Founded May 31, 1969
Type 501.c.3 Non-profit Corporation
Location Irvine, California
Key People Jan C. Harzan
John F. Schuessler, Founder and Board Member
Roger Marsh, Editor
Chase Kloetzke, Director of Investigations
The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) is a US-based, 501.c.3 non-profit organization that investigates UFO sightings. MUFON features a website with a Case Management System (CMS), produces a monthly UFO journal (print and on-line), provides investigator training and a web-based newsroom. It is the oldest and largest civilian UFO-investigative and research organization in the world. MUFON claims over 4,000 members worldwide with chapters and representatives in more than 43 countries and all 50 states. The group has more than 500 active field investigators, who undergo training, both classroom and on-line, administered by MUFON University [unaccredited]. In 2019 MUFON celebrated its 50th anniversary.
- 1 History
- 2 Mission
- 3 Operation
- 4 MUFON Executive Directors
- 5 In the Media
MUFON, Inc. was originally established as the Midwest UFO Network in Quincy, Illinois, on May 31, 1969 by Professor Allen R. Utke, Ph.D., Walter H. Andrus, Jr., John F. Schuessler and others. Most of MUFON’s early members had been associated with the SKYLOOK newsletter of Stover, Missouri and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) formerly of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. MUFON was renamed the Mutual UFO Network in 1973 because of its expansion to other states and internationally.
MUFON is currently headquartered in Irvine, California, under the direction of Executive Director Jan C. Harzan, with chapters in every American state. There is a full-time staff at MUFON headquarters. It also has chapters and field investigators in 43 countries including Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The organization has more than 4,000 members worldwide, with a majority of its membership base situated in the continental United States. MUFON operates a worldwide network of state and national directors and publishes The MUFON Journal monthly.
The MUFON Journal
As part of MUFON’s educational program, it holds an annual, International MUFON Symposium on either the east or west coast of the US. Typically, there are 12 speakers from around the world and annual attendance is on the order of 1,000 attendees. Papers by each speaker are published annually in the MUFON Symposium Proceedings.
MUFON Symposium Proceedings
MUFON has more than 500activefield investigators around the world as well as specialized teams (STAR and SAT Teams) to investigate reports by eye witnesses, obtain written testimonies (preferably from multiple witnesses) and witness photographs or drawings of observed unexplained aerial phenomena. MUFON employs a formal field investigator training program and instructs the trainees on witness interview techniques, evidence collection, performing research, obtaining maps and drawings, and how to draw conclusions from the evidence.
After careful investigation, 35% of all reports are successfully explained by natural or man-made phenomena, unidentified aircraft, balloons, planets, etc. Another 30% cannot be explained and are reported as “unknown.” The remainder are identified as “information only” or “insufficient data” and a very small number are identified as “hoaxes.” Results of the field investigations are submitted to a computerized, Case Management System (CMS). The CMS data is made available to the public and to MUFON members via its MUFON.com website.
Although field investigators are volunteers and not compensated, they must pass an examination based on a 265-page, Field Investigator Manualand submit to a background check. Field investigator training is administered by MUFON’s unaccredited MUFON University. Field investigator trainees are then assigned to experienced investigators as part of the training program.
MUFON Field Investigator Manual
The stated mission of MUFON is the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity. Its goals are:  Investigate UFO sightings and collect the data in the MUFON database for use by researchers worldwide;  Promote research on UFOs to discover the true nature of the phenomenon, with an eye towards scientific breakthroughs, and improving life on our planet; and  Educate the public on the UFO phenomenon and its potential impact on society.
As the world’s oldest and largest UFO investigation and research organization, MUFON aims to be the inquisitive mind’s refuge seeking answers to that most ancient question, “Are we alone in the universe?” MUFON’s answer, very simply, is “No.”
MUFON’s aim is to provide the world with unbiased, science-based facts and research on the UFO phenomenon. It is a non-profit, 501.c.3 organization and relies on the public’s support via membership fees and donations to support its continued operation.
Along with the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR), MUFON is part of the UFO Research Coalition, a collaborative effort by the three main UFO investigative organizations in the US whose goal is to share personnel and other research resources, and to fund and promote the scientific study of the UFO phenomenon.
MUFON Executive Directors
- 1969 – 1970: Professor Allen R. Utke, Ph.D.
- 1970 – 2000: Walter H. Andrus, Jr.
- 2000 – 2006: John F. Schuessler
- 2006 – 2009: James Carrion
- 2009 – 2012: Clifford Clift
- 2012- 2013: David MacDonald
- 2013 – Present: Jan C. Harzan
In the Media
Some of MUFON’s investigations have been featured in the History television series Hangar 1: The UFO Files (Two seasons: 2014 and 2015)
Hangar 1: The UFO Files (Two seasons: 2014 and 2015)
Also,UFOs Over Earth, which premiered on Discovery Channel in 2008 and currently re-airs on Investigation Discovery. Richard Hoffman helped produce the History Channel TV show, UFO Files: Hangar 1– The UFO Warehouse with producer Weller-Grossman.
MUFON is also featured in the television show The X-Files.
MUFON was also mentioned in a New York Times article “People Are Seeing U.F.O.s Everywhere, and This Book Proves It” written by Ralph Blumenthal.
MUFON was also mentioned in a Forbes Forbes.com article “MUFON, America’s UFO Experts, Discuss Roswell And Possible Cover-Ups” contributed by Jim Clash.
MUFON was highlighted by the Space.com Internet site, “UFO Legacy: What Impact Will Revelation of Secret Government Program Have?” January 9, 2018, written by Leonard David. https://www.space.com/39325-us-government-ufo-program-legacy.html
MUFON was highlighted in a BuzzFeed investigative article on YouTube. https://youtu.be/gvKDc5mxiJk
MUFON’s Director of Communications, Roger Marsh, is featured on Destination America, “Mysteries & Monsters In America”, Season 2015, Episode 1. Who Are the Men in Black and What Is Their Connection To Aliens From Outer Space? Season
Other UFO-related articles are found at:
KOIN-TV, Portland Oregon, by Cole Miller, October 30, 2018
USA Today, by Mary Bowerman, January 19, 2015
Top 10 states with the most UFO sightings
WIRED, by Christopher Niemann, September 9, 2014
If You Find Alien Life, Do You Have to Report It to the Government?
Dallas Morning News, by James Ragland, September 22, 2013
Reported UFO activity rose last year, with major sightings in Texas.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, by Jim Singl, August 31, 2013
Hartford adds UFO sightings to its small-town appeal
CBS-Buffalo, 3-part series by Luke Moretti, July 14-16, 2015
UFO Investigations in Western New York.