For those new to the
field, they might not know much about the Aerial Phenomena Research
Organization (APRO), which was created by Coral Lorenzen in the early 1950s. At
that time there were two prominent UFO Organizations with APRO being one and the
National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) being the other.
There were dozens, if not hundreds of smaller, local organizations. I was a
member of the Denver UFO Society in the late 1960s, but that was a group that
operated in the Denver area and had no real investigation arm.
|Jim and Coral Lorenzen
I mention APRO because
of its size, the membership in the thousands and Coral, and later Jim and Coral
Lorenzen published several good books about UFOs. Unlike NICAP, which seemed to
focus on Congressional investigations and pressing the Air Force for transparency,
though they certainly collected thousands of UFO reports, APRO focused on what
might have been seen as the fringe areas of UFO study early on. They collected
reports on landings and occupant sightings and were the first American
organization to research alien abduction cases. Although they had known about
the Vilas-Boas abduction in 1957, they didn’t report on it officially until the
1960s when the Barney and Betty Hill case was investigated. Interestingly,
Betty Hill contacted Don Keyhoe of NICAP about her sighting and abduction.
Eventually, her interest was diverted to APRO.
The point here is that
the files of NICAP, the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and even
many if not most of the Project Blue Books files have been collected by various
civilian research and investigation organizations. The exception was the APRO
files. Upon the deaths of both Jim and Coral Lorenzen in the mid-1980s, the
files ended up in the hands of the Lorenzen children after. Attempts by various
organizations and individuals to obtain the files had been made over the years without
I provide this brief history
to put all this into context. As many know, David Marler, who has created the
National UFO Historical Records Center, a name that does not lend itself to an
easily pronounceable acronym, has announced the acquisition of the APRO
records. This means, that his Center is now the repository of the largest
collection of UFO records. This includes the records and investigative activities
of several foreign researchers and organizations.
Marler, and his team
have been digitizing these records at the headquarters of the organization,
which means that searches for specific cases, and all relevant data will become
a searchable file, or as Marler wrote in his press release, the files are
digitized for electronic storage, analyzation, transfer and ease of access.
Interestingly, there have
been, in the past, UFO researchers who guarded their records and files with a
tenacity that rivals various governmental agencies. That barrier seems to have
been broken to some extent now.
As I say, the important
point here is the transfer of the APRO files into Marler’s group. They are
currently located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and can be found at www.nufohrc.org.
APRO was the first UFO
organization to take reports of landing and alien beings seriously. They sent
the first investigators into Pascagoula to interview Charles Hickson and Calvin
Parker. And were in Socorro, New Mexico, within hours to interview Lonnie
Zamora about the UFO landing and occupant sighting there in 1964.
One of those APRO cases
was a landing in rural Iowa on June 6, 1972. The witness, identified in the
APRO only as Mr. T., but his name was Edward Tieg. He said that a flash of
light caught his attention. He thought it was an airplane, but the object came
closer. He saw that it was egg shaped and as it began to land, legs grew out of
the bottom. He said that it was about ten to twelve feet in diameter and
fifteen to twenty feet tall. He said that it cast a shadow when it was sitting
on the ground.
|Illustration of the sighting created by Edward Tieg.
From the files of Kevin Randle
It was about a hundred
yards away. A hatch opened and according to him, some people got out. The
beings were about five feet tall and were wearing a one-piece flying suit. They
messed around in the corn, returned to their ship and it took off.
|Investigators on the landing site.
Photo by Kevin Randle.
He said that as it
lifted off, a blue flame shot out of the bottom, there was a roar and the legs
retracted. The corn stocks in that area looked as if they had been caught in a
whirlwind but they weren’t burned. I’ll note here that Lonnie Zamora talked
about a blue flame and a roar as that craft lifted off. I’m not sure if a
farmer in Iowa knew about a New Mexico policeman who described some of the same
Although reluctant to talk
about the sighting, he did provide an illustration of what he had seen. As
happens so often in UFO reports, there were no other witnesses to this
sighting, though there had been others in the area about the same time.