A UFO group leader solicited sex from an undercover cop he thought was a 13-year-old girl, California cops said.
Jan Harzan, the executive director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), one of the oldest UFO research organizations in the United States, was booked by Huntington Beach police in a sting operation on July 3.
“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,” their statement read.
“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.”
Court documents cited by Vice state that Harzan was arrested on charges of “communicating with a minor with intent to engage in a lewd act” and “arranging a meeting to engage with a lewd act with a minor in public.”
Five days after his arrest, cops there booked another man Norman Powers, who allegedly solicited sexual activity from the detective who pretending to be a young teen girl.
Both men were arrested for multiple felonies, cops said, as they warned parents to be vigilant of online “predators.”
“Predators are out there, and they are looking for victims,” Huntington Beach PD warned, citing apps, gaming, chat rooms, and even ads perverts post online to lure in children for sex.
“Please take the time to talk to your children about the dangers of talking to strangers online.
“Many children do not know what lurks out there on the web, and it’s up to parents and guardians to make them aware.”
On July 15, MUFON’s Board of Directors confirmed that Harzan was “permanently removed” as Executive Director and will have no role in the UFO organization “effective immediately” on their website.
“David MacDonald, Executive Director Emeritus and a member of the MUFON Board of Directors, will now assume the duties of Executive Director,” their online statement read.
“MUFON remains committed to its core mission: the study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity.
“This mission is greater than any one person or member of MUFON and supersedes all other considerations.”
MUFON was founded in 1969 in Quincy, Illinois to track UFO sightings and claim to hold the “largest and most detailed database of UFO sightings” in the world.
At a 2013 MUFON Symposium in Las Vegas, Harzan – who said he was visited by a “humming” alien as a child – became the new Executive Director, replacing professional pilot McDonald.
Their former Director of Research Chris Cogswell, who bowed out of MUFON citing a culture of racism, decried the “heinous” charges.
Although everyone is entitled to the assumption of innocence until proven guilty, this is a heinous charge,” he said.
“I cannot foresee any possibility of MUFON continuing, but hope the individual chapters can put their time and energy into an organization that will benefit them as much as they benefit it.”
‘PUNCH IN THE GUT’
Richard Dolan, a leading UFO researcher, expressed his “absolute shock” about the news on his website.
“This was more than a shock. It was like being punched in the gut to learn of the arrest,” Dolan wrote.
“I do think that MUFON will really need to consider an overhaul to save itself.
“What Jan was arrested for had nothing to do with Ufology, and one might think that MUFON as an organization will get by just fine, but we all know the world doesn’t work that way. He had become the face of MUFON.”
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Previously, Harzan worked for International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in sales and marketing executive management for 37 years but he’s been active in MUFON since 1991.
The alleged pedophile was IBM Branch manager in Orange County, IBM Services Executive in Vancouver, Canada, and IBM Senior Project Executive on the Boeing, Disney, and Technicolor accounts over the last 14 years of his career.
Harzan was transported to the Huntington Beach Jail after his arrest earlier this month.