The Daily Mining Gazette, December 8th, 1965


The University of Michigan scientists headed by Dr. Harold Allen now are back in Ann Arbor analyzing the results of their late November missile firings.

Assisting the group’s head were Timothy Sweeney and Albert Stohrer and Guy Snyder, the latter on the staff of the Calumet-Keweenaw Air Force Station not far distant from Central in Keweenaw County. The trio from Ann Arbor are engaged in work related to the Department of Meteorology and Oceanography at the U.

On the latest appearance at Keweenaw Point the unit fired rockets with smoke tails. The reason for this is due to a desire to ascertain the varied directions and velocity of the winds off and over Keweenaw Point and Manitou Island.

In this connection it can be stated that it is known that the winds at varied levels are different, frequently, in their direction.

The main testing which went forward in the dispatching of the five rockets sent aloft was to analyze the new smoke dispensers. These were developed at the university and to all indications now all features of the experiment were carried out in a most satisfactory manner.

While the weather factors were not the best in late November they were what might be labeled, good. Movement from Copper Harbor to the Point was made via the University of Michigan’s own vehicle. It is of the Carry-All type.

By virtue of the firings the staff has now fired missiles during each month of the year from July to and including December. When the group moves into the area next spring it likely will endeavor to send rockets aloft during months prior to July in order to experiment with weather factors throughout all 12 months. When this takes place, two additional men will journey to the Keweenaw. Both well know the region because of their many prior journeys. They are Mike Brian and Leonard Williams of the Space Defense Corporation in Birmingham.

During the past year since he visited the Copper Country on a prior mission, Dr. Allen has been mainly in Anchorage, Alaska. He also conducted, not looking back, experiments at White Sands in New Mexico.

The smoke involved in the firings came from titanium oxide which was poured in a little tank in front of the rocket. As soon as the material strikes the air it collects moisture and produces the smoke effects.

The funds for the experimentation are supplied by the Space Defense Corporation along similar lines as concerned past projects.

The location from which the rockets are fired is as close to the Point as possible. On a clear day it is easy to envision Manitou Island. One reason why firings have taken place during spring, winter and fall periods, is the desire to avoid contacts with shipping. When rockets are sent aloft during the navigation months, the carriers and other craft are duly notified by means of the Coast Guard and other publicity media.

The men admire the Point location. The University has ordered no permanent structures at the location because it is the desire of the department involved, currently, to maintain the location within a limited degree of active use.

Usually, when the personnel journey to the Point, it lodges in Copper Harbor. On one occasion there were attempts made to fire rockets from a raft during exceptionally stormy weather. These did not culminate in any great success. Firings already have taken place into December month when snow was quite deep in the general Point region.


Back to Main Page