• Melisa Kennedy

My 'Storm Area 51' Interviews with Nick Pope and Stephen Bassett

Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us is an American Facebook event currently planned for September 20, 2019 at Area 51, a United States Air Force facility within the Nevada Test and Training Range, to raid the site in search for extraterrestrial life.

As a ufologist myself, I question whether or not Storm Area 51 is an effective way to get to the truth about extraterrestrials. I am definitely with the inquisitive minds out there who are seeking answers to that most ancient question, "Are we alone in the universe?" The answer very simply, is NO.

But is storming a federal facility known for its UFO and extraterrestrial activities the answer? Is this jokey Facebook event the solution?

So, I turned to my two colleagues and friends who will be attending UFO Con in Orlando, Nick Pope and Stephen Bassett to get their opinions.

Nick Pope ran the British government's UFO project.  He's a leading expert on the unexplained and conspiracy theories. He is a regular on History Channel's Ancient Aliens TV show among others.

Here's what Nick had to say about this public Facebook event that’s gone viral.

"I understand people's curiosity about Area 51 and about government UFO secrets more generally, and I completely support people's right to undertake a legal, peaceful protest, but that's not how this event is being billed. 'Storm Area 51' clearly implies illegal trespass onto a military installation and that's a recipe for disaster. I utterly condemn such an action. It's irresponsible, illegal and potentially dangerous. Trespass on a military base is a federal offence and people run the risk of getting jail time, a fine and a criminal record. Warning signs at Area 51 even state that the use of lethal force is authorized. This is unlikely and guards are only authorized to open fire in exceptional circumstances, such as if they believe they're in imminent danger themselves, but who knows what might happen if things get out of hand? If a large crowd is rushing towards a guard and some idiot tries to grab his gun, it's easy to envisage a situation where someone might open fire. If anyone thinks this is impossible, they should remember that as recently as February, a man was shot and killed at a Navy base in Texas, after he crashed his vehicle into a security barrier and charged towards the guards.It's easy to imagine a whole bunch of other things going wrong here, with potentially tragic results. Area 51 is in a desolate and remote area and the terrain is rough. I could envisage cars running out of gas or overturning, people getting lost in the desert, all sorts of things - it might look easy on a computer screen, but in real life it isn't. I live in Tucson, so I know what desert terrain is like. It's beautiful, but it can be unforgiving. Temperatures can be brutal even in mid September, if people don't take enough water they can very quickly dehydrate dangerously, and then there are the rattlesnakes!

Even if there had ever been any alien technology - or aliens - at Area 51, it would be long gone. Common sense dictates that the moment a military base starts getting name checked in movies like Independence Day and TV shows like The X-Files, the cat is out of the bag, so any UFO-related material would probably long since have been moved elsewhere, to a location the public has never heard of. So even if anyone did actually manage to break into Area 51, all they'd probably find is various next-generation aircraft and drones - and because we don't want details of these getting to Russia, China or indeed anyone else, that's yet another reason why this plan is bad news.      

The only good news for the authorities is that any protest is likely to be much smaller than people think. It's very easy to click 'going' on a Facebook event, but it's much harder to actually go - especially to somewhere as remote as Area 51. Even so, the authorities are concerned, and rightly so. I find all this frustrating. As a result of the revelations concerning the Pentagon's AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program) program, the topic of UFOs has come out of the fringe and into the mainstream. The US Navy has confirmed the reality of several mid-air encounters between pilots and UFOs, Congressional committees have investigated, Senators have received classified briefings and even the President has addressed the issue.

All this progress could be undone by a stunt like this. If people feel so strongly about the issue, I suggest that instead of engaging in reckless actions, they educate themselves about AATIP, engage with their elected representatives, and ask them to support Congressional hearings and the production of a National Intelligence Estimate on the subject."

I really enjoyed Nick's point of view on the subject matter but wanted to get another angle as well. Stephen Bassett is the executive director of Paradigm Research Group founded in 1996 to end a government imposed embargo on the truth behind the so called “UFO” phenomenon. Stephen has spoken to audiences around the world about the implications of formal “Disclosure” by world governments of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race. He has given over 1000 radio and television interviews, and PRG’s advocacy work has been extensively covered by national and international media.

Stephen had the following interesting points on this event. "Storm Area 51 is a brilliant marketing meme. The originator is going to sell a lot of T-shirts. It is a perfect example of how interest in the ET/Disclosure issues is growing. After Disclosure there will be ten thousand marketing memes. A lot of money will change hands.  

Will there be a mass gathering outside Area 51?  Not likely.

Such events cost a lot of money and have considerable liability. Will some people show up and have a good time? Probably.  Should they actually try to storm Area 51?   A resounding "no."  That would be a very bad idea. The idea of a mass protest outside Area 51 has been on the activist action list for some time. It hasn't happened for a number of reasons including it's too dangerous and the wrong location.  The place for a mass protest against the abuse of secrecy by the U.S. Government is on the Mall in Washington, DC.  Such protests require major funding and organization.  Also, the core issue does not lend itself well to the mass protest approach. One day that could change. Storm Area 51 is a hint that day may be sooner than later."

To hear more from Nick Pope and Stephen Bassett as well as learn more information about extraterrestrials, UFOs and the unexplained mysteries of our universe, attend UFO CON in Orlando on November 9, 2019. Tickets are on sale now at

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