It’s not clear if the plans to invade Area 51 are real, but a number of small, rural towns in Nevada are getting ready regardless.
In the past few weeks, a joke Facebook event calling on people to storm the notorious U.S. Air Force base and see if there is evidence of extra-terrestrial life hidden there has gotten an enormous response. More than a million people have signed up, saying they will take part in the “invasion” set to happen in September, and memes about the invasion plans are plentiful across social media.
As a report from Fox 5 and CNN noted, some rural town around Area 51 are already starting to see some interest from those apparently taking the plans seriously. In Amargosa Valley, nearly all the rooms in the Atomic Inn have been reserved for the weekend that the invasion is set to take place. The motel is decked out in an alien theme, taking advantage off the tourists who come for a glimpse of the base about 30 minutes away where the U.S. government is claimed to be hiding evidence of alien visitors.
Cindy Campbell, co-owner of the Atomic Inn, said they are ready for the guests but hopes no one actually goes through with plans to invade Area 51.
“This is a live active military base,” she said. “It’s not a movie, its not some Fox super film.”
There has also been plenty of interest in the tourist attraction named in the original Facebook post, a small attraction in Amargosa Valley.
“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” the event page read. “If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens.”
The owner of the Area 51 Alien Center said he has gotten calls from people seeking to rent out the parking lot for the event, but he has turned them down.
While it remains unclear how many of the more than 1 million people committing to go to Area 51 in September might actually show up, the U.S. Air Force appears to be taking it seriously. The military branch issued a statement to the Washington Post warning people against trying to enter Area 51 and saying they could face repercussions for tying to invade it.
“The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets,” a spokeswoman told the newspaper in response to the Area 51 invasion plans.