Date: Fri Sep 30 1994 00:00:24
From: Sheppard Gordon
Subj: Larry King's Area 51 sho
Larry King teams up with UFOs
9/28/94 INDIANAPOLIS STAR
The question bothers Larry King.
"I've always been befuddled why, if there really is intelligent life out
there, the flying saucers always land outside Wichita instead of on the lawn
of the White House," says the host of The UFO Cover-up? Live From Area 51, a
two-hour special to be broadcast live Saturday on TNT from the Nevada desert.
"Wouldn't it make more sense to come to the center of power than land in some
farmer's cornfield? That bugs me."
He pauses. "Of course, considering the state things are in . . . Maybe
those aliens are advanced." He chuckles.
King promises that The UFO Cover-up? will be "TV's most respectable"
examination of the UFO question yet, a "hard, balanced look."
The broadcast will include live interviews with experts and taped segments
with the likes of astronomer Carl Sagan ("Extraordinary claims require
extraordinary evidence"), Star Trek star William Shatner and former U.S. Sen.
Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz), who is convinced that the U.S. government is hiding
its knowledge of alien spacecraft.
For instance: King will broadcast from Rachel, Nev., near desolate Groom
Lake, a "super-secret" government installation northwest of Las Vegas where
plane flyover is prohibited and signs warn visitors they could meet "deadly
force" if they become too inquisitive. The government denies the existence of
such a facility, but townspeople and UFO enthusiasts believe the secrecy is
necessary because the installation was created for UFO research and study.
"It's really a strange place," King says in a phone interview. "It's one
of the first places where the press reported an alien landing, and then the
story was abruptly killed. I'm told that the government takes pictures of you
as you approach.
"It's odd to think that in 1994, in an era of satellites and openness and
instant public knowledge of delegations to Haiti, no one seems to know what's
going on behind that fence."
A preview reel of the special's taped segments suggests that viewers may
Protesters outside the Pentagon on May 23, 1994, assert the government is
storing crash debris from UFOs and even the bodies of little green men inside
the structure. A retired Army sergeant talks of a "shocking" official
document that convinced him that alien civilizations are more technically
sophisticated than our own. But they don't seem to have any tangible proof.
King himself would like to believe. "Oh sure," he says. "We all want to
believe that something's out there, but I have absolutely no idea whether it
is or not. I've always been fascinated with space, Buck Rogers . . .
"We're all fascinated with the unknown, and we have been since the first
caveman looked up at the heavens."
But solving the universe's mysteries are not as important as getting good
ratings - the reason why The UFO Cover-up? will beam into existence in the
In November, King's first live TNT special, November 22, 1963: Where Were
You?, drew a large audience interested in President John F. Kennedy's
assassination. King wanted something just as controversial and hotly debated
for his next high-profile special, hence UFOs. King cloned?
"I don't want kooks, I don't want to make tabloid television," he says.
"That's why we booked guests like Sagan and Goldwater. We'll probably get
some crank calls, but that's what you expect from live television. Who knows?
Maybe I'll get taken (by aliens) live on the air. Yeah. I could come back
down and report what I'd seen. That'd be like a Geraldo dream show."
Of course, if you believe a publication called The UFO News, King was not
only taken by aliens - he was cloned.
About six weeks ago, the publication reported that an American Airlines
jet carrying King to a video dealers convention in Las Vegas made a strange,
unscheduled stop at a nearby Air Force base. Military police hustled King off
the plane and into a building, where he disappeared from the view of other
passengers. Later the jet left without him.
In reality, King says, strong winds over the Las Vegas airport caused the
commercial jet to land instead at the Air Force base.
When he complained that he didn't want to sit around for three hours
waiting for the wind to die down, the MPs took him off the plane, through a
building and into a truck - where they drove him to his hotel in Las Vegas.
In short, he enjoyed the benefit of being a celebrity - not a clone.
"Who knows?" jokes King. "Maybe I was cloned. Maybe the real Larry King is
going to break the story live on the air. Watch and see."