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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Battle for MUFON, Part 2, The Contract

The information below is from recent interviews by Jerry Pippen at /mufon_under_siege.htm.

It changed MUFON. It generated mistrust, recriminations, secrecy, and bitter fights.

The contract between MUFON and Bigelow Aeronautic and Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) was signed in February 2009. Here is how the Committee to Reform MUFON described it in a March 2011 email to the members of MUFON:

“According to the contract, Bigelow is buying ‘the Seller's existing CMS database. . .and all other data,’ as well as ‘field investigative services and all information and material derived from those services, including but not limited to. . .physical evidence. . .photographs, film, data from detection devices. . .radar. . .satellite data, ground disturbance site information. . .electronic information, interview transcripts, any testimony, including recordings. . .as well as any other item that may be recovered from prior, present and future field investigations [of] MUFON.’”

In other words, with that 5-page contract, the present MUFON Board of Directors sold temporary access to the resources of the organization for $672,000, gave the key to BAASS, and said we will take all the risks and liability, and you can take whatever you want.

Elaine Douglass, founder of the Committee to Reform MUFON (CRM), was able to quote portions of the contract because it was sent to her by an anonymous supporter. She still does not know who sent it.

What was the purpose of the deal? MUFON needed the money while, according to Clift, BAASS wanted the technological advantage that might be gleaned from significant events. It could potentially save Bigelow millions of dollars in the end. Carrion felt at the time of signing that the confidentiality of the witnesses was protected because they could opt to not check the third party box on the report form.

The Deal Goes Sour

For a while all went well, but in time, things began to go seriously awry. This blogger is not going to intrude into the complex legal issues regarding the terms of the Contract or who broke it. Suffice to say that it resulted in broken relationships and mutual recriminations. It ended in February 2010, at which time James Carrion, the acting International Director (ID), resigned MUFON in bitterness and disgust. And the fun may not be over yet between Carrion and the Board. According to the present ID, Clifford Clift, all relationship with Bigelow and BAASS ended at that time. But, here’s how the progression goes from there…

BAASS had some big financial backers, but their identity was proprietary information, and no one besides John Schuessler could know who they were. Not even the International Director. Now, ordinarily a corporation entering into a contract does NOT have to reveal its backers. But one needs to ask here,

is a partnership between a large, competitive corporation that surely has connections to government agencies, an appropriate match for a small, civilian, volunteer research organization where trust, integrity, and witness confidentiality is essential for viability? MUFON is a 501c3 charitable organization which is beholding to the public. What if the big corporation gets pushy and bossy and wants its own agenda to take precedence?

Carrion claimed that that is exactly what happened. He feels that today the Board is still being 'managed' and 'manipulated' by forces 'within' and 'without.' Even Clift had to admit that without proper protocols in place, “things got out of hand.”

John Schuessler received a security clearance with BAASS. That’s not against any law. Corporations do offer security clearances. But John is on the Board of MUFON. Therefore he may have established a relationship with the unknown financial backers. And who knows, they might be the Alphabets. The CIA, DoD, AFOSI, DIA, NSA, etc. They could possibly be the very representatives of the government agencies responsible for the UFO coverup.

Who deploys the Men in Black? Who flies the unmarked black helicopters? Who taps the phones of major witness reporters? Who spreads confusion and disinformation among the ufo community? Who ran Project Blue Book? Who scooped up every last shred of evidence at Roswell and then lied multiple times about what really happened? Who paid Rick Doty to totally deceive and disorient Paul Bennowitz? The ufo community will answer that it’s the alphabet agencies.

Furthermore, due to the increasing non-disclosure clauses, the disgruntled in MUFON feared that the organization had begun to be a “cryptocracy,” a culture of secrecy and repression of information, (Clarkson interview, word borrowed from Jim Marrs.)

So of course, it stands to reason that when the competition for witness information became intense between MUFON and BAASS in 2009, and when cases and evidence began to disappear, and State Directors’ feathers got ruffled due to being bypassed, which was not supposed to happen, what was the first thing people thought? BAASS or the government is/could be doing all this.

As for John Schuessler, even if he is second cousin to Mother Theresa, a sweet man and honest as John the Baptist, in the new MUFON culture, he became a theoretical link between the Members/Volunteers and the Cryptocracy.

People may ppfffttt all this and say, that’s just gossip and suspicion--there is no foundation to it. That may be true, but in a cryptocracy, suspicion, speculation, and gossip is all people have to go on, and it does affect morale. And it may be accurate.

Non-stop bitter recriminations

Today, Carrion is still claiming that there is a government infiltration into MUFON (interview and blogs). Privately, he names a name and a government organization, and he’s not the only one making such claims. Even Clift suspects government intrusion. He stated that he and John Schuessler agree that MUFON seems to be attacked in some way when they get close to a significant report. Clift is blaming the dissenters for being the source of this trouble. He points to “the Elaine Douglasses,” (founder of The Committee to Reform MUFON) who are being “funded and fueled by disinformation artists.” The dissenters point to the Board.

In 2009, Ken Cherry, former State Director of TX, began an Advocacy Group which proposed what he felt were needful changes in MUFON. One point was that a new background check form was way too involved for a volunteer organization like MUFON. It’s the kind of thing you might undergo if you were being hired by the FBI. The result of Cherry’s discontent was that he was told to apologize for all the mean things he said about MUFON or he would be replaced. Of course, he would not apologize. He left and started a new paranormal research group called EPIC. Clift points to Ken Cherry’s complaints as the beginning of MUFON’S troubles.

That was the beginning of the Exodus.

If all connection with BAASS had ceased in both appearance and in reality at the end of the contract period, if the Board had gone on from there and managed MUFON in an intelligent manner, and if no further troubling circumstances had arisen at MUFON, the rolling ship would have righted itself and sailed on. But alas, the stage had been set, the atmosphere infected, and the troubles persisted.

Competition with BAASS for cases created mind-boggling situations in the day to day MUFON investigations. Were there government spies in MUFON’S midst? There was plenty of trouble and mystery to come that would suggest that there are.

To be continued: The disappearing cases.