Monday, 03 October 2011 18:29
This paper is an analysis of the key facts behind the Bob Lazar S-4 story. It is intended for those who are already familiar with the basic story. It is not intended as a telling of the story.
General Overview of the Facts
The Bob Lazar story can be summed up best with two general opposing set of observations;
1. Everyone involved seemed to be telling the story truthfully to the best of their ability. The one exception seemed to be the claim by Lazar that he had two masters degrees, one from MIT and one from Cal Tech. Nothing found in any investigation of the claim gave the education claim any support. Despite the fact that everyone seemed to be telling the truth there were a lot of pieces in the puzzle that did not fit together. Some of these discrepancies included a) Lazar being hired at S-4 without any apparent visible qualifications b) Lazar starting work the day after the final interview and receiving a security clearance reportedly 38 levels above “Q level” when security clearances at the time were taking 12-18 months to process. c) On the first day of work he gets to read over 100 documents detailing various government alien research programs, when the rule would be that all this would be highly compartmentalized, and his “need to know” should only allow him to only read briefings related to the part of the program he would be working on. d) After taking Lear and others to watch the flying saucer tests from the edge of the base, Lazar was not fired. Instead he was told that his security clearance would be suspended for 6-9 months and he could apply to get it back. More bizarre is the fact that Lazar was told that the security clearance was pulled not because he violated his security clearance by telling and showing people what was going on in a Top Secret program, but because his wife was having an affair and this made him psychologically vulnerable. After this debriefing, he doesn’t even have to wait the 6-9 months. He is called back to work at S-4 shortly after when they now know for sure he was passing classified material to people with no “need to know.”
2. Although there were many indicators that things should not have happened the way Lazar claimed, Lazar’s basic story of being at the base and being exposed to a back-engineering program related to flying saucers remained intact after an 6 month investigation by investigative reporter George Knapp at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas and investigations by other researchers. There were many things that indicated Lazar might just be telling the story exactly as he had experienced it such a) Lazar underwent regressive hypnosis which would be a strange move by someone who was making up a story. These sessions revealed no deception and indicated he had in fact been involved a program that looked like a flying saucer program. b) Lazar underwent four lie detector tests which he did not fail. The second session of two lie-detector tests was conducted by Terry Tavernetti who worked for the casino industry and who did lie-detector tests every day. Tavernetti was hired by KLAS-TV and his conclusion was “If he’s (Lazar) lying he should be in Hollywood because he gave absolutely no physiological indication of attempting deception.” c) Lazar named Mike Thigpen as the member of the Office of Federal Investigations (OFI) who interviewed him related to his security clearance. Knapp confirmed in his investigation that there was a person by this name working for the OFI and that the agency’s job was to do background checks on people who get clearances to work at the Nevada Test Site or at Nellis AFB. Later in his investigation he actually tracked Thigpen down and confronted him about visiting Lazar, but Thigpen claimed he couldn’t remember. d) Despite the fact that Los Alamos National Labs (where Lazar claimed he had worked and held a Q clearance) denied any connection to Lazar, Knapp was able to verify Lazar’s claim by finding his name in the Los Alamos lab phone book, recovering an article that identified Lazar as being a physicist working at Los Alamos, and having Lazar take him on a tour through the buildings at Los Alamos. During this tour Lazar appeared to know the staff, was allowed to go anywhere he wanted and seemed to know his way around d)
Most importantly, Knapp found two dozen witnesses at the base, or connected to the base, who substantiated all or parts of Lazar’s story that there were recovered alien saucers and a live alien at the base. e) Knapp arranged for someone who had worked at the base to question Lazar about how things operated at the base that would not be common knowledge such as where is the cafeteria and how do you pay for your food there. Lazar was able to answer the questions. f) Lazar was questioned many times on his story and never contradicted himself. g) There are many witnesses around Lazar (including Knapp, Lear, and Huff) who will testify that in the months following Lazar leaving the program that phones were being tapped, houses being broken into, and people were followed. The strongest evidence in this regard is given by Knapp who stated that on six occasions, people who had agreed on the phone to go on camera were quickly visited by people “flashing badges” or claiming to be with the secret service threatening them. In all six cases the people backed out of going on camera. In the case of one woman, who claimed to have been in meetings discussing the movement of alien material from Wright-Patterson AFB to Area 51, twenty years later she will still not even talk to Knapp after implied death threats to her and her daughter. h) Finally, Lazar was able to take witnesses out to the edge of the base on March 22 and March 29, 1989 and let them see a flying saucer test over S-4 that all agreed appeared to be an object best described as a UFO. The object appeared where Lazar said it would appear at exactly at what time Lazar said it would appear.
Of the many theories that have been floated to explain the Bob Lazar/ Area 51 story the theory that best seems to explain the various discrepancies and facts of the story is that this was a move to gradually disclose the basic fact that there was some sort of crashed saucer program at S-4. It was masked with various misdirections (some might use the word disinformation) to prevent researchers from obtaining solid proof of the saucer program and therefore end the cover-up.
This disclosure conclusion is accepted by all the main participants as a possible answer to what had occurred to Bob Lazar.
Knapp, who conducted the biggest investigation of the case, came to this conclusion;
When presented with this theory that Lazar had been taken to the base knowing that he would spill the beans and then get exposed, John Lear agreed and stated that he and Lazar had actually discussed the possibility;
Lazar’s close friend Gene Huff said;
The time line of the Lazar story is supported by other apparent gradual disclosure events that were occurring at the same time. President Reagan was leaving office just as the Lazar story happened. Reagan had a big interest in the UFO subject, and researchers around at the time will remember that there was a lot of talk about Reagan disclosing the truth before he left office, including one rumor that stated Reagan would appear in a video message with the live alien.
Lazar was hired only five weeks after the UFO documentary “UFO Cover-up Live” which was hyped prior to its airing as a disclosure effort by those controlling the UFO secret. Most of the people involved in the documentary didn’t like participating because the whole production was carefully scripted. Everyone was forced to read from cue cards, and the material on the cue cards was not what they had written. No one knew who had written the material on the cue cards. In the small audience of less than a dozen quietly sat the Falcon from the Defense Intelligence Agency. It was Falcon who had contacted Bill Moore for almost a decade providing him the whole MJ-12 and Project Aquarius story.
Besides Falcon being in the audience, there were other indications that those in control might have been behind the show. The executive producer of the show was Michael Seligman who was working for Grey Advertising in New York. Grey had long faced the rumor in the UFO community that it was a front for the CIA. This does not mean that Seligman knew but that the CIA might just have used Grey without being visible in the whole process.
Such a story would seem like typical UFO conspiracy theory, except that Grey Advertising had been connected to another UFO documentary where there was influence from government officials. In 1974 UFOs Past, Present, and Future was released. One of the producers of the show Bob Emenegger, was at the time a Vice-President for Grey advertising in Los Angeles. Emenegger stated that the documentary had nothing to do with Grey but it is possible higher ups arranged doing the documentary without his knowledge. Emenegger did confirm at least two items that indicated a CIA connection to the documentary. He did not know why but stated that there had been a CIA agent, Dick Betsy, present during the entire production. The second thing that Bob brought up was about his partner in the project Allen Sandler. Emenegger told British researcher Robbie Graham that Sandler, “did things for the CIA, and maybe even the FBI… they all seemed to work together.”
Despite the bad reviews of UFO Cover–up Live by participants, in the succeeding years it has become apparent that there were items shown in the documentary that appeared to be ideas that officials may have wanted to get out that were carefully hidden within the documentary. These included
· Alien graphics – there were thirteen graphics that showed an alien, wire-frame views of the alien’s hands and feet, the brain, and the structure of its internal organs. Later marking were discovered in the corners of the frames that indicated the drawing had come from FTD at Wright-Patterson AFB. Curt Brubaker, a producer, later admitted that is where he had in fact obtained the drawings from Wright-Patterson.
· Live alien – the story of three live aliens since 1947 as guests of the United States was told. This is part of what has become known in the UFO community as part of the core story. Many researchers (Whitley Streiber, Linda Howe, Bill Moore, Jamie Shandera, Bob Emenegger) were all offered interviews with a live alien around the time of the documentary. Linda Howe was even offered an interview with a Captain who had actually lived with the alien in captivity.
· Crystal – the story of an alien crystal was told. The aliens could use it to show us our history and in most stories told about the crystal the time of Jesus Christ was mentioned. Linda Howe was told about the crystal. So was Paul Bennewitz, and Moore. Jamie Shandera, Moore’s partner in the MJ-12 investigation, hinted to Greg Bishop just before he disappeared from the UFO community that he had been shown something that Moore speculated might be the crystal. Bill Moore stated that Falcon had mentioned the crystal “numerous times.” Bob Emenegger had an experience he thinks might have been connected to the crystal story. He was asked by a government official “If we had something where we could show Christ giving the sermon on the mount, how would you present it to the public?”
· The MJ-12 Navy connection – the documentary claimed that the Navy was the key group in the UFO situation, and that the headquarters for MJ-12 was the Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. Lazar would later state that the Navy was in charge of the UFO back-engineering going on at S-4. In the early fifties, Wilbert Smith who was in charge of the Canadian flying saucer investigation told people working with him that his contacts to the subject in the United States were from the Navy. In the last couple years Ronald Pandolfi, a senior analyst in charge of the UFO files at the CIA, would tell the story that all flag officers in Naval Intelligence are read into the core UFO story.
· Following the show the producer was “visited by a local FBI agent–a story that has been confirmed–apparently to discuss the show and its contents.”
· Most importantly, a flow chart was shown on the show that indicated how the UFO cover-up was structured from the President on down. One chain in the command went President – MJ-12 – DIA – Area 51. This was the first time Area 51 / UFOs connection was mentioned publicly. It was a full five weeks before Lazar was hired at S-4 and six and a half months before his first backlit interview on KLAS-TV where he went public with his story. Those in control of the UFO cover-up were leaking the UFO / Area 51 connection even before Bob Lazar got on the stage.
Putting the Pieces Together
Consider the following possible scenario.
The whole story centers not on Bob Lazar but on John Lear. Lazar is only a pawn in the game.
John Lear had become interested in UFOs, and overnight became a prominent UFO figure just months before Lazar came on the scene. His family name alone made him a person whose word carried some weight. He had exposed the existence of Area 51, the Stealth fighter, and was attracting a lot of attention in Las Vegas and in the UFO community with lectures (including one to the Las Vegas chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers) and papers on the UFO cover-up. People were listening to him, and he was attracting big audiences.
Although Lear was popular many in the UFO community at the time had doubts about some stories and conclusions that he was putting out. Lear knew this making a joke at one point that any question asked of Lazar that started with “John Lear says” would be answered with “John Lear is a nutball.” The questions about some of what Lear was saying by researchers would make him a perfect candidate for putting out a story that would get wide distribution but that would not be taken seriously.
The targeting of Lear mirrored the targeting of earlier researchers and film producers who were used to get information out but keep everyone sitting on the fence when it came to the UFO reality.
In the mid fifties Walt Disney was contacted by the military to produce a UFO documentary to help acclimatize the population about the UFO reality. He was promised actual UFO footage for the documentary. As he was finishing up on the documentary he was notified that the film would not be available He finished the project and released it without the film.
In 1974 Bob Emenegger and Allan Sandler signed a contract with the Pentagon to produce another UFO documentary. They received cooperation from all the military and intelligence officials they contacted. As part of the deal they were promised, and actually had in their possession, film of an actual landing of aliens at Holloman AFB. At the last moment, like Disney before them, the film was pulled at the last moment and was delivered back to the Pentagon from Los Angeles where the documentary was being produced. They were, however, allowed to put eight seconds of the video for the documentary not involving the landed craft or aliens.
Despite not having the whole film, the idea that aliens had interacted with the military did get out, as Emenegger and Sandler told the story of the landing, described as “as an event that might have happened” using animation.
Two of the researchers who were targeted to get out information were Linda Howe and Bill Moore. Linda Howe had gained UFO community and media prominence with her cattle mutilation documentary called A Strange Harvest. As she was preparing for a new HBO project on UFOs she was approached by AFOSI agent Richard Doty who told her she had upset people in Washington with her cattle mutilation documentary. He showed her a purported Top Secret UFO briefing for the President, and offered her actual film for the HBO project from the alien landing at Holloman AFB. Howe would later share what she had read in the briefing with the UFO community but was never able to verify any of the information in the document.
The idea that there were numerous high-level UFO projects got out and a second message was delivered that there had been an alien landing at Holloman was repeated. Linda suffered little damage except for losing the HBO documentary caused by Doty’s failure to provide the film.
The next researcher target after Howe was Bill Moore who had become a target following the release of his co-authored book The Roswell Incident. The book was a heavily documented account of the 1947 Roswell UFO crash. It sold over a million copies and propelled him to the top of a list of respected UFO investigators. Only nine days after the book’s release he was contacted twice by a DIA agent code-named Falcon with the message that he was the only one who knew what he was talking about, and “he represented a group of highly placed people who were unhappy with the secrecy surrounding the UFO subject, and wanted someone they could trust in order to release the information to the public but “without breaking the law.” Moore was fed a series of documents including the now infamous MJ-12 documents. He spent a number of years studying them and was not sure about them. He, however, was forced to release then in 1987 when Falcon informed him that they were about to be released in Britain. Moore released the documents which was the beginning of the end of his UFO career. He was unable publicly verify the documents and faced numerous accusations that he had hoaxed the documents. After telling the story of his interactions with Falcon he withdrew from the field a few years later.
Moore was neutralized but the concept of MJ-12 would get out. In the succeeding years a dozen other witnesses would independently confirm the existence of MJ-12 – the Majestic group. One such confirmation was provided by John Lear’s mother who phoned her friend General Jimmy Doolittle on John’s behalf. Asked by Mrs. Lear if Majestic had existed Doolittle replied, “Yes Moya, it did, but that’s all I can say.”
CIA’s Pandolfi told researcher Dan Smith that because the government can’t track the UFO phenomena they track the people who study it. It also appears that the government may not be able to control the UFO phenomena but they can control the researchers and film producers.
As with Howe and Moore the idea was that Lear would be used to carry another key piece of the UFO story that they wanted out – the story of alien hardware and at least one alien at Area 51. Why they would want it out is somewhat speculative, but the concept of controlled releases has been discussed openly by Dr. Kit Green. As a former member of the CIA, Green had as part of his job for six years control of the “weird desk” which handled the phenomenology files including UFOs. Speaking with author Mark Pilkington, Green described gradual UFO disclosure.
Lazar would carry the story of back-engineering alien technology. A true piece of the story would be mixed in with piles of material he would read in “briefings” presented to him on the first couple days at S-4 such as the aliens creating man through a series of genetic manipulations, the account of a battle with the aliens underground at Area 51, government projects on control of time and space, and deals with the Russians.
As had happened with Bill Moore and the MJ-12 documents researchers would reject the alien Area 51 story it as just another UFO hoax, once everyone learned about Lazar questionable background, and the inconsistencies in the story.
Like Moore whose career was ruined by his MJ-12 announcement, Lear would hopefully be silenced, or at least totally discredited. Bill Moore had introduced the existence of MJ-12 to the public and was silenced as a credible researcher. Lear would do the same for the Area 51 disclosure. The concept that there were crashed saucers at Area 51 would become installed in the public consciousness, and the necessary cover-up would be maintained.
At least that was the plan.
This gradual disclosure scenario begins to explain many of the inconsistencies that have always been a problem in the Bob Lazar story.
Consider for example the fact that Bob Lazar fit none of the qualifications that would be needed for the job on the base. Even he himself admitted this saying it had “perplexed him” why he was hired at S-4. He confirmed in many interviews that there were many people available who would have been better qualified. His only real expertise was in jet engines as he had built one in a Honda he owned and talked about it with Dr. Teller who was his main reference on his resume.
Lazar asks to work at Groom Lake where there are probably thousands of jobs dealing with jet engines where he might have some ideas to contribute. Yet, he is not hired for jet engine related job, but for one of 22 jobs at the base working on flying saucer back engineering.
So why was he hired at S-4?
The answer lies in his three interviews for the job. All three according to Lazar were mostly technical. The only oddball question was the first question in the second interview – tell us about your relationship with John Lear and what do you think of him?
That’s how we know for sure that Lear was the target. That’s why Lazar was hired in the flying saucer program at S-4 instead of the jet engine program at Area 51. Those behind the plan wanted him there because of his association with Lear. Otherwise it makes no sense to place a friend of Lear’s in the Top Secret UFO program if the plan is to keep it secret.
There are two possibilities of how authorities knew the Lear connection.
1. The first possible reason was that Lazar was actually working for the government and was part of the setup. It is not know if Lazar was asked directly by Knapp if he was working in cooperation to get the story out, but there are a couple other facts which indicate this was a possibility. The first indicator was that Lazar stated that part of his job was to spy on John Lear and tell security people at S-4 about him. In one interview with Knapp, Lazar’s friend Gene Huff explained, “the security guys had found out that Bob knew John Lear, and they wanted Bob to interact with John Lear to see if John really knew anything about the actuality of what was going on there. John was listening to Bob and Bob was listening to John reporting to the security guys what John said…he was spying on John.”
The second indicator that Lazar may have been playing for both teams came only days after he was hired. He showed up at John Lear’s house to tell him everything he knew about the flying saucer program. (It took him only hours to violate his security clearance and start passing information to Lear.) During this first meeting at Lear’s house Lazar made a statement that indicated he might be under instructions to go and tell Lear what he knew. In recalling the incident Lear stated he never could figure out why Lazar had made the statement.
Lazar told Lear that he had seen a saucer at S-4 and it was one of theirs. Knowing that Lazar was probably being watched Lear told him to leave, work a couple months, and then come and tell him. Lazar said, No, he wanted to tell him now because Lear had been ridiculed in the past and was actually right.
Lear started asking questions, and at that point Lazar cut him off and made the statement that indicated he might be on a mission for the authorities. “I can only answer questions,” said Lazar. “I can’t volunteer information.” The obvious question arises – in what Top Secret program is someone allowed to answer questions about their classified work?” More importantly, who told Lazar that he could answer Lear’s UFO questions about a program 38 levels above Top Secret.
Lear was asked about the possibility that Lazar was actually working as part of a government plan. He stated, “Certainly plausible. I don’t believe it. He could have been.”
When asked the same question Huff indicated that he and Lazar had actually talked about it. Huff stated that Lazar didn’t deny that he was a guy that wouldn’t do that if they asked him. Lazar told him, “Had they asked me to do that I probably would have participated.” Huff added that he didn’t think Lazar could have pulled it off.
“He is the worst guy in the world,” Huff told Knapp. “He treats most subjects with such disdain. He wouldn’t waste his time. He would be the worst guy in the world to make out a lie – to try and perpetuate a lie. He’s too busy doing other things. He would be the worst kind of guy to involve in such an endeavor.”
2. The second possible reason authorities might have known about the Lazar Lear friendship is that Lazar had been asking UFO related questions at Los Alamos on Lear’s behalf. That would have triggered a security alarm, and the authorities would have been monitoring him. His association with Lear and his newfound interest in UFOs made him the perfect candidate for working at S-4. They could show him what they wanted and they would be assured that he would carry the information back to Lear.
In 1987 Lear had written a paper for other researchers about crashed saucers and about things such as the aliens killing many scientists and Special Forces at an underground base at Dulce. Lazar brought back stories about crashed saucers and also about the alien killing of scientists and Special Forces. In the briefing he had seen, however, the incident had occurred at Area 51 and not Dulce.
Lear would be interested in this underground battle story as he had written about it. In the same was Moore was interested in Roswell and therefore was fed the MJ-12 document which included details on the Roswell crash written up exactly as Moore had outlined the event in his 1980 Roswell book.
Viewing the Lazar encounter at S-4 as a possible event that was planned from the beginning explains many of the inconsistencies that have always been part of the story.
Cover Story Option
Often when the Bob Lazar flying saucer story is brought up there are a substantial number of researchers who believe that the story was set up by the USAF as a cover story for the many earthly advanced aircraft that supposedly were being developed at Area 51.
A cover story is a fictional version of a story that is put out to cover an organizations real actions or intentions.
A prime example of the idea that the Lazar story was a cover story was presented by Norio Hayakawa who met with Bob Lazar in February 1990 almost a year after Lazar went public with his claim about flying saucers at S-4. After the interview Lazar gave Hayakawa instructions about when and where he could go to watch the UFO tests for himself. After driving to the spot Lazar had told him to go, Hayakawa described that he and others with him “observed a bright orangish light appearing over the Groom Mountains and (it) made some interesting maneuvers. I was quite impressed at that time. Around 7:15 p.m., another light came up.” Hayakawa stated the object zigzagged and was exhibited extraordinary maneuverability. Later analysis of the picture showed a “domed structure – a disc.” Hayakawa stated that he was very excited and the incident began an interest in Area 51 that continues to this day.
Later, however, Hayakawa came to believe that the objects he had seen were not alien crafts but “our aircraft (such as prototypes of newer black triangular craft) (or possibly, the initial phases of test-flights of UAVs, or ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’, or even ‘unmanned combat aerial vehicles’ (UCAVs), or other remotely-controlled platforms.” The Lazar stories he believed may only have been a cover story.
A key example of a confirmed cover story is the one that was used just after the first nuclear test at the Trinity site in July 1945. Because the explosion could be seen as far away as Texas, the military put out a cover story that there had been an ammunition magazine explosion at the Alamogordo Field. The public bought the story, they went back to their daily life, and forgot about what they had seen. That is how a cover story is supposed to work.
If Bob Lazar’s Area 51 story was a cover story it did not work so well. In fact, it could easily go down as the worst cover story ever employed. If one googles the Pyramids of Giza you will come up with 1,370,000 hits. If you Google the you will come up with 18,000,000 hits. If you Google you will come up with 91,000,000. Area 51 has become one of the most famous places in the world. That’s the first thing that goes against the Area 51 story from being a cover story. Nobody forgot and nobody went back to their daily lives.
The second thing that goes against the cover story explanation is the unlikely possibility that what Lazar and his group saw in March 1989, or what Hayakawa and his group saw in February 1990 were good old American technology. Hayakawa came to the conclusion that they were our aircraft such as black triangles, UAVs, or other remote control vehicles. However, the question must be asked in 2011. Did the USA have black triangles or UAVs twenty-one years ago that could duplicate the flight characteristics of a flying saucer? The argument that they did would be a tough sell.
In addition to the lack of evidence that the USA had this very advanced technology back in 1990 the question arises as to whether there were even any advanced triangles and UAVs at Area 51 in 1990. Knapp came up with over two dozen witnesses that pointed to flying saucers being there. How many witnesses are there to prove that such things as advanced black triangles were being tested in 1990? Perhaps the rumored stories of star-trek like advanced aircraft such as black triangles and UAVs were just cover stories to cover for the flying saucers being tested at S-4. There seems to be more witnesses for the saucers at Area 51.
A prime example showing that it is more likely that officials are using advanced aircraft to explain their inability to explain UFOs, than Top Secret planes being misidentified as UFOs can be seen in a UFO study put out by the CIA in 1997.
The UFO study of CIA files was ordered by James Woolsey, Clinton’s first CIA Director. Woolsey had a UFO sighting and therefore had a personal interest. There may also have been pressure from Clinton for the study as he was looking into UFOs.
The final report was written by NRO historian Gerald Haines who came up with the conclusion that a lot of UFOs were actually the U-2 and SR-71. “According to later estimates from CIA officials who worked on the U-2 project and the OXCART (SR-71, or Blackbird) project,” wrote Haines, “over half of all UFO reports from the late 1950s through the 1960s were accounted for by manned reconnaissance flights (namely the U-2) over the United States.”
By Haines own figures commercial planes at this time were flying 10,000 to 20,000 feet and the U-2 was at 60,000. The pilots according to Haines would see the object high up and assume it to be a UFO. This would mean a difference of 40,000 to 50,000 feet between the plane and the U-2. (The U-2 would later fly at 70,000 and the SR-71 at 80,000 so the numbers used above by Haines are the most conservative numbers possible.)
Most people have seen commercial airlines fly overhead. They now fly at 35,000 to 40,000. Most people would agree that the human eye would not be able to see the airliner unless there was a contrail that gives it away. Even then the object at the head of the contrail is no more than a speck in the sky. In the CIA argument the minimum number of feet between the commercial plane and the U-2 or SR-71 would be 40,000. The maximum would be 70,000 feet for an SR-71 at 80,000.
Given this information what are the chances 50% of all UFO sightings were from pilots seeing objects at least 40,000 feet above their altitude, or from ground witnesses where the spy plane is 60,000 to 80,000 feet above the ground? The chances are zero and none. The CIA knew that scientists, the media, and conservative UFO researchers were so desperate for a natural explanation for UFOs that they would fall for the CIA conclusion that their spy planes were causing half of all UFO sightings.
Given the facts presented in the 1997 CIA study, the rational conclusion of the facts is that the CIA was trying to explain away unexplained UFOs sighting in their files, and their role in the UFO mystery. They did this by using spy planes as a cover for UFOs, not the other way around. The CIA study also backs up the idea that cover stories are used after the fact to cover something that has become a public problem. If a cover is used before it tends to jeopardize the secrecy of a program.
The biggest drawback to the Lazar story being a cover story comes when we put the story in its proper historical perspective. Today Area 51 is a household word where almost everyone in the world knows what it is. However, prior to May 1989, when Lazar was first shown in a KLAS-TV interview, 99.99999% of the world had no idea what Area 51 was. It was in the pre-Internet days where only a couple people in Las Vegas would have seen a story on it.
Here is the historic situation prior to the May 1989 Lazar interview. No one in the public, except John Lear and a couple hikers even knew there was even a base there. There were mountains hiding the base and it was in the middle of an inhospitable desert where few people dared to travel. From 1955 till 1989 officials had been able to test various Top Secret planes in complete secrecy. In 1985 they grabbed 49,000 more acres of land to keep out hikers, installed heavy security around the base complete with cameras, ground motion detectors, and signs with threat to kill messages to anyone who chose to get closer. It doesn’t get much more quiet, secure and secret than that.
Like all other Top Secret military facilities in the United States, and around the world, those at Area 51 quietly went about their Top Secret work for the national security of the country.
The cover story explanation expects the researcher to believe that one day in late 1988, the officials running the base decided to all take off their clothes, run onto the Las Vegas strip with their hair on fire, waving their hands, and yelling “Area 51 Area 51 Area 51”.
Why would anyone call attention to the base when it was totally unknown to the public, and completely secure? Why is this (and possibly Kirkland AFB with the Bennewitz story) the only places where officials decided to put all their secrecy and security at stake by calling attention to what was going on at the base? Was all this to deceive a small number of researchers with no public influence? The basis of all military secrecy is to keep quiet and out of the mind of the enemy. Yelling Area 51 while running around naked with your hair on fire tends to go against that basic rule.
One idea that was put forward to back the cover story idea is that the flying saucer story at Area 51 is one that would attract Russian spies who would get caught outside the base. Would officials really draw attention to everything going on at this massive Top Secret base to catch a spy?
Strangely, the “Russians spy” story had actually been presented by base security to Lazar to get him to feel patriotic and aware of the ever present enemy. In a story much more creatively written than the one that was hinted to Bill Moore about Kirkland AFB, Lazar was told that the Russians had actually been partners at S-4 working to back-engineer the saucers. There had been a breakthrough by the American side at which point they threw the Russians off the base. Now they roamed the streets of Las Vegas trying to bribe S-4 workers for information. When an S-4 worker did not show up for a couple days, Lazar was told they feared the Russians had him. Lazar’s security boss Dennis Mariani took Lazar down to the local police detachment and had him registered to carry a gun.
There were Russians and saucers both at Kirkland, Dulce, and Area 51. There was a chance of a Russian spy being gunned down in downtown Las Vegas. The only thing missing was the weapons of mass destruction. It was just like a James Bond movie. What would the military mind do without an enemy? In 1989 the Russians were the flavor of the year.
How would the Russians spies get back on the base? Would they phone up Knapp or Lazar and get instructions? How would base security know who the spies were among the hundreds of people who showed up outside the base every night after the story broke? Another problem would be that the perimeter base security had no authority to arrest anyone and the Russians would be watching from public land. Would the Russians risk an agent when all they would have to do is reprogram their satellite to photograph the base? Would the Groom Lake officials run a cover story when they knew that it would simply cause the Russians to reprogram their satellites?
The Russian reaction, according to Knapp who was in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, was that they did use their satellites to take a look. They changed their satellite to check the base everyday instead of once or twice a month. In one meeting Knapp had a General handed him a photo of S-4 that was taken in 1988. Would the Area 51 officials employ an unneeded cover story knowing that they would expose everything happening at Area 51 to increased scrutiny from enemies of the United States?
The logical course of action would be to do what all Top Secret bases do – not attract attention to the fact you are there and only use a cover story to cover things that get exposed. An example of the risk of not just shutting up comes from an incident where President Jimmy Carter leaked to the press the fact that the USA had Stealth technology. It caused anger at Skunkworks because how they knew the Russian satellites would be trained on the production facilities watching who came and went and what went in and out of the buildings.
In a similar way Carter outed the remote viewing program when he publicly told a story of a “psychic” who had located a downed plane (a Russian TU-22 supersonic bomber being used as a spy plane) in Africa that American intelligence officials were unable to find after an extensive search. Dr. Russell Targ, one of the directors of the program, wrote that the unwanted commendation exposed the Top Secret program and the only thing they could do to minimize the damage was change the code-name for the program.
Secrecy is the rule. The cover story explanation is shaky at best.
The Lazar story, if true, seems to present one of three options. Officials brought Lazar in to work on the flying saucers not knowing that he would spill the beans, or it was a story they wanted out bad enough that they were willing to have every spy agency in the world to now pay close attention to what was going on at Area 51. The third most probable explanation is that they wanted the saucer story out but they misread what would happen. They thought the media would run its usual three day coverage, and the flying saucer story would get into the UFO world. Lastly, the public and the spies would lose interest after all the inconsistencies in Lazar’s story became public.
What they didn’t count on was George Knapp.
Lear was the planned target. He would widely publicize the story the plan was that it would not get any serious attention. Lear, however, simply handed the story off to Knapp who carried out a six-month investigation. During this investigation he would uncover enough witnesses validating the Lazar claim to justify staying with the story. Reporters usually can’t do this because they have to get to the next story. News is a business, and new stories are the life blood of what sells. Knapp did something that was totally unexpected. Instead of a short segment ridiculing the UFO story, as all other reporters had done, he ran the Lazar claims to ground and went public with what he had discovered.
This tenacity by Knapp, along with a public interest in UFOs, caused the story to go viral, or as Knapp described it “like a tsunami traveling around the world.” This is what officials had not expected.
Every major news outlet in the world took time to travel to Area 51 or at least to do a story. The story continued to grow. All the Area 51 officials could do is continue to deny the base’s existence, use presidential decrees to keep themselves out of jail, and take over another 5,900 acres to stop the busloads of people who were now up in the hills (called by Newsweek the Groom Lake bleachers) from looking down every night at the base and hoping to see a flying saucer.
The base took a call from John Podesta, the President’s Chief of Staff, asking if they had saucers at the base. President Clinton said so many people in his administration believed there was a saucer and an alien at Area 51 that he sent someone to the base to check it out. There was a congressional representative who did an investigation on the rumors. He indicated to Knapp the cover-up at the base was going on because those in charge were afraid they would end up in jail if exposed.
All of this for a cover story when the base was secure, quiet and unknown before Lazar? It doesn’t seem highly likely looking back.
Once the media storm had quieted down, and once Area 51 officials were able to close down all the places where people could watch the base activities, the officials did exactly what they should have done before they brought Lazar on the base. They secured the base, said nothing, and went about their business. It is exactly what every other Top Secret military base does, and why using a “we’ve got a flying saucer” cover story doesn’t make much sense.
The theory that the Lazar/S-4 story not created as a cover story, does not negate the fact that American intelligence would have watched the Russian (Soviet Union) reaction to the Lazar/S-4 story, and would have exploited it after the fact if they could. American intelligence would be watching Russian reaction to all things being done in America, the release of the final Blue Book study, or the release of the Federal Budget, or the appointment of a foreign ambassador. The study of these various Russian reactions, and the secret government behind the reactions, became known as Kremlinology.
Knapp interview of John Lear and Gene Huff, Coast to Coast AM Radio, March