How Bob Lazar's Story Changed George Knapp's Thoughts on UFOs

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George Knapp

2 appearances

George Knapp is an investigative reporter, weekend host of Coast to Coast AM, and author. http://www.extraordinarybeliefs.com/ http://www.8newsnow.com/author/george-knapp/

Jeremy Corbell

5 appearances

Jeremy Corbell is an investigative filmmaker, UFOlogist, artist, and author.

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Transcript

Uh, Georgia, I think that you're probably like one of the most important figures when it comes to journalism and UFOs. And when you broke the Bogg-Blazar story, was that, is that 89? When was that? 1989. 1989. 1989, um, I remember reading about it. I remember hearing about it. I remember watching clips on television and watching countless Bogg-Blazar interviews. It all came out of you. And did you think at that time, what was your thoughts about UFOs before you had met Bogg-Blazar? And how much did it change while you got to know him and hear his story? It changed quite a bit. I had not really given it much thought at all. You know, probably the same level of curiosity as most people. You go about your life, you pay your bills, you go to work, you love your family, and it's always out there somewhere. Hey, I wonder what the deal is on that. But not, had not really dwelled on it until it was a day in 1987, into the studio comes a guy named John Lear. And I had heard sort of a little bit about him. His family was famous. His dad developed the Learjet, the eight-track tape. John had run for the state senate, and he had a certain amount of credibility with our news organization, KLA STB, because he had helped us break a really big story. And the story was the stealth fighter, the F-117. He had told my boss, Ned Day, managing editor, about this amazing plane that was invisible to radar flying up in Tonopah in Area 51. We had an interest in Area 51, not UFO-related, but Ned broke that story. It went national. So John Lear comes into the station one day with a stack of what turned out to be UFO documents. He plops them on Ned's desk and says, Ned, this is going to be the next biggest story, the biggest story in history. It's a UFO cover-up. Aliens are here. Technology's been recovered. Ned takes a look at it and says, I'm not doing this story. If it was true, I'd already know about it. This is crazy. I'm eavesdropping, as I tend to do. I'm a curious person. So as he's going out, I said, Lear, let me take a look at this material. And I looked at it, and I thought, well, this is kind of interesting. At the time, I was producing and hosting this little public affairs show, 30-minute interview show. It would air a Sunday morning at 6 o'clock. Nobody watches it. It would be interviewing a city councilman, a county commissioner. What the heck? I'll put Lear on there. And I let him go. And he told me this big scenario about secret treaties with aliens and recovered technology and a giant cover-up. Some of the information sounded outrageous. Some of it seemed like it would be worth checking out. Suddenly the phone starts ringing off the hook. I'm getting calls about people that, well, who was that guy? What was the deal on that UFO stuff? Is it real? I had him on again. Six months later, the response was bigger. I had him on a third time with a guy named Bill Cooper. I regret that. And he told him an even more elaborate conspiracy. He's the Behold the Pale Horse guy? Yes. Yeah, I read that book. And halfway through, I was like, what in the fuck is this? Yeah. He tied in the JFK assassination. Everything. Bases on the moon. Aliens are there right now. Yeah. He had the scenario where he had seen these documents when he was in the Navy, and he's going to tell the world about it, then he's going to go away. Well, every time he told the story, the documents got bigger and bigger. And anybody who criticized Bill Cooper became part of the secret government, including me. So we do this third show with Lear, and he hints that he knows a guy who might be going to work out at Area 51 and know something about alien technology. That guy turns out to be Bob Lazar, but Lear didn't give me the name at that time. A couple months later, I am anchoring the 5 o'clock news on KLAS. And we have a nightly or evening interview segment, five-minute segment, live interview. Our guest doesn't show up, and we're scrambling to find somebody to fill that hole. And I thought about Lear. So I called him up, not knowing what had been going on in Lazar's life or Lear's life. And I said, hey, is that UFO guy you told me about? Is he around? What do you do in an interview? Just turned out that Bob had been through the wringer. A lot of stuff going on in his life. He felt threatened. And he said yes. We had to black out his face. We do this interview, and he spills the basics of the story. I worked out there at a place called S4. I saw nine flying saucers in an underground base. This is technology that came from somewhere else. I'm in fear for my life. Holy cow. The phones start ringing off the hook. My news director comes rushing in, the station manager. Is that for real? What's the deal on that? And we realized we had touched the pulse of the public in a way that I didn't really understand. We arranged to go meet Bob Lazar, my news director, Bob Stolle, and I that following weekend, and put him through a paces where we would ask him questions about his background and how he got the job. We spent a couple hours with him, and we walked out of that meeting thinking, holy shit, what if this is true? This is really risky for us as journalists. It's risky for our personal reputations, if it blows up in our faces, and we do this story. And it would really damage the reputation of our news organization, which is KLS is a jewel. It's always been a leader in Las Vegas. One of the best TV news operations in the country. We're putting a lot on the line. Well, look, we decide, let's take our time. Let's look into this guy's story. And then in order to understand Lazar, we'd have to look at the bigger picture of UFOs. So I started a cram course on ufology, and I read everything. And I spent eight months cramming for a final exam that never happened. I read everything. I interviewed people. That same year, MUFON had its international symposium in Las Vegas. All the world's UFO people came right to me. I got to interview them, traveled around, went to Los Alamos. Lazar took us into the lab. We took cameras in there. He walked us around waving to people. We didn't even have to stop for security. Took us into the lab like it was a rabbit going through its own burrow. He knew his way around. We were allowed to take a camera in there. We put those stories together, put them on the air in November, and man, it just went through the roof. Every night of this nine-part series, the audience got bigger, phones ringing off the hook, people calling, giving us information. Suddenly it's on something called ParaNet, which was sort of a precursor to the internet. And it was huge. And it changed my life, for sure. I had no idea that there were so many people out there interested in the topic, and I was hooked. I really got hooked on Lazar, not only because his story—personally, I was interested in him. We became friends. I saw what happened to him after that live interview in the seven and a half months before we went and I revealed his identity. People were really messing with him. You cannot convey what it was like, how weird it was then. Breaking into his house, leaving the windows open, messing with things in his home, breaking into his car, leaving the doors and windows down, just messing with his head. And you think that was the government that was doing that? Yeah, I do. I think so. And then—so I had put out a call to people, hey, I want other people to come forward. This is before his identity was revealed, which you should explain. I am actively seeking information from the public. If you ever worked at Area 51 or S4, you know anything about this, you're at Nellis Airforce Base, reach out to me. So I started getting calls. And six people right in a row who had talked to me on the phone and offered to give me information were visited right after the call. One of them was a guy who did tax returns for people at Nellis Airforce Base. And he got to know these guys really well and got information about crashes. There was a guy who was a golf pro at Nellis who had gone on road trips with officers and told him about this weird stuff out at Area 51 that seemed to be from somewhere else. He gets visited and told to shut up. There was a lady who worked in the court system. A cop told me about her. And I talked to her on the phone. And she had worked at the court system. But before, she had worked for a company called Holmes and Narver, which is a defense contractor. And she said she sat in as a stenographer in these meetings and heard these conversations between the government contractors and Airforce officials about crash saucers. After the meeting, they took the tape out of the typewriter and destroyed it and took all the notes. And she agreed to tell me this story. It was just a tiny piece of the story. The next day, she's visited by these two guys in suit. They tell her, look, you are still subject to your security clearance. I hope you know that. And then they said, we know you traveled to LA to see your daughter. And we know she comes here. It's a big desert out there. It'd be terrible if something happened to either one of you. This lady is scared shitless. She didn't make that stuff up. So six people who had offered to give me information on the phone, one right after another, get visited. And it made me mad. It also made me mad that dealing with trying to fill in pieces of Bob Lazar's life. I know there's some gaping holes. I know it better than anybody. I've had to deal with it for 31 years. But I always thought if he worked at Los Alamos in classified projects in a scientific or technical capacity, then it would make sense that he could get hired into a program like S4 as somebody who thinks outside the box. Despite personal shortcomings or whatever, they might bring somebody like him in to help them crack a problem that they hadn't been able to resolve themselves. So I focused on Los Alamos. I knew he had been there. I talked to people who remembered him from being there. But the lab kept telling me, no, no record of him. He's never here. And then I showed him, well, look, I've got the Los Alamos newspaper. It's a small-town paper. There it is on the front page, a front-page story. Bob Lazar, physicist, mason facility, Los Alamos lab. It's a story about his jet car. No, still have no records of him. And then I found his name in the phone book from the arrow when he was there. He's in the lab phone book. He had been hired by a company called Kirkmeyer, which is a company that's a headhunter that fills positions at Los Alamos and places like that. So great. I'll reach out to Kirkmeyer. They said, yeah, we hired him. Yeah, we've got records. Can I get it? Can I get his employment records that would show where he went to school, whatever information you guys had? Yes. A couple of weeks go by, nothing. A couple more weeks go by, I call him again. I start writing him. I've got a stack of letters that thick. It went on for two and a half years. And finally, by the end of it, they said he was never here. We don't have any records. That pissed me off. It made me mad. And I think that that is really what got me hooked in the story, is that I was being jacked around by government and national facilities like that. We should explain the Los Alamos thing, because the Los Alamos thing coincided with him doing work at MIT, right? Is that correct? That's how he's explained it to me. And the way he explained it to me, I don't think I'm at liberty to say what the project was, because the project, the way he was describing it, is essentially internationally illegal, like what they were working on. That's one of the reasons why he was saying, he explained what the project was. It sounded very feasible, also very evil. And then it was basically a weapon. And then he said that this was the reason why there was no actual record of him studying at MIT. It wasn't important that he got a degree. It was important that he understand the technical specifications of what they were attempting to accomplish. That's my understanding as well. It's always been the most problematic part of his background. And it's where a lot of people in the Bob Lazar story, that's where they stop. But the thing is, when you listen to him talk, and when he describes things, it's very clear he's educated. Oh, he's a brilliant guy. But I had always told him, Bob, you're my friend. I want to have a conversation with you about these claimed degrees, because I didn't believe that he'd ever sat down. In those days, you go to a college like MIT or Caltech and get a degree, you've got to take classes in something other than science. I could not imagine Bob Lazar taking an English Lit class to save his life. But he is a brilliant guy. I'll give you an example. In April, COVID thing is raging. My wife and I are staying at home. We're getting packages delivered for food and things of that sort. I'm a little worried. They didn't know about contact, whether you can get it off of cardboard boxes or whatever. And I mentioned to Bob in a phone conversation, I'm thinking about buying one of these UV screener systems. He goes, wait a second. Don't buy one. I think I've got the parts that I can make you one in my garage. And a week later, it arrives. This thing, he's got it in his garage handmade this big scanner with these UV things that don't work. So he just whipped it up in his garage. I'll remind you, you got the scanner. I got a laser gun. You got a laser gun? I did, man. It is super powerful. So it's like a handheld toy that he retrofitted with a superpower. So I'm like lighting shit on fire in my house. So it looks like a handheld toy, but it's actually a real laser. It's a toy with full noise, but he put a diode in there and it's super powerful. Like it can light shit on fire. My wife hates that shit. So I got the laser gun. You also got the flamethrower though. Lazar made a flamethrower. This is before your buddy Elon made flamethrowers. No comment on that. Yeah, well, it's a massive one. He made a flamethrower. Massive. Yeah, he's obviously a very intelligent man. When you listen to him talk, there's no bullshitting going on. When he talks about undeniable concrete things when it comes to science, when it comes to elements, when it comes to propulsion systems, he clearly knows what he's talking about. And the really confusing thing for people that are detractors is he really hasn't changed his story in 31 years. It really is the same story. And that's really hard to do.