Thursday, January 10, 2008

Coral's Undertow

There exist piles of correspondence inappropriate for this blog, particularly in cases where people are still living, and I do try to be sensitive to the obvious fact that family members of those deceased survive and might be affected by something I write or put out there for display.

Keeping this in mind, I truly have questioned whether I should run the letter from the late Coral Lorenzen shown here. By accident, I discovered that Coral's sister died recently, and I'm all too aware that family members live on as their lives take their own course.

So, what do I do? This letter is now nearly 30 years old, and I'm thinking, well, I've tried to offer something of a tribute to APRO's Coral Lorenzen in this blog. It's never been a secret that Coral disliked various UFO researchers, and some apparently felt the same about her -- though I hasten to admit that detractors' complaints often involved APRO's reluctance to share files and information with them. Actually, in today's letter Coral takes a swipe at both MUFON (her favorite target of all time) and CUFOS, but that was typical Coral, and I must confess that I heard a lot worse in phone conversations with her.

However, getting back to the letter: Say what you will about Coral the UFO researcher, Coral the author of multiple books with her husband Jim and Coral the driving force behind APRO, the earliest U.S. UFO organization (1952) -- she was also a wife and mother. We already touched upon the year when Jim had emergency cardiac surgery and the nightmare surrounding that incident for Coral. Then, in 1979, arrived this letter.

Why show it here, filled as it is with family sadness and tragedy? Because Coral Lorenzen was a public figure, a multi-published book author known the world over. If I don't take this opportunity to reflect her family side for that world to see, who will? When history craves intimate details of APRO's foundations as time goes on, should it have been my role to hide the facts, or to put them out there for all to see? I've chosen the latter course. I think it's my responsibility, and I believe Coral would have understood -- well, maybe after a tirade of sorts.

Jim Lorenzen would pass on a few years after this letter, and as Coral herself lapsed into decline in succeeding years, her daughter suddenly died, probably hastening Coral's demise profoundly.

Some know all too well that behind the UFO story oft lies a human story -- each story special in its own way.