The creator of a Facebook page calling for a public invasion of Area 51, the top-secret Air Force facility in Nevada, has finally talked publicly about the fact that his joke is getting out of hand.
California-based Matty Roberts, who's Facebook page & # 39; Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us & # 39; has revealed his identity on Wednesday at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas.
"I posted it up as June 27 and it was kind of a joke," Roberts said. "And then it waited for three days, like 40 people, and then it went away, out of nowhere. It's pretty wild."
The page calls for a public invasion of the secret Air Force run facility near Groom Lake, Nev., At 3 a.m. 20 Sept. The facility has been the subject of extraterrestrial conspiracy theories for decades.
As the signatories of the page climbed higher, Roberts said, he was worried that the FBI would visit him.
"The FBI will show up at my house and it got a little creepy from there," he said.
Roberts had previously communicated with NPR via Facebook Messenger, but under a pseudonym for fear of intimidation.
"I thought it would be a funny idea for the memo page," he said. "And it went just like a wildfire. However, it is completely satirical and most people seem to understand that. & # 39;
From Wednesday, Roberts' page collected 1.5 million pledges from around the world to join the effort and another 1.1 million "Interested."
In the meantime, the publicity about the story was good for surrounding companies.
Joerg Arnu, who lives near Area 51 and manages a website that focuses on the military secret, told KLAS that he has seen a huge peak in traffic.
"I used to get about 500 to 600 hits a day," he said. "At the moment I get up to 3000 a day."
Connie West, owner of Little A & # 39; Le & # 39; Inn, who sells alient-themed food and items, said her rooms were fully booked on the September 20 target date.
"I'm just a little scared, but bring it," she said. "We will do our best. I don't believe they should do this and break the law. Just don't believe it."
The momentum has prompted the Air Force, which is carrying out the installation, to respond and warns UFO enthusiasts against invading the area.
"[Area 51] is an open exercise area for the US Air Force and we would discourage anyone from attempting to enter the area where we train US forces. … The US Air Force is always ready to protect America and its property," said Laura McAndrews spokeswoman at the Washington Post.