In a whirl of misunderstanding and conflicting agendas, the promising UFO coalition lavishly funded by Las Vegas businessman Bob Bigelow has come crashing to an end.
The "gathering" of top UFO groups, as Bigelow liked to call it, was launched last year with Bigelow Foundation money, but presumably without Bigelow control.
In their one-year agreement with him, board members from the Cneter for UFO Studies, Mutual UFO Network and Fund for UFO Research were given a free hadn to work on mutually agreed upon UFO projects.
The coalition immediately began to work on updating Richard Hall's book from the 1960s, "The UFO Evidence." The group also agreed to fund Jan Aldrich in his elaborate and detailed study of the 1947 UFO wave. Under the terms of the agreement, both of these projects will continue to receive funds, but any new funding has ended.
The group met every three months, and the last meeting in July, held in Las Vegas, also marked the end of the one-year agreement and time to renew. At that meeting, Bigelow informed Board members that he wanted a vote and veto power. When asked how he planned to apply the power to vote and veto, "he was vague about his answer," a source told UFO [Magazine]; but as the meeting progressed it became apparent he did not agree with the group's choice of projects.
Bigelow's purported focus on "borderline" topics such as crop circles and cattle mutilations -- which don't have any confirmative links to UFOs -- disturbed the group. "He tried to link all sorts of fringe and peripheral matters to what we feel is much more of a scientific problem," says Don Berliner, a representative from the Fund. "I was also disturbed by his need to control everything," Berliner adds. "He told us it would be our decision to control the money, but that changed."
When asked to comment, Hall said, "We regret we could not see eye-to-eye with the Bigelow Foundation on how to proceed with UFO research."
Representatives agree that the main positive result of the coalition was bringing together the three leading civilian American UFO research groups. A reorganized "CFM Coalition" continues, Hall says, and will seek alternative funding.
Original file name: CNI - Bigelow Funding Ends
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