You may not know the name Bob Lazar, but he pretty much put Area 51 on the map – literally. In the late 80s, Lazar did an interview with investigative reporter George Knapp on KLAS, a Vegas TV station. Cloaked in shadow and going by the pseudonym “Dennis” he claimed to be working on a project to reverse engineer extraterrestrial technology at a facility just outside Area 51 called S-4. Lazar alleged that UFOs used a kind of gravity wave propulsion system fueled by Element 115.
Lazar’s segment was the top viewed story on the tv station and eventually, he came out of the shadows. He did another interview as himself and gave his real name. Lazar drew schematics and gave a great number of details about his time at the S-4, including his experience in a real UFO. Instantly, he became a media hit and revered in the UFO community. But Lazar also received a ton of criticism for his larger-than-life tale about seeing actual alien bodies and sitting in a stark, shiny grey oval-shaped flying saucer.
There as always been skepticism about Bob Lazar’s story or why he even came out into the limelight in the first place. He never profited from his short-term fame and he disappeared as quickly as he emerged onto the UFO scene. Although, his story had curious ufologists research the elusive top-secret Area 51 with a myopic fervor that eventually forced it out of classified status. The government now acknowledges Area 51 as a real base even though you could see it on Google Earth for years. (Area 51 coordinates: 37 degrees 14 minutes north latitude, 115 degrees 48 minutes west longitude.)
Before viewing the documentary, I watched a 90-minute presentation from Jeremy Corbell about his experience filming Bob Lazar and trying to substantiate his claims. Obviously, Corbell is a firm Lazar believer and makes no bones about clouding his narrative with this bias. However, he did bring up some viable evidence that shows Lazar could have indeed worked at S-4. Watch the talk below and see for yourself.
Unfortunately, the presentation was more interesting than the actual documentary. There are a lot of problems with Corbell’s film, but the most glaring nuisance is that it has no focus. It stumbles between new-age spacy ramblings from narrator Mickey Rourke that serve no real purpose and straight-forward biopic interviews with George Knapp, Bob Lazar, and his immediate family.
I am not sure of the real message of the film, but I know one thing; Corbell really wants you to believe that Bob Lazar is telling the truth. He pushes this narrative without a lot of new evidence or any kind of new proof. There’s talk of an FBI raid on Lazar’s house during production of the film. They are looking for a specific thing and I won’t spoil it for you. However, the problem arises when we never really find out what happened. It’s mentioned and then dissolves in a pile of nothing.
Bob Lazar is an interesting case study and he is fun to watch. He’s charming in a quirky, nerdy kind of way and he has an amazing mind. He hasn’t changed his story in the last 30 years and fervently stands by everything he said. However, I am not sure that’s enough.
Given the political climate of the UFO phenomenon and the government almost blatantly admitting the existence of unidentified flying objects I was hoping to see more of a nuanced piece. I was hoping to finally see some concrete evidence. Or some new interviews that corroborated Lazar’s story. Something that vilified his claims. None of that came about in this documentary.