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Document Viewer US Air Force warns against joke event to 'storm Area 51'
Source: AP - AP Wire Service
Jul 17 2019
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Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ The U.S. Air Force has warned people against participating in an internet joke suggesting a large crowd of people ``storm Area 51,'' the top-secret Cold War test site in the Nevada desert.

A prank event on Facebook that's attracted more than 1 million interested people suggests that a mass of people attempt to run into the mysterious site at 3 a.m. on Sept. 20.

The site is part of the vast Nevada Test and Training Range and has become the center of UFO conspiracy theories.

The Facebook event jokes ``they can't stop all of us'' and ``Let's see them aliens.''

Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement that the Air Force is aware of the Facebook posting and says ``any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged.''

The Air Force says it does not discuss its security measures and that the test and training range provides ``flexible, realistic and multidimensional battlespace'' for testing and ``advanced training in support of U.S. national interests.''

After decades of government officials refusing to acknowledge Area 51, the CIA released declassified documents in 2013 referring to the 8,000-square mile (20,700-sq. kilometer) installation by name and locating it on a map near the dry Groom Lake bed.

The base has been a testing ground for a host of top-secret aircraft, including the U-2 in the 1950s and later the B-2 stealth bomber.

But secrecy surrounding the site has fueled conspiracy theories among UFO enthusiasts and sprouted a small, alien-themed tourist industry in surrounding desert communities, including alien-themed cafes, an alien-themed motel and an alien-themed brothel.

AP-WF-07-18-19 0233GMT

Received Id AP1191985C76937C on Jul 18 2019 09:27