January 29, 1976
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
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.
of occupant done by a professional artist
to Mr. Sands' specifications
APRO Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 9 (Mar 1976)
Johnny Sands Case"
(published in March, 1976)
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.
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.
as in the past, the occupants are a new type, as can be
seen by the accompanying sketch, which was done by a professional
artist to Mr. Sands' specifications. Mr. Sands' account
is as follows:
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 "doughnut"
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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
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.
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
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
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.
a report to John Romero, APRO Field Investigator in Las
Vegas, Mr. Nolen, the polygraph operator, states:
are listed the relevant questions and the subject's vocal
On January 29th, did you see two strange figures in the
desert? Answer: Yes
Did you communicate with these strange figures? Answer:
Did these strange figures tell you that they would see
you again? Answer: Yes.
Were you under the influence of. anything at the time
of this meeting? Answer: No.
Regarding what happened on Thursday, January 29, have
you told the truth about what you saw that night? Answer:
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."
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
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
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 p6lice 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".