Clear Thinking on UFOs:

Welcome to MUFON of Georgia

Ralph O. Howard, Jr., MS, Prof. Geologist

State Director, Georgia MUFON

WELCOME to the home of the Georgia Chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) on the World Wide Web. This site represents a large, determined and professional group of Georgia citizens committed to the scientific investigation of Unidentified Flying Objects. I hope you’ll find both our website, and the UFO topic, challenging and worthy of your time.

MUFON’s mission is “the systematic collection and analysis of UFO data, with the ultimate goal of learning the origin and nature of the UFO phenomenon” (see http://www.mufon.com). Our objective is to meet this goal, by emphasizing, in the words of the mission statement, “the collection and analysis of data” of the highest possible quality. We welcome correspondence and involvement from all like-minded groups.

“Unidentified”

So what are UFOs? UFOs remain, first of all, Unidentified. As mainstream scientists have said, there is not a single piece of physical evidence for UFOs that proves, beyond doubt, that we are being visited by alien or extraterrestrial beings. If there was such evidence; or if the witnesses to the best cases had proven to be unreliable; or if the causes of most of the best and most evidential cases had been established; or if the reports completely dried up; or if an alien ship had landed on the White House lawn; or if the US Government fully disclosed what it knows; then, perhaps, the whole issue would be resolved. None of these things have occurred.

What remains in hand, however, is still significant evidence of a real and unexplained phenomenon, in the form of strong, evidential UFO cases (meaning, those cases that include recorded physical facts of some kind; injuries, electromagnetic (EM) effects, altered soil, ground markings, photographs, and so on). Some of the evidence from certain cases is excellent, and deserves scientific attention. The small “core” percentage of reports that withstand careful and reasonable investigation, is as challenging today as it was fifty years ago. Despite this, precious little hard, established knowledge has been gained on the subject since the so-called “modern” UFO era began some 60 years ago.

That’s not to say there are no substantial references out there that do cover the available facts. Please see our “Suggested Reading” page for our picks of some of the best comprehensive works on the phenomenon. And here I must stress that you _cannot_ become knowledgeable on this topic through reading websites! Where website material is properly footnoted, notice how the sources are _books_, and not websites. Take the time: read the books. Just as a starting point, I would mention any UFO books by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Jerome Clark, Richard Hall, Richard Haines, and Peter Sturrock.

Almost all of our members believe the UFO problem represents a significant shortcoming in the way the modern scientific establishment pictures our world. The shortcoming results from the fact that scientists as a whole are totally unfamiliar with the best of the cases and evidence that exist. Since the strongest evidence is not well known, “science” says it doesn’t exist, and from there, since “there’s no evidence” for the phenomenon, officially the phenomenon also does not exist. Or as Dr. J.A. Hynek put it, “Science is not always what scientists do.” In general, MUFON of Georgia members think the phenomenon does have, in fact, some presently-unidentified origin outside of hoaxes, illusions, lies, and misidentifications of known natural phenomena, although some poorly understood natural phenomena (i.e. ball lightning for example) definitely can explain some reported UFOs. Beyond the UFO origin being some sort of real and anomalous phenomenon, opinions diverge as to the ultimate explanation or explanations.

We welcome the skeptical viewpoint, since without the application of unbiased and skeptical case investigation, where all of the reasonable, possible and prosaic explanations are identified and evaluated, truly “unexplained” or “unidentified” incidents cannot be separated from the rest. As a group we prefer to be hard-headed but clear-thinking; this pays off and indeed is required, when confronting UFO reports. In short, we don’t believe everything we’re told.

What’s different about us?

--- We insist on the absolute requirement for solid case investigation. The strongest central belief our group shares is that competent investigators, backed up by supporting physical analysis and the involvement of experienced and determined people, can and should make significant progress in determining the nature of UFO phenomena. This sounds simple but is actually a very difficult goal, and worthy of every possible effort to achieve. That our group has felt this way for quite a while is demonstrated by the fact that, since I joined in 1997, between 20 and 25 percent of our group has always been Field Investigators.

When you look back at what has been learned over the years, what remains the most striking are the strong cases: physical trace cases, credible (and multiple) witnesses, radar/visual cases, and the best of a few, rare photographic cases. Cases like the Zamora CE-3 (Socorro NM/1964), the 1973 Mansfield Ohio Air National Guard helicopter/UFO CE2 encounter, and the Cash-Landrum CE-2 (Huffman TX/1980). Documentation of these and similar cases represents hard investigative work by people on the ground, interviewing the witnesses, looking for problems, looking for corroboration, seeing if accounts actually match, looking for clues, recognizing opportunities and taking samples, making measurements. We can and should become proficient at high-quality casework. Everything we know is based, in the end, on scientific casework that generates _facts_. With facts in hand, we can confront mainstream science.

---We believe “New Age” Ufology is someone else’s business. Who knows, perhaps UFOs really can be investigated by 25 people holding hands in a big circle at night, with red-lens flashlights, chanting in unison “Space Brothers, You Are Welcomed.” But don’t expect to see this chapter’s personnel out there doing it.

---Georgia has, and has always had, its share of outstanding cases. Until the day we have a coordinated research budget and probably some sort of national, “umbrella”-type association of UFO groups, groups like MUFONGA and MUFON nationally must continue find a way to pool resources and make sure we get the most promising trace materials and artifacts analyzed. Only in this way can we develop a stronger physical evidence base with which to challenge the mainstream. This is what we work towards. Imagine the positive effects if, say once every one or two years, either MUFON or a larger coalition of civilian UFO groups (maybe including groups outside the US) presented its strongest evidential case with backup materials and supporting analyses, to (for example) the US National Academy of Sciences, with commensurate publicity. Yes, mainstream scientists ignore the UFO issue. But someone has to challenge them, and do so with credibility. We know we have the evidence. What we must have more of, is credibility. Credibility is earned from the patient collection of facts and evidence. As former Congressman Moynihan famously said, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but everyone is not entitled to their own set of facts, to distort, ignore, or wish away as they please. The UFO knowledge base contains many, many uncomfortable but undeniable facts. They cannot be wished away.

Our Challenge to You

If you like challenges - then accept ours. In MUFON, you join a large national group of serious people who believe the UFO evidence seriously challenges mankind and our understanding of the universe, and deserves interest and effort. If you’re “deep into” this topic, and just now ready to roll up your sleeves (as I had become by 1996-97), then come on board and choose your area. If this is a topic that really interests you, and you’d like to learn more, then by all means contact us and get involved. If you just want to follow along, we welcome you to do so, just bear in mind our group is heavy in doers, rather than talkers.

We recognize that everyone brings to the table their own strong points and expertise. At the same time, we all have regular “day” jobs and family commitments. But again, if this is a topic that really interests you, I can’t encourage you strongly enough to consider taking on a level of involvement that matches your available time and your specific interests. For example, if you qualify and learn how to do it right, there are great opportunities to investigate UFO cases. You could also assist with historical research, either topics or cases we know are interesting and need work, or topics of your own choosing. Perhaps you could be a resource expert for the chapter in your professional field. There are probably as many ways to be involved as there are people in our group. Whatever UFOs are, it will take smart, determined people working together to find the cases, find the facts, and find some answers. Let’s get on with it.

It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom. -Wallace Stevens