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MUFON Conference Opens in Denver – Will 2022 Be The Year UFOs Become Politically Mainstream?

Researcher/author Don Schmitt presenting “Media Suppression of UFOs”. Photo by Joe Buchman

The Mutual UFO Network “UFOs In The Spotlight” Conference opened in Denver earlier today.

Representative Tim Burchett (R – TN, CD2) is scheduled to address the convention during an evening session later tonight. (IPR will post a transcript of highlights of the Congressman’s remarks in the comments.)  MUFON representatives announced that this is the first time to their knowledge a sitting member of the US Congress has addressed any “UFO” conference, ever.

Slightly over 500 registered attendees are listening in to a weekend’s worth of presentations including, “The Origins of UFO Ridicule”, “American Media, UFOs, and Historical Accuracy . . . What’s The End Game?” (presented by former CNN anchor, Cheryll Jones), and “The Media Do Not Understand OUR Story”.

Excitement is building in anticipation of the Congressman Burchett’s remarks tonight, especially following two significant media events earlier this week:

1) an opinion piece by the Washington Post Editorial Board titled “NASA is Right to Examine UFOs” (available HERE) which states, in part:

“Senior Pentagon officials in May testified in a historic congressional hearing about their own efforts to track sightings of mysterious flying objects. And the director of national intelligence issued a report last year documenting more than 140 of these perplexing events. . . . The pursuit will obviously prove worthwhile if NASA or anyone else discovers that aliens do indeed exist. . . . As NASA associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said in his speech announcing the initiative: “We have the tools and team who can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That’s the very definition of what science is.”

2) an article in THE HILL, a mainstream DC based political publication, titled “Stunned By UFOs, Exasperated Fighter Pilots Get Little Help From Pentagon” (available HERE) which states, in part:

“. . . aviators are eager for answers regarding their UFO encounters. . . .  “I see [aviators] searching and looking for help — looking for answers — and I see them getting nothing back. I guarantee they’re angry that this is interfering with their job. . . .”

Earlier this week (07 July 2022), another congressman, Mike Gallagher (R – WI, CD 8) introduced an amendment to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act which reads, in part:

“Notwithstanding the terms of any written or oral nondisclosure agreement, order, or other instrumentality or means, that could be interpreted as a legal constraint on reporting by a witness of an unidentified aerial phenomena, reporting in accordance with the system established under subsection (b) is hereby authorized and shall be deemed to comply with any regulation or order issued under the authority of Executive Order 13526 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to classified national security information) or chapter 18 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 14 2271 et seq.).”

The full text of the proposed amendment can be found HERE.

The conference is abuzz with attendees reporting feeling that decades of dismissive, condescending, and openly hostile responses by friends, family, and mainstream media have finally come to an end regarding serious inquiry into the UFO (Unidentified Flying Object), ET (extraterrestrial), and UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon – the Pentagon’s latest preferred terminology) issue.  One anonymous attendee reported: “My sister has finally stopped wearing a tin foil hat whenever I visit.  Last time I was there she asked if ‘all this is real?’  I told her, “No; all of it is not real; but some of it sure is.”

During a 2007 Democratic Party presidential debate, moderated by Tim Russert, presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich was asked about a report he had witnessed a UFO.  Some mark this moment as the end of his political relevance:

IPR wonders: Could this be the year UFOs become a mainstream political issue?  And if so, which candidates and political parties will tackle this issue first?  Common ground among citizen UFO researchers and their followers and “third party” political positions is focused on a common perception that government is too secretive, too willing to classify information, and acting at least in some cases – extra-Constitutionally.

David MacDonald, Executive Director of MUFON, reports actively lobbying “several dozen” members of the US House and Senate.  While being somewhat circumspect about names of specific members, MacDonald acknowledged “briefing each member (of the US House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation) Subcommittee” that officiated at the 17 May 2022 Hearing.

IPR: “What do you see as the state of the UFO/UAP/ET field in relationship to mainstream political debate?  Has the ridicule ended?”

MACDONALD:  “We are way past the tin foil hat thing.  Way past.  Today we are meeting with sincerely interested members of Congress – both the House and the Senate.  We are lobbying for legislation that will grant “immunity” to members of the military, NASA, other agencies, and their contractors who are wanting to speak about this issue but are prevented from doing so by their NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements).  This is similar, but not identical to, Congressman Mike Gallagher’s proposed amendment to this year’s NDAA.  We need to free government officials to be able to talk, to testify.”

IPR: “What do you see happening next?”

MACDONALD: “It’s unclear, but I do know that every member I have briefed or spoken to informally, as well as key members of their staff, is concerned about being misled by various government employees and officials, or if not directly misled, then not being fully briefed.  Relevant information seems to be being actively withheld.  I think this interest and concern has reached a tipping point toward full scientific investigation as well as mainstream political debate, debate devoid of ridicule.”

The full “UFOs in the Spotlight” conference schedule can be found HERE

More information on MUFON can be found HERE

Video of the 17 May 2022 Congressional Hearing can be found HERE

NOTE: The author of this post is also the author of the forward to ROSWELL: THE ULTIMATE COLD CASE: Eyewitness Testimony and Evidence of Contact and the Cover-Up, by Don Schmitt.  For full disclosure, that forward is reproduced below, in full, with permission.

by Joseph G. Buchman, PhD
June 2019

During my first run for the United States Congress I called on our representatives in Washington DC to do two seemingly simple things: 1) pass legislation granting full protection to government whistleblowers (reporting a crime by a government should never be a crime—it should be rewarded); and 2) hold open Congressional Hearings on, “waste, fraud, criminal activity, and the ET issue.”

I announced that campaign at the National Press Club in Washington DC and was immediately branded a “UFO Enthusiast” by the Salt Lake Tribune and ridiculed with a sarcastic article headlined, “Immigration, Taxes and Little Green Men” on the front page of our hometown newspaper, The Park Record. The following day our daughters and son, then in middle and high school, were subjected to teasing from both teachers and peers about their “crazy dad.”

Nine years later, in Utah’s Special Election of 2017, the ridicule was utterly absent. In its place, serious discussions including a question about exopolitics raised by the Democratic Party candidate, son of former United States Senator Bob Bennett, in one of our seven debates; and in both on- and off-the-record conversations with other candidates, their staffs, voters, and members of the media.

What changed?

Blowing a whistle on government waste, or fraud, or criminal activity is a dangerous undertaking to be sure. Snowden is in exile in Russia; Assange—in Belmarsh prison, London; and Manning – in and out of jail again after a charge of contempt by a federal judge.

According to Russ Tice—intelligence analyst not only for the Air Force, but also the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA)—“you cannot trust any of the internal mechanisms . . . the Whistleblower Protection Act does not apply to the intelligence community . . . it does nothing to protect you against retribution”.

Other whistleblowing American heroes like Samuel Provance, Joe Darby, William Binney and Daniel Elsburg at tremendous personal risk paid career-ending prices to report government misdoings, and yet have largely faded forgotten into history. Unrecognized. Unappreciated. Unacknowledged. Unrewarded. While those in other even more repressive nations have paid, and are paying today, an even higher price – many with their lives.

Whistleblowing is a dangerous, sometimes even deadly, choice.

Yet on this issue – the issue of a technologically advanced, so far apparently benign-to-benevolent engagement of humanity by extraterrestrials—the last decade has seen an unexpected, but long-sought earthshaking paradigm shift. What was tinfoil-hat-ridicule is increasingly a subject of serious scientific study, mainstream media interest, and pointed political engagement.

Under the 16 May 2016 headline, “Hillary Clinton Gives U.F.O. Buffs Hope She Will Open the X-Files” the New York Times reported, “Hillary has embraced this issue with an absolutely unprecedented level of interest in American politics,” said Joseph G. Buchman, who has spent decades calling for government transparency . . . Mrs. Clinton’s decision to correct Mr. Kimmel’s use of the term U.F.O., (to U.A.P.), is a breakthrough because it, “suggested she’d been briefed by someone and is not just being flippant.”

Since then the New York Times has become a leading organ for whistleblowers on this subject: 16 December 2017—“Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program;” 26 May 2019, “‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects;” and sadly on 21 May 2019 an extended obituary, “Stanton T. Friedman, Scientist Who Tracked U.F.O.s Dies at 84.” Scientist – Stan truly had earned that belated honorific in the New York Times memorialization of his life.

Exactly halfway between those two elections—the first in November 2008 and the second in November 2017—an extraordinary event occurred at the National Press Club in Washington DC—the May 2013 Citizen Hearing on Disclosure. I had the honor of serving as one of the organizers of that Hearing having recruited five of the six former Members of Congress, then serving as Moderator, and ultimately as the seventh Member of the Committee to ask questions of the witnesses (after replacing another member who had been called away early on the final day).

Produced by Stephen Bassett, one Senator, and five Representatives over five full days listened, challenged, and rigorously vetted the veracity of over 40 hours of testimony from 43 witnesses, from 10 nations—each one having been sworn to tell the truth. The Hearings were streamed live worldwide, simultaneously translated into Mandarin and Spanish, recorded in high definition, and headlined by the New York Times as, “Visitors from Outer Space, Real or Not, are Focus of Discussion in Washington.”

One of those 43 witnesses, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, raised near Roswell, walked on the moon. Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr. testified about how he had personally handled a portion of the Roswell debris. Another, Donald R. Schmitt, is the co-author of this book.

After I administered the oath to him, Don testified regarding the Roswell whistleblowers:

“Distinguished Congresswomen and Congressmen, good afternoon. I personally would like to thank you for this opportunity to speak out on behalf of the many now passed through the portals of history, unable to speak for themselves; men and women who have served this country selflessly and with honor, who were witnesses to something extraordinary, something beyond the human condition . . . Would any of us have any difficulty identifying materials such as rubber, wooden sticks, reflective foil, masking tape and string? No need to raise your hands. Yet as a continuing insult to the integrity and intelligence of the very personnel who were in charge of the atomic bomb at Roswell, officialdom, after 65 years of ridicule and defamation of eyewitnesses, insists that this elite military squadron should all raise their hands. . . . Eyewitness pressure, along with the assistance of one of your esteemed colleagues, the late Congressman Steven Schiff of New Mexico, has caused the Pentagon to issue two additional solutions to what was recovered back in 1947 . . . the most baseless of all – time-traveling, wooden crash dummies . . . newspaper cartoonists lampooned the proponents as, ‘the real dummies.’”

What changed our world, and perhaps beyond, from ridicule to respect on this issue is the impact of Don’s testimony, the testimony of the other witnesses including Stan, Dr. Marcel, Dr. Mitchell and others—those whistleblowers and their years of consistent courage in truth-telling—focused in that moment as a hairline crack spread across a wall of distraction, deceit, and deception by the diamond clarity of their tenacious truth.

Don and Tom have, like each whistleblower before them, paid a price for their consistent courageous discovery of, advocation for, and amplification of the truth of these witness-whistleblowers to what is the most profound event in human history. They too are crossing that path from ridicule to recognition, from sarcasm to serious science, from dismissiveness to the delayed demand for disclosure our democratic-republic and each of us as its citizens deserve.

Every future political candidate, every elected politician, every honest public servant—and indeed every member of humanity owes them a debt of gratitude.

That fact, just like the priceless truth of what happened at Roswell, and the value of the book you now hold in your hands, will only become more apparent with time.

June, 2019

About Post Author

Joseph Buchman

Joe is a retired, formerly tenured professor of marketing and finance with a passion for adventure travel, chasing total solar eclipses, and Burning Man. He is a long-time volunteer with the Sundance, Sonoma, and Napa Valley Film Festivals, former Chair of the Utah Libertarian Party, former Chair of the LP Platform Committee, and former Chair and three-term member of the LP's financial Audit Committee. Joe and Cindy have raised four highly successful children, several cats, and yet have generally failed miserably with every houseplant ever gifted to them.


  1. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman July 11, 2022

    In 1995, after Republicans took control of Congress, Rep. Joe Skeen (Rep-NM) held hearings on UFOs. Rep. Skeen represented Roswell, New Mexico, made famous in the Futurama episode “Roswell that Ends Well.”

  2. Root's Teeth Are Awesome Root's Teeth Are Awesome July 10, 2022

    I suspect the Deep State is using fake UFO conspiracy tales to distract us from real-world problems.

  3. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly July 10, 2022

    Just because a conspiracy theory becomes mainstream doesn’t make it any more true.

    Oh, and I’ve actually been to Roswell. Per Twitter, don’t “@” me.

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