Friday, 23 October 2020

High-Speed Rail-Link Is Vastly Overpriced

 Given the spiralling cost of combating the ongoing pandemic, surely now is the time to reconsider the vastly overpriced HS2 Project?

     I repeat my assertion that the need could be met by replacing scheduled rail services with a constant loop of electric vehicles, assembled in automobile factories being declared surplus to requirements.

     They would take up the slack in the car market, for example, and not require the infrastructure associated with rail travel. Also, the noise blight for those living en route would be eliminated.

    Why oh why do I encounter a wall of silence from the government on this subject?

Brunel would be turning in his grave.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Money Money Money, It’s a rich man’s world!

 You betcha it is! Especially for the likes of Bookbub for whom it is all about the money, honey.

Founded in 2012 and privately owned, it employs 120 people. It is described as a book discovery service featuring free and discounted books, selected by its editorial team.

Largely, it was a channel for the major publishers and best sellers as reported in leading newspapers.

I say WAS, because the well must have run dry. They’ve discovered that advertising by authors desperate to get noticed is also potentially lucrative. Those same authors, like me, who are called INDIES are independent of the mainstream publishers and cannot attract conventional literary agents. These have been swamped with a backlist of previous authors whose books they cannot shift and are a barrier to emerging authors. I had the most helpful correspondence with one, who represented J K Rowling in her early days but had since retired and couldn’t help me incisively.

I suspect that Bookbub has exhausted its mainstream revenue because, in common with many other INDIES, the complaint was we didn’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of crossing Bookbub’s threshold whilst it continued.

By my calculations, it costs thousands in whatever currency to advertise, as a ‘partner’ with them, with scant chance of a decent return. This was confirmed on the 1st of October when one of their blurbs landed in my email inbox.

To quote: it gave an example of an author who combined BookBub Ads campaigns with a ‘Chirp’ Deal. He sold over 2,000 copies of the audiobooks in his science fiction series in a single month! 35% of those sales came directly from the ad campaigns. These combined promotions generated enough revenue for him to earn back more than half of what he invested to produce these three audiobooks.

The key here is 35% of what it COST him to advertise! Like with Amazon, Bookbub is the true winner when it comes to ‘investing’ in advertising.

During the Coronavirus epidemic, I gave away all my ebooks via Smashwords, to satisfy the demand from a new readership anxious to do something to fill their spare time. The ebook requests invariably started with one book being requested, then all the others I’ve written were ordered in quick succession. Even though, at the end of each book, I request an impartial review from the reader, not one ever materialized.

Despite my output being given really good reviews by the industry leaders like Kirkus (itself backed by leading publishers), Bookbub has consistently rejected my stories. Now, they want to generate extra revenue from another source, INDIES.

So why bother to write? The answer is it’s because I have stories to tell that I enjoy creating and are worth telling, to me at least.

Have any of you seen a film called The Spider’s Web – Britain’s Second Empire? It’s on YouTube and is an eye-opener on why the EU can never hope to follow the terrible example set by the UK and the USA. It forms part of my latest book about a future detective.

Bookbub and its ilk are, in my opinion, leeches to be removed with a lit fag end. The book publishing industry is full of bloodsuckers, so take care where you tread, if you follow this path.

The illiterate vultures are on the lookout to fleece the gullible literate.

Monday, 28 September 2020

A view of the ongoing debate on Covid 19

 

This morning, on the offchance of Kay Burley having something worthwhile to ask about Covid 19, I listened intently to her interview with Minister of state for Social Care, Helen Whately. Here is a person of impeccable background; her father was a surgeon and her mother is a physician; educated at a private Catholic school for girls, she entered the sixth form at the independent Westminster School in London; thereafter, she went to Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford and became a member of the Oxford debating Society. So it goes on: a star in the making, intent on ‘getting things done in healthcare as a whole’.

Even with an early career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers as a trainee Management Consultancy and thereafter as a manager at Mckinsey’s in their Healthcare Division, something is lacking in her personality. She entered politics in 2015, has been savaged in various key interviews and has clearly been tutored in the art of answering questions.

On the other hand, Kay Burley was brought up in Wigan and has had a lifetime in the media. She was recruited by, so Wiki reports, heaven forbid, Andrew Neill, who will shortly be heading new channel GB News. With luck, she’ll be joining him, which means to me I can ignore the pair of them at one go.

Controversies? She’s full of them, as listed on Wiki. Like,

It started in 2001, with her claiming that there’d been a terrorist attack that had decimated the USA’s entire eastern seaboard. She was referring to the September 11 attacks in Manhattan.

The list is endless, such as when, in 2018, she commented on the use of the Burka to hide facial recognition by comparing it to the lack of facial expressions by Simon Weston, the war hero whose face had been disfigured in the Falklands War.

Bearing her repeated gaffes in mind, when interviewing Whately this morning, she insisted on getting an answer about students being forbidden to return home for Xmas, to be with their families.

This is where I began to get frustrated. Why on earth didn’t Whately respond by personalising her response? She could have thrown the question back at the inept Burley by asking what if the student concerned has Covid 19, and the rest of the household will assemble with mixed age groups? What then? Do you risk killing the older generations?

No doubt, Burley will retort, ‘I’m only asking on behalf of my viewers!’ to which Whately could smack her down by replying, ‘No you’re not! You could have said it yourself, instead of asking me, if you’d thought of it!’

Really, the pair of them are well-matched in gormlessness.

Three hours per selected weekday of Burley is more than I can stand. How much of this elected minister are we going to have to endure, when she clearly cannot think incisively? In political terms, no matter the pedigree, one cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Learn to live with coronavirus.

I read an eminently sensible article by Dr. John Lee today that should be a wakeup call to the government. He is a former professor of pathology at Hull York Medical School and a recently retired NHS consultant.

     In essence, he states that
The supposed cure is turning out to be worse than the disease. As analysis by the (Daily) Mail reveals today that more lives are being wrecked by the official response to Covid than by the virus itself.

In a bizarre paradox, ill-directed efforts at protecting public health are creating a public health disaster.

Even now the fiercely disputed current Covid death toll of 41,628 is barely half the total fatalities of the 1968 flu epidemic in the UK. More than 1,600 people die in Britain every day, yet, despite the Government’s scaremongering, the coronavirus daily death toll has been in single or low double figures for weeks.

Indeed, if coronavirus were really the deadly menace that it is painted to be, there would have been a massive spike in cases and deaths after the Black Lives Matter protests, illegal raves and huge gatherings at the seaside during the summer. But nothing of the sort has happened. Yet still the Government refuses to change its doomladen narrative.

As he witheringly concludes, this country finally faces up to the real healthcare toll of imposing lockdown by indulging in bullying tactics.

My conclusion is this: for heaven’s sake, learn to live with coronavirus and get off your high horse before you doom the country to yet more needless suffering! Boris, you’re overbaking the cake and feeding an opposition led by a deluded man who doesn’t understand either, unless he reads the original article.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Is the Brexit Divorce Really Illegal?

 Is our PM lacking good faith? Not according to the chairman of Lawyers for Britain. Read on.

The Prime Minister’s plan to undercut parts of the Brexit divorce treaty has triggered dismay among EU bosses as negotiations for a trade agreement come down to the wire. The devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales are also outraged by the UK Internal Market Bill tabled this week, accusing Mr Johnson of trying to seize power, while his own ministers have said it will breach international law.

But Martin Howe, chairman of Lawyers for Britain, said the government’s UK Internal Market Bill was “needed to maintain the free flow of trade across the nation in the post-Brexit world”.

He made his point with three simple examples to prove why the government’s clauses "will not breach international law”.

Mr Howe said the bill would allow the UK to “protect itself from abusive exercise of treaty powers” by the EU following its departure from the bloc.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, he said: “There is a general principle of international law that treaty powers should be exercised in good faith, and an EU blockage of reasonable ‘goods at risk’ rules under threat of using the treaty machinery to impose tariffs across the board could be classed as a bad faith exercise of treaty powers.

“The government’s clauses will allow the UK to protect itself from abusive exercise of treaty powers by the EU and are therefore a justified measure under international law.”

Senior EU figures are outraged by the proposal, which Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis admitted would break international law in a "specific and limited way".

But Mr Howe argued the alteration of the constitutional status of Northern Ireland would “breach the core principle of the Good Friday Agreement”.

He said: “Secondly and more fundamentally, the alteration of the constitutional status of NI (which across the board tariffs on GB to NI exports would entail) would breach the core principle of the Good Friday Agreement.

“It is not only an agreement between governments but also with representatives of the communities in Northern Ireland.

“International law does not justify a later treaty to which these community representatives are not parties being used to over-ride the rights they enjoy under the earlier treaty, especially where it involves over-riding such a fundamental right as the right to self determination of the people of NI.”

In his last point, Mr Howe said the UK would not be “undermined by domestic courts having to impose international treaties as interpreted by a foreign court”.

He said: “The EU has a long history of disregarding adverse rulings by WTO disputes bodies, for example on subsidies to Airbus.

“The UK is in a position where our law allows us to ensure that the UK’s negotiating position under international treaties is not undermined by our domestic courts having to impose international treaties as interpreted by a foreign court even where it is contrary to the foundations of our constitution.”

Mr Howe said section 38 of the Withdrawal Agreement “preserves Parliamentary sovereignty” and “makes it quite clear that Parliament has the right to pass the clauses which the government is proposing and thereby override these errant clauses in the Protocol”.

Mr Johnson has argued that the UK Internal Markets Bill tabled this week is necessary to preserve unfettered trade within the UK and prevent a border between Britain and Northern Ireland.

But he has dismayed Brussels by threatening to breach international law.

Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin called the Prime Minister to express his concerns, including "the breach of an international treaty, the absence of bilateral engagement and the serious implications for Northern Ireland".


Monday, 7 September 2020

Scotland For Ever?

 Scotland For Ever? I hope not, unless they start to behave sensibly.

I think it's time to lay down the facts for the SNP to chew over. The likes of the wee Macbess need to woke up to the reality of life, as it is within the UK umbrella. They are running a huge deficit by squandering the subsidies they are given. The reality is that they are bad managers of a devolved economy. Join the EU, where they'll have less of a voice than we give Scotland in the dwarfing, main nation? Surely this is a bad joke! We are their main customer and I for one am fed up with her slapping us in the face with a wet kipper.

Saturday, 15 August 2020

In the Land of the Blind

 Probably in vain, on behalf of my highly talented mathematical eldest grandson, I direct a question at Gavin Williamson. It is this:

     Did you actually instigate testing of your prized algorithm to look for anomalies in its results? Did you also assess the likely volume of such anomalies? If so, how was it possible for you to approve its results? Do you not have independent advisers to help you, or is there total reliance on Dominic Cummings? Is this the Achilles heel of the present government?

     To my dismay, when the PM enthuses about his robust system, he risks alienating many of those who voted for him last time. It is no exaggerating to claim that he has, through his chains of command, began to descend the downhill slope to obscurity.

     It is looking like he the one-eyed man in the land of the Tory blind. Bluster can be forgiven, but not when the pill he wants those in education, professionals and pupils alike, far too bitter to swallow.

    If Priti Patel can take time to visit border staff and assess immigration problems personally, can Gavin Williamson confirm he showed the same level of dedication in his role? If he did, why has this crucial aspect of audit seemingly been botched?

     What I haven’t mentioned, until now, is that both of my eldest grandson’s paternal grandparents are qualified mathematicians, who are as baffled by his savagely reduced A-level results as are those at his highly regarded, top-notch state school in Surrey. The alleged savants who defined the algorithm are pitiless to those who couldn’t sit their exams. They have no empathy with reality. Neither, so it seems, does Gavin Williamson or the ebullient Johnson, whose obvious shortcoming is the skill of numeracy.

POSTSCRIPT

I’ve just checked on the comments made on the Chief Exec of OFQUAL (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) when she was appointed in 2016. These appear to have been made by civil service insiders.

Bill Atthetill:20.03.2016 at 3:45 am

Sally does have a talent for securing jobs where her lack of experience appears to be irrelevant…

     Secret Squirrel:17.03.2016 at 2:29 am

A very fair assessment in many ways but I remain very unconvinced.

PCRs for example were scrapped because they led to little practical change. Whilst the method was sound, the follow through on diagnostic to action wasn’t there.

I would also disagree with the excellent manager statement. I saw nepotism and huge artificial inflation of roles and salary. The number of SCS roles in CCS shows that; even overlooking the staff on boarding.

What is very accurate is her ability as a policy civil servant and playing the game. I’m just very unsure of what real practical difference any of it made.

     Secret Squirrel:21.03.2016 at 6:12 am

Re: “but she was ‘in the thick of it’, surrounded by ineptitude, and by poor, uninformed, or over-informed, decision-making.”

That’s where you and I will disagree. My view is very firmly that she was part of the ineptitude. She had no grasp of the practical implications and consequently led a merry little band of hangers-on into many a dead end. 

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Alien Presence at the South Pole

This event was told by a whistleblower to regional Emmy award winning investigative journalist, Linda Moulton Howe.
     It was first seen on a documentary, via Prime Amazon, under the title of ETs Among Us 2 – Antarctica, Mars, the Moon and Beyond.
     In 2015, Linda was contacted by a man called Brian, who claimed to have been a naval flight engineer from 1977 to 1997, in a 20-year career. Much of it was spent at the American base of McMurdo, in Antarctica. He and the others in a crew of 15 to 17 people regularly flew a big Lockheed Hercules military transport aircraft C-130.The assignment was often to fly supplies and personnel over the South Pole to the Australian Camp at Davis, which was the other side of the continent, to the east. They would cross the Transantarctic Mountains that almost divide the continent in two.
     Almost every time they got to the same place called the Beardmore Glacier, they would see sliver discs glinting in the sun, either going up or descending nearby. These never went near the C-130 or the glacier itself. It seemed as if they were observing the same restriction as the C-130, which was to avoid flying over a specific 5 square-mile area.
     One day, they were notified that someone at Camp Davis had been seriously injured in a fire accident and needed to be evacuated urgently. It was suggested that if they flew over the restricted area, considerable time would be saved by not having to make the detour around it. They were told in response that it was where an ‘air monitoring station’ was located, but approval was warily given after it was pointed out that the C-130 would be flying at 35,000 feet and couldn’t possibly cause contamination on the ground below.
     Flying over the forbidden area, many of the crew noticed an artificial, big hole in it, leading underground. After returning to McMurdo with the casualty, they were told to meet an official wearing a suit, which in itself indicated that he was from one of the government agencies, as listed by Linda. He instructed them, “Under no circumstances are you to mention the hole to anyone, ever. It doesn’t exist, got it?”
     At the time, rumors were already widespread that there was an underground base in Antarctica, where ‘Extraterrestrial Biological Entities’ collaborated with the U.S. Government.
     Not long afterward, in 1996, the crew were given one of their regular assignments to ferry yet another group of 15 people from the National Science Foundation to a research base at Marie Byrd Land. This was located to the north west of McMurdo.
     The scientists were carrying an unusually large amount of equipment. The usual warnings were given to keep in regular contact, to ensure their safety. Days later, contact stopped, so extensive searches were made to try and find them, without any trace being found.
     Two weeks elapsed before the scientists made contact and the C-130 flew to collect them. Far from showing elation and high spirits, they stood around staring at the ground and unresponsive. They looked traumatized and were uncommunicative, boarding as the vast equipment was loaded.
     Brian told Linda that the crew were later instructed by yet another man in a suit, “Never talk to anyone about this.”
      In 2016, a nephew of Brian contacted Linda and arranged to meet her in a very noisy restaurant, on Brian’s behalf, since he still worked in the aviation industry, doing highly classified work. It was the nephew who told her about the group of scientists who had disappeared.
     What happened next was that Linda received a telephone call from an unknown number, for a male voice to warn her that ‘they’ knew all about her meeting with the nephew. She was advised that they didn’t like what was being discussed, and warned her to not to continue. She traced the call to the NSA; that is, it came from the National Security Agency. Two things concerned her: the first was that it is still so sensitive as to be closely monitored many years later, the second is that Brian was never made to sign any confidentiality agreement, so is at liberty to say what he likes.
     It annoys Linda that the government can conduct itself with impunity, and not be held to account for its actions.
     As a rider to this event, I coincidentally wrote a story about aliens occupying bases at both poles. It is based on the account related by a genuine U.S Admiral Richard E. Byrd of finding an alien base in Antarctica and entering a large hole to access it. He headed more than one expedition to that continent. Note the spelling of the base at Marie Byrd Land.
     A mere coincidence? I doubt it.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Sequel - A Sad End to a Friendship


There’s a sequel to this, which reads as follows:
     Research for my next book led me through the labyrinth of paranormal subjects, using the exhaustive Amazon Prime films and TV shows on the subject.
     Several levels down, I came across an exposé on the shady activities of the CIA, the papers about which were released in 2018 under US confidentiality rules. I had no idea it would include what turned out to be a documentary on its research into ‘distance viewing’’. This included personal testimonies by an elite group of its practitioners, who genuinely have this ability to read top secret documents held in vaults many thousands of miles away.
     Give them the coordinates and they can penetrate the storage locations to read the secrets held within. I kid you not. So good were the likes of Ingo Swann and Patrick Price at doing this that the CIA and FBI were convinced that they had a mole in their midst who needed rooting out.
     Finally, the ‘dime dropped’ and investments were made in utilizing the skills of these rare individuals, much like the USSR was already doing.
     This is where I came across filmed evidence that Uri Geller was indeed recruited by the CIA, who wanted to enhance his remote viewing skills. He’d proved, on film, that he could do the same thing by accessing a top secret file held securely. Remember, this was the same individual who later crossed swords with the stage magician Randi, the latter claiming that Geller was a fraud and ended up being sued in court.
     Some of this type of sightseeing activity I incorporated in one of my books. I didn’t know the full extent of Ingo Swann’s ability at the time, but what worries me now is the fact that he insisted he’d viewed green giants on the dark side of the moon, quarrying for its deposits and almost got caught. Gulp.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Interesting footnote

My blog suggesting that Muslim clothes would be ideal as Personal Protective Equipment was posted on Saturday 18th April.
I had in mind the Burka, with its postbox slot for the eyes.
The very next day, an unspecified shipment of 400k items was due to arrive from Turkey but did not arrive.
Turkey insists that the order was not placed until Sunday evening.
I do include on my circulation list some key MPs.
Makes you wonder doesn't it?

Sunday, 19 April 2020

A Sad End to a Friendship

 A couple of years ago, I went to stay for a week with a friend, in Lincolnshire. He has a son, who lives locally and had expressed an interest in meeting me.
     “That’s good”! I thought. “He’ll want to talk about being an author!”
Far from it. After an amiable meal, when we men were alone, he started to berate me for writing Sci-Fi. He got really hot under the collar, telling me what tripe it is, all this talk about UFOs and aliens, without apparently even bothering to see what I write, which is intended to be humorous.
     By this time, my so-called friend had his elbows on the table and was looking from one to the other of us, seemingly revelling in the exchanges.
     It culminating in the son telling me that a sceptic I’d never heard of had discredited the whole thing. He mentioned the name Randi, who was in the habit of issuing a million dollar bet against anyone who could prove that it was a genuine thing, this sighting of UFOs, or that aliens exist.
     Knowing in depth that proven, multiple sightings have been reported by credible witnesses such as military and commercial pilots, police officers and naval personnel, I accepted the challenge and invited him to give me his email address so I could forward the evidence. He glared at me then his father, but bade goodbye and left. I felt stunned by his reaction, which was practically him wild-eyed and foaming at the mouth, I kid you not.
     When I got home, I looked up this Randi, first name James, who had made a name for himself attacking clairvoyants, spiritualists, and astrologists and was himself a professional magician. See the article in
     The Los Angeles Times, dated Sept 13 1991 with keywords ‘Uri Geller’ ‘James Randi’ ‘The Psychic … and the Skeptic’.
    
What intrigued me was that I could find no mention of Randi making any attack on those who claim to have seen UFOs or aliens. The attacks on me were based on an incorrect interpretation of events!
     Furthermore, Randi’s attacks on Uri Geller had resulted in court actions, in which Geller had provided proof of being recruited by the CIA to ‘influence’ the decision making of leading Russian politicians.
     It financially crippled Randi over the years and helped make Geller a rich man.

The question I ask is: why should anyone get so agitated as to denounce someone like myself without checking his facts? The son in question is a grammar school product of true ability and a pillar of local society. But, he’s done this type of thing before, so I found in the local press.
     The friend himself flatly refuses to read my brand of Sci-Fi because he too dislikes it.
     Oh dear, what sad, sour notes on which a friendship ends.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

A brilliant marketing idea that Hancock has clearly not thought of

But should have, by now. What is it? Re PPE for the health service.

Why has no one thought of buying full, flowing Muslim robes with eye slits for the head? 

There must be millions of those floating around, reusable as well.

Hell, there's enough Muslim women in the health service, and the male Muslims could use them as well, when on duty.

A simple, detachable infill to filter breathing and a plastic shield to match, plus fabric belt  knotted around the belly and  it'd be in service in no time.

Who'd care what colours they are?

A Classic Contradiction to Ponder


El Pais in English has the following contradictions to make one wonder:
First up: GOVERNMENT ADVISERS SUPPORT REOPENING SPANISH
 SCHOOLS IN SEPTEMBER
Third up: SPANISH HEALTH MINISTRY WARNS THAT CORONAVIRUS COULD BE SPREADING IN HOMES

Thus, we have known meeting places, pestilence centres, schools, where germs are spread liberally, being opened in the autumn, with pupils and staff returning home to have personal contact with relatives and friends.

What a conundrum!

Couple these approaches with demands in the UK by opposition parties for the British Govt to state a clear, specific strategy to take the country forward post-Lockdown, whilst trying to avoid accusations of political mischief making, and you have a bad situation made worse.
     In a war, you often have to wait for the enemy to make a move before it can be counteracted.
     You can make all manner of contingency plans, before deciding what will be best under the circumstances.
     In defence of Keir Starmer, it must be remembered that he is a successful Human Rights lawyer. This invariably requires compromise from all parties in litigation. It helps to explain why he chose to go for a second referendum as the best compromise in the last election.
     This makes him the least worthy individual person to choose, again from an unattractive bunch, as the future leader of the UK. It isn’t in his bewigged nature to make clearcut, decisive decisions. I don’t think he understands the cut and thrust need to define strategy or tactics ‘on the hoof’.

Friday, 10 April 2020

UAP Diclosures

What is meant by that? I didn’t know, until a leading TV newsman asked Hilary Clinton a question about UFO disclosures. She corrected him by stating that the correct tittle being used by the US government is now,
              Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAP for short.
“Oh no!” some of you may groan. “There he goes again, getting on his hobby horse!”
     My reason for doing so is simple. After taking Amazon Prime membership and using its video service to stream whatever I like, I tend to watch what I want in the afternoons, when I feel sleepy and select some programs to do my laborious writing research into alleged alien activity. It’s what I do as a Sci-Fi writer. The wife doesn’t complain, as long as it doesn’t interfere with her watching what she likes, such as Four in a Bed, and Life in the Sun.
     This time, I chose an hour-long film called ‘Aliens at the Pentagon’, narrated by the drowse-inducing, highly boring Nick Popes, who claims to have over 20 years’ experience in some secretive department of the UK civil service, only a few of which were devoted by him to heading up the UK’s UFO research program, whilst implying that it was a lot longer than that. The producer of the film describes him as the ‘true life Fox Mulder’.
     I failed to nap that afternoon, after realising  that this film was highly relevant to US Govt disclosures about UFOs, because why? Because it gives the factual timeline, over 70 years since the Roswell incident, for what the USA authorities have actually been doing about investigating UFOs.
     It culminates in the New York Times publishing its thoroughly researched and corroborated proof that UAPs exist and have been witnessed by unimpeachable sources. More of that later.
     Although UFO incidents have been recorded well before the crash in July 1947 at Roswell, near the Walker ‘Very Heavy Bomber’ USAF base that was involved in dropping the first ever atomic bomb (look up the Aurora Texas UFO incident that occurred in 1897). The military attended the scene of the crash at Roswell later, first claiming they’d recovered wreckage from a UFO, then rescinding the widely reported news the next day, saying it was the debris of a weather balloon. This contradicted the many eyewitness statements, but to hell with all that!
     The crash happened at the height of a series of reports of UFO activity, one of which was reported by pilot Kenneth Arnold. He claimed to have seen a formation of nine saucer-shaped objects flying over the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, at speeds in excess of 1,000 mph. Media attention was growing as similar sightings kept coming in over the next few weeks.
     The Govt response was to create new projects and collate UFO reports under titles like Sign, Grudge and Bluebook, the latter being the most prominent, under its now infamous Majestic 12 high-ranking officials. Reliable sources included the military, police officers and civilian pilots.
    Bluebook lasted from 1947 until the plug was pulled in 1969. The USAF ‘wanted out’ so its successor was chosen, called Condon, run by Colorado University. Undue attention was placed on reports that had an alternative explanation, to discredit them. Officially, it was insisted that UFOs posed no threat to national security and there was no further investigation to be made.
     In December 2007, Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid initiated AATIP or Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, to be funded by a token $22 million fund over five years. It was insignificant in the overall Defense Budget of $600 million, which was ‘how the Pentagon wanted it’.
     This was run by Luis Elizondo on the 5th floor of the Pentagon building. Much was (and presumably still is being) spent on an aerospace company run by billionaire Robert Bigelow, which was involve in building components for NASA, amongst others. On CBS News, Mr Bigelow stated that he was ‘absolutely convinced’ that aliens exist and that UFOs have visited Earth.
     Not all is funded by the Department of Defense, but also by the super-secretive DIA, or Defense Intelligence Agency. By these devices, the Freedom of Information Act is bypassed.
     Why go to these lengths of concealment if there is no threat by aliens to the defence of its citizens? The amounts being spent are staggering. Why belittle people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, for example, or suffered ill-health in close proximity to alien vessels?
     The answer is that any public admission of the existence of aliens could lead to mas panic and an avalanche of legal cases.
The likelihood is that the USA possesses its own UAPs, capable, as the director of Lockheed’s Skunk Works boasted, “of reaching the stars.”
     One verified instance of UAP sightings was reported by two USAF pilots, after being told to go to the coordinates shown on the radar of their aircraft carrier. They located them on the target hairlines of their own radar and conversations took place, remarking on their vastly superior capabilities to those of their own, latest generation, jet fighters. Upon losing sight of the UAPs, they were told to rendezvous at an aerial destination some 70 miles away, imaging being told, when some 40 miles from that point, to be told by the radar operator on the carrier that the a UAP had been spotted, already there, waiting for them! How was that possible, telepathy, deduction or what? [On reflection, it must have been easy to intercept the telecoms.]
     Mr Elizondo tendered his resignation from the AATIP in 2017, to Defense Secretary James Mattis, complaining that the project was not being taken seriously enough. Since then, like a host of politicians, leading military officers and celebrities, he has joined an organisation called the ‘To The Stars Academy’, to raise public awareness. Check out its website.
     The likely approach will be soft, to acclimatize the general public to the existence of aliens and their UFOs, without admitting there had been a 70-year cover-up of lies and deceptions.
Congratulations to Nick Pope on his masterly résumé of the situation.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

As the saying goes, ‘What Goes Around, Comes Around.’

I’m referring to the current respiratory pandemic, Covid-19.
     I listen to my daughter and her partner, who’ve both had it and are now on the road to recovery. Like many others who report its effects on them, I recall being in a similar situation when we I was younger. It was before a counter remedy was available and it was simply called the Flu.
     Every year, each generation dreaded its onslaught. It usually arrived from Asia and it too was a killer. We were lucky, because as young adults we had strong constitutions. We needed to have them, because it would result in weeks off work, most of the time spent laying in bed coughing and sneezing. There was no option, it laid us low and we were incapable of much movement, suffering high fevers and discharging large volumes of mucous.
     Sometimes, we‘d feel well enough to go back to work because we had to, or our wages would be stopped, and we’d catch it again with the same or greater ferocity. This would cause our employers to get alarmed when more people were laid low. I once had to defend myself against the charge of shirking, providing proof by getting certificates from my doctor. Anyway, my poorly condition was obvious and my accuser left the room with his tail between his legs.
     Which brings me back to the reports I hear from the youngsters today about how bad they felt when they caught Covid-19. I know I’m wasting my time telling them what it was like when I was their age, but I state with conviction that it was far worse in its widespread impact. Bedrooms were really cold in those days, central heating is now the norm, unless you’re a pensioner and can’t afford to use an electric heater.
     When people were hungry, there were no foodbanks to give comfort to the needy. They looked thin too, not like those pitiable souls now, who uniformly look well-fed and possess large, flat-screen TVs, PC tablets and mobile phones with contracts to maintain.
     When Channel 4 made a documentary on the allegedly poverty-stricken younger generation of today, it is hard to empathise with them because of their dependence on others putting food on their tables when they have so much material wealth. Clearly, food comes well down their pecking order of priorities and the concept of poverty needs redefinition.
     To return to my original theme, I listen to the claims of how ill people are feeling when struck down by Covid-19 and think, “You’ve no idea of what it used to be like in the past. If you did, you’d stop moaning. It’s been mild for you, so far!”
     Then I take a step back in remorse. My gut feel is that it’s going to get far worse than what’s happened up till now, perhaps not in Northern Europe, but in places like India and the rest of Asia. You can almost guarantee that their populations will be severely reduced.