MORE than 18,000 people have signed up to storm the Bermuda Triangle after a viral plot to overwhelm Area 51.
Prankster Anthony Carnovale is calling on thousands to band together and travel to the ship-swallowing region – which he insists “can’t swallow all of us.”
He’s drawn inspiration from a prank event suggesting that a mass of people attempt to run into the mysterious Area 51 facility to “see them aliens”.
More than 1.6million people have pledged on Facebook to take part in the bizarre joke – which has even prompted a warning from the US Air Force.
Organisers of the plot to overrun the notorious Nevada facility on September 20 have confirmed that it’s all a tongue-in-cheek gag.
But Carnovale insists he’s serious about mounting a massive raiding party to uncover the truth behind the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon.
RAISING FUNDS FOR RAID
A GoFundMe page has even been set up to help fund the event – which has been scheduled for October 1.
As many as 18,000 people have marked themselves as “attending” on the official Facebook page.
Carnovale told Fox 11 that he hopes to raise $175,000 (£140,000) to “provide boats and scuba gear” for the naval assault.
And he also plans to throw a party after the successful raid – featuring “‘live music, entertainment, [and a ] beach party.”
Bad shape: What is the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon?
THE Bermuda Triangle mystery has seen at least 75 planes and hundreds of ships go missing at the location without explanation.
The triangle lies in a section of the North Atlantic Ocean.
It covers an area of 440,000 miles of sea.
It’s one of the most heavily travelled shipping lanes in the world, with vessels crossing through to get to ports in America, Europe and the Caribbean.
When Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on his first voyage to the New World, he reported that a great flame of fire crashed into the sea one night and that a strange light appeared in the distance a few weeks later.
William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, which some scholars claim was based on a real-life Bermuda shipwreck, may have enhanced the area’s aura of mystery.
Reports of unexplained disappearances did not really capture the public’s attention until the 20th century.
Among the most famous disappearances was that of the USS Cyclops.
The 542-foot-long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men on-board sank somewhere between Barbados and Chesapeake Bay in March 1918.
At least 1,000 lives have been lost in the last 100 years in the area.
On average, four aircraft and 20 yachts go missing every year.
Carnovale added: “I’m contractually obligated to only use the money for the event.
“If I somehow can’t, I have to give everyone their money back.”
But so far just $20 of his total target has been raised.
STORMING AREA 51
It comes after the US Air Force this week warned people against participating in the joke raid on Area 51.
Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement that the Air Force is aware of the Facebook post – and says “any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged.”
Earlier, a US Air Force spokesperson said: “We would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.
“The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
The Facebook event – to which 1.6million people have signed-up to participate – jokes “they can’t stop all of us” and “Let’s see them aliens.”
Their plan is to “meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry” at 3am on September 20.
It includes bizarre instructions to use “naruto run” to “move faster than their bullets”.
The word naruto is a reference to an anime cartoon about a ninja with a fast, distinctive run.
The FBI is going to show up at my house and it got a little spooky from there
The event’s creator Matty Roberts last night told how he is terrified the FBI will come knocking on his door.
Roberts, from California, revealed his identity to KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, saying: “I posted it on like June 27th and it was kind of a joke.
“And then it waited for like three days, like 40 people, and then it just completely took off, out of nowhere. It’s pretty wild.
“The FBI is going to show up at my house and it got a little spooky from there.”
Roberts added: “I just thought it would be a funny idea for the meme page.
“And it just took off like wildfire. It’s entirely satirical though, and most people seem to understand that.”
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US government officials had for decades refused to acknowledge Area 51’s existence.
But in 2013 the CIA released declassified documents referring to the 8,000-square mile installation by name and locating it on a map near the dry Groom Lake bed.
The base has been a testing ground for a host of top-secret aircraft, including the U-2 in the 1950s and later the B-2 stealth bomber.
But secrecy surrounding the site has fuelled conspiracy theories among UFO enthusiasts.
What is Area 51? The top secret US air base steeped in extra-terrestrial intrigue
AREA 51 is a highly classified US air base in the remote Nevada desert.
It is officially known as Homey Airport, but gained its now famous name from CIA documents that referred to it by the codename Area 51.
The exact purpose of the air base is not known publicly, and the area is heavily restricted.
Trespassers can face huge fines and lengthy prison sentences for setting foot in the zone.
Purchased by the US government in 1955, evidence suggests the site is used as a testing area for experimental aircraft and weapons.
But the secrecy surrounding it has led conspiracy theorists to suggest the area is holding extra-terrestrial secrets.
Theories suggest engineers examine crashed spacecrafts — and even hold meetings with aliens from across the galaxy.
The crash of a weather balloon at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 sparked wild theories of an alien ship crash.
Some have suggested Area 51 is still storing parts of the crashed ship — or even its alien inhabitants.
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