Note: As I said yesterday, I am not quitting blogging entirely. I will be posting less frequently, when news happens.
The Mutual UFO Network has had its share of controversies, from John Ventre's wildly racists 2018 social media screed (a controversy repeated in racist comments by Rhode Island MUFON official Ken Pfeiffer just last month) to the fake documents it pushed on its History Channel series, and the charges that Robert Bigelow served as a middleman to buy MUFON records to help the Pentagon research UFOs. Now MUFON is experiencing another black eye as its executive director Jan Harzan faces charges that he attempted to solicit sex from a police detective he thought was a 13-year-old girl. The Huntington Beach Police released information on the July 3 arrest yesterday:
In the past two weeks, detectives from the Huntington Beach Police Department's Special Enforcement Bureau have arrested two suspects on two separate incidents involving online crimes against children.
UFO believers and conspiracy theorists have been wrapped up in the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory for years now, investigating claims that a vast network of aliens and Democrats were sexually exploiting children in locations such as the (non-existent) basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. Now Harzan has ended up on the other side of the popular ufology conspiracy, an alien-hunter who police say wanted to exploit children.
Fringe, paranormal, and occult groups don't have the best track record of dealing with predators. Frank Joseph, the former head of a U.S. Nazi Party, was convicted of sexual misconduct with children and spent years in prison for it. Nevertheless, the field let him rebrand himself, embraced his books about Atlantis and lost white races, and still welcomes him to conferences. At least one History Channel episode of America Unearthed was based on his work.
Vice has a longer article about MUFON's long history of bad behavior.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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