Area 51 Rivets Nation, Raises Questions About Government Secrecy


Evelyn Vazquez

The PHS student section throws baby powder at the beginning of their homecoming game. The Pirates walked away with a 40-6 win.

Caroline Zimmerman, Staff Writer

Over the Summer, popular youtuber Matthew Roberts gained massive media attention after creating a petition to raid Area 51.

This raid inspired the Homecoming theme since the proposed date of the raid happened to be the same day as the Homecoming game.

Area 51’s existence was not uncovered until 2013, according to CNN. The facility was secretly hidden for many years, bringing into question what actually lies within the facility.

“The government is always trying to hide something from us,” said senior Trent Smith. “I think they hide it for our own safety, because we don’t really need to know about all these secret aircrafts and military and weapon development they have.”

Area 51 is used as a flight testing facility, according to Britannica. However, many people don’t believe this. The popular theory surrounding the facility is that aliens reside there.

“I believe it is an Air Force/airplane testing range,” Smith said. “And why do I think that? It’s because that would explain why it’s been so secret.”

But others seem to believe differently. The first UFO was spotted by a man who worked at Area 51 in the 1980s, according to Britannica.

“Do I believe there are aliens? Yes,” Smith said. “Do I believe that they have UFOs? Yes. Do I believe every single UFO claim? Absolutely not.”

But after Robert’s petition was created, interest began to reappear surrounding Area 51. Robert’s petition urged people to storm the facility on September 20, 2019.

“I do think that some people will show up,” Smith said. “Not the however, million people who signed up on the petition. But I’m going to guess a couple dozen people show up and just kind of have a party, and nothing actually happens.”

Over two million people have signed the petition to raid Area 51, causing the towns surrounding the facility to declare a premature state of emergency, according to USA Today.

“Do I believe there are aliens? Yes. Do I believe that they have UFOs? Yes. Do I believe every single UFO claim? Absolutely not.””

— Trent Smith - senior

“Local governments get more power when declaring a state of emergency,” Flory said. “So if they need to be able to quickly reallocate funds for infrastructure, or you’ve got that many people, more police forces, stuff like that. I think it’s not unreasonable, not what I expected, but definitely not something that I disagree with them doing per se, without knowing the minutiae of their specific situation.”

Despite the seriousness of the raid, people are still able to find humor in the situation.

“Okay, guys, I’m down for the Area 51 raid, but my mom wants to meet all of your mom’s first,” Flory said. “Probably my favorite meme to come out of the whole thing. Because that would very much be my mom.”

Others took the raid as a time to reflect on other conspiracies.

“The fact that some people out there think that Obama was not only not born in America, you know, that whole birth conspiracy theory by itself,” Smith said. “He wasn’t just born in not America, He wasn’t born on this planet cause he is actually a reptilian alien.”

The raid has helped show some people how to have a healthy relationship with the government.

“Always question authority,” Smith said.

According to comic book, the raid has since been canceled by Roberts himself. But the whole ordeal has allowed people to challenge authority in a healthy way.

“I think it’s healthy, and we need to have (conspiracy theories),” Flory said. “Because if everyone just doesn’t challenge anything, it results in us believing everything that’s told to us, which isn’t okay. But sometimes (conspiracy theories) go too far.”

In the end, about 2,000 people showed up, and spent their time listening to music and socializing.