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Air Force warns alien enthusiasts against planned Area 51 raid: We are ‘ready to protect America’

The United States Air Force has issued a warning to the million or so people who signed up for a Facebook event at Area 51, the Nevada military base that has long the been subject of conspiracy theories that it holds secrets to extraterrestrial life.

According to CNN, a report de-classified in 2013 confirmed that existence of Area 51 as a previously secret testing base for the experimental U-2 aircraft, which flew at 60,000 feet — twice as high as today’s commercial aircrafts. A 2013 report in IBTimes notes that these aircrafts were often mistaken for UFOs in the 1950s and 1960s, when the government tried to explain the sightings away as natural phenomenon.

As Deadline notes, rumors have persisted for decades that alien aircraft and alien remains can be found at the secret site.

The Facebook event, called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” reportedly began as a joke, but the projected attendance of 1.1. million people — with nearly a million more indicating they are “interested” has apparently caught the attention of the U.S. military.

According to the event page, attendees are directed to gather at Area 51 on September 20.

“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” reads a message about the event. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.

“Naruto run” is a reference to the Japanese anime series Naruto. The protagonist is often seen sprinting with his arms stretched out behind him, presumably to gain more speed.

As CNN reports, a more recent post on the page says that the event is not actually happening.

“Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet,” the pinned post reads.

Still, the military appears to be taking it seriously.

“[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” a spokeswoman told The Washington Post. “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”

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[Feature image: AP Photo/Laura Rauch]