Dec 01, 2018 I Robbie Graham

‘Bob Lazar’ Film Presents the Man Behind the Myth of Area 51: Exclusive Interview with Director

The reason you know about Area 51 is because Bob Lazar came forward and told you about it. When Lazar blew the whistle on what he'd seen at the then-unheard-of top secret facility in the Nevada desert back in the late-1980s, his world was turned upside-down. For this reason, he has never let any filmmaker into the private world of his daily life... until now. In Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers, investigative filmmaker Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell paints an intimate portrait of a man who has experienced worldwide fame and notoriety, but who has always been something of an enigma. In this -- his only long-form written interview about his film -- Corbell discusses truth, lies, belief, disinformation, aliens, and the human being at the centre of one of the biggest controversies in UFO history...


RG: How long did your film take to produce, from concept to completion, and how much time did you spend in Lazar’s company? 

JKLC: There’s footage in my film that I shot back to 2012—an interview I did with George Knapp about the epic story of Bob Lazar. However, at that time I did not have even a single communication with Bob. But I was working on developing the story, primarily in the hope that one day I could understand the truth about the situation. Ultimately, that’s what my film is about. It’s an attempt to understand the truth. I think all my films take the viewer on a journey towards better understanding. Documentaries aren’t scripted, they’re inherently about discovery and the little miracles that happen in-between what you think is going to happen. That’s why I choose to make them; they lead you to landscapes previously unknown.

The OTHER way to answer that question is: two years. Meaning, that’s when I finally got the semi-approval from Bob to spend time filming with him. I would go for a week at a time and just live with him in his daily life. There always seemed to be a camera running and he was completely open with me - nothing was off limits. For the first time—thanks to my film—you will get a feel for WHO Bob Lazar actually is.

RG: What can audiences expect from your film?

JKLC: I create cinema in the auteur style—meaning I’m independent, and have FANATICAL control over every frame. As an investigative filmmaker, the people I work with know—I will EXPOSE you if you’re lying. So I had two goals as a filmmaker embarking on this project. First was to understand the truth about the Bob Lazar story. Second was simply to uplift the visual medium of documentary filmmaking on this complex subject; to elevate the medium for the audience in a meaningful way. I have succeeded with both goals.

One thing this film does that is powerful is it speaks to both the hardcore LORE of LAZAR fanatics, providing important and new information; it also appeals to the two generations of those who are NOT into UFOs and who have never heard the Bob Lazar story. Let’s not forget, there are at least two generations of people who were not even born in 1989 when Bob Lazar first went on-air with his account through George Knapp on KLAS in Las Vegas. This film will be the medicine that‘s needed to permanently alter the topography of the conversation when it comes to Bob Lazar.

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Area 51 from above (with CG facsimile of Lazar's "sport model" flying saucer.

I’m also proud to say that I landed Oscar Nominated Actor Mickey Rourke  as the narrator for the film. This is important in many ways. He has an incredible voice, and the fact he did me the favor of participating in my film… epic. I wrote the narration script for Mickey, I had him in mind all along, I just had no idea if he would be willing to do it. But Micky is and always has been a trailblazer and a rebel. Kinda like Lazar really.

RG: What is your personal take on Lazar’s story? Has he told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Or has he told the truth only as he perceives it? In other words, could Lazar have been used a disinformation tool? If so, by whom and to what end?

JKLC: It doesn’t matter what I personally think. My beliefs don’t directly help you. You need to form your own opinions on the veracity of Bob Lazar’s claims to draw conclusions for yourself; or your opinions and beliefs will never be solid and foundational enough to act from. People don’t wanna hear it, but if you don’t decide for yourself on reality, someone else will decide if for you.

The core of a question like yours is really asking: is Bob Lazar a liar or is he honest? Is he worthy of our trust? Can we believe him? It dawned on me early on that the polarizing effect that Lazar’s story has on people stems from the fact that you sense he might be telling the truth, exactly like it happened. That’s certainly what the results of the polygraph tests—that George Knapp had Lazar do—proved. That he was remembering events, not fabricating them. I think the possibility that Lazar is telling the truth is an absolutely disturbing revelation. Clearly it’s much easier to NOT believe Bob Lazar; to dehumanize and dismiss him as a liar. However the evidence weighs in his favor that he’s telling it like it happened. The evidence shows a much different story than what you will read on the internet and from the vocal minority of his angry detractors. The true story appears to be that of a man who reluctantly came forward to save his own skin. A man who has attempted to step out of the limelight and live a normal life. A man who has NEVER asked that you believe him—just that if you hear his story—that you use your critical thinking. A man who doesn’t really care if you believe him or not; as long as you have heard the real details—and not a fictionalized version or account filled with fake news by his critics.

As far as your question of if Lazar could have been fooled and could he have been used as a source of disinformation… the answers are NO and YES. No he could not have been fooled that what he saw an alien propulsion system—one that operates off of amplifying gravity waves and fueled by Element 115. He is clear that the material science alone that he was exposed to would be impossible for us to replicate—in 1989 or even a thousand years from now—we just aren’t that advanced and might not even have access to the natural resource necessary to replicate the system even if we had the know-how.

However, the answer is YES that SOME of what he was exposed to could have been an attempt to seed him with disinformation to be able to discredit him in the future. Or just to be able to track if he leaked anything. Even Lazar admits that. He was exposed to some wild assertions in the briefing documents he read while going through the security clearance process. Stuff that makes the Twilight Zone look like vanilla ice cream on a Sunday. Yet to his credit, from the beginning he has always said that he has no idea if what he read was true or not. He just read it. The things he read about, that’s different than the technology he physically and personally got to see, touch and dismantle. Bob Lazar himself has always drawn that line in the sand for you. He simply reported the news. However, we need to think that one through. If there was an attempt to get Lazar to leak information—then why would they have spent resources to shut him up in the first place? And they DID spend resources to do just that. He was being followed, his phones were tapped—and his known associates where also followed and monitored. They all describe it, and George Knapp had some dramatic instances as a journalist where witnesses were threatened because of it. So beyond a shadow of a doubt, somebody didn’t want Bob talking—that is certain. Point being that they (everybody involved and who had first hand experiences dealing with this), they all say it’s hard to understand if you didn’t live through it—and I would like to leave it at that. However I can’t. As you will see in my film, some dramatic events unfolded while I was making the movie.

RG: What new insight does your film present on Lazar? Can you give us an example?

JKLC: This film is NOT just a re-hashing of past events. There is new information provided to the audience. There is new testimony, and there is new evidence. Stuff that was only possible through the lens of thirty years. I’m excited to share that with the audience.

One thing I will reveal now—because ultimately he wouldn’t go on camera, however he said I could talk about it—Is that for thirty years Bob had claimed that a man named Mike Thigpen was one of the guys tasked with doing his security clearance. Now that’s a very specific name. George looked into it back when this first all unfolded, and there’s a hilarious story of what happened there – but the main thing to know is that this alleged investigator Mike Thigpen ghosted everybody. He was never found. That is, until now.

RG: Do you see any links or parallels between the Lazar story and what’s currently unfolding with Tom DeLonge and the recent Pentagon revelations?

JKLC: There is a connection to be made, but it’s rather simple. Bob Lazar reported a lot of things in 1989 that have proven to be true and accurate and leaves us scratching our head because we wanna remain skeptical of his story. But that seems to be more and more difficult as time goes on. However, the core of his claim is that in 1989 there was a UFO back-engineering program being run at a secret base in the desert, north of Las Vegas. We had been told that our government’s study of UFOs ended with Project Blue Book in 1969. That there was no government interest in the subject, and no active UFO programs since then. Then, in December of 2017, we have come to understand that that was a lie; and we have come to understand that we have at least ONE active UFO identification program. Just for the record, we have MULTIPLE active UFO programs—in each branch of the US Military—many of which are not reactionary, but pro-active UFO programs. But that’s a story for another time, and you will just have to take my statement for whatever you feel it’s worth.

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Lazar in his lab.

So, the connection or parallel that I see is the admission of a military UFO program such as AATIP--with implications that there are more--is that Lazar described a program to attempt and reverse-engineer UFO/Alien hardware and technology. Now that our DoD and government has admitted to the physical existence of AAVs (Advance Areal Vehicles) UFOs and the like—craft with extraordinary and far superior capabilities—and that they are not ours, or any nation of this world. So now we are left with the question of - what would be done if one of these vehicles came into our possession? What would we do if we had nine of them?

RG: There have been rumors over the years that, since Lazar came forward in the late-1980s, the alleged UFO projects at Area 51 (specifically, S4) have been moved to other top secret facilities around the United States, such as Dugway proving ground in Utah, for example. Do you have any information that might support this idea?

JKLC: I have private opinions on that.

RG: What does Lazar do today? Does he still have government/military connections?

JKLC: Bob Lazar runs a scientific equipment and supply business out of Michigan called, United Nuclear. It’s a Mom and Pop’s supply company that reminds me of if Willy Wonka was into atoms and particles rather than chocolate and candybars. It’s an amazing operation that sells all sorts of cool consumer-grade materials and products that you can’t find anywhere else—yet it also has a consulting and experimental component to it. Lazar regularly still gets contacts—both from private industry and government. And some of those project are right out of a science fiction movie.

So in essence, Bob likes to live a relatively normal and easy-going life. He has a great wife of 18 years, a wonderful animal kingdom at home (including a fish named Hannibal and a beautiful horse named The Dude), and most importantly he a small group of close friends and family that he can trust and just be—Bob—not Bob the reluctant UFO Messiah.

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Lazar at his place of business today, United Nuclear in Laingsburg, Michigan.

RG: To what extent has Lazar’s story impacted UFOlogy over the past 30 years?

JKLC: Find me a way his story has NOT impacted UFOlogy. Lazar’s story has created an entire UFO industry. He is the most recognized individual associated with UFOs on the planet, hands down. From tea shops in India to the Maasai Mara of central Africa and the streets of Hollywood California—Bob Lazar and his iconic coke-bottle glasses has become a world-wide zeitgeist. His story put Area 51 on the map. It solidified the classic “sport model” flying saucer as the go-to image of a UFO in popular culture. His story has built careers for people, on both sides of the argument. It has become an existential juggernaut in an enigma puzzle of cosmic implication.

The only person we’re forgetting here, the only person who all of this attention and fanfare has NOT been good for—has been Bob Lazar. But you don’t really get to understand that until you get to know Bob. UFOlogy has not been kind to Bob. All he did was tell his story and he was crucified for it. I hope my film can help show you his daily life. His character. His uniqueness. I feel that’s an important part to his story.

RG: What has been the impact of Lazar’s story beyond UFOlogy? What are its real-world implications?

JKLC: The real-world implications have yet to be fully realized. However I’m optimistic that one day we will see that version of reality.

RG: Tell us about the other projects you have in the pipeline, and what’s next for you after Bob Lazar?

JKLC: Look man, for the last three decades, Bob Lazar’s critics have been holding the mic. It’s time to take the mic back. And that’s exactly what we’re gonna do—at the world premiere—on Dec 3rd in Los Angeles. And then there will be a subsequent fire-storm of conversation that will emerge due to the new evidence and testimony on verifiably the most prominent and polarizing UFO story of all time. My plan after that is to fully commit my energy and resources to operation Sierra Lima Echo Echo Papa.

Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers has its world premiere on December 3rd, 2018 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Bob Lazar, George Knapp and Jeremy Corbell will be hosting the event and introducing the movie. Tickets available here. It will then be available on iTunes and Vimeo on Demand.

Robbie Graham

Robbie Graham has lectured around the world on the UFO subject and has been interviewed for the BBC, Coast to Coast AM, Canal+ TV, Channel 4, and Vanity Fair, among many others. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian, New Statesman, Filmfax, and Fortean Times. He holds first class degrees in Film, Television and Radio Studies (BA hons) and Cinema Studies (MA) from Staffordshire University and the University of Bristol respectively. He is the author of Silver Screen Saucers: Sorting Fact from Fantasy in Hollywood’s UFO Movies (White Crow Books, 2015) and the editor of UFOs: Reframing the Debate (White Crow Books, 2017). Visit

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