Bob Lazar: Dreamland (Book Review)

I doubt that many readers of this blog are interested in my fascination with UFOs and aliens. I’m not a true believer in UFOs, in fact I’m highly skeptical of most UFO claims. And yet I think the UFO phenomenon is intriguing. It may indicate that the world we live in isn’t at all what we think it is, which is certainly related with the Zen outlook. The fact that most attempts at explaining UFOs fail is interesting to me because, as far as I’m concerned, most attempts at explaining the universe that we’re living in also fail. In that sense, maybe there’s something we can learn about the Buddhist outlook on things by examining the mystery of UFOs. 

In any case, I find Bob Lazar’s story continuously fascinating. Bob Lazar claims that in the late 1980s he was hired by the US government to work on a team that was trying to reverse engineer the propulsion system of an alien spacecraft. 

The main sources for the story of Bob Lazar and his work at Area 51 and Area S-4 are the film Bob Lazar, Area 51, and Flying Saucers directed by Jeremy Corbell (available on Netflix), the long interview Lazar did on the Joe Rogan podcast (available on YouTube), a VHS tape put out in 1991 called The Bob Lazar Tape (on YouTube it’s listed as: The Lazar Tape From “The Government Bible” – 1991), Lazar’s interviews with George Knapp on KLAS-TV Las Vegas, and now a new book written by Lazar called Dreamland. I bought this book expecting it to be the definitive and complete telling of the Bob Lazar story straight from the source. It’s often pointed out that Lazar’s story has remained consistent since he first told it in 1989. But there is a lot missing from this book.

The following is a list of elements of Bob Lazar’s story of his work at Area 51 and Area S-4 that are not included in the book but appear elsewhere:

In other sources, Bob Lazar claims to hold degrees from MIT and Caltech. While he mentions MIT in the book, he never says he has a degree from there. Caltech is not mentioned at all.

In other sources, Lazar said that the alien vehicles he saw at Area S-4 were of various kinds including one shaped like a Jell-o mold. In the book, it seems as if the vehicles are of different sizes but are otherwise identical.

In other sources, he said that one of the alien craft appeared to be damaged, as if it had been hit by a missile. He never says anything in the book about visible damage to the vehicles, although he does say he saw nine of them just as he does in other sources.

In other sources he mentioned that at least one, if not more, of the alien vehicles had been found in an archeological dig.

In other sources, he said that all of the alien vehicles were marked with the number 41 that was printed inside of a circle.

In other sources, he said he saw one of the alien vehicles demonstrated in flight, just as he does in the book. But in other sources, he says that when the vehicle was in the air it was invisible when looked at from directly underneath it, due to the way the gravity-based propulsion bent light.

In other sources, he said that the interior of the alien craft contained archways that could become transparent. He said that when these archways were transparent, writing of a form he had never seen before would appear where the archways had previously been.

In other sources, Lazar said he had seen some workers at S-4 conversing with a small being who, Lazar said, may have been an alien. Lazar also said that he could not be certain that this actually was an alien.

In other sources, he said that workers at S-4 referred to the aliens as “the kids.” In the book he never says this or, in fact, mentions having conversations with anyone at S-4 other than his boss Dennis Mariani and his partner Barry.

In other sources, he said that the aliens were from the fourth planet of the Zeta Reticuli system and that this planet had a day that was approximately 90 hours long. He said that the documents he read at S-4 referred to the alien’s world as Zeta Reticuli 4 and referred to Earth as Sol 3. He said the aliens had gray skin, large eyes, were between three and five feet tall, and weighed between 25 and 50 pounds. In the book he mentions the aliens being from Zeta Reticuli, and says the chairs in the vehicle were tiny, but none of this other information is included.

In other sources, he said that the aliens had been involved in adjusting human evolution over a period of many millennia. He said there had been 65 of these adjustments.

In other sources, he said that he had seen photographs of events on Earth taken by the aliens over a period of 10,000 years.

In other sources, Lazar said that the aliens referred to human beings as “containers,” but that he did not know what we humans were containers for.

In other sources, he said that the aliens had some kind of weapon that could anesthetize humans at a distance.

In other sources, he said that materials he read contained six-digit date codes that began with the number 1623, but that he did not know the meaning of these codes.

In other sources, Lazar mentioned that there were three different projects going on at S-4. Lazar said he was involved in a reverse-engineering project called Project Galileo. He said there was also a Project Sidekick that was involved in developing a particle beam weapon, and a Project Looking Glass that was involved in seeing back through time.

In other sources, he said that there had been cooperative contact and information exchange between aliens and Earth people until 1979. This exchange was broken off when some sort of conflict occurred, although the aliens were supposed to return at a certain unspecified date in the future.

In other sources, he said that in May of 1987, workers at S-4 had taken the alien propulsion unit to an underground nuclear testing facility along with an antimatter reactor and had attempted to cut into the propulsion unit while it was operating. This resulted in a massive explosion that was explained away to the public as an unannounced underground nuclear test. This event is hinted at in the book, but no details are given.

And finally, there is no mention in the book of element 115, which Lazar said in interviews and videos was the power source for the alien vehicles. In 1989, when Lazar began telling this story, element 115 on the Periodic Table of elements was thought to be possible in theory but had never been discovered. He has said elsewhere that the government possesses 500 pounds of element 115. Yet he says nothing about it in the book. 

What remains in the book of the story that Bob Lazar has told since 1989 is consistent with the other sources I have seen, but why is so much missing? Did he think this material made his story too unbelievable? Has he changed his mind and decided that this stuff didn’t happen or was not relevant? Was this material removed from the book by his editors? Is he saving it for another book? Is there some other reason that I can’t think of?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I recommend it to others interested in UFOs and other such phenomena. But there are some serious editing problems. The most glaring to me was when Zeta Reticuli was described as being 37 million light-years from Earth, when it’s actually 37 light-years away. I have to assume that’s an editing problem. In other sources, Lazar gets the distance right. Other editing mistakes abound, but they’re not as serious or as potentially damaging to his credibility as that one. Still, even though there are editing errors, they’re not so bad that they make the book difficult to read.

I do not know if Bob Lazar is a hoaxer, a disinformation agent, or if he really did experience the things he said he experienced. If he’s pulling a hoax, he’s certainly going about it in a weird way. Although I’m sure he’s made some money from his story, he could have been making a whole lot more over the years. He never went on the UFO lecture circuit, and he could have written a lot of books during the past thirty years instead of waiting this long. So I tend to doubt it’s a hoax. I’m also reluctant to believe that Lazar is an agent of deliberate disinformation because he does seem sincere. Although I suppose a good disinformation agent would appear that way.

Maybe the US government really is in possession of alien technology. It’s not outside the realm of possibility. Yet I really doubt they do. Or maybe Lazar himself is the victim of a hoax perpetrated by the US government or by someone else — perhaps aliens or some other sort of intelligent nonhuman entities. I don’t consider it impossible that nonhuman intelligences exist, in fact I’m sure they do. Maybe they interact with people. I tend to doubt that, but I wouldn’t say it’s completely unbelievable.

That’s the explanation I’m most inclined to accept. Although I’m much more inclined to believe that people have messed with Bob Lazar than that it’s the work of intelligent nonhuman beings. 

As I read this book I kept wondering what exactly Lazar did when he was working at S-4. He never really says. He seems to report to work, be shown some very odd things, and then… Well, he doesn’t say what he and his partner Barry did with this information. He doesn’t describe many experiments they conducted or other research they put into it. The stories he tells in his book about his work at S-4 have a strange, almost dreamlike quality. He’s very busy when he’s there, but what exactly is he doing? He also seems to go to Area S-4 almost always overnight, which adds another dreamlike quality to those stories. Was he, perhaps, being hypnotized during these visits or having his mind messed with in other ways?

As I said earlier, he doesn’t even mention element 115 at all. This is the only thing specific I’ve ever heard him claim to have discovered about the supposedly alien propulsion system he studied. Maybe he chose not to include any mention of element 115 because that element has recently been discovered and it does not behave in the way Lazar claimed the material he handled behaved. It decays rapidly. Even 500 pounds of element 115 would only remain intact for a few seconds before decaying away.

If I were in Lazar’s position I might have mentioned element 115 and speculated that perhaps the aliens from Zeta Reticuli are so advanced that they have some way of maintaining element 115 in a stable state over long periods of time. If they’re millions of years beyond us technologically, perhaps they can do things that seem utterly impossible to our best scientific minds. In any case, he’s mentioned element 115 so often elsewhere that it seems bizarre to omit it from the book.

Again, this was a fun book to read and I don’t regret purchasing it. It’s just that I really wonder why so much of the story is missing from what should have been the complete and definitive account.

As for its believability, you can enjoy it the way I did, as a good and thoroughly weird story, rather than believing or disbelieving. 

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