Near the end of his 2019 autobiography, Bob Lazar writes, “I’m no kind of hero.”
With each passing day, that seems less true. I know what you’re thinking: Is this idiot really devoting a column to a controversial UFO whistleblower during a global pandemic? Should I stop reading this tinfoil claptrap right now and spend the next few minutes on something more productive?
Answers: 1. Yes. 2. Probably.
OK. To everyone still here, why is Bob Lazar on my mind? Because I just read a New York Times story — “No Longer in Shadows, Pentagon’s U.F.O. Unit Will Make Some Findings Public” — that includes a buried nugget about how astrophysicist and Pentagon contractor Eric W. Davis gave a classified briefing to government officials in March about retrieved “off-world vehicles not made on this earth.”
I know. It’s nuts. If you ever watched “The X-Files,” the U.S. government has basically done a 180 on UFOs. For nearly a century, intel gathering under clandestine programs — Project Mogul, Project Sign, Project Grudge, Project Blue Book, Project Ozma — had one guiding principle: blanket denial.
The stated goal was to investigate UFO sightings. The outcome was official excuses.
UFOs were weather balloons or street lamps or migrating birds. They were illusions refracted by the natural world. They were fantasies of deranged imaginations. They were not real.
All of that has changed dramatically, starting with a 2017 New York Times blockbuster that revealed the existence of the U.S. government’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, created a decade earlier to analyze unexplained phenomena. The Navy has since publicly verified three videos that show unidentified aircraft violating the laws of aerodynamics. Apparently, there are more.
What was once the stuff of supermarket tabloids is now taken seriously by politicians and scientists.
So isn’t it time Bob Lazar got a second hearing in the court of public opinion?
The man put Area 51 on the pop-cultural map in 1989, when during an interview with Las Vegas investigative reporter George Knapp, he made claims that would have sent Fox Mulder to a fainting couch. Lazar said he had worked at a top-secret military base, S-4, near Papoose Lake, where his job was to reverse-engineer crashed alien flying saucers. It was like hearing someone casually say they provided dental care to the Loch Ness Monster. I’m sorry, what?
I remember thinking Bob must be smoking crack out of a Bunsen burner.
But here’s the thing: 30 years later, nothing Lazar said has been disproven. Nothing.