TEHRAN (FNA)- Air Force leaders are asking the public not to storm Area 51 to “see them aliens” after a Facebook event intended to be a joke went viral and attracted millions of potential attendees.
The event, which was originally scheduled for September 20, was a topic of discussion during a Monday roundtable event featuring Air Force Secretary Matthew Donovan and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein at the Air Force Association’s Air Space Cyber Conference in Maryland, Washington Examiner reported.
While the question initially elicited chuckles, Air Force leaders are taking it seriously.
“All joking aside, we’re taking it very seriously,” Goldfein said, adding, “Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected.”
Goldfein smirked when a reporter asked him if aliens were some of the secrets that needed to be protected, then recalled an incident in which multibillionaire Richard Branson flew a UFO-shaped balloon over London in 2015.
“I’m actually looking for the very small airman I can put in the ET uniform,” Goldfein stated, referring to the 1982 film.
Goldfein has discussed the now-canceled event, which was originally scheduled for September 20, with Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, the head of Northern Command, which oversees the Nevada-based military complex.
Donovan said he has been briefed by the Air Force’s operations division on what they plan to do in case some UFO enthusiasts decide to take a chance at running across the Nevada desert to see the famous site.
The Air Force has added security personnel and barricades and continues to work with other government agencies and local law enforcement.
“I think they have a really good plan,” Donovan stated, adding, “I understand the organizer came up and said, ‘Ah, it’s canceled,’ or whatever, but there’s still a lot of media attention out in Las Vegas. So they expect that some folks are going to show up there.”
Aside from the state secrets issue, Donovan noted there could be safety concerns for anyone trying to run into Area 51, since they would have to traverse tens of miles of desert in the middle of the September heat.
The original “plan” for the event was to simply storm the facility with as many people as possible. The organizers claimed “they can’t stop all of us” and said “if we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. [Let’s] see them aliens”.
2 million people said they were “going” on the Facebook event page, while another 1.6 million said they were “interested”, before it was canceled last week.
While most were probably in on the joke, two Dutch citizens were arrested last week after they were suspected of trespassing to record video of the military base. They told the Nye County sheriff deputies they were planning to attend events connected with the now-canceled “Storm Area 51”.