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Interview with George Knapp - Part I

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posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 09:40 AM
George Knapp has been a reporter with KLAS TV since 1981. He was also a news anchor for several years but proclaims "I wasn't very good at it". Since 1995, he has been the chief investigative reporter for the KLAS "I-Team". Along the way he has won 11 Emmy awards for reporting and commentary. He states: "(Three of those Emmys were awarded a few weeks ago.

It would have been a pretty good night for my career, IF I had bothered to attend the ceremony.)" In 2005, he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for his reports about GOP voter fraud in the 2004 election. George states, however, "I'm not all that impressed by assorted journalism awards, but the Murrow is a pretty big deal in my line of work." He also writes a weekly column for Las Vegas City Life newspaper, which, he says, "allows me to spout off and vent my spleen in ways that would be inappropriate for straight news reporting."

George received a Masters degree in Communication Studies from the University of the Pacific in the mid-70's. He states that "During grad school, I lucked into the position as Director of Forensics, which means I coached the debate team. I did the same at UC Berkeley for one year (a non-faculty position), taught public speaking classes at Cal Poly-SLO, and later taught Broadcast Journalism classes at UNLV. Along the way, I also worked as a housepainter, hodcarrier, fruit picker, taxi driver, and studio cameraman."

George states about his career: "I love my job and take my responsibilities very seriously, although I am unable to take myself all that seriously. I am a private person who happens to have a high profile position. Such is life."

*Let's begin with the "Skinwalker Ranch" phenomena,*

SPRINGER: I understand you have a new book out on this subject. What's the title and where can we get a copy?

GEORGE KNAPP:I appreciate the opportunity to plug the book, although that's not why I am here. It's called "Hunt for the Skinwalker", co-authored by Dr. Colm Kelleher. It was published by Simon and Schuster/ Pocket Books/Paraview Press and is selling a lot better than anyone expected, despite the absence of any publisher-supported publicity campaign. It was released in December and is now in its sixth printing. (It sounds better than it is. They only print 2000 copies at a pop. Still, we're encouraged by the public response and hope that it might still strike a chord with the general public.)

Our website contains assorted reviews , ranch photos, and related links, including places where the book can be purchased online. If you try to find it in a bookstore anywhere outside of Las Vegas, you'll have trouble. has a stockpile.

SPRINGER: Can you tell us the current status of NIDS and if they are still working at "Skinwalker Ranch". If so is the phenomena still silent or has activity begun to increase again. A side question would be that since NIDS seems very quiet as of late are they still an active research group?

GEORGE KNAPP:The NIDS organization is no longer active and no longer has a research team. However, it has not been officially disbanded and could probably be reassembled in a heartbeat if events warranted it. Call it an extended hiatus. The founder and financier of NIDS, Robert Bigelow, has invested a considerable sum into the development of an expandable, re-usable space habitat, a project that has his full attention. (The company just had its first launch a few days ago. I was the only reporter allowed iniside mission control. Very cool.)

Two of Mr. Bigelow's employees live at the ranch full time. A former lawman who previously worked for NIDS grazes his cattle on the property and makes daily visits. The caretakers submit reports to LV about events on the property, most of them involve intrusions and/or surveillance efforts by trespassers and over-eager UFO enthusiasts who invariably are disappointed by the lack of activity or others who simply make stuff up. For the past three or four years, there have been no significant or measurable events on the property. None. A couple of people say they've seen unusual lights near the ranch one or twice each year, but these reports are, to say the least, unremarkable and unverifiable. There have been no incidents which are remotely comparable to the events described in the book. Whatever this thing was, or is, it has moved on or is in hibernation. I know that many people don't want to believe this, but that's the way it is. If things were happening on a regular basis, if incidents of high-strangeness emerged from the shadows and pulled a few stunts, then NIDS would be there to observe and study. NIDS has no scientific team on the property because there is nothing to study. It's not a tough call. If someone wants to believe otherwise, so be it. On a personal note, I sure as hell WISH the phenomena would return in a big way because I would be all over it.

SPRINGER: In regards to the supposed dogs that were turned into a "grey like butter substance" while chasing the blue colored plasma like balls...does George know if this is fact? Did NIDS examine the grey like butter stuff, if so what was the conclusion.

GEORGE KNAPP: No, I don't know it to be a fact. It happened before NIDS purchased the property. By the time the team took up residence a few months later, there was no grey butter left to analyze. Admittedly, most of the alleged events that occurred prior to the arrival of NIDS are known because of what the Gormans said to the investigators and to others.

For the record, the NIDS team recognized from the beginning that the veracity of the family was a central issue. They interviewed the family members seperately to see if the stories matched. They initiated psychological profiles of the family members, interviewed their neighbors and friends to get a feel for their general reputation, investigated their finances , their credit history, and searched for any criminal records. (There were none.) For a period of many months, the NIDS team essentially lived with the "Gormans", interacted with them every day, watched their reactions as weird stuff erupted, chronicled their mental and emotional decline, and questioned them, over and over, about the events that had been described. The conclusion reached by the NIDS personnel cannot be categorized as definitive, absolute truth, but it was a strong and unanimous opinion--the Gormans were telling the truth.

A few other factors played a part in this determination. For one thing, the weird stuff at the ranch had been seen by the Utes for many generations. At least two dozen witnesses who had no ties to the Gormans admitted that they had also seen UFOs and unknown animals on the property. The NIDS scientists witnessed many of the most unusual events first hand. The Gormans didn't make it up. They loved that ranch and didn't want to be driven out by crazy phenomena. They did not want publicity, and when they finally, reluctantly sold the ranch, they took a financial beating. More importantly, the cumulative effect of 20 months of uncertainty and fear nearly destroyed them. They were a total wreck. The mom lost her job. The kids went from straight-A students to borderline dropouts. At the end, all four family members slept together each night on the floor of their living room because they felt safer that way. Could they have made it all up? Sure. Did they? You tell me. My opinion is that they told the truth.

SPRINGER: In regards to the rumors that it may be a place where the government or some other black budget cabal is experimenting with next gen warfare technology, what is your opinion of that theory? Have you ever heard the term "Batch Consignment(s)" while investigating the case?

GEORGE KNAPP:We spent a lot of time with this question while working on the book. In a nutshell, we can't rule it out altogether. Would the government pull something like this if it felt there was a good reason? Sure. Could there be technologies that would allow government agents to duplicate things that happened on the ranch? Yes....and no.

UFOs, beams of light, disembodied voices, missing cattle? The government could engineer most of that. Blue orbs made of glass and filled with a gurgling liquid but without any visible means of propulsion or control? Yeah, I guess that's possible. But what about other stuff?

Every morning, Mrs. Gorman went into the bathroom to take a shower. She always locked the door and, as a matter of routine, always placed her towel and hairbrush on the sink next to the shower. On more than one occasion, when she emerged from the shower, the towel and hairbrush were gone, even though the door was still locked. The brush was found later inside a kitchen appliance. Can you imagine the Delta Force operative who was ordered to slip into the bathroom to commandeer the hair brush?

Tom Gorman was out in the pasture using a post hole digger. He stopped to grab a sip of water, but when he went to grab the 75-pound tool in the spot where it sat just seconds before, it was gone. He found it several days later, It was stuck in the branches of a tree, 30 or more feet above the ground. Did invisible commandoes pull off this caper? Did a team of stealthy surgeons slip into the field on a clear Sunday morning and remove 75 pounds of flesh from a newborn calf without alerting the calf's mother, or the other cattle, or any of the dogs on the ranch, or the Gormans themselves, who were in the same field at the time? That's quite a trick. Most importantly, has the military been pulling these shenanigans on the same ranch for at least 50 years? We know that's the minimum time that such things have been seen on the property. That would be one heck of a psy-op program.

SPRINGER: Regarding the "wolf" episode, did the Gormans or Shermans keep the piece of flesh that came off the "wolf" if so, did they get it examined? If they did what were the results of the tests? If they did not why didn't they?

GEORGE KNAPP: The first time I heard about the wolf incident, I had the same reaction. Great, there's a piece of physical evidence. Grab it. We are all UFO investigators. If we saw a chunk of fur fly off a bulletproof wolf, we would all snatch up the evidence and take it somewhere for analysis. They didn't. It drives me crazy, and I'm sure others feel the same, but it didn't happen. Why not? Keep in mind that the wolf appeared on the very first day that the Gormans moved onto the ranch. By their account, it was not affected by five bullets, and then it disappeared from a muddy patch of ground. Tom Gorman told the NIDS team that he picked up the chunk, that the meat smelled rotten, but he didn't keep it. His feeling was that he had just brought his family to their dream home, the perfect ranch. Something strange had unfolded. He wanted to put it out of his mind and pretend it didn't happen. He is not a UFO or paranormal investigator. He wasn't interested in proving the existence of ETs or other dimensions. He just wanted to get on with his life and to minimize the fear in his family's eyes. That's all I can say about it. It is supremely frustrating but entirely understandable from his point of view. I suppose it all boils down to whether we believe the Gormans to be truthful people.

SPRINGER: Has there been a serious geological study done on the area to determine if there is any bizarre natural phenomenon that may be contributing to or even causing the strange goings on?

GEORGE KNAPP: This was one of the very first projects undertaken by NIDS. They conducted a thorough study of the geomagnetic history of the area. They examined meteorological data in connection with reported events, surveyed geo-magnetic fields, personally walked every inch of the property while carrying assorted monitors, and made a point of searching for known or unknown plant and animal life that might have psychoactive properties. As scientists, they may have even been hoping to find an undiscovered "natural" explanation for some or most of the events. This was not the case.

*Next we would like to cover everyone's favorite Area 51 and Bob Lazar,*

SPRINGER: In studying Area 51, have you learned anything more about the infamous Papoose Lakebed region, or S-4 as Lazar referred to it...such as any other unusual activity, closing that area down, etc.?

GEORGE KNAPP: Not much. Officially, there is no facility at Papoose. Aerial photos clearly show roads that lead to the area, but this hardly amounts to "evidence" of a program of any kind. Two people who are known to me visited Papoose a few years after the Lazar story broke and they say there is nothing there that they could see. It should be noted that they did not conduct any sort of excavation. If a facility ever existed in the spot where Lazar said it existed, there was plenty of time to make it disappear. For what it's worth, there are a few other testimonies to consider. A Test Site photographer whose credentials have been confirmed by me and others say he often saw UFO objects flitting around over Papoose in the 60's. He's the same guy who told Glenn Campbell and me that a physicist named Otto Krause confided that these objects were spaceships obtained from a higher intelligence. In the mid-90's, an intrepid history buff named Jerry Freeman infiltrated the test site in search of artifacts concerning the 49ers and made his way to the edge of Papoose. He says there was no base to speak of, but that he witnessed the unexplained appearance of illuminated "doors" that materialized above the lake bed while he was hiding in the desert. Finally, there's a commercial poster that was produced from a Russian satellite photo of the area. A careful examination of the photo reveals that a very large, circular, metallic object is seen in the sky directly above Papoose. I don't know if anyone has done a serious analysis of the photo and am making no claims about it's ultimate meaning.

I know of no recent anomalous aerial activity in that area. I have no idea about whether anything has been "closed down", especially since there was never anything there to begin with----officially, of course. What I do know is that Lazar identified the place as S-4 and that Nellis AFB confirmed to me that S-4 is a legitimate designation for a classified location in Nevada, although there was no word on just where that location might be. Since Lazar's comments were made public, all sorts of people have claimed knowledge of the S-4 facility. My general reaction is that most of them are full of #.

SPRINGER:How is Bob's (Lazar) company doing these days? Is it true that he's actually working on some cutting edge items for the military?

GEORGE KNAPP: Bob's company, United Nuclear, is doing well, in spite of very overt and dramatic intrusions by government agencies into his affairs. (I can forward an attachment that I wrote some months ago about recent events in his life so you can understand what I mean. There is also an article in a very recent issue of Wired magazine that would be of interest.) To my knowledge, he isn't working on any cutting edge technologies for any military folks, not even close. I believe that he still has a contract with Los Alamos National Lab for low-level radiation probes but will have to double check this.

SPRINGER: Bob Lazar claimed (I think it was 1992) that the U.S. had stockpiled an element called 115 that of course didn't exist at the time, but now does as it was synthesized in 2004. Do you consider this proof of Bob's story or is it just an educated guess made by a very smart guy?

GEORGE KNAPP: Bob mentioned the existence of 115 in 1989 in our first meeting. He acknowledged at the time that physicists had previously predicted the possibility that such an element might exist in a so-called island of stability. When I expressed doubts, he dug up an article from an issue of the Scientific American. It can be argued that he got his idea for this tale after reading the article. Nonetheless, as physicists moved forward and managed to create fleeting glimpses of new elements in the lab, they progressed from 109 to 110 to 111 to 112 to 113 and then, I think, they jumped to 116 and 117. They finally got around to 115, but it certainly wasn't in the form described by Lazar. Two points---during the time when everyone in the UFO field seemingly concluded that BL was full of crap, German scientists from the heavy ion lab over there were calling Bob every week to pick his brain about 115. So were a lot of other people. (The reason I know this is that they contacted me first in order to find Bob.) These are the same scientists who synthesized two of the lighter elements that didn't exist at the time when Lazar first told his story. They took him seriously. Secondly, I personally observed some goddamned weird stuff during a period when Bob claimed to have a chunk of 115. One of those incidents involved what's known as a cloud chamber. Particles in this chamber displayed very distinct reactions when the purported piece of 115 was introduced. The other incident involving 115 is something that probably shouldn't be explained in any detail. It happened during a period when Bob thought he was going to be taken out. He took what he considered to be a defensive posture. The alleged sample of 115 was placed in what I will decribe as a precarious position. All I can say is, Bob wasn't going to go quietly. What became of the sample? The last time I saw it, it was encased in lead. I have a pretty good idea where it is, but it would take one hell of an effort to get it out, ....far beyond anything that I could pull off.

Now that 115 has been synthesized, is it proof that he was telling the truth? Probably not. The 115 created in the lab existed for microseconds, so it clearly does not match Lazar's description of a 500-pound stockpile. When I visited him last year, he said this new sample was only the first stab, one particular isotope, and that other combinations might produce other results. I'm not a physicist. Critics disagree, some because they reject the physics and some because they long ago made up their mind about Lazar. I don't really care, and neither does Bob. It's not a crusade for him, or for me.

SPRINGER: What does George Knapp believe about area 51? Do you think aliens crashed there in 1947?

GEORGE KNAPP: I do not believe that any aliens crashed there in '47 since there wasn't even an Area 51 base until 1955. Do I believe the base was a storage facility for alien bodies or crashed discs? Hmm. Tough to answer. I'm not trying to dance here, but keep in mind that I am still a mainstream media news reporter. I work for a reputable news organization and a first-rate corporation that has afforded me considerable freedom to explore these topics over the years, something that few other MSM organizations would permit. I've been at it for 17 years now, and if you can name one other reporter in the country who has worked for a network-affiliated news operation or even mainstream newspaper on THIS topic for THIS long, I'd like to hear it. I'm not tooting my own horn, but am just pointing out that my employers have had the courage to do what few, if any, news organizations have done. For that reason, I am reluctant to make any definitive statements that would be uncomfortable for the folks who have placed their trust in me for so long. We all wish that other mainstream news organizations would take this topic seriously, right? Please don't ask me to take a position that will come back to bite me in the ass or cause my employers to re-evaluate my personal and professional interest in such matters.

Read between the lines. I've been working on this for a long time. I cannot give an endorsement to the story because we don't have the proof, one way or another. I'm still working on it and intend to continue plugging away for as long as it takes. I hope that answers the question in a way that won't upset any apple carts. If I thought it was all a bunch of crap, I'd say so.
I will add this addendum---I do not believe that Bob Lazar is lying about the overall story,
not consciously anyway. I believe he is telling the truth as he remembers it. Take that however you want.

SPRINGER: Regarding the supposed 25-mile buffer surrounding the base, public land mind you, there are reports of buried security sensors. The Bureau of Land Management hasn't seemed able to provide any information on the legality of such, aside from the issue that by unearthing them they are rendered non-functional. The act of which is considered destruction of government property and illegal. Can you confirm any of this?

GEORGE KNAPP: The reports about buried sensors are mine. I was present when the sensors were unearthed. Two days later, a squad of federal agents from the anti-terrorism task force raided the Rachel, Nv trailer of Chuck Clark, the guy who was my escort. I can confirm all of the above.

Please read Part II

Admin Note: George Knapp will be a "Guest Speaker" in the very near future right here on That will give our Members a great opportunity to "get to know" one of the biggest names in UFO Investigation and Reporting.

[edit on 7-22-2006 by Springer]


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