If you have been living under a cave, or a blanket (which is the millennial edition of a cave), for the past month, chances are you've probably missed out on the influx of Area 51 memes. Guess you won't be adopting an alien anytime soon.
It all started with a Facebook event. Titled, "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us", it garnered bizarre popularity and spread across the internet in the form of the all too familiar meme-fire. But woah, there. Hold on a second before you “naruto run” past the bullets to see the aliens. There are a few things you need to know about this ultra-cryptic, super-classified location that goes by the name of Area 51.
Area 51, or geographically referred to as US Nevada’s Area 51 Air Force facility, has consistently been the vortex of all things alien, as depicted in various books, TV shows and, most recently, online raids. Cameras, chain link fences, boom gates, intimidating trespassing signs and a tinted car peering down on the base are some of the security techniques employed to guard this “top secret" military base.
The Origins of the Mystery
The growing hostilities between the US and the erstwhile USSR, post WWII, played a pivotal role in the inception of Area 51. In 1954, the US government began its search for a remote location that could be marked out for the purposes of developing high-altitude reconnaissance aircrafts under the then confidential U-2. program. This location came to be known as none other than our popular-alien attraction site, Area 51.
Transforming a Mystery into a Myth
With the onset of U-2 testing, an array of reports came flooding in about numerous sightings of ‘unidentified flying objects'. These sightings were mainly reported by commercial airline pilots for they had never seen any aircraft flying at such high altitudes. A U-2 aircraft soaring at an altitude of 60,000 ft compared to the 10,000-20,000 ft of a regular commercial airline seemed highly improbable and ‘alien’ to people. Air Force officials were not permitted to disclose the truth behind the various alleged UFO sightings to the masses. Besides U-2, Area 51 also became a testing zone for several other stealth birds.
The alien conspiracy theories gained ground in 1989, when Bob Lazar claimed that he had in fact, seen aliens, and had aided the reverse-engineering of alien spacecrafts while working at the base. Some disregarded these reports as fiction and others found them to be a mockery. Former engineers and employees at the base were angered by the growing misconception of Area 51 being a space for extraterrestrial activity and considered it "Earth technology" and nothing more.
Present Scenario of Area 51
Area 51 remains in use by the officials. Alas, what happens in there is privy only to a few ears. Popular speculation regarding the ongoing activities at the base include improved stealth technology, advanced weaponry, electronic warfare systems and more exciting hypotheses. Some even hint at the development of directed energy weapons and lasers at the military base.
Mass fascination generated by the happenings at Area 51 is still prevalent, despite it being repeatedly classified as imaginative fiction.
Future, or the ambiguity of the future is like an itch that can't be left unattended by the masses.