(TMU) — In an age when the zeitgeist synchronizes closely with Internet trends and viral social media hashtags, the most improbable and zany of memes can become obsessive movements virtually overnight. The newest example—a facetious campaign to “Storm Area 51” and unseal its alien secrets—originated as a playful Facebook event and has since ballooned into a pop culture phenomenon with nearly 2 million enlistees pledging to take part.
While the majority of the group members are unlikely to ultimately sojourn to the middle of the desert 75 miles north of Las Vegas, if even a small percentage of them turn up, it could flood the town of Rachel and create a tense scene for local and federal government officials.
The event’s creator, Matty Roberts, says it started as a “pure stroke of imagination” and that it was simply a satirical joke. He had no idea that his idea of a legion of UFO fanatics “naruto run[ning]” toward Area 51 to breach the top secret base and “see them aliens” would go viral in only a few weeks. In recent interviews he has admitted he now fears things have gotten out of hand and that there will be “slaughter.”
The engineering student said in an interview:
“It was meant to be funny. I want to do something cool out there, now that we have a bunch of people, but I don’t want anybody to get hurt.
“A few people are really serious and I’m kind of worried about that. I’ve had a couple people DM the page where they’re like, ‘I’m willing to die for the government. Let’s do this.’ And I’m just like, ‘Oh my God.’ They’re all like hardcore strength in numbers, that kind of thing, but if there’s only like two of those guys out there, I think we’ll be OK.”
There are signs the joke is being taken seriously by government officials as well. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews stated:
“The Nevada Test and Training Range is an area where the Air Force tests and trains combat aircraft. Any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous.”
Despite warnings, local owners of hotels and campgrounds say their properties are filling up with reservations. Matty says he now hopes to turn the event into an educational festival.
Area 51, long a staple of conspiracy theories and fringe pop culture, has resurfaced frequently in recent years. The CIA didn’t even officially acknowledge the existence of the base until 2013.
And while officials maintain the base is the home of experimental aircraft, weapons systems and logistical support for the USAF, some conspiracists insist there is more going on. Bob Lazar, who in the 1980s claimed he had worked on alien technology inside the base, recently appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast to reiterate his claims. A few years back, a fairly mainstream journalist named Annie Jacobsen, claimed in a book on Area 51 that the crafts which crashed in Roswell had actually been piloted by the victims of a Soviet eugenics experiment and were intended to introduce disinformation and confusion into the American imagination.
It is highly unlikely—bordering on impossible—that a critical mass of civilians could infiltrate a highly secure military base. The U.S. military almost assuredly has advanced technologies for non-violently neutralizing large groups of people, including sound beams, electromagnetic pulses and directed microwave energy.
The success of Storm Area 51 could lay more in presenting a proof-of-concept showing the impact of tens of thousands of people assembling in one area. The event states: “they can’t stop us all.” While this view is patently wrong, it is only because they’re talking about sabotaging the defense of a major top-secret military asset.
While we have seen mass protests and marches, very rarely have we seen over a million citizens converge in one spot demanding the truth. The sentiment behind storming Area 51 may strike many as juvenile or absurd, but if this same principle—mobilizing the populace to numerically overwhelm law enforcement and elites—were to laterally shift onto, say, storming the border detention centers, it might be taken more seriously.
Storm Area 51 has the potential to be a transferable movement that graduates from a giant party to a disruptive new form of mass civil disobedience… or more.
FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House
Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.
But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?
Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.
The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.
The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.
According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building set “focuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.
Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimes “include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”
An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”
Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”
However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.
The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.
Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm
If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.
What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.
Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.
But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.
The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.
“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.
“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”
Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.
“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.
Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change
Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”
Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.
However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.
The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.
“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.
“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.
“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”
“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.
Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”
“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.
Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.
On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.
“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.
However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.
“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.