Saturday, July 27, 2019

Storm Area 51!

Do you know where you'll be at three in the morning on September 20th, 2019? If you're anything like these brave chaps you'll be busy storming the gates of the notorious Area 51, ground zero for alien conspiracists everywhere, looking for proof of extraterrestrial life. The whole idea is basically something like a Project Blue Book flash mob.

Over 120,000 people have pledged to meet up and ‘storm Area 51’ in the Nevada desert to try and find evidence of alien contact. The audacious plan is set for September 20, 2019 at 3am and is being organised through Facebook. Those taking part will meet at the Area 51 Alien Center in Amargosa Valley, Nevada and then proceed to Area 51 – a classified remote part of the US Air Force’s Edwards Air Force base.

Now, far be it from us to be cynical of such a plan, but the fact the Facebook group proposing the event is called ‘S***posting cause im in shambles’ gives us some cause for concern. Nevertheless, at the time of writing, 129,000 people have indicated they’ll be taking part in ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us’ and a further 163,000 have said they are interested.

Facebook RSVPs are notoriously inaccurate. "Interested" doesn't mean anything. "Going" is a little more reliable, but still can't be counted on. If 120,000 people claim they are "Going" and ten show up I wouldn't be even remotely surprised. Much as Douglas Adams once observed regarding numbers in restaurants, numbers on Facebook behave entirely differently than numbers anywhere else in the universe.

Beyond that, Area 51 has actually been mostly decommissioned for years. Its main claim to fame is that it was the test site for the original stealth fighter prototypes, and the reports of triangular UFOs from that period are not very surprising in retrospect. The whole point of the place was to test classified experimental aircraft. So by definition, most people aren't going to be able to identify them.

Robert Anton Wilson once wrote that he of course believed in unidentified flying objects because he encountered unidentified non-flying objects all the time in the course of his daily life. That's true for most of us. I'm not saying that I think it's impossible that aliens have visited Earth, but I do think it's unlikely that there's any evidence of those visits stashed away at this particular air force base.

Bob Lazar, a popular figure in the UFO community back in the 1990s, claimed to have worked on captured UFO technology at Area 51, and explained that it was based on the particular properties of ununpentium, element 115, which had not been synthesized in the laboratory at the time. This element occupied a theoretical "island of stability" among far more unstable heavy elements on the periodic table.

I waited for years as physicists slowly worked out how to generate the elements leading up to 115, on the off chance that Lazar was telling the truth. Now we've done it, and as far as we can tell there's no way that what Lazar claimed could possibly work. 115 is more stable than the elements around it, but it's not nearly stable enough to be built into "anti-gravity materials" or whatever.

Again, I don't have any idea how easy or difficult building such a material would be given arbitrarily advanced technology. All I know is that Lazar's story didn't check out, and honestly, I was really hoping that it would at the time. We'll have to wait and see if a mob really shows up, if they can get into the base, and if they find anything. Frankly at this point I'm leaning towards "no" on all those counts.

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1 comment:

Alex Scaraoschi said...

I think the weirdness happening around Area 51 is actually generated by the highly advanced, lost, forbidden etc magical operations taking place each sunrise on a nearby farm, so i would advise those people to storm that place instead ;) ;) They should ask for my $50 while doing so too :D