By Brent Raynes
SANDY NICHOLS, the founder and director of the Alien Research Group (A.R.G.), lives in Thompson Station, Tennessee. An “alien abductee” himself, he formed the ARG in 1998 to provide help for other abductees. The author of Different Child, a book that recounts his early memories and his emerging awareness of what had previously been suppressed by his consciousness, Sandy Nichols provides additional information and updates on his website at: www.alienresearchgroup.com.
Brent Raynes: It was a little over ten years ago that we did an interview for this magazine (back when we were a print publication) and I think that it’s probably about time that we brought things more up-to-date. As I recall, shortly before we had met you had recently formed the Alien Research Group to help UFO abductees, which you count yourself as one too. You have expressed a desire to reach out to others who may be going through experiences similar to what you have been going through as well. You try and help them find therapists, if they need hypnotherapy or something, or you’re there if they simply need someone to talk with.
So how’s it going so far?
Sandy Nichols: Oh, pretty good.
You know, I wasn’t a new abductee. I’ve been an abductee since childhood, but what was happening at that time was back around 1995 and ’96, is that things just kind of came to a boil, and I needed to figure out what was going on with my life, regarding the strange dreams and strange experiences that I was having and that people were telling me were not real.
That’s when I went to see a counselor, but it took me about nine months and that was toward the end of October 1996. I was real secretive about that and it was the summer of 1998 when I formed the ARG (Alien Research Group) and since then, like any other organization, it kind of goes slow at first, but I did a lot of networking, I sent out emails to people, talking about my experiences and learning about those of others, and then one thing led to another and so what happened was that people started hearing about me, because I’m not shy to speak, and so I started getting interviews and people began asking me to write articles for them, and so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve never lost the main purpose of why I started up ARG, and that was to help other abductees to find support groups and other people they could share with in person, or like what I went through, with counseling if needed.
Brent Raynes: Anyone who wants to reach you or to visit your website how should they do that?
Sandy Nichols: The best way is to reach me through my website: www.alienresearchgroup.com. There are several things that they can do on my site. They can click “contact,” which provides my cell phone number, or if they want to send me an email then all they have to do is fill out a simple form and then it goes straight to my main email address. If they want to contribute an article they can, after which I will be notified by my website that something is pending, and so then I can go into my website and read the story or article and make sure that no one is trying to Spam me or put dirty things on there. Once I read it and approve of it, then I just hit “accept” and then “submit” and it’s then automatically posted on the site. They can include photos, drawings, or documents too if they want to.
Brent Raynes: Okay. That all sounds good.
I know that some UFO investigators have tried to work around the alien abductee/contactee experience, trying to deal, they say, with strictly nuts and bolts UFO reports, so to speak. I know that early on NICAP (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena) they didn’t even like to publish a UFO report if a being was associated with the case. The founder and director, the late retired Major Donald Keyhoe, had been very vocal in his opposition to the contactee stories of people like George Adamski, who he clearly perceived as a troublesome hoaxer.
Sandy Nichols: Yes, in the early days of what we call the contactee movement there were some sensational stories of encounters with beings from Venus and such and there essentially was no real evidence to back these accounts up. The contactees reported friendly encounters. There were no negative abduction experiences that were coming from these people like Adamski and his followers, and all of those that used to gather at California’s Giant Rock airport. So all of the organizations kind of shied way from them, which is something that I really can’t blame them for back then.
Of course, to just limit it to just the nuts and bolts of UFOs only they did sometimes tend to forget that these things had to be piloted by something. You know, MUFON wasn’t very fond of taking abduction cases very seriously either because of the fringe element or a lack of physical proof. But again, you have a UFO and somebody has got to be driving it.
I think that the real breakthrough came with The Interrupted Journey case with Betty and Barney Hill because that made Look magazine. Then when Hopkins and Strieber came along the media market had expanded so much that that was what really helped them to take off and get really noticed. Whitley Streiber was a highly successful science fiction writer and Budd Hopkins was a successful New York artist. So I think good timing was the key to their success. It was timing and the public was just ready.
But I think that it really started with the publicity generated initially by Betty and Barney Hill. That was like one of the first cases and it was very well documented by a well known psychiatrist.
Brent Raynes: Right, the psychiatrist was one Dr. Benjamin Simon, and John Fuller wrote the book about their experience, entitled of course, The Interrupted Journey.
Sandy Nichols: Right, and there was a movie made about it. Then with the books by Streiber and Hopkins the timing was right and the internet also came along. Then there were the UFO sightings at Gulf Breeze, Florida, so a bunch of things were coming along together.
Brent Raynes: So here you had good, average, typical people describing encounters that didn’t sound like a mixture of fantasy in there about the Space Brothers and didn’t go on about planets like Mars and Venus, which our space scientists tell us do not have the living conditions suitable for the lifestyles that the early contactees told us went on at those places.
Sandy Nichols: At least down on the surface that we can see, although there is some evidence that Richard Hoagland is pointing out about the Mars Face and what appear to be pyramids up there.
You’ve also got to look at this too. Before Strieber and Hopkins came out with their books, the media had often portrayed the people who reported UFOs to be uneducated and just regular blue collar type workers, and then here was Strieber and Hopkins, with Strieber already a successful author with several books that had already been turned into movies, and then you have a successful artist, Budd Hopkins. So then it moved up into white collar reporting then, with Strieber talking about his own experiences and Hopkins about those of others whom he had investigated.
Brent Raynes: Going back again to the 1950s, Jim and Coral Lorenzen of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) had a lot of credible reports, many of them from South America, involving the beings. In 1957, in Brazil, there was a seemingly credible case of a young male farmer who was abducted and had sexual relations with a female alien. So there were some serious researchers back then who were looking at some of this data and gradually more and more serious investigative work was undertaken into such cases. Of course, cases like Travis Walton, and also Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker down in Pascagoula, Mississippi, back during the ‘70s, all of this increased our awareness.
Sandy Nichols: Oh yeah, and I’ll tell you something else. The skeptics and debunkers have kind of changed their tune as more and more white collar, professional type people began coming out and coming into this field, as well as more military people coming out too, doctors, pilots, and like for me, in the Life magazine article that was written a few years ago, they couldn’t make me out to be uneducated or to have come from a bad family because I came from a great family that was very well-known in the business world, and so this writer did a switch, and that was to make me out to be a spoiled little rich kid who was fantasizing about UFOs and aliens.
So skeptics and debunkers are a dime a dozen and they’re going to spin a story, one way or another, if they don’t believe it. No matter what your education or background is.
Bent Raynes: So that the people who are reading this, who may not know about your experiences, do you want to go ahead and tell them about some of the experiences that you’ve had over the years that have really puzzled you?
Sandy Nichols: The crafts that I’ve been on, the technology is just unbelievable. Human’s are like in the Stone Age when our technologies are compared to their technologies. I’ve been taken up in what I call light elevators where you are put in a beam of light and then the next thing you know you’re in the craft. Another thing with light is that they’re walking you down a hallway and a light is illuminating where you’re at but there is no light, or it’s real, real dim light, in front of and in back of you, but where you are is brightly lit, but you keep on walking and then the next section becomes lit and the one you were just in dims down, and then this goes on and on. Then you’re taken into another room and that room is dimly lit and then when you get into the room and you’re able to look back at the doorway that you just came through the hallway, where you were, in front of the doorway, is still brightly lit while the room is still dimly lit. But the lit out in the hallway does not come into the dimly lit room. That light literally stops at the doorway and so they have a way to manipulate light.
Now I had one experience here with a light phenomenon, and it happened two nights in a row at this house that I had built and lived in with my wife for ten years over in Brentwood, Tennessee. I was walking up the driveway at about 10:30 at night, taking my dog up to the end of the street to run around for a few minutes before putting him up for the night. Across the street was a Victorian style home with light colored siding on it. In their front yard they had cedar trees. All of a sudden, I saw what I can only describe as a dark light. That is, it was a dark light, from no visible source, that was creating a rectangular pattern probably about 20 feet vertically, up and down on this tree, but the tree was dark. There were no street lamps in my neighborhood and I was away from the city lights, so the trees were dark, and it was a dark light that illuminated on a dark, almost black looking tree. The first thing I thought of was how in the heck does dark light illuminate on a dark surface, and then after about 10 or 20 seconds it just wasn’t there any more.
The next night I was doing the same thing, which was part of a regular routine with my dog, and I was up there and this time I saw the same bar of dark light but instead of being illuminated vertically on a big old cedar tree it was illuminated horizontally on the siding of the house across the street, in the exact same yard, but instead of being on the tree it was it illuminating on the light color siding. Now I can understand clearly how a dark light can illuminate on a light color siding, but it was almost, this second time, like a confirmation of what I had seen the night before.
They can do some amazing things with light.
Brent Raynes: When you say illuminated then it’s contrasted. It didn’t actually illuminate the tree.
Sandy Nichols: Well, it did kind of illuminate the tree because where it was shining on it I could see the tree better. So it was illuminating the tree, but only in the rectangular part. Like I say, this thing was perhaps somewhere between 10 to 20 feet long, and I’d say more likely 15 to 20 feet, if I remember correctly, and then I’d say it was a foot to a foot and a half wide. So it wasn’t a small beam.
So the cedar tree looks black almost in the nighttime but where the rectangular bar of this dark light was it was actually letting me see this cedar tree more, which in reality it shouldn’t have been doing.
The dark bar was in front of the cedar tree which was like no more than 50 feet away from me at that time.
Now another technology that amazes me is that the UFO itself, and I don’t know if this pertains to all the UFOs, but my very first experience, which I wrote about in my book, is that when these little short, what I know now are grey aliens, came and got me, when I was 5 or 6, at my grandmother’s house over in East Nashville, floating me out of her yard literally through a wire fence into this neighborhood that had not been built up, the people had gone bankrupt or something, so the grass was high in all of the lots, and when I got to the craft itself I could almost sense that the craft was alive, in some way. Even though it looked like it was made of solid metal, like what we have.
Now in an experience much, much later, because I went through a long period of denial that these things were occurring, but this was after 1996 that this experience happened. I was being taken down a round hallway. In fact, everything inside the craft is rounded. There wasn’t a square corner in there. I was being escorted by small greys on both sides of me. Then the next thing I know the small greys were not there and I’m not floating now, I’m actually standing on the floor in this rounded hallway, and it was not brightly lit but it wasn’t dim. And I leaned up against this curved wall, and it was not a smooth wall. It almost looked like the wall had veins or something like that, and so I leaned up against it and all of a sudden I heard, in a telepathic way, “please do not lean against me.” It startled me and I jumped forward and I turned around going, “Okay, whose talking to me?” I thought maybe it was a grey communicating with me, who was somehow invisible, but I realized that it wasn’t a grey, it was the wall itself communicating with me. I think that Katrina Wilson said (and other people have said) that they also get the feeling that the craft is alive, that part of the UFO is a living being of some sort. So I was standing there starting to have a conversation with this wall and the wall was communicating back with me and it was not some type of subliminal bull crap. It was a genuine live conversation, just like I’m having with you right now, but through mental telepathy or whatever. Then the next thing I know the two greys appeared and they came and got me and the next thing I know I’m floating down the hallway and I’m kind of ticked off because I wanted to continue having a conversation with the wall. (We both laughed at this point)
Then a very interesting thing happened to me, about two years ago. I awakened one night, from what I thought was a dream, and in this dream I’m in an underground complex way, way down in the earth. This underground complex is absolutely enormous. We’re talking a thousand miles wide, you might say. In this particular experience, I came out of a janitors closet into the middle of a school, in the hallway of a high school, and I ran through it to the other end of the high school and ran up these stairs and hit a landing, hung a right, and then through another doorway, and I was then in another part of the complex, but I’m miles away, even though the distance from the school was only say several hundred yards, the distance between both doors, in reality, was several hundred miles. But down in this complex, part of this complex is part of this living creature that I experienced on the craft and these aliens have somehow captured this creature which can basically be used as a structure, though it’s a living structure, and they have to control it. It’s not a willing participant. The aliens use this living creature that can be used as a solid structure and they manipulate it and use it as part of their construction process. But they have to be very careful because they have to control the living creature and get it to do what they want it to do because if they lose control then the creature itself can literally transform/morph from a solid structure into a flexible creature, you might say, and would literally attack those who had it under their control. It’s some type of creature that apparently lived on another planet somewhere.
Brent Raynes: It sounds kind of like a recent Doctor Who episode where there was a city on the back of this creature that was flying through space.
Sandy Nichols: Oh, I saw that, and the creature itself was keeping the city alive. Yeah, I saw that episode. That was pretty cool.
When they go get the creature, from whatever planet, then the creature is like any other life form. It’s flexible, okay? But they have a technology to be able to control this creature and turn it into a more solid, rigid structure.
Editors Note: Yeah, I think on Doctor Who they call that a chameleon circuit which allows his ship, the TARDIS, to shape shift, except his is broken and his mode of transportation through time and space always looks like a British police box.
Well, you know what they say about how fact may be stranger than fiction. This is pretty strange, even by Doctor Who standards!
As a final note on this interview, in Sandy’s book Different Child (2001), he noted how “many abductees seem to possess great psychic abilities.” He added, “The subject of ghosts, like activities associated with abductees, is not written about very much. Abduction authors tend to stick to the meat of the abduction experiences and mention ghostly activities only in passing.” However, Sandy addresses it some in this book, and with myself, my wife Joan and daughter Chandra and Bret and Gina Oldham of Halo Paranormal, we recently formed a group called Specialized Paranormal Investigations (SPI). To me, it’s no surprise that Sandy has become a “ghost hunter,” as did another long-time “abductee” in our newly created group. I too have found over the years that “abductees” are most often no stranger to paranormal and ghostly events.