Monday, October 15, 2007

UFO Ultrasound Feedback and APRO's Symposium

My UFO ultrasound article in The A.P.R.O. Bulletin did elicit some feedback, though not all of it favorable. A reader in California wondered what my "problem" was as he added content to my theories (see letter). I wrote Coral and asked what she specifically thought my "problem" was, and her response was that she didn't know, either, that's why she forwarded the writer's letter on to me.

In the meantime, the Lorenzens were about to embark on a trip to Santa Ana, CA for a UFO symposium, where they would also discuss the ultrasound possibilities with others. The Western Symposium pamphlet is shown here, along with an APRO form letter stressing the need for publicity. Pay special attention to the bottom where APRO admits that the negative Colorado UFO project results have deterred sighting reports and sightings are diminished.

It may easily be interpreted from this turn of events that the demise of Project Blue Book, based upon Colorado's report, suddenly gave the public fewer outlets for reporting UFO experiences. When Blue Book collapsed, the public was advised primarily to report UFOs to their local law enforcement agencies -- a preposterous suggestion that would burden police officers who knew nothing about UFO investigations and were already up to their armpits in responding to and solving crimes. In time, especially with the advent of Dr. J. Allen Hynek's influential Center for UFO Studies in the seventies, police agencies at last felt more comfortable in passing reports along to a civilian UFO agency. NICAP and APRO had also enjoyed a good relationship with law enforcement departments, of course, but Dr. Hynek's reputation as both former chief Air Force UFO consultant and professional astronomer allowed him "star status" in the eyes of many, and his ever-evolving public statements supporting the scientific aspect of the UFO phenomenon didn't hurt, either.

By 1972, the possible relationship between UFO activity and ultrasound was apparently taken quite seriously by some in the scientific community. In Vol. 2, No. 5 of Gordon I.R. Lore, Jr's UFO Research Newsletter (Wash., DC), Dr. Robert F. Creegan, professor of philosophy at the State University of NY at Albany, wrote an article about scientists in San Diego and Seattle providing instrumentation to conduct UFO field studies. "These will involve attempts at triangulation of positions," stated Creegan, "studies of light diffraction and possible polarization, attempts to detect ultrasound, and use of magnetic variometers." James Lorenzen, head of APRO, and Dr. J. Allen Hynek coordinated the project initially in conjunction with The National Enquirer, which had convened a "blue ribbon panel" of scientists and other professionals to determine the best evidence for UFOs. I personally am unaware of any immediate findings relative to ultrasound, though, admittedly, doing field studies on a phenomenon as uncooperative as the UFO is an obstacle from the outset.