With Regret – Why I Must Leave MUFON Completely

Posted on: July 22nd, 2017
by James Clarkson

With Regret – Why I Must Leave MUFON Completely

I am addressing this letter to all MUFON State Directors and Members of the Board. I joined MUFON in 1987 in Washington State where I have lived since 1977 when I was honorably discharged from the Army. Recently I resigned from my position as Washington State MUFON Director for reason that will be explained. Chase Kloetzke asked me if I would remain as an FI, STAR Team member and investigator for the Special Assignments Team. Hesitantly, I agreed to remain out of respect for her. Shortly after that, I heard about the MUFON Inner Circle as part of the disclosures from Jan Harzan when he was interviewed by Kevin Randle. For the reasons explained below I believe I must leave MUFON altogether.

Since I am certain that most of you know very little about me, I will tell you that after I arrived in Washington state on 1975, I completed a 20-year career as a police sergeant with numerous assignments such as fatal accident team supervisor and detective sergeant. I have also spent 2 years as a child abuse detective and 10 years as a state fraud investigator. On a parallel path, I have had a lifelong commitment to trying to explore the UFO Mystery.

Given the situation that I am addressing, where I live is extremely relevant to my decision to quit MUFON. I live in Olympia in Thurston County in Washington State; Olympia is 19 miles from Yelm, WA, the location of the world headquarters of the cult leader, JZ Knight AKA Ramtha, who is arguably the richest and most powerful member of the MUFON Inner Circle. I am painfully aware of all the negative consequences that may arise from the influence of those in the MUFON Inner Circle.

I did not know JZ Knight’s role in MUFON until after I heard the Kevin Randle interview of Jan Harzan, not long after I resigned as a MUFON State Director. Given the power and influence of JZ Knight, and not knowing how much influence she truly has in MUFON, I may be taking a risk by daring to voice a concern about her Inner Circle status. At the same time, I will not have my reputation in this field compromised by affiliating with a rich and powerful cult leader who is now a member of the MUFON Inner Circle.

To fully understand my position, I would ask that the reader should study two web articles and then return to this letter:

  1. http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/2017/06/mufon-racism-and-dodging-questions.html
  2. http://www.alternet.org/belief/ramtha-new-age-cult-leader-unleashes-drunken-racist-homophobic-rants-large-following

Right after the recent resignation of another MUFON State Director and charter member, Rich Hoffman, I resigned my directorship because of long-term burnout and a growing sense that MUFON as a serious UFO investigative organization no longer exists. I suspect that I am not the only State Director suffering from a deep malaise while watching MUFON become an income-generating enterprise. The triggering event for me was the lack of an immediate dismissal of John Ventre from his State Directorship after his racist outburst on Facebook, or at least an immediate statement that Ventre’s comments were not acceptable coming from a leader of MUFON.

Because of what I am about to explain, remaining in MUFON in any capacity is morally unacceptable. Simply, I will not place my reputation as an Investigator and Researcher into the hands of JZ Knight or other mysterious people who have purchased a position of influence at the highest levels of MUFON. And from the Kevin Randle interview I have learned that John Ventre is still an Inner Circle member. He may also be appointed to any number of key positions in the future. Before you pass judgment on my reaction to the disclosure that JZ Knight is a member of the MUFON elite, please consider that you do not live in her immediate shadow. You are not privy to the local news that I am.

I communicated directly with Rich Hoffman after he had said his goodbyes, and he told me that he was worn out trying to seek better treatment of field investigators and state directors by the leaders of MUFON; he said he was just worn out from trying. If you want the specifics, then you must ask him. I also resigned because I have had the sense for a long time that no matter how often I promoted MUFON over many years during numerous UFO lectures, in my books, lectures, and elsewhere, I would remain “Unacknowledged.” I don’t pretend I am better than anyone else, but any work horse in harness would like to be given an apple occasionally and be patted on the head.

I think I am not a lot different than other State Directors who devote hundreds of hours to running on the CMS Hamster Wheel, who spend their own money, time and effort to promote MUFON to the public. One of the criticisms I have of MUFON is that if you are not a Jaime Maussan or a Steven Greer, or someone with money to donate, then you are just one of the cogs in the machine. You do your job until you wear out and then you are replaced. Even State agencies as bureaucratic as they are, will give you a certificate and a pin for longevity.

For the last 9 years I have been the Washington State Director. I have personally investigated over 750 cases for MUFON; I have assisted in the investigation of countless others, recruiting and training Field Investigators and by assisting Peter Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center and William Puckett of UFOs Northwest. I have lectured at major conferences across the country and once in Paris. I have appeared on countless internet radio interviews, a TV gig or two and I have written two books. I have always proudly talked about my position in MUFON. Right now, I have a YouTube interview which garnered over 19,000 views in 4 weeks. But I really believe I could walk in with a Gray on each arm and hand out pieces of memory metal as souvenirs, but in MUFON I would be invisible. I am living proof that “No man is a prophet in his own kingdom.” It is hard to watch an organization that you once served proudly become an income-generating entertainment company. And then you just can’t do it anymore.

It is not my way to draw attention to my background or accomplishments. There are many in MUFON with far greater than mine. I am describing myself fully so that others may relate to how disconnected I have felt while working as a State Director while watching MUFON move away from being an investigative organization to what will probably be a UFO entertainment franchise business. I draw that conclusion because I was one of the six State Directors who was interviewed at length by a business consultant.

That in-depth interview may be summarized simply: Have you incorporated your MUFON organization? How much income do you generate as a MUFON State organization, and how much can you donate?

I am hoping that this letter may be a catalyst for real change in MUFON’s direction if it is not already too late. The influence of the money-worshipping corporate mentality is already damaging our country like cancer; what is happening to MUFON doesn’t seem much different.

It appears the focus is so concentrated on income generation that anything like investigative integrity is just an anachronism. Caring about investigative integrity has become a nuisance. I am providing evidence in the form of one example.

The Special Assignments Team (SAT) was asked to investigate “part” of a very dubious 1946 UFO Crash case submitted by Paola Harris. Who ever heard of partially investigating a UFO report, especially when the key piece of evidence is a cast aluminum windmill pump part that is being presented as an artifact stolen from the interior of a crashed UFO in 1945? The SAT found critical investigative failures. She claimed the site was deliberately planted with noxious weeds that were genetically modified by the Government to deter UFO researchers from exploring the alleged crash site, and then on Harris’ own YouTube videos, we see the same group walking through the weeds wearing shorts. Apparently, they no longer needed to wear the full body isolation suits that look so “scientific” on camera. And the result? We got to watch Harris be given special status and an award at the Symposium. I have attached a report with evidence to support this statement. Please note that Frank Kimbler supplied the scientific data and he gave me full permission to use it as I see fit. I know that he would appreciate its inclusion herein. This is one example of many.

Within the Kevin Randle interview the reader is left with the suggestion that being a member of the Inner Circle is just about receiving a few perks. That was implied so that none of the readers would be too alarmed by having to imagine what happens when a cult leader who channels a 35,000-year-old Lemurian Warrior named Ramtha ascends to a position of authority in MUFON. I would point out that Marie Malzahn was an Inner Circle member of MUFON who worked as the Director of Investigations replacing Chuck Reever in 2010. So, every State Director should contemplate what happens if Ramtha is running UFO Investigations for MUFON, or if there are even stranger developments arising from recruitments to key positions in MUFON from the Inner Circle elite.

I know this situation has the potential for very bad outcomes because in 2011 when I was trying to assist an excellent new FI regain access to CMS after she was arbitrarily locked out, Director Malzahn ordered me to obey her or else. I chose the “or else.” After I returned in 2012 at the request of Dave MacDonald, I made peace with Ms. Malzahn. In 2013, she asked me if I could carry a gun in Nevada to help guard Dr. Steven Greer who requested armed bodyguards at the Symposium. Somewhere along the way she must have offended someone who had real influence because little was heard from her after that.

I will end with a cautionary tale to point out that the rest of the UFO community may not be quite as sold on MUFON’s supremacy in this field as we are led to believe. In 2010 my wife inherited a trip to Paris and while we were there I presented to Les Repas Ufologique. I told the story of my friend June Crain and immediately sold all my books. The Parisian Ufologists were very gracious and welcoming. The only disquieting moments occurred when they commented that they had not trusted MUFON for a long time. This has been a recurring theme in various places I have visited over the years; I could build trust personally with the audience and other researchers but there are always many people who don’t believe MUFON lives up to its avowed mission. The newest version of this arose on the Internet after the John Ventre scandal and the Kevin Randle interview; MUFON is now being called MUFONINO – MUFON In Name Only.

The value of MUFON has always been its reputation for integrity. But every time we endorse the Greer’s, the Maussan’s, the JZ Knight’s, and all the rest who will push anything for a buck, then MUFON has that much less integrity to lose. I know all the arguments; you must give the public what it wants to generate the most Symposium tickets sales. When you argue from a business perspective, the intangibles such as integrity, reputation or honor become sadly irrelevant.

It would be great if this is not true. I will always help anyone who asks me to assist their investigation whether they are in MUFON or not. It is with regret that I am resigning from MUFON, but I don’t see that I have an honorable alternative. We should all be on the same side and not divided into Elites and the Subservient. Thank you for reading this. I have tried to be as honest as I know how.


James E. Clarkson
Former MUFON State Director
Career UFO Researcher

25 Responses

  1. Mario G Lafreniere says:

    Kudos to you James. The feeling of distrust towards MUFON has been around for a while in the UFO field. I’m an observer and experiencer. I never bothered reporting anything to MUFON and this was pre-HANGAR 1 and pre-Ventre “scandal”. I feel for the legitimate investigators within the organization. They are the victims in all of this. It looks like the organization fell into the rabbit hole. We still have legitimate, well-meaning people in the field that aren’t involved in the Barnum type circus acts. You may want to contact Scott Browne of In the Field-active observers from around the world Facebook group which I belong too. Anyways good luck to you and the field needs your knowledge and experience, don’t give up.

  2. Donna Carbone says:

    Well said, James! JZ took several families from the Bigfork area in Montana, and they lost everything! Lived in tents while JZ lived in a mansion, and when Ramtha said someone must purchase one of her Arabian horses, $20,000+ they had to do it, money or no money! I cannot say one nice thing about her, just plenty of bad things. Take care and we wIll talk later!

  3. Lisa Relland says:

    James, I always did and will continue to regard you in high regards. You always kind to me and I enjoyed meeting you those few times. I also am no longer with MUFON due to various reasons but I hope to keep in touch with you. Best wishes to you for all your future endevours!
    Lisa Relland

  4. James, it seems a shame that the ‘few’ are dismantling ‘the many’. This is so deja vu! Recall previous UFO investigative groups that were infiltrated and then disbanded.

    If we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.

    Best regards,


    Author, Fifty Shades of Greys: Evidence of Extraterrestrial Visitation to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Beyond

  5. Tonna Carlo says:

    Dear James, you are right in leaving MUFON due to this pay to play. JZ is well known in the city of Yelm but not in a positive light. She charges people $1,000.00 for her portrayed incite which amounts to blind folding folks in a pasture and making them fumble around to find their paper plate on the fence with their name on it. Only those who remove their blindfold and locate their named paper plate are praised. They understood the meaning of Find a Way. That’s the hook. From then on the flock follows her every word. Those who went to school with her say her favorite phrase is There’s a sucker born every minute. When people thought the world was going to end in 2012, she had tons of people buying land, making underground bunkers, buying Containers to store survival food and I had a customer have me build a 1964 Chevy truck into a 4×4 without any computer electronics and wanted me to build a faraday cage in case of a EMP. I told him it’s just the end of their long count calendar and the beginning of a new calendar. Duh! So he is stuck having to eat all that survival food and he abandoned the truck at my place since that day. No calls, guess I imbarresed him when I said Common sense from a friend costs nothing. Don’t keep paying her for stupidity.

  6. Ian says:

    Rare to see an honest and honorable person in this field which has be deliberately corrupted with misinformation over the years. Unfortunately money and commerce supersede humanity.

    Ephesians 6:12
    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the high places.

    • Donald R GAGNE says:

      Kudos Sir ! Personal ethics and morals in this present day often seem to have or is in the process of getting thrown out the Window. Very sad state indeed. Volunteers always get the screws when they do excellent work. Some Money sniffing individual saw a potential for control or power, more money, pushed by Greed. Do we not see the same thing with Gaia ? Some say all pertinent videos are disappearing from YouTube to appear on Gaia at a $20.00 a month or similar to see anything.
      I wish the former director well in his retirement and Thank him for his devotion.

      • James Clarkson says:

        I prefer to think of myself as transforming, not retired. I am convinced by the encouragement of so many that there is life after MUFON. Thank you sincerely for the kind words. And yes, I think you are on the trail of a significant bad actor. Just yesterday a lady UFO researcher I know called to talk about how Gaia is the driving force behind the Corey Goode phenomena. Sadly, it’s all about marketing and the short and easily bored attention of the public at large. Only ratings count, but these are the times when those who have a genuine appreciate for this subject must stay the course and never compromise their integrity for a buck. I admit, it’s easy for me to say that when I am a pensioner.

  7. James, this shows what an honorable and committed researcher/investigator you are. People need to start taking a firm stand against the dredges and nut jobs clouding the UFO issue with their egos, greed, and sheer insanity. I hope this is the start of a foundation for a new, reputable, credible, and scientific organization to be built on. I also hope others follow your fine example of what integrity truly means. The time has come where people need to start calling calling out the lunatics like Maussan, Greer, Goode, Paola Harris, and their ilk. I wish you the best of luck, James!

  8. BTW, you might want to remove the MUFON logo from the bottom of your page here.

    • James Clarkson says:

      This is critically important. My daughter is my webmaster. I will notify her ASAP. Your kind words mean more than you can imagine right now. I just had an extraordinary interview with Greg Bishop on his program. A new day has come.

  9. Alfred Lehmberg says:

    Well said, Sir. I lost respect when it became clear they forgot what mutual means!

  10. John from Arizona says:

    Hi! I found your letter very enlightening and to be honest, a little sad. Only because I have been contemplating joining Mofon for a while until today, I thought this organization was the best of the best to join. The big problem with so many nonprofit based organizations, and even worse in a field and industry that is controversial such as this one, it is extremely difficult to find an organization that you can truly trust, count on their integrity, and become a proud supporter of that organization. So many have fallen down the dark path of becoming a moneymaking machine while losing the very purpose for which the organization was founded on. With great sadness, supported by your letter submitted here, you have revealed to me that this is not the organization that I seek.

    So now my question to you and the audience here, is where can I find a real, honest, integrity driven organization that is dedicated to the UFO cause for which I may join?


    • John from Arizona says:

      Sorry for the typo – MUFON, not Mufon. Auto dictation makes SO many errors and once I hit the publish button, it was too late to correct it.

    • James Clarkson says:

      It’s never easy to find a source of truth. I know people who are motivated by a sincere desire to explore the UFO Mystery and they are people with integrity. I am not sure that the model of a large subscriber-based UFO organization really works anymore without it degenerating into an entertainment company where the labor of dedicated unpaid volunteers is transformed into sources for TV scriptwriters and big salaries for those at the top. The problem is if your goal is organizational growth at all costs then the need to sell tickets or subscriptions will drive out the need to do integrity-based investigations. Because most UFO reports end up having a man-made or natural explanation, most UFO reports are of little interest to the public. Unfortunately, we live in an age where the degree of instant attention you receive is the measure of success. The marketing efforts to achieve that kind of attention and the true goals of Investigation are mutually opposed. I think that mutually beneficial collaborations are the form that serious UFO investigation should take.
      So you need to decide what your expectations really are. Are you looking for UFO cases to study to arrive at your own conclusions? Are you looking for an opportunity to investigate on your own or are you looking for an organization that will provide you with three rings of ET Entertainment? If I may be of help, then please write back.

  11. SOF says:

    “The influence of the money-worshipping corporate mentality is already damaging our country like cancer; what is happening to MUFON doesn’t seem much different.”

    This statement describes a problem that is universal and is the factor that destroys any sincere endeavour.

  12. I have known about the cult leader JZ and have strayed away from MUFON. There are some good people in this organization but they seem to turn a blind eye to false prophets so I could never take them seriously. I am happy to see that you are leaving. Smart man!

  13. Frank Arnold says:

    Mr. Clarkson,
    I just watched your video about June…fascinating, well spoken,and from the heart. I went to your website and did a little more digging and read the letter on resigning from MUFON. I commend your gravitas sir…a man with honor. I collect books on this subject matter and always try and get author autographed copies from people who I think will make a difference…they will be my daughters when I pass and I was wondering if I could get copies from you. Of course I will pay for all books and postage, just let me know the amount. Again sir, it was a pleasure watching your video! Keeping my eyes to the sky.
    Frank Arnold
    Old dude in NC.

    • James Clarkson says:

      Frank Arnold,
      Please forgive me if my response did not get to you. We have had an awful lot going on along the home front. We tried unsuccessfully to sell our home and this long arduous process dragged out over 6 months and two flaky realtors in a supposedly “hot real estate market.” It’s a long story.
      As to my books, obviously I would always like to sell them but more especially to someone building a collection. The prices are on the website if you want to use PayPal or if you want to mail a check, the June Crain book is $14.95 and the Westport UFO Crash book is $10.00. It costs between 3 and 5 dollars to mail them in the USA depending on whether you order one book or both of them.
      In any event, I am still in the UFO Research field. I have just broken away from corporate for profit Ufology.
      All the best,
      James E Clarkson

  14. Rebecca Mize says:

    Dear James: Having a person of high integrity in any organization today seems to be a rare occurrence I’m afraid. I am so sorry to hear you have chosen to leave, but you are so right to do so. Participating in any endeavor within an environment that is toxic will eventuality make you succumb to illness from the toxicity. I wish you the best, and hope you can report UFO cases to us in some way in the future. You will be missed, and I thank you so much for all of your honest hard work. Sincerely,Rebecca

    • James Clarkson says:

      Thank you for your completely on point analysis of why I had to get out. I am not gone from Ufology just from MUFON. I have joined the Scientific Coalition for Ufology and I am working on other projects which will be announced. My favorite Bob Dylan quote is, “He not busy being born is busy dying.” It is time for me to end my days as a Ufological caterpillar.
      Blessings on you for your understanding,
      James E Clarkson

  15. Michael L. Boss CEP/CFP/CSP says:

    Jim: Having enjoyed 30+ years of your friendship, being your Washington State MUFON Assistant Director during part of your tenure, a MUFON Star Team Member and consultant independent researcher I know your angst in resigning. As you recall my departure from MUFON earlier on was based upon their apparent, and now substantiated lack of any interest or follow-through in investigations that may require a truly scientific, defensible, rigorously protocol-driven analysis of an event or potential “hard” evidence. It’s not to wonder why not, if they did proceed in that manner, they would then become liable for the entire report, obviously they don’t want anything to do with that. The organization has lost one of their most staunch and professional supporters, their loss, your gain.

    As your friend and professional associate, “got your back, your six is covered” on this one.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Last time I posted to mufon about a year or so ago, I swear I was being followed or watched after I had a us government black Dodge Charger all blacked out windshield and all pull right in front of my mail vehicle and just sat there in my way with their turn signal on in front of my vehicle. They wouldn’t move until I acknowledged them by looking right at them and they just sat there in my way. (I couldn’t see through the windshield it was that blacked out like limo tint all over) Also had a werid helicopter come over my place of resident when I was outside and just hover over me when I was letting the dog out. Might all be a coincidence but it all just felt so odd. I know it sounds crazy but everything I said is true, whether coincidence or not..

    (Careful when you post there)

    • James Clarkson says:

      Whatever is going on in your life, I can assure you that just posting something related to MUFON or UFOs will not cause you to be under government surveillance. If you possess classified information about UFOs, and if it was important enough, you might get the kind of attention you described. I can assure that after 30 years of being involved in this field, I have never had any MIBs following me around. If you live anywhere near Joint Base Lewis McCord, it is very probable that you will see unmarked helicopters on occasion, but again, linking that to whatever you posted is jumping to conclusions.

  17. Corey B Fish says:

    Sounds like the long-term agenda of tearing apart MUFON, and any other org which achieves reputable status, is working. If MUFON is getting “flabungent”, it is from carefully planned external psy-ops — the standard Machiavellian formula which divides and conquers. All part of the overall goal of keeping UFOs and all subjects thereof a joke.

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