In January, 2018, the Mutual UFO Network chose a new Director of Research, Chris Cogswell, who is based in Minnesota, and produces a podcast on the philosophy of science, technology, and pseudosciences, titled “Mad Scientist”. Cogswell came to MUFON with a PhD in chemical engineering, focusing on nano materials for adsorption and catalysis.
On April 13, 2018, only four months later, Chris Cogswell resigned his position with MUFON, because he had learned that day, MUFON had not cut all ties with John Ventre, as he had been led to believe. Instead, Cogswell became aware MUFON still was closely aligned with him, albeit on a volunteer basis.
Ventre had emailed Cogswell about the 2018 MUFON Symposium that was being held In Cherry Hill, New Jersey. When he learned of Ventre’s continued connection with MUFON, Cogswell felt his conscience could not allow him to remain any longer with the organization.
A year earlier, in May 2017, John Ventre, a long time MUFON member, and at that time, State Director of Pennsylvania, published on his personal Facebook page, an overtly racist rant about a Netflix show:Besides objecting to the racist writings of Ventre, many members of MUFON, as well as Cogswell, found the organization’s leadership’s response to the Facebook post weak and ambivalent. In his response, International Director, Jan Harzan, stated no national organization wished to be involved in its members personal social media. He mentioned how vitriolic comments and posts had come from both sides in the presidential election, and that this behavior had seeped into all facets of social media, including affecting how people reacted to Ventre’s post. Harzan closed his response with the well-publicized comment, “Who is worse, the persons posting, or the haters hating?”
In a Newsweek Magazine Article published, April 29, 2018, Cogswell pointed out Ventre’s ongoing involvement in the Pennsylvania chapter. He said he serves as a treasurer and conference coordinator. Ventre and Jan Harzan both stated his involvement is strictly voluntary, and does it because he likes helping his friends.
In a lengthy interview on April 28, 2018, the night before Newsweek’s article was published, Joe Rupe, Host of Spaced Out Saturday, half of the weekend lineup on Spaced Out Radio, was able to clarify Cogswell’s brief association as the Director of Research for MUFON. It was only four months, and had Cogswell known of the continuing participation of John Ventre in MUFON, it would not have even been that long. He told Rupe he would not have agreed to be their Director of Research, ever.
Cogswell went on to say others who were excited for, and interested in continuing the work begun at MUFON left with him. He told Rupe they appreciate the opportunity they had to begin their work at MUFON, and now are moving forward with their efforts to bring scientific discipline and research methodology into the field of UFOlogy.