Two million people said they were planning to storm Area 51, but only 150 turned up

Two million people said they were planning to storm Area 51, but only 150 turned up

2019 has already seen some seriously inspiring campaigns come together. You just need to look at the millions who have been mobilised to protest against Brexit and climate change to know that a well-organised movement can be mightily impressive. However, 2019 has also taught us that, if you aren’t careful, your plans can easily go from sounding brilliant on paper to looking pathetic in reality. This has been aptly demonstrated by the plan to invade Area 51.

Watch As Guy Who Set Up The 'Raid Area 51' Event Speaks Out:

Back in June, video game streamer Matty Roberts had a dream. He dreamed of a time when secret government bases would become open to everyone. He dreamed of a world where alien autopsies are a matter of public interest and conspiracy theories are no longer just theories. In order to make his dream a reality, he decided to attempt something extraordinary. 

Determined to discover the secrets at the heart of the world’s most infamous military base, Roberts proposed a plan. Posting to Facebook, he set up a tongue-in-cheek event titled “Storm Area 51; They Can’t Stop Us All.” The message was simple: send as many people to the desert as possible and overwhelm the guards. As Roberts wrote in the group description, "If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets [sic] see them aliens". It all seemed relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, things soon got out of hand. 

Watch As 'Storm Area 51' Creator Shows Off His Naruto Run:

After a smattering of early interest, the event exploded. Before long, 2 million people had clicked “attending”. A further 1.5 declared that they were “interested”. In fact, so many people said that they were going to storm the base that the US government had to issue an official response, stating, “[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."

As the date approached, everyone became more anxious. Even though Roberts had long since denounced the plan as a joke, there was real panic that a 2 million-strong mob was about to invade Nevada. The world held its breath. As it turned out, they needn’t have bothered. 

Eventually, only around 150 people turned up at the gates. Despite all the apparent online enthusiasm, a mere 1,500 made the trip to Nevada, with only a handful then going on to approach the gates.

According to an Associated Press photographer at the scene, “...a woman who began ducking under a gate and a man who urinated nearby were arrested,” but it wasn’t quite the mass alien-related uprising many had feared. It just goes to show that online enthusiasm isn’t enough to make a successful event. If you want to see aliens, you’re going to have to be a little more committed to civil unrest.