This article was published in the daily newspaper The Guardian, London, UK, on May 12, 2005.
Back To The Saucers
By Mark Pilkington
In February 2004, a team of Russian and American physicists discovered two new elements, glimpsed for split seconds at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
Led by Russian Yuri Oganessian, the physicists made their announcement in the journal Physical Review C. While their findings have yet to be repeated, they are considered highly reliable. The two new "superheavy" elements, 113 and 115, provisionally named ununtrium and ununpentium, excite physicists who think they are generated by exploding stars, and could provide clues to the origins of the universe.
But this was not the first time Element 115 had made the headlines. According to another group of perhaps less reputable researchers, it might be the key that ultimately brings the stars to us.
In 1989, a Las Vegas TV station broadcast an interview with self-professed scientist Bob Lazar. He claimed to have worked at a top secret facility called S-4, just south of Nevada's infamous airbase Area 51, and caused a sensation when he described seeing nine extraterrestrial flying saucers stored at S-4.
Lazar, who claims to have studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, states that his job at S-4 was to "back-engineer" the reactor of one of the flying discs and find out how it worked. While there, he was briefed on the history of ET interaction with humankind, and watched a short test flight of the single operational craft.
According to Lazar, the saucer flies using "gravity amplifiers" to create "an intense gravitational field" that could "distort space/time", "bringing the destination to the source and allowing you to cross many light years of space in little time". The power to do this is generated in the craft's reactor, which is fuelled by ... Element 115.
Whether or not he's telling the truth, Lazar has stood by his claims and left the UFO scene behind. As well as running a lab equipment repair company, he is currently developing a hydrogen fuel generator for home use and is involved in an ambitious plan to terraform a Martian environment in an underground nuclear missile silo.
And, if Element 115's existence is confirmed, perhaps one day it will be called lazarium.