NOTE: The group name has since change to Experiencer Research Team (ERT).
by Kathleen Marden
Reprinted from the November 2014 MUFON UFO Journal
The ART works with “Experiencers” and MUFON Field Investigators alike to offer nonjudgmental support, guidance and education to those who seek our assistance. This often begins for experiencers when we receive their questionnaire. The Abductee/Experiencer Questionnaire is at MUFON.com under “Research” on the drop-down menu. It has been very popular with experiencers who are seeking information about what they have in common with others experiencers. Once they complete the questionnaire, they have the option of being contacted by a member of the ART to discuss their experiences. Often this is the first time an individual has had the opportunity to discuss their experiences without being criticized. It is inevitable that some respondent’s experiences are internally generated. When an experiencer indicates they are interested in working with MUFON investigator(s), ART members can give guidance on what to expect during an abduction investigation and on how to file a formal CMS report. If a report is filed, the ART member includes a short summary and the completed questionnaire to assist the field investigator. The ART member is also available to assist the state FI team as needed.
Sometimes experiencers do not wish to undergo the stress associated with an investigation, but are seeking support services. In this event, professionals on the ART do their best to offer support. ART members can help to guide them to mental health professionals, peer-facilitated support groups, or hypnotherapists outside the MUFON system. We also invite them to become involved in MUFON. If any mental health issue arises, the ART’s mental health professional will provide help to the experiencer to find the appropriate and available professional mental health services.
We are a compassionate organization that strives to assist experiencers. We do not leave people in limbo with no one to turn to. Our goal is to help experiencers come to terms with close encounter events occurring in their lives.
I am very proud of MUFON’s ART members. They are professionals at the top of their field who volunteer their time and talents to help experiencers and the MUFON FI organization. Through their professionalism they promote a positive image for MUFON as an organization. Please allow me to introduce you to our team.
Craig R. Lang, MS, is MUFON’s Assistant Director of Abduction Research and an original member of MUFON’s ART, and is also the Minnesota MUFON State Director. Craig holds a masters degree in engineering and is a certified master hypnotherapist. He is a Certified Reiki Master and an anomaly investigator with extensive experience in close encounter research, hypnotic regression, fear management and exploration of the unexplained. He is the author of two books on UFOs, The Cosmic Bridge: Close Encounters and Human Destiny, and The Other Side of the Sky: The Cosmic Bridge Companion, exploring the enigma of UFOs, science and the paranormal and several magazine articles. Craig’s website is: craigrlang.com and theCosmicBridge.com.
Michael Austin Melton, PhD, has been a MUFON member since 2003. He became a field investigator in 2009, and in 2011 became State Section Director of the Philadelphia region. He also held the position of Chief Investigator before taking a hiatus to organize his own franchise of Starborn Support International. He was elected to the MUFON Abduction Research Team in 2014. Michael is a retired clinical psychologist with extensive experience in the treatment of PTSD. He has been working with experiencers and abductees since 2009 and hosts his own radio show for experiencers with his Starborn colleagues. Michael’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
George Medich, MD, is a retired professional athlete for the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, and Milwaukee Brewers and an orthopedic surgeon. He joined MUFON in 2010 and is a field investigator and State Section Director for PA MUFON. He was elected to MUFON’s Abduction Research Team in 2013 and is also on the Anomalous Foreign Body Protocol Committee, headed by Robert Powell, Director of Research and head of the MUFON Science Review Board. He has spoken with numerous experiencers and presented local talks on the abduction experience. His interest in alien abduction was fostered by years of medical practice, a strong background in physics and astronomy, and an interest in the UFO phenomena. His email address is email@example.com.
Denise Stoner is a retired federal employee for the National Park Service, Deptment of the Interior, the Navy Recruiting Command and as a training coordinator for a Navy research facility. She joined MUFON in 2003 and is FL MUFON’s former State Section Director, Chief Investigator and co-director. She is currently a Star Team member and on MUFON’s Abduction Research Team. Her involvement in the UFO field spans 25 years. Denise has an educational background in business and psychology, and is a certified hypnotist with advanced training in regression. For many years, she, an experiencer, has facilitated peer support for experiencers. She is a member of the newly formed Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters (FREE) research team. Denise and I collaborated on the 2012 “Commonalities Among Abduction Experiencers” research project and our 2013 book, The Alien Abduction Files. Denise has appeared on the Travel Channel, PBS, and a UK UFO documentary, plus over 100 radio shows and has lectured extensively on UFO and abduction phenomena. Her contact information is denisemstoner.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Upson DCH, CH, CI has a doctorate of clinical hypnotherapy. He is also a licensed professional engineer in New York and Florida and also has a consulting business. Bob is a consulting hypnotist and investigator for MUFON and is a certified paranormal investigator. He is well aware of the paranormal and the possible effect experiencers suffer in their daily lives. He joined MUFON in 2005 and has been a Field Investigator since 2006. He is also a Star Team member and ART Director in Florida. He served on the Abduction Experiencer Research Committee under Les Valez and assisted Robert LeLieuvre on the Omega 3 project. He was elected to the ART in 2011. Bob’s website is hypnofl.com and email is through the website or email@example.com.
Don C. Donderi, PhD is a “research” advisor to the ART and the only member who is not a MUFON field investigator. He is a retired Associate Professor of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, and a former Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at McGill. He is also the co-founder and principal consultant of a Toronto-based human factors and ergonomics consulting firm. He collaborated with the late Stuart Appelle and Budd Hopkins on an alien symbols scientific research project. He is the co-author of a psychology textbook, editor of a second textbook, author of over 100 research papers and technical reports; and most recently, of UFOs, ETs, and Alien Abductions: A Scientist Looks at the Evidence (Hampton Roads Press, 2013). We are awaiting his assistance in developing a new research project.
I, Kathy Marden, am MUFON’s Director of Abduction Research and have been a MUFON member since 1991. I served as SSD in New Hampshire, and as MUFON’s Director of Field Investigator Training for many years before being elected to the original three-member ART under Les Valez. I am also a benefactor. Clifford Clift appointed me to my current position in 2011 during his tenure as MUFON’s International Director. In 2012, The Mutual UFO Network awarded me “Ufologist of the Year.” I am a former social worker, teacher and education services coordinator. My interest in UFOs dates back to the 1961 abduction of my aunt and uncle, Betty and Barney Hill. I am an abductee and an advocate for the right to dignity and respect for experiencers. I am the author of Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, and Science was Wrong, with Stanton T. Friedman, and The Alien Abduction Files, with Denise Stoner, and several magazine articles. My website is kathleen-marden.com and email address is Kmarden@aol.com.
The 6th Edition of the Field Investigator’s Manual, published in August 2013, has a section on “How to Conduct an Abduction Investigation.” It was developed by the ART, Florida MUFON’s Abduction Studies Team, and several legal and technical consultants. It offers protocols and procedures for the collection of physical and photographic evidence, interviewing techniques, chain of custody of samples, etc. and serves as an important guide for MUFON Field Investigators. It is available for purchase at MUFON’s online store.
It takes a special person to investigate an abduction experience. We must treat experiencers with respect and compassion while maintaining objectivity. We can achieve this goal by treating others as we would like to be treated under the same circumstances.
If, for some reason, a MUFON state or international chapter is not able to investigate an abduction or close encounter, it is assigned to the ART. ART members have investigated several cases when no one else was available to do so. The ART is presently offering assistance where needed.
The ART is accepting applications from licensed or certified and insured hypnotherapists for MUFON’s mental health provider referral list. Please write to Kmarden@aol.com for an application. MUFON’s goal is to provide high quality referrals for experiencers who participate in a MUFON abduction investigation. The use of hypnosis in any abduction case should be done through a referral from the ART.
We are also seeking additional members for the ART. Applicants should demonstrate that they have knowledge and experience in working with “experiencers” in a supportive role. A MUFON Field Investigator’s certificate and three years experience is required. We are also seeking a PhD level social researcher willing to volunteer his or her time to initiate and supervise a research project. If interested, send your resume and a letter of interest to Kathleen Marden at Kmarden@aol.com .
Notes: (1). “Experiencer” is a neutral term defined as someone who reports experiences in their life which are consistent with, suggestive of, or thought to be associated with being “abducted” by apparently nonhuman entities. MUFON Field Investigator’s Manual, “Ethics Code for Abduction Experience Investigation and Treatment,” Gotleib, David, Stuart Appelle, et al., P. 283, 1995.