Facebook | Matty Roberts

The Guy Behind The Area 51 Raid Got A Visit From The FBI

ryan.ford 12 Aug 2019

Few Facebook events have received the kind of attention that the proposed Area 51 raid has in 2019. The headline-generating event that cheekily, and not really seriously, suggests getting a massive crowd together to overrun the classified air base in Nevada to "see them aliens" now has more than two million people saying they're definitely going, with another 1.5 million interested.

Not only has the event managed to bring "Naruto-running" into the mainstream, but it has also caught the notice of the FBI.

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Which, when you think about it, is pretty understandable. It doesn't take much for folks on the internet to take a joke the wrong way, and if any joke taken the wrong way has the potential to end tragically, it's saying things like "storm Area 51, they can't stop us all."

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After all, the U.S. Air Force has even commented on the event.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Back_gate_area_51.jpg

Without getting into specifics, Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews made it clear that Area 51 is not accepting visitors. "[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces," she said. "The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets."

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So, just in a case of due diligence and all that, the FBI knocked on the door of the event's creator, Matty Roberts.

Facebook | FBI — Federal Bureau of Investigation

It's safe to say that Matty's Facebook event went beyond even his wildest expectations, and nothing made that more clear than federal agents on his porch. As ABC15 reported, Matty got a call from his mother one morning recently, who told him "answer your phone, the FBI is here."

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As it turns out, Matty didn't have much to be worried about.

Facebook | Matty Roberts

"I was kind of scared at this point," he said, "but they were super cool and wanted to make sure that I wasn't an actual terrorist making pipe bombs in the living room." You can never be too careful!

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If fact, Matty has gone out of his way to steer folks away from actually trying to storm Area 51.

Facebook | Stephen Tiger Cumptsy

He's on the record as saying that he doesn't want anyone to rush the air base's gates, and that he doesn't want anyone getting hurt. If anything, he wants everyone to come in peace.

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Matty has also started up an alternate event that makes it clear that he's not on board with violence.

Alienstock Festival

Calling the event 'Alienstock,' he said "It's not going to be a military base slaughter, it's going to be something really fun, educational, maybe music and art, that's what I'm working on."

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He also says that he wants whatever gathering happens out in the Nevada desert to be free.

Facebook | Robin Lynn Nashwick

"Profits would be fun, but I don't want to be seen as a profit-driven guy," he said. "I don't care about the money aspect; I never intended for this to become a real thing. Now, I want to make it fun, and I think just capitalizing on it and making a ton of money just ruins the idea of the grassroots idea of it."

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There is some potential for friction with locals, however.

Facebook | Robin Lynn Nashwick

The event now has its own, non-Facebook website, which says that folks will be meeting in the town of Rachel, Nevada, which has a population of just 56. Local businesses might welcome a sudden influx of customers, but many also worry about shortages of food, water, and shelter, and there's limited law enforcement or emergency resources available should their need arise.

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But Matty's still hopeful that he can pull off a fun, safe event for everyone who's interested.

Facebook | Matty Roberts

"It's insane, and I just created a joke while I was playing video games and it has taken off to this wild monster," Matty said. "I want to make this something as a positive, enjoyable, safe, and profitable for the rural area of Nevada."

h/t: ABC15

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