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Johnny's Junction

                                                              Graham's UFO Column


How many alleged UFO sightings have you seen reported on the news lately? Chances are the answer is probably none. In fact I have to go back many years to recall an event which was given a few seconds of news time on mainstream TV channels. And then there was no follow up. Why is this? Have actual sightings stopped? Or have any alleged visitors got smarter at deception? Or are reports being given no publicity traction for fear of ridicule? This is understandable as there are many hoaxes out there, all of them stupid and absolutely pointless – about as useful as hens’ teeth, and saying much more about the perpetrator than any high court judge could. I put hoaxes into the same category as unfounded conspiracy theories, but not to say that because there are many hoaxes the UFO enigma does not exist. In fact, there are many serious and bona fide organisations who collect and publish data on a regular basis. At the end of the day it all depends on the honesty and dependability of the witnesses, as it does with any major incident. With most people owning a mobile phone with camera, surely reports of sightings must have increased over the last few years. Not on the news channels but …


There have been 90,000 credible UFO sightings since 1905, according to the National UFO Reporting Center in the USA, and a new interactive map on the Metrocosm web site displays each of them [see link to web site at end of blog]. The UFO Sightings Map displays each sighting of as a circle, with the size representing the number of reports received by the Reporting Center. The larger the circle, the more people reported seeing that UFO, and as users zoom in on their favourite city, more circles are revealed. The map also uses pictures and video from the Mutual UFO Network, the world’s oldest investigative body.
For the past 20 years, sightings have been growing at a pretty steady rate of about 350 additional reports each year. A picture is as good as a thousand words, so:

UFO sightings Metricom

An increase rate like this must mean something!


And in Australia we have a typical sighting:
Gold Coasters were looking to the sky after a series of UFO sightings over a weekend in September 2015. No reports of unusual activity within local airspace were made by local authorities. According to one witness: “Its colour changed from green to yellow and finally to red and my housemate and I saw what looked like a plane going down and waited for news of a plane crash but nothing came. I went out back to have a smoke and looked up in the sky and the light appeared as bright as the evening star and flashed again before disappearing."

With the advent of drones and their increasing popularity, UFO sightings at night are no doubt set to increase even further. Maybe it’s time for more Second Kind events! Here’s a video of an Australian sighting which could very well be a human controlled drone.


It would be interesting to think about how humans would approach a planet with known advanced intelligent life. Would we announce ourselves and hope for the best? Would we land with all lights blazing? Would we just land, as ancient Earth explorers did on foreign shores? I do not think so – the old explorers like Cook, Columbus, Cortes and Magellan were armed with an unbelievable sense of superiority, of infallibility even. They were the peak of human technology and they knew it. Not so us going to an alien planet. Caution would have to rule. How would we engage – quickly or gradually – or not at all? A fascinating topic for the next UFO blog.

For those interested in keeping up with UFO events, some of the more serious sites in the USA and Australia are listed below:       UFO sighting reports - Australia                                          Australian UFO Research network                     Australian UFO Action                    UFO Research Queensland Inc                                       Open Minds          Metrocosm                                            National UFO Reporting Center [USA]


Suzanne’s Corner

Remaining positive


Hello and welcome. I was planning to write something else for my column this month but words aren’t forming. It’s not writer’s block. It’s different. For the past month and more I’ve been coping with lots of sounds setting off choking, increased pain and other symptoms. I’ve still been doing things but they have taken their toll – a few weeks ago I was guest on a ½ hour radio show; and last week I read a chapter of one of my manuscripts at a literary function … enjoyable, great fun and glad I did them. Afterwards, recovery. Well that was something else altogether. It took about five days to overcome the incredible exhaustion from both events. My brain still feels addled, and the continued tiredness …


Why am I telling you all of this when I’ve said “words aren’t forming”? I suppose, no not suppose, it’s because I want to show that even though it is easier to not do anything, or to fear the consequences of doing, it’s important to build enjoyable memories. When pain and fatigue are all consuming then the ability to get out and make those memories can be non-existent. Sometimes, just sometimes gathering one’s fragile energy to enjoy an experience, an event, an outing however small is worth it. Not fretting the prospect of days or weeks of curling up in your own space to recover is important – that time out is a necessary part of ‘getting better’, vital in regaining your strength and ability to continue coping with your condition. I try not to be upset and disappointed by having enforced ‘rest’ and coping with increased symptoms – there’s a need to decide what to spend limited energy on and pacing during the activity or event. For more on pacing see my columns in Nov 2015 and May 2016


I still opt out of lots, make conscious decisions about what I do, what’s important to me (sometimes to me only, and at other times this also includes what’s important to those close to me). This all works for me … now… however it has taken me a looooong time to get here. So go gently, please listen to your body and be guided by your health professional’s advice re your own condition.


Until next month find something simple that you enjoy, and I look forward to hearing from you about this and anything else you’d like to share with me, to share with all of you.




From Pattimari~ Impressive Suzanne. You are someone I really look up to.


                         CHARLES'S COLUMN

 Sometimes it’s Okay to Talk Dirty

A reader, after  reviewing one of my mystery novels, wrote that she liked that I ‘didn’t use a lot of profanity’ in my stories. I was happy to get the review, but felt a bit guilty, because that reader was only partly right.

My stories, even the mystery series, which is set in Washington, DC, and is populated by the people who live in some of the city’s less salubrious neighborhoods, are not laced with curse words. But, because I’m writing about people who in fact frequently use some rather salty language, for the sake of realism and authenticity, there will be some language on the page that’s not fit for polite company. The same is true of my Buffalo Soldier series; historical novels about the famous African-American soldiers of the Ninth U.S. Calvary on the western frontier after the Civil War.

Now, I’d like as many people as possible to read and enjoy my work, so I tend to use profanity only sparingly. Now and then, one of my characters will let fly an f-bomb, or, because of the racial dynamics of the U.S., during the frontier days as well as today, will use or be targeted with the N-word. I do this, though, only when it is part of the action or motivation of a scene, or if it’s how that specific character would likely speak in real life. No one expects a drunken cowboy or a modern-day drug dealer to speak like a choir boy. Actually, some of the choir boys I’ve known in my life occasionally need their mouths washed out with soap. But, I don’t have a character use such profanity for page after page, or every time he or she speaks – yes, folks, the ladies curse too. I do it when a character or situation is introduced, to set the scene; and, maybe once or twice to reinforce it in the reader’s mind – but, in a 40,000 to 60,000 word story, I might only do that five or ten times.

So, it might be missed by someone who dislikes that kind of language. Much as it might be missed, or ignored, in real life by the same person. I’d like to think, though, that the character is painted vividly in the reader’s mind, though, by that judicious sprinkling of salt, and that readers appreciate not having it spray-painted all over the pages – like being slapped constantly while you’re trying to concentrate; not a pleasant feeling.

My method is not for everyone. Some writers are quite comfortable with profanity on almost every page – and, some can pull it off. I’m not, and I think most of the people who read my stuff feel much the same. I don’t talk like a saint. I spent 20 years in the military, and during that time I learned some pretty colorful words and phrases. On occasion, when I’m truly provoked, some of them pop out. But, I don’t do it that often, so that when I do let fly, people take notice. Same thing in my fiction – when a bit of profanity appears on the page, people (I hope) take notice. My objective has been achieved. They know what kind of person that character is, or what the situation is turning into, and don’t have to be reminded again in most cases.

Just a thought in case you have ever wrestled with this problem.