Photos from the 2011 MUFON SYMPOSIUM – Hyatt Regency Irvine, CA.

Photos courtesy of Jamie Hunter

 News Articles about our  2011 MUFON Symposium



Lee Speigel Become a fan of this reporter

UFO Symposium Mixes It Up Between ET Believers And Skeptics

First Posted: 8/3/11 08:02 AM ET Updated: 8/3/11 12:14 PM ET

UFOs and ETs were on tap this weekend at the 42nd annual  MUFON Symposium in Irvine, Calif.

The UFO menu at the Hyatt Regency Hotel drew over 400 people who received healthy doses of topics like government conspiracy, religion, remote viewing, secret antigravity propulsion projects, reported encounters with alien beings, time travel, crop circles, life on Mars and a famous astronaut dispelling the idea of extraterrestrial visits to Earth.

Throughout the symposium, one individual showed up at all of the lectures whose presence may have struck fear in the hearts of many of the UFO believers.

“I think there’s no evidence that UFOs represent anything outside of science that we know now,” said Robert Sheaffer, one of the world’s leading UFO debunkers. “There’s no such thing as an alien intelligently controlled vehicle that’s zooming around in the vicinity of the Earth now.”


“Some people say, ‘Well, maybe they’re time travelers or they’re from the fourth dimension,’ or something, but again, those are pretty drastic hypotheses and you have to have drastically strong evidence to claim that that is true,” Sheaffer told The Huffington Post.

With more than 3,000 members, MUFON — the Mutual UFO Network — is the largest UFO investigative organization in the world, represented in all 50 states and 25 countries.

“The first 41 symposiums focused on trying to prove to people that UFOs were real, that they did exist and there was physical evidence to support that,” said MUFON board member Jan Harzan.

“What we’ve tried to do this year as a group was to look at this question: We know ETs are out there — we can argue about whether they’re here or not. What will happen when Earth comes in contact with an ET race?” Harzan added.

The overall theme of the other-worldly symposium was “ET Contact: The Implications For Science and Society.” To that end, a roster of speakers offered answers and opinions, sometimes openly disagreeing with each other.


 At the symposium press conference on Friday, I threw out the question to the speakers about this whole notion of disclosure, where some people claim secret UFO information has already been released, while others argue otherwise.

“Disclosure has happened,” said former Army Col. John Alexander (Image right), who spent 25 years using his high security clearance to weave through top levels of the U.S. government and military, searching for signs of a UFO cover-up.

“President Harry S. Truman, on April 4, 1950, said at a press conference, ‘UFOs are real and they’re not from this planet,’” Alexander said. “In the headlines of April 5, 1950, you don’t even find UFOs mentioned, so the idea that this was going to be a big breaking story just wasn’t true. After that … we’ve had presidents around the world, and any number of governments that have dumped, basically, all of their files. I’m not sure how many times you have to be told this is real before we’re willing to accept that it’s real!”


 “I would take issue with that strongly,” nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman quickly countered. (Image left) “Because all the stuff that’s been released so far by all these governments releasing their files is not top secret material. There’s no indication that the top secret code word stuff has been released, and I’ve never been able to find evidence that Truman actually said that — I’ve seen that claim made, but I checked at the Truman library and they have no record of there being a press conference at which he said that.”

Chiming in on this heated debate was former astronaut Story Musgrave, the keynote speaker at the symposium, who doesn’t believe aliens have ever visited Earth.

“I’m totally honest and from the heart, I’ve got no agenda and I’m not running for election,” Musgrave told The Huffington Post. (Image below right) “NASA and no one ever muzzled me or anyone else. They have absolutely no secrets, except for classified missions. Otherwise, we’re free to say it as it is.”


“If we reject (extraterrestrials), they’re not coming here,” he added.” They’re not going to come to a home that rejects them. So I think it’s very important to accept them and welcome them.”

On the subject of other astronauts who have claimed to see UFOs, Musgrave is very adamant.

“No astronaut — and I queried everyone, hundreds — was able to bring to me an experience which passed my filters.”

Included in the weekend MUFON event was an eight-hour field investigator training course to help people learn some of the finer points of how to look into UFO reports wherever they occur.

And, as one might expect, just about everything ET-related could be purchased for a price: alien statues, posters, T-shirts, mugs, flying saucer-shaped rocks, artwork, books, DVDs, crystal skulls, pendants, jewelry — all in the spirit of out-of-this-world consumerism. 

Los Angeles Times

UFO investigators’ convention emphasizes scientific methods

Mutual UFO Network symposium teaches fundamentals — keep an open mind, take copious notes, get proper paperwork. Attendees also discuss alien-human hybrids, time travel and anti-gravity propulsion.

July 31, 2011| By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times

UFO conference

 Cynthia Crawford holds one of the sculptures she had for sale at the conference.… (Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times)

 It’s the first rule of thumb for any aspiring UFO investigator: Keep an open mind.  “We all want to believe, we all want to believe bad,” said David MacDonald, a certified investigator with the Mutual UFO Network. “But you’ve got to look at the evidence. You’ve got to come at this like a scientific researcher.”

On Friday, MacDonald and dozens of like-minded individuals filled an Irvine hotel conference room to discuss the finer points of investigating the inexplicable — or at least that which cannot be explained in terrestrial terms. As part of the network’s annual symposium, attendees were given a crash course on what it takes to become a certified field investigator.

Approach all alleged sightings objectively, they were told, and with the precision of a scientist. Pack recording devices, a Geiger counter and a respirator.

The would-be UFO investigators were also urged to follow protocol: Always have the “percipient,” or witness, sign proper paperwork. Ask thorough questions. Document everything. Always carry the Mutual UFO Network badge — a laminated identification card. And, most important, always be professional.

Many of the unidentified flying objects reported to the network can be easily explained — satellites traveling through the night sky, atmospheric reflections, or even a paraglider with a peculiar parachute. But there are occasions when no answers can be found. That’s when it just might be a visitor from beyond.

Of course, one of the occupational hazards UFO investigators face is a certain lack of respect.

The common lament among many symposium attendees was that they were viewed as being on the fringe. “We do have what we consider evidence, but the scientific community doesn’t want to consider that as evidence,” said Barbara Lamb, a psychotherapist who works with “experiencers” — those who say they’ve been abducted. “There’s a kind of booga-booga about ETs and UFOs.”

Richard Dolan, a leading UFO researcher and author of several books, added: “Just below that level of snicker, snicker is fear.”

The question of what happens if and when extraterrestrials visit Earth was the Mufon symposium’s main topic of conversation, but other lectures included “Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion,” “Time Travel Is a Fact” and “Mars, the Living Planet.”

Many of the few hundred attendees were baby boomers, children of the space race who grew up casting an eye to the heavens and never stopped questioning what could be out there. Others came with a more spiritual outlook. They view extraterrestrials as omnipotent protectors who often beckon them in the night.

Cynthia Crawford, 61, an artist who sold sculptures of aliens, said there was no reason to fear contact by extraterrestrials. She said she has a spiritual connection to her alien guides, who have made medical ailments disappear and once manifested a crisp $20 bill.

She told others they could experience the same.

“Send the light and the unconditional love, and they will come to you,” she told one young man. “When you start seeing your star family — oh my God — you’ll love it.”

Another topic discussed at the convention was human-extraterrestrial hybrids. Crawford, who lives near the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, said that she is one of them.

The hybrids, she said, often have high foreheads and thin faces with long, skinny noses. Crawford, however, has a round face framed by thick blond hair.

“I think I look human,” she said. She turned her head and widened her eyes. “Do you think I look human?”