Bob Lazar’s identity is revealed as he tells investigative reporter George Knapp what he has seen at Area S-4, a site south of Groom Lake in the Nevada desert. Lazar says there are nine disks and technology of alien origin being studied at a secret base. Lazar puts his credibility on the line, undergoing a lie-detector test in Part 5 of “UFOs: The Best Evidence,” originally aired Nov. 10, 1989, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas.

Area 51, that mysterious corner of the Nevada Test Site, is no longer much of a secret. The fact that secretive things go on here is a given. Even to the Soviets, who make daily spy flights over the facility to take a peek at what’s going on.

Series logo for 1989’s
“UFOs: The Best Evidence”
Read the entire series here.

The dry bed of Groom Lake, corrugated metal buildings, a three-mile-long runway and some highly sophisticated radar and detection equipment are visible in photos that had never been seen before the airing of this show in November 1989.

It’s been known by many names over the years: Dream Land, The Ranch, the Skunk Works. If ever there was a place to test the secret new technology, this is it, and that’s exactly what’s been done here for decades. Area 51 is where Francis Gary Powers and the other U-2 pilots were trained in the ‘50s, and where the U-2 itself was developed. The SR-71 spy planes that spotted Soviet missiles in Cuba in the early ‘60s were also developed at Area 51. It’s where stealth technology was nurtured, where Star Wars devices are still tested, and where all manner of CIA “monkey business” has been plotted and refined.

It’s the perfect place for secret things. But of course, that’s no secret.

Area 51 is ringed by the forbidden vastness of the Nevada Test Site by the looming Groom Mountains and by sparsely populated desert expanses. The few people who do live out here have no love lost for the military, but they’re conservative, patriotic, and they mind their own business.

When Alamo, Nevada, rancher Floyd Lamb was asked if he had seen unusual things in the skies, he answered, “Sure, lots of stuff,” but he would give no details.  

On any given night at the Rachel Bar and Grill, you might find three or four people who work at Area 51, there amid the flowing Budweiser and cowboy hats. You might find them, but they aren’t going to talk to you, not about the things they’ve seen over the mountains. A steady trickle of curiosity seekers flows through here, strangers drawn by strange stories of lights in the night sky. Their questions also go unanswered.

The sign for the Rachel, Nevada, restaurant now know as the Little A’Le’Inn is seen in this 1989 photo. (KLAS-TV)

No one who’s worked at Dreamland has ever publicly acknowledged what so many people have suspected for years: that alien technology is being tested in the Nevada desert.

The speculation first surfaced in documents obtained by UFO researchers, documents about something called Project Aquarius. The documents allegedly prepared for an organization called MJ-12 state that a program to fly recovered alien spacecraft was established in 1972 and is continuing in Nevada. The National Security Agency has confirmed it does have a project Aquarius but denies it has anything to do with flying saucers. NSA will not say what project Aquarius is.

Speculation was heightened in 1984 when the Air Force seized nearly 90,000 acres around Groom Lake. The action was by most accounts illegal. During congressional hearings about the land grab Congressman John Seiberling grilled the military about the legal authority used in the action and was told the authority was at a much, much higher level than the Air Force. Seiberling asked what authority is higher than the laws of the United States. The Air Force official said he could respond but only in a closed briefing.

In 1987 when the Air Force sought to renew its stranglehold on the Groom Range news articles once again mentioned the talk about alien spacecraft and subsequent articles in national magazines quoted unnamed sources about things of alien origin flying in Nevada, things that would make filmmaker George Lucas drool.

Despite the speculation, no one who knew Area 51 from the inside ever talked publicly about the saucer story.

The world was first introduced to the story of flying disks and alien technology at Area S-4 by Bob Lazar in a 1989 interview with George Knapp of KLAS TV.

Then, Area 51 worker Robert Lazar made this statement in 1989:

“Well, there are several, actually nine flying saucers, flying disks that are out there of extraterrestrial origin.” The live interview with the shadowy “Dennis” (actually Lazar) drew international attention. Portions were broadcast by radio in six European countries and in a nationally televised TV special in Japan.  

The choice of “Dennis” by Lazar was an inside joke. He says that’s the name of his superior at Groom Lake. It wasn’t a joke to Dennis. “He called right after he said, ‘Do you have any idea what we’re going to do to you now?’ And I said, ‘Well, no,’ and he hung up the phone,” Lazar said.

Lazar’s story is by any standards fantastic. He says he’s telling it in order to protect himself. He says he was hired to work at an area called S-4, which is a few miles south of Groom Lake. At S-4, he says, are flying saucers, anti-matter reactors and other working examples of technology that is seemingly beyond human capabilities.

“Right. This … this came from somewhere else I mean, as bizarre as that is to believe. But I mean, it’s there. I saw it. I know what the current state of the art is and in physics and it’s … it can’t be done,” said Lazar.  

Checking out Lazar’s credentials proved to be a difficult task. He says he earned degrees in physics and electronics, but the schools we contacted say they’ve never heard of him. He also said he worked as a physicist at Los Alamos National Lab, where he experimented with one of the world’s largest particle beam accelerators, a half-mile long behemoth capable of generating 700 million volts.

Bob Lazar is listed in a phone directory for Los Alamos National Laboratories. (KLAS-TV)

Los Alamos officials told us they had no records of a Robert Lazar ever working there. They were either mistaken or were lying. A 1982 phone book from the lab lists Lazar right there among the other scientists and technicians. A 1982 clipping from the Los Alamos newspaper profiled Lazar and his interest in jet cars. It too mentioned his employment at the lab as a physicist.

We called Los Alamos again. An exasperated official told us he still had no records on Lazar. EG&G, where Lazar says he was interviewed for the job at S-4, also has no records. It’s as if someone has made him disappear.

Bob Lazar interviewed at EG&G for a job at Area S-4. (KLAS-TV)

“Well, they’re trying to make me a non-person,” said Lazar. He claims the schools he went to, the hospital he was born in, and previous employers have all removed records of his existence. 

He smiles, but out of futility, knowing the whole thing must sound ridiculous.

According to Lazar, his employer was the United States Navy. He says he and other government employees would gather near EG&G, fly to Groom Lake, and then a very few people would get into a bus with blacked out or no windows and drive to S-4. Lazar explains what he saw, “A very interesting building. It’s got a slope of probably about 30 degrees, which are hangar doors and it has textured paint on it, but it’s it looks like sand. It’s made to look like the side of the mountain that it’s in, whether it’s to disguise it from satellite photographs or what.”

He says he was never told exactly what he’d be working on, but figured it had something to do with advanced propulsion. On his first day, he was told to read a series of briefings and immediately realized how advanced the propulsion was.

“The power source is an antimatter reactor,” Lazar said. “They run gravity amplifiers. There’s actually two parts to the drive mechanism. It’s just it’s a bizarre technology there’s no physical hookup between any of the systems in there. They use gravity as a wave, using wave guides almost like microwaves.”

It took awhile, Lazar says, before he actually saw one of the flying disks, but there were hints everywhere. “Right, they had a poster and it looked like a commercial poster almost, like it was lithographed and you could buy it at a Kmart or something. But they were all over the place and it had the disk that I coined the term the “sport model” was lifted off the ground about three feet at area S-4 on the dry lake there and the caption on the bottom said, “They’re here.” And those are just all over the place.”

Later he got to see the real thing.

“When I was led in, it was the first time I saw the sport model in the hangar sitting down and, I was told they could have walked me in the front door but they purposely wanted to walk me by it. I was told not to say anything and just keep my eyes forward and walk past the disk into the office area. And I did and as we went by it I just kind of stuck my hands on it, just to run alongside that thing and you know that … that was about the smallest time. After that I got to see it actually lift off the ground and operate.”

Lazar claims there were multiple alien aircraft.

“Yeah, the hangars are all connected together and there were large bay doors between each one. And there were nine total that I saw. Each one being different, like they had the assortment pack.”

A map shows Area S-4’s location west of Papoose Lake and south of Area 51.

Security at S-4 was oppressive, Lazar says, and his superiors used fear and intimidation almost as a brainwashing tool. “Did everything but physically hurt me,” Lazar said. At one point he said they put a gun to his head. “They did that even in the … in the original security briefings. They had guards there with M-16s. Guys slamming their finger into my chest, screaming in my ears, some people are pointing weapons at me. Like I said, it’s not a good place to work.”

Ron Slay conducts a lie-detector test on Bob Lazar. (KLAS-TV)

That fear factor would surface later. Lazar agreed to undergo a polygraph exam as part of this report. Polygrapher Ron Slay asked about the technology Lazar had seen.

“Did you knowingly lie when you said you had actually seen anti-gravity propulsion in operation?” Lazar was asked in the exam. “No,” he replied.

A polygraph exam given to Bob Lazar by Ron Slay. (KLAS-TV)

The results of this exam were inconclusive. Lazar appeared to be truthful on one test, deceitful on a second. Slay recommended that a second examiner be brought in.

Polygrapher Terry Tavernetti runs a corporate security operation and is a former Los Angeles police officer. He put Lazar through four tests and concluded there was no attempt to deceive. “I left there thinking that I feel we do have some credibility to what the subject had to say. And that’s when I went to some of my colleagues,” Tavernetti said.  

Tavernetti sent the test results to a third polygrapher who agreed the results appeared truthful. The charts were then sent to a fourth examiner who did not agree, suggesting Lazar might be relating information he learned from someone else. The polygraphers conferred and decided they would not issue a final statement on truthfulness until more specific testing can be conducted. And that’s where it stands.

Terry Tavernetti talks about the polygraph testing of Bob Lazar. (KLAS-TV)

Tavernetti believes that difficulty in determining Lazar’s truthfulness stems from the fear that was drilled into him.

“I think we’re talking about a subject here that is so far-reaching, and it is so emotional,” he said. “And when you’re dealing with emotions, this is polygraph … you’re looking at fear, the fear of getting caught telling a lie, because something bad will happen to you if you do.”

Lazar is adamant: “Well, I am telling the truth. I’ve tried to prove that what’s going on up there could be the most important event in history. You’re talking about contact … physical, physical contact and proof from another system, another planet, another intelligence. That’s got to be the biggest event in history, period.”

“And it’s real, and it’s there. And I had an extremely small part in it, but I’m convince that what I saw is absolute proof of that. There’s no way we could have created those systems. There’s no way we could have made the disks, the power supplies, anything to go with them.

Lazar says he has no intention of going on any UFO lecture circuit. He’s not looking to do any additional interviews. In fact, he wasn’t too crazy about doing this one. He did it after certain unfavorable things started happening in his life, and he did it because he feels that whoever is running the show up at S-4 is perpetrating a fraud on the American people and on the scientific community.

Next Story: Bob Lazar convinced disks were alien, calls UFO secret ‘unfair outright’ — Part 6