In 1969, a musician named Jim Sullivan recorded an album called U.F.O., which featured strange lyrics about leaving his family and being abducted by aliens. Sullivan disappeared six years later without a trace, the only piece of evidence being his abandoned car found on a desert road.
Sullivan’s debut album, U.F.O., was released on a private label, Minnie Records. Not many were produced, and the original is a coveted collector’s item among fans. The record went largely unnoticed until mysterious circumstances surrounding the artist brought it to the public’s attention.
U.F.O. contains songs that are filled with words of despair. The songs give voice to the feelings of being forgotten, unloved, and abandoned. The title song, “U.F.O.”, goes even further and speaks of alien abduction.
Perhaps these were the thoughts on Sullivan’s mind on March 4, 1975, as he left Los Angeles. His plan was to drive to Nashville, Tennessee. About 15 hours later, he was seen in Santa Rosa, New Mexico by a highway patrol officer. The officer stopped Sullivan for erratic driving and took him to the police station. After confirming that Sullivan was not under the influence of alcohol, he was released. From there, he went to the La Mesa Hotel. He checked in but did not sleep there. Instead, leaving his key in the room, he went to a neighborhood store and purchased some vodka and resumed his journey.
The next day, March 5, Sullivan’s car was found outside a ranch 26 miles from the motel on a long, lonely desert road. Sullivan was nowhere to be found. Police investigated and found the car to be locked and the engine dead. Inside the car were Sullivan’s wallet, guitar, clothes, reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, silver appointment book, and a box of his albums.
Search parties scoured the area and newspapers printed missing person stories, but the search proved fruitless. Sullivan’s manager Robert “Buster” Ginter later stated that during the early morning hours of a long evening, he would talk with Sullivan about what would you do if they had to disappear. Sullivan reportedly said he’d walk into the desert and never come back.
Sullivan was never seen again. When a decomposing body was found in a remote area several miles away, many suspected they had found him, but investigators later determined it was not Sullivan. Since then, the mystery has only grown, with speculation that he was murdered, lost, or, particularly in the light of the title of his first album, abducted by aliens.
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