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The Flying Saucer Woman Who Changed UFO Research Forever

The Flying Saucer Woman Who Changed UFO Research Forever 86

Coral Lorenzen’s interest in UFOs began at just 9 years old, when she witnessed a mysterious object in the sky over Barron, Wisconsin over a decade before Roswell.

In an unprecedented move, the Pentagon has recently admitted to an active interest in UFOs. A secret study that began in 2007, known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), “did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena” until the program closed in 2012, according to the Department of Defense.

In May the Rolling Stone wrote about a “New York Times report confirming that between 2014 and 2015, Navy pilots reported ‘almost daily’ sightings of unidentified flying objects lurking in the air, including one that resembled a ‘spinning top moving against the wind.’”

In April the Navy reported they were developing guidelines for reporting UFO sightings following “a surge in what the Navy called a series of intrusions by advanced aircraft on Navy carrier strike groups,” according to the Navy Times.

A May headline from the Washington Post declares “UFOs exist and everyone needs to adjust to that fact.

Declassified image of Navy pilots encountering a UFO in 2015
A recently declassified image of Navy pilots encountering a UFO in 2015

Of course, the government publicly acknowledging the existence of unidentified flying objects doesn’t automatically mean we are being visited by extraterrestrials. It’s probably just weather balloons and swamp gas. But whatever we’ve been seeing in the skies, it’s been going on a long time, and the government has been paying attention. Other notable studies predating the AATIP, sparked by the high profile 1947 Roswell incident, include Project Sign in 1948, Project Grudge in 1949, and Project Blue Book throughout the 1950s and 60s.

“I had scarcely heard of UFOs in 1948 and, like every other scientist I knew, assumed that they were nonsense,” Dr. J. Allen Hynek said about his early involvement in the studies.

Hynek agreed to participate in the investigations in hopes of debunking the sightings. But as unexplainable cases piled up, Hynek’s perspective began to change.

“The witnesses I interviewed could have been lying, could have been insane or could have been hallucinating collectively—but I do not think so,” he wrote in 1977. “Their standing in the community, their lack of motive for perpetration of a hoax, their own puzzlement at the turn of events they believe they witnessed, and often their great reluctance to speak of the experience—all lend a subjective reality to their UFO experience.”

But the Air Force didn’t seem to be taking reports seriously, or making any real effort to identify what people were seeing. Hynek became disenchanted, as did the general public. Critics of Project Blue Book, Hynek wrote, called the program “The Society for the Explanation of the Uninvestigated.”

It was during this time that Coral Lorenzen, a young reporter for a small press in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin decided it was up to the public to conduct a proper investigation of UFO phenomena.

The General Mills UFO

UFO researchers Jim and Coral Lorenzen
UFO researchers and APRO founders Kim and Coral Lorenzen, 1955

“I turned the corner at Third and Michigan and walked toward the drugstore,” Coral Lorenzen wrote in her 1966 book Flying Saucers: The Startling Evidence of the Invasion from Outer Space. “Suddenly someone called, ‘There’s the ‘flying-saucer woman’-ask her what it is!’ Third Avenue, the main street in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, was literally full of people watching the sky to the northeast. I looked up and saw it too-a silver, ellipsoid object.”

On May 21, 1952, Lorenzen, along with countless other residents of Door County, witnessed the Sturgeon Bay Flying Saucer. Coral was a writer for the Green Bay Press-Gazette at the time, using it as a platform to research decades of UFO sightings in the area.

The object in the skies over Sturgeon Bay appeared to be metallic with a bright red glow at the bottom, according to Coral’s description in her 1966 book Flying Saucers: The Startling Evidence of the Invasion from Outer Space. It was moving very slowly toward the northeast, and was visible in the area for about 50 minutes. Based on calculations from observations made in Sturgeon Bay, as well as Fish Creek 30 minutes to the north, Coral and Jim estimated the object to be 780 feet in diameter at an altitude of about 40 miles.

Many attempts to explain the sighting were made over the next few days until the General Mills Company of Minneapolis, known today for their cereal brands, took credit for the UFO. They were testing balloons designed to transport equipment in the upper atmosphere for a secret government program called Project Skyhook.

General Mills Project Skyhook billboard
“Where our balloons now float will be man’s highway of tomorrow,” Project Skyhook engineer Otto C. Winzen told Popular Science in 1948.

“Not explained was the bright light on the bottom of the object,” Coral wrote of General Mills’ claim. “It wasn’t even mentioned in the press release. The reliability of the observers wasn’t mentioned either. I had had a good deal of experience with estimating degrees of arc in the sky, and both policemen who had observed the object in Fish Creek were World War II veterans and capable observers. The General Mills statement did not attempt to discredit Mr. Lorenzen’s triangulation, nor did it mention the facts that the big balloons were considerably less than four hundred feet in diameter and were not equipped with huge riding lights.”

The General Mills website mentions the balloons, and the stir one caused in 1947 when something “glowing an angry red” was witnessed over Minneapolis. Many residents called the University of Minnesota, jamming their phone lines for an hour, asking if there was a flying saucer in the sky or if it was “the beginning of the end of the world.”

UFO Over Barron

Something crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Whether it was an alien spacecraft as many UFO researchers believe, or merely a weather balloon, it sparked a new public awareness of seemingly extraterrestrial objects in our skies, and reports flooded in for years after.

But UFO reports didn’t begin with the Roswell incident.

In the decades preceding the notorious crash in New Mexico, there were many documented UFO sightings that defied explanation. Mysterious things were flying over our heads long before top secret government aircraft began causing a stir in the 1940s and 50s. And, since Wisconsin ranks as the second highest state where you’re most likely to have a close encounter, it makes sense that the future of UFO research would begin here.

UFO sightings at Benson's Hide-a-Way in Dundee, WI
A binder full of UFO photos at Benson’s Hide-a-Way, Wisconsin’s “UFO Capital of the World”

“The beginning of the mystery of UFOs was, for me at least, on a sunny summer day in Barron, Wisconsin, in 1934,” Coral wrote. She was just nine years old when she and two friends watched an object she described looking like “an open umbrella without the ribs or spurs” glide silently through the sky and vanish over the horizon.

“Barron in 1934 was a small town of about 1500 population. Airliners were rarely if ever seen, it would be safe to say weather balloons were never seen and, indeed, even a small monoplane was an event in that area. The ‘thing’ was in the west-southwest when I first noticed it. I called it to the attention of my two playmates, and one said she thought it was a parachute. Its color was a glowing white. The object was about as large as a dime held at arm’s length, there were no ropes or lines suspended from it—and, therefore, no parachutist.

“It made no sound as it wobbled in a northwest direction across the clear, cloudless sky. It wasn’t going fast—rather, it was poking along at a leisurely rate of speed and with a rather strange motion, that has been described in recent reports as ‘undulating.’

“We watched the object for perhaps twenty seconds. Then it appeared to go over the horizon, or perhaps it came to rest north of Barron in the vicinity of a body of water referred to locally as the ‘Upper Dam.’ I went home and told my father, who made inquiries, and the matter was dropped. No one had seen the object we three children had watched, and there was no news of a parachutist landing north of the dam.”

Coral’s sighting predated the 1947 Roswell crash and the resulting UFO flap by 13 years.

“There was only one explanation for the thing I had seen,” Coral wrote. “There might be intelligent life on other worlds, and their ships were the strange things people had reported in the heavens from time to time through the years.”

Arial Phenomena Research Organization

1952, the year Coral and many others witnessed the massive silver object float silently over Lake Michigan, was a busy year for UFO sightings. And as quickly as the reports were coming in, the government was dismissing them with what many believed to be poor investigations and worse explanations. Coral, still haunted by what she saw years earlier, realized there needed to be an organized way that amateur researchers could investigate UFO sightings and exchange information.

Coral and Jim founded the Arial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) that year. It was the first group of it’s kind.

In his book The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry, Hynek wrote that while APRO had among its number members who were “overenthusiastic and uncritical persons enamored of the idea of UFOs,” he stated that it was not a “crackpot” organization. APRO had “many serious members, many of whom have considerable technical and scientific training.”

Already known as the “flying saucer lady,” Coral soon found herself in the perfect position to track down information on local sightings.

“In the fall of 1952 I started doing news correspondent work and feature writing for the Green Bay Press-Gazette,” Coral wrote, “and consequently I met a lot of people who were of great assistance to me in tracking down early, unpublished sightings in Wis­consin.”

Coral recorded numerous strange occurrences, including a number of brightly lit objects moving in formation over a minister’s farm in 1910, and a silver globe-shaped object with light emanating from within over Lake Michigan.

Coral dedicated her life to researching the UFO phenomenon. Her enthusiasm for the truth forever changed the way UFO reports were investigated, as today’s modern UFO research groups owe their existence to APRO.

In 1969, APRO members started the Midwest UFO Network, now known as the Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON. Among them was Allen Utke, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Wisconsin State University, who became the first director of MUFON. The group is still active today, with chapters in every state, some 3,000 members, and more than 390 field investigators actively investigating reports of unidentified flying objects.

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Aliens & UFO's

The CIA has laid out all its information about UFO’s in the public domain

The CIA has laid out all its information about UFO's in the public domain 99

The Black Vault, which publishes declassified data, has posted on its website an impressive archive of CIA documents related to UFOs. The founder of the project, John Greenwald, says that he received all the documents by official means from the hands of the organization’s employees.

And suddenly, the CIA declassified its entire database of UFOs. That is, the secret service has documents from the 1980s and everything shows that conspiracy theories are becoming a reality. Already, the “Black Vault” website contains several relevant documents, which can be downloaded by anyone.

The term “Unidentified Flying Objects” is commonly used in the documents.
Some of these may be due to light reflections or errors in the pilot instruments. However, some are objects of inquiry by the Pentagon.

The CIA claims that they have nothing else, but it is not possible to verify this statement.

It was possible to obtain information thanks to the Law on Freedom of Information, and the process itself was launched at the turn of the 70-80s of last century. 

The representatives of the special services had to admit that the public ultimately has the right to find out the secrets of the government, but the process of transferring information is not really regulated. According to Greenwald, he spent 25 years in endless meetings, disputes and bickering with the CIA, until he finally got what he wanted.

But not everything is so simple – the researcher was handed a box with about 10,000 printed sheets of very low quality. He had to scan them manually, some things could not be disassembled at all, many documents were scattered. 

“Starting about 20 years ago, I struggled for years to get additional UFO records from the CIA,” Greenwald said in an email to Motherboard. “It was like pulling teeth! I went around with them to try and do it, finally achieving it. I received a large box with a couple of thousand pages, and I had to scan them one page at a time.”

The CIA used the rather outdated .tif format, so software processing is also difficult. Ufologists don’t have to talk about a gift, it’s more like trying to get rid of garbage in order to get rid of annoying researchers. 

“Researchers and curious minds alike prefer simplicity and accessibility when they look at such data dumps,” says Greenwald. “The CIA made it INCREDIBLY difficult to use its archives in a sensible way. They offer a very outdated format (multi-page .tif) and offer largely unusable text output, which I think they intend to use as a “search” tool. In my opinion, this outdated format makes it very difficult for people to view documents and use them for any research purposes.”

However, there are also enough mysterious stories there.

Thousands of files were uploaded in the first 24 hours after release, Greenwald said. Some documents are crisp and clear, while others are almost impossible to decipher.

According to Greenwald, one of the most interesting documents in this article relates to the fact that the Assistant Deputy Director of Science and Technology passed on some serious information about UFOs to the CIA back in the 1970s. After that, it became extremely difficult to obtain information from the government about extraterrestrial phenomena.

The release of the documents comes six months before the UFO report to be released by the US government. This means that the revelations are not made at this time randomly.

In particular, intelligence experts have 180 days to formulate an official report on signs or secret aircraft near US military bases, which will be released later.

The CIA has laid out all its information about UFO's in the public domain 100

Greenwald posts the files in the Black Vault, as he claims that publishing the files is a matter of public interest and notes that citizens have a right to know.

“The public has a right to know!” Greenwald says. “When I started my research almost 25 years ago, at the age of 15, I knew there was something about this topic. Not from viral online pranks, not from secret meetings with insiders that no one has ever seen. No, this is all UFO evidence straight from the CIA and NSA. I feel like I’ve almost achieved what I set out to do – give people easy access to important material so that people can form their own opinion about what’s going on.”

The aliens are already among us.

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Aliens & UFO's

Trump-signed bill obliges US federal services to publish UFO contact data

Trump-signed bill obliges US federal services to publish UFO contact data 101

The incumbent president of the United States signed the government spending bill this Sunday. The bill signed by Trump, among other things, obliges the US federal services to publish data on contacts with UFOs. American magazine Newsweek told about it in its publication. This provision appears in the report of the Special Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Senator Mark Rubio. 

The document is an annex to the new Exploration Permit Act. It says that the US Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence and other officials must report on the facts of observation of aerial objects that could not be identified. They are also called “anomalous flying vehicles”. Of course, this is not only about “alien ships”.

Reports must be submitted no later than 180 days from the date of entry into force of the law. The special committee demands to include in them a detailed analysis of investigations of UFO “intrusions” into American airspace, which were conducted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The publication calls all these requirements a “request”, stating that they are not binding, since they have no legislative force.

If the executive branch fulfills this important request, the nation will finally have an objective basis for assessing the validity of this issue and its implications for national security.
– said the former director of human resources of the Senate Intelligence Committee Christopher Mellon.

The request from the special committee came after the appearance of the footage of flights of mysterious aerial objects, which were filmed by the pilots of the naval aviation in 2004 and 2015, published by the US Department of Defense.

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An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 102

It was a normal flight. Well, not quite a routine…. It was Japan Air Lines special cargo flight 747 that carried a shipment of French wine from Paris to Tokyo. The flight plan was to include flight 1628 from Paris to Reykjavik, Iceland, via the North Atlantic and Greenland, then via Canada to Anchorage in Alaska, and finally across the Pacific Ocean to Tokyo. The crew included veteran captain Kenju Terauchi, co-pilot Takanori Tamefuji and flight engineer Yoshio Tsukuba.

On November 16, 1986, loaded with wine, JAL1628 took off from Paris and made the first leg of the journey to Reykjavik. The next day, they continued their flight over Greenland and then through northern Canada without any event.

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 103

Immediately after they crossed the Alaska border at 5:09 pm local time, Anchorage air traffic control contacted them by radio to report the first radar contact. The flight controller of Anchorage asked them to turn 15 degrees to the left and head towards a point known as Talkeetna on a course of 215 degrees. They were at an altitude of 35,000 feet and were traveling at about 600 miles per hour.

At about 5:11 pm local time, Captain Terauchi noticed the lights of some aircraft about 2,000 feet below and 30 degrees to their left. He figured it was probably an American jet fighter from nearby Eilson or Elmendorf airbases patrolling Alaska airspace, so he ignored them at first. However, after a few minutes, he noticed the lights were keeping up with his own aircraft, which would be unusual for patrol aircraft.

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 104

It has been about seven minutes since we started paying attention to the lights (when), in the most unexpected way, two spaceships stopped in front of our face, “shooting” lights. The interior cabin shone brightly and I felt warmth in my face.

Terauchi said he had the impression that two objects he saw below them a few minutes ago suddenly jumped out of him. The ships, one above the other, kept pace with the Boeing 747 for several minutes, moving in unison with a strange sway. After about seven minutes, they switched to a side-by-side arrangement. 

Terauchi said the “amber-whitish” lights were like flames coming out of several rocket exhaust windows arranged in two rectangular rows on the ship. He felt they were firing in a specific sequence to stabilize the ship, much like the small, maneuverable engines on the space shuttle. He also reported seeing sparks similar to fire when using gasoline or coal fuel.

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 105

Co-pilot Tamefuji described the lights as “Christmas platter” with a “salmon” color. 

He said:

“I remember a red or orange and white landing light, as well as a landing light. And a faint green, ah, flashing.”

He also described the lights as slowly pulsing. They got stronger, weaker, stronger, weaker, different from strobe lights. 

The lights “swayed” in unison, as if two planes were standing side by side, “very good formation … close.” He described the appearance of the lights as similar to a “head-on night flight” vision, where only the lights of an approaching aircraft can be seen, but “we cannot see the general shape.”

He said:

“I’m sure I’ve seen something.” 

It was clear enough to make me believe that an airplane was coming.

Flight Engineer Tsukuba, seated behind the co-pilot, could not see the lights so clearly. He first saw them “through window L1 at 11 o’clock and saw “undulating clusters of lights.” 

These clusters were “made in two parts … in the form of airplane windows.” He stressed that “the lights in front of us were different from the city ones.” He described the colors as white or amber.

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 106

Tamefuji decided to call Anchorage Air Traffic Control, and for the next thirty minutes the Boeing 747 and the AARTCC were in constant contact about UFOs.

At this time, Captain Terauchi asked Tskububa to hand him a camera so that he could try to photograph the lights. However, Terauchi was unfamiliar with the camera and could not get it to work. Tsukuba was also unable to get his camera to work due to autofocus issues and finally gave up trying to take a picture.

At this point, they began to experience some radio interference, and Anchorage asked them to change frequencies. Terauchi later said that Anchorage kept asking him about clouds in the immediate vicinity: they asked us several times if there were clouds at our height. We saw thin speckled clouds near the mountain below us, with no clouds in the air from mid to top, and the airflow was steady.

Shortly after talking about clouds, objects flew to the left. Terauchi later said:

“In the direction where the ships were leaving, there was a pale white flat light, they were moving with us in the same direction, at the same speed and at the same height as us.”

Terauchi decided to see if they were seeing anything on their own 747 radar:

I thought it would be impossible to find anything on the aircraft radar if the large ground radar showed nothing, but I estimated the distance to the object visually and it was not very far. I set the digital weather radar to 20 (nautical) miles, the angle of the radar to the horizon (i.e. no deflection angle). This was on the screen. A large green and circular object appeared 7 or 8 miles (13 to 15 km) in the direction the object was. 

We informed downtown Anchorage that our radar had caught an object within 7 or 8 miles at the 10 o’clock position. We asked them if they could catch it on ground radar, but it looks like they couldn’t catch it at all.

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 107

At 5:25:45 am, after two minutes of searching, the military radar at the Regional Operations Center Elmendorf also picked up something. The ROCC radar controller reported back to AARTCC that it received some “pulse primary return”. By this he meant a random radar echo, not accompanied by a transponder signal.

When 747 approached Fairbanks:

The lights (of the city) were extremely bright for eyes accustomed to the dark (the cockpit lights were turned off to prevent internal light from reflecting in the windows.) We were just above the bright city lights and checked out the pale white light behind us. 

“Alas! There was a silhouette of a giant spaceship. We must run fast! Center of Anchorage. JAL1628 asks to change course 45 degrees to the right. It seemed like a long time before we got permission.”

Immediately after the plane turned right, AARTCC dispatcher called Fairbanks control radar to see if the short-range radar had a target near the JAL. Approach radar reported no targets other than JAL1628.

The aircraft exited the turn and flew towards Talkeetna at an altitude of 31,000 feet while the object continued to follow.

At approximately 5:40 am, a United Airlines passenger plane took off from Anchorage and headed north to Fairbanks. The AARTCC controller decided to ask the UA pilot to try to see the object that was following the JAL flight. The UA pilot said he would watch when he got closer. The controller requested that the JAL flight remain at 31,000 feet and the UA flight at 29,000 feet. He then ordered UA to make a few more turns so that the planes could fly within five miles of each other.

As the United Airlines plane approached, the UFO apparently fell behind, allowing the JAL plane to fly far ahead. The United pilot asked the AARTCC for the JAL pilot to turn on the headlights on the JAL plane so he could locate the plane. At 5:49:45 am, the JAL pilot did it. At this point, the planes were about 25 miles apart.

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 108

When the planes were about 12 miles apart, UA reported seeing JAL and nothing else. But by this time the UFO appears to have disappeared, and JAL1628 did not notice it either.

At about 5:51 am, the AARTCC demanded that a TOTEM military aircraft in the area also fly towards the JAL aircraft to take a look. For the next few minutes, TOTEM watched the JAL plane, but saw no other vehicles. JAL1628 proceeded to Anchorage and landed at 18:20.

The FAA conducted an investigation into the incident and did not submit its final report until March 5.

CSICOP (Committee on Scientific Investigation of Allegations of the Paranormal) Phil Klass issued a premature statement on January 22nd claiming that UFOs were the planets of Jupiter. and Mars is an impossible solution because UFOs were seen in the opposite part of the sky to the positions of these planets, and because UFOs moved from positions on top of each other to stand side by side. 

CSICOP later published a second explanation that the UFO was light bouncing off clouds of ice crystals – also unlikely because the sky was clear at the UFO’s stated altitude. 

The US Federal Aviation Administration attributed the ground-based radar images as “split radar from a JAL Boeing 747”.

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