MUFON's Headquarters in Newport Beach, CA
NOTE: This post involves original research conducted by me in the early months of 2015 for the purpose of learning more about an organization which
has described itself as a scientific organization but whose work and public proclamations do not seem to adhere to anything resembling the scientific
While researching the work that the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) does I examined their publicly accessible tax records. One thing I was interested in
was what type of organization MUFON claimed it was. I often would read they claimed they were a scientific organization but even a casual look at
their work shows a profound lack of understanding of how science works. Their MUFON Journal and MUFON Symposium have "sciencey" names but the former
involves little if any peer reviewed research and the latter is just another UFO convention full of plenty of people who tell wild stories but present
little if any evidence or scientific analysis.
Through a friend, I contacted MUFON to learn what, if anything they were doing scientifically. MUFON did not return my friend's calls.
This seemed odd for an organization which claims itself as a scientific organization and as a charity raises around a quarter of a million dollars
yearly, yet provides very little in the way of useful, publicly accessible, scientific analysis.
A page from MUFON's 2014 IRS Form 990
So I dived into their public records to see what else I could learn. Finding out what type of charity MUFON claimed it was would perhaps be useful.
One can find this out by looking up what NTEE-CC code MUFON uses for its charitable status.
By now, you might be asking what are NTEE-CC codes?
NTEE-CC codes are part of the charity classification system (or taxonomy) developed by the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) and the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The NTEE-CC system divides nonprofit organizations into 26 major groups:
Here are the 26 major groups:
Letter Major Group Description
A Arts, Culture & Humanities
E Health Care
F Mental Health & Crisis Intervention
G Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines
H Medical Research
I Crime & Legal-Related
K Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
L Housing & Shelter
M Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief
N Recreation & Sports
O Youth Development
P Human Services
Q International, Foreign Affairs & National Security
R Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy
S Community Improvement & Capacity Building
T Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
U Science & Technology
V Social Science
W Public & Societal Benefit
Y Mutual & Membership Benefit
I noticed right away that MUFON use an NTEE code (U31) which is
reserved for science charities and organizations involved with Astronomy:
The IRS lists the U31 code as follows:
U31 - Astronomy
Organizations that conduct research in astronomy, the physical science that addresses matter and energy in the universe using observational techniques
such as spectroscopy, photometry, interferometry, radio astronomy and optical astronomy.
Key words: Celestial Mechanics Research; Cosmology Research; Galactic Astronomy Research; Planetary Astronomy Research; Planetary Science Research;
Planetology Research; Solar System Research; Stars; Stellar Astronomy Research; Stellar Physics Research
And MUFON does none of the above.....
Which I found ridiculous and downright offensive to organizations who really are involved in astronomy education and public outreach.
From what I can tell, MUFON is an organization loosely investing something of an unknown nature. There is nothing which firmly connects UFOs to
Astronomy other than people sometimes mistaking the planet Venus or Jupiter for an unidentified flying object..
Furthermore, MUFON does not conduct any
of the research activities associated with Astronomy as outlined above in the description of the U31
designation. There are other charity designations which are probably far more appropriate for the type of organization MUFON is but Astronomy is
most certainly not one of them.
Decidedly low-tech board room at MUFON's Newport Beach, CA Headquarters
A casual examination of the backgrounds and expertise of people who are MUFON board members down through heads of their state chapters and further
down to the principle investigators who do field investigations shows an absence of people with an astronomy background or involved with
professional or even amateur astronomy research and organizations.
Which begs the question of how exactly is MUFON is involved with astronomy research???
And this question poses another: Does this misuse of the Astronomy designation by MUFON constitute tax fraud?
If so, what could happen to MUFON if they were audited on those grounds?
People who have bought into the "core story" of American "UFOlogy" allege there is a nefarious government conspiracy to thwart research into UFOs.
Since the government seems to take tax fraud seriously wouldn't MUFON have already been shut down for falsely or fraudulently claiming that it is an
Perhaps the fact that MUFON hasn't could point to another possibility: That MUFON itself is in some way, useful to the government and thus
What do you think?
edit on 2-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)