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Useful tip: The Government is going to make sweeping education cuts. The minister says this is well overdue. A spokesman said, "After all just how much education is needed in sweeping. Surely it's just a case of, here's the broom, push it like this' and there you have it, taught to the ultimate level. smile

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I got up at around six-thirty as usual a few months ago expecting a normal run of the mill sort of day. I could see it was sunny through the gap in the lounge curtains and was glad to pull them back and let sunlight flood into the room.

Taking a squinting look around the garden I decided my eyes weren't quite ready for bright light yet. Just as I was turning away a movement in the sky caught my attention. The flying object made me breathless with excitement.

U.F.O? It was cylindrical in shape and probably eighty to one hundred feet long. It flew slowly across the sky towards the north-east. On either side of the cylinder there were protuberances of perhaps thirty feet in length. The craft made a droning noise as it made it's steady progress through the air. The sun glinted on it's shiny silver surface and it had lettering and numbers on the underside. "Gosh!" I muttered with awe.flying saucer

Excitement! I rushed to the telephone and dialled my brother's number. I was sure he would be as excited as me. He wasn't. All he did was groan something about it being just another damned aeroplane. "That's right" I enthused. "It's an I.F.O". That stands for 'Identified Flying Object'. Spotting them has become an interest for me recently.

An explanation. I've spent many hours standing out in the garden looking up into the night sky hoping to see a flying saucer. Not one has ever hovered above, flown across or landed in the back garden. One time when I'd stood there getting a crick in my neck from staring upwards for too long I saw some lights traversing the atmosphere. Could it be a U.F.O? was I going to be abducted by a bunch of long legged female aliens and have dreadful experiments carried out on my person? Nah, it was only another aeroplane ...and a good job too. The experiments would have probably hurt anyway.

I decided that the time had come for a change of approach to the subject. If I wasn't going to get anywhere in the U.F.O or 'Ufology' field then I would transfer my enthusiasm to 'Ifology' (which means: Identified Flying Object-ology) and treat all I.F.O sightings as if they were as rare as U.F.O's. People say that I've gone over the edge with it all but I don't care because now my hobby is really looking up. Well, mostly anyway because sometimes they're on the ground.

Much more productive. My neck complaint has improved and I can honestly say that I've seen hundreds of various shaped I.F.O's. Look up at most times of the day or night and I.F.O's are plane to see whereas U.F.O's number in the region of zero. It's much more productive than spending hours gazing into space from the garden or freezing to the bone on some cold and draughty tor on Salisbury Plain.

The I.F.O. spotters club. There's a gathering of I.F.O's at Farnborough every two years and I expect I shall have a field day logging down all the strange craft that will be there. If anyone is interested in joining me I've started an I.F.O spotters club called 'The IFOmation Centre'. There's an annual membership fee of £9-99 to cover administrative costs and a 'T' shirt is available at small extra charge. I'm the only one in it at the moment so if anyone else is interested in Ifology please don't hesitate to give me a call. I'm here most times, out in the back garden scouring the skies with my really powerful binoculars. I rarely eat out so am not out to lunch like most people say I am.

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