MUFON has been under fire lately after Pennsylvania state director John Ventre made a disgusting,hate-filled racist rant on his Facebook page that MUFON never really fully distanced itself from.
Ventre has been censored and removed from some features of MUFON after uproar in the community after Ventre's Trump-America empowered post spread. Ventre, who has pumped plenty of money into the organization, is still a member of MUFON.
To make matters worse, was the MUFON response. MUFON executive director Jan Harzan released an apologist, Devil's Advocate response that failed to condemn Ventre , but did include this gem "Who is worse, the person posting, or the haters hating?" You can read the full statement here.
Many in the community have taken offense to Harzan's awful, tone deaf statement and Ventre's ignorance. Author, investigator and host of Somewhere In The Skies Ryan Sprague was one of the first to bring awareness to this situation by actively using his voice on social media to inform others of MUFON's mind-numbing dumbness.
"What saddens me most about this whole affair is that it does nothing but taint the entire field of UFO studies, " said Sprague. "While I am not a MUFON member, and some may think I shouldn't be commenting on this entire debacle, I felt a responsibility as a researcher and as a human being to stand up for what is right. Racial intolerance and sexism stems from pure ignorance, and this seems to be a mindset by more than one individual within this particular organization. .... when individuals that represent this extremely visible UFO organization have clear racial agendas, it paints an extremely dark picture of the entire field. "
This debacle could definitely put a black eye on the UFO community as a whole, and in a time where bigots are feeling empowered to yell racial slurs almost on the regular, you'd think MUFON would handle this situation better.
Two Portland men were recently stabbed to death after speaking up against an anti-Muslim rant on a train. This comes within same week Richard Collins III, an Army lieutenant, was stabbed to death by a white supremacist at a Maryland bus stop.
MUFON seems to be blind to what's been going on or just doesn't care. MUFON needs to understand Ventre's comments go beyond the UFO community and start to realize the impact of words.
"This is a systemic issue running deep throughout history, and the controversy with this particular event truly showed that MUFON first attempted to ignore the problem and even chastise those who pointed out the issue," Sprague said. "We can either let the hate continue and give reason for the greater public to doubt and scrutinize UFO organizations, or we can point out when there is a clear issue, attempt the resolve it, and move forward together. I sincerely hope the motivations of the executive director of MUFON, and the state representatives can look past politics, business, and reputation, and do the right thing."
Erica Lukes, host of radio program "UFO Classified" and contributor on AHCTV's "UFOs: The Lost Evidence" has seen this type of refusal for years.
"For far too long, this field has been dominated by people or organizations who turn a blind eye to hate, racism and sexism, " Lukes said. "These types of abuses are continually swept under the rug and have a detrimental ,long-term effect on the topic. There is also damage to the morale of the people who sacrifice a great deal to research and raising public awareness."
-By MIKE DAMANTE