BAASS MUFON 2

 

Original MUFON STAR Team
The Original MUFON STAR Team started off as a very small group sometime 2007. There were 4 founding members. The first member to ever be deployed was Norman Gagnon, and then Kristen Winslet worked on a case that had national attention.

In May 2008, Chuck Modlin was named as the 6th member. Then in August of 2008, I was featured in a journal article as the newest member of STAR Team
[3] and the following month an announcement in the Directors Message acknowledged my appointment as STAR Team Coordinator, who would facilitate communication and deployment. [4] 

There was some funding for expense reimbursement on a few of the cases, but for the most part it was still a predominantly voluntary operation. MUFON had a little bit of money they could use to reimburse for gasoline and mileage. The Discovery Channel shows were the first real deployments involving STAR Team and the producers paid for lodging and travel expenses for some of the investigators during the filming.

Most of the investigators had their own equipment. Throughout the initial investigation of the Fayetteville case (first TV show) we videotaped many of the original witness interviews with a High-Definition camcorder. Later Discovery Channel actually used some of that video footage in the TV production. We also had a radiation detector (pictured - click on image to enlarge - use page back button to return to article) which was used and seen on the TV show as well.

There was really no formal report format and there was no system in place to look at CMS or monitor cases. When I became Coordinator they upgraded my CMS access, to include the cases in all 50 states. As far as any protocol for working on cases, there really wasn't any. The cases came up somewhat randomly, typically someone would send a heads up (email) about a case to the International Director (James Carrion) and he would ask me to look into it and send someone out to work it.

By February 2009 the original team consisted of 10 members. At that time the new logo was unveiled in an article about the development of the logo
.[5] The design was based on original artwork that Kristine Winslet submitted. We re-worked the graphics and sent several versions out to members for comments and edits. The final draft (pictured) was the result of the collaborative efforts of the team members. The 10 members of the STAR Team were; Carrion, Webb, Winslet, Gagnon, Modlin, Jordan, Sheets, Aston, Lang and Reever.

STAR Team - BAASS SIP Project

In February 2009 the BAASS Contract was finalized and approved by MUFON Board. Final planning and development, which included a PowerPoint presentation for State Directors and the membership was initiated to outline the SIP project and invite member participation.

At that time MUFON was an organization of volunteers with a wide variety of members, with varying degrees of interests that were focused in many different directions. MUFON was also very decentralized and for the most part supported by its membership and benefactors. The organization was not at all run like a business. 

The idea of using the STAR Team to separate the funded SIP Project business from the general membership was taking shape. Since we suddenly had the capacity to pay people, we wanted to control the activities of the project and run it like a business, which made sense from an operational standpoint. So it was conveyed to the membership that applications were being accepted for prospective employee positions for Investigators and Dispatch operators.

At the same time this separation also manifested in the separate financial banking and record keeping for the SIP Project, which unfortunately turned out to be a problem that was not anticipated when the initiative started.


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