Talk of storming Area 51 in order to find out the truth once and for all – and also because “they can’t stop all of us” – has captivated the internet recently.
Mostly because we all love laughing emojis.
Aside from the fact that the government has tanks and also nuclear weapons and could, if they wanted to, definitely stop all of us, the idea has spawned endlessly amusing memes and internet jokes.
That said, if you’re an alien-believer and know the truth is out there…you might be wondering what might happen if people really did push for a peek inside the storied government facility.
First off, the area belongs to the US military, and the Air Force has publicly warned that anyone approaching the area would be discouraged from “trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.”
US law forbids trespassing on military bases (Section 1382 of Title 18) and says that anyone found breaking the law could be subject to six months in prison, a $500 fine, or both.
Area 51 is part of Edwards Air Force Base, which means it falls into the category protected by said law, and the signs posted around Area 51 suggest the government takes trespassing there seriously. They state that the area is restricted, that trespassing is illegal, and that “use of deadly force authorized.”
Which seems to indicate that you’re taking some pretty grave chances should you decide to storm the place.
An assumption backed up by the fact that, in 2017, the US military opened fire on a man who tried to break into a Royal Air Force base in the UK.
And that was just for a quiet base in the English countryside. It’s safe to say that Area 51 would be at least as rigorously defended.
In 2016, a television crew filming the BBC show “Conspiracy Road Trip” were arrested at gunpoint for approaching the restricted area, made to lie face-down on the ground, and forced to remain there for 3 hours while they passed security checks. They were eventually fined and let go.
Two years before that a tour bus inadvertently (they claimed) drove through the warning signs. The tour was pulled over by military armed with M-16s.
These attempts were deemed harmless and treated as such, but earlier this year, at least one man “with a cylindrical object in-hand” was shot dead near the Nevada National Security Site after failing to stop at a security gate.
If you decide you can afford the fine and want to go ahead with it, well…I guess try not to look too threatening. Maybe don’t carry any cylindrical objects?
Or just don’t. That’s probably the better idea.