Sixty-foot craft lands with two occupants (Johnny Sands case)
Date: January 29, 1976
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Johnny Sands, a country-western singer living in Las Vegas, saw a 60-foot craft at about 1000 feet altitude, shaped like the Goodyear blimp, with portholes around the circumference. The object appeared to land, and Sands then saw two figures approaching. Then, he "froze" -- he wanted to move, but he couldn't. The figures came near him, to about three feet away.
APRO Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 9 (Mar 1976) "The Johnny Sands Case"
(published in March, 1976)
The last extended, intensive period of UFO activity took place in the fall months of 1973 and at this time it appears that the fall months of 1975 and the early months of 1976 duplicated the "flap" of 1973 with one major difference — whatever the UFOs are — "they" seem to be getting bolder, and in the "abduction" cases under study at APRO there are emerging threads of continuity in relation to descriptions of occupants as well as the objects themselves. We are also encountering "warnings" to the victims concerning what they will remember or what they can talk about if they do recall their experiences.
A case in point is that of Johnny Sands, 30, a country-western singer who, at the time of his alleged close encounter, was living in Las Vegas, Nevada where he was trying to promote his first recording and was appearing in a show. A polygraph test administered by Robert L. Nolen of Robert H. Nolen Associates of Las Vegas indicates no deception.
He had been out driving to the surrounding towns to check on how well his record was faring at the radio stations and on jukeboxes. He had left Pahrump at 10 p.m. and was driving on the Blue Diamond road, and at about 10:30 p.m., about 22 miles out of Las Vegas, he saw an unusual aircraft. He didn't pay much attention to it, he said, although it seemed to follow him for about 3 miles. At this point, the car's engine began sputtering so he pulled off the road and got out of the car. He walked around the car, removed the gas tank lid and shook the rear end of the car to determine whether he had any gas. He could hear the gas splashing around in the tank, so he replaced the cover and went around to the front of the car and lifted the hood. It was at this time, looking up, he said, that he saw the craft above him at what he estimated to be about 1,000 feet altitude. Sands said it was about 60 feet long and shaped like the Goodyear blimp, with a large, round ring at the midsection. He also said it had windows or portholes (round) about 10 feet in diameter and about 5 feet apart around the circumference of the ring or "donut" section, with a light between each. The object was "rusty orange" in color with flashing red and white lights on the ends. It moved slowly over the mountain to the south of him, lighting up the mountain as it did so, and appearing to land.
Then, Sands said, he turned his attention back to his car, and started to take the air filter off. For some unknown reason, he turned and looked down the road in the direction his headlights (which were on low beam) were shining and saw two figures approaching. He could not make out any details and at first thought they might have been muggers. Then, he said, he "froze" — he doesn't know why — he wanted to move, but he couldn't.
The two figures came toward him, one stopping about three feet away while the other stayed about five feet beyond. Sands described them as perfectly bald with no eyelashes or brows and with gill-like protrusions on either side of their faces which moved rapidly all the while that they stood there. The eyes were small, black and the centers (or pupils) were white. Sands said the mouths were very small and never opened, and that their noses were "pug" or "flattened".
Sands estimates that the whole episode from the time he spotted the two figures until they walked away into the desert, took about 10 minutes. When they left, they walked about 150-200 feet away, then, Sands said, a flash of light "came up" and they were gone.
The road on which Sands was traveling is paved, but he says he only encountered four cars during the trip, and that the last one passed by going toward Pahrump just after he pulled off the road. He had jumped out of his car and tried to wave it down but although the car slowed, it sped up again and continued along its way. After the encounter with the "figures", Sands tried to re-start his car, and it started with no trouble at all and he drove on into Las Vegas.
When Sands initially reported his experience, he went to the police who referred him to the Office of Special Investigations at Nellis Air Force Base. The spokesman for that office said that the Air Force had stopped probing the UFO problem in 1969 and that office only handles internal criminal matters. He also said the base's radar "picked up nothing" unusual that night, but only the base's runway headings were being monitored. A spokesman at the McCarran Airport tower said nothing unusual was noted on their surveillance radar which covers a 55-mile radius from the surface "to infinity". However, he did note that the radar is "line of sight" and would not register craft beyond the mountains.
The 10-minute episode is the fascinating part of Sands' story, in addition to his description of the humanoids who, although one asked him a number of questions, requested that he not reveal anything of the encounter. Sands has only revealed a part of what happened, saying that if he revealed the rest, it would be a breech of trust.
The questions the humanoid (who was standing closest to him) asked of Sands were: 1. What was he (Sands) doing there? Sands responded that he was an entertainer and was in Las Vegas to do a show. 2. Why were so many people in Las Vegas? Sands said that it was a tourist type town and that people came to Las Vegas from all over. 3. What is your means of communication? To which Sands replied that he didn't understand the question, because there are several different means of communication. The humanoid seemed to become irritated and said: "Answer the question!" Sands repeated that he didn't understand, whereupon the humanoid turned to the other, and the two just stood facing one another for 2 or 3 minutes, then his questioner turned to Sands, reached out his left hand and brushed Sands left hand and told him: "Don't say anything about this meeting. We know where you are and will see you again." The two then trooped off and disappeared in a flash of light.
Sands said that the voice of his questioner was deep, and the words came out slowly and almost mechanically with noticeable spacing between each and an echo-like quality. However, although he could tell that the voice came from the man's "body", the mouth did not move at all.
Sands described the humanoid clothing thusly: A black, silverish all-encompassing overall (the artist got his shades reversed in the painting) with no visible seams. When the questioner brushed Sands' hand it felt like "rough, heavy duty sandpaper." Besides the white strap which ran diagonally from right shoulder to the left waist, there was a wide white "patent-leather-like" belt on which there hung capsule-shaped objects which were silver colored and about 1 inch long. They appeared to be hanging on hooks and the "man" twisted one of them all the while that he talked to Sands until he brushed Sands' hand and turned and left.
The "men" were about 5'7" or 5'8", about 140 pounds, Sands said, and their gloved hands had a thumb and four fingers like normal humans. He also noted what appeared to be padding over the top of the feet, as well as across the back of the foot. The feet were covered by the same type of material as the rest of their bodies. They seemed to be very light on their feet and made no sound as they walked, as if they were off the ground, although Sands said they were definitely touching it.
Also very interesting is Sands' description of the face of the one who "talked" to him: "The face was wrinkled. Now, bodywise, he looked as fit as a 21-year-old but in his face, facial structure -- I don't know, something gave me the idea this guy was 300 or 400 years old. It's a very powerful face, a very powerful set of eyes. He's not so ugly as he is powerful looking," Sands told investigators.
The machinations of a film crew calling themselves Dave Dunn Productions who were beginning work on a TV series dealing with the strange, unusual and unknown, served to muddy the waters considerably. On the evening of February 10, they took Sands out to the site of his experience where he was instructed to stay in the car. Meanwhile, an argument apparently started among the film personnel and, hearing snatches of the conversation, including "what,will we do with him (gesturing toward Sands in the car) he's already heard too much," he started to get out of the car, whereupon two "fuzzy things" ran at the door and kept him inside. He said that every time he tried to get out of the car they would repeat the performance.
Mr. Sands called Mr. Lorenzen after they had taken him back to Las Vegas and related these events and was very agitated about the incident. He said that the Dunn people had taken him to dinner and they'd had a few drinks and he wondered if he'd been drugged because he couldn't remember the entire evening.
Piecing the whole thing together, the Lorenzens have hypothesized that the film crew may have had two men dressed in animal-like disguises (the "things" were man shaped, Sands said) for the purpose of frightening Sands so that they could film him in an actual terrified state.
In a report to John Romero, APRO Field Investigator in Las Vegas, Mr. Nolen, the polygraph operator, states:
"Following are listed the relevant questions and the subject's vocal responses.
"1. On January 29th, did you see two strange figures in the desert? Answer: Yes
"2. Did you communicate with these strange figures? Answer: Yes.
"3. Did these strange figures tell you that they would see you again? Answer: Yes.
"4. Were you under the influence of. anything at the time of this meeting? Answer: No.
"5. Regarding what happened on Thursday, January 29, have you told the truth about what you saw that night? Answer: Yes.
"A total of three charts were obtained using the above relevant questions. During these three charts, Mr. Sands indicated an ability to respond automatically to vocal stimuli. His responses in the critical areas were not consistent with deception criteria.
"After careful examination of this subject's polygrams, it is my opinion that Mr. Johnny Sands was truthful in his answers to the above relevant questions. I am not attesting to the truthfulness of the whole story that Mr. Sands has told, only to the veracity of his answers to the above relevant questions." Unquote.
It has been suggested to Mr. Sands that he undergo hypnotic regression in order to attempt to retrieve further information but he is afraid of hypnosis. APRO consultants feel, however, that some progress may be made in that direction in the future.
In view of Sands apparent sincerity and the polygraph tests, this case cannot be entirely discounted. Also, there is the verification of the initial sighting of the object by others who called the police department that evening and reported seeing an object in the area, the description of which closely matches that of Johnny Sands. Obviously there is considerable follow-up work to be done on this case which is one of the more puzzling ones to come out of the 1975-76 "flap".
This article was taken from searching the internet for Johnny Sands.