Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Just When a Blue Sky Emerges

Just when you think things will soon be back to normal, Covid mutates into a variant that bypasses the existing vaccines.

  • The government is mass-testing in the Surrey area next door to where my younger daughter and her family live. Scientist believe that the South African strain of Covid is emerging amongst those who have no connection with South Africa.
  • My suspicion is that there is no connection whatsoever, but a mutation of the Kent virus into what resembles its South African counterpart.
  • I fear that the saga is going to continue, until scientists find a general vaccine that stops it in its tracks.
  • I hope that China, the probable source of a virus that looks suspiciously manmade, suffers the consequences of its probable actions.
  • There’s no smoke without fire, nor should a country ruled by a single party and backed by an armed force be allowed to continue its aggression with impunity.
  • Not in the 21st century nor in similar countries like Russia, Myanmar, Iran, or North Korea.

Monday, 1 February 2021

The Great Plague

  •  Mindful of the current great plague, Covid, I watched a TV program about the bubonic plague that killed almost a quarter of London’s population over 18 months in 1665 and 1666.
  • It showed the outlandish garb worn by doctors featuring a birdlike leather beak holding aromatic herbs to be breathed through and a gauze to peer ahead.
  • The body was enclosed head to foot in a waxed, waterproof robe, giving full protection, along with leather boots, against infection.
  • Modern scientists tested them and stated that they were highly effective against a disease known to be spread by fleas and lice.
  • A house that contained the victims had to be emptied, a cross painted on its doors, then its interior painted with limewash and fumigated with fumes given off by water-drenched salt petre and brimstone. Quarantine lasted for 40 days, after which it could be occupied.
  • Again, scientists proved how effective these measures were. The root cause of the contagion was the total insanitary conditions in which people lived at the time.
  • Why am I telling you all this? Well, it’s because I had an experience recently that made me dredge up my wariness of rats, which were blamed by the populace for spreading the disease.
  • A lid on a large jar of pickled onions was wedged tight and couldn’t be budged, so I went into my shed to look for a rubber pad to help grip it. Poking around in a tattered plastic bag where I thought I’d put it, my finger prodded into something soft. Quickly I pulled it out, soon to be followed by a dozy-looking, plastic chewing rat that stared running around in circles.
  • I thought it looked quite cute, but fearful of being bitten, I gave it a whack with the palm of my hand to stun it, wearing gloves by now, then carried it outside, to lob it over the fence at the rear of the house. Onto the deserted walkway it soared, never to be seen again.
  • The parallel is this: it is people acting as modern-day rats who are now spreading the disease. Is it thoughtlessness on their part, indifference, or knowingly deliberate?

Friday, 22 January 2021

EU is cutting off its nose to spite its face

  •  The fun and games have started, as reported in the Daily Mail today.
  • High Street retailers and luxury brands threaten to burn products returned by EU internet shoppers rather than bring them back to Britain to avoid cost and hassle of Brexit red tape - as online prices rise by a THIRD on items from EU
  • Internet shoppers are facing extra duties and charges for goods to be delivered
  • Has meant many shoppers in UK and EU have rejected orders and refused to pay 
  • Could be cheaper for retailers to burn the goods rather than pay the return costs 
  •  In the body of the article, actual cases are reported, so it's not a case of 'could' but is happening on a wide scale.

mail article

It's called cutting off your nose to spite your face. I'm talking here about EU intransigence and the huge trade imbalance in their favour and at our expense.


Saturday, 26 December 2020

Boxing Day

  •  Have you ever wondered why it’s called Boxing Day?
  • It’s because it was the day when the rich packed presents and gave them to the poor for Christmas. It was also the day when masters of rich households gave their servants a day off.
  • So, there you have it, and there was me thinking it had something to do with boxing some poor unfortunate’s ears!
  • It was tick a tick good timing for Brexit, manipulated by the Eurocrats in Brussels to coincide with their holidays.
  • I don’t know what you think, but to my ears it’s good news. To compete on our own terms against a conglomerate of nations, most of them minnows picking off our entrails can only be to our advantage. The boss nations have always benefitted more than the UK from exporting, using a poorly performing currency.
  • This may seem to be gloating if you’re in favour of the profligate free-loaders in charge of the EU but if I’m right, watch us soar.
  • I wish us all the best for the new year, so whatever your political leanings, join me in raising a glass to beating an invisible enemy invasion.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

The proposed 3rd Runway at Heathrow.

  • I live within 20 minutes of a well-established airport. It has been a revelation to look up at the sky and hardly ever see a jet trail overhead. The air feels purer and the stars can now be seen with great clarity. I am more conscious than ever before of the contents of the trail descending on us from the aircraft that flew noisily overhead.
  • The jet engine exhaust contains carbon dioxide, oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, unburned fuel, soot and metal particles, as well as water vapour.

  • Today I listened to a specialist being interviewed about the need for the 3rd runway at Heathrow. His point was that the compliance by this leading airport with new regulations on carbon emissions was based on its own usage, not on the aircraft using it. The implication was that increased capacity would result in a disproportionate increase in poisonous gases being sprayed on those living below, to what gain?
  • In the new age of travel, these extra flights would largely comprise outward and inward bound passengers taking holidays abroad, plus passengers using Heathrow as a hub, without actually contributing anything to the British economy.
  • Is it worth it? Isn’t the health of local residents more important? I know where my sympathies lay.

Dominic Cummings, Strategic Advisor to Boris Johnson.

  •  I took a special interest in this alleged psychopath after hearing his rambling, incoherent, defense of his imprudent drive to and the north of England to plonk his sick son on relatives.
  • The return journey, with his assertion that he took a divergence to ‘test his eyesight’ raised a lot of eyebrows, mine included.
  • What struck me was his inability to express himself with the lucidity and articulation one might expect from a first-class History graduate at Oxford, who was also the beneficiary of a splendid private education before that.
  • Contrast that with our ebullient PM, who is equally well educated with a first-class degree in English at Oxford. Chalk and cheese they are, in reverse order.
  • I have since wondered if Cummings paid someone else to take written exams for his degree, as I suspect was the case with an American I worked for, whose actual English was clearly sub-standard. It was at odds with his post-degree thesis in early English History, also obtained at Oxford. In no way was he worthy of a Ph.D. He too seriously lacked articulacy.
  • Contrast Cummings’ menacing and dominicking behaviour behind closed doors in Downing Street, with that of the puke-inducing shrivelling ball in the garden and my wonder grows. It was a Jekyll and Hyde split personality showing a face to the world that was anything but erudite.
  • I have a deep suspicion that he would dearly love to possess the magic gene that is claimed to exist within people born to be mathematicians. Realising that he cannot, he puts them on a pedestal and loquaciously offers them job opportunities, reporting only to himself. It’s an envy complex, as revealed by the pseudo-science he spouted in his job offer.
  • I can imagine him performing in bed, shouting for all the neighbours to hear, in the singular, “I’m Cumming, I’m Cumming!”, with his disinterested wife knowing he wasn’t thinking of gratification, but of himself gaining the prefix ‘Sir’. I bet a pound to a penny that Lord Boris will undoubtedly, at a future date, bestow it on him.

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Covid 19 - A Timely Lesson from Asia

  • An extract sourced in El Pais.
  • The Japanese finance minister, Taro Aso, responds with one word when asked how Japan has dealt with the pandemic so much more successfully than the West: mindo – literally meaning “people’s standards.” A complex term, mindo, is also used in Japan to indicate national superiority and can be translated as “cultural level.”
  • Aso says the Japanese have been vigorously complying with strict hygiene measures, despite the fact that the government has never had any intention of imposing fines. He adds that, in other countries, people would be incapable of behaving like that, even if the measures were enforced.
  • It should be pointed out that other Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong have also managed to keep the pandemic under control. In fact, in Asia, there has been virtually no reinfection and current infection rates are so low they are of little consequence while Europe and the United States are being completely overwhelmed right now by the second wave of the virus.
  • It is precisely these Asian countries that demonstrate that the pandemic can be successfully dealt with, even in the absence of a vaccine. Meanwhile, Asians watch in astonishment at the helplessness of Europeans who appear to be at the mercy of the virus, and the impotence of Europe’s governments in combating the pandemic.
  • Given the striking contrast in infection rates, it is almost inevitable that we ask what Asia does that Europe does not. The fact that China has been able to successfully contain the pandemic is partly due to the rigorous surveillance – inconceivable in the West – that individuals are subject to. But South Korea and Japan are democracies. In these countries, digital totalitarianism such as exists in China is impossible. However, in Korea, the digital monitoring of contacts is relentless and is the responsibility of the police rather than the health authorities; contact tracing is done by applying the kind of methods used by forensic criminologists.
  • Obviously, the liberal West cannot impose surveillance on individuals the way the Chinese do. And that, of course, is as it should be. The virus must not undermine our freedom. However, it is also true that, in the West, as soon as it comes to social networks our concern for privacy rights go out the window. Everyone suddenly bares all. Digital platforms such as Google or Facebook have unrestricted access to the private sphere. Google reads and analyses emails without anyone complaining about it. China is not the only country that collects data from its citizens in order to control them and keep discipline. A person’s credit rating in China, for example, is based on the same algorithms as Western credit assessment systems, such as FICO in the US or Schufa in Germany. Looked at like this, panoptic surveillance is not an exclusively Chinese phenomenon. In light of the fact that we are already subject to digital surveillance, anonymous contact tracking via the Corona-App could be considered quite harmless. But digital contact tracing is unlikely to be the main reason Asians have been so successful in fighting the pandemic.
  • It is important to have civility, collective action during a pandemic. When people voluntarily follow hygiene rules, there is no need for controls or enforced measures, which are so costly in terms of personnel and time.
  • Europe is failing to show character in the face of this crisis. Rather, what Western liberalism is showing is weakness. Liberalism appears to be conducive to the decline of civility, evident in the fact that groups of adolescents are holding illegal parties in the midst of the pandemic, that police who try to break these parties up are harassed, spat at, or coughed on, and that people no longer trust the state.
  • Paradoxically, Asian communities who voluntarily follow the hygiene guidelines actually have more freedom. Neither Japan nor South Korea has imposed a total lockdown. And the economic fallout is far less serious than in Europe.
  • One ends up having more freedom if one voluntarily imposes restrictions on oneself. For example, those who reject the use of masks as an attack on freedom end up having less freedom.
  • Boris – you need to answer the questions this summary poses, as shown in El Pais, if you are to save the economy from ruin. Self-discipline is seriously lacking in the population.

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.