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Robert Lazar
Lazar in 1991
Robert Scott Lazar

(1959-01-26) January 26, 1959 (age 65)
Occupation(s)Owner of United Nuclear Scientific Equipment and Supplies
Criminal chargesPandering, trade of illegal goods
SpouseJoy White

Robert Scott Lazar (/ləˈzɑːr/; born January 26, 1959) is an American conspiracy theorist. In 1989, Lazar claimed to have been part of a classified US government project concerned with the reverse engineering of extraterrestrial technology; he also purported to have read government briefing documents that described alien involvement in human affairs over the past 10,000 years. A self-proclaimed physicist, Lazar supposedly worked at a secret site near the United States Air Force facility popularly known as Area 51. His story brought additional public attention to the facility and spawned conspiracy theories regarding government knowledge of extraterrestrial life.

Lazar has no evidence of alien life or technology, and his claimed education and employment history is replete with fabrication. Lazar is also a criminal: he was convicted in 1990 for his involvement in a prostitution ring, and again in 2006 for selling illegal chemicals. As well as being dismissed by skeptics, Lazar has been renounced by some ufologists. Journalist Ken Layne states, "A lot of credible people have looked at Lazar's story and rationally concluded that he made it up."[1]


Groom Lake (left) and Papoose Lake (right)

Lazar graduated from high school late, in the bottom third of his class. The only science course he took was a chemistry class. He subsequently attended Pierce Junior College in Los Angeles.[2]

In 1982, Lazar worked as a technician for a contractor company that provided support staff to the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility, within the Los Alamos National Laboratory.[2][3][4] He filed for bankruptcy in 1986, where he described himself as a self-employed film processor.[2][5] Lazar owns and operates United Nuclear Scientific Equipment and Supplies, which sells a variety of materials and chemicals.[6]



Lazar claims to have obtained master's degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in electronics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). However, both universities show no record of him.[2][7] Scientists Stanton T. Friedman and Donald R. Prothero have stated that nobody with Lazar's high school performance record would be accepted by either institution.[2][3] Lazar is unable to supply the names of any lecturers or fellow students from his alleged tenures at MIT and Caltech; one supposed Caltech professor, William Duxler, was in fact located at Pierce Junior College and had never taught at Caltech.[2][8] Friedman asserted, "Quite obviously, if one can go to MIT, one doesn't go to Pierce. Lazar was at Pierce at the very same time he was supposedly at MIT more than 2,500 miles away."[2]


"Lazar's claims were later disproven (by UFO skeptics and believers alike). He was found to have fabricated not only his employment at Nellis but indeed his entire background; almost nothing of what he said was true. Still, Lazar's lies propelled Area 51 into the public's consciousness."

Benjamin Radford, Live Science[9]

Lazar claims to be a physicist, and to have worked in this capacity during his tenure at the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility.[2][10] This assertion was echoed by a local journalist who interviewed Lazar about his interest in jet-powered cars in 1982;[a] some media outlets have since dubbed him a "physicist".[b] Inquiry into Lazar's position at the facility, however, revealed his role to have been a technician for a contractor firm, and that he worked neither as a physicist or for Los Alamos.[2][3][4] As such, the laboratory has no records on Lazar, whom Prothero states was "in short, rather a minor player."[3] The Smithsonian, and various mainstream outlets, have stated that his "physicist" designation is self-proclaimed.[c]

Since 1989, Lazar has achieved public notoriety as an Area 51 conspiracy theorist.[d] In May of that year, he appeared in an interview with investigative reporter George Knapp on Las Vegas TV station KLAS, under the pseudonym "Dennis" and with his face hidden, to discuss his purported employment at "S-4", a subsidiary facility he claimed exists near the Nellis Air Force Base installation known as Area 51. He claims that the said facility was adjacent to Papoose Lake, which is located south of the main Area 51 facility at Groom Lake. He claimed the site consisted of concealed aircraft hangars built into a mountainside. Lazar said that his job was to help with the reverse engineering of one of nine flying saucers, which he alleged were extraterrestrial in origin. He claims one of the flying saucers, the one he coined the "Sport Model", was manufactured out of a metallic substance similar in appearance and touch to liquid titanium. In a subsequent interview that November, Lazar appeared unmasked and under his own name, where he claimed that his job interview for work at the facility was with contractor EG&G and that his employer was the United States Navy. EG&G stated it had no records on him.[35][e] His supposed employment at a Nellis Air Force Base subsidiary has also been discredited by skeptics, as well as by the United States Air Force.[3][9]

Lazar has claimed that the propulsion of the studied vehicle ran on an antimatter reactor[36] and was fueled by the chemical element with atomic number 115 (E115), which at the time was provisionally named ununpentium and had not yet been artificially created.[3][37] (It was first synthesized in 2003 and later named moscovium.)[38] He said that the propulsion system relied on a stable isotope of E115, which allegedly generates a gravity wave that allowed the vehicle to fly and to evade visual detection by bending light around it.[39]

No stable isotopes of moscovium have yet been synthesized. All have proven extremely radioactive, decaying in a few hundred milliseconds.[40] Lazar said the craft was dismantled, and the reactor he studied was topped by a sphere or semi-sphere which emitted a force field capable of repulsing human flesh.[41] He explained that the craft was split into two main levels.[f]

The reactor was positioned at the center of the upper level, with an antenna extending to the top,[g] surrounded by three "gravity amplifiers". These connected to "gravity emitters" on the lower level, which can rotate 180 degrees to output a "gravity beam or anti-gravity wave" and that the craft would then travel "belly first" into this distortion field.[42]

An Area 51 gate

Lazar has claimed that during his joining the program, he read briefing documents describing the historical involvement of Earth for the past 10,000 years with extraterrestrial beings described as grey aliens from a planet orbiting the twin binary star system Zeta Reticuli. As of September 2019, no extrasolar planets have been found in the Zeta Reticuli system.[43][44] In 1989, Lazar said the seats of the saucer he saw were approximately child-sized and that he had seen alien cadavers of a corresponding size.[45][46]

He said that while walking down a hallway at S-4, he briefly glanced through a door window and saw what he interpreted as two men in lab coats facing down and talking to "something small with long arms".[47] Three decades later, he said he did not think he saw an alien, but speculated that he saw a doll used as reference for the size of the alleged aliens, and that a nickname used for them was "the kids".[47] Lazar's claims about S-4 brought additional public attention to its supposed parent facility, Area 51, and spawned conspiracy theories regarding government knowledge of extraterrestrial life.[9][48]

Lazar alleges that his employment and education records have been erased; Friedman, Prothero and author Timothy D. Callahan find this to be implausible.[3] His story has drawn significant media attention, controversy, supporters, and detractors. Lazar has no evidence of alien life or technology and remains a polarizing figure among ufologists.[7][9][49][50][51]

In 2017, Lazar's workplace was raided by the FBI and local police which Lazar theorizes was to recover "element 115", a substance he says he took from a government lab. Records obtained through a freedom of information request show the raid was part of a murder investigation to determine whether his company sold thallium to a murder suspect in Michigan. Lazar is not listed as a suspect in the investigation.[49]

Public appearances and media

Lazar and long-time friend Gene Huff ran the Desert Blast festival,[52] an annual festival in the Nevada desert for pyrotechnics enthusiasts.[52][53] The festival started in 1987, but was only formally named in 1991. The name was inspired by Operation Desert Storm.[53] The festival features homemade explosives, rockets, jet-powered vehicles, and other pyrotechnics,[52][53] with the aim of emphasizing the fun aspect of chemistry and physics.[53]

Lazar was featured in producer George Knapp and Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell's documentary Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers[54] and Joe Rogan's podcast.[49][55][56] Lazar had met and discussed his alleged works on UFOs with Navy pilot and commander David Fravor, who witnessed the USS Nimitz UFO incident in 2004.[57]

Criminal convictions

In 1990, Lazar was arrested for aiding and abetting a prostitution ring. This was reduced to felony pandering, to which he pleaded guilty.[58][59][60] He was ordered to do 150 hours of community service, stay away from brothels, and undergo psychotherapy.[59][60]

In 2006, Lazar and his wife Joy White were charged with violating the Federal Hazardous Substances Act for shipping restricted chemicals across state lines. The charges stemmed from a 2003 raid on United Nuclear's business offices, where chemical sales records were examined.[6] United Nuclear pleaded guilty to three criminal counts of introducing into interstate commerce, and aiding and abetting the introduction into interstate commerce, banned hazardous substances. In 2007, United Nuclear was fined $7,500 for violating a law prohibiting the sale of chemicals and components used to make illegal fireworks.[61][62]

Journalist Stephen Rodrick and author Neil Nixon write that further doubts have been cast on Lazar's credibility due to his criminal activity.[56][63] Author Timothy Good and filmmaker Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell, who have perpetuated Lazar's story, concur with this assertion.[64][65]


  1. ^ This was a story by Los Alamos Monitor journalist Terry England, which circulated regionally via the Associated Press.[11][12][13]
  2. ^ See: [14][15][16][17]
  3. ^ The Smithsonian, and various mainstream outlets, have noted Lazar's "physicist" designation as either "self-proclaimed"[18][19][20][21][22] or "self-described".[23][24][25]
  4. ^ Sources describing Lazar as a "conspiracy theorist": [14][15][18][19][26][27][28][29][30][31]
    Publications on conspiracy theories that detail Lazar's claims: [32][33][34]
  5. ^ According to spotlight by KLAS-TV:
    • The schools in which Lazar claims to have studied "say they've never heard of him" (6:05)
    • Lazar alleges he worked at Los Alamos, "where he experimented with the world's largest particle beam accelerators" (6:13)
      • George Knapp: Los Alamos officials say they had no records of him ever working there (6:25)
      • George Knapp: "they were either mistaken or were lying: a 1982 phonebook from the lab lists Lazar right there among the other scientists and technicians" (news section shows the cover of a Los Alamos national laboratory phone directory, and then a list of names which includes "Lazar Robert") (6:30)
      • Los Alamos Monitor article of 1982 is shown, the date reading Sunday, June 2X (low resolution), 1982, with the title "LA man joins the jet set – at 200 miles an hour" with a picture of a man with a car, with Knapp saying that it "profiles Lazar and his interest in jet-cars". It zooms in on the clipping to an excerpt which states: "It's not the car so much that's important. To Lazar, a physicist at the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility, the important thing is the jet engine. It's something he's been working on for years. It started "awhile ago" when working with another researcher in NASA on the technology." (6:39)
      • George Knapp: "we called Los Alamos again. An exasperated official told us he still had no records on Lazar. EG&G, which is where Lazar says he was interviewed for the job at S4, also has no records." (6:48)
    • The news section cuts to Lazar who claims he called the schools he attended, the hospital he was born in, and his past job to get records, but to no avail. (7:00)
    • Lazar alleges his employer at S4 was the US Navy. (7:21)[10]
  6. ^ In addition to a small, topmost level, which he speculated may have housed a kind of navigational computer.
  7. ^ This, he said, functions as a guide for the gravity wave, which forms into a heart shape around the entire craft, narrowing at the bottom.


  1. ^ Layne, Ken (August 22, 2019). "Meme invaders: How #StormArea51 became our new UFO reality". The Desert Sun. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Friedman, Stanton (2012). UFOs: Real Or Imagined?: A Scientific Investigation. Rosen Publishing. pp. 122–124. ISBN 9781448848386.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Donald R. Prothero; Timothy D. Callahan (August 2, 2017). UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says. Indiana University Press. pp. 57–58, 166–169. ISBN 978-0-253-03338-3.
  4. ^ a b Arthur Goldwag (August 11, 2009). Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies. Vintage Books. pp. 138–. ISBN 978-0-3073-9067-7.
  5. ^ Public records, Case BK 86-01623, US Federal Bankruptcy Court, Las Vegas.(702) 388-6257
  6. ^ a b "Don't Try This at Home". Wired. July 2006.
  7. ^ a b Frank B. Salisbury (2010). The Utah UFO Display: A Scientist Brings Reason and Logic to Over 400 UFO Sightings in Utah's Uintah Basin. Cedar Fort, Inc. p. 146. ISBN 9781599557786.
  8. ^ "Debunking UFO 'Expert' Bob Lazar". News24. August 25, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d Radford, Benjamin (September 27, 2012). "Area 51: Secrets, Yes; Aliens, No". Live Science. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Knapp, George (November 8, 2019). Lazar describes alien technology housed at secret S-4 base in Nevada -- Part 5. KLAS-TV/8 News NOW Las Vegas. Section 4:38 - 7:25. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  11. ^ England, Terry (June 27, 1982). "LA man joins the jet set – at 200 miles an hour". Los Alamos Monitor. pp. A1 & A8. [Bob] Lazar, a physicist at the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility...
  12. ^ England, Terry (July 30, 1982). "'Jet' isn't an idle boast on this car". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Associated Press. p. A-6. Retrieved November 22, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "This is a real hot rod". Alamogordo Daily News. July 26, 1982. p. 8. Retrieved February 13, 2020 – via NewspaperArchive.com.
  14. ^ a b "What Sparked the Government's Interest in UFOs". CNN Newsroom. June 5, 2021. CNN. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  15. ^ a b Seddon, Dan (July 19, 2019). "Area 51 details left out of Netflix's Bob Lazar documentary". Digital Spy. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  16. ^ "Model based on UFO witness description". UPI. September 8, 1994. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  17. ^ Peterson, Todd (November 7, 2013). Time Out: Las Vegas (8th ed.). Time Out Group. pp. 266–267. ISBN 978-1-84670-398-0. Physicist Bob Lazar...
  18. ^ a b Nelson, Alex (July 16, 2019). "What is Area 51? Alien conspiracy theories and history of Nevada site as Storm Area 51 Facebook event passes 1 million attendees". iNews. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  19. ^ a b Bedo, Stephanie (July 19, 2019). "Everything you need to know about Area 51". news.com.au. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  20. ^ Vincent, Glyn (August 9, 1998). "Alien Nation". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  21. ^ Lambert, Olivia (July 17, 2019). "'Let's see them aliens': Inside the mysterious Area 51 and why people want to storm the secret base". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on July 17, 2019. Retrieved May 25, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  22. ^ Robertson, Jesse (February 23, 2023). "Close Encounters". The Baffler. Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  23. ^ Webster, Donovan (January 2000). "Inexplicable Moments". Smithsonian. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  24. ^ Graham, Patrick (June 4, 1995). "On the Road to Nowhere". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  25. ^ Cornwell, Tim (March 30, 1996). "Alien visitors restore ghost town's spirits". The Independent. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022. Retrieved May 25, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  26. ^ Penzenstadler, Nick (March 16, 2022). "Conspiracy theorists, UFO hunters among first to flock to Obama's once-secret presidential records". USA Today. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  27. ^ "Bob Lazar and UFOs: a reading (and watching) list". Toronto Star. September 24, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  28. ^ Grossman, David (September 11, 2019). "The Area 51 Raid Is Mercifully Canceled". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  29. ^ Webb, Charles (August 29, 2012). "Dissecting the Autopsy and Research Features in 'XCOM: Enemy Unknown'". MTV News. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  30. ^ Ronald H. Fritze (April 18, 2022). Hope and Fear: Modern Myths, Conspiracy Theories, and Pseudo-History. Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1-7891-4540-3. Archived from the original on May 12, 2022.
  31. ^ Lee Mellor (February 4, 2021). Conspiracies Uncovered: Cover-ups, Hoaxes and Secret Societies. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 90– (insert). ISBN 978-0-2415-1899-1. Conspiracy theorist Bob Lazar...
  32. ^ James McConnachie; Robin Tudge (February 1, 2013). Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories, The (3rd). Rough Guides Limited. pp. 296–. ISBN 978-1-4093-2454-6.
  33. ^ Christopher Hodapp; Alice Von Kannon (February 4, 2011). Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-1-118-05202-0.
  34. ^ Barna William Donovan (January 10, 2014). Conspiracy Films: A Tour of Dark Places in the American Conscious. McFarland. pp. 150–. ISBN 978-0-7864-8615-1.
  35. ^ George Knapp (November 1, 2014). "Out there". KNPR.
  36. ^ Lazar & Corbell 2018. Event occurs at 9.
  37. ^ Patton, Phil (January 8, 1995). "Thing; It Is Copied. Therefore, It Exists?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  38. ^ Sharp, Tim (December 2, 2016). "Facts About Moscovium (Element 115)". Live Science. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  39. ^ "Bob Lazar: The Man Behind Element 115". Lasvegasnow.com. 2005. Archived from the original on June 3, 2017.
  40. ^ Oganessian, Y.T. (2015). "Super-heavy element research". Reports on Progress in Physics. 78 (3): 036301. Bibcode:2015RPPh...78c6301O. doi:10.1088/0034-4885/78/3/036301. PMID 25746203. S2CID 37779526.
  41. ^ Lazar & Corbell 2018. Event occurs at 32.
  42. ^ Lazar & Corbell 2018. Event occurs at 51, 1:07.
  43. ^ Laureijs RJ, Jourdain de Muizon M, Leech K, Siebenmorgen R, Dominik C, Habing HJ, Trams N, Kessler MF (2002). "A 25 micron search for Vega-like disks around main-sequence stars with ISO" (PDF). Astronomy & Astrophysics. 387: 285–293. Bibcode:2002A&A...387..285L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20020366.
  44. ^ "NASA Exoplanet Archive". NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  45. ^ Lazar & Corbell 2018. Event occurs at 54.
  46. ^ Zimmerman, Amy (December 4, 2018). "Why Did the FBI Raid the Home of the Biggest Alien Truther?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  47. ^ a b Lazar & Corbell 2018. Event occurs at 47.
  48. ^ Lea, Robert (April 11, 2022). "Area 51: What is it and what goes on there?". Space.com. Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  49. ^ a b c McMillan, Tim (November 13, 2019). "Bob Lazar Says the FBI Raided Him to Seize Area 51's Alien Fuel. The Truth Is Weirder". Vice. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  50. ^ David Hambling (2016). Weapons Grade. Constable & Robinson. pp. 178–180. ISBN 9781472123763.
  51. ^ "Area 51 Exhibit To Feature Russian Roswell UFO Artifact At National Atomic Testing Museum". HuffPost. March 20, 2012.
  52. ^ a b c "Desert Blast". Popular Science. April 1996. pp. 76–79.
  53. ^ a b c d "Ka-Booom!!". Wired. December 1, 1994.
  54. ^ Reimink, Troy. "In 'Bob Lazar: Area 51' documentary, director investigates UFO whistle-blower's story". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  55. ^ Seddon, Dan (July 19, 2019). "Area 51 details left out of Netflix's Bob Lazar documentary". Digital Spy. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  56. ^ a b Rodrick, Stephen (August 20, 2020). "Loving the Alien". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  57. ^ Knapp, George (May 22, 2019). "I-Team: UFO Fest means close encounters of a different kind". 8newsnow.com. KLAS-TV Las Vegas. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  58. ^ "Unusually Fanatical Observers". Los Angeles Times. February 4, 2003.
  59. ^ a b "Source In Channel 8'S UFO Series Pleads Guilty to Pandering Charge". Las Vegas Review-Journal. June 19, 1990. p. 8b.
  60. ^ a b "Judge Gives UFO 'Witness' Lazar Probation on pandering charge". Las Vegas Review-Journal. August 21, 1990. p. 2c.
  61. ^ "New Mexico Company Fined, Ordered To Stop Selling Illegal Fireworks Components". U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. July 20, 2007.
  62. ^ "US v. United Nuclear Scientific Supplies, et al". United States Department of Justice. 2006. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  63. ^ Neil Nixon (November 13, 2020). UFOs, Aliens and the Battle for the Truth: A Short History of Ufology. Oldcastle Books. pp. 46–47. ISBN 978-0-8573-0431-5.
  64. ^ "Alien Contact". Kirkus Reviews. May 20, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  65. ^ Bedford, Tom (December 11, 2018). "Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers: One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap To Conclusions". Film Inquiry. Retrieved May 23, 2022.


  • Lazar, Bob; Corbell, Jeremy (2018). Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers. The Orchard.
  • Lazar, Bob; Knapp, George (2019). Dreamland: An Autobiography. Interstellar.

External links