Siege of top-secret Area 51 began as a joke. Officials prepared to use deadly force in response.


When a UFO enthusiast posted an event on Facebook about “storming” the military base known as Area 51, he meant it as a joke. However, it was no laughing matter to federal and state law enforcement, who readied a lethal response to prevent revelers from breaching the off-limits area, records recently revealed. 

Area 51 is a U.S. Air Force installation in southern Nevada’s Groom Lake, a salt flat about 80 miles (129 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas. For decades, the base’s remote location and restricted access have fueled speculation about military officials performing secret experiments on extraterrestrials there, and storing evidence of alien visitors and UFOs. 

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