Area 51 Raid: Overview and Outcome

Millions pledged to storm the top secret facility: what happened?


By Jimmy He, Staff Writer

The nationally publicized Area 51 Raid event took place on the night of September 20th, attracting a crowd of around 150 at the secret facility’s gates—much less than the millions that pledged to storm the compound.

None of the individuals stepped past the barrier into the closely guarded facility, although multiple alcohol and trespassing related arrests were made throughout the night. 

The majority of individuals who camped outside the gates were made up of alien enthusiasts, YouTubers, and Instagram stars, many of which who wore alien costumes, brought inflatable aliens and held signs asking for the release of aliens.

Despite only 150 people showing up at Area 51’s gates, over 3,000 people attended the many celebratory events and festivals in surrounding towns, such as one in on September 19th at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, and the “Storm” Area 51 Base Camp Experience, which took place in Hiko, Nevada, another small desert down, on September 21st.


The internet sensation turned national phenomenon began it’s ascent in social media and the news earlier on June 27th, after 21-year-old college student Matty Roberts posted an event on Facebook captioned “Storm Area 51, They can’t stop us all.”

Within months, over two million people from around the world had joined in, vouching to attend the raid.

Leading up in the weeks ahead of the raid, Roberts announced an alien-themed music festival by the name of AlienStock, that would take place the weekend of the raid in nearby 50-resident desert town Rachel, Nevada and include a variety of musical performances and sci-fi related events.

However, Roberts backed out less than two weeks before the supposed event was to take place, citing fear for a humanitarian crisis similar to that of Fyre Festival.

“Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees,” he wrote on a website for AlienStock, “we decided to pull the plug on the festival.”

Throughout the course of the raid’s planning and publicity, the government responded by cautioning petitioners and civilians alike the dangers of trespassing on such a closely protected government compound.

On September 20th, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), tweeting a post of military personnel standing in front of a B-2 stealth bomber, captioned, “The last thing #Millennials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today.”

Upon severe backlash regarding the threat, the Department of Defense apologized for the tweet, stating that “it was inappropriate” and “in NO WAY supports the stance of the Department of Defense.”


Wanting to explore the opinion on the Area 51 raid throughout Hills, we interviewed senior Afi Ibrogomov on her opinion concerning the event.

Q: How did you react to how the Area 51 raid panned out leading up to last weekend?

A: “I know that the intent was there and people genuinely wanted to know what was inside area 51, but in actuality, I wasn’t very surprised that there wasn’t much of a turnout.”

Q: Why do you think there might have been so little alien enthusiasts that turned up at the gates of Area 51 compared to those that had pledged to storm the compound?

A: “I don’t want to sound cynical, but I feel like it’s because people tend to be all talk and no action.”

Q: Do you, personally, believe that aliens exist somewhere in the universe?

A: “Yes. I wouldn’t call them aliens because that’s the stereotypical thought, but there is definitely life outside earth. To think we are the only intelligent life form is self-centered and egotistic.”


Marking by far the biggest and fastest-growing sensation surrounding Area 51, many alien enthusiasts still wonder, what could be the next possibility of finding evidence of extraterrestrial life, and more importantly, what really is hidden within the depths of Area 51?