MUFON to rebrand

I found this story… interesting funny, well, not sure. What do you think?

MUFON – motivated by increasing interest in UFOs, company orders rebrand

mufon-logoThe Mutual UFO Network, the largest UFO investigation squad in the US and also the largest amateur anomalous research and investigation group possibly in the world with thousands of volunteers, is looking to modernize. They have hired a marketing agency to update their look, rebrand and kickoff a new national member recruitment drive.

MUFON is undoubtedly busy. They receive reports of strange things in the sky, there is NO shortage of that. Besides, military and government agencies will almost never investigate citizen reports of UFOs and yet there are more things in the skies these days than ever before. MUFON claims to conduct scientific investigation but, frankly, there is little science in it at all. UFOs are ridiculously difficult to investigate because they are almost always only witness accounts of things in the sky, moving fast, possibly across long distance, without size or scale to use as reference. They almost never leave physical traces and are difficult to capture on video or in photographs.

UFOs have been studied to death for decades and we still have no good idea of what they are – mainly because they have multiple and varied explanations and their image changes with changing times. One could argue that MUFON is not in any way scientific since they do not have a seat at the table of mainstream science discussions and their major cases have been discredited. There is no progress in this field. Yet, people still see UFOs, and they always will. Amateur groups like MUFON perform a public service in giving worried witnesses a place to call to report their event and speak to a sympathetic person about it. Also, their is no reason why they can’t do something with the data they collect. I’d support that initiative.

While MUFON members are often asked to talk about strange sightings on sensationalist TV shows, a reality TV show about UFO hunters, Chasing UFOs, was a dud, cancelled after one season on Nat Geo Channel in 2012. UFO chasing just didn’t make good television. The director of MUFON, Jan Harzon, refers to their work as “the real X-files”. I would quibble with such a distinction as MUFON are not FBI agents and the X-files is FICTION. The term is a means to jazz up the job. MUFON has in the past few years faced serious criticism that their focus has drifted far from the idea of nuts and bolts UFO investigation into bizarre conspiracy and exopolitics talk. Their idea of “scientific” researchers appears to be people who are not scientists or propose fantastic, anti-science tales. For a good review of MUFONs recent shakeups, see this post on UFOTrail. Hmm, I suppose this does call for professional help with rebranding. They need it. I’m curious to see the result.

  4 comments for “MUFON to rebrand

  1. Guy Chapman
    September 13, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    This will be the saucer much interest. I hope they don’t alienate their followers. Is there an ETA for the rebrand yet?

  2. September 13, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Your healthy skepticism of MUFON and their “scientific” approach to UFO investigation is largely accurate and warranted. That being said, I do think that part of MUFON’s problem is that they really don’t have much in the way of scientific data to work with. After all, what can there be? Videos, pictures and descriptions of witnesses are really all there is. Aside from assembling the data in a variety of groupings… i.e. X number from each state, country and region, X numbers sighted by people over 30 etc etc, there really isn’t much more to explore. I am aware that there can be some studies done of alleged landing sites, but those outliers aside, there just isn’t much to analyze scientifically.
    I’m thinking it would be a positive step for MUFON to position themselves as an investigational organization with a decided “skeptical” approach and forsaking the sensationalization of the subject in favor of debunking, disproving and providing rational explanations for “most” of the reported sightings they investigate. I sure they do that now, but their image is that of “enthusiasts” rather than serious investigators which always leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those of us from “Missouri!”

  3. September 13, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    I think one of the biggest challenges facing MUFON and similar groups is effective nonprofit management. There are important differences between being well versed on UFO stories and actually managing an organization well.

    Also, IMO, researchers and orgs are challenged to hold the public’s attention without employing techniques that promote sensationalism. That’s an ongoing issue.

    Sharon Hill addressed such dynamics in her thesis, ‘Being Scientifical’:

    I appreciated the contribution because it quantified such challenges. While concepts such as alleged alien abduction and origins of reported UFOs can lead to endless speculation and philosophizing, the thesis reminds us of what should be a very basic question: If an org claims to conduct scientific study, can they explain how they accomplish it?

    Other issues may lead to endless debate, but when a group such as MUFON plays the science card, it has responsibilities to conduct itself accordingly. Failing to do so ventures dangerously into charlatanism, in which the science-label is incorrectly applied to try to give more credibility to something than it deserves.

  4. idoubtit
    September 13, 2016 at 8:00 PM

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