Well, that's really interesting! "Logic" then to follow this work, as the comments section of your blog.
Only a side note: The "overcast" argument (in fact - or implicitly - the meteo conditions make that Sirius or Rigel "cant" be visible that night) made by T. Tulien in his Stellarium' reconstitutions and legends seems questionnable, no?*
O'Connor stated few days after the event that the conditions to be as partly cloudy, with nimbus clouds, as some stars visible (?) Isley for his part, stated (again few days after the event) about a clear night with few stars (?)
As you wrote: "Per both men's AF-117s, the night was either clear or partly cloudy with a few stars in view".
If I well understand, the "overcast" argument came from Smith? I think, even if not my native language, "overcast" doesn't mean totaly cloudy, as the appreciation and use of the term "overcast" could mean different things concerning the real cloud conditions an individual is describing and when he uses such a term/lexical entry like "overcast".
Well, I wait you to release the part about both Smith AF-117 and Tulien's interview of him.
My very best regards,
* I mean that T. Tulien could mention O'Connor & Isley too in the legends of his stellarium reconstitutions, and not only Smith's one.