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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Feb > Feb 5

MUFON's Clift Responds

From: Terry Groff <terry.nul>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 14:31:36 -0600
Archived: Sat, 05 Feb 2011 08:12:18 -0500
Subject: MUFON's Clift Responds



>Dear MUFON Colleague:

>Last week, Leslie Varnicle, State Director of Colorado and a 41-
>year-member of MUFON, was fired by Clifford Clift. Many of you
>have seen Leslie's tireless work at the MUFON annual symposia.
>She was head of a vibrant state chapter with more than 160
>members and a $20,000 kitty. She was the originator of the
>webinar concept in MUFON; she spent thousands of dollars of her
>own money for equipment for her state; she is a MUFON

>WHY did Clift and the MUFON Board fire Leslie Varnicle and
>demote this 41 year member to the status of "Journal
>subscriber"? No one knows! But we do know this: a whole lot of
>people think it was WRONG.


Hello all

I am giving two responses. Both are with permission

The first is from Clifford Clift, International Director of
MUFON and the second is from Marc D'Antonio Senior Photo Analyst

Cliff's Response:


Hi All,

Just a note to clear up comments being made by former MUFON

First of all, I would like to apologize to SDs and their state
membership. I did not want to cause anyone guilty feelings by
not being able to send money, even though voluntarily, to MUFON.
Some states were able to do this because they have developed an
income source from their meetings or by personal donations.
Other states were not able to donate since they didn't have any
funds. In fact, some states don't even have enough money to pay
for a meeting room. MUFON is able to assist states in efforts to
raise money for their state.

Even though some states couldn't afford to send funds to MUFON
they have provided MUFON with time, energy and commitment to our
mission. Money isn't the only thing that makes MUFON run. It is
the untiring efforts FIs make in their investigations; it is the
dedication SDs and ASDs provide in seeing UFO information gets
out to the public; it is the energy it requires for states to
hold meetings every month and it is your commitment to seeing
MUFON's mission statement is fulfilled. Yes, in kind support of
MUFON is as important as dollars. No one was intended to be made
to feel guilty.

Another concern that has been expressed to me is the resigning
and removing of SDs within MUFON. I will explain.

Over a year ago Ken Cherry made derogatory comments about MUFON
members, witnesses, and UFOlogists. I and the BoD asked Ken to
apologize publically. Ken elected not to apologize and was
removed as SD for Texas. His choice. Steve Hudgeons took over as
SD for Texas and is doing a great job.

An aside and for your information. Ken Cherry has started his
own UFO group and has written a book about the Stephenville, TX
UFO event. I have not read the book but according to those who
have reported to me, Ken is not very kind to MUFON even though
he was one of MUFON's lead investigators at the event. Maybe he
didn't like how he investigated the event?

Christine Dickey, by her request, was removed as SD for Arizona.
Chris had health and family problems and wanted to resign as SD.
We agreed with her. Health and family are the most important
part of our lives. Jim Mann volunteered as SD and is doing a
great job in AZ. Chris has since had a change of heart and wants
her SD job back.

Marilyn Carlson had a problem with a FI. The FI reported to
MUFON there were problems going on within the Oklahoma meetings.
Others indicated their concerns about Marilyn. MUFON's ethics
committee was asked to investigate what was going on. Marilyn
was not the problem in this case. We asked Marilyn to step down
as SD until the investigation was complete which might take up
to six months. This was asked of her to protect her from the
possibility of the investigation appearing to be one sided.
Marilyn didn't like this and resigned. Chuck Pine took over as
SD and OK is moving right along.

Elaine Douglas was removed from her position as SD because she
wasn't truthful about her ASD. Strange, now this same ASD is one
if the originators of the petition going around.

Leslie Varnicle was removed as SD of Colorado due to her
management style not being beneficial to MUFON's success. In
fact, not one person has resigned from the Colorado MUFON Board.
Interesting. Barry Roth, Doug Wilson, Jude Talaba, and Cheryl
Gantz have agreed to keep Colorado up and running while a new SD
is put in place.

James Clarkson has resigned as SD for the state of Washington
due to his dislike of MUFON's bureaucracy and his desire to
conduct UFO investigations on his own. James will be missed. We
have two others qualified to take over Washington.

I would also like to point out there is not a "hit" list on SDs
for MUFON. That is silly. MUFON's SDs and their state members
are the reason MUFON is considered the best UFO Investigative
organizations in the world. The public and media look to MUFON
for the facts and truth about UFOs. The reason they come to
MUFON is because the commitment we all have for MUFON and
fulfilling our Mission. MUFON investigates, others report.

I wish you all the best. I, also, thank all of you for your
untiring commitment, support, and efforts in seeing MUFON's
Mission Statement is fulfilled. "The Scientific Study of UFOs
for the Benefit of Humanity."

Hang in there, this, too, shall pass.

Please call me if you have any questions or concerns.

All the Best,
Clifford Clift, ID MUFON


2nd response from Marc


What I don't understand is... MUFON chapters are:

- INDEPENDENT of MUFON International
- Use the MUFON name
- Acquire money based in part on the MUFON name, money which has
not historically been required to be shared with MUFON

In short, these State Chapters of MUFON expect the full benefits
and weight of the name and MUFON reputation but dont contribute
monetarily to the originating company or pay any kind of fee for
usage of the corporate name... As a business owner, I think that
is pretty generous of the parent organization unless I am
missing something!

The petition to reform MUFON seems to be ill thought. They want
to reform an organization that they have no ownership stake in.
Further, I dont understand how they can receive the impression
that they can force a VOTE on who will be on the Board of
Directors. The Board is made up of people who put their own
money into this organization! The public members of MUFON are
free to join MUFON and free to leave at any time. But public
subscribers to the Journal and non Board members have NO say who
may serve on the Board in this type of organization regardless
of the charter as I see it... The folks who are concerned about
MUFON are acting like upset stockholders or as owners of the
business. They are neither. MUFON may have a few issues, but
find me an organization as broad based as MUFON that doesnt. You
cant. Most importantly, MUFON is a volunteer organization and
you enter it completely cognizant of its volunteer data
collection status, and rules and regulations set forth by the
founders of the organization must be followed. Seems simple to

The entire concept of a "petition" against MUFON is misplaced in
my view. It is just my opinion as the owner of a business...


Chief Photo/Video Analyst



Terry Groff
Deputy Director of Investigations
MUFON International

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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