Robert Lazar

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Robert Lazar with some bottles of element 115 he smuggled out of Area 51. Pinky swear
The woo is out there
Icon ufology.svg
Aliens did it...
...and ran away

Robert Lazar (1959–) is a double-edged sword of a UFO crank. On the one hand, he's a pathological liar with a long laundry list of fantasies about working at Area 51. On the other hand, he runs United Nuclear, one of the very few chemical supply houses still supplying as many unrestricted chemicals as possible to amateur chemists. Make of him what you will, but if you need fifty feet of magnesium ribbon, a neodymium magnet the size of a brick (for, I don't know, wiping credit cards from ten feet away?), or a jar of heavy water, he's your best source.

Media career[edit]

Back in 1989, Lazar was first interviewed, albeit anonymously, by reporter and ardent UFO believer George Knapp on a local Las Vegas TV station. But it wasn't until 1992 that his claims of being employed to secretly reverse-engineer alien spacecraft for the US military reached a national audience, thanks to Coast to Coast AM host Art Bell's encouragement and unflagging gullibility.[1] Lazar went on to become a featured speaker at UFO conventions[2] and regular guest on Coast to Coast AM throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Knapp went on to earn a spot hosting Coast to Coast AM and producing and appearing in UFO and paranormal-themed documentaries.[3][4][5]

Lazar sank slowly back into relative obscurity until 2019 — when a feature-length documentary produced by Knapp and directed by Jeremy Corbell called Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers appeared on Netflix and exposed a whole new mistrustful-of-the-government generation to his dubious claims. The film positions unabashed bullshitter Lazar as a brave "whistleblower" and victim of government treachery, adding lots of creepy visuals, ominous music and gravelly narration by Mickey Rourke in an attempt to lend credibility to this fantasy.[6] To drum up more press and media interest, Bob Lazar and Jeremy Corbell went on the Joe Rogan Podcast. This was published Jun 20, 2019 on YouTube under the title "Joe Rogan Experience #1315 - Bob Lazar & Jeremy Corbell", where they talk an entire 2 hours and 14 minutes about their "experiences".[7]

Legal troubles[edit]

  • In 1990, Lazar pled guilty to felony pandering.[8]
  • In 2007, United Nuclear Scientific Supplies LLC was fined $7,500 and received three years probation for violating federal law which prohibits the sale of materials used to make illegal fireworks.[9]

His claims[edit]

Most people in the UFO community think Lazar's even too crazy for them.[10] Some of his claims:

  • Got a Master's degree from CalTech.
  • Got a Master's degree in Physics from MIT.
  • Invented a car engine that worked 100% on hydrogen from water.
  • Was hired to work as a scientist at Area S4, 15 miles south of Area 51.
  • Worked in US military program to "back engineer"[note 1] alien technology and power anti-gravity propulsion craft.[11]
  • Browsed inside a UFO powered by Element 115 parked in a hangar; tried to sit in seats but found them too small.
  • Saw secret reports documenting grey aliens involvement with mankind for over 10,000 years.
  • Says aliens are from Zeta Reticuli.

Proof of his claims[edit]


(He said it so it must obviously be true...)

The hand scanner[edit]

From the beginning, Lazar's story included a description of a security device employed at Area 51 when he supposedly worked there — a type of "hand scanner" used to measure bone lengths and confirm an individual's identity. When filmmaker Jeremy Corbell unearthed photographic evidence that just such a device was being used during the late 1980s to secure access to top secret military development program sites, it was heralded as unassailable proof that Lazar was telling the truth.[12] How could Lazar have possibly known about this super secret device? Easily. The device (called the IDentimat 2000) was public knowledge as early as 1971,[13] and in 1977, it was even featured in the film Close Encounters Of The Third Kind when a character uses it to gain access to a "top secret facility".[14]

Area 51 declassification[edit]

In 2013, declassified CIA reports identifying Area 51 and its location were released. Prior to this, the government had never openly referred to Area 51 as a government facility.[15] Some might feel this vindicates Lazar and adds credibility to his story. But he wasn't the first to publicly identify Area 51, nor the first to promote Area 51 alien conspiracy theories. Aviation buffs had long known Groom Lake existed as a classified development and test facility for aircraft such as the U-2 spy plane,[16] and Nevada UFO enthusiasts had been publishing "guidebooks" to the site as far back as 1992.[17] And no government document is known to have ever mentioned anything called "S-4".

Element 115[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Moscovium

Long before Moscovium was synthesized, and assigned the number 115 on the periodic table of elements, Lazar claimed it was capable of powering anti-gravity engines. Some people feel this vindicates Lazar (and proves the rest of his kooky claims). However, for Bob Lazar to be right, virtually all of modern atomic physics would need to be wrong:

Unfortunately, the very method of his apparent vindication – that element 115 had finally been created – directly contradicts a key claim that Bob Lazar made: Ununpentium cannot be synthesized in a lab. That it must be found in naturally occurring deposits that can only be made in high-mass star systems.[18]

Claims of stable isotopes of element 115 are unlikely according to our knowledge of nuclear physics: in particular, the predicted Island of stabilityWikipedia and known magic numbersWikipedia. Magic numbers as we know them are always even numbers; therefore, it is very unlikely (admittedly not impossible) to have stable heavy elements with odd numbers of protons.

External links[edit]


  1. More commonly known as "reverse engineering".