Dark Side of the Looking Glass

The personal Blog of Richard Lang


 Sunday, April 10, 2011

What we learned and what we lost! BAASS-MUFON SIP Program

The STAR Team was a Rapid Response Investigation Unit, operating in a MUFON program, which was funded by BAASS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies) that was known as the SIP Project. At that time MUFON was the largest international UFO research organization in the world.

The purpose of the SIP Project was in part to provide funding to professionally investigate UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) events and make available information from the MUFON witness sighting report data base (CMS) directly to BAASS. Part of this funding was also allocated to payroll a team of full time Dispatch operators, who would work continuous shifts throughout the week and monitor the incoming sighting reports.

I served as STAR Team Manager and SIP Project Coordinator from the beginning of the project in February 2009 until it ended in of January 2010. This was the most advanced non-government rapid response UAP investigative team in the world. During that year, while working with the dispatchers and with BAASS, I learned an incredible amount about how to investigate and study this Phenomena and developed relationships with some of the most experienced Investigators, Researchers and Ufologists in the world.

Shortly after I was hired to manage the SIP project, I came in possession of a whitepaper that was written by Dr. J.F.Vallée  and Dr. E.W.Davis that is titled "Incommensurability, Orthodoxy and the Physics of High Strangeness: A 6-layer Model for Anomalous Phenomena". 

After reading it several times during the early stages of the project, I realized, that the "6-layer model" outlined in that whitepaper was absolutely right on the mark as to research and investigation into the (UAP) phenomenon. The concepts in this white paper became the frame work for my thinking while performing in that role. Keep in mind we were getting 400-800 case reports per month coming in. We were literally looking at this information night and day (7 days a week) for a year.

Metaphorically speaking this was the "Catbird Seat" if there ever was such a thing in Ufology. Throughout that year, I took advantage of every minute, to study this phenomenon and learn all I could about how to investigate sighting reports and how that data might be effectively used.

The following is based on my observations and experiences.
Richard Lang

Evolution of the STAR team:
It is worth taking a moment to understand the how the MUFON STAR Team originally started out. Then look at how it evolved during the SIP Project with BAASS funding, and finally where it currently is now.

Keep in mind that there were 3 distinct STAR Team initiatives, which all shared the same common name, but were very much different!

     Original MUFON STAR Team  (2007 to February  2009)

§                   Some funding

§                   Decentralized with a team coordinator

§                   No CMS monitoring

§                   No reporting protocol or format

§                   Very little equipment (most individually owned)

§                   Very restrictive confidentially agreement

§                   10 members


Ø  BAASS SIP Project STAR Team  (February 2009 to January 2010)

§                     Totally funded

§                     Paid management (full time employees)

§                     Paid dispatch operation (part time employees)

§                     24/7 CMS monitoring and vetting of cases

§                     Witness contact information was verified on all incoming cases

§                     Paid qualified Investigators (including payment for travel expenses)

§                     Paid operations unit (full time employee) arrangements for airline travel   lodging etc. everything was paid for up front and investigators had no out of pocket expenses.

§                     Virtual scheduling (investigators on standby-availability and geographic location)

§                    High tech equipment available via overnight shipping to investigator in field

§                    Formal standardized SOP and report format and protocol

§                    Formal job descriptions with requirements for each position.

§                    Customized engraved identification ID Badges for investigators

§                    Each state had a coordinator to work with local investigators and STAR Team

§                    Confidentially agreement with provision to publish information and give public access to case reports when completed

§                     All case reports were published in the Journal to give public access

Ø  MUFON's Current STAR Team  (April 2010 to present)

§                      Unfunded - no paid employees

§                      Decentralized with a team coordinator

§                      No CMS monitoring

§                      No reporting protocol or format

§                       No equipment (individually owned)

§                      Restrictive confidentially agreement no formal process to publish reports

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