Bob Lazar, UFO Hoaxster

By: the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.  | 

Robert Lazar claims to have studied extraterrestrial hardware.
Robert Lazar claims to have studied extraterrestrial hardware.
UFO Magazine

On November 11 and 13, 1989, viewers of KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, Nevada, heard an incredible story from news reporter George Knapp: A scientist had come forth to reveal that the U.S. government possesses the remains of extraterrestrial vehicles. From these vehicles have come extraordinary technological breakthroughs.

The scientist, Robert Scott Lazar, said he had worked in the S-4 section of Area 51, a corner of the Nevada Test Site. There, he had read documents indicating the existence of ongoing research on an "anti-gravity reactor" for use in propulsion systems. He was astonished, he said, but he was even more shocked to be shown nine flying discs "of extraterrestrial origin" stored in a hangar. As part of the gravity-harnessing propulsion, the craft used an element, 115, unknown on Earth, because it is "impossible to synthesize an element that heavy here on Earth. ... The substance has to come from a place where super-heavy elements could have been produced naturally." From the recovered craft the U.S. government had collected some 500 pounds of the stuff.


Adding apparent credibility to Lazar's testimony were persistent reports (chronicled even in the respected Aviation Week & Space Technology) of bizarre lights over the test site-craft maneuvering in ways beyond the capacity of known aviation technology. These reports are almost certainly genuine.

Lazar's tales, on the other hand, are almost certainly bogus. Investigations raised serious questions about his reliability. His claims about his education and employment could not be verified, and his character proved to be questionable. In 1990 he was arrested for his involvement with the operation of a Nevada brothel.

­In 2003, element 115, a synthetic radioactive element was discovered by Russian scientists; it was added to the periodic table in 2013. However, this element (also called muscovium) is not the same thing as the one Lazar claimed to have found. (Lazar said his element could power alien spacecraft without worrying about gravity.) So far, no use has been found for muscovium, which has a half-life of less than a second and thus decays very quickly.

In 2019, Motherboard, Vice's tech channel, published a lengthy article about Lazar. It detailed that the FBI and Michigan State police had raided Lazar's "scientific supply" company in 2017, looking for thallium sulfate, which can be used as a poison (and featured in someone's mysterious death.) However, true believers think he was raided because they were looking for element 115. Reporter Tim McMillan asked Lazar directly whether he had a piece of element 115. "If I had some, would I reveal it to confirm my accounts? Absolutely not,” said Lazar.

In 2020, The New York Times reported that the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, which had been set up to investigate unidentified flying objects, and was thought to have been disbanded, was still alive and well, under the auspices of the Office of Naval Intelligence. The newspaper added that Luis Elizondo, who was the director of the task force until he resigned in 2017, believed that objects of undetermined origin had been retrieved for study by the Pentagon.

So does that mean Lazar was right all along? Some people think so. But the program's main focus is not on looking for UFOs from outer space but rather on "on discovering whether another nation, especially any potential adversary, is using breakout aviation technology that could threaten the United States," reported the Times.

Originally Published: Feb 8, 2008