Aerial Phenomena Research Organization
Founded in January 1952 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, ‘‘to
conduct investigations and research into the phenomenon of
unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and to find a scientifically
acceptable solution to this phenomenon.’’ Led by Jim Lorenzen
and his wife, Coral Lorenzen, who authored several popular
UFO books, APRO emerged as one of the most outstanding
UFO investigation organizations. Through the 1950s the
Lorenzens and APRO moved successively to Los Angeles
(1954), Alamogordo, New Mexico (1954), and Tucson, Arizona
(1960). Beginning as an association of flying saucer clubs that
collected accounts of UFOs and commented upon them in the
APRO Bulletin, APRO grew into a substantial research organization.
It was distinguished from the National Investigations
Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), the other main
UFO research organization of the 1950s, by its coolness to the
idea of a government cover-up of UFO data and its interest in
sightings of humanoid-like creatures associated with the UFOs.
APRO membership peaked in 1967 with 1,500 members.
Then in 1969 it suffered two disasters. First, the University of
Colorado report of its study of UFOs, popularly known as the
Condon Report, struck Ufology (the study of UFOs) a significant
blow with the conclusion that nothing was likely to be
achieved by further study. As a result, the Air Force dropped
its semipublic data collection effort, Project Blue Book. Then
APRO suffered a major schism when Walt Andrus, who led a regional
office in Illinois, broke away and founded the Midwest
UFO Network (now the Mutual UFO Network). Membership
began a decline from which APRO never recovered. Jim Lorenzen
died in 1986, and Coral followed two years later. The board
voted to disband the organization shortly thereafter.
Clark, Jerome. The Emergence of a Phenomenon: UFOs from the
Beginning through 1959; The UFO Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. Detroit:
Omnigraphics, 1992.
Lorenzen, Coral E. The Great Flying Saucer Hoax: The UFO
Facts and Their Interpretation. New York: William Frederick
Press, 1962. Rev.: Flying Saucers: The Startling Evidence of Invasion
from Outer Space. New York: New American Library, 1966.
Lorenzen, Coral, and Jim Lorenzen. Abducted! Confrontations
with Beings from Outer Space. New York: Berkley, 1977.
———. Encounters with UFO Occupants. New York: Berkley,
———. UFOs: The Whole Story. New York: New American Library,
———. UFOs Over the Americas. New York: New American
Library, 1968.

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