman.

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