High Strangeness: My Talk With MUFON

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Talk With MUFON

Well, I had my talk with Jan Harzan, International Director of MUFON, and it went pretty well.

I hate to disappoint some of you but I did not destroy MUFON. I did not reduce Mr. Harzan to tears. I did not actually take down, dismantle or destroy anything, but it was a productive conversation nonetheless.

We talked for about a half hour, and the entire conversation was polite, respectful and friendly, which is the way it should be. Jan listened to what I had to say about excluding Jaime Maussan from the MUFON 2015 Symposium, and he understood where I was coming from. He explained that he had booked Maussan for the event many months ago, long before the beWitness fiasco came about, and that his main reason for doing so was so that Maussan would present the UFO videos he has collected over the years from UFO witnesses in Mexico. These videos are, apparently, a big draw.

We then talked about what could be done in the future to make sure MUFON is moving the UFO conversation forward, and I made two suggestions for future sessions at the Symposium. The first suggestion comes from the clever mind of Terry the Censor, who suggested here recently that MUFON could put the actual real people investigating UFO cases on stage to talk about their work. And then while they're at it, they could invite some of the UFO witnesses to get on stage to tell their stories as well. Jan seemed receptive to that, and shared that he has been trying to persuade some "experiencers" he knows to come to the Symposium for just that reason. Who knows, maybe in time that sort of real-life presentation could squeeze the Jaime Maussans of the world off the stage completely.

The second suggestion came about from my wife's and my recent experience hearing Don Schmitt's angry "speech" at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. I came out of that experience feeling that a whole lot of people had just had a whole lot of bad information hurled at them, and with no opposing viewpoints expressed, that was what they would be going home with. "What if," I asked Jan, "you put on a panel discussion or even a debate between Jaime Maussan and someone with the critical thinking skills to forcefully rebut the lies and misinformation surrounding the Roswell Slides fiasco?"
beWitness! Is it just me, or do these guys all look really depressed?

He seemed to really like that idea, and suggested that he might even be able to make that happen at the 2015 Symposium coming up this September in Irvine, CA. The trick, he said, would be finding an open slot in the schedule. Of course the real trick would be to get Maussan, or any of the people who stood on stage at the beWitness event, to willingly participate in a debate with people who knew from day one that the slides were bogus and could clearly explain why... You know, the "skeptics."

I don't see that happening anytime soon, but I could be wrong. These guys do have massive egos, and can be easily manipulated if you appeal to their narcissism.

So, who knows? I might have planted a seed... Just think about how many bums you'd get in seats to watch The Great Roswell Slides Debate!


Erickson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erickson said...

It's not like the Slides were the first time that Maussen has been involved in anything that is suspect. In fact, given some of the videos and photos he has promoted, many of us dismissed the Slides as soon as he became associated with them. So once again, we get what we deserve and MUFON goes with popularity over its stated mission.

They might as well feature the hoaxed Apollo 20 videos - but of course those were shown and uncritically discussed at one of the regional MUFON meetings. Fun to see as long as you were not expecting a scientific analysis. Pretty soon MUFON will be linked to all kinds of speculation and hoaxes. Well, with Hanger One it is already too late.

Even if is not a debate, there are many people who could be brought in to talk about how the Slides debacle affected ufology. But Jan's statement says enough about MUFON so I hold little hope there,

Tom said...

Damn. You didn't destroy Muffin. Maybe next time.

Seriously, great idea to get the actual witnesses of sightings to the stage. Cut out the freakin middle man with his hand out and go right to the source. That'll pissem off.

"beWitness! Is it just me, or do these guys all look really depressed?"

Actually, suicidal. Like they made incredibly wrong life choices, and here it was, crashing down all around them as Jaime slowly injected the fatal serum into their careers.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you had some excellent ideas. The problem would be MUFON following through on any of them. Harzan states that Maussan's slides are a big draw. Unfortunately, many are hoaxes and just plain bogus. Harzan also states the round table panel idea would be good if there is an open slot for such a thing. Really? I am betting there are holes, not just slots in that schedule. I am afraid this is called 'blowing smoke' as far as MUFON is concerned.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

There was one thing that came through in the conversation with Jan that I didn't mention because I'm still trying to figure out what it means and how I can use it. Jan started out by thanking me for writing the letter, then added with just a trace of annoyance, "But I wish you hadn't blogged about it."

So someone has reacted to my message. The question is who, and to what end...? That is something I will continue to probe...

Anonymous said...

Mark. that's an easy one. I do recall seeing your name mentioned on the Paracast website in reference to your idea of dropping Maussan from the MUFON conference. I tried to go and find that particular topic but I couldn't find it readily. There are quite a few subject headings talking about the Slides.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Thanks for the tip! I also noticed that Dolan was a guest on his own KGRA show last night -- nice way to create your own friendly audience, eh?

Anonymous said...

I used to listen to Dolan at one time until he started crying about how hard the life of a UFO speaker was. I wrote him and told him to get a real 9-5 job like the rest of us. He said he could never work such a job. Perhaps it was too demeaning for him.

PS... you will find that almost all the people who chat on the KGRA site are fan boys and fan girls. No criticisms of King Richard are allowed.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Haha, I know! I've tried listening to KGRA in the past, and it's completely insufferable.

Anonymous said...

Richard Dolan Press and Richard Dolan Show. His FB page is closed. It's actually very hard to confront Dolan in any public fashion and engage Doland and have, what we used to call "an open exchange of ideas." He's insulated himself pretty carefully.

No disagreement allowed.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Dolan gave a talk at a Wisconsin MUFFIN meet a few years back and I went, knowing next to nothing about the man. When he was finished with is "Disclosure" talk and took questions, I said, "But isn't it really up to the aliens to make their presence known? They could 'Disclose' themselves to the public anytime they choose, regardless of what the government does." He snipped back at me, "But they haven't done that, have they?" As if that settled it once and for all that such a thing could never be true...

I don't think it ever even occurred to him that by his very same "argument" his theory of government Disclosure must also be false. What a braniac.

Anonymous said...

Dolan had promise at one time. His National Security State books weren't too bad. Once he decided he would take up the ufo conference circuit, all bets were off. He is close to Stephen Bassett of the Disclosure movement fame.

The idea that some group will force the government's hand on disclosure is ludicrous. Dolan is also good buds with Linda Moulton-Howe. Need I say more? Dolan has also gone the rabbit hole with appearances on Hanger 1 and Ancient Alien type shows. He looks to be a UFO entertainer more than a researcher these days.

Tom said...

"But I wish you hadn't blogged about it."

Tough, Jan. Can't handle the heat, get outta the kitchen.

WTH did he expect when he invited Maussan? Platitudes & accolades?

If these people are so unaware of who & what the Sliders are, what their history is & what they represent to people with triple digit IQ's, then perhaps a change of leadership is in order.

And sorry, one cannot control people from blogging & commenting on this fraud. Gawd. Like, just let us prop up these known frauds & hoaxters and leave us alone. Afterall - we got ourselves our very own show on H2!

Apparently Muffin prefers a stupid uninformed constituency.

How dare you, Mark!

Sunspot Mike said...

The Roswell Slides was a fiasco and guys like Jaime Maussan do give the scientific/detective portion of UFOlogy a bad name, but the reason they keep getting invited to events like this is that they provide some showmanship and that brings in eyeballs and dollars (or pesos, like at the beWitness debacle) - Mark, even you gave press to Mary Sutherland and her crazypants Burlington Vortex... because it was entertaining.

I don't like when people make stuff up either and I especially don't like it when they make enthusiasts in these areas look even more foolish than the mainstream already believes, but I have a theory on why guys like Don Schmitt or Tom Carey keep going back to the well, whether it's the alien autopsy footage or this latest "smoking gun".

They only have to be right once, they only have to find irrefutable proof one time. Until they get there, it's all witnesses and blurry photographs and conjecture, and the mainstream doesn't take them seriously anyway. If they destroy their reputations in the pursuit of the finances to keep funding research trips and archaeological digs and expeditions and then actually turn up a "smoking gun" and real proof, well, it will have been worth it.

Or maybe, they're just hucksters who are looking to make money on eager believers. I prefer the former to the latter, but Coast to Coast will still have them on, History Channel will still do interviews, etc... even if they get discredited. And indeed, it does the whole field a disservice (how many parapsychology laboratories are left? The "scientific" community has been so ingrained against any thing lately, any mention is just dismissed offhandedly), so the scorched earth policy in trying to find evidence does have a negative effect, even if they find incontrovertible evidence in the future.

Erickson said...

I am still considering how telepathic communication with Aliens, the Fallen Angel connection, and Jaime's videos will allow me to "look at ufology academically" or expand "ufology by opening new doors in academia, industry and the media" as the conference is being promoted.

While the suggestion that MUFON present people who claim to be actual witnesses or who are actual researchers is a good one, we would probably end up with Stan Romanek or people who have experienced alien encounters with the help of hypnosis.

Terry the Censor said...

> the clever mind of Terry the Censor

Were those Jan's exact words?

Seriously, though, even if MUFON does nothing this year about Maussan et al, perhaps your complaint will influence future conference lineups. There would be an insurrection if Jan cancelled Maussan now, but few fans would notice if MUFON quietly ignored Maussan going forward.

But we need to keep complaining. Those of us who subscribe to the MUFON journal are thereby MUFON members, and so we have standing to demand science and integrity trump spectacle and pandering.