UFO Buffs Swoop Down on Rachel to Talk Aliens
(Reno Gazette-Journal May 9, 1993)
RACHEL – In a tent full of flying saucerphiles, a startling announcement suddenly emanates from the doorway: “There’s something in the sky!’
The reaction is instantaneous. Telling UFO buffs there’s something is like shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
The saucer believers stampede outside into the sunny desert, scanning the heavens for an alien craft. Some see it, some don’t.
Finally, a beefy guy with a flowing beard zeroes in on the other-worldly object through a pair of high-powered binoculars: “It’s a… it’s a… it’s a Mickey Mouse balloon.”
Heads drop and hearts sink. Another false alarm at “The Ultimate UFO Seminar,” held last weekend in this tiny southern Nevada town, site of a rash of weird aerial phenomena and even weirder stuff on the ground.
“Please don’t make fun of us,” pleads a 31-year-old woman at the start of the conference. “We’re taking a serious, scientific approach to this.”
Then, after begging anonymity, she confides that short, gray aliens regularly abduct her and once stole her ovum to breed a “hybrid child.” She knows this because the space creatures showed her the half-human, half-alien youngster when it was 5 years old.
She also says that unmarked black helicopters sometimes follow her around her Southern California home.
Remarkably, as the two-day seminar progresses, her tale actually becomes hard to dismiss. It turns out to be one of the sanest stories told.
Other “UFOlogists” link aliens with Adolf Hitler, the JFK assassination and AIDS. They talk about mysterious cattle mutilations and secret tunnels connecting Nevada to San Diego and New York. And they insist that creatures from the Zeta Reticuli star system are conspiring with humans to form a one-world government.
Their proof is a combination of mainstream media accounts (a 1958 New York Times article about UFOs buzzing Washington, D.C.: a CNN segment on close encounters with American military personnel), eyewitness testimony and wild conjecture.
John Lear, airline pilot and disinherited son on the Learjet family, is the first speaker. Among his revelations (for the handful of folks who don’t read International UFO Reporter or the Weekly World News): The military has been hiding alien spacecraft at the nearby Air Force training range since 1947, and President Eisenhower lied about going to the Dentist in 1954.
Ike was actually striking a deal at the first alien-Earthling summit: The extraterrestrials handed over a few saucers and we relinquished “grazing rights,” allowing aliens the freedom to periodically abduct and experiment on humans and cattle.
When President Kennedy later threatened to expose the accord, he was, of course, assassinated. The gunman, according to Lear’s analysis of the Zapruder film, was Kennedy’s limousine driver.
After JFK, presidents have been told only that, yes, the military is working with aliens in Nevada, “but that’s all you need to know.”
One of the most surprising skeptics, however, turns out to be the conference’s keynote speaker, the reclusive Bob Lazar. According to UFO lore, Lazar is a physicist who worked at the Nellis range in 1988, where he saw nine alien saucers in secret hangars and worked on duplicating their engine systems. He was also granted clearance to read documents about extraterrestrial activity in the United States and allowed to watch on spacecraft fly.
In 1989, he went public with the story on a Las Vegas television news broadcast and indirectly launched the flying-saucer frenzy at Rachel. For his trouble, government thugs reportedly shot at him and erased all records of his stints at CalTech, MIT, and Nellis.
Authorities also arrested him for aiding and abetting a prostitution ring, a charge that was later reduced to felony pandering – to which he admitted guilt.
A UFO prophet
Nevertheless, in some UFO circles, Lazar is practically Jesus in the Flesh.
When his silver Corvette rumbles into the conference parking lot Saturday, saucer believers literally sprint to meet him. Cameras flash and tape recorders whir as he steps into the Little A’Le’Inn for a glass of white wine.
Yet, Lazar spends most of the afternoon debunking his disciples’ theories. When someone asks about a UFO video shot from the space shuttle. Lazar insists that the “flying saucers” were dust particles blown across the camera lens by a rocket thruster.
And when another mentions alien abductions, underground tunnels and one-world government conspiracies, he dismisses the tales as “borderline insanity.”
It might sound refreshingly scientific if Lazar weren’t responsible for the wildest tale of all. In 1979, he says, a military Special Forces officer inadvertently violated intergalactic etiquette by carrying a gun into a classroom occupied by several aliens and 44 U.S. scientists.
When the aliens understandably killed the officer for his bad manners, other Special Forces personnel – watching the incident on a video monitor – stormed the classroom. Alas, they, too, were liquidated. And, for good measure, so were the 44 scientists.
Fortunately, the government didn’t have to explain this tragedy to the public: It had wisely hired scientists who were orphans or had few family ties.
Some skeptics are more open to concept of extraterrestrials, but favor a cautious, scientific approach. yet, it seems even the most rational in this group can still come off a bit out of orbit.