Growing up in Coral Gables, Florida, in the 1960s, Bob Lazar probably didn’t think that one day, he’d reveal some of the biggest secrets in the history of ufology.
But when this ordinary physicist took a job at one of the US government’s most extraordinary facilities, that’s exactly what happened.
Now Bob Lazar has dedicated his life to publicizing some of the world’s most esoteric knowledge: the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms and the mechanics of their transportation.
Some call him a conspiracy theorist, others write him off as a crackpot, and still more consider him one of America’s undersung heroes.
But just who is Bob Lazar, and what’s the real story behind his out-of-this-world claims? We’re about to find out.
Bob Lazar’s Early Life
Born on January 26, 1959, in Coral Gables, Florida, Robert Scott “Bob” Lazar had a penchant for science from a young age. By 1982, his interest in physics landed him in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he worked at the infamous Los Alamos National Laboratory — site of the infamous Manhattan Project and its historic nuclear weapons testing.
While at Los Alamos, the young physicist made headlines with his so-called “Honda Jet” — an ordinary Honda car to which Lazar attached a real jet engine. Sporting custom license plates that read “JET-U-BET,” the car could reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour thanks to the additional rocket power.
The car caught the attention of Edward Teller, the man who invented the hydrogen bomb. One day at the laboratory, Lazar saw Teller reading about the car in the newspaper and introduced himself.
He made a big impression. Two years later, Teller’s good word landed Lazar a job interview for a position working with “advanced propulsions” in Nevada.
All Lazar knew about the job was that it would be in a remote desert location with a two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off schedule. After filling out mountains of paperwork and getting his security clearances approved, Lazar became the newest employee at Area 51, where (if you believed the rumors) the government stored evidence of alien life.
Inside Area 51
Lazar was assigned to S-4, a facility located just south of the main Area 51 compound. S-4 was comprised of numerous aircraft hangars built into the mountainside, where they were artfully concealed in the rocky faces.
Normally, Lazar entered S-4 through a set of regular double doors, but one day, he arrived to find one of the hangars open. Inside the hangar was a massive disc-shaped craft that bore an uncanny resemblance to a flying saucer.
Noticing the American flag on the side of the disc, Lazar reasoned that it was simply an advanced military aircraft and that all the mysterious UFO sightings had actually been of Air Force test flights. But when he reached out to touch the craft, he was immediately reprimanded by an armed guard and told to move on without looking at it.
Later, Lazar was partnered up with another scientist, Barry, who showed him different components of the craft. One of them was a basketball-sized reactor that, when turned on, seemed to produce its own gravitational field.
Lazar was awestruck: the technology to produce a gravitational field didn’t exist, and yet when he tried to touch the sphere, his hand was pushed away, similar to how magnets repel each other when the polarities match.
He had read some briefings at the beginning of his job that seemed bizarre, referencing strange propulsion methods, but had written them off as a test to see if he would leak or otherwise mishandle the info. Now, though, he understood what he’d been hired to do: reverse-engineer an alien aircraft.
Lazar was assigned to work one one of nine aircraft located at S-4: a flying-saucer-like disc made of something that resembled stainless steel but wasn’t. He nicknamed the craft “Sport Model” and, over time, became thoroughly convinced that it was extraterrestrial in origin.
From Alien to Zeta
For starters, there was the paperwork that described the origins of the craft: the binary star system Zeta Reticuli, about 30 light-years from Earth, and more specifically a third object in the system, the planet ZR3. As of now, no third object has been publicly confirmed to exist in the system.
The paperwork also suggested that Earth had been involved with “grey aliens” from Zeta Reticuli for the past 10,000 years. Though it didn’t say how humans came to possess the craft, this information seemed to imply that it had belonged to the grey aliens.
Then came the revelation of how that gravity-producing reactor worked. Lazar and Barry broke open the reactor and found that it contained a particle accelerator and a fuel made from an element with atomic number 115, which they called “E115.”
Today, we know E115 as moscovium, the 115th element in the periodic table, which is a wholly synthetic radioactive element that decays within a few hundred milliseconds. But in 1988, moscovium had never been synthesized and was only speculated to even possibly exist.
Yet it was there in the reactor at Area 51, and what’s more, it was extremely stable. This stable isotope of E115 supposedly produced a gravity wave that enabled the craft to fly — and it bent light so the craft would become invisible.
Lazar looked at the reactor through an infrared camera and found that even when it was running, it produced no heat. This seemed to violate the laws of thermodynamics, indicating that earthly physics may not apply to otherworldly matter.
The reactor was located at the bottom of the craft, which would travel towards whatever it was pointed at thanks to the gravity emanating from it. To go to another planet, you’d simply point the bottom of the craft at the planet, and off you’d go.
Then there was the craft itself, which didn’t seem designed for humans at all. Lazar was allowed inside the craft only once, after convincing his superiors that he needed to see where the reactor would be located in order to determine how it worked.
The craft had no right angles, no decor, no bathroom, no control panel and, eerily, no colors other than solid pewter gray. Its ceilings were about three feet high and its four seats were tiny; other than the seats, reactor and a few subcomponents, the craft was completely empty.
Lazar also caught glimpses of some of the other crafts stored in S-4. One looked like a Jello mold with large, rounded ridges; another resembled a straw hat with a large, flat brim.
Feats of Flight
On Wednesdays, when traffic around Area 51 was lightest, the crafts were taken out for test flights. High-performance tests involved flying the craft around the mountains, while low-performance tests were conducted outside the hangars.
Lazar witnessed a low-performance test up close one night. The Sport Model was powered on and began to hover around 10 feet into the air, moving left and right and emitting a bluish glow from the reactor.
By then, Lazar’s friends and wife had grown suspicious of his odd work hours and tendency to disappear for days on end. His wife had even begun to suspect an affair.
So Lazar consulted the test flight schedule and, one Wednesday night, brought his closest friends out to the desert surrounding Area 51. Armed with a camcorder, they witnessed a high-performance test flight for themselves.
But that was about as far as Lazar’s research took him.
For security reasons, the project was highly compartmentalized, with each scientist analyzing just one part of the craft and receiving no information about any other parts. Different teams were also prohibited from communicating with one another.
Employees’ phones were also bugged and monitored to ensure that they weren’t revealing any top-secret information. Unfortunately, Lazar had done just that in a phone conversation with his wife.
He was brought in and shown a transcript of the call, then interrogated for several hours. When he was finally allowed to return home, he knew that things were getting serious — and that the public needed to know.
The Big Reveal
Lazar contacted the Las Vegas-based investigative reporter George Knapp, who conducted an extensive interview with him. The interview, in which Lazar’s identity was concealed under the pseudonym “Dennis,” aired in November of 1989 to huge fanfare.
Months later, when Lazar gave another interview, he revealed his identity. And that’s when he realized that entering the public eye gave his story a new dimension.
1989 Bob Lazar Interview (Video)
The Sudden Celebrity
UFO enthusiasts began showing up at Lazar’s house, camping out on his lawn and accosting him with their own stories of alien sightings. People would drive from across the country to talk to him, both in praise and in disgust.
On one side, you had the conspiracy theorists, whose stories Lazar found wholly uncredible and unhinged. Their obsession unnerved Lazar and prompted him to clarify that he was not a UFO enthusiast, just a man attempting to tell the truth.
And on the other side, you had the skeptics, who were hell-bent on discrediting Lazar however they could. They labeled him crazy and used his admission of the fact that he had no concrete evidence against him.
Many of the institutions that Lazar claimed to have ties to have disavowed him. He states that he has master’s degrees in physics from MIT and in electronic technology from Caltech, but both schools have denied that he ever attended.
The Air Force and Los Alamos National Laboratory have both stated that Lazar has no affiliation with them. And George Knapp, during his investigation, found that Lazar’s birth certificate had also vanished from the record.
Lazar claims that he has been truthful about his education and employment, and that his records have been erased due to the controversy surrounding his story.
Over the years, the constant media scrutiny, character attacks and fanatical attention have made Lazar anxious about speaking out regarding his time at Area 51. But in 2018, he was the subject of a documentary titled Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers, produced by George Knapp.
Detractors claim he’s a liar, a lunatic or both. Supporters claim he’s the most important whistleblower in American history. But no matter what you think of Bob Lazar’s story, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most detailed, fascinating accounts of UFO encounters the world has ever seen.