Things seen but not explained
Mutual UFO Network members are dedicated to putting 'a scientific face on UFO investigations.'
Jan Harzan was 10 and his brother 9 when he said that happened to them.
Harzan described an "orange, ceramic-looking craft, 8- to 10-feet long, 3 1/2 feet tall, 4 feet wide, with cobalt-blue landing gear [attached to] black suction cups, hanging in the sky making this humming noise."
In recounting his experience, Harzan referred more than once to the concept of a paradigm.
"Basically when you have an experience like that, it turns you upside down. At that age, you have a certain paradigm of what the world is, and this completely shatters that paradigm," Harzan said.
Harzan, an IBM engineer, is sectional director of the Orange County chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, which meets monthly at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center, has about 100 paid members, and a mailing list of more than 1,000.
Of the 100 members, Harzan said more than 50% have reported sightings of UFOs. What gets them interested in the group is that they've seen something they can't explain.
The group has guest speakers at its meetings, and a variety of topics are discussed, including the organization's investigation and research programs.
The mission statement of the Mutual UFO Network, Harzan said, is "to study UFOs for the benefit of all mankind, and to put a scientific face on UFO investigations."
The organization reviews documentation of thousands of accounts of sightings every year, and Harzan said they "know from historical data that 90% of all UFO sightings, when investigated, end up being something either natural or man-made.
"People are good observers but they aren't trained in things like astronomy or satellite research. They'll point out that they saw this glowing orb on the horizon and it was scintillating and jumping all over the place at sunrise, and it turns out it's Venus on a summer day.
"It's hot, and it moves around because the atmosphere is making it move around."
Despite the fact that many UFO reports can be explained, Harzan said "the general feeling out there in the public is that we're not alone."
Last month's guest speaker at the meeting was Jim Sparks, whose book "The Keepers," recounts his alleged abductions by extraterrestrials over an 18-year period.
From the first time he claims to have been taken in 1988, Sparks says he remembers 95 to 98% of everything that happened to him in explicit detail, which he says is unusual since most abductees can't remember what happens to them.
Sparks said they weren't pleasant experiences for him the first six years he was taken against his will, usually in the middle of the night, and subjected to medical procedures, mind manipulation, telepathic belittling and paralysis.
Many times, Sparks said he knew he was in a spacecraft, while at other times he believes he was in a United States military installation, where he saw aliens, security personnel and "officers in uniform with military rank."
Sparks said he now receives advance warning of when the aliens are coming, he's instructed where to meet them, and he has total movement once he arrives where they take him.
And he believes the so-called extraterrestrials' message is global: save the planet.
"These beings have an edge on us because they have higher intelligence and data and they live so much longer. Our species doesn't live long enough to learn."
When referring to reports of UFO sightings, E.C. Krupp, Director of the Griffith Observatory, said after 60 years of reported UFO experiences, "being able to demonstrate without reasonable doubt, the nature and the meaning of these reports, is certainly problematic."
Claims of extraterrestrial crafts and alien abductions are so extraordinary, Krupp said, that it is reasonable to demand, as we would in any other case, uncompromising evidence.
"In the absence of that, then skepticism is the appropriate response," Krupp said.
For more information on the Orange County chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, visit www.mufonoc.org.
SUE THOENSEN may
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Copyright 2007 Daily Pilot