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Hanging Out with Hangar 1

Sheaffer’s “Psychic Vibrations” column has appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer for forty years; its highlights were published as a book (Create Space, 2011). Sheaffer blogs at www.BadUFOs.com, and his website is www.debunker.com.

Each year the Mutual UFO Network, the largest UFO group in the United States (and probably the world) holds an “International Symposium,” bringing together UFOlogy’s best and brightest (such as they are). The 2015 meeting was held in Irvine, California, conveniently close to MUFON’s shiny new headquarters in Newport Beach. If you watch MUFON’s abysmally sensationalized TV program Hangar 1 on the History Channel, you would think that MUFON keeps thousands of UFO case files in some huge aircraft hangar (think of that scene at the end of the Raiders of the Lost Ark where the newly found Ark of the Covenant gets lost again inside a cavernous storage building). That hangar actually exists; it is located at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. It belongs to David McDonald, who was MUFON’s executive director from 2012–2013. For a short time some UFO files were stored in it, but since August 1, 2013, MUFON’s director has been Jan Harzan, and its offices and files are now in California. While MUFON is quite close to Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, so far as is known it has no aircraft hangar there, and the show’s claim that MUFON’s supposedly voluminous UFO files are stored in a cavernous aircraft hangar is just as bogus as the rest of that show.

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