A 20-year-old college student is behind the plan to storm Area 51, and he is now saying the idea was just a joke.
“I don't want anyone to actually get hurt with this. It was meant to be funny,” Matty Roberts told Inside Edition.
Area 51 is the top-secret Air Force facility long associated in the public mind with extra-terrestrials and UFOs. It lies deep in the desert 150 miles from Las Vegas. It's lined with signs warning the curious to keep out.
Last month, Roberts launched a Facebook page he called “Storm Area 51.”
“Let's see them aliens,” it says. “They can't stop all of us.” Now 3 million people have signed up to take part in the supposed event.
The Air Force is taking the page seriously and issued a warning: "The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets."
Now, Roberts says he was just kidding.
The CIA first publicly acknowledged the existence of Area 51 in 2013 following a Freedom of Information Act request.