Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The Possible Navy Frogman
WNDR-AM Radio no longer exists in Syracuse, but on October 24, 1976 I appeared as a guest on a weekly Sunday evening talk show entitled "Open Forum." Host Mike Cahill rather surprised me because his invitation included no mention of the skeptical astronomer who joined us for a discussion about UFOs.
We consumed about two and a half hours of this program that ran from 7:00 to midnight. There was a tape of the show, but only of the part where we talked about UFOs. Later, after I had returned home, still listening to program callers who phoned in long after the fact, the UFO topic remained hot. Now, there were numerous prank calls that night, as one might expect, with regret. But. . .
There was one particular caller, a man with a young-sounding voice, who had an immediate answer for every question the host asked. The caller claimed to have been a U.S. Navy frogman who, as part of a team of seven, assisted in the successful recovery of a strange submerged object that he called a UFO, or a part of one, on December 7, 1969. He reported its location as the Atlantic Ocean, not far from Guantanamo.
I listened intently from home, wishing I were still at the studio to take the call. The caller exhibited a few seconds of hesitation at only one point, and that is when host Cahill requested the retrieval's location. Following disclosure, the man clearly stated that he was warned never to discuss the incident under threat of some undefined punishment. At that point, he also warned radio listeners intrigued by the UFO subject not to get too involved, whatever that meant. The caller did seem genuinely afraid to leave his name off the air and feared his call being traced. He had commented that he probably said too much already.
I phoned Mike Cahill Monday morning (I was unable to reach him the previous evening) to see if a studio tape recording existed of the show, but there was no tape. He, too, had wished for a recording of this most intriguing call. He promised to contact me with any further information, but nothing materialized.
Monday evening I phoned Coral Lorenzen about this, she was "intrigued" and thought perhaps some of their military members could look into this.
As an aside, this is also the call where Coral informed me that an interview about APRO had just appeared in Oui Magazine and that there was some misquoting involved. She vowed to do no more interviews via phone unless she could tape them and review the articles first. I had to conceal my laughter when she confessed no prior knowledge that Oui featured pictures of naked women and, indeed, she insisted that her son cut the article out and give to her so she wouldn't have to look at the other contents -- and then she threw the remainder in the trash.
By this point, her husband Jim had fully recovered from heart bypass surgery and felt great. Coral was expecting a call from a Japanese film company this very evening, intent upon coming to the U.S. to film a documentary about UFO abductions, and she was working on a new book regarding abductions based upon what she called seven good cases. Quite confident, Coral promised the book would be unlike any other UFO book. I'm not sure whether anything more developed from this ongoing project, and I also suspect that answers to a great many questions like this will only be answered when access to APRO's files occurs someday (these invaluable files are apparently in the hands of a couple who somehow inherited them after Coral's death and APRO's demise).