An international organization that conducts research on UFO’s has
landed in Bellvue.
The 37-year-old Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON, recently moved its
headquarters from Littleton into the home office of James Carrion,
the organization’s international director.
Carrion said the nonprofit
or-ganization is dedicated to the scientific study of UFO’s “for the
benefit of humanity.”
“People all over the world are seeing
things they cannot ex-plain,” he said. “We want to get a better
understanding of what’s going on and what it means.”
organization has about 400 trained field investigators who use
forensic science when looking into reports of strange sightings the
same way law enforcement officers investigate crime scenes, Carrion
Investigators are trained to go into cases with open
minds and not let personal beliefs taint the research, he said. The
evidence dictates the outcome of any in-vestigation.
data is the data and that is all that matters,” he
About 85 percent of sightings investigated by the
organization can be explained as caused by weather phenomenon or
man-made objects. But the other 15 percent fall into the category of
“high strangeness” that cannot be readily explained, he
A November incident at O’Hare International Airport in
Chicago, during which a large spinning object appeared to hover over
an airport gate before darting swiftly into the clouds, is an
example of events the organization investigates.
officials were quick to dismiss the incident as nothing even though
the object was observed by ground crews, Carrion
Carrion took the organization’s reins from John
Schuessler, a retired NASA employee who became fascinated with UFO’s
and what they might mean for society after talking to astronauts who
saw things in space they could not explain.
has about 2,500 paid members, including many scientists, and puts
out a monthly journal. Members come from all walks of
Carrion, who owns a computer training company, said his
personal interest in UFO’s extends to his childhood, when he would
clip stories about unusual events and sightings from newspapers. He
also lived in Puerto Rico at a time when it was considered a “hot
spot” for UFO activity.
Overcoming “the giggle factor” — the
tendency of some to laugh off any UFO report — is the toughest
challenge the organization faces, he said.
himself as a “skeptical believer” in UFO’s who, like most people,
first seeks a rational explanation for strange events.
too many people around the world have seen too many strange things
to simply dismiss the possibility that UFO’s exist, he said.