Arguably, one of the best highlights of this year has been the Area 51 raid on Sept. 20. The idea of seeing aliens has captivated thousands of users through the original Facebook post alone. It has been an event that has created many great jokes and drawn people together for many reasons, even if it is just to laugh at the chance of people showing up to the Area 51 raid.
After the alien raid began to gain attention, there was real concern that people would show up at Area 51 resulting in problems for the small surrounding towns. To avoid a raid and prevent overcrowding in the surrounding desert-towns, organizers presented the idea of a music festival.
The music festival, “Alien Stock,” took place in Las Vegas on Sept. 19 and involved the creator of the original Area 51 raid meme, Matty Roberts, 21. Roberts backed out of the raid after it gained national attention and actual momentum; however, it continued without his support of the raid. Once the Area 51 raid had gained enough attention, there was no stopping the attendance of people, even if they did not plan to storm the military compound.
The actual raid on the military base did not include the mass of people that had originally signed up. Although thousands signed up for the Area 51 raid, less than one hundred people showed up to the physical event. Out of around the 100 people who arrived, there were only a couple of people detained for the raid. One woman who attempted to enter the gate and a man who urinated on a gate — both people were led away by authorities. Considering how many people said they wanted to break into a military compound, it is considered a win.
The popularity of the raid on Area 51 was directly tied to the internet culture and the memes produced about it. Anyone could find a joke about the event on the internet. The constant coverage has made the Facebook event unforgettable and will be remembered as one of the best events to have drawn people together in 2019. There was not a lot of people outside the base, but a lot of people have gotten laughs about it over the last few months through the internet memes.