'The Invisible Pilot': Who Was Gary Betzner and What Is HBO's New Docuseries About?

The upcoming docu-series on HBO, The Invisible Pilot, premieres on April 4, 2022, and touches on everything from international drug smuggling to a secret war happening at the highest level of the United States government. At the center of it all, however, is Gary Betzner. Who was Gary Betzner, really? Here’s everything we know about the focus of the new HBO series.

Who was Gary Betzner showcased in HBO’s ‘The Invisible Pilot’?

Betzner, a man living in a small town in Arkansas, shocked everyone when he jumped off a bridge in 1977. Despite extensive search efforts, authorities never found his body. He left behind a wife and children. His disappearance surprised almost everyone who knew him. Betzner worked as a local crop duster and served as a civic activist in his spare time. He was a Mason, a Shriner, and president of the local Jaycee chapter. Betzner certainly wasn’t someone anyone would necessarily describe as unhappy.

His family and friends didn’t know that Betzner led a double life. In Florida, Betzner went by the name Lucas Harmony. He smuggled drugs from Central America back into Florida, making millions in the process.

Betzner credited his career as a crop duster along with being one of the top pilots in the Top Gun program with his success as an international drug smuggler. However, The Invisible Pilot spotlights the story that surfaced years later involving Betzner. Things like hypnotism, secret identities, and double lives all play a part.

Director Phil Lott talks about the importance of the tone in the docuseries

The Invisible Pilot is directed by Ari Mark and Phill Lott, whose credits include the true-crime series Cold Case Files and the reality TV series Undercover Boss. On the surface, the story of Gary Betzner is something so outlandish that it’s hard to believe. However, director Phil Lott wanted to ensure that audiences detected the perfect balance of pop culture nostalgia along with the seriousness of the overall event.

According to Deadline, Lott explained, “As filmmakers, Ari [Mark] and I know that the secret to this series is tone, and there’s no better master of tone today than Adam McKay. When he and Todd Schulman responded to our initial footage, we couldn’t have been happier. They totally got what we were trying to do by blending this crazy story of outlandish characters with nostalgic pop culture, and one of the biggest political scandals of our time.”

The Invisible Pilot premieres on April 4, 2022, on HBO and HBOMax.

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