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Bob Lazar

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?"