Founded in 1952 in Tucson, Arizona, but disbanded in the late 1980s, the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) was the first worldwide group of civilians committed to investigating UFO sightings. Its founders, Jim Lorenzen and his wife, Coral, wrote books about UFOs while working, respectively, as an electroengineer at Kitt Peak Observatory and as a journalist who wrote articles on scientific topics for the general public. Eventually the Lorenzens’ dissatisfaction with government investigations into sightings of UFOs led them to assemble their own team of investigators dedicated to finding out whether aliens from outer space were visiting Earth. APRO members worked in more than fifty countries, collecting and studying UFO sightings from both civilians and military personnel.
Over nearly four decades, APRO members amassed thousands of UFO reports, and in the 1970s, the organization began putting its files on microfilm. This work resulted in roughly one thousand sighting reports on at least three microfilm reels. The first such reel contains information of reports made prior to December 1956, the second from December 1956 to 1962, and the third from 1962 to 1966. In addition to the microfilm, the archives consist of at least eighteen filing cabinets with approximately fifteen thousand sighting reports.
Jim Lorenzen died in 1986 and Coral Lorenzen in 1988, after which no one was willing to maintain APRO’s records. Consequently, the group’s governing board, after some internal debate, turned over its archives to two UFO enthusiasts, Brian Myers and Tina Choate of Scottsdale, Arizona. At this point APRO officially ceased to exist.
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning