Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003) s08e06 Episode Script

Area 51

PENN: Come on, tell me.
You can trust me.
Come on! I know what's in all the other boxes.
It says right here: Box 50, cockroaches.
Box 52, fake raccoons.
Box 51 is not even on your fucking list! I'm Penn Jillette, and that asshole is my partner Teller.
He's had something in that box for as long as I've known him.
He won't tell me what's in it.
For 35 years, he's had Box 51, and he's never told me what it is.
I'm half of this fucking show! You've got to tell me what's in the box! Is it a human brain? He's not saying it's not a human brain.
I'm gonna look.
Let me see that.
Hey! It's a human brain in that box.
It could be Hitler's brain.
Teller's got Hitler's brain in Box 51, and he's not telling me, probably for my own good.
He thinks I'll freak out.
I won't freak out.
Is it Hitler's brain? See? He's not denying it.
Fuck! Box 51 contains Hitler's brain! Now, you prove to me that's bullshit! "Area 51" PENN: 85 miles north of the Las Vegas strip lies the Nevada test and training range, a 6,000 square mile military installation operated by the U.
Air Force.
The range is home to a top-secret facility that everyone in the fucking world knows about-- Area 51.
For decades, rumors of captured UFOs and ETs held hostage, along with mysterious sightings in the desert sky have fueled an industry of books, blogs, websites, and bullshit TV shows.
So, what's really going on here? What is Area 51, and does it really hold proof of an alien race? Tonight, we'll hear from this independent researcher For the longest time, the simple existence of Area 51 wasn't acknowledged.
PENN: This former Area 51 insider I could tell no one what I was doing or where I was working.
PENN: And this accomplished test pilot.
The true story won't be known for 4 or 5 decades.
PENN: And we'll attempt to sneak into Area 51 with a group of daring UFO hunters.
And they'll capture something on tape.
We have something else coming up behind the mountain ridge.
That is something strange right there.
PENN: We'll also talk to this neuroscience professor, and he'll explain everything.
There has been absolutely no credible ev-- PENN: Not yet! Jesus Christ, man! We have to do 30 minutes.
You can't just blurt it out.
Area 51 is different from the other topics we cover on this show.
We're not dealing with a difference of opinion or some dubious scientific claim.
Area 51 is a government secret.
And where there's a secret, there's an answer.
People know the answer, but the answer is secret.
The truth is out there.
We just can't get to it.
Oh, see that? Not only is it Hitler's brain, but it can dance.
And it's on fire.
PENN: To properly investigate Area 51, we need to get some boots on the ground.
For our expedition, we need a leader with experience.
I've visited Area 51, uh, I would say at least, like, 15 times.
PENN: Perfect.
My name is Alex Podovich, and I'm the founder of the Las Vegas UFO Hunters.
PENN: By day, expedition leader Alex works in construction.
But by night, he's seen plenty of UFOs over Area 51.
They move in twos and threes.
They make turns.
They stop.
They make U-turns.
They go fast.
They go slow.
PENN: Can't ducks do all that? Never mind.
We also need a lookout with keen observational skills.
I've seen stuff up there that moves from one side of the sky.
And then like that, it's on the other side.
PENN: Oh, ducks can't do that.
My name is Robert Lamb, and I'm an assistant organizer of the Las Vegas UFO Hunters.
Now, I could be mistaken on what I've seen.
But sometimes, it's just so blatantly obvious that you just can't deny it.
PENN: Both of these men are part of the renowned Las Vegas UFO Hunters, a group boasting 180 members, including this Las Vegas resident who's requested we refer to her only as "J.
" I'm J.
with the Las Vegas UFO Hunters.
PENN: So, Gloria, some people--oh! J.
I mean, J.
I think that the ability to open your mind to presences other than terrestrial is a sign of enlightenment.
It's a sign of intelligence.
PENN: Absolutely! I think all the bat-fuck crazy shit I do is a sign of intelligence, too.
We'll need to make sure that we're all here at 7:30.
: Okay.
I created the Las Vegas UFO Hunters so people of the same mindset could get together and share their stories and experiences without being laughed at.
PENN: Ha ha ha! But we're not in the club, so, sorry.
What's the plan? The objective for tomorrow is actually videotape flying craft that's not of this earth.
We've seen some strange stuff out there.
- Yeah.
- So, hopefully tomorrow, we'll catch the best footage that we ever have gotten.
PENN: Our team of UFO hunters will have to travel through 150 miles of rugged mountains and desert just the reach the border of Area 51, where this dusty little town is the last stop before the unknown.
Rachel, Nevada, population 98, has turned over its entire identity to the Area 51 UFO craze.
In fact, the only motel in town is called the little A'Le'Inn.
Ha ha ha! That's, uh, that's just stupid.
But I like it.
I'm Pat Travis Laundenklos.
I own the little A'Le'Inn in beautiful downtown Rachel, Nevada.
We have sweatshirts.
We have jackets.
We have signs, mouse pads, T-shirts, coffee cups, cookie jars, banks, bells, spoons, T-shirts PENN: Okay.
- Sweatshirts - Got it.
- Scarves - Don't worry.
- Menus, cards We'll buy something.
I can't even remember everything.
Pat, you don't believe all this alien stuff, do you? I mean, you're just trying to make a living, right? I believe very positively - Okay.
- That Area 51 - Right.
- People are working side by side with beings out there.
These Rachelites know which dimension their alien toast is buttered in.
Back in Vegas, our UFO hunters are packing up and heading on out to discover the truth.
There's Alex and Rob and J.
and-- Hey, hey.
Who's driving this thing? Oh, right.
Their driver Roddie will be watching the road while our fearsome threesome keeps their eyes on the prize.
I'm hoping that we get that picture, that we can put on a website and say, "We did it.
" I want that UFO right over our heads.
I want it to be the size of a football field.
PENN: This mission isn't gonna be a Sunday barbecue.
The Nevada test and training range is a high security military installation.
We need to hear more about it from an expert.
I'm Joerg Arnu, Area 51 researcher and founder of Dreamland Resort, the largest Area 51 research website.
PENN: Tell us, Joerg.
Tell us everything.
What got me really interested in Area 51 was the secrecy of the place.
What is going on that they are so paranoid about hiding there? PENN: Since moving here from Germany, Joerg has spent years growing his bitchin' hair and compiling leaked information about the site.
This is where the Air Force and various contractors go when they have something that they want to test in secrecy that they don't want the public to know about.
The U-2 spy plane was developed there.
The F-117 stealth fighter was developed there.
Now, it's not showing up in this map because this is an official Air Force map and, of course, the Air Force doesn't admit to Area 51 existing.
PENN: Joerg claims he's tracked down the spot at Las Vegas' McCarran Airport where workers commute to Area 51 on unmarked government planes.
There's anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 people actually commuting from Las Vegas to Area 51 on any given day.
The big secret is, of course, what the people do there.
And that's one of the things they will not talk about.
PENN: And it's all this secrecy that creates the speculation.
I believe that our government is using alien technology to build craft that behaves like alien craft, and they're using it for our own military purposes.
And they test it out there in Area 51.
PENN: How about you, J.
? What do you think the government is hiding at Area 51? I would ask, "What isn't the government hiding at Area 51?" PENN: You think they have our episode on Oprah? We can't seem to find it anywhere.
We know a bit about secrets.
In our live show, we do a trick that looks like we're firing bullets through panes of glass and catching them in our teeth.
It's a pretty good trick.
The bullets are signed by audience members.
We shoot through panes of glass.
The bullets end up hot, rifled, and covered with gunpowder.
Only 5 people in the world know for sure how our bullet catch is done.
And they all work for us.
Everywhere we go-- in supermarkets, in chat rooms, people tell us how they think our bullet trick is done.
They're always wrong.
But it's hard to set 'em straight.
All we can say is, "You're wrong.
" We can't tell them why they're wrong.
That would fuck up the secret we spent years working on.
But here's the deal.
If they were right, we'd say the same fuckin' thing.
But they're not right.
Not even close.
PENN: Let's go to an expert from the world of aviation, like living legend John Lear.
His father invented the Learjet.
Really! John Lear is a commercial airline pilot who claims he flew secret missions for the CIA.
Lear set 17 speed records, and he's the only pilot to ever hold every airman certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.
That's me and Buzz Aldrin.
PENN: Buzz Aldrin? That's great! So, Mr.
Lear, what's really going on in Area 51? They keep, uh, secret airplanes PENN: On the secret air base.
And secret technology up there.
Of course.
And they keep the saucers up there.
Saucers?! You mean, like, flying saucers? Wait a second.
We forgot to run Lear's "hello.
" Hi, I'm John Lear.
I'm a retired test pilot and UFO researcher.
Oh, fuck! We have collected many saucers over the years.
I-- I really don't know how many we have.
I would guess 50, uh, maybe 100.
PENN: Okay.
You know what? Let's do our intro again.
John Lear was an accomplished test pilot, but he turned his back on his aviation career and became a high-ranking player in the world of UFO believers.
He's also a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.
Talk about a buzz kill.
We do work with the aliens.
Uh, but they are in charge.
And they have let us have cool little toys that we get to fly around.
But they basically run the whole show.
PENN: John has promised to show us how these alien technologies work, but he seems to have misplaced the super advanced blueprints.
They are top secret, so I'm sure they're cleverly hidden under a pile of shit.
[clattering] This is the propulsion unit of the nine extraterrestrial flying saucers they have up at Area 51.
PENN: Wow.
They're held up by fluorescent light tubes? Okay, this is showing us where we see the gravity a wave being accessed from the reaction in the antimatter reactor, channeled through the wave guide, amplified through the gravity amplifiers, creating an intense gravitational field which bends or distorts space time.
And when it's shut off, the disc is fused or united or coalesced with space a great distance away.
In other words, every 12 milliseconds, you can go that hundreds of thousands of millions of miles.
PENN: It seems crazy, but it just might work.
Well, John, how many species of aliens do you think there are? If you asked me, "Well, John, how many species do you think there are?" I would have to tell you at least billions.
When people believe something in the absence of evidence, - we say-- PENN: Stop it! We're talking about very important ideas that might be secrets.
And you asserting your stupid reality is fucking us up.
Now, John, about those aliens we're working with at Area 51.
We're a little skeptical.
Can you tell us anything about them? J-Rod is an alien.
I don't know where he's from.
He's called a guest.
As a matter of fact, they've actually given him an ambassadorship.
PENN: Ambassador.
Does this J-Rod also play for the Space Yankees? JOHN: High-ranking officials are allowed to see J-Rod under special circumstances.
And this would include Dick Cheney.
PENN: So, J-Rod's a lobbyist? That explains the Pluto demotion.
This is so complex.
[theremin playing] PENN: Knock it off! Ever since you got that theremin, everything around here has been spooky.
PENN: Look.
We're closing in on Area 51.
The renowned Las Vegas UFO Hunters must be strategizing for their big night.
- What do you have? - A pair of 6s.
PENN: Well, it's a long fucking drive.
, do you think UFO-logy is a science? I would say that UFO-logy is not an exact science.
It's more of a voyage.
It's more of an exploration.
We have the sense that we know something special is out there.
And we are hunting for that something special.
PENN: Now you're talkin' some sense.
We're all searching for something special.
Let's talk to the damn psychologist.
It seems many people have a deep-felt need to explain the unknown.
Although science is full of fabulous mysteries, for those people who can't understand science, a belief in something like an alien becomes something that's attractive.
It excites you.
PENN: You're right.
Feel how hard I am.
Irving Biederman, professor of cognitive neuroscience and psychology, USC.
Could we get you to dress like Captain Kirk? It would make the show.
Wait! Come back.
We're kidding.
When we're coming upon some new information, particularly something mysterious, there's a release of opioids that give us intense pleasure.
And we often call that an adrenaline rush.
And that can become the reinforcement that keeps people on the hunt for the secrets of UFOs.
Biederman combines psychology and neuroscience to study why people think the way they do.
Here he is diagramming the brain of Pac-Man.
Ha ha ha! Have there been aliens that have visited Earth? If there have been, they left no evidence that anyone can point to.
PENN: Oh, pesky scientist, demanding evidence and shit like that.
But hey! Rob says he captured a UFO on tape last year at Area 51, and he's letting us show it.
ROB: What I caught was 3 orbs in the sky hovering in the sky for about a minute, minute and a half, and then disappearing No jets, no noise.
I mean, you can't explain that.
PENN: Well, that sure is convincing.
Maybe we should hear from someone who worked at Area 51.
I worked at Area 51 from 1965 to 1968, about 3 years.
PENN: Worked at Area 51 and willing to be on our "Bullshit" show-- That's a rare guy.
My name is Roger Anderson, United States Air Force, retired.
If there was something going on of a very unusual nature, like UFOs, aliens, that sort of thing, I think I would have known, and I think the people that I worked with would have known.
PENN: That's exactly what he would say if there were aliens there.
Roger was part of an elite team of pilots assigned to test a brand-new top-secret spy plane.
And his duties at Area 51 may offer an explanation for what was really going on with this UFO hysteria.
ROGER: We worked on a special aircraft that was called the A-12, and it was in the test phase.
When I first saw the airplane, it really got my attention.
It could fly above 90,000 feet.
It could fly at 3.
2 mach, which is about 2,100 miles an hour.
PENN: Code named Oxcart, the A-12 was a precursor to the SR-71 Blackbird series of spy planes, faster and sleeker than anything America had ever built.
The aircraft looked, uh, well, downright alien.
Back then, whenever the public caught a rare glimpse of this strange flying object, another UFO story was born.
The A-12 has been retired from service, but every new generation of secret aircraft seems to fuel a new wave of UFO rumors.
Because of its mysterious nature and the high security involved, people like to believe that there are some really fantastic things happening there that have to do with outer space and aliens and UFOs.
If it has happened, it certainly didn't happen on my watch.
PENN: Thanks, Roger.
You're very patient.
Sorry to waste your time with UFOs.
You know what scares the living fuck out of us? Some people say we do the gun trick by opening up the bullet and taking out most of the gunpowder so the bullet will travel slower, and the glass slows it down even more, so all we have to do is just catch it for real in our teeth.
If people believe that, how little do they know about physics.
And if someone tries it for real, our careers are over.
But here's a safe way to experiment with the physics of that.
I've got this marshmallow.
I've signed my name on it.
And I've got this slingshot.
You know, the marshmallow is gonna fly slower than the slowest bullet.
And it's bigger, too, so it's easier to see and catch.
That's it.
Back up-- Back up a little more.
A little more.
A little more.
A little more.
[choking] Ha ha ha! I'll be damned.
He caught it.
And that's my fucking signature.
Ha ha ha! Amazing.
Maybe it would work.
PENN: At last, our crack UFO team has arrived in Rachel, the last stop before reaching Area 51.
After a quick stop at the A'Le'Inn for a chat with Pat How are you guys doing today? It's nice to see you again.
And some refueling - Patty melt.
I want my patty melt.
- Patty melt.
PENN: We surreptitiously approached the Air Force base's official border in our 10-ton stealth recreational vehicle.
- Need to be careful out here.
- Okay.
- You can see the guards right now-- - I see 'em.
- On the right-hand side.
- Okay.
On the hill.
It's--It's an eerie feeling to come down here and know that you're taking your life in your hands.
PENN: That's right.
Who knows how long those patty melts have been at the A'Le'Inn? We know they don't have much turnover.
Look up on the hill on my left, about 11 o'clock.
ROB: These guys are staring us down.
They want to make their presence known so they can intimidate us to go away.
PENN: Hello! That's their job.
They're 18-year-old Air Force grunts who spend their days sitting in trucks in the desert.
We're lucky if they don't shoot us out of boredom.
- My heart's racin'.
- I can feel it.
I feel uncomfortable.
- You know you're being watched.
: I've got some tension in my spine.
PENN: Well, maybe it's that couch in the fucking RV.
I know what can happen.
At any moment, this could turn bad.
It could turn very ugly.
You know, I could feel my hand shaking a little bit.
PENN: Doctor, your diagnosis? The belief in some force that's against you, namely the government, actually enhances your own status.
You must be important enough for the government to be opposed to you.
PENN: Having survived their near-death encounter, our team regroups and heads for a new vantage point.
Area 51 itself is probably straight ahead of me, like 12 o'clock, right over that mountain ridge.
That's the super secret area where the alien spacecrafts are supposed to be flown.
This is as close as you can get without being arrested.
Holy fuck! Look! It floats.
Not only is it Hitler's brain, but it dances, it's on fire, and it floats! And wow! Look! It can even float in the air with that stick going into Teller's crotch holding it down.
Holy fuck.
PENN: After nightfall, our UFO team prepares their high-tech gear.
This is some serious equipment that we have with us tonight.
This video camera itself is insane.
If there's anything flying tonight, we're gonna catch it with this.
There's no question in my mind.
What I have here is a pair of night vision goggles made by SPI.
This is, like, the most amazing thing that I have ever done.
PENN: Hold on.
The only product placement deal we've ever gotten is with SPI night vision goggles? Never mind.
Wow, this is insane.
[chuckles] I mean, lookit, you can see.
It lights up the whole sky.
ROB: I mean, look at that.
ALEX: Oh, this is amazing.
I mean, I can see the mountain ridge very clearly.
I see the clouds above it.
It's absolutely incredible technology behind these night vision goggles.
PENN: Team! We're looking for signs of advanced technology.
Try not to act impressed with 1980s Soviet surplus equipment.
I sure wish we'd gotten a product placement deal from Apple! - Incredible.
See that big light? - Oh, yeah.
I got it.
: I sure do.
- I know what that is.
That's a pretty-- that's pretty bright.
What is that? That is something strange right there.
Yeah, that's pretty huge.
I mean, wow.
PENN: Guys, the gear you're using is super light sensitive.
A birthday candle 6 miles away would sear your retina! I think there's a probability the light that I saw tonight was using alien technology because of the way it was behaving.
It wasn't flying like a conventional aircraft.
It was just hanging in the sky.
When people see a UFO, there's always a logical explanation for what they've actually seen.
PENN: Joerg! We almost forgot about you.
JOERG: It's most likely one of the planes routinely used to shuttle workers from Las Vegas into Area 51 and back home.
The night vision obviously picks up the landing lights and amplifies that light even more.
PENN: Enough said.
But wait.
What about the triangular UFO that Rob videotaped without night vision? The lights are most likely flares during military exercises.
They hover in the sky because they are suspended on little parachutes to illuminate the terrain, and the eye always tends to fill in the blanks.
And before you know it, you have a triangle with lights on each corner.
PENN: You think it's more likely that it's flares than aliens who traveled millions of light-years? Joerg, buddy, you're just not getting it.
It's a good time.
Whether you see something or not, it's always an adventure, always, you know, with friends.
And, you know, you just sit back and have a good time.
PENN: Bingo! They're not crazy.
They're friends.
They're camping and grilling up hot dogs and burgers.
It is just a Sunday barbecue.
DR BIEDERMAN: Humans are social animals.
We need to bond with other people.
- I'll eat to that.
- Cheers.
[all laugh] The group becomes family.
They share the beliefs.
They'll have each other's backs.
And they're having fun doing it.
PENN: Then how do we explain this? Okay, there's life on the moon.
There's millions of people up there.
DR BIEDERMAN: It's certainly possible to be extremely intelligent and accomplished, but that doesn't make you immune from delusional beliefs.
PENN: Thanks for your time, John.
We don't agree with you, but we wish we had a photo with Buzz Aldrin.
Buzz, if you're watching, call us.
We'll even put you on one of our sex shows if you want.
A zillion defense department employees know exactly what's in Area 51, but they've promised not to talk about it.
And we all kinda, sorta know what's out there.
It's the next bigger, smaller, faster, stealthier something that's way important to keep secret for the defense of our country.
When there are secrets, people make shit up.
If you were serious about figuring out our little bullet trick, you would.
If we can figure it out, you can.
You'd come to our show 50 times, take a ballistics course, or read a lot of magic books.
Or you just capture Teller and threaten to drill into his teeth.
Bet your ass he'd talk.
If we wanted to be assholes, and we usually do, we could bust our UFO friends for pretending what they're doing is science.
It's not.
But really, they're just taking a night off from work to picnic under the stars and tell each other spooky stories.
They're nothing alien about that.
So, I don't need to look in your stupid, fucking Box 51, Teller.
Have your little secrets.
Just put it away.
I don't even care.
What? I--I really can now? Ahem.
Aah! So, Gloria, I guess we're done talking about Area 51.
There's talk in the UFO community that there's an ultra secret area 52.
PENN: Oh, fuck!