Just over a week ago, three Facebook users broke the internet with a peculiar event. In an effort to finally “see them aliens“, the users declared a (pretty clearly satirical) intention to storm Area 51 early in the morning on September 20th. Over a span of just a couple of days, the post skyrocketed in popularity, with hundreds of thousands of people “going” and “interested”. But late Sunday night, the event reached a new level: one million people now say they will attend.
The Movement to Storm Area 51
Reaching the one million mark holds significance for the meme in a number of ways. Obviously, it shows a great deal of popularity, but it doesn’t stop there.
On Friday, a spokeswoman for the United States Air Force stated an intent to protect the base fiercely. At any number, it reveals a potential valuation of the secretive military base over the lives of American people. But when the number hits a million, it becomes all the more important. This represents nearly a third of a percent of the American population or the entire population of Wyoming and most of Vermont. Does spokeswoman Laura McAndrews value the secrets of Area 51 more than the people to fill two full states? Based on her current statements, which she has yet to revoke, this remains unclear.
Once again, the storm Area 51 post is clearly a meme. But this appears not to take away from the military’s willingness to strike back against over a million people; after all, the military isn’t known for its memes and sense of humor. This figure is more than four times the amount of people killed or injured in the nuclear bomb attacks against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, combined.
Taking Advantage of a Distraction?
Having a better sense of humor than the military, some other Facebook accounts have joined in on the meme. Several accounts have posted events calling for sieges of various other government agencies or properties at the same time, while the storm Area 51 campaign distracts them.
A notable event calls for citizens to storm the Federal Reserve bank in Washington, DC. The event already has 28,000 people either interested or declaring their intention to go.
Several other consequent events have sprung up, most of them much smaller. But as is typical, none are likely to come close to the popularity of the original meme.
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