Comments by former APRO researcher Brad Sparks:
APRO was always Coral's baby. Jim was brought into it in 1958 or 1959 as a way to deflect criticism of Coral for supposedly misquoting Carl Jung. Somehow it seemed better for PR purposes that a man take over -- or appear to take over -- the organization. Whether that was the sexism of the times or just a way to respond to public criticism over the Jung matter, or both, I don't know. There were times when Jim was more active than Coral in the early 80's especially when she was ill.
Sidelights: Also notice a UFO-related rumor about Mt. Palomar of 2 years back, or circa late 1949 or early 1950, in the APRO Bulletin (p. 10a) from the July 52 issue of "Frauds" magazine. An echo of the radiation detection of 7 Nov 49 and/or Adamski's peripheral requested involvement? Also notice the front page ref to Walter Winchell's July 2 column reporting a distinctly Adamski-type Palomar "sighting" of a UFO landing in the Mojave with 4 occupants getting out and getting back in. This is months before Adamski's famous landing in the Mojave incident. Is this where he picked up the idea in the first place?
As for the Sturgeon Bay sighting itself I forget how much sighting data are reported in Coral's book. Using the Bulletin data only, 45 deg elevation from Sturgeon Bay but 60 degs at Fish Creek (20 miles to the NNE and closer to the object), the ground distance increased by a factor of 60/45 making it about 27 miles from Fish Creek and 47 miles from SB, whhich would put it in the vicinity of Washington Island. The altitude was calculated wrongly, and would be 47 miles high if the elevation angles were accurate (not 32 mi). However if the object was still farther to the NE past Washington Island as implied in the Bulletin (which would mean it was not overhead above the island), then the elevation angles are in gross error and cannot be used at all.
I don't know what this new distance from Sturgeon Bay was that Jim Lorenzen computed but judging from the increased size estimate from 350 to 500 feet, the slant range must have been 500/350 times greater than 47 miles, or roughly 67 miles away from SB (implies an angular size about 1/7 full moon, about 4.8 arcmins). As Coral says in the Bulletin, "Too high and too big for a balloon, even a General Mills job." If Coral's 45-deg elevation was the figure that was accurate and the police officer's 60-degs somewhat inaccurate, then the height would be at least 67 miles, plus earth dropoff of 0.6 mi which can be ignored. The elevation angle in Fish Creek would then be 55 degs.
Given the difficulties of estimating such angles this is not far off. Coral mentions lining up the tv antenna to make her sighting but it isn't clear that such a round figure as 45 degrees came from Jim's measurements. If it really was a Skyhook at say 100,000 feet and located say 50 miles away, then it's actual elevation angle would have been 20.7 degs at Sturgeon Bay and 32.3 degs at Fish Creek. Could Coral and the police have been that far off? If it was casual witness estimates, I'd say it was quite possible to overestimate 20-30 degs elevation as 45-60 degs and in fact it is quite common to overestimate rather than underestimate. Worse still, though, is the angular size. At 50 miles away a 100-foot balloon (and I'm being generous with the size) is just a tiny 1.3 arcminutes in size or EVEN SMALLER THAN Kenneth Arnold's tiny objects (half the size). Or 25 times smaller than a full moon. How could something that small have attracted so much attention? Brightness?
We can reverse the angular size procedure and use a more reasonable angle or just use Coral's and Jim's estimate which as I said works out to about 1/7 full moon which is very reasonable, very conservative, not overboard (size to distance ratio 1:709). But that puts a 100-foot balloon at a distance of just 70,000 feet!! It would have had to be DIRECTLY OVERHEAD at Coral's location to fit that angular size. In which case it hardly seems likely that she could line it up with a tv antenna from across the street or that anyone would think it was far off to the northeast over Lake Michigan. The police in Fish Creek would be seeing it to the SOUTH or SSE back over Sturgeon Bay rather than to the NORTHEAST as they reported. (Also the red light was so "brilliant" it "hurt" their eyes watching through binoculars.)
So I think we're back to putting the GOPHER balloon 50 miles away and having to reject the Lorenzens' angular size estimate and everyone's elevation angles in order to do so. Let's put it at roughly 45.5 N, 88 W. To calculate sunset for a balloon at 70,000 feet at that location figure 4.7 degs of great-circle arc plus 0.8 degs for standard refraction from the earth's tangency point out to the balloon effectively outside the atmosphere and the sun's upper limb (an additional 0.6 deg refraction from the sun to the earth at the tangency point will have been taken into account by astronomy software such as USNO's; however if not, then Charles Moore's formula will be in error). That's 5.5 degrees total, so figure 3 degs latitude north and 5 degs of longitude farther west (sun setting about 300 degs azimuth), or roughly 48 N, 93 W (north of Duluth, Minn.) is the tangency point where the earth shadows the sunlight from the balloon. Sunset for May 21, 1952, at that point was at 7:50 PM CST or 8:50 PM CDT according to the US Naval Observatory's online service -- the altitude would have had to be lower to disappear earlier (Moore's figures are a little off; to get a disappearance time at 7:40 PM the balloon would have to be at about 45,000 feet).
Sunset at Sturgeon Bay (44.8 N, 87.4 W) was at 7:18 PM CST or 8:18 PM CDT. If CST was used as Moore assumes then ground-level sunset would have occurred right in the midst of the sighting at Coral's location early on ("The sun had not gone down"), long before the object disappeared to her at 7:40 PM, and she would certainly have mentioned it given that she specifically noted that the sun had NOT set yet. Another problem is that refractive reddening would only occur during the last 10 minutes or so, leaving the first 25 minutes of Coral's sighting unaccounted for unless we can assume Coral did not see the "red light" until she had obtained binoculars and that was a delay of unknown duration. But a balloon at 45,000 or even 70,000 feet makes an even larger discrepancy with the elevation angles from a distance of 50 miles to Sturgeon Bay or 30 miles to Fish Creek. At 45,000 feet the angles would be 10-16 degs. At 70,000 feet it's 15-24 degs. A balloon at 45,000 ft might be too low for a GOPHER Skyhook that had dropped its 123-lb instrument payload. If CDT was used then the balloon could not have disappeared due to sunset until 8:50 PM. This would devastate the balloon theory.
It should be possible to find out if Daylight Savings Time was in use in Sturgeon Bay from newspapers of the time. Other discrepancies are the "zig-zag" NE course Coral noted in the Bulletin, and the almost due east course a balloon launched from Minneapolis would have to take to reach the Sturgeon Bay area, which conflicts with the NNE to NE trajectory observed. Maybe the zig-zag was caused by autokinesis and maybe the course change was due to winds aloft changing direction with time and altitude. Brad