On The CW’s Mysteries Decoded, the enigmatic air-force base in Nevada known as Area 51 is tonight’s focus and incorporates the social media craze to “storm Area 51” which is also addressed by the show’s lead investigator Jennifer Marshall and her co-host, UFO journalist, podcaster, and author Ryan Sprague.
The CW’s inaugural investigative documentary series Mysteries Decoded stars Marshall and does a deep dive into some of America’s greatest unsolved mysteries, from the Montauk experiments, the Lizzie Borden murders to remote Area 51.
This is a cryptic military base purported to have alien spacecraft captured by our military and reverse engineered prototypes if the top go-to expert Bob Lazar is to be believed. More on him later.
Using credible experts and high-tech analytical tools, Marshall is aided by Sprague who approaches this mystery with eyewitness reports and those who have devoted their professional lives investigating and reporting each phenomenon. They take it seriously and Marshall and Sprague both approach each on-air interview with respectful cross-examine and line of questioning.
But with Area 51, Marshall’s by-the-book military background overrides speculative wonderment.
This U.S. Navy veteran-turned-private investigator argues that people need to get a grip with regards to Area 51. Marshall wants people to stand down and not storm any off-limits military bases for good reasons, mainly to stay alive.
What is Area 51?
This remote swath of desert land in Nevada is where the air force has an operating base for training and research. If you are at all curious, you will head to Rachel, Nevada, where the 54 some odd residents make hay with the area’s alien reputation.
The event dubbed “Storm Area 51 Basecamp” is reportedly based at the Alien Research Center near Crystal Springs, Nevada, with speakers, musicians and artists on Friday and Saturday beginning September 20. Millions on Facebook have said they will be “attending” this event.
Basecamp is curated by Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell, who is interviewed at length in this episode of Mysteries Decoded with Jennifer Marshall and Ryan Sprague. He facilitates their meeting with the aforementioned Bob Lazar, a physicist who went off the reservation, so to speak, and is the go-to whistle-blower about all things Area 51.
Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell directed the film, Bob Lazar: Area 51 and Flying Saucers.
Officially, Lazar was a physicist, who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, specifically on reverse-engineering extraterrestrial technology at a site called S-4 a sub-set area near the Area 51 Groom Lake operating location.
The official show synopsis from The CW states: “In response to a call to storm Area 51, US Navy veteran turned private investigator Jennifer Marshall and Ufologist Ryan Sprague investigate what sparked this viral movement and what may be hidden inside Area 51.”
Monsters and Critics spoke to Jennifer Marshall about her take on Lazar’s claims and this riveting episode we viewed in advance of the air date.
Monsters and Critics: Immediately the impression I got watching Area 51 was, “let sleeping dogs lie.” You had a very “by the books” approach with regards to the notion of “storming Area 51” whereas Ryan had a “damn the torpedoes” and let’s do it! approach…talk about that.
Jennifer Marshall: Ryan is very passionate about what he does. That is why I respect him so much. But we come from two entirely different worlds.
I come from the military, have a degree in International Politics and have a deep respect for issues surrounding national security. Ryan is excited about the possibilities of what something extraterrestrial could bring to society as a whole, so that’s what drives him.
Even though we disagree on approach, I enjoy working with him immensely. He’s very intelligent and well-spoken.
M&C: Can you give me specifics about your military background and subsequent career path?
Jennifer Marshall: I served for five years in the United States Navy and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During my time in, I worked in Aviation Logistics, on the Ship’s Security Defense Force Team and on the Repair Locker Fire Team.
I was the only female on my locker fire-team, so I felt a push to represent women well.
After five years, I departed and went to college. In 2014, I went to PI school…I was working in TV and film at that time but really wanted a way to help people. I saw PI work as a way to bring closure for people, help them move on, help them connect with long-lost loved ones. It’s been a heartwarming journey.
M&C: I feel that Ryan brings the more juicy aspects while you bring the practical and grounded nuts and bolts to any and all investigations, is this a fair assessment?
Jennifer Marshall: I feel like Ryan is definitely more open-minded to witness accounts than I am. He sees the good in people and defaults to ‘people are inherently honest.’ I have interviewed too many people for that to be my default.
I think human beings are flawed. Memory is fallible. People have agendas. That’s certainly not everyone, but my default is skepticism. You have to understand if someone is hiring a PI, most of the people they are dealing with are not on the up-and-up.
So I carry this detachment and skepticism into any investigation and look at all possible angles. With that being said, he has connections that I don’t and those were extremely helpful both in Roswell and at Area 51.
M&C: This is a male-dominated genre with well-known names like Mike Rowe, Josh Gates, Adam Savage…where suddenly you have emerged as the top female host of a nonfiction adventure reality series. Talk about why this is important to you and to viewers who like nonfiction TV:
Jennifer Marshall: Thank you for that. It never really occurred to me that I am one of the lone females. I have worked in male-dominated careers the majority of my life and it seems to just be what I’m used to.
It’s a very kind compliment because those are some amazing names. It’s important for me to show that women can be strong and intelligent…but also that you can leave the military and use it as a springboard to whatever you want to do.
I want to empower young people to know that after the military, your life can be whatever you choose.
I certainly never imagined that my career as a PI would culminate in a TV show! Hopefully, a little girl or young teen watching realizes that this career is open to them as well.
M&C: Let’s talk about Area 51 experts you relied upon, specifically Andrew Bustamente-CIA operative, Kevin Day, former Navy radar analyst and Lt Jose Sarduy, I really felt they delivered the best insight of all the on-air interviews for this episode. How did you cross paths or connected with them for this episode?
Jennifer Marshall: We have some incredible guests on this episode.
Andrew is super well-known in the intel world and is a fellow veteran, Senior Chief Day was a connection Ryan had – I had certainly read about him but hadn’t met him prior – and LTCOL Jose Sarduy was someone I’ve known for about seven years now.
It’s really important for us to bring in people who know what they are talking about and experts in the field.
M&C: How did you react to hearing George Knapp’s recounting, filmmaker Jeremy Corbell and whistle-blower Bob Lazar and these others?
Jennifer Marshall: I wanted to immediately discount Bob’s [Lazar] story. I was so incredibly cynical about what he had to say. But the more I looked into it, the more people I talked to, the more things that could not be explained, I couldn’t just throw away Bob’s entire story.
Many people I speak to are quick to discredit him without looking into every single claim he has.
George Knapp is interesting. It was powerful for him to stick by Bob all these years and to champion his story being told. I don’t think he is seeking sensationalism, but he sure doesn’t allow people to sway him in his journey.
M&C: If we get the sense that power people in powerful entities (government) do not want information out, they’ll go to great lengths to ensure that person is silenced. I bring this up because of the general consensus that most people think Jeffrey Epstein was murdered by the power elite, who were implied in his malfeasance, and that he did not commit suicide as officially ruled. So…how is it that given the highly classified and national security threat Area 51 may hold, how is it that Bob Lazar is still alive?
Jennifer Marshall: If it is, in fact, true what Bob Lazar said…he is alive because he came forward.
I have questioned many times why he hasn’t been in “an accident,” but the fact is, years went by where many people weren’t paying attention to Bob, he wasn’t very active and at that point, he isn’t a threat.
Now a whole new generation is hearing Bob’s story with the release of the documentary, Joe Rogan’s podcast, and this show. How will that play out? I don’t know. I certainly don’t want anything to happen to him.
M&C: To me- the practical takeaway about Area 51 is that it poses a huge threat to human life because of the live ordinance in the ground that someone could inadvertently step on. Talk about the real and present danger for anyone ill-advised enough to storm area 51.
Jennifer Marshall: This is an active military base. Stay away, don’t cross the gate, don’t risk your life.
It’s clear they’ve probably prepared for the raid with a variety of non-lethal tools--tear gas, rubber bullets, etc. but base personnel will not hesitate to use lethal force when necessary. Don’t roll the dice. It’s not worth it.
M&C: Explain to viewers a term you used in this episode, “black projects”…
Jennifer Marshall: A black project is one that is highly classified and not acknowledged by the government or those civilian companies working on the project. The B-2, the F-117, and the U-2 were all previously classified and not acknowledged.
I support black projects and find them important to our national security…however…I’m not convinced these latest videos show black projects.
M&C: After all is said and done, what are your thoughts regarding the Tic Tac and Gimbal videos after all of this?
Jennifer Marshall: Inexplicable. Fascinating. Terrifying. If they are not of this earth, we could have a serious problem on our hands. It’s as simple as that.
And for people who don’t believe in aliens, who are rolling their eyes at that statement…what are the odds with a septillion planets that we are the ONLY form of intelligent life?
And if another life form was able to reach Earth--they are intelligent life on a level we may not be able to understand. Let’s just hope they come in peace.
Mysteries Decoded airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
- Gold Rush: Exclusive interview with Freddy Dodge about his new show Mine Rescue - 14th January 2021
- Prodigal Son exclusive interview: Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver on Bright, Lou Diamond Phillips, and more - 10th January 2021
- BattleBots: Bounty Hunters executive producer Chris Cowan on the new series for discovery+ - 3rd January 2021