• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

  • 1
Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, August 2016

Down the rabbit hole to Oz and back

by: Brent Raynes

Brent Raynes (left) and Johnny Sands (right)

“I began hearing a voice in my left ear saying my name,” a UFO “contactee” some years ago wrote me from New Jersey. This began following back surgery to remove a ruptured disk. “Only once and then I would fall asleep. It wasn't my husband. This scared me a lot.”

Just a few days ago, our Native American friend and mentor Wanda “Dove” Theiss was describing to my wife and I, as we sat at her dining room table at her Alabama home, how a spirit guide, who she recognized as the famous spiritual teacher and author Wayne Dyer, has been appearing from time to time to her during meditations. This presence would always appear, she said, on her left side. She explained how she was being psychically taught at the time how to project psychic energy out of her third eye while deep breathing and toning the “om” sound. This approach has been working well for her.

This left-sideness seems related to hemispheric brain shifts that seem to occur due to increased psychic awareness manifesting in the right hemisphere. I just wrote of this with other examples in this same column (Reality Checking) in the July issue of Alternate Perceptions (apmagazine.info). I am trying to understand the various brain sites that may be involved in paranormal functions with the hopes that in time experimental procedures may be implimented that will further our knowledge and understanding of such phenomena. Though some may perceive such inquiries as seeking to dismiss or explain such perceptions as simply subjective mental states of consciousness, the fact remains that experiencers are the vital key to understanding things like alleged UFO contacts and other paranormal manifestations and so we vitally need greater insight into how the human brain must process those kinds of experiences just as we strive to understand how it processes so-called everyday normal “reality.”

A few months back, I was talking with a former radio journalist who says he has had a full spectrum of psychic experiences, as well as Bigfoot and “extraterrestrial” entity encounters (often with others who can verify these incidents), and it all began at a Christmas party in 2011 when his mother was about to leave the gathering. As he went to hug her good-bye, something really bizarre happened. Suddenly he realized that “everybody in the room was standing still” and that his mom's normally “beautiful blue eyes” were instead “jet black” with “something white in her eyes” peering back at him. He somehow “just knew” that he was looking at the “angel of death” in his mother's eyes! He said he felt sick to his stomach and said he wanted to cry. His mom had been battling cancer, at first colon and then breast cancer. Then suddenly “in a split second” things returned to normal as “everybody in the room started moving and talking again.”

“My mom gave me a hug and I was like, 'What the hell is going on here?'” Later that night, after the guests had left, the journalist told his wife what had happened. She suggested that he should try relaxing and maybe he could put everything into focus. “I don't remember the next 38 minutes,” he told me. “From what my wife tells me I started channeling the angel of death.” He “channeled” a message that stated how the family needed to be more understanding of her struggles and to show her more love and respect. He got with two of his sisters afterwards and the family became more responsive to their mother's needs, and years later, still with them, he's convinced the changes they made affected their mom's well being in very positive ways. He's thankful for the experience.

The “Oz Effect” (a term created by British ufologist Jenny Randles) is all over the place. I also discussed this in my recent Reality Checking article just mentioned a few paragraphs back. Time slowing down or seemingly coming to a temporary complete stop is part of it. I recall a story shared with me back in 1974 from a Navyman (back while I was serving a tour of duty myself with the U.S. Navy) who described an intriguing example of such an incident from when he was a boy living in a suburb of Orlando, Florida, in August 1966 when things around him unexpectedly “seemed to slow down.” He was outside at the time and noticed a fog in some bushes and trees nearby where “sparkling light” took the shape of a “man.” “This person or whatever held out it's hands and spoke to me in a warm and gentle voice saying be calm. I became calm and this person seemed (to) look through me until after a little while time backlashed and reclaimed what had passed in a swift motion.” One night not long before this incident, the young man was allegedly awakened by a high-pitched sound and observed a bright white glowing egg-shaped object hovering nearby.

Angelic interventions and ufological “Oz” events are not the only times that this slowing of time perception is described. Back in 2007, I was talking on the phone with British consciousness researcher and author Anthony Peake who said he was researching temporal lobe epilepsy when the following happened:

“I didn’t know where I was going with it until one day I received a phone call from a lady who ran a recruitment consulting service and she asked me if I was interested in doing any work as she had a potential contract for me, and I said, 'Yes, I would be interested, but at the moment I’m taking a year sabbatical to write a book.' She said, 'What are you writing about?' I said, 'Well, I don’t know where I’m going with it, but at the moment I’m interested in temporal lobe epilepsy.' She went incredibly quiet and then she said, 'Look, I need to meet up with you.' So I arranged a meeting near London Gatwick Airport and she said, 'Tony, the reason that I needed to speak with you is that I’ve recently been diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy, and everything you were describing was sending shivers down my spine because it’s effectively what happens to me.' So I said, 'Could you explain to me the first time that you discovered or that you realized that you had TLE?' She said that she was sitting in a restaurant at work with a friend and that as she was doing so and as that friend was about to pour a cup of tea she felt a snap over her right ear and suddenly she looked at her friend and her friend had frozen in time and space. Literally had stopped moving. She looked around the restaurant to find that everybody else in the restaurant had also stopped moving. They were literally frozen in time. She could hear this low humming sound behind her and she realized then, to her horror, that her friend had not in fact frozen but was moving incredibly slowly and she realized that the humming sound that she was hearing behind her was in fact people talking because the metabolic rate in her body had speeded up to such an extent that time had slowed down for her and she was literally trapped in this temporal fugue, for want of a better term, for hours and hours and hours. She watched her friend pour the tea and she said that she never realized what surface tension in a liquid was till she saw the tea hit the surface and watched it bounce up and down. Then after hours and hours she felt another snap over her ear and she came to and her friend looked at her and said, 'Are you okay?' She had literally been away for about .5 of a second. She had a classic TLE absence, and this fascinated me, and for some reason, and I don’t know why even to this day, but I said, 'Do you get déjà vu’s?' She said, 'Oh good Lord. I get déjà vu’s to kill for.' She said she got déjà vu’s where she knew what was going to happen for the next ten minutes. I said, 'Why don’t you just say something to somebody?' She said, 'Because I feel that if I do I’ll change the future or I’ll change the way things are planned to be.' It must be peculiar being in a situation where you feel you know what’s going to happen next and you know that by saying something that you’ll stop that event from happening.”

Peake has through the years continued to evolve in his research and come to include many aspects, including UFO contact experiences. He sees TLE (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy), which remains undiagnosed in many people, as well as other conditions as many times playing a potentially major role in the mechanisms of consciousness for deja vu and a wide variety of other experiences that may be on the fringes of the paranormal and the spiritual realm of phenonomena, like the NDE, OOBE, and, yes, alien encounters. As some will recall, in Whitley Strieber's book Communion he pondered the TLE question with his own alien (he preferred Visitor) experiences. In fact, Peake has a new book just coming out entitled Opening the Doors of Perception, which has a foreword by Strieber.

In our initial 2007 phone conversation, as Peake was sharing how some people seem to have a hidden part of themselves that displays paranormal knowledge of the future and other things while in trance states of consciousness, I mentioned John Keel's case, as described in Keel's well known book The Mothman Prophecies, as he was describing a woman experiencer on Long Island who he had hypnotized when his control of the hypnotic session unexpectedly ended and he found himself communicating with a supposed alien entity named Apol, who provided future predictions of plane crashes that later proved accurate. Peake got excited and told me that that was this “hidden observer” who he liked to call the Daemon, based on the Gnostic tradition of a guardian spirit, which he said most of the time existed hidden in the non-dominant right hemisphere of the brain. However, Peake added, hypnosis was certainly one way it could be reached and that it was also capable somehow of seeing into the future. Curious artifacts and manifestations of consciousness may prove to be vital and often overlooked clues in the conditioned ufological rush to judgement for only “nuts and bolts” type details of preferred selection. Soon after the word began to circulate about the “Oz Effect” back in the 1970s, a handful of researchers did start to take notice and the pattern can become more and more noticeable once you begin to look for it. “Again we encounter that odd suspension of reality that is so common in these cases,” a researcher in Arizona wrote me in 1981 of an alien abduction incident he was looking into. “Kathy could not see any traffic activity on the highway while entering and leaving the UFO even though the highway was packed just before and after the encounter. Kathy and her mother also explained that before the abduction the rest stop itself had been crowded but that afterwards most of the cars there were gone!”

In our focus on the apparent physical details, the subjective seeming “Oz” elements can easily be overlooked or dismissed as simply psychological. In fact, I myself can plead guilty of overlooking as I was recently on the phone with an “alien abductee” who I hadn't been in touch with for a good while and when I went ahead and asked her if she had had any such experiences, she reminded me about her California sighting wherein she described a close encounter with a boomerang shaped craft. I recalled that she had sent me that report back in 1994, and sure enough there it was in plain print: “As I was driving down Main Street I noticed there was no one on the street, which was unusual for this neighborhood. Especially on a warm spring evening. I pulled up to the curb and got out of my car. I heard a very low but powerful sound of an engine. I looked up, and I could not believe what I was seeing. Right over the telephone wires was this huge craft shaped like a boomerang. I was right under this UFO.” I had forgotten about this. I'm afraid that all sorts of high-strangeness gets overlooked in these cases. Government censorship isn't involved. It's us, the researchers, consciously and unconsciously overlooking or outright rejecting potential key evidence that doesn't quite fit into certain pigeon holes we expect to find because we've been conditioned by popular literature on this subject that has too narrow of a focus and fails to include the additonal anomalies of consciousness and the paranormal.

As I mentioned in my last column, a few years back I had met and spoken with Johnny Sands, a singer, songwriter, and Hollywood stuntman who back in 1976 made headlines after claiming that he had come face-to-face with a humanoid being in the desert outside Las Vegas one night soon after observing a low flying giant blimp shaped UFO. This was one of four incidents that I related where a humanoid being produced a mysterious sphere in its left hand. His car had stalled, he had explained. Sands told me: “As I raised the hood, I could see that the object was still hovering above me and as I looked up a flash of light descended to the ground in front of my car – maybe 300-400 feet in front. As it hit, I could see from the brightness of the light two figures standing. They began walking toward me. It was like I was in a time lapse and nothing was functioning right for me.”

“They had no hair, no eyebrows, but they looked like human people. The only difference was that there was a growth coming out of the sides of their neck, which to me looked like fish gills. They had no ears, but they had a very wide nose.The only thing that looked funny was that their mouth looked like they had no teeth.” They appeared to be 5 feet, plus maybe 7 or 8 inches tall.

Later Sands is at a hotel with several people as an artist tries to reconstruct the alien's facial appearance that he said that he had seen. As the artist got to the “gills” he commented that it seemed odd to him that such a being would have both a big nose and gills. He wondered why they would have both. “And two men walked up, dressed in black,” Sands told me. “One of the men...leaned over, almost like a robot, in front of my face, and he said, 'That's because of where they're from.' He said, 'You see, there's a planet in the solar system of a star called Sirius and that planet is an aquatic type planet, which is half the time under water and half of it is on land.”

Then one of the strangers patted Sands on the shoulder, just like he said the alien had done, telling Sands, “We've got to go now, but we will see you again real soon,” and quickly left the room. Sands asked a security guard to follow them. “The halls would normally be jam packed, but for some reason there was nobody in any of the hallways,” Sands told me. “Nobody except us. These two men walked down the hallway with security right behind them. He was less than 15 feet behind them. They went out two double doors and before the doors could close he grabbed the (one) door and was pushing it open. When he went out, I saw him lean forward, look both ways, look across the street, he turned around and walked back. He was as pale as the aliens I was just showing you on the picture. He said, 'You won't believe this. Them people vanished in mid air. There's no cars – there's nobody on the streets.” Concerned, a friend of Sands who was an experienced police officer, drove the both of them back to his place. “We're going to take some back alleys and get home,” Sands recalled his friend said, and that's exactly what they did. But once they pulled into the friend's parking lot Sands stated “the minute that we stepped out of the car a long black Cadillac limousine drove down to the edge of the road, they rolled down two windows, a front one and a back one, and two men looked out the windows at us. It was those men that were in the casino. They looked at us, and then they turned their heads straight ahead, rolled the windows up and drove off.” His police friend exclaimed, “How could they have found us?”

Sands swears that at that time they knew nothing on the subject of the MIB (Men In Black). However, the story Sands was telling me kept getting increasingly bizarre. He claimed that he was next contacted by a man who identified himself as a Dave Dunn who said he was with a Hollywood production company. They had heard about the incident and wanted to do a documentary about it, Dunn told Sands. So Sands and his friend met this Dunn and a couple of his friends at a lavishly furnished and decorated apartment to talk. Dunn was dressed in a black/grayish turtleneck shirt and black pants.

The next night Sands and his police friend went to meet Dunn at the lobby of the Desert Inn. When they arrived the parking lot was full and they were about a football field length from the casino. As soon as they opened their doors a black Cadillac pulled in front of them and out stepped Dunn with a martini in his left hand. Sands said Dunn in a friendly voice exclaimed, “Hello Johnny, here's a martini for you.” Plus he had one for Sands's friend. “How did you know how to find us?” Sands recalls he asked. “Because we were looking for you,” was the reply.

Sands and his police buddy went ahead and got in the back of the limousine, but suspicious they spilled out their drinks. Again there was Dunn and two other men. They drove out in the direction of the Blue Diamond Highway. Sands had told them he'd show them where his encounter had occurred, but then they drove right by it inspite of his protests. They continued another estimated five miles and then pulled over and stopped, at which time lights hit them from both side of the desert. Dunn told them to stay in the car while he and his two partners got out. The men walked across the street and suddenly out of the darkness men dressed in black approached Dunn. Sands's friend had his window cracked and told Sands, “He's talking about you and he says, 'He knows too much. This has got to end here and now. He...knows...too...much!'” Sands said he decided to get out of the car and confront whatever this was about head on. “I reached and grabbed the door handle and as I reached to grab it...” A slight pause, Sands then asks me, “I don't know if you've ever seen that show The Adams Family – Cousin It, the furry thing?” I replied that I had. “Okay,” Sands continued. “Cousin It come running at me, at my door, and I looked and it run so close to the door I slammed the door back and looked out and it stood right in front of my door. No face. Just fur.” Sands locked his door and decided he wasn't going anywhere.

After a long conversation Dunn and the other two returned to the car. “What's going on?” Sands asked. However, Sands told me, “they did not speak one single solitary word” all the way back to Las Vegas, which might have been about twenty miles. Even when dropped off, nothing was said, which was quite contrary as Dunn had been “talking up a storm” on the way out.

Sands told his friend he wanted to go right back and see what the lights and people had all been about. “We drove back,” he said. “Now all the way out to that location there was not a car that passed us. When we got to the location there was nothing. Nobody, no nothing. Then we turned around and came all the way back and had not passed one car.”

Determined to get to the bottom of things the next morning, Sands and his police friend return to the apartment to look up Dunn. Sands was beating on the door when a maintenance man told him there was no one there. Sands insisted there was and he told the maintenance man about Dave Dunn, to which the worker told Sands that he must have the wrong apartment. But the police friend pulled out a paper with the address written on it and agreed it was the correct address. They were then led downstairs and the landlord was awakened. Again they were told that they must be mistaken, but Sands insisted again that they weren't, and proceeded to describe the furnishings. The landlord took note when Sands described the hand painted fireplace mantel. She got the key and opened the door for them. However, the room was empty. Sands said the landlord remarked, “With the kind of furniture and the many rooms you're talking about here, they would have had to have had a tractor trailer in here and several men moving this stuff. There's no way in the world they could have moved that much stuff in that many hours.”
v Sands told me that they went around the apartment complex and knocked on door and after door asking if anyone had seen something. “Nobody had seen anything,” he said. “They never seen these men. I said, 'Did you ever see that black Cadillac?' One person said, 'I thought that I might have seen it at one time.'” The police friend tried to track Dunn and the others down, but they had absolutely “disappeared” without a trace.


In my next column, I'll detail another alien experiencer's “Oz” episodes and how he contacted Dr. J. Allen Hynek for help afterwards....and what the noteworthy outcome on that was.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024