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Revisiting Area 51

Date Sunday - November 23, 2014
Host George Knapp
Guests Bob LazarGene Huff

George Knapp welcomed legendary Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar and screenwriter Gene Huff for a discussion on the 25th anniversary of the infamous November 1989 segment on Las Vegas TV station KLAS which revealed the existence of the clandestine military base. According to Lazar, the decision to tell people about Area 51 was primarily a matter of self-preservation rather than for altruistic reasons. He explained that, at the time, he had fallen out of favor with his superiors, his security clearances were in jeopardy, and he had stopped being brought to Area 51 for work. In turn, he began to fear that he would be killed in order to maintain the secrecy surrounding UFOs at the base. As such, Lazar began telling friends about Area 51 and showed them UFO test flights taking place there so that, should he mysteriously disappear, they would know why.

Regarding theories that Lazar's revelations about Area 51 were part of a CIA disinformation plot, he joked that "if that was the case, I'm owed an awful lot of back pay" and declared that he'd "never participate in something like that." Huff observed that such a plan seems highly illogical because it would make no sense for the government to suggest that America possessed alien technology as a means of hiding secrets that would be much less significant than that. Moreover, the duo noted that, if that was the plan, it was a massive failure because Lazar's story led to Area 51 drawing global attention and even caused the USSR to divert its spy satellites in an attempt to observe the location after the story went public.

"Even to this day, I still question whether or not it was a good idea to release the information," Lazar reflected on his decision to talk about Area 51 and the aftermath of his revelations. To that end, he lamented being seen as "Bob the UFO guy" in his professional life and explained that this stigma is one reason why he has eschewed the ufological community in the ensuing years since the story first became worldwide news. "At this time in my life, I'd really prefer people don't believe it," he said about critics who dispute his story, "because the last thing I want is somebody to verify everything I've been saying and deal with the deluge of people and problems that would be associated with that." Ultimately, he mused, "I really don't want this to go any further. It's been a big enough headache."

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George Knapp shares a number of news items to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Bob Lazar's Area 51 revelations, including his original 1989 KLAS news segment which introduced Area 51 to the world...

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