I’ve always believed Bob Lazar’s story. Let’s get that out of the way right now. I’ve been named and shamed for such by hardened skeptics many times and it doesn’t phase me in the least. Lazar’s story remained on the periphery of my UFO focus for many years as I began to dig deeper in to my own research and subsequent work in the self-proclaimed UFO field. I thought that Lazar’s story would fade in to obscurity like so many other stories of the past. But several interviews on Las Vegas news stations, a worldwide released documentary titled Bob Lazar: Area 51 and Flying Saucers, by investigative filmmaker, Jeremy Corbell, and several recent podcast appearances reinvigorated my hunger to know more about this highly controversial story of a man who claimed to have reverse-engineered alien technology at S-4, an installation a dozen or so miles south of Area 51. And we were finally going to get the uncensored and complete story from the man who lived it; Bob Lazar, in the form of a book. Here is the official synopsis for Dreamland: An Autobiography :
Bob Lazar was a brilliant young physicist that found himself employed at a top secret facility in the middle of the desert outside Las Vegas. Under the watchful eye of the government elite, he is tasked with understanding an exotic propulsion system being used by an advanced aerospace vehicle he is told came from outer space. Bob Lazar’s reports have been the subject of intense controversy for decades. He has been interviewed numerous times and his story has been corroborated by other individuals he worked with and who were present when these events happened. But until now, Bob Lazar has never told his own story, in every detail in his own words, about those exciting days in the desert outside of Las Vegas and how the world came to learn about the experiments being conducted at Area 51.
Published by a newly announced imprint of Tom DeLonge’s To the Stars Inc, the book promised the complete story of Lazar’s beginnings as a physicist, his work at several high-level laboratories, and his eventual work on flying saucers at S-4. The foreword to this book is done by the man who put Area 51 on the map and would eventually break the story of Bob Lazar. And that is none other than investigative journalist and award-winning news reporter, George Knapp. Knapp recounts his personal experiences with Lazar, where he stands on the entire affair, and how it all relates to the recent discoveries of Navy encounters with UFOs. It’s a lengthy, yet detailed overview to refresh our memories of what we know (or think we know) about Lazar and his claims.
Then Lazar’s narrative unfolds. We learn of his childhood fascinations with physics after visiting the New York Hall of Science in Queens, NY, not too far from the husk of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. He became obsessed with rocketry, chemistry, and propulsion. As he grew, he would create his own jet-powered vehicles and propulsion experiments. It was clear this man had a hunger and passion for how the world moved around him. And how objects in our world literally moved forward. This passion would lead to his work at Los Alamos National Lab. In one of the more humorous memories Lazar has, he recalls filling trash bags with helium and using radiation caution tape to keep the bag secure. Once they floated off in to the distance, he recalls police showing up after local residents reported possible radioactive balloons being dropped in the area.
We learn of the unfortunate suicide of his first wife, Carol. Diagnosed with cancer, she hid it from Lazar for a long time, not wanting to sour the American Dream life they would pursue together as both romantic and business partners, starting a photo developing business together. Here, we get a sense of Lazar’s love for her, and how hard it was losing someone too soon and never getting to say goodbye. But, life goes on, and he would eventually remarry. But that marriage would soon play in to the events of his work life and personal life in ways he never could have imagined. We’ll get to that.
It was small moments like the trash bag balloons that give us a sense of Lazar’s true focus; science and the joy he found in curiosity. And, while he comes off rather soft-spoken in video interviews, here we get a sense of a confident man looking for opportunities to learn more about the world around him. and get paid for doing it. When a chance encounter occurs with Edward Teller, the “father of the hydrogen bomb”, Lazar now finds himself applying for a highly classified job where he wasn’t even sure what he’d be doing or where he’d be working. That company was EG&G, a national defense contractor. And the location… Groom Lake. This is when a whole new chapter of Lazar’s life is opened in the most mysterious of ways.
We are introduced to a shadowy character named Dennis. He is basically Lazar’s handler throughout his eventual work with EG&G. Upon applying, Lazar is treated to a mound of documents pertaining to extraterrestrial craft, dead alien bodies, and a plethora of unbelievable material. Lazar gives us a good sense of what he felt in those dizzying moments, as if his reality was being shifted… or it was all an elaborate game to see how he’d react. Either way, he trudged forward, excited to be working in a field where his passion for science could truly shine. Or, as he’d discover, be exploited.
We meet Barry, Lazar’s assigned partner at S-4. He and Lazar are assigned a propulsion system. Their job is to reverse-engineer a technology they knew nothing about, figure out how it worked, and what would be needed to replicate it. But without seeing an actual craft, or knowing what they were actually working on, they press their superior, Dennis, to show them the craft. And that’s when Lazar says his entire life changed. He was brought in to a hangar, insidiously embedded into the side of a mountain at S-4. He recalls it being around fifty feet in diameter, saucer shaped, and roughly twenty feet tall. He watched as the craft levitated in mid-air with no sign of propulsion or thrust below it. This astounded him and completely contradicted everything he knew, or thought he knew, about physics. This invigorated him to continue work on the propulsion system.
An interesting side note is that Lazar almost didn’t care where the craft came from or who originally piloted it. He just wanted to know how it worked. “The physics, the tech, the machine,” he would state. It was in the moments of pure science that Lazar shined brightest in this narrative. His excitement reigned supreme in the lengthy explanations of physics, bending light, time, and space, and of course, anti-gravitational propulsion. We follow him through the day-to-day struggles of working a highly compartmentalized project where he wasn’t even allowed to converse with other scientists presumably working on the same craft deconstruction and reconstruction.
Frustration sets in as out of nowhere, he is not called back to work for week’s on end. Meanwhile, his house had been bugged, he was being followed by mysterious men in black, and his relationship with his then wife, Tracy, was deteriorating because of the highly secretive and time-demanding nature of his work. As the frustration grew, Lazar started to feel resentful. He would share information with several friends, including pilot, John Lear and politician, Gene Huff. He would even go so far as to bring them out to S-4 and show them scheduled test flights of these supposed extraterrestrial craft in motion. But they would be caught on one of their visits, and soon, Lazar found himself in very hot water with his on again/off again superiors at EG&G.
It was clear that like his marriage, the working relationship with Dennis and the team at S-4 had soured. And knowing Lazar was talking to others about the highly classified work he’d been doing, they showed him transcripts of phone calls his wife had made with her flight instructor (Lazar had secured her flying lessons). It was clear she was having an affair, and Lazar knew nothing of it. Using this against Lazar, they said he wasn’t mentally or emotionally fit to do the job any longer. And soon, his entire world came crashing down in what could be the darkest days and a very depressing part of the book where it’s clear Lazar was in despair. He decides, with nothing left to lose, to go public with what he was hired to do at the place nobody knew about; S-4 and Area 51.
This is when he is introduced to George Knapp at KLAS news. He first comes forward anonymously under the pseudonym, Dennis, clearly a jab at his former employer. But eventually, he decided to put his face out there, with his real name, prepared for the worst. In a very animated portion near the end of the book, we see Lazar regret this decision, and as Knapp prepares to air the tape of Lazar’s interview unobscured, they literally come to blows, wrestling to the ground as Lazar tries to stop him from airing it. Knapp, convinced it’s the right thing to do, and let’s be honest, knows it’ll be good for ratings, airs the interview. And the world was now introduced to Bob Lazar, the man who worked on flying saucers in the deserts of Nevada.
It’s after coming forward that Lazar claims he was threatened, played around with, and even shot at by unknown assailants. The story breaks, Lazar suffers the slings and arrows of both hardcore believers and vehement skeptics. As time progressed, Lazar began to rebuild his life and put the entire affair behind him. The threats stopped coming. The phones stopped ringing. And he could now live the rest of his life not talking about Area 51 and the string of events that came with it. Until 2018, when investigative filmmaker, Jeremy Corbell, decided to focus his lens on Bob Lazar. Hesitant, Lazar agreed to tell his story “one last time: for the documentary. And then another “one last time” in his book. And maybe another “one last time “when I’m sure a biographical feature film will inevitably be made?
That last comment isn’t a slight to Corbell, Lazar, or anyone who has covered the Bob Lazar story. It merely shows the crazy maze we navigate when such extraordinary claims are brought forward about UFOs. As we hurdle towards a new decade, many have never even heard of Bob Lazar. Many think it best that they don’t. But many clearly still want the story told, their motives and beliefs very personal, and just as complex to navigate.
While the book didn’t provide as detailed a portrait as I’d hoped, it did put us, finally, in the coke-bottled glasses and mind of Bob Lazar. A man who frankly doesn’t care what you think of him or his story. The major flaws the book undeniably has are a very poorly edited manuscript. While I’m no grammar authority, the amount of typos, errors, or complete missing words, I do wonder if the book was either rushed without careful editing, or even edited at all. A strange turn of events happened days before the book was to be released, when several individuals noticed that the audio book version was being published by To the Stars, Inc. While Tom DeLonge had announced early on he was working on publishing Bob Lazar’s autobiography, he really never spoke of it again. When the internet started questioning who exactly was publishing the book, To the Stars Inc. made an official announcement the following day of a new imprint that would be separate from their Sekret Machines series and even from To the Stars Inc in general. There has also been little to no marketing of the book by DeLonge or the company, prompting many to think while they want to profit off the book, they don’t want to be directly connected to such a controversial story amidst their strive for legitimacy with To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science.
And this is where I have to get critical. To start, the book left much to be desired, completely leaving out many elements to the story that Lazar has talked about in the past that I was personally excited to learn more about in the book. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that. Element 115, the supposed fuel source of the craft Lazar worked on, wasn’t mentioned even once in the book. Neither were the various other craft that Lazar previously claimed to have seen while working there. His recollection of certain conversations were also very contrived and far too detailed to have been drawn from memory. Can you honestly say you remember exactly what you said to someone in a conversation, verbatim, even a week ago? Lazar seems to be taking some liberties with crafting what he believes is witty dialogue between he and his counterparts. But it just comes off as bad lines from an amateur screenplay. Between these awkward moments of scenes playing out, the grammatical errors, and many important variables to the story being left out entirely, it left me wanting much, much more from this anticipated story, again, from someone who does believe he worked on something highly classified and exotic. This prompts me to believe that Lazar certainly wasn’t cut out to be a writer, which is fine. His intelligence is clearly needed elsewhere. But if he didn’t write it, and it was ghostwritten (very common for autobiographies), he chose very poorly in hiring said ghostwriter.
While a quick read, I have to say, overall, I was very disappointed and exhausted after finishing the book, almost to the point where I wish I’d kept the image of Lazar in my mind I had when I first heard about him as a teenager. I wanted so much to believe him. And while I still hold out hope that even a fraction of what he’s brought forward is true, the definitive book on his story was anything but definitive. Its a rather tragic story of a man who was used, abused, and left to pick up the pieces on his own. Many have asked Lazar if he regrets ever coming forward. And surprisingly in the final pages of the book, he admits that he does regret it. His reputation and life were completely shattered by his decisions. And perhaps that’s how it should be left. Maybe after reading this book, some will regret having done so. But for others, especially those hearing this story for the very first time, it will be mind blowing. And maybe it’s best they hear it from the man who experienced it. I just wish the book had been pushed back and more details included to give us a wider picture and scope of Lazar’s experiences. Either way, perhaps it could be summed up by the final lines of George Knapp’s foreword to the book:
“Whether you believe it or not does not really matter to Lazar, but we can say with some confidence that it’s not going away.”
Speaking of which, who would you choose to play Bob Lazar in a Hollywood movie? I’m going with this guy from the music video, ALIVE IN THE DARKNESS – The Bob Lazar Story, by 1NightInParis.