"Off-world vehicles not made on this Earth."
That's how Eric W. Davis described the origin of materials found on our planet. Davis is an astrophysicist, who has worked as a subcontractor and consultant for the Pentagon UFO program since 2007.
Davis gave a classified briefing to a Defense Department agency in March about retrievals of these so-called "off-world vehicles", The New York Times reported.
The Times reported that the Pentagon's UFO unit was ready to make some of its findings public.
The Pentagon program operates from The Office of Naval Intelligence, where officials study encounters between military pilots and "unidentified aerial vehicles" [that's Navy-speak for UFOs].
The program is known as the "Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force".
As well as seeking evidence of vehicles from other worlds, the task force is examining whether another nation [think China or Russia] has new technology that could threaten the United States.
Nevertheless, the Times reported that a group of former government officials and scientists with security clearances were "convinced that objects of undetermined origin have crashed on Earth with materials retrieved for study".
Constraints on discussing classified programs meant these people have been unable to provide proof to back their claims.
We asked Col Maybury, president of the Astronomical Society of the Hunter, what he thought of the story.
"When I am asked if I believe in manned UFOs, I answer strongly yes," Col said.
Col believes UFOs are piloted by "extraterrestrials, inhabitants of Milky Way galaxy planets or even extra-galactic planets".
"The captivating author of Cosmos, Dr Carl Sagan once said there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on all the beaches in all the world."
He added that Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today, and Dr Jason Marshall [AKA The Math Dude] had concluded that there could be 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
It's been estimated that there are 500 billion galaxies in the universe.
"The figures of Carl Sagan and Fraser Cain indicate more than sufficient numbers of stars and planets in the universe to produce beings of consciousness," he said.
"Professor Yuval Noah Harari, historian and philosopher claims that we will all become algorithms in the coming future, with implanted sensors to measure our health and enhance our mental capacities."
In this state, Col wonders whether humans could perhaps "communicate with extraterrestrials and build the hyper-drives necessary to cross the vast distances of space".
Tea and Coffee
Hot-beverage expert Glen Fredericks, of Adamstown Heights, tells Topics that oolong tea is also known as "monkey-picked tea".
"Legend has it that monks trained monkeys to climb the tea trees and reach the choicest leaves, thus ensuring their quality."
Glen thinks it's unlikely monkeys still do this. But he did draw our attention to Kopi Luwak, a traditional Balinese brew labelled the world's most expensive coffee.
"The beans used have been eaten, partially digested and defecated by the civet - a cat-like animal closely related to the mongoose." [And, we should add, implicated in the spread of diseases including SARS]
Prices range from $35 to $100 a cup.
That's a bit steep. We'll stick to ... ahem ... steeping tea not picked by monkeys.