For conspiracy theorists, Area 51 is a location of high intrigue. Often called the most secret place on earth (well…the United States, anyway), this government base in Nevada is thought to be used for weapons testing and experimental aircraft – although very little is known about what really goes on there. Some of the more out-there theories include meetings with aliens, development of weather control, and even time travel.
Our Japanese reporter Go Hatori is a seasoned traveller and, when he’s not trolling would-be scammers online for his own amusement, loves nothing more than to take a solo trip somewhere mysterious. So Go headed into the Nevada desert – with a secret mission of his own!
Full of excitement, Go keyed “Area 51” into his rental car’s sat-nav. He was heading for Paradise Ranch! The Home Base! The Field of Dreams!
But, alas, “Area 51” returned zero results on his sat-nav system. “I guess that’s not so surprising;” Go thought to himself, “even Obama won’t say anything about it.” Instead, he set the sat-nav for The Little A’Le’Inn, a motel and restaurant located on the Extraterrestrial Highway (no, really, that’s what it’s called).
Go wasn’t expecting a particularly interesting drive, but he was still surprised by the painful same-ness of the road across the desert.
▼ But I digress. Seven hours of driving later, there he was!
At the Little A’Le’Inn, Go found not only UFO fanatics but also bikers and drivers enjoying the rest stop. What’s more, it seemed like they sold Area 51 souvenirs, as well as more generic alien-themed goods! Go had a good feeling about this place.
Upon entering, though, he found a strange, eerie dinginess about the place. “Even the girl behind the bar looked as though she’d seen some unspeakable things in her time,” our reporter says.
Unperturbed, Go put on his “Japanese tourist’ hat and headed for mecca – the souvenir stands! As he staggered towards the cash register with an armful of T-shirts, stickers and magnets, he saw the staff’s mood improve perceptibly. She gave him a friendly smile and seemed to be feeling a lot happier.
Taking advantage of this sudden change of mood, Go decided to ask the staff member some questions. He explained that his aim was to get to Area 51, but he was having some doubts as to whether it would be possible.
“Oh, sure, you can go there alright!” the staff member assured him. “You just can’t go inside. You’ll see once you get there. Anyway, take care of yourself!” she implored, handing Go a map of the area.
“I wonder if there really are aliens…” Go mused to himself. The girl behind the counter gave him a knowing look, and wished him luck with this quest.
Before leaving, however, Go couldn’t resist telling the shop girl the real reason for his visit:
Go: “Incidentally, do you know Ichiro?
Girl: “The Japanese baseball player? Sure.”
Go: “Did you know his shirt number?”
Go: “He wears shirt number 51! And Ichiro’s not just a good batsman, he’s a great fielder too. If the ball gets anywhere near him, he’s got it. So when he’s playing, we call the right field…Area 51!“
Girl: “I see.”
Go: “And, it gets even better! Ichiro’s throw is so incredible, we call it a laser beam, right?”
Go: “So that’s the real reason I’m here in Area 51. I had this idea, you see. I want to go up to one of the guards while wearing my Ichiro 51 shirt, and ask ‘Is there a laser beam around here?’ If they’re a baseball fan, it’ll be really funny! What do you think?”
Girl: “Um, sorry, I don’t really get it…”
Go was a little concerned to hear that his Ichiro gag might not be the rib-tickler he was hoping for. But nevertheless he took his map and headed for Area 51. Continuing his journey on unsealed roads, Go reflected cheerfully that if he ran out of petrol at this point, he’d probably die.
A little farther along though, Go found a friendly family group who were visiting the area. They seemed to want to keep their distance from him, however, so he settled for taking photos by himself using his tripod and timer.
Finally, Go arrived at the gates to (what is probably) Area 51. But there was no one around to try out his joke on! “Come outside and talk to me, baseball fans…” he implored silently, but there was not a soul in sight.
Seeing that a security camera was fixed on him, Go tried waving around his selfie stick. Just like Ichiro might, he thought to himself. But still nobody came. The minutes ticked by… 10, 20, 30 minutes passed, and still no security guard had come out to investigate the lonely Japanese gentleman in the Ichiro shirt.
Then, Go remembered watching a TV show in Japan about Area 51 when he was a kid, in which the UFO-hunter is chased out of Area 51 for taking photos. In a bit to attract the attention of any baseball-loving guards, Go went as close to the gates as he dared, and started snapping away at the signs.
Still nothing. He’d been at the gates for an hour now, and still no one was coming out to hear his joke. Eventually, Go admitted defeat and took some more snapshots on the Extraterrestrial Highway.
Further along the road, a mysterious looking hangar came into view, flanked by a huge grey alien. Approaching it, Go saw a sign reading ‘Alien Research Center’. “At last!” he thought. “Finally, I’ve found something!”
He charged past the giant alien to look inside, where he discovered…a regular souvenir shop. His disappointment increased when he saw the goods on sale: Pokémon and Neon Genesis Evangelion t-shirts!
▼ “I came all this way for a T-shirt with Shinji Ikari on it?!”
The last thing Go had seen in Nevada state was an Evangelion T-shirt. Despondent and dejected, he hit the road home.
▼ Back in Japan, he even took the time to make this neat video of his trip!
Our intrepid reporter’s Ichiro laser beam joke may not have found a receptive audience in the US, and he may have ended up surrounded by anime T-shirts, but we don’t think his trip was a total failure. Look at all those photos he took, for starters!
All photos © RocketNews24
Original article by Go Hatori
[ Read in Japanese ]