Sunday, July 08, 2012

An Identified Lying Object?

Tim Ventura has a close encounter with Bob Lazar

 As a bit of light relief I have been ferreting around on the internet for stories about the self-proclaimed Area 51 “UFO reverse engineer”, Bob Lazar. I came across this PDF article on American Anti-gravity written by Tim Ventura. It tells of Ventura’s contacts with Lazar. 

Tim Ventura of American Anti-gravity knows how to tell a good story; that’s not to imply that he is untruthful, but he has an aptitude for making humdrum experiences colorful and intriguing. (I have written about Tim and American Anti-Gravity before - see here and here). Ventura’s story on Lazar is no exception and for UFOlogists who want an insight into Bob Lazar's psyche it’s recommended reading.

Tim Ventura strikes me as a good natured, honest and trusting person who is more likely to think the best of people rather than the worst. Reading between the lines of Ventura's story it appears that these traits were exploited by Lazar in order to take Ventura for a ride. Ventura’s willingness to give Lazar the benefit of the doubt contrasts with UFOlogist and Physicist Stanton Friedman who thinks Lazar’s Area 51 story is bunk and refers to it as The Bob Lazar Fraud.

Ventura tells how, in a series of phone contacts with Lazar, he was offered employment on a top secret black project sponsored by the military. This project was, according to Lazar, developing new propulsion systems based on Ventura’s area of expertise – namely, high voltage lifters. Needless to say none of Lazar’s promises came to anything. At the time it seems that Ventura could have used a well-paid job, but the story Lazar was feeding Ventura eventually fizzled out inconclusively and Ventura’s hopes of a high status research job were dashed.

Tim Ventura's Garage Based Lifter Technology

The whole episode left Ventura with questions. But calling Lazar a plain liar seemed too simplistic and Ventura could not quite shake the feeling that maybe there was more to Lazar than just a clever yarn spinner. In fact it is very difficult to make rational sense of Lazar’s behaviour. As Ventura says: 

Why would Lazar orchestrate such an elaborate lie involving Lifters in 2003, and then ask me to keep the entire thing quiet? 

If Lazar is lying this leaves us with outstanding questions about just what motivates him to concoct and lead people on with florid tales. What is he after? Liars must be prepared to take risks, but is Lazar really so stupid as to think he can fool all of the people all of the time? Perhaps he is some kind of sociopath who gets kicks out of the sense of control that his attempts to manipulate people bring him. Or perhaps he basks in the temporary feel-good factor and social kudos of tall tales about working with high ranking military officials and scientists on secret projects. Or may be Lazar lives in a fantasy world and believes the stories he tells. 

Bob Lazar appears to know a thing or two.....

.....or at least that's what Tim Ventura thought.

What baited Ventura in the first instance was an unsolicited call from Lazar asking if Ventura might be interested in a joining a top secret project. This unprompted and proactive act by Lazar left Ventura unable to quite write off Lazar as a plain liar:

Why would he spontaneously call me on the spur of the moment to fabricate a lie about a breakthrough in Lifter technology? It made no sense whatsoever, and consequently I believed his story......It’s easy to say that  I was being naïve, but it wasn’t just a single  statement that made him believable – it was  the tone & context, and a complete lack of rationale behind any fakery. 

At one point in his narative Ventura suggests that may be Lazar is some kind of government disinformation agent; if we have a taste for conspiracy and intrigue then perhaps we might further speculate that Lazar was there to help put American Anti-gravity off course! 

But whatever; it is easy to see how poor Tim Ventura was ripe for manipulation by Lazar. We all have hopes, aspirations, and goals and our vanities are ever open to the flattering deceiving tongue. It looks to me as though Lazar was a past master at tapping into people’s emotional complexes and so he did with Ventura. Ventura admits that the thought of joining a well-funded team at the cutting edge of new propulsion technology excited him: 

Believe it or not, after that second phone-call I actually felt relieved, when I think that most people would have been more on-edge than ever. Part of it was at least the knowledge about this “breakthrough” – an increase that magnitude in Lifters would have made them a practical aerospace technology, and would have put me in a founding role of what could very well be the next step in the evolution of aircraft technology....... At the time, I really believed him. In hindsight I’m not sure if I should have, but in the moment I felt like I might have a job  waiting right around the corner, and that my  future might get a little bit brighter from his efforts in Washington DC

We can’t blame Ventura for this kind of ambition; it's only natural. Also, to be fair Ventura's a bright spark and eventually he smelt a rat, although he seems too good natured to come right out and accuse Lazar of being a fraud. It is difficult to believe that Lazar could be so cold hearted as to take a nice guy like Ventura and string him along for so long. 

 In many ways Lazar is an excellent metaphor for of the whole UFO/abduction phenomenon. Lazar offers us just enough intriguing evidence to get people to come running, but in the final analysis not enough to complete the story and bring closure. Ventura was left dangling on the line and wondering what it was all about; he had been given sufficient clues to hint that behind Lazar there might be something real, and yet not enough to prove anything. Lazar was a disembodied voice on the phone and Ventura was never in a position where he could get up close to check things out at will; he was fed enticing tidbits of information that took him on to the next stage. Not unlike the UFO phenomenon itself Lazar builds his stories around people’s emotional complexes; their hopes, desires, fears, suspicions, guilt, vanities, heartaches and above all their myths. And yet Lazar’s own motives remain utterly inscrutable. Ultimately no in depth reality emerged from Lazar’s claims; they remain to this day as just pure façade. Lazar was there, it seems, to disconnect Ventura from reality and tip him into a world of fancy and make believe. All this is very isomorphic with the world of UFOs (and the world of apparitions and cryptozoology). In one sense our perceptions are our reality and sometimes those perceptions morph into something dreamlike, something lacking in rational depth and coherence but real enough to be enticing.


The above really classifies as part of my paranormal series. The other parts can be seen here:

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