THE US Air Force has warned UFO enthusiasts to stay away from Area 51 as thousands prepare to descend on the infamous military base.
As many as 30,000 people are expected to arrive in the tiny towns of Rachel and Hiko for an event that started out as an internet joke.
The Storm Area 51 Facebook page was first set up more than two months ago, encouraging followers to gather at the base this weekend to «see them aliens».
The event, strapline «They can’t stop us all», quickly went viral, prompting the US Air Force to issue a strongly-worded statement.
US Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said she couldn’t elaborate on the procedures in place at the base, but told attendees not to attempt a breach.
“[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,” she said.
“The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
Area 51 is a 5,000-square-mile detachment that has been operational for more than 60 years and is officially part of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR).
It is famously secretive and well-fortified, and many believe the US government uses the base to conduct research into the existence of and possible visitations by extraterrestrial life.