LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Thirty years ago, Nov. 6, 1989, in this same newscast, KLAS aired the first part of a nine-part project called “UFOs: The Best Evidence.” It was the news series that turned Area 51 into a name known all over the world and revealed the name of Bob Lazar.

That series was the highest rated local news series to ever air here, and it is still being felt today in the way news organizations cover the UFO subject.

Tonight, George Knapp of the I-Team looks back at the series and a new project being launched tonight.

George Knapp: We spent nearly 8 months putting the original series together. It was my first foray into the wacky world of UFOs, but certainly not the last. It’s the series that made Area 51 famous, and while anyone who was around back then might remember it for that, the project had a much broader scope. Part 1 aired on this date in 1989. Here’s a glimpse of what it contained.

Witness: “And I saw this huge saucer-shaped vehicle which … it was brightly lit. And it appeared to have dark areas  portholes of some sort.”

Witness: “Did you see that? You know everybody’s, ‘Did you see that?’ You know, everybody saw it. But nobody had an explanation.”

Witness: “I do know what I saw. It wasn’t a plane, wasn’t a helicopter, it wasn’t a weather balloon. Wasn’t a satellite, wasn’t swamp gas. It wasn’t any kind of light by itself. There was an actual object.”

Knapp: Many UFO sightings occur in broad daylight. Many involve multiple witnesses. The witnesses include pilots and policemen, even the president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, people who are trained to be observant and whose judgment is trusted. UFO sightings date back to the dawn of recorded history in every country and every culture. UFOs have been around much longer than conventional aircraft and much longer than science fiction writers. There are even references in the Bible to what could be considered UFO sightings.

John Lear, aviation pioneer: It’s something that people just don’t want to deal with. The press doesn’t want to deal with. And people aren’t going to listen to something unless Dan Rather or any of your big press people are going to tell them about it. And they’re just too spooked. The Air Force has made an art form of ridiculing people who have talked about this thing.”

Knapp: If we know anything about science it is this: the truth is always changing. What is science fiction today is science tomorrow. For instance, back in the 1800s, the scientific establishment scoffed at persistent reports from peasants and farmers and other country folk about rocks that fell from the sky. It took more than 100 years for the French Academy of Sciences to finally concede that meteorites were real.

Tonight, to mark the 30th anniversary, we are announcing another project. It is called Mystery Wire.

It’s a website, a living, breathing archive and repository for decades of news stories and interviews, along with up-to-the-minute reports, not only about UFOs and Area 51 but military programs and secrets, historical mysteries, aerospace tech, the test site, and a lot more.

We will be adding content daily and have years of news video, some of it seen only once, much of it, never seen anywhere. is the name and the link and it’s live, starting right now.

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