What Is Element 115 and Is The Government Hiding It From Us? | Unveiled
VOICE OVER: Callum Janes
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In this video, Unveiled takes a closer look at Element 115. In the 1990s, it was at the center of Bob Lazar's claims that the American government is hiding alien tech at Area 51! This mysterious product is said to have incredible capabilities - including antigravity and invisibility - but what's the REAL story??
What Is Element 115 and Is the Government Hiding It?
We’re always discovering new chemical elements and learning how to use chemistry in increasingly novel ways. This intriguing, incredible, and sometimes bizarre scientific field has changed everything from physics to medicine… and is the foundation for much of modern technology. But are there still some things within chemical study that the government would rather we didn’t know about?
This is Unveiled, and today we’re answering the extraordinary question; what is element 115 and is the government hiding it?
Much has been made of the mysterious and elusive “Element 115”. First described by the noted conspiracy theorist Bob Lazar in the 1990s, it’s claimed by some that Element 115 is being kept top-secret by the United States government – in Area 51, no less. Lazar has said that it is the vital ingredient in the propulsion drives of alien spacecraft that have allegedly crashed down in America. Lazar says the reason he knows this is because he used to work at Area 51 himself - reverse engineering alien tech. Uncorroborated as these claims were and still are, in 2003, Element 115 was successfully synthesized in a laboratory, apparently proving that Lazar’s stories ring true. But what exactly is this element, in legend and in real life? Why did it take us so long to discover? And does the real thing have (or trigger) all the miraculous properties that Lazar has claimed - like antigravity and advanced cloaking? Most importantly of all, HOW did Lazar seemingly predict the future, and is there a coverup afoot?
Let’s take a look at Element 115 itself… which is now more widely known by its formal name, “Moscovium”, after the Russian capital, Moscow. It was first synthesized in 2003, by a group of Russian and American scientists based at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, which is headquartered in Dubna (a town just north of Moscow) and is a major academic institution when it comes to novel chemical elements. “115” is simply Moscovium’s atomic number, referring to the 115 protons in an atom’s nucleus. However, we’ve never actually observed a “normal” atom of Moscovium. All so far have been Moscovium isotopes, meaning they have different numbers of neutrons. These isotopes have also proven extremely unstable… with even the MOST stable isotope, Moscovium-290, decaying completely in around a second.
More broadly, Moscovium is what scientists call a “superheavy” element because its atomic number is so high. The lightest element of all (and the oldest and most abundant in the universe) is, of course, hydrogen, with its atomic number of 1. Moscovium - Element 115 - by extreme contrast, is heavy and rare. To a point, heavier elements are created in the cores of stars, under incredible temperatures and pressures, through stellar fusion. In stars, hydrogen gets “fused” into helium, for example, which has an atomic number of 2. Hydrogen and helium might then combine to make increasingly heavier elements like oxygen, nitrogen, and so on. Everything else effectively descends from that process… and is, in a roundabout way, a product of stellar fusion. But still, Moscovium itself wasn’t born in a star.
So, how do we get from there to heavier elements (like Moscovium) being brewed in a lab? Essentially by mimicking the process of fusion here on Earth. But that’s extremely difficult, and any atom that doesn’t appear naturally - i.e., isn’t, to our knowledge, produced in stars - is almost inescapably unstable as a result. Which is why even the most stable Moscovium isotope is here and gone in just a couple of moments. The impermanence does create some level of mystery… but there’s no cover-up or top level secrecy at play here; that’s just how the science works. Again, in the decades since Moscovium’s first discovery, not one even remotely stable isotope (like the one Bob Lazar describes) has been witnessed. So, in this way, Lazar didn’t predict the future. His Element 115 and the real 115 are totally different. And even if we could maintain a true atom of 115, it’s still not expected that it would inspire the kinds of things that Lazar’s claimed product could - like the bending of light for invisibility, or the general messing up of physics.
Ultimately, predicting the future – at least, in terms of the periodic table – actually isn’t all that difficult. It’s been done before, many times, and often with success. It was the Russian scientist, Dmitri Mendeleev, back in 1869, who first devised (and wrote up) the periodic table of elements - although it has been revised a handful of times since then. Mendeleev had the brainwave to order the known chemical elements by their atomic weights. In doing so, and even back then, he was able to identify “blank spots” for certain elements that he believed to exist, based on his method, but which hadn’t yet been discovered. In time, many of those elements eventually WERE found. And, stranger yet, Mendeleev was able to use his deep knowledge of chemistry to not only predict their existence but also correctly guess how they might behave. For example, one element predicted by Mendeleev, technetium, was eventually discovered in 1937, a whole thirty years after Mendeleev had died… and more than sixty years since he’d first decided that it must exist. Technetium was also the first true synthetic element, serving to prove that humans could create as-yet-unseen chemicals in labs.
Fast forward back to 2003, and that’s the context for how the true Element 115 - Moscovium - became possible. By almost filling in the gaps of the periodic table, and adding to it based on the easily predictable progression from lighter to heavier elements. No aliens necessary, nor stripped down alien spaceships. The general feeling, then, is that we would have arrived at 115 regardless of Bob Lazar’s earlier shapings of it as some kind of ET keystone. That the most likely TRUE story behind it is simply that, at the time Lazar started talking about it, a decade before it was synthesized, Element 115 was still an unknown that was just out of reach. An element on the periodic table theorized to exist and one that, according to those who are more cynical about Lazar’s claim, was perfectly placed to give weight to his ideas. In a similar vein, it’s possible that an element 119 exists, too… but also hasn’t been discovered yet. Could it one day become the crucial ingredient to an alleged alien coverup, as well?
The wider scientific consensus has for a long time laid major challenge to Bob Lazar’s claims. Unsurprisingly, the official line continually does not back him up. And, while there are reported discrepancies - such as Lazar’s name apparently appearing in a phone directory for a lab that “officially” he never worked for - the story of Element 115 remains split. Split between what really happened in twenty-first century science, and what Lazar and the resulting conspiracy theories claim to have happened. Many scientists insist that most of what Lazar has said about Moscovium is patently untrue. That 115 can’t be used to harness any of the claimed powers – from gravity waves to invisibility cloaks - and we know that now more than ever because we have actually seen the stuff in action. Even if only as an isotope, and only for a few seconds.
To boot, remember the discovery of Moscovium was officially a joint scientific endeavor between the Russian and US governments. It’s not alone, either, with other superheavy elements having been synthesized in the same lab in Russia, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research - including, for instance, Element 117 (Tennessine) which was discovered in 2010 and named as per the American state. There are few signs that 115 has ever been kept particularly secret or “hidden”, then, not since it was first synthesized in 2003. At which point, Lazar’s until-then-mythical substance was brought out into the open… and, frankly, it disappointed anyone who had expected what Lazar had promised. This wasn’t the birth of anti-gravity and ET capabilities just yet. It was just the adding of another element to an ever-growing table.
If such an element with such incredible properties did exist, it’s arguably easy to imagine the US or Russian governments hiding it… but perhaps less easy to imagine them sharing the ruse with each other. And, what’s more, if there is anything out there that’s known to us and capable of even some of what’s been claimed… then why keep it secret at all? It would surely make an extremely useful and profitable commercial technology?
For now, all the evidence suggests that while element 115 does exist, it doesn’t yet bring any world-changing revelations. An unstable radioisotope among many, this superheavy element is certainly still interesting, but as science (and not conspiracy) currently understands it… it’s perhaps not of alien origin. Maybe Lazar was simply mistaken, and what he saw was actually something different? Or maybe the entire tale is highly questionable, from the beginning? What’s your verdict?