HUNTSVILLE,AL--"The mission of MUFON is to scientifcally study UFOs for actually the benefit of humanity." Richard Hoffman, Director of the Mutual Unidentified Flying Object Network for both Mississippi and Alabama, said.
The Dayton, Ohio, native has been a member of MUFON since the organization was founded in 1969.
His travels have taken him all over the country, catalouging and studying alleged UFO sightings.
If you think he's kidding, you'd be wrong. In fact, he says just last year they were busily tracking UFO sightings in our area.
"Alabama, for example, last year had somewhere in the range of about 70 sightings that it reported. Mississippi only had about a half of those reported," Hoffman continued.
But one of those reported sightings, he says,has gained prominence throughout the Network and is being featured on the group's website as the Mississippi Pilot Case.
Hoffman offers radar images of the Mississippi Pilot Case, which, he says, show an object of some kind following along side a Cessna airplane flown out of Slidell, Louisiana.
"And, as he's approaching, on his approach headed north, he ends up running across this object that was just underneath his wing of his Cessna, that's how close it was," said Hoffman." What we see here is where his plane was and the object moves away and then does this kind of maneuvering. Eventually it went and made some more turns at 30 miles per hour. Now what flies that fast ,does that kind of banking turn and makes that incredible kind of maneuvering, we don't know," he said.
Hoffman says there are as many as 700 sightings reported each month.
Multiply that by twelve, and you see why Hoffman and his members are keeping busy.
However, he does caution that sometimes things are not always what they seem.
"Like here's a cloud, a lenticular cloud and we seperate out from the clouds as much as we can you know," he joked as he showed a photo from his personal web site.
Others have been other mistakes, he says which turned out to be smudges on a woman's windshield.
But despite the mistakes and even downright skepticism of many, Hoffman and MUFON holds fast that there is something out there watching us and we need to know what it is.
"And that means we have to spend time studying. So we need people who have an interest in it who want to study," replied Hoffman.
If you would like to know more about the Mutual UFO Network you can visit their website at MUFON.com