During a 1989 interview, a man who we now know as Bob Lazar made some astonishing claims. He said the military was secretly studying alien technology at Area 51, a base that was kept secret from the public. Investigative reporter George Knapp gives an update on the what we now know about the base. Aired on Nov. 24, 1995, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas.

Well, there’s several, actually nine flying saucers, flying disks.

Bob Lazar, former government scientist

The interview that launched a thousand business ventures.

A Bob Lazar Christmas ornament.

Bob Lazar’s 1989 claims that he saw flying saucers housed, then tested, near Groom Lake caused ripples which are still being felt. At least four movie projects, dozens of screenplays, a few books, T-shirts, bumper stickers, artwork, a rock band, a Las Vegas bar, a viewer’s guide, a research center, countless news reports, even a Bob Lazar Christmas ornament. Not bad for a place that until 1994 didn’t officially exist.

The military now admits what the world already knew. It has an “operating location near Groom Lake,” but the Pentagon says the base has no name.

By denying the place has a name, the Defense Department hopes to stall a lawsuit filed by former workers who claim they were exposed to toxic chemicals there. The lawyer who filed the suit thinks it’s ridiculous.

Jonathan Turley.

“You just can’t have black places. You can’t have places that don’t exist,” said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor. “The government cannot create the secret enclaves in which it alone determines what laws will govern.”

Despite official denials, the common name for the base has always been Area 51. A 1967 government map lists that name. Subsequent maps left the name blank. Also found was a ‘70s newspaper article in which the Pentagon mentions Area 51 by name.

What’s it called today? High level sources say the military uses the term “SCORE EVENT” to refer to it.

Who runs the base? The CIA built it for use in the U-2 program. There is rare footage taken from Groom Lake of some early tests. Current warning signs indicate it’s an Air Force facility, but all branches of the military have used it, along with most major defense contractors. The common thread has always been EG&G, which has had the contract to operate the facility since the beginning.

EG&G has run operations at Area 51 for years.

What goes on there today? Plenty. Highly placed sources say the base employs about 1,800 people. One of their main missions is to evaluate Russian Defense Systems, equipment that’s in the hands of unfriendly nations like Iran and Iraq. Another program at Area 51 is the stealth helicopter, although the technology isn’t far along.

As for flying saucers, the military admits it has built the unmanned craft. It may not be a coincidence that the Air Force’s only unmanned aerial vehicle Squadron is based at Nellis. Whatever is flying around out there still attracts visitors from all over the world.

George Knapp: “It’s still newsworthy in Europe?

“Yes, yes. Now, also in Europe, Area 51 is well-known,” a visitor told us.