Calvine Photo Hoax Theories

JMartJr

Senior Member
Loch Achanalt is not near Pitlochery or Calvine, but at least I think I can say that my cousins in Scotland are not totally averse to a fence down along the waterside.

1200px-Wester_Ross,_Loch_Achanalt.jpg
 

Rory

Senior Member.

So it's fake craft closest to the camera, nothing else at same distance in view, then fence/tree further away (how far?) then plane/sky.

I guess that works for composition - how about for focus?

Also: is that picture to scale? :D
 
Last edited:

deirdre

Senior Member.
how about for focus?
focus works for me.

(how far?)
oh please. every time i watch a show that says the lake monster was 50 feet or a hundred feet i have to picture myself lying end to end to envision the size. Youre a guy, take a pic of a scene with things at different distances and you tell me how many feet x is from y.
 
I agree with the analysis in the original post. It does look like a genuine photo of a real object taken in one shot. The greyscale Range of the object is close to that of the plane. However...

I am looking for horizontal blur. This would happen if the photographer tried to follow the plane. A skilled photographer would do that, to get a sharp picture of the plane. Looking at the poles in the bottom, it looks like a little blur. But not the trees. The ufo looks like the most stable object and this is a little suspicious, but it is really not possible to say for sure.

I think the UFO is fake and put in the picture afterwards in the post production. You can put an object onto the photo paper, do a lets say 50% exposure, remove the object and do another 50%.

The object also looks mirrored in the "artifacts", the light and dark spots. That is also a clue.

Will get back on this.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
doesnt your phone take pics? put a vitamin or button near you and click on it in your camera phone so the phone focuses on it. the stuff in the background gets blurry.

I am really not sure if one is able to get everything in focus from close to infinite (±clouds). I have played with this stuff a lot years ago and remember very well that (if you do not have a tripod) low light conditions are tricky. This, as you need to open up the iris, but this creates shallow depth of focus, which we do not see in the "original Calvine image", as everything is in nice focus.

PS, a camera in a phone or any micro cam: it has a fixed aperture inside. The phone creates blur and focal depth by using software.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
This, as you need to open up the iris, but this creates shallow depth of focus, which we do not see in the "original Calvine image", as everything is in nice focus
Robinson, the photo expert, claimed that the 'UFO' was in better focus than either the fence and trees, which he thought were nearer to the camera, or the Harrier (jet), which he thought was further away. He also thought the UFO was closer to the jet than to the fence, etc, without giving much explanation. As a complete non-expert on photography, I don't know how this works.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I am really not sure if one is able to get everything in focus from close to infinite (±clouds). I have played with this stuff a lot years ago and remember very well that (if you do not have a tripod) low light conditions are tricky. This, as you need to open up the iris, but this creates shallow depth of focus, which we do not see in the "original Calvine image", as everything is in nice focus.

PS, a camera in a phone or any micro cam: it has a fixed aperture inside. The phone creates blur and focal depth by using software.

you should pull out your 35 mm and disprove the model theory. That would be helpful.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
you should pull out your 35 mm and disprove the model theory. That would be helpful.
I sold my old and trusty analog Praktica about 27 years ago.

EDIT: I gave it away to a guy living in Afrika.
EDIT2: To be exact, I mean that if the model is very close to the camera, this would be the case. Of course, when all subjects are rather distant, this effect is much less.
EDIT3: I found this handy online DoF calculator.
https://www.photopills.com/calculators/dof
 
Last edited:

Rory

Senior Member.
doesnt your phone take pics?

Yeah, but I wouldn't really trust it to mimic what a 35mm camera would have done.

This would happen if the photographer tried to follow the plane. A skilled photographer would do that

I think if they were looking at a real UFO or hoaxing a fake UFO, either way they're not going to be following the plane.

The object also looks mirrored in the "artifacts", the light and dark spots. That is also a clue.

Looking up close though, it's not possible to tell if it's mirrored or not. Nothing obvious jumps out to say "it is".

I think the UFO is fake and put in the picture afterwards in the post production. You can put an object onto the photo paper, do a lets say 50% exposure, remove the object and do another 50%.

On the collaging idea Robinson wrote:

Article:
The grain in the area of the unidentified object in the centre of the image shows no break, distortion or unevenness and is continuous across the object. There is no evidence from the grain distribution around the object that the image has being collaged or constructed. The grain is continuous, in size, texture and density across the whole image suggesting that the image itself (both negative and print) has not been manipulated. The grain present in the photograph and around the unidentified object is consistent with this being a genuine recording of a scene in front of the camera.

A possible approach to disguising the collaging and construction of an image, either on the negative or print would be to rephotograph a manipulated image on a coarser grain film so that a convincing and genuine grain distribution disguises joins and artefacts of the manipulation. Whilst it is impossible to fully rule this out this would be unlikely due to the fineness and consistency of the grain in this image.

Conclusion – The film grain is consistent with the film identified (XP-1) and suggests that no negative or print based manipulation of the image has taken place and that the image is a genuine representation of a scene in front of the camera.

Can you think of other reasons why the "darkroom manipulation" idea might not work?

He also thought the UFO was closer to the jet than to the fence, etc, without giving much explanation.

True. He does give an estimation of object size based on the object being closer to the fence than to the jet, but ultimately seems to go with it being closer to the plane because "[that's] how it appears to be."
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
PS, a camera in a phone or any micro cam: it has a fixed aperture inside. The phone creates blur and focal depth by using software.

Not sure what you mean. If we're talking about autofocus, if I understand correctly this is partly a mechanical process involving moving parts in the camera:
Essentially, it's an auto-focus system based on trial-and-error. The lens on your camera phone is moved back and forth until the position of maximum focus is found for the object. In order to determine when an image is in focus, your smartphone uses an algorithm based on measuring the contrast
Source: https://www.giffgaff.com/blog/how-does-auto-focus-work-on-your-smartphone/#:~:text=Essentially, it's an auto-focus,based on measuring the contrast.

Isn't this more-or-less what a traditional camera does when you adjust the focus, except that software, instead of a human operator, detects when the image is in focus?
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Not sure what you mean. If we're talking about autofocus, if I understand correctly this is partly a mechanical process involving moving parts in the camera:

Source: https://www.giffgaff.com/blog/how-does-auto-focus-work-on-your-smartphone/#:~:text=Essentially, it's an auto-focus,based on measuring the contrast.

Isn't this more-or-less what a traditional camera does when you adjust the focus, except that software, instead of a human operator, detects when the image is in focus?
I was referring to Depth of Focus, as indeed the phone cam does focus. The F/# (and focal length) determines the DoF, and in a mobile phone, the aperture is fixed and thus also the DoF. To be able to "mimic" the DoF of a proper SLR cam, modern OS software does this in the image, and real time. This way you can make nice looking "professional" photo's with your phone, for instance a flower on the foreground in perfect focus, and the rest behind it blurred (bokeh). Below is an example of a 60mm lens and at F/2.4:

Screenshot 2022-08-26 at 20.21.04.png
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2022-08-26 at 20.21.04.png
    Screenshot 2022-08-26 at 20.21.04.png
    238.9 KB · Views: 33
Last edited:

deirdre

Senior Member.
looking through my old pics with 35 mm from early 1990s. i had a Pentax but it looks just like the alleged ufo camera.
of course the one pic i have that would mimic a "model" on string, i can't find. erg!
not sure if these tell you anything @Rory but its all i could find so far.
this pic the houses across the lake are about 1800 feet away. that "bare" tree behind is about 45 feet away (according to google maps) and i have no idea how high. i also had no idea about my focus settings, so not sure how this may or may not relate to the ufo pic as a "model". ?

plus i never wore glasses with shots..so not sure what that means as far as focus.
Picture 026.jpg


found one reflection where the above trees are similarly blurry.
Picture or Video 050.jpg

and one that is useless except i sort of have a diamond ufo too :p (center slightly to right)
Picture or Video 028.jpg


Picture or Video 049.jpg
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
Just to pursue the idea of a US Navy project a little further, here is an article on the work of the US Naval Research Laboratory:

https://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/9807/rath-9807.html

Note in particular the section on Radar-Absorbing Materials (RAM), including this:

For more than four decades, the NRL has been a resource for RAM innovation, prototype production, and measurement tools/facilities. In fact, the NRL has developed, produced, and in several instances installed materials on Navy/Department of Defense platforms from the end of World War II through Desert Storm. Much of the NRL's work preceded efforts on stealth technology and significantly impacted it in the areas of submarines, missiles, aircraft, ships, and land vehicles.
The first Gulf War, including operation Desert Storm, was active from August 1990 to February 1991. Note that I am not suggesting that the Navy was developing a high-tech aircraft as such - which would be an undertaking more suitable for one of the major aerospace corporations with the USAF as the main customer - but that it might be developing and testing stealth materials for use on ships and other vehicles. Dare I say that the Calvine object looks slightly reminiscent of the superstructure of some 'stealthy' ships? (See this video on stealth ships, and note the comments around 4m23 on 'large flat surfaces angled upwards' to deflect radar):

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elIEC6F0x-0


You may well wonder why the Navy research team would be towing or floating a test-rig of some kind through the air, in Scotland or anywhere else, but one step at a time!
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
A possible approach to disguising the collaging and construction of an image, either on the negative or print would be to rephotograph a manipulated image on a coarser grain film so that a convincing and genuine grain distribution disguises joins and artefacts of the manipulation. Whilst it is impossible to fully rule this out this would be unlikely due to the fineness and consistency of the grain in this image.
Can somebody with camera knowing speak to this? The image does not look fine grained to me, but it is very possible I dont understand what the term means.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Something that struck me while watching the latest "went to hypothetical location" video is how far the trees are from the fence:

1662166432068.png
Source: youtu.be/v7S8M-WKe9c?t=150

Now of course it's possible that: a) that's not the right spot; or b) there were trees closer to the fence that are no longer there - but if those aren't the case then I wonder what it says about the construction of the Lindsay photo and specifically the "models on a string" theory?

Here we see the tree branches look like they're almost hanging over the fence:

1662166619627.png

So assuming that spot and same trees surely some sort of zoom/foreshortening is going on? And if that's the case, does it make the model hypothesis more likely or more difficult? I don't really get how such a zoom would affect this but no doubt someone here does.
 

skepmit

New Member
Hi folks, has any one else de-hazed the photo yet? The TIFF scan has enough dynamic range to reveal the over-exposed clouds in Lightroom. I can't help but think things are looking a little weird. Though staring at clouds can play tricks with the mind. I've been wondering if this is a photo of a manipulated photo. It's certainly of very poor quality.

scottish_ufo_scan_print_front_A4-Enhanced-3.jpg

My observations of the original scan:
1. The foliage bottom left is the sharpest focal point, then the fence drops noticeably out of focus, but the mystery object seems to be more in focus than the fence considering it is supposed to be a good distance further away.
2. The focus of the fence itself changes from left to right which would typically indicate a very shallow depth of field considering the angle. Or could it be rotational motion blur?
2. There's a severe diagonal vignette bottom right. Im not sure what's going on there.

Oh, and I'll be up in that area later this year. And I have camera gear. Does anyone have the exact supposed location? If I can match the frame, that'll be something...
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Does anyone have the exact supposed location?

This is the proposed location. Though as you say, it's far from certain that's where the photo was taken.

56.7635230, -3.9855080

Regarding focus, there has been the suggestion that the whole photo is out of focus due to the way it was copied (on an enlarger which wasn't properly adjusted). Not sure how that would affect what you're seeing though.
 
Last edited:

Biggles79

New Member
:) thanks! i thought that was the name of the guy who first "found" it's "investigative team". like how all those ghost searcher teams have odd names. opps.
Ah, I see. To be fair the name is not an English or Scots one, it's Scottish Gaelic so pretty unfamiliar to most.
 

skepmit

New Member
This is the proposed location. Though as you say, it's far from certain that's where the photo was taken.

56.7635230, -3.9855080

Regarding focus, there has been the suggestion that the whole photo is out of focus due to the way it was copied (on an enlarger which wasn't properly adjusted). Not sure how that would affect what you're seeing though.
Thanks for the location.

I was thinking that about the focus. It has been enlarged (and possibly cropped for reasons), which would significantly affect quality if done by hand. I’m other words, pointing a camera at prints, which could be the reason for the vignette - the photo is unevenly lit. Without the original negatives, we can’t truly analyse the photos of the claimed event. And if the negatives are dupes, we have nothing.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Regarding focus, there has been the suggestion that the whole photo is out of focus due to the way it was copied (on an enlarger which wasn't properly adjusted).
This seems a bit of weak argument to me. The story is that the Daily Record got 6 original negatives and ended up in contact with Linsday who requested an actual print. The Daily Record's photo department then printed the best one for Linsday. And they printed it badly?

I'll agree that they may have been in a hurry, but as the samples of that paper that you posted seemed to have a lot of photos in it, one would think that the guys in the photo room know what they are doing. It's what they do all day every day, but of course when they had to print the only known copy of a UFO/Stealth craft over Scotland, they fugered it up.
1662482506291.png



I think @Robert Sheaffer was on to something in post #581 of the main Calvine thread where he shared these 3 unrelated(?) photos. This is borderline what we would call a meme today.

All have a UFO with a military jet framed by trees and such in the foreground. Note also, that in all 3, the UFO and plane are framed by, and don't interfere or cross the foliage. That is, the UFO and plane never appear partially obstructed by the trees. They're always in the open sky part of the picture, which would make sense if they depicted models and/or pictures on glass or were composited in a darkroom.

The pictures are all composed, with the plane and UFO roughly centered, not at all looking like a quick scared shot snaped in a moment of panic, as related by Linsday. I know Stu Little says the Calvine photo is quite cropped from the original negative, but that's a 30-year-old recollection of 15 minutes spent with the negatives. Robinson seems more noncommittal and assumes that it was cropped a little to fit the paper. I don't know who's right.

1662484203248.png
https://draftable.com/compare/RSJpUtdqQxfi

Top to bottom, Puerto Rico hoax, Calvine and unknown 1994 photo from Wendell Steven's collection:

1662481631217.png

1662481555142.png1662481677568.png
 

Attachments

  • 1662483788034.png
    1662483788034.png
    27.7 KB · Views: 27

Ann K

Senior Member.
The pictures are all composed, with the plane and UFO roughly centered, not at all looking like a quick scared shot snaped in a moment of panic, as related by Linsday. I
I know some people on this sub-thread seem to have discounted the reflection hypothesis, but focusing on a rock/island, nicely framed, and waiting for one of several aircraft (perhaps making multiple low-level passes through a valley, as has been reported to happen) to reflect at the right time would give exactly this kind of effect.
 

Mauro

Senior Member
I know some people on this sub-thread seem to have discounted the reflection hypothesis, but focusing on a rock/island, nicely framed, and waiting for one of several aircraft (perhaps making multiple low-level passes through a valley, as has been reported to happen) to reflect at the right time would give exactly this kind of effect.
And you don't even need to wait for an aircraft if the second object is actually something else (ie. a small rock sticking out of the water + its reflection, a boat + its reflection....).
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
I know some people on this sub-thread seem to have discounted the reflection hypothesis, but focusing on a rock/island, nicely framed, and waiting for one of several aircraft (perhaps making multiple low-level passes through a valley, as has been reported to happen) to reflect at the right time would give exactly this kind of effect.
And you don't even need to wait for an aircraft if the second object is actually something else (ie. a small rock sticking out of the water + its reflection, a boat + its reflection....).

I'm not against the reflection theory, but I'm not sold on it yet. I'm not sure how the plane appears right side up, unless as Mauro says, it's not a plane at all, but a case of pareidolia. I'll buy that.

But I would say, if someone is really thinks that's the answer, let's see some attempts at it. We all have camera phones now. That's what I was trying to do in the first post. Can I hang a model and have it in focus while the trees are not and add a plane to it. Not saying it has to look exactly like the Calvine photo, but can I attempt something similar.

In my case, I didn't have time to cut out a triangle model so I used a trap that was already hanging from the tree. The trap had too much detail on it giving away its size and therefore its location closer to the camera. The composited plane sorta works. More experiments to follow.

I would say use Ruan's blender model (starting at post #300 on the reflection thread) to set up a simple try with the camera and see what one gets. Start simple with making something like the UFO. If that looks promising, add the trees or something to frame it. Doesn't have to be a fence. Then add a plane.

I'm still leaning to some sort of photo hoax for now, especially looking back at the 3 known pictures that are all the same basic thing form the same time period with one being a known hoax. Seems a bit of a coincidence, even if I know it could be.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I'm not sure how the plane appears right side up, unless as Mauro says, it's not a plane at all, but a case of pareidolia. I'll buy that.
stand on the side of the puddle and turn your camera like you are doing portrait mode. or turn your camera upside down.

let's see some attempts at it
someone already did in the appropriate thread.

We all have camera phones now.
i think you need a 35 millimeter where you can manually adjust the focus. i dont have a digital one so figured by the time i buy film, set up shots, get film back from developing someone else would have already done so. (frankly im super surprised people havent already tried to recreate with a 35 millimeter.
 

Stingray

New Member
Regarding landscape changes in the alleged site:

I have made this gif comparing historical satellite image (2005) to 2022. As you can see there were very little changes - at least during the last 17 years. Google earth has earlier imaging (from 1985) but the resolution is too low to distinguish anything.

This is not to say that there weren't any changes between 1990 and 2005, but it does suggest that nothing much happens there.

site_p.gif
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
someone already did in the appropriate thread.
Yes, there was 1 attempt.

i think you need a 35 millimeter where you can manually adjust the focus. i dont have a digital one so figured by the time i buy film, set up shots, get film back from developing someone else would have already done so. (frankly im super surprised people havent already tried to recreate with a 35 millimeter.
Agreed, a 35mm film camera would be ideal and a full manual digital SLR is next best. However, some of the newer phone cameras have a number of features allowing one to adjust the focus to particular elements in the scene.

At this stage I'm still in "proof of concept" mode. Can I make something similar in a simple way that could have also been done with a 35mm film camera.

The newer iPhones also have "cinematic" mode, which mimics a short or narrow depth of field allowing one to shift the focus back and forth from close to distance elements. One can then take a screen grab when the shot is what they were looking for. That's what I'll work on today, time and weather permitting (lot of clean up and a heat wave).
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
The newer iPhones also have "cinematic" mode, which mimics a short or narrow depth of field allowing one to shift the focus back and forth from close to distance elements. One can then take a screen grab when the shot is what they were looking for. That's what I'll work on today, time and weather permitting (lot of clean up and a heat wave).
It is also available in portrait mode. I am actually not that impressed, it is just software. I would be surprised it would help you in the recreation..
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Got one lying around (broken screen though).

Tell me what settings I need to put it on and I'll give it a try.
i would just hang different size things from a tree and play with the focus until the items blur are similar to the Calvine pic.
If you cant match it regardless of settings, then move the tree further form you etc. make the ufo smaller etc.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Tell me what settings I need to put it on and I'll give it a try.
It varies, but many digital cameras called it "aperture priority" and set it to the lowest number as Ravi said. That will give you the shallowest depth of field. Meaning only certain elements in the shot can be in focus, not the whole scene.
 
Last edited:
Top