LINCOLN COUNTY, Nev. - The creator of the viral Facebook event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” has revealed himself and discussed his reaction to what first started as a “joke,” but now has millions of people who are “Interested” or “Going” on Sept. 20.
Matty Roberts, under three different Facebook pages, set the time for attendees to “storm” the top-secret U.S. Air Force Base in southern Nevada from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.
“It was completely satire. I tried to make it seem as much a joke as I possibly could, but there’s definitely some people that are taking it seriously,” Roberts told Las Vegas’ KLAS-TV in an interview.
Roberts said he posted it on June 27, with the event’s details saying, “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.”
He was referring to Naruto Uzumaki, a character who runs with his arms stretched behind him in the Japanese anime series “Naruto.”
“It was kind of a joke. And then it waited for like three days, like 40 people, and then it just completely took off, out of nowhere. It’s pretty wild,” Roberts said.
But as soon as it reached a certain point, Roberts was spooked.
“Once it got past 500,000 people that were interested in going, I was like, the FBI is going to show up at my house and it got a little spooky from there,” he told the station.
Roberts said people “want to know” what’s going on at the secretive Area 51 in Lincoln County, Nevada.
“Even if just a few people show up with just the amount of attention that the post has gotten, I think it makes a cool statement that like, hey, we want to know what’s going on in there. People want to know,” Roberts said.
Previously, Roberts spoke with NPR through Facebook messenger under the pseudonym, “Val.” The outlet reported that he is a 20-year-old man from California. At the time, he wouldn't share his last name for fear the publicity around the event would lead to his being harassed, the report said.
Roberts also told NPR that he "just thought it would be a funny idea for the meme page," referring to either one of three Facebook pages.
"And it just took off like wildfire. It's entirely satirical though, and most people seem to understand that," he added.
Val also told NPR that he'll "more than likely be there, but not for the intended purpose.“
He said has been speaking "with some pretty great people" about perhaps planning an educational kind of shindig, though it was unclear what the lessons would be, the outlet reported.
But whatever that event ends up being, Val said it’s unlikely to involve "sprinting through the desert at 3 a.m.“
This story was reported from Los Angeles.