The “Storm Area 51” social media craze has left Nevada’s top elected officials with mixed feelings. They seem to fear the possible devastating consequences, but appreciate the spike in interest for the region that local businesses are enjoying.
Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen has echoed statements made by the US Air Force, warning potential raiders against attempting to storm their base in Nevada.
“Storming any kind of Department of Defense facility is not safe. It’s not safe for those who are guarding it, it’s not safe for what we’re protecting inside”, she said, as cited by the Huffington Post, without giving any details about what might be concealed at the US base, saying: “I haven’t been to Area 51 myself”.
She, however, gave the bizarre movement credit for the growth in business that entrepreneurs from the small town of Rachel located down the so-called “Extraterrestrial Highway” from the secret facility have reported.
“I appreciate that people shop along the highway for all those souvenirs”, she said.
Her colleague Catherine Cortez-Masto from the Democratic Party did not seem eager about the whole venture.
“I don’t know anything about what they’re looking for. I understand it was a joke”, she said.
The "Storm Area 51" Facebook event has made headlines all over the world with around 2 million users over the last month signing up to invade one of the most highly protected US Air Force facilities. The event, scheduled for 20 September, was seemingly launched as a farce, but the movement has been blown out of proportion even worrying the US military, who pledged to defend the Area 51 base from hordes of potential trespassers.
"[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces", Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said in a statement to The Washington Post.
The base has been a magnet for all kinds of conspiracy theorists and alien hunters since the US allegedly began testing high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft in the 1950s. The US government officially confirmed its existence only in 2013, which did not tame the truth hunters, believing the military is hiding info about extraterrestrial contacts.