AN Area 51 veteran last night warned that ISIS could have infiltrated a 1.5million-strong Facebook plot to storm the top secret military site.
A prank event that's gone viral online suggests that a mass of people attempt to run into the mysterious facility at 3am on September 20 to "see them aliens".
But Thornton 'T.D.' Barnes – who worked for the CIA at the infamous Nevada base – warned that terrorists could take advantage of the raid to attack the US military.
He wrote in a Fox News article published on Wednesday: "What these people signed up for is not merely an act of trespass, it could well wind up being treated as terrorism.
"In fact, how do those participating know who is behind this plan?
"How do they even know that the organisers are not connected to ISIS or some other adversary or enemy using them to disrupt or penetrate the national security of the United States?"
WORKED FOR CIA
Mr Barnes claims he began working at Area 51 in 1968 when he joined the CIA's Special Projects Team to track Soviet missions using sophisticated radar technology.
The site is part of the vast Nevada Test and Training Range and has become the centre of UFO conspiracy theories.
But Barnes said that during his time working there he saw no evidence of secret alien experiments taking place at the notorious facility.
He added: "Nor did I ever hear a pilot say that he or she had seen an alien spacecraft."
And addressing the planned raid, Mr Barnes said: "The Facebook warriors, thinking that they will find aliens at Area 51 are ludicrous – there is no basis for their thinking so whatsoever.
"They have no smoking gun."
AIR FORCE WARNING
The US Air Force yesterday warned people against participating in the joke raid.
Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement that the Air Force is aware of the Facebook posting 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.”
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.
The Facebook event – to which 1.5million people have signed-up to participate – jokes "they can't stop all of us" and "Let's see them aliens."
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.
The plan to "storm" top-secret Area 51 on September 20 was hatched by three anonymous Facebook pages.
They are "S***posting Because I'm in Shambles", "SmyleeKun" and "The Hidden Sound."
Their plan is to "meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry" on September 20.
It includes bizarre instructions to use "naruto run" – a style of sprinting common in Japanese cartoons – to "move faster than their bullets".
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