Thursday, May 30, 2013

#575: Clifford Clift & MUFON

The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) is one of the oldest and largest organizations devoted to investigating cases of reported UFO sightings, and it operates a worldwide network of regional directors for field investigation, holds an annual international symposium, and publishes the monthly MUFON UFO Journal. Its stated mission is the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity through investigations, research and education,” but the scientific” part of it is, shall we say, not unencumbered by confirmation bias and crackpottery (their website even provides its own Humpty-Dumpty definition of scientific study”, just to make sure). The organization is currently based in Ohio, and directed by Clifford Clift (actually, as of present the presidency seems to have been yielded to one Dave McDonald, so I suppose Clift must count as ”former director”). They also have various state chapters and regional directors, and it is not unlikely that Barbara Delozier, listed as State Section Director Northwest, is the same as Barbara Delozier, Dolphyn Wisdom of the Ancient, Metaphysical Minister, who runs the My Psychic Friends network.

It is in fact rather charming how MUFON in their communications try to dress up their already given conclusion in a language that is notionally open to skepticism, without really allowing for the possibility that their conclusions are wrong (an example is here, and another one – presented by one James Carrion – is here, though Carrion has later left MUFON and denounced the project because of its badly conducted investigations, a total lack of evidence, and less than scientifically-minded approach to the questions). Now, MUFON does like to complain that they aren’t taken seriously by mainstream science, just like cryptozoologists, bigfooters, and the Intelligent Design crowd are not taken seriously by the scientific establishment and for equally obvious reason. The problem is of course that despite their official stance MUFON is in practice little more than an UFO cult for the crazy and the conspiracy theorists (i.e. the crazy). A report from one of their meetings is here, and illustrates that point rather splendidly. Another fasinating five-part expository of one of their meetings can be found here.

Diagnosis: Cultlike collection of crackpots who desperately try to pass as rational inquirers. Their failure is pretty complete.


  1. It looks like you missed Mona Charen of Clownhall and Jack Cashill of World Net Daily.

    1. I put Charen in for the list for Round 3 - Cashill, however, was in fact covered in Round 1. He has said many stupid things since then, admittedly

  2. There's a rumor that they were originally called the Mutual Offbeat Ridiculous Oddball Network (MORON).