Upon hearing the name Bob Lazar, your reaction is probably one of two things. The first is asking the simple question, who? Which, admittedly, was my reaction. Alternatively, isn’t that the guy that believes in aliens? Which is correct but it dramatically simplifies his claims. The documentary Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers, from mixed-media artist Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell, seeks to provide a greater understanding of Lazar the man, bring clarity to his assertations, and attempt to get to the truth, whatever it may be.
In 1989, Lazar made contact with investigating journalist George Knapp, and under an assumed named and with his face hidden, he stated that he works at a secret base, ‘S-4’, near Area 51 and Groom Lake in Nevada. At ‘S-4’, Lazar claims to have reversed engineer technology from multiple alien spacecraft. He goes onto explain, as best he could, how the propulsion systems of the extraterrestrial ships work and that the (then unknown) element 115, Moscovium, powered them.
In a subsequent interview in November of that same year, Lazar appeared without anonymity. The scientific community at large has scoffed at his claims, and while the two initial interviews took the populous by storm (and catapulted the idea of Area 51 into the public consciousness), it would appear most people did not believe Lazar’s story. However, 30 years on, Lazar is still adamant about what he saw and worked on at ‘S-4’.
“…Lazar claims to have reversed engineer technology from multiple alien spacecraft.”
As Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers begin, director Corbell finds out that Lazar’s being raided by the F.B.I. Corbell calls Knapp, and they discuss what a possible reason could be for such an act. The aftermath of the raid is intercut with interviews of colleagues, family members, and friends, along with articles, reactions, and news of Bob Lazar from the time of the original interviews through his brief brush with the law (he was caught aiding and abetting a prostitution ring), all the way to now.
In that time Lazar has been laughed at by hecklers, seen his professional life put through the wringer, and discovered his higher education credentials had been scrubbed away. You read that properly. A look into his claims to have studied at MIT and CalTech yield no student records, no yearbooks, and none of the professors recall him. However, there a few students that do remember him. Couple that along with his Los Alamos National Lab also being scrubbed from existence- with a telephone directory being one of the sole links to prove he worked there- and one is left with more questions than answers.
However, the most prominent question and the one at the heart of the documentary is if Lazar is telling the truth. In the almost 30 years since his original claims, many interesting things lined up, such as the official discovery of element 115 in the year 200. He took four different polygraph tests, each one stating that he was telling the truth. He underwent hypnosis and drew a rough sketch of what the craft looked like, with a few details thrown in which slipped his mind. Most importantly in all this though, are those who knew Bob Lazar before his claims. His parents, longtime friends, and his wife all claim he is not someone prone to lying and ask what does he gain by this being the thing he’ll lie about?
“…Bob Lazar is telling the truth.”
Also of note is how Lazar has made very little money off of his theories and that they have not changed over the years. Corbell realizes this, thus Bob Lazar: Area 52 & Flying Saucers takes a sympathetic approach towards its subject. This allows people who don’t believe in beings from another world (full disclosure: such as myself) to be able to listen without judgment.
However, the documentary does have one rather glaring issue named Mickey Rourke. The acclaimed actor narrates passages of the film that are meant to highlight the elusive nature of humans and their place in the universe, and ask if it is that preposterous to believe other beings exist on other planets? However, he mumbles so much that understanding what he is saying is quite a chore. It is infuriating, mainly because the rest of the movie is well made on a technical level.
By the end of the movie, I believe Bob Lazar is telling the truth. That is the best case for watching Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers I can think of it. Lazar worked on something so inexplicable that the only rationale his mind could comprehend is that of alien spacecraft. Given the technological and scientific breakthroughs he knew about years in advance, I see no evidence of his lying and see nothing he gains from doing so. The movie is well edited and moves at a brisk pace. But the narration by Mickey Rourke is poorly handled and brings the film down a bit.
Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers(2018) Directed by Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell. Written by Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell. Starring Bob Lazar, George Knapp, Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell, Mickey Rourke, Joy White, Phyllis Tucker, Layne Keck, Mario Santa Cruz, Zack Slizewski.
8 UFOs (out of 10)