MYSTERY WIRE — The ongoing wave of media interest in UFOs has been a boon for the country’s oldest and largest civilian UFO group. The Mutual UFO Network, better known as MUFON, has chapters in every state and actively investigates reports from the public.
The now-familiar videos of unknown craft, recorded by Naval aviators, helped launch a renaissance of interest in UFOs. Mainstream media, members of Congress, and the general public are all talking about UFOs this year, which is welcome news for MUFON.
The new interest was one of the reasons Congress has now called for serious investigations.
A trio of genuine videos, recorded by Navy aviators and confirmed by the Pentagon more than three years ago sparked a renaissance of interest in UFOs, now called UAPs by the government.
It’s a dramatic turnaround for mainstream media and for Congress, which has been alarmed by what it has seen in closed-door briefings, including videos that have yet to be made public.
Legislation is now in the works to create a permanent office to investigate UFO matters.
“The UFO community is kind of gaining prominence again,” Nevada MUFON Director Chris Jones said. “With the Tic Tac event that the government acknowledged, a lot more interest has been gaining, we’ve had a lot more people looking to join up and start the field investigator training.”
MUFON takes and investigates UFO reports from the public and provides fairly rigorous training courses for its members.
“You have to learn a lot about fieldwork investigations, forensics,” Jones said. “If you’re investigating an actual landing sighting type of a thing you need to know about radiation and collecting samples and having controls and everything else like that.”
Since December 2017, the national organization has seen its membership increase by about 50% and it is still accepting members through its website, mufon.com.
The Nevada chapter meets once a month to hear from guest speakers like aviation historian Jim Goodall and to discuss current cases.
Mystery Wire was at the January 2020 meeting in Las Vegas, the last in-person meeting before the Covid lockdown forced them onto digital platforms.
The national organization just held its annual International Symposium in Las Vegas in August and the Nevada chapter provided considerable support.
Like many members, former state director Sue Countiss was drawn to MUFON because of multiple sightings she’s had, including while working for a national lab run by the Department of Energy.
“As I got closer to the Forest Preserve, it came over, it was right over the road. And the road was going, coming out of windows all the way around. And then there was no sound. And it went on and left. I went home and told my husband and he said to never tell anybody.” She went on to say she told everybody.
Las Vegas is usually ranked among the top five cities per capita when it comes to UFO sightings.
Using data beginning in 2001, UFO researcher and author Cheryl Costa published the most detailed analysis of American UFO sighting reports ever assembled, the UFO Sightings Desk Reference.
Nevada is also home to personalities who are among the most influential in the history of the subject, including former Senator Harry Reid and billionaire Robert Bigelow.
But even with such a colorful legacy, the Nevada chapter has struggled to survive over the years. Like other chapters around the country, this one has received a shot in the arm amid the current UFO revival.
The leaked photos and videos of UFOs buzzing American bases and warships have MUFON veterans wondering if the unknown craft are sending a message.
“There’s something about it,” Countiss said. “It’s almost like they’re warning us or playing with us.”