About Us

The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) has local state chapters in most states with a State Director, Assistant State Director, Chief Investigator, Section State Directors and Field Investigators. The Chief Investigator assigns the cases that get reported to the database to their local Field Investigators to follow up with witnesses. California being the leader in reported sightings (most of the time), is split up between Northern and Southern California.

Northern California's State Director/STAR Team, Ruben Uriarte

Ruben Jose Uriarte graduated from Cal State University at Hayward with a B.A. degree in Psychology and Latin American Studies, and has taken M.A. courses in Public Administration. He has been a member of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) as a Field Investigator, State Director for Northern California and Deputy Director of Investigations/International Affairs. Ruben Uriarte has been involved with a large network of research organizations. He had served as a state coordinator for Crop Circle Phenomena Research International. He was also a former research director for Beyond Boundaries, a company specializing in taking tour groups to various UFO "hotspots" around the world. He also serves as a board member for OPUS(Organization for Paranormal and Support Understanding). Ruben has been interviewed on many local and national radio shows and television documentaries on the subject of the UFO Phenomenon, such as the Discovery Channel's "UFOs Over Earth", The Learning Channel, and the History Channel's "UFO FILES", "UFO HUNTERS" and "ANCIENT ALIENS". Ruben has been co-authoring a series of books with Noe Torres about major UFO crashes that have occurred along the border of the Southwestern United States, Mexico and other historical cases. Their books include, “Mexico's Roswell - The Chihuahua UFO Crash”, “The Other Roswell – UFO Crash on the Texas-Mexico Border” and their recent book, "Aliens in the Forest - The Cisco Grove UFO Encounter". Please see their website: RoswellBooks.com 

You can contact Ruben at: ruben_uriarte@hotmail.com

Assistant State Director/STAR Team, Dev Rugne

Dev  has over 45 years of UFO research and independent investigative experience. She became interested in UFOs at an early age and has had many UFO sightings. Her main interest has been the abduction phenomenon with a high interest in actual crafts being seen. 

In 1977, after talking with Betty Hill, she pursued her quest to become a UFO investigator and researcher. 
Dev joined MUFON in the mid 80’s, attending the Northern California meetings. After a hiatus with MUFON (but still independently researching and investigating UFOs), she concentrated on her career until she moved to Oregon in 2007. 
In January of 2008, she rejoined MUFON and became the Oregon MUFON Chief Investigator. 
In April of 2009, MUFON International launched the Star Impact Project (SIP), Dev was hired to conduct SIP investigations for Oregon MUFON. She was also hired for the SIP Dispatch Operator position, monitoring MUFON’s database for incoming sighting reports that met the criteria for rapid deployment. 
Moving back to Northern California in early 2010, she became a Section State Director for seven counties, then became the Chief Investigator later that year. Dev is now the Assistant State Director, and she's on the STAR team. 
She has spoken at several chapter meetings and conferences on completed cases. Dev has also been on a few UFO related radio shows, podcasts and a couple of TV shows. She has given Field Investigator training classes with Ruben and she continues to assist the Nor Cal Field Investigators.  

If you have or had experiences or sightings that you'd like to talk with someone about or have seen any type of cryptids like Dogman, Big Foot or any other unknown creatures in Northern California, please email Dev at: erugne@gmail.com

Chief Investigator/STAR Team, Jerry Gerow

Jerry was born in California, grew up in Ohio, then back to California for the last 20 years. He came from a Pilot family, they all flew. He says, "Maybe this is one of the driving forces behind my passionate interest in all things flying." His background includes stints in The Army Reserve as an Officer, Hughes ARCRFT, Sheriff’s Deputy, Construction Company General Manager and multiple UPS Store owner. He has never had a sighting but has discussed sightings with other pilots including one who flew an SR71 Blackbird. The pilot said that the SR71 was no match for what he had encountered. Jerry has been attending UFO meetings in the Sacramento Area for 12 years. He has always been interested in UFO’s and who or what is flying them. He has never questioned their existence, he just always seemed to believe. 1 ½ years ago Jerry ran into a persistent MUFON Investigator who convinced him to sign up and start investigating. After over 100 cases investigated, Jerry is officially convinced of their existence.  And, as an ex-military man and Police Officer, that is quite a statement. He now finds himself excited about the next case assignment.  An exciting thrust into the unknown!

State Section Director/STAR Team, Nancy C. Felipe

Nancy C. Felipe, has lived in Fremont California for 37 years. 
She has been interested in "what is beyond Earth" since childhood. She had a "sighting" with her Grandmother when she was a child between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. Nancy found out years later that her sister had a sighting as well. 
Around 1998, she learned about MUFON (The Mutual UFO Network) and Opus (Organization for Paranormal Understanding and Support) at a Remote Viewing class and it stirred up her curiosity. Nancy did not attend any meetings until around 2002 while living in Orange County. 
She moved back to Northern California in 2005, and started to attend the MUFON San Jose meetings, and became a MUFON member. 
Nancy went to as many MUFON meetings and UFO Symposiums as possible, but was not satisfied with just observing. She wanted to get involved, so she attended the 2008 MUFON Symposium and took the Field Investigator class. 
She became a Field Investigator in 2009 and was promoted to State Section Director in 2014. 
She claims, "It has been an interesting and enjoyable journey, and I'm looking forward to many more years investigating! The Truth Is Out There!" 

Field Investigator/STAR Team, Valerie Benko

Valerie Benko is originally from Laramie WY, but moved to Rocklin CA  in 1998, where she resides today. Valerie is a Support Group Leader for the Alpha-1 Foundation. Valerie decided to become a field investigator for MUFON because on July 20, 2015, her son, Grandson and herself witnessed a star-like object (orb) flashing colors in the distant sky, which seemed to be out of place. Valerie suggested they should walk out to the main street in order to get a better view. Valerie’s grandson spotted a very bright light in the sky separate from the orb. In the blink of an eye, a triangular shaped craft with 3 bright white lights and a red one in the middle, it was hovering over them. Not only was this craft gigantic, it was also completely silent. When they looked away from it, the craft disappeared in a blink of an eye. Valerie has never seen anything like it before, and being a skeptic she wanted to learn more. So she is on a mission to search for the truth, whatever it might be, she keeps an open mind and is always open to learning new things. She joined MUFON to learn more about the UFO phenomenon, as well as educate herself on what is possible in this giant universe. 

Field Investigator/STAR Team, Shelley Goodman

Shelley joined MUFON in 2015 and immediately became a Field Investigator.  Shelley is a 3rd generation Californian and has had an interest in UFO phenomenon for several decades.  Egyptian cave paintings, mythology, and the great pyramids sparked an early interest while attending school.  Crop Circles and Area 51 are a fascination and of great interest as well.  She’s never had a sighting but is always looking and truly believes there is life beyond this planet.  In 2019, Shelley became a MUFON Columnist and she writes up the Cases of Interest every month for the MUFON Journal.  She is enjoying her work as a Field Investigator and columnist in her spare time while working in Silicon Valley. In February 2021, she was asked to be one of the speakers for the segments on the Cases of Interest on the radio station KGRA 98.9 FM.  She will start being one of the radio speakers in April 2021.

Field Investigator, Hady Felfly

Since Hady was a child, he was always attracted to outer space, the unexplained and the metaphysical. He has a lot of interest in ancient civilizations, and consider that a major portion of our ancient history is still unknown to us. My curiosity made me realize that a vast universe must have a lot of exciting new things to discover, learn, and interact with. His interest in Astronomy and Astrobiology grew into an interest in UFOs.

Some of his major interests include the research about the forces of nature and energy fields, ancient structures and pyramids including underwater structures, crop circles, dreams, astral travel, telepathy, telekinesis, the afterlife, and others. Working as a field investigator, has given him this opportunity to interact real-time with various events which allow him to contribute to providing some answers to interesting topics.

He can be reached at hfmufon@gmail.com

Field Investigator, Brian Millard

Brian joined MUFON in 2019 and several months later achieved becoming a field investigator to fulfill his deep interest and pursuit of UFOs and unexplained phenomena.  Brian’s interest in UFO’s first began at the age of nine.  

While visiting family in North Carolina, his aunt recounted her story of an unidentified object in the sky she spotted while driving back from seeing friends with her sister.  “I was absolutely mesmerized and intrigued by aunts recount of her UFO story from a few weeks earlier.  I kept asking for more details and I remember being scared by her story but also wanting to know why and feeling nervous if something else was going to happen.”  Ever since then I was hooked.  From the Dulce base report to Area 51 and beyond, I wanted to know if there was more than just humans in the vast universe.”

Brian received a Masters Degree from San Francisco State University in behavioral sciences with an emphasis in color theory as it relates to memory retention in humans, which has lent itself well to his research pursuits.  “I love learning, being analytical, intuitive and research-oriented.  Everything from human organizational behavior to researching the electromagnetic spectrum of color.  I love the application and value it serves."

Field Investigator, Rick Eno

Richard “Rick” Eno’s love of aviation sparked his interest in the UFO phenomenon. His original interest in the “nuts & bolt” craft has matured to understand that these phenomena have many layers and share commonalities with other paranormal sightings, activity and areas.  He is a guest co-host and show reporter on the radio program “Behind the Paranormal” with Paul & Ben Eno. He holds a BS degree in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts, an MPH in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from the Yale School of Medicine and joined MUFON’s Field Investigator Team in 2019.