Jan C. Harzan, executive director for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), was arrested July 3rd by the Huntington Beach Police Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau on multiple felonies involving child solicitation.
According to a statement made on the department’s Facebook page,
In the past two weeks, detectives from the Huntington Beach Police Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau have arrested two suspects on two separate incidents involving online crimes against children.
On July 3, detectives contacted a male by the name of Jan Harzan after Harzan solicited sexual activity from a detective he believed was a 13 year old girl. The suspect solicited the minor to meet for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity, and when the suspect agreed to meet the supposed minor, detectives were there to take him into custody.
On July 8, detectives contacted a different male by the name of Norman Powers after Powers also solicited sexual activity from the detective posing as a 13 year old, and also arranged to meet for the purpose of sexual activity. Once he arranged a meet, detectives contacted him and determined he was there to engage in sexual activity with a minor.
Both Harzan and Powers were arrested for multiple felonies and transported to the Huntington Beach Jail. Both of the suspects in these cases were specifically targeting minor females online.
Prior to his arrest, Harzan had been under fire from detractors in the UFO community for failing to completely sever ties with high level members of MUFON who had made controversial public statements about race.
Issues with systemic racism in MUFON first gained widespread attention in 2017 with an inflammatory Facebook post by then Pennsylvania State Director John Ventre. While Ventre was removed from his position as state director, he was allowed to remain active in the organization asa paid consultant, conference coordinator, and treasurer—a decision that led MUFON’s Director of Research, Chris Cogswell, to resign in protest the following year.
More recently, Ken Pfeifer, MUFON State Director for Rhode Island and Vermont, and Chief Investigator for New Jersey, created controversy when he posted a series of memes to Facebook. No action was taken by MUFON against Pfeifer, as a statement from the organization declared that they had found “NO evidence of racial bigotry on his PERSONAL Facebook page.” (Good :)! )