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ND’s New Mutual UFO Network Chapter, Northland MUFON, Now Operating

We’re all a little bit curious about what’s out there, right? Looking up at the night sky at its endlessness, makes us wonder what, or who, might be looking down at us. We had the opportunity to sit down with someone who has taken the time to explore, research, and experience those exact questions.

Meet the state director of the Northland Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), Anna Scott. Northland MUFON is a cooperative chapter of ND and Northern MN MUFON. Anna has been involved with MUFON for six years, but her intrigue of the beyond spans much longer than that.

Anna moved to Fargo from the Twin Cities about 20 years ago—she attended NDSU and lived in the area for a few years before moving back to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. She recently moved back to the Valley in pursuit of a new career in a home health agency and saw the opportunity to be a part of something else—the resurgence of North Dakota’s MUFON Chapter. Now, she’s spearheading efforts to get the local organization off the ground and even expand its reach.

“I’ve always had an interest in [ufology]. I have an interest in astronomy, science fiction, all of that—I grew up with that. I gravitated towards MUFON because it’s an international organization, it’s been around since 1969, and it has stability in how it functions. There are a lot of groups that pop up and go away and pop up and go away, and they don’t have good organization, and I really appreciate that about MUFON. I joined in 2017, officially, although I’ve been doing my own research for decades, and have seen a lot of crazy things I still can’t explain. I don’t know what they are, I have no idea, and I can’t say they’re aliens, but I have no idea what they are. I became a field investigator right away and worked my way up the ranks, so I’m currently the new state director for North Dakota. I’m still the chief investigator for Minnesota, and I’m also on the executive committee for the Experiencer Resource Team (ERT), which is an international portion of MUFON,” Anna said.

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What is the Experiencer Resource Team (ERT)?

This group came about in 2011 with the purpose of studying the people who have had experiences with UAPs, but has developed into a resource for those who have had an experience. They offer a questionnaire for experiencers to fill out and then their experts can provide guidance on where to go next. They can refer individuals to vetted mental health professionals and trained professionals in the field of UAP experiences to provide guidance. If anything, they are a nonjudgmental, listening ear for anyone who has had a UAP experience.

What is MUFON?

MUFON has a long history, one that spans back to 1969. Originally, it was established as the Midwest UFO Network, but quickly outgrew the region and expanded to a world-class organization now operating in all 50 states and across the world.

There is both a U.S. and international board of directors, each with its own director of investigation. The organization offers memberships, as well as the opportunity to enter MUFON University to become a field investigator-which is obtained through a training process involving studying the MUFON Field Investigator manual filled with investigative ethics, interviewing methods, collateral contacts, and technical background; passing a Field Investigator Certification Examination to become a Field Investigator Trainee; and finally, mentoring with a certified Field Investigator until deemed ready to advance and work as a certified Field Investigator. Those looking to get their certification will also have to undergo a background check. All of this training is to confirm the organization knows who they are sending out into the field, as these people will be interacting and researching real events, with real people.

What does a Field Investigator do?

A trained and certified field investigator responds to reports and investigates them using a variety of resources, including speaking with and interviewing the individual who reported the case. They are actively in the field and have a profound knowledge of what makes a valid case and how to determine outside factors. After investigations, they declare an official case disposition, or conclusion, which can be one of the following: IFO (man-made object), IFO (natural phenomenon), Unknown (unable to determine after investigation), Unknown Other (not an object or UFO, for example: ghost, Bigfoot), Hoax Keystroke (written fabrication submitted as sighting), Hoax Event (staged Hoax that witness believes and submits to database), Information Only (submission by non-witness, based on 3rd party), or Insufficient Data (report submitted with little detail, unable to interview).

Besides a small group of office staff on payroll, the organization is volunteer-run. Each state has an official director and mostly operates state-by-state. Anna’s experience as a field investigator across Minnesota, along with her personal move to the Valley, brought her to become the state director for the North Dakota chapter.

Northland MUFON will be hosting its first meeting on December 9 in the lower level of the Moorhead Public Library from 2-4 p.m. All are welcome and there is no fee but donations are always welcome. There will be a simultaneous meeting in Grand Rapids at the YMCA. Search /Northland MUFON (North Dakota/Northern Minnesota) on Facebook to learn more.

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What does MUFON do?

Most of MUFON’s activity happens within its state chapters at its monthly member meeting.

“Our meetings are where we work to educate the public on a phenomenon. We do that in a variety of ways,” Anna said. “Oftentimes, we have guest speakers about specific topics within ufology. In Minnesota, we do talk about what’s actually happening in Minnesota, and we go through the cases that are reported. We don’t give any identifying information and we only discuss the actual citing cases that are reported.”

Experiencer Resource Team (ERT) cases are never discussed in meetings. Those who report ERT cases are kept separate, as they are working directly with the specialized team. With regular citing cases, field investigators do their research to find evidence and come to a conclusion-and those are discussed with the chapter’s members, whether the cases are concluded or ongoing.

In Minnesota, the monthly meetings include a segment called “What’s Up in Minnesota,” and Anna hopes to continue those with “What’s Up in North Dakota.” They discuss regional cases from the past 30 days, excluding private information like names and locations if linked to someone’s home, and if they’re concluded and why.

“[The meetings are] educational and informative. The camaraderie is really important. It’s a place where people can talk about a weird subject without being laughed at. There’s this [thing people say], ‘I know it sounds crazy, but,’ and in our meetings, it doesn’t really sound crazy,” Anna said.

"I don't see a huge issue like there used to be. The stigma is definitely still there, but it is not nearly as bad as it used to be. When they would talk about UFO sightings on TV, it was always a joke. And people would laugh, and now it's Tucker Carlson. Whether you like him or not, that totally aside. He's very serious about that subject."

Anna's Thoughts

Anna’s intrigue toward the study of ufology doesn’t stop with her involvement with MUFON, she is also a part of the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies (SCU)-a group with a similar interest as those in MUFON, but rather than doing investigative reporting, its members are scientists, researchers, and professionals stretching across organizations, governments, and industries scientifically analyzing data available on UAPS.

 Anna is one of the few SCU members with a bachelor’s degree, as most of its members have a master’s or Ph.D. degree, or the military equivalent-between MUFON and SCU, one group is not better than the other, they serve two different purposes, and Anna has an interest in both.

In fact, at an SCU conference last year, Anna met Ryan Graves, executive director of Americans for Safe Aerospace, and retired Air Force Major David Grusch-two individuals who testified in front of the U.S. Congress hearing on UFOs this summer.

“I didn’t have long conversations, I had a drink with them as we were in a group, so-they are real people. I found them to be very credible, honest, and open. I didn’t sense that they were trying to deceive anybody, and honestly, in that environment, you’re not deceiving anybody,” Anna said. “I applaud them for coming out and talking about it. What they’re revealing, to me, isn’t really new, but it’s new to a lot of people and to see them testifying before Congress under oath, that helps the general public see it as a valid topic and concern. A lot of times the focus is on threat, and they have a very valid point in that… If, whatever that phenomenon is, is out to do us harm, they probably would have already done it. Certainly, if they can do what they’re doing in our skies, they could do a lot of damage to us. They haven’t. I don’t think that they’re going to and there’s no indication that they will, but I find it reassuring and relieving that people are taking it seriously. I want to know what the answer is to this. Because I want to know some of the things that I’ve seen and experienced, I don’t have answers for that.”

So, what did Anna experience?

“There’s one in Cavalier, ND that I could talk about.”

“It’s probably been three years now, maybe even four, I went up to Cavalier, up by the Canadian border. I have an interest in the air station there. My own interest is based on whether or not part of the reason that installation was put in place was to monitor UFOs coming in from space. I say that because a lot of that project was started after their were sightings of UFOs at military bases in Montana and Minot. And then all of a sudden, they have this radar system that can see stuff coming in, and they’ve pumped a lot of money into that whole thing. The Mickelson safeguard installation was all started in the ’60s, and it was finally finished in ’74 or ’75, it was operational for one day and they decommissioned it. Eventually, they shut it down about six months later after pumping millions and millions into the facility. There’s a lot of stuff that seems weird. They said they shut it down because they signed a treaty with Russia. Maybe that’s true—I don’t think so.”

“And, the Cavalier Air Station had a radar facility, and it still does, and it was upgraded recently. And most of the time, it’s been staffed by Americans and Canadians… There’s something questionable. It’s now operated by Space Command, and it’s staffed with contractors and its function is to track space debris and all of the little nuts and bolts and asteroids, and you name it out in space. So, I mean, it’s always had that ability.”

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“So, that’s the reason for my interest. Every couple of years, I would make a little trip to Cavalier for a couple of days. I was there, staying at a little motel, and decided I wanted to go out for a walk in the neighborhood. I’m walking along and all of a sudden, I’m thinking, ‘What is that?’ And I couldn’t quite tell, it looked like a warehouse that was above the ground—so it got my attention. As I was walking, I was able to get a little bit clearer view because I was right at the edge of town, and there were homes there. I got to the spot where there was kind of an empty lot and I had a better view. So I’m standing there, looking at this thing, and my brain is trying to figure out what it is I’m looking at, because it looks to me to be white but it was being illuminated by the setting sun. And it was huge. It was about the size of a big warehouse or like a football field or something. It was really hard to determine how close it was to me because it was so big. My brain was trying to find a reasonable explanation for what I’m seeing. I’m standing there in the street and I noticed, ‘Oh, no, the Oz Effect.’ I don’t hear anything, I don’t hear crickets. I don’t hear dogs barking off in the distance. What I can hear is a swing, going back and forth, squeaking. There was a little girl in the backyard, swinging on a swing set. I looked at her, she looked at me and she got off the swing. In my mind, she’s probably wondering, ‘I don’t know this person. Why is she staring up there?’ So, she starts looking at it, and then she starts yelling to her mom, ‘Mom, what is that? What is that?’ Her mom comes out and she takes her by the hand and runs her into the house. I’m still standing there, looking at that and thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ And it drives me crazy, but did I take a picture of it? No. Did I even think to take a picture of it? No. And even stranger, I started feeling bored. Like, I was losing interest in what I was seeing. It was moving very slowly. So, after maybe 10 or 15 minutes of standing in the middle of the street, I start moving. And I started walking, I’m thinking, ‘Okay, that’s interesting.’ I’m watching it, I keep looking up between homes where I can see it, and it’s gradually getting farther and farther away. I notice that the only sound I can hear is just my feet on the pavement and my breathing. I’m looking around for other people and I don’t see anybody or anything. There’s nothing moving. I’m weirded out by that and think, ‘It’s time to go back to reality here.’ So, I stopped again, and I watched it for a couple more minutes, and it was really getting far away by that point, I thought it must be over Canada by then because it was going in that direction and it appeared to be in Canadian airspace.”

Wondering what's going on in the FM area? Here are some of the recent cases reported to MUFON:

CASE #133944
Sighting date: 9-3-23 Location: South Moorhead
Witness Credibility: Exceptional
“Multiple witnesses noted a very large orange orb moving fast for 4-5 seconds around 8 p.m.”
MUFON Disposition: Unknown, radar indicated no aircraft in the vicinity, object size was too large for a drone, and satellite data negative

CASE #118114
Sighting Date: 8-1-21
Location: Fargo-Island Park
Witness Credibility: Unknown
“Witness reports fast-moving tic tac-shaped object came to a halt over south Fargo.”
MUFON Disposition: Unknown (investigator did not state findings)

CASE #118541
Sighting Date: 10-6-21
Location: Near Grand Forks
Witness Credibility: Unknown
“Witness reports some type of object ejected from very large boomerang craft.”
MUFON Disposition: Unknown (investigator did not state findings)

CASE #118971
Sighting Date: 10-1-21
Location: Carrington
Witness Credibility: Very good
“Witness states silent. boomerang-shaped, brown object moved over building just after midnight.”
MUFON Disposition: Unknown, radar indicated no aircraft in the vicinity

What it rising as well, or just moving away?

“I can’t be certain, it just appeared to be moving away from me, and getting smaller and smaller. My perception was that it was moving away from me based on that. Then I said, ‘Okay, I’m done.’ And I started walking and I could hear a dog bark again. It’s like it all kind of slowly comes in. And I’m just walking along looking at stuff and then I walk over to this Dollar General and I got something to drink. Then, in the center of town, they had this pavilion like a little park with park benches, and I sat down and started scrolling through Facebook. And I just kind of stopped and thought, ‘What the heck? Why didn’t I take a picture? And I don’t understand that, because especially as an investigator, the first thing I want to do is get evidence, but I didn’t want to do that. I just had no [interest], it didn’t even occur to me to do that.”

Do you think her mom saw it too?

“I have no idea, that would be great to know. I did ask a few questions the next day, and I got a very icy response from people. I didn’t say, ‘Hey, did you see that big warehouse?’ I did [ask], ‘Have you ever seen anything weird in the skies around here?’ And I got a very icy, cold response. I think I was bumping up against that [idea] that, that’s something of [theirs]. It’s [their] military. [They] don’t talk about that to outsiders kind of a thing. So, I didn’t get anywhere with that. That was in Cavalier three years ago, I think. I have no explanation for what that was. Nor, why I didn’t show that kind of interest because I should have been thinking, ‘Oh, my God! Look at that!’ [Taking] videos, but no, not at all. Not even slightly.”

Do you remember it very clearly, though?

“I remember it very clearly. And I don’t understand why I had that reaction to it. I really don’t, it irritates me.”

“I have since, spoken to other people who’ve seen something almost identical, which is interesting. I was speaking with one woman at an event that I went to in Wisconsin a couple of years ago, and she described almost identical events, but she was actually underneath it. She said it had grooves on it and it was white in color. I didn’t see that, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there because what I was seeing was being reflected with sunlight. She said it was like a warehouse, like a huge, Amazon warehouse just floating along silently, very smoothly floating.”

Visit northlandmufon.com to learn more about the organization, report an experience, and more!

Written by Geneva Nodland

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