The UFOs are Here Boys! By Brian Simpson

     Boy, do I love UFO stuff, little green men and flying sauces, all stuff from movies I watched in black and white on TV Saturdays! And it seems that the US military are as into this tin foil hat stuff as much I am. But they don’t want to spread the fun around, selfishly keeping all of the good stuff for themselves, until someone lets the cat, or is that alien, out of the bag?

     Look, even the science new sites are getting their test tubes into this one:

“In December 2017 and March 2018, The New York Times released three allegedly declassified videos showing U.S. Navy pilots trailing some unidentified flying objects. The mystery crafts moved at hypersonic speeds, flying tens of thousands of feet above the Earth with no distinct wings, engines or visible signs of propulsion whatsoever. Were they flying saucers? Incredibly high-tech drones? The pilots had no idea — and, according to a recent statement from Navy intelligence officials, neither does the U.S. government. In a statement delivered to the intelligence news website The Black Vault, Joseph Gradisher, a spokesperson for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, announced that the Navy officially considers the craft in these three videos "unidentified aerial phenomena." That means that the eerie videos are authentic — and that the objects, which were detected in restricted military training airspaces in 2004 and 2015, were not supposed to be there. The objects still have not been successfully identified as any known type of aircraft. The UFO footage was also never cleared for public release, Gradisher told The Black Vault — meaning these are three unidentified phenomena you were never supposed to know about. According to The Black Vault, the videos may have been improperly released by a former Pentagon employee who had applied for permission to share them across several government agencies as part of a database on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) he was allegedly compiling. The man received permission to share the videos for "[US Government] Use Only," paperwork obtained by The Black Vault shows. However, Navy officials never declassified the footage for public release, Gradisher said.”

     I very much doubt that the crafts are from a non-human technologically advanced species, who would have to be crazy to be on earth in the first place. Most probably this was advanced weapons being tested, and security got breached. Still, the little green men hypothesis is intriguing. On less of a fantasy note:

“Governments are not prepared for a devastating pandemic that could kill up to 80 million people, a new report warns. The report was published by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, a joint entity formed by the World Bank and the World Health Organization. “There is a very real threat of a rapidly moving, highly lethal pandemic of a respiratory pathogen killing 50 to 80 million people and wiping out nearly 5% of the world’s economy,” warns the paper, adding that “the world is not prepared” for this. “A global pandemic on that scale would be catastrophic, creating widespread havoc, instability and insecurity,” the organization warns. The GPMB says governments need to invest more in emergency preparedness and that misinformation on social media is also exacerbating the spread of diseases. As we reported last month, the rise of “doomsday prepping” is largely driven by reports from mainstream institutions such as the GPMB and mainstream media reports, not “right wing conspiracy theories” as some have claimed.

     Pandemic disease remains a real threat to humanity, especially due to globalisation and the free movement of people which will transfer diseases across the world within hours, where once, this would be unlikely, as relative isolation gave protection. Now, it is all systems go on the road to mass death. This, not climate change nonsense, remains our real threat, one that people discount in error:

“Pandemic disease is arguably one of the greatest threats to global stability and security. But investments to contend with such outbreaks have declined to their lowest levels since the height of the Ebola response in 2014, with U.S. federal dollars cut by over 50 percent from those peak levels. The prevailing laissez-faire attitude toward funding pandemic preparedness within President Donald Trump’s White House is creating new vulnerabilities in the health infrastructure of the United States and leaving the world with critical gaps to contend with when the next global outbreak of infectious disease hits. The investments made after the 2014 Ebola crisis have been slashed in recent proposed federal budgets from the Centers for Disease Control, the agency that works to stop deadly diseases in their tracks, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which responds to international disasters, including the Ebola outbreak. Moreover, Timothy Ziemer, the top White House official in charge of pandemic preparedness, has left his job, and the biosecurity office he ran was summarily disbanded. This lack of focus and relative decline in funding is dangerous, given the steady stream of global reports suggesting that transmission of potentially deadly zoonotic diseases, where pathogens move from animals to humans, is rising at an alarming rate. Some attribute this to climate change, with warmer climates everywhere extending the life cycles of mosquito-borne diseases and allowing them to reach higher altitudes and more temperate latitudes. This means that viral diseases such as Zika, dengue fever, and the West Nile virus are transmittable across a larger geographical area later into the year.

As a result, in 2018, it is impossible to reconcile the redirection of funds away from preparing for pandemics with these realities on the ground. Ebola, the quintessential zoonotic killer, has risen again, now in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with World Health Organization officials describing the outbreak as on the “precipice” of a potential spread to neighboring countries. While this year’s response was far more rapid and effective than responses to prior outbreaks in Africa, cases continue to rise in hard-to-reach places with little health care infrastructure near Congo’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda, prompting fears of regional spread. Perhaps most terrifying, difficult to treat and highly fatal strains of H7N9 avian influenza are spreading throughout China. This strain of bird flu causes rapid respiratory illness with associated multiorgan dysfunction that’s easily spread by a small droplet. That’s why it’s so difficult to control and why recurrent epidemics continue to crop up: There have been five epidemics of H7N9 since 2013 in China alone, the most recent between the fall of 2016 and fall of 2017. Across these epidemics, among the 1,565 confirmed cases, about 40 percent of infected individuals died.”

     The 1918 “Spanish flu,” originated in China not Spain, and killed according to some estimates, up to 100 million people, almost 5 percent of the world’s population. The coming pandemic, if as severe would likely kill up to 376,500, 000 people, and if the disease was especially exotically lethal, it could be more. Expect the economies of each country to collapse, as vital technocrats die off, food deliveries halt, and people revert back to primate savages, struggling to survive in the diseasescape.

“The fact is that the best way for people to avoid the virus will be to stay home. But if everyone does this – or if too many people try to stockpile supplies after a crisis begins – the impact of even a relatively minor pandemic could quickly multiply. Planners for pandemics tend to overlook the fact that modern societies are becoming ever more tightly connected, which means any disturbance can cascade rapidly through many sectors. For instance, many businesses have contingency plans that count on some people working online from home. Models show there won’t be enough bandwidth to meet demand. And what if the power goes off? This is where the complex interdependencies could prove disastrous. Refineries make diesel fuel not only for trucks but also for the trains that deliver coal to electricity generators, which now usually have only 20 days’ reserve supply, Osterholm notes. Coal-fired plants supply 30 per cent of the UK’s electricity, 50 per cent of the US’s and 85 per cent of Australia’s.

The coal mines need electricity to keep working. Pumping oil through pipelines and water through mains also requires electricity. Making electricity depends largely on coal; getting coal depends on electricity; they all need refineries and key people; the people need transport, food and clean water. If one part of the system starts to fail, the whole lot could go. Hydro and nuclear power are less vulnerable to disruptions in supply, but they still depend on highly trained staff. With no electricity, shops will be unable to keep food refrigerated even if they get deliveries. Their tills won’t work either. Many consumers won’t be able to cook what food they do have. With no chlorine, water-borne diseases could strike just as it becomes hard to boil water. Communications could start to break down as radio and TV broadcasters, phone systems and the internet fall victim to power cuts and absent staff. This could cripple the global financial system, right down to local cash machines, and will greatly complicate attempts to maintain order and get systems up and running again. Even if we manage to struggle through the first few weeks of a pandemic, long-term problems could build up without essential maintenance and supplies. Many of these problems could take years to work their way through the system. For instance, with no fuel and markets in disarray, how do farmers get the next harvest in and distributed?

Closing borders
As a plague takes hold, some countries may be tempted to close their borders. But quarantine is not an option any more. “These days, no country is self-sufficient for everything,” says Lay. “The worst mistake governments could make is to isolate themselves.” The port of Singapore, a crucial shipping hub, plans to close in a pandemic only as a last resort, he says. Yet action like this might not be enough to prevent international trade being paralysed as other ports close for fear of contagion or for lack of workers, as ships’ crews sicken and exporters’ assembly lines grind to a halt without their own staff, power, transport or fuel and supplies.
Osterholm warns that most medical equipment and 85% of US pharmaceuticals are made abroad, and this is just the start. Consider food packaging. Milk might be delivered to dairies if the cows get milked and there is fuel for the trucks and power for refrigeration, but it will be of little use if milk carton factories have ground to a halt or the cartons are an ocean away. “No one in pandemic planning thinks enough about supply chains,” says Osterholm. “They are long and thin, and they can break.” When Toronto was hit by SARS in 2003, the major surgical mask manufacturers sent everything they had, he says. “If it had gone on much longer they would have run out.”
The trend is for supply chains to get ever longer, to take advantage of economies of scale and the availability of cheap labour. Big factories produce goods more cheaply than small ones, and they can do so even more cheaply in countries where labor is cheap.

Flawed assumptions
Disaster planners usually focus on single-point events of this kind: industrial accidents, hurricanes or even a nuclear attack. But a pandemic happens everywhere at the same time, rendering many such plans useless.
The main assumption is how serious a pandemic could be. Many national plans are based on mortality rates from the mild 1957 and 1968 pandemics. “No government pandemic plans consider the possibility that the death rate might be higher than in 1918,” says Tim Sly of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

Death rate
This scenario assumes around 3% of those who fall ill die. Of all the people known to have caught H5N1 bird flu so far, 63% have died. “It seems negligent to assume that H5N1, if it goes pandemic, will necessarily become less deadly,” says Sly. And flu is far from the only viral threat we face. The ultimate question is this: what if a pandemic does have huge knock-on effects? What if many key people die, and many global balancing acts are disrupted? Could we get things up and running again? “Much would depend on the extent of the population decline,” says Tainter. “Possibilities range from little effect to a mild recession to a major depression to a collapse.”

     This is one horsemen of the apocalypse that is definitely ready to ride again.

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