With interests in science and nature, I explores topics from a unique and sometimes controversial perspective.
Bob Lazar and Area 51
The U.S. Air Force base, known unofficially as Area 51, is well known to the American public, despite the best efforts of the United States military. It is a top-secret place, and for years the government denied its very existence.
Some say it’s a location where fantastical and sometimes dangerous government projects are created and tested. Some say it’s a site dedicated to storing and experimenting with actual alien spacecraft from other worlds. There are even those who say there are aliens at Area 51, amazing creatures either living or dead.
For years, all the world could do was wonder. The clandestine facility remained shrouded in secrecy, until the day a man came forward with an incredible tale to tell. Bob Lazar says he worked there and saw incredible things, and his real-life account is the stuff of science fiction films.
It’s an amazing story which, if genuine, casts a stark light on a government conspiracy dating back over fifty years. But is it believable? Over time Lazar has gone from hero to fraud and back again, with some saying the very people he claimed to work for have done all in their power to silence and discredit him.
Others say Lazar is a key player in a government effort to mislead and distract those who had been showing a little too much interest in the activities at Area 51. From spying foreign nationals to the American people themselves, all who followed Lazar’s story would end up misinformed and misdirected.
Somewhere in the middle of all the controversy lies the truth. Crackpot, government agent or concerned citizen? You be the judge when it comes to Bob Lazar's story.
The Lazar Interview
The saga began in 1989 when a Las Vegas television station ran an interview by reporter George Knapp featuring a then-unknown man named Bob Lazar. Lazar claimed to have worked as a scientist at a location known as S-4, a top-secret U.S. Government location attached to the infamous Area 51 at Groom Lake, Nevada. There, he had seen, worked on, and witnessed the operation of up to nine bizarre flying craft.
He first believed them to be super-secret military experiments, but soon realized they were something else. They were flying saucers, some authentic, and some versions of alien spacecraft built by the U.S. Military and reverse-engineered from captured UFOs.
Lazar went on to give a detailed account of the advanced science of the propulsion systems employed by these vehicles, and described the elements required to create the reaction which gives them their power and antigravity abilities. He even claimed to have undergone briefings where the alien origins of the crafts and their creators were explained in detail.
Curiously, according the Lazar, the aliens hailed from the Zeta Reticuli star system, the same alleged neighborhood as the aliens in the groundbreaking Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction case. He referred to them as Zeta Reticulans and claimed they had been visiting this planet since antiquity.
It was an amazing story, and exactly what many UFO researchers had been waiting for. For years they had known that ordinary citizens and contractors had worked at Area 51 along with government personnel, flying in from Las Vegas on the infamous Janet Airlines. Could it be that after all of these years someone associated with Area 51 had to guts to go public about what was happening there?
Bob Lazar Debunked
Understandably, the UFO community went wild following Lazar’s interview. After all, everyone knows something strange is going on at Area 51, and now finally someone who worked there is speaking out. It seemed the dominos were starting to fall on the government UFO cover-up. But others soon began to poke holes in Lazar’s story.
He claimed to have degrees from MIT and California Institute of Technology, but these schools apparently have no record of him. Lazar can provide no evidence that he ever attended, or that he holds an advanced degree in physics or science from any institution. Likewise, he can provide no credible proof of his employment at S-4.
Some point to the lack of criminal prosecution as the only evidence necessary to prove Lazar is telling a tall tale. He did not just wander into the wrong room and accidentally see strange things; he himself says he was employed there as a contractor.
One would think if he were really employed at a top-secret government location where he was privy to secret projects he would have signed away the right to speak about anything he saw as a condition of his employment. Wouldn’t spilling the beans on secret government projects and potentially compromising national security be a prosecutable offense?
Many of Lazar supporters have alleged that the government has tampered with Lazar’s records in an effort to discredit him. The fact that he has no proof to back up his claims is not surprising, as in the true conspiratorial style government agents have painstakingly altered his background to make him appear to be a fraud. In this day and age, it seems like nobody really doubts the government could be capable of such a thing.
Another interesting theory says Bob Lazar is an agent of the U.S. Government, working in conjunction with them to spread misinformation about Area 51. The information presented by Lazar, and the efforts made to discredit him that followed, distract the public from what may really be going on at Area 51. This is conspiracy theory at its finest, but it does seem as plausible as any other aspect of the story.
What if Lazar Was Telling the Truth?
Of course there is always the possibility that Lazar has been honest the whole time, at least in part. Unfortunately, through the years the facts have become so convoluted that few people take his account seriously anymore.
Where decades ago people sat on the edges of their seats to hear what he had to say, now his story is met with a chuckle and a shake of the head. Years of debunking and debate have taken their toll, and a story that once seemed crisp and factual is now a cloud of myth and half-truths.
Perhaps Lazar really did work at the secret location known as S-4 near Area 51, and really did have top-secret clearance to some strange but very worldly projects. Maybe on a lark he made up a tall tale as a joke with his fellow science buddies, or as a strange way to get attention. And maybe he found out too late that the government does not have a great sense of humor, as they set about discrediting him and unraveling his professional career.
But this isn’t the truth we hope for. The truth we all want to be real is that Lazar had told it straight from the beginning, that there really are aliens and alien spacecraft at or near Area 51, and that our government knows things about this universe that we have only hoped. Maybe Lazar is a hero after all, squelched by a system that believes the general public isn’t yet ready for the truth.
Will We Ever Know What Happened at Area 51?
In the end, the story of Bob Lazar leaves most of us scratching our heads. Did Bob Lazar really work as a top-secret physicist and research scientist, reverse-engineering alien spacecraft at the most clandestine test facility in the world? If so, did he reveal his secrets out of some sense of moral responsibility to the public, fear for his own safety?
Is Bob Lazar a believable oddball who was just looking for attention? Maybe he made it all up. Lazar hit on something that people desperately want to believe, that there really are aliens out there, they really have come to this planet, and we really do have contact with them. If he is a faker, his job was easy.
Is Bob Lazar a covert agent of the government, intentionally spreading misinformation to distract the public from the real work going on at Area 51? It is one of the great foundations of UFO conspiracy theory that the government perpetuates UFO stories in order to hide the true nature of their activities. A plant like Bob Lazar would serve to misdirect people from the real work at hand, work that is top-secret and equally amazing, yet with origins right here on our planet.
Whatever their perspective, most UFO researchers agree: Area 51 exists, and something is going on there. Whether it’s top-secret military experiments or the reverse engineering of other-worldly craft is another question, but Bob Lazar may be one of the guys who knows the truth.
Bob Lazar Update 2019
I wrote the above article several years ago at a time when Bob Lazar had all but disappeared from the public eye. I had always found his 1989 interview fascinating, but because so much time had passed and nobody else had come forward I struggled to fully accept his claims. As I hope I conveyed through this article, I saw the Bob Lazar story as interesting but flawed.
Then, on June 20, 2019, Lazar appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast along with filmmaker Jeremy Corbell. Lazar is the subject of Corbell’s 2018 documentary Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers. By the time he appeared on Rogan I had already seen the film and I highly recommend checking it out.
I found Lazar’s interview with Rogan extremely compelling, and it really moved the needle for me as far as Lazar’s believability. I don’t often choose a side on these things, but if I had to bet, after seeing the documentary and the Rogan podcast, I would put my chips on Bob Lazar telling the truth.
The implications of that are, of course, beyond stunning.
So, check out the documentary and the Joe Rogan podcast (you can find it on YouTube as of this writing) and see what you think. While it is still possible that Lazar could be fooling us all with an elaborate and pointless lie, in my opinion he sure comes off as a guy who is telling the truth.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Joe F on January 22, 2020:
Based on the recent Netfix documentary why would the FBI recently raid his house if this was a scam from 30 years ago.
Grace Licausi on July 03, 2019:
I know for a fact 115 does exist
Jason on December 15, 2015:
At the very least, Bob did work at Los Alamos laboratory. Doing what? Who knows. His tax form was proven to be authentic, all the numbers on it were investigated and proved to be real. As for his badge, likely will never know. I just watched an interview with a former contractor that worked with Bob. Not with him, as in at Area 51, but remembered seeing Bob around at Los Alamos and knew bob as a scientist. This guy is not into ufology, he is a normal scientist who does contract work on reactors (not propulsion systems). Another crazy part of the story is Lazar hasn't tried to cash in on his "fame". A very intriguing story to say the least.
Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on January 01, 2015:
I been keeping watch on the Lazar case ever since 1989. I am of the opinion that he is genuine. When Lazar took John Lear and George Knapp go to watch the discs fly they recorded it on video - I watched the video on Youtube although it doesn't seem to circulate much.
cryptid (author) from USA on December 05, 2012:
Beyondthestars: Thanks for your comments. I've been on the fence about Lazar for years. If you look at the interviews, he seems so genuine. For every one outlandish claim he makes, he talks about ten mundane facts of daily life of his job at S4. It just seems so authentic. But people have really gone out of their way to prove him a phony. Why? I have no idea, and probably never will. I suppose if he were to suddenly disappear or be tried for treason it would be tantamount to the government admitting he was telling the truth. Instead maybe they do their best to discredit him. Who knows?
Re: the ID badge. I wanted to include that because its one piece of info floating around out there. It does show clearance for the S4 location, as well as the letters MAJ which presumably stands for Majestic, the program (or documents) location S4 was allegedly tied to. Seems a little clean and simple to me though after all these years. There is also a tax form floating around. I'm dubious about the authenticity of these pieces, but you be the judge.
Beyondthestars on December 05, 2012:
It is entirely possible that Bob Lazar is telling the truth about his experiences.
Afterall many reports have also come from highly credible military
people who are very objective in their reporting and not given to telling lies about what they have seen.
There is no doubt that if the general population were to be informed
of all the detail in relation to these matters there would be mass hysteria.
It is better that from time to time that reports of UFO's are posted from time to time.
But wait one moment the incidence of these reports are so numerous they cannot be ignored since they often come from very credible persons.
I note that Bob Lazar's ID is issued by Naval Intelligence is that not the group reputed to be involved with the ET's ?
cryptid (author) from USA on October 10, 2012:
Thanks Ushnav. I'll have to check it out. I've seen a bunch of them. Not sure if I caught this one or not.
Ushnav Shroff from INDIA on October 10, 2012:
@Cryptid: I saw the documentary from Nat Geo that not only interviewed Bob Lazar, but also gave more information on Are 51 and the myths that it creates. It is a truly interesting watch, and I recommend you do watch it.
Really informative and questioning hub! :)
Pamela Hutson from Moonlight Maine on May 19, 2012:
Yes, I think they've been using the whole UFO thing as an experiment in psy-ops, not because they're hiding anything. If they keep it going, it comes in useful when they DO need to cover something up--a new military aircraft, whatever.
cryptid (author) from USA on May 18, 2012:
CR: Lazar as an agent of misinformation is a big possibility. While it seems a little illogical for the government to plant some guy to make up a crazy story and mislead people, I think it's important to remember that the American people may not be the only ones they were trying to mislead. Who knows what kind of covert shananagans they might have been trying to cover up.
Pamela Hutson from Moonlight Maine on May 18, 2012:
Bob Lazar seems a little spooky to me, I think he's a disinformation guy. Great hub though, you hit all the possibilities... well I mean, I guess there could be more possibilities but you hit all the ones I can imagine. You know I wish the gov'mint wasn't messing with ufologists the way they are. It really does mean we may never know the truth, if there even is one. Other countries aren't so slippery about it.
cryptid (author) from USA on April 26, 2012:
I'd like to know, too, frogyfish! Thanks for reading!
frogyfish from Central United States of America on April 26, 2012:
Cheers to Bob Lazer. Hope he really knows what he's talking about. I'd sure like to KNOW! Thanks for interesting hub.
cryptid (author) from USA on April 26, 2012:
Thought you may have meant 1-50, but then I figured maybe you knew about something going on in Area 50 you weren't willing to talk about. :-)
Civil War Bob from Glenside, Pennsylvania on April 26, 2012:
Cryptid...that should have been 1-50, but now I have a hub, "Is 'Area 51' a Carefully Crafted Sideshow the Aliens Cooked Up?" to further explain things! ;)
cryptid (author) from USA on April 26, 2012:
Thanks Civil War Bob. Good question on areas 1-49. LOL! Who knows what really going on?
Civil War Bob from Glenside, Pennsylvania on April 26, 2012:
Good hub, Cryptid...up and interesting. If there is an Area 51 that's acknowledged, what's going on in Areas 1-49? Could the aliens themselves be doing a sleight of hand by using the government and the news about Area 51 to do a real cover-up? Actually, I think I'm about to go write a hub...have a great day!!