History of grass-roots groups investigating UFOs

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golly
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History of grass-roots groups investigating UFOs

Post by golly »

Apparently, the most famous UFO research groups that we in "USA culture" know about include:

1. Coral Lorenzen's Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization (APRO), est. 1952

2. New York group of Eliot Rockmore that became Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York (CSI-NY), est. 1954

3. Donald Keyhoe's National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon (NICAP), est. 1956

4. Out of APRO, emerged investigators forming Midwest UFO Network (MUFON) which officially began on May 31, 1969. Later, it was renamed to Mutual UFO Network.

5. J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), est. 1973

MUFON actually records their story thus:
During the 1960s Walt Andrus worked hard as a member of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) to develop a cadre of qualified investigators living in the Midwestern states surrounding his home state of Illinois. In 1967, he organized the Tri-State UFO Study Group operating in the states of Missouri, Iowa and Illinois and he recruited John Schuessler to join him as an investigator and volunteer as a consultant to APRO.

During 1968 and 1969, a number of events took place that had an impact on the UFO field. The University of Colorado completed the government-financed UFO study, with the study head Edward Condon presenting a very negative picture of the worth of further UFO studies. These results enabled the U.S. Air Force to close its administrative UFO office dubbed “Project Blue Book.” The press didn’t bother to look at the details of the University study and reacted only to Condon’s summary of the study by using the media to declare that the UFO mystery was solved.

At the same time the APRO management reacted to the government’s words by reinforcing their centralized management approach. They wanted to direct the work of each investigator in the field from the office in Tucson, Arizona; thereby eliminating the need for mid-level management in the field. They ignored the fact that industry was turning to the decentralized management style. Walt was still getting a flow of UFO reports from the Midwest in spite of the government’s declarations that nothing was going on. To respond with alacrity, Walt needed the latitude to induct and train field investigators and to make decisions about how investigations were conducted in his own back yard.
allen-utke.png
allen-utke.png (28.59 KiB) Viewed 30 times
'Allen Utke'

Pleas to the APRO management only made them more determined that the Midwest contingent was a hindrance rather than a help to APRO. Walt coordinated with a number of the affected Mid-western workers and finally concluded that it was necessary to add some grassroots structure to the organization because the sightings were happening in local areas. The only way to deal quickly and effectively was to have people ready and enabled to respond when a report came in. On May 31, 1969, Walt convened a meeting of a number of the active UFO investigators from Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. In the interest of improving and correlating UFO observation reports, Allen R. Utke, Ph.D., Consultant to APRO in Chemistry and Associate Professor of Chemistry at Wisconsin State University in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, proposed the organization of the Midwest UFO Network to include the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.

MUFON, then to be known as the Midwest UFO Network was born as the grass roots organization envisioned by Allen & Walt. An observer network in community areas formed the basic investigating level in MUFON. The observers reported through geographical state section directors to the State Director. The State Directors made up the Board of Directors who reported to the Midwest UFO Network Director. Dr. Utke was selected as the first MUFON Director. It was decided that MUFON would be affiliated with APRO, but not controlled by APRO. This was seen as an early step in inter-organization cooperation, a hallmark for the future of MUFON.

For some time Walt, John and several others had been active contributors to SKYLOOK, a Missouri-based UFO newsletter edited and published by Mrs. Norma Short. As a result, SKYLOOK quickly became the official organ of the Midwest UFO Network. Although the name was eventually changed to the MUFON UFO Journal, the publication continues and issues are still distributed monthly.
https://www.mufon.com/history.html

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