We have had several very important announcements over the past three weeks that I would like to highlight in this month’s Director’s Message because of their importance to the organization. The first is the creation of a NEW position in MUFON: Director of Field Investigator Development and Training; the second is the announcement of a new STAR Team manager; and the third is the creation of a Special Assignment Team. Let me discuss each announcement in more detail below.
By now you know that the 2015 MUFON Symposium will be September 24-27, 2015, at the newly renovated Hotel Irvine in Southern California. A lavish and well-appointed 5-Star resort, formerly the Hyatt Regency, now owned and run by billionaire Donald Bren and the Irvine Company. Donald is the principle shareholder of the Irvine Company – a Southern California land development company that owns a huge chunk of land in Southern California from the Newport coast to the mountains. Learn more at irvinecompany.com.
So why is this important? Well, the Irvine Company just spent over $50 million renovating the hotel and making it into a showcase for the 21st Century. It is certainly worthy of its 5-Star designation. Once you step through the front doors everything is run from one’s smart phone. From Internet access, to ordering food or drinks, checking conference schedules, to ordering room service, you name it and you will be able to get the information you need, order the food you want, or get whatever service one is looking for, all by using one’s smart phone or tablet. It is designed to be the world’s smartest hi-tech hotel. And all this for a special MUFON room rate of $119 per night including FREE in-room Internet and FREE overnight parking. You can’t beat this deal for 5-Star luxury!
The New Year is off to a new and exciting start for all of us at MUFON and I must say, we have a very bright year ahead of us. Let me share with you some of the exciting things that are already underway for 2015.
First, as most of you know we are moving full speed ahead with implementing the “NEW Global UFO Database” featured in our December Kickstarter campaign. Unfortunately, we did not hit our fundraising goal of $78,000 – which means all the money pledged through the Kickstarter website went back to all the donors, and not to MUFON. Despite this set-back, the good news is, we have been able to raise nearly $20,000 to date, from money sent directly to MUFON headquarters in support of the project. This means that we have the funds to begin the project and get things moving in the right direction, which is outstanding. In addition, we are continuing to fundraise through our website during the first half of 2015 to ensure this important project is fully funded. If you have already contributed to the “NEW Global UFO Database” project, I want to personally thank you for your donation and support. Your enthusiasm and confidence in MUFON, and this project, are greatly appreciated. If you haven’t had a chance to donate, NOW is your chance! Please know that your donation, in any amount, will go a long way toward changing the course of Ufology and bringing us closer to the answers we all seek. To donate, go toMUFON.COM and click on the project donation button, or drop a check in the mail to us at 3822 Campus Drive, Suite 201 in Newport Beach, CA, 92660. Again, please accept my personal thank you for your support.
I had the opportunity to attend the Starworks USA Conference in Laughlin, Nevada, produced by Paola Harris, with the help of Bob Brown, former owner of the International UFO Congress (IUFOC) this past weekend and it was a lot of fun meeting people and hearing everyone’s point of view on the topic of “UFOs, Technology and our Place in the Universe,” which was the theme for this year’s conference. Grant Cameron, Jaime Maussan, Paul Davids, and Chase Kloetzke all headlined the conference speaker list along with many others including a guest appearance by Coast2Coast radio personality George Noory . In short, a fun time was had by all.
So why do I bring this up? Well, it got me thinking that everyone who is in this field plays a special part, their part, it’s not us against them, it is we together. Collectively, all of us are a force for change on this planet whether you are an individual follower of the UFO phenomenon, a small group leader, a multinational non-profit, or a for profit enterprise interested in UFOs and intelligent life in the universe. One of the speakers described it as a grand chess game with each of us a piece on the chess board. But whose game is it? Is it being directed from above? Or is it totally free will with everyone working independently for the same common good? That is a question for which we may never have the answer. Perhaps a far better question to ask is “what is my part?” “Where do I, or my organization, fit into the grand scheme of things?” “How can I make a difference?” It might be something as simple as inviting a friend to one of these conferences, or just talking to your neighbor about their view of life in the universe and whether or not that life might be visiting us now or in the past. Great things start with a simple conversation and then grow from there.
When I took over as Executive Director in August of 2013 one of our biggest challenges was the state of our website, MUFON.com, which was in bad need of a facelift. Some five years old at that point in time and built at a price point of $1,000 it really was not doing the organization any justice. We were fortunate in 2013 to have a talented website developer who offered to help us launch what is our website today at a reasonable price and do it in a short period of time which he accomplished. In fact, we have received numerous accolades on the current website.
Now it is time to take it to the next level by combining our data rich Case Management System (CMS) database which runs on a whole different set of computers and hosting service, and integrate it with MUFON.COM to create a whole new look and feel for MUFON and Ufology. This redesign is not just a cosmetic facelift like some of our previous efforts, but rather a whole new design built from the ground up. The new design has simplified navigation, more robust functionality, and better usability. It will open up a whole new membership model, from Free to Fee, and allow us to easily provide our members and the public with better organized information on UFO sightings yesterday and today as well as the ET presence on our planet.
People often ask me why MUFON is not more actively involved in the disclosure process. By disclosure they mean actively lobbying our congressmen and women in Washington, DC, as well as the U.S. President to come clean on the UFO issue. Now obviously MUFON would love nothing more than for a sitting U.S. President to step to the podium and announce that we have been actively engaging ETs for the past 70 years and that treaties have been struck and whatever the rest of the story is that has been going on for so long. I just don’t think it is going to happen. Why? Very simply I don’t think any of our elected officials, including the President, have a clue as to what is really going on. This subject has been so deeply buried inside the intelligence machinery of the United States that even if our elected officials wanted to do something, I don’t believe they would have any success in finding out the answers we seek to be able to tell us. Sadly it appears that those in the know have so well hidden this from our current government that we essentially have a powerful working group (cabal) that is really running things. So much for representative government.
The 2014 MUFON Symposium is now fading into the history books and will go down as one of the more successful Symposiums we have ever experienced. What constitutes success? Well for one, nearly 700 people attended the event over the four days beginning Thursday, July 17th through Sunday, July 20th. Attendees included people from 40 states and 11 countries. Every eastern state was represented as was the entire west coast. Even North and South Dakota were represented! Countries outside the USA included Brazil, Canada, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mali, Spain, Switzerland and Zimbabwe. In fact our largest international group was from our neighbors to the north in Canada with 12 people hailing from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Saskatchawan.
I am often intrigued when communicating with scientists about the possibility of life on other planets. Invariably, they are of the opinion that more likely than not, there is a strong chance that there is life elsewhere in the universe. Immediately, thereafter, they qualify their view by verbalizing something to the effect that if an extraterrestrial (E.T.) did exist, that they could never find a way to be transported to Earth. There is a vast distance between the Earth and the nearest star. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and not being able to travel faster than the speed of light are given as reasons that an E.T. could never get here. Many scientists then quickly forget the conversation and move on to more mundane musings. I dare say that 95 percent of scientists hold this view today. However, just a few years ago most of them were not even at the point of admitting that there must be life on other planets. In fact, going back a mere 25 years, the prevailing wisdom, on the part of scientists, was that Earth was unique. The thought was that there was a delicate balance between being the right distance from our sun, having the correct spin as a planet, possessing the proper content of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, along with a number of other factors making Earth unique in the universe.
MUFON is a scientific research organization dealing with a subject, UFOs, that is part of a larger field known as the paranormal. One of the raging debates within MUFON and in some ufology circles revolves around the question of “Are we a paranormal organization? Or not?” … and the short answer to both questions is YES! The real answer lies in one’s definition of paranormal as the word paranormal seems to have a different meaning to different people. And for many people it is a very emotional topic. Before we dive into the question itself, let’s start by seeing what the dictionary says about the word “paranormal”.
Dictionary.com defines it as;
“of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation.”
These were the first words transmitted electrically by Samuel Morse via the telegraph on May 24, 1844 and no better words could be said today in regards to the impact of the new MUFON website and H2 television show “HANGAR 1” than these. Just as the telegraph and then the telephone transformed our world, so too will new information MUFON is receiving that is just now coming to light. The flood of new witnesses coming forward, many of them with military, law enforcement, and other professional backgrounds, is astounding and the number is growing. Investigations into the many phenomenal claims are just now beginning. I’ll share a synopsis of just a few of these stories with you this month and once investigations are completed, and if the stories hold up under scrutiny, you will be reading about them in future editions of the MUFON Journal very soon!