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In 1989, almost no one outside of Nevada had heard of a place called ‘Area 51’, except for a handful of aviation hobbyists; but nowadays if you stopped anyone by the street & brought up the name, it’s more than likely they would immediately recognize it. Also known by the dryer term of Groom Lake test facility, or the far more captivating name of Dreamland, the oxymoronic world’s most famous secret base has been permanently embedded in mainstream pop culture, and has been frequently portrayed in all manners of Sci-Fi content, from the blockbuster film Independence Day to the emblematic TV show the X-Files.

All that was almost single-handedly triggered by a man named Bob Lazar, who 25 years ago became an overnight celebrity after being interviewed in a local TV news channel by investigative journalist George Knapp, telling a bizarre story of dark secrets, underground labs & recovered flying saucers that managed to captivate the imagination of the entire world, and light the fires of conspiracy theory with a high-octane fuel, not unlike the type Lazar employed in the jet-engined cars he used to build & run in the sandy roads of the Nevada desert —his initial jump to a modest fame, before he became a household name in every UFO buff’s home.

Knapp, the only reporter who seems to be capable of getting Lazar in front of a TV camera, managed to convince him in making a new interview to commemorate the anniversary & retell the story of what he (allegedly) saw while he was working on an ultra-secret section of Area 51 called ‘S-4’. That’s where, according to his story, the United States government was attempting to reverse-engineer a variety of disc-shaped craft he assumed were from “somewhere other than Earth,” including one he nicknamed the ‘sport model’. Back when the Area 51 craze was at its highest, the model kit company Testors even released a 1/48 scale version of the sleek saucer.

The years have been kind to Bob, who shows a more seasoned yet less-nerdish look without the thick eyeglasses he used to wear in the 1990’s. Yet still he sticks to the story he originally told to Knapp all those years ago, uncaring whether anyone believes him or not; a story he has never attempted to profit from by making the usual rounds in the UFO lecture circuit, where no doubt there would still be plenty of people eager to hear him speak of how he once held in his hands a ball made of Element 115 — which was the main fuel source for the anti-gravity engine of the alien disk — or how as part of his early training he was ordered to read a memo summarizing the secret project in charge of recovering crashed UFOs, including a brief history of how the aliens have been tampering with our species’ genetic material for thousands of years —something very similar to what researcher Linda Moulton Howe claims to have read in the office of an AFOSI agent… but more on that later.

So after 25 years, what else have we managed to learn about this fascinating story?

  • Area 51’s existence has been finally recognized by the US government, and its involvement in the testing of the most advanced classified aircraft projects is now a matter of public record —the existence of the enigmatic S-4 hangar, however, remains unverified.
  • By cross-checking with his sources, George Knapp managed to confirm that Lazar had once worked in the Los Alamos national laboratory as he claimed he did; Knapp also used his informants to test Lazar about certain logistic aspects of Area 51, which only stationed personnel would be able to know (like where the cafeteria is & how employees pay for their food); Lazar passed all these tests.
  • In 1989 Element 115 was still undiscovered by Science, but by 2004 the first atoms of this super-heavy element were synthesized by Russian scientists & its existence was officially confirmed last year. This newer addition to the periodic table has been given the name of Ununpentium —it’s chemical symbol is Uup, which I personally find highly amusing, given its alleged involvement in the creation of anti-gravitational fields— but unlike Lazar’s claims, Element 115 is highly unstable and can only exist for a small amount of time before decaying into other elements.

    Lazar remains unfazed & insists the 500 pounds of E. 115 in possession of the US Air Force was obtained from a place where it would be created naturally, “like from a super nova.” This of course implies it was handed to them by the aliens themselves ,which propels the story to a whole new level of Conspiranoia.

    Still the even more recent discovery of Elements 116 & 117 seems to point out to an ‘island of stability’ further along in the (Earth-based) periodic table…

  • The biggest hole in Lazar’s story, his lack of verifiable school credentials, should IMO be viewed with a different perspective in the post-Snowden era. If there’s something we learned when it dawned on us we were all living in Orwell’s 1984, is that the United States ‘black world’ doesn’t care a whole lot about fancy titles earned at expensive Ivy league schools, as long as you’re smart enough to do the job at hand; and everybody who’s met Lazar is unanimous in their opinion that he’s indeed a very bright & tech-savvy individual, who loves to tinker with very geeky & DANGEROUS materials —even if he only worked as the janitor in Area 51, as his most virulent detractors have suggested, that hasn’t stopped him from building his own particle accelerator & hydrogen-fueled car.

    What’s more, Snowden & Lazar had other thing in common which would make them attractive for a shadowy employer: Expendability.

  • Stan Friedman & all the people who have a hard time buying Lazar’s story can’t deny a very important fact: For 2 weeks, Lazar was successful in predicting the appearance of strange lights flying in a very unconventional manner over the Groom Lake area, and bringing independent witnesses —including his long-time friend Gene Huff & John Lear (a pretty controversial figure in the UFO world himself)— to observe & record what he claimed were scheduled tests of the S-4 discs.

    But we now live in the age of drones, and it’s fair to speculate whether the ‘flying saucers’ being tested at Area 51 were not perhaps the secretive antecessors of unmanned aerial vehicles, now regularly employed by the modern military forces of developed nations; something suggested by long-time researcher of Area 51 Norio Hayakawa, who was the one who took a Japanese TV crew to interview Lazar & take video recordings near the perimeter of Groom lake, back in the early 90’s.

  • Lazar’s ‘sport model’ had an uncanny resemblance to the ‘Pleaidian beamships’ photographed & promoted by the (in)famous Swiss Contactee Edward “Billy” Meier. The fact that almost everyone in the UFO community believes Meier hoaxed most, if not *all* of his formerly celebrated saucer photos, does little to support Lazar’s story.
  • By the same time Lazar was talking about his involvement in the secret reverse-engineering program, the once-admired UFO investigator Bill Moore was making himself a pariah among his colleagues, when in the 1989 MUFON symposium in Las Vegas he confessed to have been involved in a counter-intelligence operation aimed at both spying members of the UFO community, as well as the seeding of false documents at the request of members of the intelligence community. One of those members was AFOSI agent Richard Doty, who in the recently released documentary Project Beta is highly recommended if you want to learn more about Doty, Moore, and the man who was the main target of their disinformation campaign: Paul Bennewitz.

    Incidentally, Doty was also the AFOSI agent who allowed Linda Howe to read the ‘secret memo’ explaining the alien presence on Earth, their relationships with the US government, and the aliens’ plans to influence both our biologic & cultural evolution —which would have included the introduction of Jesus as a spiritual teacher. Doty also promised Linda the release of a secret film showing the landing of an alien craft on Holloman Air Force base, so it could be included in a documentary she was developing at the time; the film was never delivered, and the documentary was eventually scrapped by the network.

  • As was mentioned earlier, except for a brief stint selling videocassettes of a documentary made about him, and some weak rumors about a movie deal that never lift off the ground —no pun intended— Lazar never made any big attempt to monetize his debatable fame. Instead of a career as a UFO speaker, he chose to go back into anonymity to start the company United Nuclear with his wife & partner, which sells specialized lab equipment along with rare & dangerous chemicals —including radioactive uranium(!)— to both science hobbyists & professional laboratories. What’s mind-blowing about Lazar’s business is that he ended up being a contractor for the United States Military —kind of an unexpected career twist for a supposed whistle-blower, who once in fear for his life chose to go public with his story…

So after this little review, what are we to make of Bob Lazar & his claims? Despite his obvious intelligence & scientific knowledge, can we then make the quantum leap of faith in believing he was part of possibly the most important scientific program in the history of Man —the reverse-engineering of interstellar craft of alien origin? Or, given what we now know about the intelligence community’s willingness to exploit UFOlogists’ ‘will to believe’ for their own counter-intelligence purposes, are we then to conclude Lazar was deliberately chosen to unawarely seed disinformation, and to sell to the American public —and perhaps even to their enemies— the idea that the Military was in possession of technology so advanced it was indistinguishable from magic?

Lazar himself can’t rule that out, as he admitted to Knapp & his KLAS-TV team. Not that it seems to bother him that much. He’ll just go back to his business, happy to NOT be actively participating in the wacky world of UFOs of which he’ll forever be a vintage feature.