After months of anticipation, the Area 51 "raid" finally occurred this weekend, but it looks like it might not have met some people's expectations. What started as a joke Facebook event spun into some form of a movement, with several alien-related events and attempts to "storm" the iconic Nevada military base. Even then, turnout for some of the events was smaller than initially planned, even leading some to be cancelled midway through the weekend. A meme shared by Reddit user RKetcy021 summarizes the event's expectation and reality pretty perfectly, using key events from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. While the hype around the event made it seem like a Battle of Wakanda-level affair, the joke is that in actuality, it was much closer to a time-displaced Scott Lang attempting to enter the Avengers compound.
The whole trend spun out of a Facebook event created by Matty Roberts, which was dubbed "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us". The event's description joked that fans should gather in the masses and "Naruto run" their way into the base, in hopes of finally discovering whatever extraterrestrial secrets could hide inside.
The weekend raid has brought quite a lot of unintended consequences, including the fact that Nevada authorities are considering pursuing legal action against Facebook and Roberts. Although the original event started out as a joke, Roberts then organized a festival for alien enthusiasts called "Alienstock", which led to the horde of people arriving in rural Nevada. According to one report, the community that the raid took place in could be seeking nearly $250,000 in damages.
“Matty Roberts is the one that started this on Facebook. So our district attorney, his opinion is that Matty Roberts and Facebook stand to be partially to blame for this” Lincoln County Sheriff Jerry Lee explained in a recent interview. “He’s already told people that this is quote-unquote ‘His event.’ He told some of the other event promoters that this was his event. And so I guess if it’s his event and he’s taken ownership of it then we know where legal action should go toward. I’m not an attorney but that is what Lincoln County district attorney is saying.”
Outside of Roberts' "Alienstock", there was also the Area 51 Basecamp event, which featured a performance from DJ Paul Oakenfold before being cancelled on Saturday. A recent report indicates that one 60-year-old woman was able to actually storm the Area 51 gates.