The creator of a Facebook page calling for a public invasion of Area 51, the top secret air force facility in Nevada, has finally spoken publicly about his joke getting out of hand.
California resident Matty Roberts, who created the Facebook page "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," revealed his identity Wednesday to KLAS-TV or Las Vegas.
"I posted it on like June 27th and it was kind of a joke," Roberts said. It's pretty wild. ”
The page calls for a public invasion of the secret air force-run facility near Groom Lake, Nev., On Sept. At 3 a.m. The facility has been the subject of alien conspiracy theories for decades.
As signatories for the page climbed higher, Roberts said he grew up the FBI would pay him a visit.
"The FBI is going to show up at me Roberts had previously communicated with NPR through Facebook Messenger, but under a pseudonym for fear of harassment.
"I just thought it would be a funny idea for the meme page," he said. It's totally satirical though, and most people seem to understand. ”
As of Wednesday, Robert's page has garnered 1.5 million pledges from around the world to join the effort and another 1.1 million "Interested."
Meanwhile, publicity of the story has been good for surrounding businesses.
Joerg Arnu, who lives near Area 51 and runs a website that focuses on military secrecy, duty KLAS has seen a huge spike in traffic.
"I used to get about 500 to 600 hits a day," he said. "Right now, I'm getting up to 3,000 a day."
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Connie West, owner of Little A'Le'Inn, which sells alien-themed food and novelty items, said here are fully booked through the Sept. Target date.
"I'm just a little scared, but bring it," she said. I don't believe they should be doing this and breaking the law. Just believe it. ”
The momentum has prompted the Air Force, which runs the installation, to respond and caution UFO enthusiasts against invading the area.
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"[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to get into the area where we train American armed forces. … The US Air Force always stands to protect America and its assets, "Laura McAndrews spokeswoman told The Washington Post.
David Montanaro contributed to this report.