Update 4 June 2015.
Please read this update before reading the original post below. Thank you.
In December 2014 I had dinner with the management team for MUFON Australia. During the discussions, I indicated that I would consider potential future roles within MUFON Australia, which were spoken about between the three of us. By May 2015, I had had the opportunity to see how MUFON Australia was operating, and therefore allow me to respond to these dinner discussions.
Now, in early June 2015, there have been a number of vague "rumours" circulating. I have therefore decided to release the text of an email I forwarded to MUFON Australia, in order that people may read precisely what I wrote.
On 23 May 2015, I forwarded the following email to Cheryl-lee Vanagelis, National Director for Australia for MUFON.
Following our December 2014 dinner discussions, and at your request, I have been thinking a lot about any potential, future, role, which I might wish to occupy in MUFON Australia (as opposed to MUFON USA.)
It was my intention to advise you of my decision, at the proposed coffee meeting which we discussed. However, as this meeting did not occur, I write this email to you.
As you are aware, I am currently a MUFON (USA) member, and slowly working my way, as time permits, through the MUFON USA Field Investigators course.
Upon deep reflection, I have decided that I do not wish to take up any role in MUFON Australia (as opposed to MUFON USA) in its current form.
I am disappointed that, after about six months in operation, MUFON Australia still has not published any "scientific and technical" Australian case studies; published no detailed analyses of the numerous Australian sightings reported to the MUFON CMS; and has not added any value to Australian research, which I can find.
In addition, my canvassing of a cross section of Australian UFO researchers, finds little, to no support for a role for MUFON Australia, in Australian UFO research.
In summary, I wish to remain an independent player within Australian UFO research, and feel that to take up any potential, future, role in MUFON Australia would not enhance my ability to contribute to the subject.
I will, however, remain a MUFON USA member, but effective from the date of this email, I desire no interaction with MUFON Australia, in its current form.
Many of today's senior Australian UAP researchers, have, at one time or another, been members of the US based Mutual UFO Network (MUFON.) Click here for their website.
Between the 1970's and 1990's many of Australia's "key" UAP cases were documented in the pages of the MUFON Journal, courtesy of Australian researchers. If you were to go back through issues of the Journal, you will find comprehensive investigation reports on the 1978 Valentich disappearance; the 1988 Mundrabilla "UFO lifts car off road" case; the mid 1990's Kelly Cahill abduction, and numerous others.
Some of Australia's most well attended UAP conferences, with a variety of local and international speakers, were organised by Australian MUFON supporters.
However, after that era, the MUFON network in Australia wound down, due to a variety of reasons.
The February 2015 issue of the MUFON ejournal announced that Adelaide based researcher, Cheryl-lee Vanagelis had been appointed as the new National Director for Australia for MUFON.
The March 2015 issue also advised that Michael Robinson and Brian Johnson were now Australian MUFON Provincial Directors. Previous announcements had been made that Justin Busuttil and Laura Corbett were accredited MUFON field investigators in Australia.
I welcome this new version of MUFON in Australia, and look forward to working with the MUFON Australia team. This will now be our second national level network, the other being, the long standing Australian UFO Research Network (AUFORN) who have openly shared their data over the years, and publish the "UFOlogist" magazine.
Blog readers who have looked at the monthly Australian national level sightings listings that Melbourne researcher Paul Dean and I publish, will note that we already carry summaries of MUFON reports from Australia, which are carried in the MUFON case management system (click here to go to that publicly open database.) I look forward to reading details of MUFON Australia's completed investigations, as they are conducted.
(For transparency reasons I must add that I am a current MUFON member and have just signed up to undertake their online field investigator training.)