Sunday, May 31, 2009

Two Personal Milestones

On a visit to Area 51 with Agent Chameleon on May 27, I passed two personal milestones.

One is shown above. I saw my first rattlesnake in the Tikaboo Valley! I photographed this fellow just a few feet from Groom Lake Road about a mile before the border. Here's two more shots...

He was about 3-4 feet long and did us the honor of coiling and rattling when followed.

It's funny that for all the time I spent in this valley in the 1990s, I never saw a live rattler here. (I once saw a baby one at the north end of the Groom Range near Rachel and a dead one from the highway near Rachel. Also a huge one crossing the road near the HOLLYWOOD sign in Los Angeles.)

My other milestone may or may not be related to rattlesnakes: At Chameleon's urging, I stepped into the Little A'Le'Inn for the first time in 13 years. Here's the proof...
Those are the same anti-Clinton bumper stickers I remember during the 6 months I stayed at the inn in 1993.

Readers may recall that I got ejected from the inn by a drunken Joe Travis in the Summer of 1993, for reasons that were only in his mind. I then went to the other end of town and started my own Area 51 Research Center. Things could have been patched up between us years ago, but I decided that I liked the idea of being "Banned at the Little A'Le'Inn" and I passively kept the feud alive.

I was half expecting to be ejected from the Inn when I walked in this time, but Pat and Connie weren't around, so the opportunity never arose. I didn't recognize anyone there, and no one recognized me.

Walking into the Inn was a little like walking into a time capsule. I have been through many adventures in the past 13 years, but the Inn was almost unchanged. The bar had been moved, but most of the same displays were on the walls.

The most traumatic part of the experience was deciding what beer to order! In all of my life, I had hardly ever ordered a beer at a bar before. In consultation with Chameleon, I settled on a Bud Light. What I received for my order was a naked can stuck in front of me, after the bartender took it out of a cooler and pulled the tab for me. It took a while, but I drank the whole thing!

Talk about your alien experiences! I will never understand this "bar" concept.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's the 20-Year Anniversary of Lazar Story!

Believe it or not, this month marks the 20-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Bob Lazar flying-saucers-at-Area 51 story. It was in May (or April?) of 1989, that George Knapp first reported the claims of Bob Lazar on a local Las Vegas newscast. It is remarkable how little most things have changed. Knapp, for example, is still doing exactly the same thing, for the same TV station. Here is his report yesterday on the 20-year anniversary....

(Or perhaps better named: "Area 51: 20 Years of Ratings Sweeps".)

If you did a "where are they now" retrospective, you'd see a lot of guys getting older and grumpier but otherwise not changing much.

(I like to think Psychospy is the exception to the rule and has stayed dynamic, but for the record he wasn't actually around in 1989, arriving only in late 1992.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

George Knapp on Area 51

It must be sweeps month, because George Knapp has a new Area 51 report out...

I didn't actually watch it, since my bandwidth doesn't support video (thank God!), but the text offers nothing new.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Groom Lake Story Declassified?

A correspondent has sent me this blurb from the website of Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)...
Tuesday 2 June 2009, 6 p.m. - Nellis AFB, NV - The AFIO Las Vegas Chapter event features: The Development, Testing, and Operation of the U-2 and A-12 High Altitude Reconnaissance Programs at Nevada’s Groom Lake

AFIO BulletMembers of the Roadrunners Internationale will speak about the recently declassified CIA U-2 program at Taiwan; U-2 Project Aquatone at Groom Lake; the CIA A-12 Project Oxcart (which was the recently declassified CIA plane preceding the more commonly known Air Force SR-71) at Groom Lake and its operational phase; and Operation Black Shield at Kadena, Okinawa. Their presentation will include a short video of the first flights of the U-2 and A-12 at Groom Lake, a PowerPoint presentation about the aircraft, and a large photo display of the aircraft test, evaluation, and operations. They will also recount their CIA recruitment, cover stories, living and working at Groom Lake, and the excitement of foreign missions. Their story was declassified a little over a year ago at the CIA’s 60th Anniversary. Location: Nellis Air Force Base Officers’ Club.
That's kind of interesting. It suggests that some people who worked at Area 51 (at least in the 1950s and 60s) can actually talk about it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

New Interview With Glenn Campbell

Here is a new podcast interview I did with Errol Bruce-Knapp two days ago (May 2, 2009) here in Toronto. I was visiting Errol's secret lair (shown above, wearing his "No. 6" jacket) when he sat me down to talk about my involvement with Area 51 in the 1990s. It was very impromptu. The original interview was about 45 minutes, edited down to 30 minutes in this .mp3 file...

I haven't actually listened to this recording myself because I was there! I recall talking about how I got involved with Area 51, the Bob Lazar story, the Bill Uhouse story and my general philosophy on UFOs.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bob Lazar: True or False?

Someone has sent me a link to yet another article I wrote about Bob Lazar. (In addition to the one in the previous post.) This is pretty freaky, because I don't even remember writing this one, but lexical analysis certainly indicates I'm the culprit. I have no idea where it was originally published, but it is dated in 2002, eight years after the previous one. Since it's apparently my own work, I guess I'm authorized to reproduce the whole article here...

Bob Lazar: True or False?

By Glenn Campbell

I am happily retired from the Area 51 field and am currently enjoying a blissfully UFO-free lifestyle, but one issue won't leave me alone: People keep asking me about Bob Lazar. True or False: Did he work with flying saucers at "Area S-4"?

I adore ambiguity, and I really hate being pinned down like this. I mean, what is truth anyway? My idle-handed colleagues and I have been researching Lazar's claims since 1992, but I wasn't there when Lazar first made those claims, and no one can visit the secure military areas where Lazar's experiences supposedly took place. Who am I to declare what is and is not reality?

Still the inquiries keep coming, especially after Lazar's recent reappearance on Art Bell (June 6, 2002), where he announced yet another movie deal. The only way to efficiently deal with my questioners is to come up with a crude one-word answer.

Unfortunately, that answer is False.

I don't mean this as an insult to Mr. Lazar. He's an incredibly creative and intelligent guy. I also don't mean to denigrate Lazar's many supporters. One thing I learned while studying Area 51 is that you don't mess with people's religion. Lazar, I believe, has a right to make his claims, and people have a right to believe him. Lazar's flying saucers have become part of Nevada's identity, and probably even my own. I mean "False" only in a rather mundane factual sense.

Lazar did not work with flying saucers in an underground hangar near Papoose Lake. He made the story up. Furthermore, he made it up by himself, without the help of any nefarious agency and probably without any deep motivation other than the pleasure of attracting attention and putting people on.

The story evolved out of a long heritage of pre-existing underground alien base claims, which eventually infected the pilot and conspiracy theorist John Lear. Lear announced, in electronic bulletin board posts in the 1980s, that gray aliens were eating humans in deep underground facilities at Area 51. Lazar met Lear, heard his ramblings, and decided to give Lear what he wanted. Lazar took Lear's paranoid delusions and repackaged them in a much more intelligent and internally consistent rendition. Initially, Lear was the only audience, but he tipped off a Las Vegas TV station, and the frenzy began. The story soon spun out of Lazar's control, and, at least until the recent Art Bell appearance, Lazar seemed to sincerely want it to go away.

Lazar's limited knowledge of Area 51 came from secondhand sources, which are plentiful in Las Vegas. Lazar has never been to Area 51. His "S-4" is a relocated and reconfigured version of "Site 4", a real Top Secret radar testing facility west of Area 51. Lazar's saucers and their propulsion system seem plausible to anyone without a physics degree. They were constructed, in Lazar's head, with the same fastidious care that he has lavished on his real-life fireworks, jet cars and other mechanical projects. "Element 115" and its peculiar periodic neighbors were discussed in an article in Scientific American just before Lazar used it to fuel his craft. Lazar has always displayed an exceptional respect for detail and consistency, and he has an extraordinary ability to focus his attention on whatever his current project is, to the exclusion of everything else. His only deficiencies are moral (that is, if you consider lies and the exploitation of others to be somehow 'wrong').

A good model for how Lazar operates is found in the forger Mark Hoffman, now in prison for murder.

While forging Mormon documents, Hoffman built a detailed web of lies that still leaves researchers in awe. Hoffman's forgeries were internally consistent and perfect in every detail, and they meshed seamlessly with the world of existing documents, many of which he also created. His trance-like ability to focus his attention was so highly developed that he easily fooled polygraph tests.

Lazar is in the same league, having convinced a hypnotherapist of his truthfulness and earned at least an "inconclusive" polygraph report. Lazar might be even more clever than Hoffman, because he hasn't significantly broken the law, and he strictly limits his claims to his original story.

You can ask me for proof for my Lazar position, but I'm not going to play the game anymore. The Lazar documentation on the internet is already massive, and the heated debates about one detail or another of Lazar's claims have been going on for over a decade. It is senseless to harp on his false educational credentials, enhanced employment claims or pandering conviction.

Those who believe in Lazar are going to continue believing, and those who don't will only say, "I told you so." The funny thing about oral traditions like this is that they continue to live and propagate regardless of the evidence and far beyond their original source. They spawn new stories, like the similar UFO claims of Bill Uhouse, aka "Jarod 2" (which is another fascinating personal journey). Lazar's story has grown much bigger than Lazar himself, and no one will ever be able to follow all of its threads.

Answering "False" still rubs me the wrong way. I distain finality, and I certainly don't want to attract the attention Lazar's rabid supporters. Instead, I would rather state things in relative terms: Lazar's claims _could_ be true, like the boy crying wolf who eventually encounters a real one, but given the known lies and lack of new information, the joy of exploring the story has dwindled. Life is full of more interesting mysteries.

Glenn Campbell
June 2002