Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MUFON’s Bonfire of the Vanities

MUFON "members" are in an "uproar" over a series of videos on You Tube which showcase and critique Texas MUFON Director Ken Cherry. (Presentations below) Cherry decided to point out what he thought were some real problems inside MUFON and he did it the old fashioned skeptic/debunker way: by attacking the people. Some of the members are angry because some Stephenville witnesses and the examination by MUFON of radar tests were his main targets. He went on to smear the pilot who he thought had mental problems because he wanted to seek counseling over the close encounters. Oh, what a cold hard world Cherry lives in where everyone has to conform to his idea of what a "normal" witness is.

Cherry claimed Puckett, a meteorologist who did independent analysis of the radar tapes, showed how MUFON's analysis was greatly flawed. But Puckett is quoted as saying basically that there was some problems with the radar measurement and MUFON fixed it and that is was no big deal. Cherry had admitted in his presentation that there was a great deal of pressure to get the results out quickly so the mistakes made were probably innocent human error. Cherry, using quotes out of context, innuendos and sarcasm, paints a self serving portrait of himself that leaves only Cherry, and those that agreed with him, standing.

There are actions taken by many MUFON professionals, who we all respect, which I believe can be counterproductive toward good potential UFO witnesses. However, we find good old Cherry is part of the problem. In his presentation, Cherry relates how he was chasing potential UFO witnesses (to be interviewed for UFO Hunters) out of the room because of his two second psychological profile and mind reading. Cherry considered these "weirdoes" undeserving of going on TV. . After all these years of MUFON experiences (humble) Cherry doesn't realize UFOs appear to the strange also! First of all, if you are a good hoaxer, would you act strange? Suppose a kind of weird person had entered the room with almost smoking gun evidence. This character, good old Kenny, would chase them away because of the strange glint in their eyes.

His whole attitude is one of dismissal and sacasim. The bottom line is: how this is helping MUFON?

There are general concerns about MUFON. Many people I know (members/investigators) for years are very unhappy with some decisions made by MUFON. They said for years they have been trying to change MUFON from the inside. They claim, and I think it is valid, that MUFON spends more time debunking UFOs than proving their reality.

For example, the last issue before this "MUFON Journal" had photos of UFOs and Mars from the great "Filers Files:" you know the one many of us love on the web. But, there was a difference. Each photo was explained away by Marc D' Angelo, MUFON's optics expert. Sounds fine, right?- educating the members, etc. But think of this, there was not one photo that was presented, that couldn't be explained.

This was the same thing Marc D'Angelo did in his presentation on at the International UFO Congress in 2010. He never presented one case where a UFO couldn't be explained.

I think I live on the same planet as MUFON and Marc. I know that there are photos out there in the Filer Files and on You Tube that anyone would be hard pressed to explain. But MUFON and Marc felt it unimportant enough to present that part of the UFOs reality. This is the insensitivity born out of kissing the mainstream skeptic's ass. MUFON doesn't have the courage, or they just don't believe there are any new photos or videos of UFO objects and craft that can't be explained. What they promote seems purposely geared only toward the explainable.

Cherry's arrogance and destructive behavior is not new in MUFON. What is new is how public it has become. This all started decades ago before MUFON. Many of us wonder what happens to our good people after they organize this UFO organization to look for answers. It seems they self destruct or disappear slowly.

Infiltration by intelligence people without good intentions toward MUFON may be at hand. This seems to have happened in previous UFO orgs in the past; NICAP is a prime example. Either UFOs are real and important on some level to the government, or they are not. The evidence over the decades indicates strongly the government is involved in covert operations around UFOs and the witnesses. That can make you "weird".

Cherry sarcastically criticizes Linda Howe for her way out theory on one report in Stephenville. However, later on he seems to support Dr. Steven Greer whose own public nonsense assertions ended any future success for the "Disclosure Project". For those who don't know Dr. Steven Greer, he claimed the government had cloned aliens and wwere abducting people to start a war. After that claim the press never showed up again. Well, at least Greer has no strange glint in his eyes. Cherry attacks Linda Howe indicating she is a fake UFoLogist. There are no schools for Ufology so Cherry can't define it. The skeptics don't even acknowledge Ufology, they lump us all together as UFO enthusiasts. I have to bring this guy Cherry to New York I know some people who could really train him in human psychology, he thinks he is savvy, but he's not.

Ken Cherry also criticizes Robert Bigelow because he has his own investigators that interfere with MUFON. It is interesting to note that Bigelow and his investigators are at odds over a recent case in Capri. MUFON quickly dismissed the UFO images caught by the firehouse video web cam as the moon. Then, in steps Bigelow's investigator's called the "Advanced Study Group," headed by Gary Hernandez, and we get the other side:

"Hernandez said he did not agree with MUFON's conclusion that the photo captured by the Isles of Capri Fire and Rescue Department's webcam was likely the moon setting and the photo could not have been of the planet Venus, said Hernandez. Although the photo was small, there is no way that the dates, time, and weather conditions would support that conclusion," Hernandez said."On the night of March 27, it was raining sideways, the wind was gusting to 51 mph, and the sky was black," said Hernandez. "Skies were dark as well for the next two nights .Hernandez plans to study the photo further and speak with witnesses to gather additional information."

Here are four links to the part of Ken Cherry's presentation sent to me by David Fulton the full presentation, according to David, will posted in eleven parts.





Joe Capp
UFO Media Matters
Non-Commercial Blog


  1. Well reported, Sir!

    Yes, Mr. Cherry seems a pore of the first wash and an excellent example of a bad example... an example of the noisome negativist laughing up his damp sleeve at that which he allows himself no capacity to understand, no aptitude to accept, no ability to incorporate, and no skill to recognize.

    Plus, shilling Tim Printy and _his_ tedious reductionism?!

    Doesn't anyone else smell klasskurtxian axes burning?

  2. Dear Alfred,

    I agree this guy should be kept away from UFO witnesses we already had "The Decider" for 8 years we don't need one of these characters in MUFON. unless he's kept away from our natural resource, UFO witnesses.

    Thanks Alfred.

  3. Hi.

    On surface, Ken Cherry seems like an egomaniac and sloppy thinker. There are lots of those in the UFO field but I haven't seen anyone promoting himself and trying to jump into fame through MUFON quite like this before.

    I don't know Ken Cherry's intentions but when I first saw this I came to think of how easy it would be to entertain a directed campaign towards MUFON by divide and conquer for disinfo purposes. Since most of the people involved donate their own precious time to involve themselves with MUFON, it wouldn't be that hard to select a (funded) fitting persona to professionally engage and try to seriously climb the ranks within MUFON. To climb to a directors position within a MUFON-district is very doable I think. Within a year (or two), it's my sad belief that most credible and sensible locally engaged investigators would have enough with the antics of the director and consequentially would quit. A purging of sorts. That director could then choose to build up the MUFON-district again with people of the same "opinions" and more effectively continue to poison the rest of MUFON from within... I firmly believe this situation in MUFON Texas is threatening the Texas organization and also the whole MUFON credibility from within. If the rest of MUFON Texas can't solve their leadership, their spontaneous collaborative group will soon drastically diminish. I'm glad to see people react and cause an "uproar"!

    This could be a disinfo-campaign but I don't believe it's the most likely explanation. The UFO field has so many problems within itself that most of the time outside interference is not even needed.

    But sometimes I wonder of the motivations of some debunkers during history... Why emotionally engage in questions that they express they don't believe in? Why vehemently oppose mystery if the data supports it? Why entrench yourself early on in beliefs you then defend to the death? Why polarize issues early on hence avoiding collaboration and promoting argumentation? Why the trash-talking about witnesses/investigators, focusing away from the data or evidence involved?

    While I personally believe there are plausible human character flaws behind the motivations of Ken Cherry, it's also easy to see that Cherry is picking up on most of the better discrediting techniques used by media and military:
    1. Character assassinations. (permanently polluting individuals)
    2. "The laugh factor" (trivializing subject)
    3. Dismissing people/data on arbitrary means (no set standard).
    4. Debunking promising data WITHOUT investigating (investigation by proclamation).
    5. Debunking promising data DESPITE investigation (agenda).
    6. Mudding the waters with weak/unsupported "new" beliefs on old UFO-cases (borderline deliberate disinfo).
    7. Polarizing the UFO field from within with untrue statements about data and people. (divide and conquer)

    I could go on and on about all the different political strategy and psychological warfare Ken Cherry gets right here if he really was out to hurt MUFON in particular or the UFO-field in general. You tell me if that's coincidental. The man must have either been trained in certain fields or picked up all these techniques by himself. These are used in specific fields like advertising, marketing, military security and propaganda, lobbying, professional politics and nothing most people is trained in or being consciously aware of.

    I don't know what to make of Ken Cherry. What I do know is that he's dangerous to MUFON itself. I hope he resigns so everybody within MUFON and a lot of us in Ufology can go on.

    Thanks for the blog Joseph!
    All the best,

    Daniel Bergh, Sweden.

  4. Hi Joesph,
    One thing I learned in corporate management within a non-profit entity was that if you were sincere in wanting to transform or influence the steering of an organization's mission, you expect criticism but...you do it from the inside, and not take a brickbat and throw rocks after you pull the ripcord.

    To me this shows a great deal of emotional immaturity, a sort of sour grapes mentality. However, MUFON does have serious problems but when you consider what they are involved in, that should come as no surprise. Is the glass half empty or half full?

    The unquestioned inclusion of Budd Hopkins as an expert while Mark Jacobs exposed the Achilles Heel of their methodology is disturbing.

    Name calling is more of the same rot that has infected UFOlogy from the beginning, that's why there is no UfOlogy, just a collection of pernicious gadfly's like myself.

    A more mature and leavened reorganization from the top down as well as a concise and coherent mission statement that includes a tighter focus..in other words they need someone outside of MUFON..to actually manage MUFON..not just make ceremonial or caustic statements.

    I don't care whether an organization if managing housing, bean production or investigations, you can't escape the need for organizational clarity. Less opinion, more facts.

    There are plenty of opinions which all point to MUFON as a sick puppy.
    Theory and practice need to be coherent.
    Best Wishes

  5. Dear Daniel,
    It should be noted that the two previous International Directors of MUFON had intelligence background. After James Carrion left he wrote a hit piece claiming, ufo researchers, NIDS at the Sleepwalker ranch and many others inside MUFON were frauds. He said he found this out going through the MUFONs documents he was to create a database for all of us which we all thought would be great. The database is not that good and James caused more harm than good since he had taken over. James also did a hit on a UFO Witness in Mexico when a show pulled a hoax on a witnesses MUFON was investigating. In the piece done by James in the MUFON Journal James states they all thought the photos could be genuine. Why would you take part in a hoax on a witness you thought at the time could be genuine? One of the photos in the piece showed an upright tree and the UFO near the branches. James claimed their was evidence of a pole or post on the tree holding the object up. But when I went to You Tube and watched the video of this case I saw the same tree bent over in the background and you could see the piece he said was a poll or post on the tree was nothing other than a tree branch.
    It is very strange inside of MUFON and I can't figure it out.
    Thanks for a great comment.

  6. Dear Bruce,
    you're never a gadfly to me. I have an idea for MUFON why don't they exclude anyone with a intelligence background from being an International Director or state Director. We are just not as smart as these intelligence folks.
    Thanks Bruce

  7. "Why would you take part in a hoax on a witness you thought at the time could be genuine?"

    Yes, indeedy.

  8. Dear Bob,
    When I first read this in the MUFON Journal I had no idea they had pulled a hoax on this guy. Now I don't know if he hoaxed these photos but I do know according to the article, which never mentioned the hoax, they thought, through the preliminary examination, that these could be genuine. I had a problem with the criticism of the photos, even they article said the case was still open
    Could they have been trying to embarrass Jamie Maussan.
    The problem with doing that is Jamie, know matter what you believe about his hoax filtering discernment, is being used by many people in Mexico who do see UFOs. When this happens anywhere the hoaxers come out in droves. what happens to anyone including a journalist, who starts to interact daily with people seeing and videoing very strange objects? Is it possible that they become so open minded that their brains fall out from time to time. I think it is the human thing to do. It certainly happens to me from time to time. But, in the end Jamie and people like him is doing a service and he is not the problem. The problem is with the UFO community and how it goes about shooting itself in the foot.
    Thanks Bob,

  9. Gary Mansfield, F.I.July 14, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Unfortunately... all this glib and glitter has caused a problem of the star-struck star team official that has perpetuated a clouded dilemma of truth versus the personal diversion to cover one's own reputation. I am afraid that MUFON has taken a beating over the pure dissatisfaction of a brow beating of "one individual," and to me that is is something that only KARMA and a revelation of "that persons" own discovery of diception will eventually reveal. MUFON is not folding or going anywhere! They will survive this perpetuated attack, and in doing so they will continue as the major force of UFO disclosure that they have always represented.

  10. Gary Mansfield, F.I.July 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Unfortunately... all this glib and glitter has caused a problem of the star-struck star team official that has perpetuated a clouded dilemma of truth versus the personal diversion to cover one's own reputation. I am afraid that MUFON has taken a beating over the pure dissatisfaction of a brow beating of "one individual," and to me that is is something that only KARMA and a revelation of "that persons" own discovery of diception will eventually reveal. MUFON is not folding or going anywhere! They will survive this perpetuated attack, and in doing so they will continue as the major force of UFO disclosure that they have always represented.

  11. Steve Firmani, MUFONJuly 22, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Joe...Get your informatiion straight! MUFON's "Chief Photo and Video Analyst" (not optics analyst-there's a big difference it's people like you that can't get the fact's straight that put a black eye on Ufology. Not MUFON). Secondly, His name is Marc D'Antonio, not D'Angelo. Marc has more credentials and qualificatiions in his field than you can ever hope to have. I have been investigating UFO sightings for over 40 years and agree completely with Marc's analysis of the photos, no matter how much you want them to be something les mundane, they are logical and probable explanations. I don't think you know what the difference between debunkers (skeptics) and true Ufologists (those that only accept something as a UFO after all other possibilities are ruled out)if you had it your way, every case would be a UFO. Instead of labeling MUFON as debunkers/skeptics take a look at CSICOP and see what real debunkers are like!

  12. Thank you for the corrections. It doesn't change the way some investigators treat UFO witnesses. I never claimed I was an expert I didn't think you had to when you criticized the way your main resource is treated; The human beings that report do the witnessing. If you think that they are treated properly all the time you are wrong. I really recent when people attack you for criticizing MUFON. Some witnesses are turned off by jaded investigators. I know I committed sacrilege but this is not a Mutual admiration society. Without witnesses we have no resource. Many MUFON investigators have to remember that or they can be part of the problem
    Joe Capp
    Joe Capp