MUFON member — not just a member but “multi state director” John Ventre posted fearful racist posts on his Facebook page. Sad to see anyone post such paranoid and ignorant rantings, and it brings up questions concerning UFO research when it comes to a public figure involved in this area.
Why would this concern anyone? After all, he has a right to his opinion, his personal views are his and not reflective of MUFON. In fact, MUFON has issued an
apology covering -one’s- collective -asse response.
To be fair, in the comments section, MUFON has posted that Ventre’s books have been removed from MUFON, and he has been disinvited from the 2018 MUFON Symposium, but, he has been “replaced as a Journal columnist” [MUFON.com] So it’s questionable how much MUFON cares. In fact, the following statement from MUFON smacks of an apologist stance on MUFON’s part, as author Robbie Graham pointed out on their site in the comments section:
Jan Harzan’s official statement here is an absolute disgrace. “Who is worse,” he asks, “the posters posting or the haters hating?” In the context of this issue, he’s actually implying that those who stand up to racism are as bad as (or worse than) the racists themselves, with the racist being merely a “poster” and the anti-racists being “haters.” He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. Utter disgrace. If Harzan represents MUFON, then MUFON is a joke, and a sick one at that. (Robbie Graham, comments section, MUFON.com)
Ventre’s opions affects research and MUFON as well as the rest of us living in the fringe, and we should care about this. (Many of us do care, for example, Lon Strickler, of Phantoms and Monsters, has spoken out about this, among others. ) This goes beyond someone’s hateful views on race. If Ventre feels this way, how do his feelings affect his research? When investigating a case involving people of a class, race, religion or gender one has bias towards, these prejudices affects the quality of research.
David Jacobs, whose bizarre, off the rails misogynistic treatment of Emma Woods has been a wildly surreal contribution to UFO Land’s history, yet he is still accepted — including by MUFON — and support for Jacobs continues.
If these researchers want UFO research to be taken “seriously” by the mainstream and the infrastructure and institutions, these behaviors cannot continue. If certain professions demand that individuals within those professions be held up to a higher standard (and I do have issues with that assumption) , and, if some UFO researchers and pundits push for acceptability, then they should demonstrate those higher standards.
Of course, UFO research, like all aspects of paranormal/supernatural/Fortean things/conspiracy and other fringe dwelling topics will never be taken seriously by anyone in the mainstream. That fact, however, does not give those who blithely show off their racist and sexist beliefs the excuse they’re looking for to continue to do so.
One last thought: it does not matter how long ago this took place; the discussion needs to keep going, (as with Jacobs and all the aftermath) — it is not a forgotten, “get over it” type of thing.