White Sands

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White Sands ★★½ 1992 (R)

When a dead man's body is found at a remote Indian reservation clutching a gun and a briefcase filled with $500,000, the local sheriff (Dafoe) takes his identity to see where the money leads. Using a phone number found on a piece of paper in the dead man's stomach, the sheriff follows clues until he finds himself mixed up with a rich woman (Mastrantonio) who sells black market weapons and uses the money to support “worthy” causes, and an FBI man (Jackson) who uses him as bait to lure a CIA turncoat/arms dealer (Rourke). Sound confusing? It is, and despite the strong cast and vivid scenery of the southwest United States, this film just doesn't cut it. 101m/C VHS, DVD . Jack Kehler, Willem Dafoe, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Mickey Rourke, Mimi Rogers, Samuel L. Jackson, M. Emmet Walsh, James Rebhorn, Maura Tierney, Beth Grant, Miguel (Michael) Sandoval, John Lafayette; Cameos: Fred Dalton Thompson, John P. Ryan; D: Roger Donaldson; W: Daniel Pyne; C: Peter Menzies Jr.; M: Patrick O'Hearn.

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White Sands, uninhabited desert area, S central N.Mex. It is a center for U.S. military-weapons research and testing. On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was exploded at Holloman Air Force Base (formerly Alamogordo Air Base). Each military branch maintains facilities at White Sands Missile Range, the busiest U.S. missile range. The area encloses White Sands National Monument, which preserves the huge gypsum dunes, as well as unique plant and animal life adapted to living there (see National Parks and Monuments, table), and San Andres National Wildlife Refuge.

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White Sands Incident

Title of a book by Daniel Fry published in 1954, claiming that the author saw a flying saucer land at the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico and took a trip in it. Fry has importance in UFO history for being among the first to claim to have traveled in a UFO.