Saturday, April 22, 2017

Making Combat Pilots

If you can drive a car, you can fly a plane. Mind you, it does depend on the plane and just what you want to do with it.  Have fun? Of course. Easy, if a little expensive. Almost as expensive as a child's pony. Hahaha. That's what I am told. 

But to 'really' fly, at the top of the game - as a Combat Pilot - takes a huge amount of taxpayers' money and a lot of fine men's help to get you there.  My friend the Major knows all about that. But he is busy taking care of SG, so we shall take a look care of someone else - young Destin.

Destin is one of the nicest and smartest men around. He has fun and recently was shown some of the basics. One has to start somewhere. Watch and learn. There will be more soon.  Here Destin flies in a T-38 with the 560th Flying Training Squadron.

Get all that? He coulda been. He is just the sort who could. Young fellows start on a small but so well put together plane like this. Its a sports car with wings. Goes like sh*t off a shovel.

It wants to get into the air,  and take you with it. Such planes  love the air. You have to learn to. But getting it down makes you work very hard. Here an instructor will talk you home. There is a lot to do. It all happens very fast. You have to be alert and do seventeen things at once.  In your head.

 OK, you are getting the idea. Of course sitting here you cannot 'feel' it.  And you do not have the pressure and urgency.

These guys are not just having fun. They have a job to do and it is vital that they get it right. They have to Win. There is no second place medal in what they will be expected to do on your behalf. Take a look at what goes into training at fighter pilot to fly the F-16 during the F-16 "B-Course" or Basic Course at Luke Air Force Base, AZ. Two Luke AFB instructor pilots discuss the training and mindset that are involved with preparing a pilot to fly combat missions in a deployed environment or to perform other aerial combat missions.

And you go into battle along with mates that you need to keep close. Remember Destin's automatic, instinctual imperatives? Keep clear of flying metal? You have to overcome that. Control it. Meticulous flying is essential.

Then, maybe, you might be ready to look for the opposition. They are as smart as you are. 

First though, you have to find them.  Put your hat on.

It isn't like 'Top Gun' where the Director can show you the enemy coming, in close up. Nope. Airplanes are small and not at all easy to see in the great and wide sky.

The aircraft in this video is hard to see because in real air combat, the other aircraft is actually really hard to see especially when you are fighting the effects of 'g' which can cause the world to become monochromatic and narrow your vision - enjoy. See if you can see the 'other' plane here. Remember, he is looking for you too.

And the enemy are not only in the air. They are on the ground too. Watch a ground attack. Here's a few hints. Look at the ground. Look at your HUD - the Head-up Display. 

Height is on the right verticle bar: speed on the left. Look at the tops. Above is a small segment of a compass. 'G' force is shown near the bottom left verticle. Weapons are shown when called. Surface to air missiles too !! You will be 'talked- through' 

And practice. Know where you are going. You need to know your route; where the targets are; what the weather is doing; what the plane is doing. At SPEED.

And now you are ready. Hah !

Better have a drink, but remember the rules: Eight hours between bottle and throttle.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Reputations in Ruins

It is all so easy to destroy a man these days. A simple accusation, unsubstantiated but pursued by the malicious can take a reputation and a life.  The ease of communication makes it all too common. And it is all too often men, accused by women, rarely the other way around. The more wealthy the better, as far as lawyers are concerned, but even the poor lad starting out cannot escape. 

Indeed, the idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men’s Eye much Wrong:
Have drown’d my Honour in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song.

So it was that a Dark Subject was discussed and several 'names' were mentioned in the Tavern yesterday. It really does not matter that you have never met them, nor that you may not even have known about them until now, but be assured that they are but a few amongst millions that you do not know but whose names will be thrust at you sometime.

Some names are famous. Celebrities. 'Idols' themselves. Some 'private' folk.

It matters to the ones who are pointed at. One could list a hundred college students, mere boys, here and abroad, who have been rusticated simply on the unsubstantiated accusation of a fellow (female) student.  Kangaroo courts of unqualified people, disregarding 'rules of evidence' and with not the slightest interest in corroboration, testing of detail, or the tried and tested methods of 'court' procedures, routinely dispense the most appalling assaults on Justice, and always with disastrous results - for the assumed guilty party. 

Prejudice Rules. KO?

And not just the student chap. The teacher chap is equally vulnerable. Take this fellow, Mr Kato Harris. By all accounts, up until recently, he was seen as a fine upstanding gentleman.  Simon Murphy and Brendan Carlin told us:
The Crown Persecution Service: 
Judge slams CPS for 'improper' rape charges against an innocent teacher who reveals the case has destroyed his life and how he now lives in a bedsit and is unemployed

Teacher Kato Harris was forced to endure a trial for 'raping' a pupil, ruining his life
Despite police warning the CPS that the case was flimsy the trial went ahead 
A jury took 15 minutes to clear Harris prompting the judge to condemn the CPS
A former senior Scotland Yard figure was hired by the 14-year-old girl's family
Sue Akers ex-deputy assistant commissioner influenced the CPS into acting.
Mr Harris, then head of geography at an £18,000-a-year London girls’ secondary school, was accused of raping the pupil three times. 
The allegations emerged a year after the assault was alleged to have taken place and after the girl moved to a new school.

He was driven by the joy of helping pupils achieve goals they had previously considered beyond them. He was good at it too. Epithets frequently applied to Mr Harris included ‘inspirational’ and ‘brilliant’.
But in December 2014, a troubled, attention-seeking 14-year-old pupil at his previous school – who, according to one of her teachers, was competing with a friend ‘as to who could have the biggest story’ – decided to accuse Mr Harris, a man of impeccable character, of rape. Their game should have ended as soon as it began.
Instead, as Mr Harris, now 38, details today, he endured a 17-month ordeal during which he was publicly named, humiliated and dragged through the courts, an experience, he says, that left him suicidal.
His ordeal finally ended when a jury cleared him after just 15 minutes’ deliberation. Tragically, it was too late. The damage could not be undone.
We do not know the name of the accuser. Of course. We cannot have natural justice, can we?  Any female (and I do not want to be accused of misogyny here as I simply point to the overwhelming nature of the accusers) can accuse any man of a sexual 'crime' and be believed. And protected. It just does not happen the other way around in any extent.

The man is hung out to dry. His life, career, marriage in tatters. You can read more to see just what awful conspiracy (of women, of course) ruined Mr Harris' life.

But, one can hear a voice from the dark corners murmer, "what if he is a sexual pervert?"

Very good question. That is what a Court is for. To determine that. Proof. Evidence. Corroboration. Innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.  Remember those almost archaic principles? 

But, what if he cannot be taken to Court? Dead, perhaps.

Not to worry, in this age of enlightenment. We can destroy him all the more and more easily. He is not around to mount a defence. 

And all of his victims can claim compensation from his estate - should anything be left in that kitty after the lawyers have finished with it. It can drag on for years too.  
Follow the Money.
So our attention was drawn to a report of a report. Yes the money is often that of taxpayers, coerced from his pocket to pay for some 'eminent' person's sinecure. They, of course, can say what they like. Invent too, perhaps. Who is going to contradict them?

The report was about one Jimmy Savile. He was famous on TV for 'fixing' things for kiddies. He did a lot of work with kiddies, many of whom were ill.  And for hosting 'Pop' music programs wherein hundreds of teeny-boppers who should have been in bed and watched over by their parents, were herded into the BBC (yes, that BBC) to gyrate in short skirts to entertain the viewers. 

 I met him once. No, he did not grope me. He came to my Base to have a jolly in a Buccaneer aircraft, organised by some PR hack in MOD. I did not like the man. But my personal likes and dislikes are not relevant when accusations fly. I try not to pre-judge.

The report writer clearly did not let her (yes another female) stop her condemnations, despite the total lack of testable evidence.  Hardeep told us:
'Jimmy Savile raped children as young as nine' while working at BBC, leaked report unveils

Findings of a draft report of Dame Janet Smith's review into Jimmy Savile's misconduct at the BBC have been published by news site Exaro
Jimmy Savile raped and sexually abused victims as young as nine and was caught on camera carrying out his lechery at least once while working for the BBC, according to a leaked draft of a report examining the paedophile’s misconduct at the corporation.
Note the use of the word. Paedophile. They spelt it correctly. No proof that he was one mind you. That question I shall leave to a Jury. Not so the Media or the 'Investigators'. 
Investigative news site Exaro has published findings of Dame Janet Smith’s review into the depraved entertainer and BBC television presenter, who was exposed as a prolific sexual predator and paedophile a year after his death in 2011.
The review, which has said it will publish its report in six weeks’ time, said the leaked findings were from an early draft of the report and that “significant changes” had since been made to its “contents and conclusions”.
According to Exaro, the review’s findings highlight multiple rapes and indecent assaults on girls and boys at the hands of Savile and “inappropriate sexual conduct” with teenagers above 16 - all “in some way associated with the BBC”.
“Three of Savile’s victims were only nine-years-old,” it says.
Again, 'alleged' is not a word that is now used about Savile. He is assumed guilty without a sniff at a Trial. 
Exaro reports that Smith criticises the BBC for a “very deferential culture”, with many BBC employees telling the review that they had heard about Savile’s predatory reputation but feared reporting their concerns to managers.
As if !  Have any of these people been charged with failure to report a crime? Hah!
It also warns that “a predatory child abuser could be lurking undiscovered in the BBC even today”.
But Smith accepts a series of denials by senior figures that they were aware of the paedophile’s misconduct, Exaro reports.
In the report, Smith says that most of Savile’s rapes, attempted rapes and more serious sexual offences took place in his flats and caravans.
But the former Court of Appeal judge adds: “However, I heard of incidents that took place in virtually every one of the BBC premises at which he worked.
“These included the BBC Television Theatre (in connection with Jim’ll Fix It), at Television Centre (in particular in connection with Top of the Pops), at Broadcasting House or Egton House (where he worked in connection with BBC Radio 1), Lime Grove studios and various provincial studios, including Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow.
Sexual touching going on. By whom?

 “He would indulge in sexual touching while working on the set (Top of the Pops or Jim’ll Fix It) and, on at least one occasion, he was actually on camera.
“Savile would seize the opportunity for sexual contact even in public places such as corridors, staircases and canteens.”
Exaro said the leaked report reveals that those working at the BBC now fear blowing the whistle more than ever, and criticises the BBC’s management culture, in which celebrities were treated with “kid gloves” and managers drank heavily.
It says: “Several witnesses described the BBC as very deferential.
“My general impression is that most staff (other than those who had been in the higher echelons) felt that the management culture was too deferential and that some executives were ‘above the law’.
“I have the clear impression that most people in the BBC held the talent in some awe and treated them deferentially; they appeared to have the ability to influence their careers and were themselves untouchable. It would be a brave person indeed who would make a complaint against such a person.”
Smith also highlights the fact that the honours committee advised then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher against recommending Savile for a knighthood because of public warning signs about the presenter, even if the BBC failed to see them.
Not that they said he was a somewhat 'common' person, a yobbish man given to extremes of gaudiness. Such ought not be seen in the company of Knights.
On its website, the Dame Janet Smith review said: “The review is disappointed by the decision of Exaro to publish, in breach of confidence, extracts from a leaked copy of an early draft of its report.
“That document is out of date and significant changes have been made to its contents and conclusions.
“The document should not have been made public and cannot be relied upon in any circumstances.
“The review will work with the BBC to arrange publication of its final report as quickly as possible to ensure that accurate and responsible reporting can take place.”
In a statement, Tony Hall, the BBC's Director General, said that “what happened was a dark chapter in the history of the BBC”.

He added: “Dame Janet Smith’s report will be invaluable in helping us understand what happened and to help ensure that we do everything possible to avoid it happening again. 
“The review has said that the copy leaked to the media is an early draft which has changed considerably, so while I am impatient to learn those lessons the responsible thing must be to act on the final report which we have not received.
The amount of time, high-powered  'eminent' people employed and public monies expended, along with all the fawning denials by the BBC hierarchy for the past ten years or more, begs a question.

Was Savile in fact guilty of anything more than simple crassness? 

I do not pretend to know, standing here behind the bar, listening as you do. But some think.......dark thoughts.  Mr Venner Road, for instance. He describes himself as an Independent researcher based in South East London. He also mentioned the landlady of the Raccoon Arms down the road (which is now closed unfortunately).
Was Jimmy Savile Framed?

A skeptical look at the alleged crimes of Jimmy Savile.
To probably the vast majority of the UK population, Jimmy Savile was the most prolific serial groper and occasional rapist these islands have ever produced. 
As is very often the case though, there is a canyon-wide gulf between the public perception and reality. Savile has now been accused of literally hundreds of offences, and it is clear that probably the vast majority can never be either proved or disproved. Having said that, a fair number of them are either clearly false or most likely imaginary.
Let us here take a slightly more critical look than usual at the case against Jimmy Savile. Although the ball didn’t start rolling until the documentary 'The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile', he was the subject of rumours long before his death, and had even been questioned by the police about alleged indecency with underage girls.

The former is by no means uncommon. 
People in the public eye from powerful to not-so-powerful politicians, business people and of course celebrities are often the subjects of the most outrageous rumours. 
The advent of the Internet may have led to a new Renaissance but it has also allowed the 
propagation of lies, libels and scandal directed at all and sundry on an unprecedented scale. 
Jimmy Savile was a more appealing target for such rumours than most for a number of reasons. To begin with he was an eccentric, that is something that can have both a great appeal to people, and just the opposite effect. He was also unmarried, and for many rumour-mongers that can mean only one thing.

The Other Face Of Jimmy Savile was screened October 3, 2012, but was given heavy advance notice. The man behind it was Mark Williams-Thomas, a Surrey Police Officer turned journalist - investigative journalist is probably too much of a loaded phrase. According to the man himself, he launched the investigation into Jonathan King which resulted in the former music pundit serving a seven year sentence. Before we go any further, it is worth taking a closer look at him. 
Williams-Thomas grabbed a headline in the Sunday Mirror on November 25, 2001, shortly after King was sentenced. According to the paper he was “THE policeman who led the Jonathan King sex crimes investigation". He was alluded to as "Ex-Detective Constable Mark Williams-Thomas”, and was said to have been a founder member of the Surrey Police Paedophile Unit. He said of King: “I have no doubt he would have gone on to commit even more serious crimes if he hadn’t been caught.”

Whether or not the latter claim is true, the former is not; a mere detective constable would not have led an investigation of this nature which involved cooperation with the US authorities.
According to the Times of November 22, 2001, the investigation was led by Mervyn McFadden of the National Criminal Intelligence Service; the senior Surrey officer on the case was Detective Inspector Brian Marjoram. There were about a dozen officers working the investigation altogether, although more would have been involved as needed. 
As Williams-Thomas left the force after 11 years, his career was clearly going nowhere; at least one person has an even more uncharitable opinion, and says he left the police “under a cloud”.
Rumours cut both ways !! 
By 2003 he was described as a freelance journalist. The reality is there is no such thing as a freelance journalist in practice; most so-called freelances are employed by specific organisations. Although it is not a closed shop like the police, the profession - if one may call it that - is extremely incestuous. 
And, in 2003, Williams-Thomas may just have been frozen out of the family, because in June that year he stood trial at Chichester Crown Court for blackmail. 
This was a bizarre case indeed involving an undertaking firm, but the fact that he found himself in the dock should have made him more circumspect than the average ex-copper about drawing far-reaching conclusions from dubious evidence.

He has also racked up quite a few entries in the IMDb, and shortly before the Savile documentary, he made one about Jeremy Bamber which claims to have found evidence that points to the innocence of the mass killer. For those not au fait with this case, the judgment in Bamber’s failed second appeal runs to 522 paragraphs. Bamber slaughtered his entire family then staged the crime scene to make it look as though his sister Sheila Caffell had carried out the murders and then committed suicide. He might have got away with it too because the officer in charge of the case appears to have been more interested in winding it up and getting back to the golf course than in carrying out a thorough investigation; it was left to Bamber’s distant relatives to dig up the evidence that would put him behind bars.
Get on with it Venner. 
Initially, Bamber’s lawyers raised one ground of appeal which they proceeded to expand to sixteen. The whole business was extremely weak, but he certainly had his day in court. Although the initial investigation by the police was virtually non-existent, the work done on it subsequently was very impressive, and the soundness of Bamber’s conviction is not a subject for debate by jurists of reason. 
The same cannot be said for the case against Jimmy Savile because all the evidence against him is weak. 
Weak evidence and lies do not make a strong case, however many of the latter there may be.

To be scrupulously fair to Williams-Thomas, he does give some space in Bamber: The New Evidence to the other side, but the same cannot be said of the mainstream media and Jimmy Savile.
The bedrock of “evidence” against Savile concerns Duncroft, a school for wayward girls he was said to have used as his personal harem under the eyes of its staff, if not with their outright connivance. Like other accusers - male and female - of Savile and many others who have been convicted of, prosecuted for, or simply named as the perpetrators of vile crimes, the Duncroft girls sound extremely convincing. 
Sadly, this tells us more about human nature than it does about the demonstrability of historical sex offences.

As might have been expected, the BBC ran a tribute programme for Savile shortly after his death, and caught considerable flak for this because everyone at the Beeb, or at least those higher up were said to have known Savile had been a serial abuser, indeed he was said to have sexually assaulted or even raped underage girls on the premises. 
The investigation into Savile broadened, and a large number of celebrities were arrested on the basis of allegations made years and even decades later
Of the resulting convictions, those of Rolf Harris, Max Clifford and Dave Lee Travis are anything but satisfactory. 
The Travis case required a trial and a retrial to convict him of a solitary offence. 
Only the convictions of Stuart Hall and Chris Denning can be said to be warranted, but even Hall was cleared of the major charges, while the homosexual Denning has a history going back to the 1970s. Gary Glitter has yet to stand trial, but he too has a track record, and is therefore an easy target. All the same, it is difficult to credit he is guilty as charged, but if Rolf Harris OBE can be convicted on the sort of garbage that was used to take him to trial, there is little hope for a man who has served time in Vietnam for molesting young girls.

Returning to Savile, {at last. TK} the plausibility of the Duncroft allegations was seriously undermined by a letter ostensibly from Surrey Police. This claimed that Savile had been on their radar but was not prosecuted solely on account of his age and infirmity. 
This letter turned out to be a fake, which begs the question, how much of the “evidence” against him is genuine?

A number of people including the blogger Anna Raccoon have pooh poohed the Duncroft allegations; the woman behind this blog, Susanne Cameron-Blackie, was actually at Duncroft at one point, and clearly knows what she is talking about. The blog jimcannotfixthis contains a more detailed analysis of the allegations against Savile. It would be tiresome to work through all of them, but here are a few that should give the reader the general feel of these allegations.
Anna was a terrier. A Lawyer herself, she wrote extensively about the case, as she was in the immediate vicinity of where some of Savile's 'sexual assaults' were supposed to have taken place. She researched in depth, pretty well every public and confidential document produced; interviewed dozens of the 'claimants' and detectives, examined reports and findings. She made a huge archive of materials which are ..... where? I do not know. I had read much of it when she published in the Raccoon Arms. But where it all is now, I do not know.

Anna's conclusions were even more skeptical than Venner's.

From Sackerson's comment.

Anna Raccoon archive on Savile and Duncroft here at:

A woman claimed to have been indecently assaulted by Savile (or someone who looked like him) in 1954 - NINETEEN FIFTY-FOUR - at Queen Victoria Hospital. 
The reality is that Savile’s rise to fame began in 1963 when he presented the first episode of Top Of The Pops; it was this that led to his championing of the NHS. 
Another allegation dates from 1959 - NINETEEN FIFTY-NINE - at which time the alleged victim was 7-8 years old. She had been admitted to Booth Hall Hospital to have an appendectomy, of that much we can be certain, though she told the police not only that Savile abused her but that this abuse was carried out with the connivance of her own father, who had also abused her. What are we to make of this, seriously? 
Savile’s great-niece Caroline Robinson is one of his accusers; she gave a graphic account of his opportunism in a TV interview, but in October this year it was revealed that her own family had accused her of lying about this incident. She made this claim because...when they say it isn’t about the money, you can be sure it is about the money, in particular Savile’s considerable but rapidly dwindling estate.
According to the same report, “The lawyers who represent claimants will be paid between £11,000 and £16,000 for every claim they process. Under the scheme’s fixed ‘tariff’ of damages and legal fees, this means the lawyers will be paid up to ten times as much as victims.”

In other words, this is a feeding frenzy by the lawyers. 
A recent hearing at the High Court before Mr Justice Sales saw at least four QCs and other lawyers representing no fewer than seven defendants. 

One final case worthy of mention, a former cancer patient who wrote to Savile thanking him for helping save her life has put in a claim for £60,000 damages for a series of alleged sexual assaults. 
Anyone reading about the allegations against Savile need exercise only a little critical faculty to realise that most of what has been written about him since his death is not only unproven but demonstrably false. 
One of the claims made incessantly is that he was so powerful that he was able to bully, intimidate or coerce people into silence. 
Can that really have been the case? 
Let us rephrase that question, if you were involved in the running of a hospital or an institution such as the BBC, would you allow Savile or anyone to carry out sexual assaults under your nose? Would you make yourself complicit in such crimes?

Furthermore, journalists are always on the look out for salacious stories; powerful politicians up to and including the President of the United States have been brought down by lesser scandals - Richard Nixon! Bill Clinton had his personal life dragged through the mud over the Lewinsky affair while in the White House. In this country, Jeffrey Archer ended up behind bars on account of his fraudulent libel win; he was neither the first nor the last politician to be hoist by his own petard. 
Savile had the ear of people in high places, but he was not influential in the sense that he could snap his fingers and these people would jump. 
And what influence he did have was purely benign. Sure, he had a set of keys for Broadmoor, but did that mean he could wander around at will and sexually assault whoever took his fancy?

The only people who insist we should believe “victims” uncritically, be they alleged victims of Savile or of anyone else, are those who have a vested interest in us doing so, 
.....which in the case of at least three law firms is purely financial. 
Ironically, Esther Rantzen has already been smeared by the lunatic fringe as if not a paedophile herself then as a protector of them. Rantzen is the founder of ChildLine and has been credited with the mantra “believe the children”. 
The simple truth is we can’t always believe the children, and if we can’t believe the children, why on Earth should we believe the lawyers?
'Tis a messy business. It is made all the worse by being used to engender anger, hatred, misandry and fear. Againt men in general.

The talk has been long but gives us much to think about.

Time for a refreshing pint.

Remember this.... 

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

It is hard to do for ourselves but we can at least hold off judgement on people we know little to nothing about.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Some creatures and things are suited to Great Elementals. They are born/made for regions that human beings only aspire to or strive beyond our nature to exist within.

Trigger Warning. Stunning flying scenes ahead.



The Albatross strives too, when young. It masters the air and the waters.

And we have made our own Albatrosses too. Metal ones.

Both are elegant, yet ungainly, yet again beautiful. 

Breath-taking. Mind-enchanting.

A breeding ground, close to home. Not far from the Tavern.  

North West Tasmania.

The Albatross Island, part of the Hunter Island Group, is an 18-hectare (44-acre) island and nature reserve located in Bass Strait, that lies between north-west Tasmania and King Island, Australia. That's King Island at the top left of the map. They make fine cheese there !

The island is part of the Albatross Island and Black Pyramid Rock Important Bird Area that is notable for its breeding colony of 5,000 pairs of shy albatross, some 40% of the world population of the species

They do breed elsewhere of course.  Slightly different specii. And they have to go to 'flight school' in the Pacific to get as good as their Tasmanian bros.

Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm petrels and diving petrels in the order Procellariiformes (the tubenoses). They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. They are absent from the North Atlantic, although fossil remains show they once occurred there and occasional vagrants are found. Albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses (genus Diomedea) have the largest wingspans of any extant birds, reaching up to 3.7 metres (12 feet). The albatrosses are usually regarded as falling into four genera, but there is disagreement over the number of species.

Albatrosses are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion. They feed on squid, fish and krill by either scavenging, surface seizing or diving. Albatrosses are colonial, nesting for the most part on remote oceanic islands, often with several species nesting together. Pair bonds between males and females form over several years, with the use of "ritualised dances", and will last for the life of the pair. A breeding season can take over a year from laying to fledging, with a single egg laid in each breeding attempt. A Laysan albatross, named Wisdom, on Midway Island is recognised as the oldest wild bird in the world; she was first banded in 1956 by Chandler Robbins.

Of the 22 species of albatross recognised by the IUCN, all are listed as at some level of concern; 3 species are Critically Endangered, 5 species are Endangered, 7 species are Near Threatened, and 7 species are Vulnerable. Numbers of albatrosses have declined in the past due to harvesting for feathers, but today the albatrosses are threatened by introduced species, such as rats and feral cats that attack eggs, chicks and nesting adults; by pollution; by a serious decline in fish stocks in many regions largely due to overfishing; and by longline fishing. Longline fisheries pose the greatest threat, as feeding birds are attracted to the bait, become hooked on the lines, and drown. Identified stakeholders such as governments, conservation organisations and people in the fishing industry are all working toward reducing this bycatch.

Meanwhile the humans have to practice too.  A friendly wave too as he flies in.

The seaplane is an endangered species too. Between the 'Wars' seaplanes developed and reached a zenith. Land-based runways became common and the waterways were all but sidelined.

Specifications (HU-16B)
Data from Albatross: Amphibious Airborne Angel 
General characteristics
Crew: 4-6
Capacity: 10 passengers
Length: 62 ft 10 in (19.16 m)
Wingspan: 96 ft 8 in (29.47 m)
Height: 25 ft 10 in (7.88 m)
Wing area: 1035 ft² (96.2 m²)
Empty weight: 22,883 lb (10,401 kg)
Loaded weight: 30,353 lb (13,797 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 37,500 lb (17,045 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 675 US Gallons (2,555 L) internally, plus 400 US Gal (1,514 L) in wingtip floats plus two 300 US Gallon (1,136 L) drop tanks
Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-1820-76 Cyclone 9 nine-cylinder single-row air-cooled radial engine, 1,425 hp (1,063 kW) each

Maximum speed: 205 knots (236 mph, 380 km/h)
Cruise speed: 108 knots (124 mph, 200 km/h)
Stall speed: 64 knots (74 mph, 119 km/h)
Range: 2,478 nmi (2,850 mi, 4,589 km)
Service ceiling: 21,500 ft (6,550 m)
Rate of climb: 1,450 ft/min (7.4 m/s)

But once the human has mastered what he is able to do with his Albatross, he can roam the skies over waters like his natural bros.

Some gorgeous scenes in America here. The plane just wants to land and skim along all those stretches of water.


Ain't this 'Life' bizzo just wonderful.



Monday, April 17, 2017

The Great Barrier Reef Scam

Coral does not like the arctic regions. Very possibly due to the cold, I imagine. But to a greenie it must have something to do with we wicked men and all the mining and farming we do. It cannot be because coral loves warm waters, as the 'Warmist Fanatics' never like to acknowledge that coral reefs thrive on the equator well north of Oz' iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Nope: warming waters off Queensland brought about through man-made 'cimate change' is responsible for coral turning white from time to time. 

There is money in mendacity.

Barely a year goes by without some 'ecologist' or 'oceanographer' who finds despair when his/her taxpayer-provided, Government dispersed Grant running low trying to scare the tourists away with tales of doom and dismay: tales which could win a literary fiction award.

The Prof, JJ Ray brought a few talking (and drinking) heads by to tell us some fictions and home truths. And he also, later, introduced some fine old fellows with some history marking their passage through nearer waters.

“”And because such an apocryphal analysis was published in Nature and will undoubtedly mislead coral conservation policies, I wept.””
And the fraud goes on: 
2016/2017 bleaching on GBR
JJ said: 
It seems that the 2015/2016 summer bleaching was repeated in summer this year (2016/2017).  Since water levels change only slowly, that is to be expected.
But note the dishonesty below.  They are still attributing the bleaching to global warming -- while giving not a single number for either the global water temperature or the North Queensland water temperature. 
So let me supply some numbers: NASA/GISS Tell us that the global December 2016 temperature (mid-summer) was .77, which was DOWN on December 2015 (1.10)and even slightly down on 2014 (.79).  So in the period at issue, there was NO global warming.  So the guys below are lying through their teeth.  They say that the bleaching was caused by global warming but there WAS no global warming in the period concerned.
And they also don't give numbers for sea levels in the area. They are zealously hiding the real cause of the bleaching
And he put this - that he was talking about, forward. 
BACK-to-back bleaching is killing huge tracts of the Great Barrier Reef, 
with almost none of the coral effected in 2016 expected to recover.

Recent aerial surveys by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have revealed only the southern third of the reef is unscathed from the bleaching events.
Researcher Terry Hughes said mass bleaching happened in 2017 even without the assistance of El Nino, which normally brings warmer sea surface temperatures.
“The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming,” Professor Hughes said.
“Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing.” Warmer water temperatures cause coral to expel their algae, turning them bright fluorescent colours and eventually bone white.
Marine biologist James Kerry said bleached corals were not necessarily dead but it was anticipated high levels of coral would be lost in the central region of the reef, which experienced the most intense bleaching this year.
“It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016,” Dr Kelly said.
Tropical Cyclone Debbie also destroyed parts of the reef around the Whitsundays, a popular tourist destination that had largely escaped the worst of the bleaching so far.
While cyclones normally cause the water temperature to drop, Prof Hughes said any cooling effects were likely to be negligible in relation to the damage caused by the slow-moving Category 4 system.
“Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts,” he said. The Great Barrier Reef is known to have experienced four bleaching events in 1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017.
JJ said, " That sea levels could fall is of course be unthinkable to a Warmist. In their religion sea levels only rise.  In fact sea levels both rise and fall all over the place worldwide.  There has even been a fall in recent decades in Moreton Bay, near where I live. 

And are we allowed to mention the remarkable sea-level testimony of Tasmania's Isle of the Dead? Read the late John Daly on the matter.  He knew where all the skeletons are buried.  There's a whole graveyard of them. 

It is only highly theoretical isostatic "rebound" adjustments to the raw tide gauge data that enable  Warmists to produce any picture of global sea level rise. 

Sad below that it took Indonesian scientists to face what was actually going on. 

JJ always brings surprises into the Tavern and this time several other fellows along with Mr Daly. I will come to them all later.
Falling Sea Level was the Critical Factor in 2015/2016 Great Barrier Reef Coral Bleaching! 
It is puzzling why the recent 2017 publication in Nature, Global Warming And Recurrent Mass Bleaching Of Corals by Hughes et al. ignored the most critical factor affecting the 2016 severe bleaching along the northern Great Barrier Reef – the regional fall in sea level amplified by El Niño. 

Instead Hughes 2017 suggested the extensive bleaching was due to increased water temperatures induced by CO2 warming.
Well, he had to use the magic incantations to get his Grant, innit? 
In contrast in Coral Mortality Induced by the 2015–2016 El-Nino in Indonesia: The Effect Of Rapid Sea Level Fall by Ampou 2017, Indonesian biologists had reported that a drop in sea level had bleached the upper 15 cm of the reefs before temperatures had reached NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch bleaching thresholds
As discussed by Ampou 2017, the drop in sea level had likely been experienced throughout much of the Coral Triangle including the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and then accelerated during the El Niño. They speculated sea level fall also contributed to the bleaching during the 1998 El Niño.
Consistent with the effects of sea level fall, other researchers reported bleaching in the GBR was greatest near the surface then declined rapidly with depth. Indeed if falling sea level was the main driver in 2016’s reef mortalities, and this can be tested, then most catastrophic assertions made by Hughes 2017 would be invalid.
Indeed the Great Barrier Reef had also experienced falling sea levels similar to those experienced by Indonesian reefs. Visitors to Lizard Island had reported more extreme low tides and more exposed reefs which is consistent with the extremely high mortality in the Lizard Island region during the 2016 El Niño.
Of course reefs are often exposed to the air at low tide, but manage to survive if the exposure is short or during the night. However as seen in tide gauge data from Cairns just south of Lizard Island, since 2010 the average low tide had dropped by ~10 to 15 cm.  After previous decades of increasing sea level had permitted vertical coral growth and colonization of newly submerged coastline, that new growth was now being left high and dry during low tide. As a result shallow coral were increasingly vulnerable to deadly desiccation during more extreme sea level drops when warm waters slosh toward the Americas during an El Niño.
Furthermore, an El Niño in the Coral Triangle not only causes a sudden sea level fall, but it also generates a drier high-pressure system with clear skies, so that this region is exposed to more intense solar irradiance. In addition, El Niño conditions reduce regional winds that drive reef-flushing currents and produce greater wave washing that could minimize desiccation during extreme low tides. And as one would predict, these conditions were exactly what were observed during El Niño 2016 around Lizard Island and throughout the northern GBR.
Aerial surveys, on which Hughes 2017 based their analyses, cannot discriminate between the various causes of bleaching. To determine the cause of coral mortality, careful examination of bleached coral by divers is required to distinguish whether bleached coral were the result of storms, crown-of-thorns attacks, disease, aerial exposure during low tides, or anomalously warmer ocean waters. Crown-of-thorns leave diagnostic gnawing marks, while storms produce anomalous rubble.
Furthermore aerial surveys only measure the areal extent of bleaching, but cannot determine the depth to which most bleaching was restricted due to sea level fall. To distinguish bleaching and mortality caused by low tide exposure, divers must measure the extent of tissue mortality and compare it with changes in sea level. For example, the Indonesian researchers found the extent of dead coral tissue was mostly relegated to the upper 15 cm of coral, which correlated with the degree of increased aerial exposure by recent low tides.
Unfortunately Hughes et al never carried out, or never reported, such critical measurements.
Crown of Thorns Starfish
However a before-and-after photograph presented in Hughes 2017 suggested the severe GBR bleaching they attributed to global warming primarily happened between February and late April. Their aerial surveys occurred between March 22 and April 17, 2016. And consistent with low tide bleaching, that is exactly the time frame that tide tables reveal reefs experienced two bouts of extreme low tides coinciding with the heat of the afternoon (March 7-11 & April 5-10). And such a combination of sun and low tide are known to be deadly.
A study of a September 2005 bleaching event on Pelorous and Orpheus Islands in the central GBR by Anthony 2007, Coral Mortality Following Extreme Low Tides And High Solar Radiation, had reported extreme deadly effects when extreme low tides coincided with high solar irradiance periods around midday. As in Indonesia, they also reported bleaching and mortality had occurred despite water temperatures that were “significantly lower than the threshold temperature for coral bleaching in this region (Berkelmans 2002), and therefore unlikely to represent a significant stress factor.” Along the reef crests and flats, “40 and 75% of colonies in the major coral taxa were either bleached or suffered partial mortality.
In contrast, corals at wave exposed sites were largely unaffected (<1% of the corals were bleached), as periodic washing of any exposed coral by waves prevented desiccation. Surveys along a 1–9 m depth gradient indicated that high coral mortality was confined to the tidal zone.” 
The fortuitous timing of Ampou’s coral habitat mapping from 2014 to 2016 in Bunaken National Park (located at the northwest tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia) allowed researchers to estimate the time of coral mortality relative to sea level and temperature changes. Ampou reported that in “September 2015, altimetry data show that sea level was at its lowest in the past 12 years, affecting corals living in the bathymetric range exposed to unusual emersion. By March 2016, Bunaken Island (North Sulawesi) displayed up to 85% mortality on reef flats” and that almost “all reef flats showed evidence of mortality, representing 30% of Bunaken reefs.” Based on the timing of reef deaths and changes in temperature they concluded, “the wide mortality we observed can not be simply explained by ocean warming due to El Niño.”  They concluded, “The clear link between mortality and sea level fall, also calls for a refinement of the hierarchy of El Niño impacts and their consequences on coral reefs.”
The whole bizzo of 'sea level' causes problems. To hear warmist fanatics, sea levels only rise when huge amounts of ice melts in Antarctica or the Arctic. They rarely discuss 'rising' compared to what. To me - and likely you too - it means rising up onto the land. But of course the land itself is floating on magma and it tilts up and down in places. So we have a 'science' of measuring. Hence the reference above to one, Mr John L. Daly.  And he brings us neatly back to the Tavern. Or nearby at least.

So let's look at him.
Testing the Waters
A Report on Sea Levels
for the Greening Earth Society
The `Isle of the Dead' is not mentioned at all by the IPCC in any of its reports. However, there is intensive research presently underway by several institutions including Australia's `Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation' (CSIRO Marine Research Division), assisted by the head of the Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science & Technology, Dr David Pugh, who is based at the University of Southampton, UK, all focused on this 
sleepy little isle at the bottom of the world in Tasmania.
The `Isle of the Dead' is over two acres in size, situated within the harbor of Port Arthur in southeastern Tasmania . 
This large and undeveloped harbor opens out directly to the Southern Ocean. The isle itself is actually a graveyard (thus its eerie name), containing the graves of some 2,000 British convicts and free persons from the 19th century who lived and died at the nearby convict colony of Port Arthur between 1832 and 1870. Port Arthur is now a heritage historic site, visited by thousands of tourists every year to see the convict buildings and ruins, and to enjoy the popular night-time `ghost tours'.
To understand why there is so much scientific interest in the Isle, we must travel back in time ...
In September 1840, the renowned British Antarctic explorer, Captain Sir James Clark Ross sailed from Hobart Town, the capital of Van Diemen's Land (the former name for Tasmania) for a 6-month voyage of discovery and exploration to the Antarctic with his two expedition ships, `Erebus' and `Terror'.
After a highly successful voyage, he returned in April 1841 for a refit and resupply of his ships and spend the southern winter in temperate latitudes. Upon arrival at Hobart Town, he was disappointed to learn that a golden scientific opportunity had been lost. 
A proposal by Baron Von Humboldt to the British Colonial Secretary, Lord Minto, that mean sea level marks should be struck on newly discovered coasts and islands, had arrived during Ross' absence in the Antarctic. 
"The fixing of solid and well secured marks for the purpose of showing the mean level of the ocean at a given epoch, was suggested by Baron von Humboldt, in a letter to Lord Minto, subsequent to the sailing of the expedition (Ross' own expedition of the `Terror' and `Erebus'), and of which I did not receive any account until our return (to Tasmania) from the Antarctic seas, which is the reason of my not having established a similar mark on the rocks of Kerguelen Island, or some part of the shores of Victoria Land (in Antarctica)."
In spite of the missed opportunity, Humboldt's idea still appealed to Ross and to the Governor of Van Diemen's Land, Sir John Franklin, himself a naval man. 
Consequently, both Ross and Franklin made a point of visiting Port Arthur, 40 miles from Hobart Town, to meet Thomas Lempriere, a senior official of the convict colony there, but who was also a methodical observer and recorder of meteorological, tidal, and astronomical data. Here is the account Ross gives of his visit to Lempriere at Port Arthur - 
"My principal object in visiting Port Arthur was to afford a comparison of our standard barometer with that which had been employed for several years by Mr. Lempriere, the Deputy Assistant Commissary General, in accordance with my instructions, and also to establish a permanent mark at the zero point, or general mean level of the sea as determined by the tidal observations which Mr. Lempriere had conducted with perseverance and exactness for some time: by which means any secular variation in the relative level of the land and sea, which is known to occur on some coasts, might at any future period be detected, and its amount determined.
The point chosen for this purpose was the perpendicular cliff of the small islet off Point Puer, which, being near to the tide register, rendered the operation more simple and exact. The Governor, whom I had accompanied on an official visit to the settlement, gave directions to afford Mr. Lempriere every assistance of labourers he required, to have the mark cut deeply in the rock in the exact spot which his tidal observations indicated as the mean level of the ocean."
The Ross-Lempriere sea level benchmark on the `Isle of the Dead'  (photo taken by John L. Daly at mean tide, Aug 29, 1999. Benchmark is 50 cm across)
Ross further explained why he chose Port Arthur for a mean sea level mark instead of in the Derwent estuary closer to Hobart Town, where his ships `Erebus' and `Terror' were moored.
"The tides in the Derwent were too irregular, being influenced greatly by the prevalence of winds outside and the freshes from the interior, so that we could not ascertain with the required degree of exactness the point of mean level."
I can attest to this personally. From my vantage point at the deck infront of my cave, I overlook the waters of the Derwent and watch both river and tide vie for momentary supremacy. 
The `permanent mark' at the `zero point, or general mean level of the sea' that Ross wrote about has proved to be more permanent than even he bargained for -
The mark is still there, and in perfect condition.
In the photo above, the line and arrow mark is a standard British Ordnance Survey Benchmark, 50 cm across, and is standing in the photo about 35 cm above the water level. 
Since the photo was deliberately taken at the time of mean or half-tide for that day, we see in this one photo the enigma that is the `Isle of the Dead'. 
Because, how can a benchmark struck at "zero point" or the "mean level of the sea", as described so explicitly by Ross, now be 35 cm above the mean level today? Has the sea level fallen?
Of course, mean tide on the day of the photo may not be the long-term MSL. However, the CSIRO has been researching the benchmark since 1995, installing a new state-of-the-art acoustic tide gauge at the Port Arthur jetty a mile away, setting up a network of GPS buoys around the harbor, and involving other institutions in the effort. Their unpublished conclusion is that the benchmark is indeed 35 cm above current mean sea level.
And they cannot explain it in a manner consistent with the Ross account.
Southeastern Tasmania is believed to be uplifting very slightly due to PGR, although there is no tectonic activity in the region. 
The CSIRO installed GPS receivers and GPS marine buoys in the Port Arthur area to test for the effect of PGR. It takes several years to get an uplift rate accurate to within millimeters using GPS positioning. However, the CSIRO have made a preliminary, though unpublished, uplift estimate of 0.61 mm/yr ±0.22 mm/yr. 
Over the full period of 159 years since the benchmark was struck, this uplift rate would result in a relative sea level fall of between 6.2 cm and 13.2 cm, with a mid range value of 9.7 cm. This is only a fraction of the 35 cm to be accounted for. However, local geological shoreline evidence indicates an uplift much less than this at around 0.19 mm/yr, giving a total uplift since 1841 of only 3 cm. The geological figure is probably the more accurate because it represents actual past uplift, whereas the albeit preliminary GPS result can only represent a current rate of uplift.
In 1888, a scientific assessment of the benchmark was made by Capt. Shortt, who surveyed it in an effort to determine its exact origins and meaning. He searched archives in Hobart and Port Arthur for information and reported his findings in a short paper published by the Royal Society in Hobart.
A small tablet was found above the benchmark (the tablet went missing around 1913) and this gave Shortt the date the benchmark was struck as July 1st 1841, at a point in the lunar month when the age of the moon was 12 days. 
In order to measure sea level under similar conditions which existed then, Shortt made his calculation of MSL and the benchmark height when the age of the moon was also 12 days, as cited on the tablet. 
His conclusion, in 1888, was that the benchmark was 34 cm above mean sea level, only a centimetre less than the CSIRO estimate of 35 cm 112 years later. 
As Shortt was familiar with the Ross account given above, he was perplexed as to why a `mean sea level' benchmark should now be 34 cm above MSL 47 years later.
Moving forward in time to 1985, Bruce Hamon, a scientist from Sydney, also studied the benchmark. He concluded that it was 36 cm above MSL . He examined tide data from nearby Hobart to establish the current point in the 18.6 year cycle, so we can be confident of his 36 cm estimate.
Hamon's was only the second, and the last, paper to appear in the scientific literature about the Ross-Lempriere benchmark. Since then, nothing has been published, not even interim results from the recent CSIRO research 
All that has appeared in the public domain are a few media releases, none of which impart the vital information to the public that a mean sea level benchmark struck in 1841 now spends most of its time out of the water.
Since the benchmark has been observed to be the same height above relative MSL on three sets of good observations 112 years apart (Capt Shortt [1888], Hamon [1985] and the CSIRO [2000]), sea levels have clearly not changed at Port Arthur in all that time. Being tectonically stable and subject to only minor PGR, land uplift will hardly provide an adequate explanation for the lack of sea level rise since 1888 and a possible sea level fall between 1841 and 1888.
The benchmark powerfully confirms what the Australian Mean Sea Level Survey tells us, namely that the rate of sea level rise over much of the 20th century has only been +0.16 mm/yr, 
less than one tenth of the IPCC's estimate of 1.8 mm/yr. 
This survey would imply a sea level rise of only +1.6 cm for the whole century, consistent with observations and measurements of the Ross-Lempriere benchmark since Capt. Shortt first observed it in 1888.
The joint `Co-ordinating Lead Author' of Chapter 11 (sea levels) of the draft Third Assessment Report of the IPCC is Dr John Church, who heads the CSIRO Marine Research Division in Hobart, Tasmania. The organization he heads is deeply involved in researching the benchmark as shown by their press release of 1998. 

In spite of this, there is no discussion about the benchmark, or its implications for historical sea levels, in the IPCC draft co-authored by Church. The draft cites old tide records from PGR-ridden Europe and even complains about the lack of data from the southern hemisphere, but nothing is mentioned about a 159-year-old sea level benchmark in the data-sparse southern hemisphere which predates most other records, and is located only 1 hour's drive from Hobart.
The most comprehensive information about the benchmark and the historical events and personalities surrounding it comes from this author's website, from which futher details can be obtained at the linked references given.
There is also a discussion about the origins of the benchmark in the Appendix
Rather than confront this issue directly, the IPCC and the modelers have chosen instead to `quarantine' the Australian survey by suggesting that the Southern Oceans can somehow go their own way when it comes to sea level rise. Given that the southern hemisphere holds nearly two-thirds of the world's oceans, this is clearly not a tenable position in the long term.
Their suggestion also puts a whole new meaning on the term 'Down Under'.
I am most grateful for JJ's efforts in bringing these interesting observations to the Tavern. Many other are too considering the evidence of at least four barrels of fine Ale that was dispensed to the crowd in the Oz room.

Drink up too.