Bob Lazar

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Bob Lazar

Claims to have worked with alien craft atBob Lazar "Area S-4" in Nevada
Analysis by Glenn Campbell

The following text has been obtained from

Lazar offers an interesting, intelligent, unverifiable story surrounded by lies....

Bob Lazar claims to have worked with alien spacecraft at a secret U.S. Government facility at Papoose Lake, about 80 miles north of Las Vegas. Lazar intially made his claims on a local Las Vegas television station in Nov. 1989. He says he worked at a facility called "Area S-4" at Papoose Dry Lake, south of the known government air base at Area 51, in late 1988 and early 1989. There he says he saw nine flying saucers housed in hangars built into a hillside. Lazar says he had hands-on experience with one of the craft and he can describe its propulsion system in detail. Lazar says he read briefing papers about the alien presence but that he saw no aliens himself (aside from a fleeting glimpse of a small figure through a window at the facility).

The core story is, almost by definition, unverifiable, since no one can go to Papoose Lake to check it out. The only thing we can investigate are the claims that surround it. If Lazar does not tell the truth about the things we can verify, how can we trust the things we can't verify?

Lazar has lied about his educational credentials and his position at Los Alamos. He claims that his records have vanished and that the government has turned him into a "non-person", but there are no specific records that can't be accounted for. Only his educational records are missing, which plainly never existed to begin with. All evidence indicates that Lazar worked at Los Alamos as a repair technician, not as a senior scientist as he claimed. There is also no evidence that Lazar has ever visited Area 51, which unlike the S-4 claim, can at least be checked out "off the record" through former Area 51 workers. Lazar says he travelled to "S-4" by way of Area 51 on daily 737 flights that hundreds of other workers take. Although he says that Area 51 was only a transfer point for him, he has been unable describe the arrivals area or what you see when you first get off the plane.

The simplest theory to explain the Lazar story is that it is completely false and that he concocted it initally to fool John Lear, who had been telling extravagant aliens-at-Area-51 stories for a couple of years before Lazar arrived. Lazar could have simply fed back to Lear a more rational version of what Lear wanted to hear. Other more complex theories say that Lazar is recounting a real flying saucer experience that actually took place elsewhere or in different circumstances, or that he is a dupe or willing participant in some complicated U.S. Government or foreign government plan. (For example, it could have been attempt by the Soviets to probe or disrupt activities at Area 51. Is so, this would not have been the most convoluted deception of the Cold War.) Motivation for the fraud remains murky, as Lazar and his primary supporter Gene Huff have ignored or sabotaged many opportunities for financial gain from the story. (Although movie options and the saucer model kit have made the story profitable for him, Lazar seems disinterested in pursuing deals.) Thanks to Huff's aggressive attacks on anyone who questions the story, it is hard to find many Lazar supporters left in the UFO community, even among those who want desperately to believe.

All lies and mismanagement aside, Lazar's is a fascinating tale, compelling even as fiction. Its restraint and long-term internal consistancy remain impressive. Lazar's straightforward explanations of his experiences, his healthy skepticism of other UFO claims and his early willingness to submit to hypnosis and a polygraph test remain intriguing. (The test was inconclusive, and the professional hypnotist believes Lazar's emotional responses to his recalled S-4 experiences were not faked.) Ultimately, Lazar's claims have prompted the world to ask, "What is out there at Area 51?"


Lazar's story does demonstrate a good understanding of the Nellis Range and how it operates, but this information could have been obtained from Jim Tagliani and other workers doing routine classified work on the range. There is an unconfirmed report that Lazar worked briefly for a contractor, Arcada Associates, operating mock anti-aircraft sites (Smoky Sams) on the range, and this would have given him a basic understanding of range operations and where to locate his fictional "S-4" installation. Lazar could have known that, because of the heavy secrecy here, his claims could never be disproven. (Reminiscent of the bogus Howard Hughes biography that surfaced when Hughes was in seclusion.) "Area S-4" could have been a corruption of "Site 4," a secret but fairly routine radar testing installation located between Groom Lake and the Tonopah Test Range. (It seems doubtful there would be both a "Site 4" and an "S-4" on the range, and Site 4 definitely exists.)

Furthermore, the time-frame of Lazar's alleged UFO experience seems unrealistically compressed. He is supposed to have gained all his experience in only a few visits to the site between November 1988 and April 1989. Those familiar with classified government programs say such a rapid exposure to a top secret project is highly unlikely.

Believers say that although some of Lazar's claims may be false, it does not mean they all are. They are impressed by the internal consistancy of the story itself and his relatively good performance on a polygraph test (although still inconclusive). Although Lazar's rapid involvement in the program might seem irregular, normal security might have been bypassed in this case due to a recommendation by Edward Teller, a prominent figure in secret government projects.

Unresolved Questions
If Lazar is a fraud, what was the original motivation? Did he do it for money or for some other purpose? Did he come up with the story on his own or with the help of others? Are there any pieces of truth in the story, or is it entirely fabricated?

The public still does not have any information on what, if anything, is going on a Papoose Lake. Although satellite photos show no obvious installations, no one without a security clearance has ever been allowed to visit. Anecdotes from former workers are equally divided about whether there are or are not any hidden installations there.

Other Lazar Claims

* Although Lazar cannot describe even the arrival area at the Groom Lake base, he claims to have heard the Aurora there. (A theorized high speed reconnaisance aircraft.)

Personal Facts
Lazar is in his late-30s (He says he was born 1959.) and lives in Las Vegas. He says he makes his living through several small businesses including a photo studio and a company that repairs radiation monitors. Lazar has also earned income from movie options (for movies of his story that were never made), his video tape and a Testors plastic flying saucer model based on his account. (It is one of the best selling plastic models of all time and it could be worth a lot to Lazar if he received a per-item royalty.) Lazar has routinely turned down paid speaking engagements but has been paid for television interviews.

In the mid-1980s, prior to coming to Las Vegas, Lazar worked at Los Alamos National Laboratories, although some of the details of his employment are still unclear. (There is nothing to indicate a senior position as he claims.) He claims to have earned master's degrees at MIT and Cal-Tech, but these claims are unproven to say the least, and the professors he says he took classes with at these schools never existed there.

Lazar grew up on Long Island, NY, and graduated from High School in Westbury, NY, in 1976. He is known to have worked at Fairchild Electronics in the Los Angeles area in the early 1980s and then at Los Alamos. Also in Los Alamos, Lazar owned a one-hour photo shop.

Educational credentials aside, Lazar is certainly a highly capable technician in the area of explosives and propulsion systems. As hobbies, he owns a high-speed jet car and builds his own elaborate fireworks, which are displayed in an annual invitation-only fireworks show called Desert Blast.

In 1990, Lazar plead guilty to a pandering charge relating to the operation of an illegal brothel in Las Vegas. It was claimed in the formal charges that Lazar was a partner in the brothel and that he had installed a hidden video system in one apartment to photograph the business in the adjoining one. (This at least suggests that he is capable of exploiting others.) Around 1986, Lazar filed from bankruptcy protection in Las Vegas Federal Bankruptcy Court. The records for both cases are available to the public and yield extensive details about Lazar's background. As part of his sentencing on the pandering charge, a probation report was prepared. In this report, enforced by purjury laws, Lazar did not repeat his MIT and Cal-Tech claims.

In interviews, Lazar comes across as a reluctant witness who would rather avoid the limelight and who wishes the story would go away. He seems highly rational and does not expand his claims beyond those originally reported. In most regards, Lazar seems passive and disinterested in his own story and seems content to let Gene Huff handle most public interface. Lazar seems to have nothing to sell, and has never actively promoted his story. (Through his Tri-Dot company, he sells a video and poster, but he has never promoted them in his interviews.) He says he regards mosts UFO buffs as "nuts" and wants nothing to do with them (Gene Huff and John Lear aside).

Lazar offers few personal relationships to triangulate from. Lazar's father, although identified in Lazar's bankruptcy papers, has never spoken publically about his claims, Only one Lazar friend, Jim Tagliani, claims publically to have worked with Lazar prior to his arrival in Las Vegas. (They both worked at Fairchild Electronics in Southern California.) When queried about whether or not he believes Lazar, Tagliani just seems to shrug his shoulders. The three most active supporters of Lazar are Gene Huff, John Lear and George Knapp, the newsman who first publicized Lazar's claims. Each has already invested his reputation in the story. John Andrews, the designer of the saucer model, and stealth aircraft historian Jim Goodall both believe Lazar but have never actively defended him. Former astronaut Edgar Mitchell has visited Lazar; he says he thinks Lazar's experience was real but that he is misinterpreting some of the technical details. (Mitchell supports the theories of Hal Puthoff which conflict with the propulsion system Lazar describes.) Most others who are close to Lazar seem to respond as Tagliani does, apart from Gene Huff, who is an active supporter.

Former co-workers at Los Alamos confirm that Lazar worked for a