Calvine Photo Hoax Theories

DavidB66

Senior Member
Using photoshop levels adjustment if you move the middle (midtone) slider to around 0.2 do you also see a circle on/around the "front" of the UFO?
(Three frame .gif: original, midtone adjusted, circle annotation.)
CalvineCircle.gif
Hasn't the 'circle' already been mentioned in one of the Calvine threads? IIRC, someone suggested it might be a stain from a drop of water (etc) on the photo.
Personally, I don't see the circle in the un-enhanced version; I see it very clearly when it is ringed in red; and in the intermediate version it is difficult to 'unsee' the ringed version.
Added: I did notice something mildly interesting just now. Previously I had my laptop plugged into power, but when I unplugged it to take it to another chair, the screen switched to a lower-brightness mode, and the circle in the intermediate version suddenly looked clearer. Playing around with the brightness level I can either eliminate the circle or enhance it. OK, that's not very interesting: it just shows that the circle isn't an artifact of Photoshop in particular. But while playing around with the image I also happened to see the lower half of the photo in isolation (without the mystery object in view), and it seems to me that there is another definite circle in the image, to the south-west of the object, and above the middle fence-post. More doubtfully, there is another possible circle to the south of the nose of the object. Is it possible that the MoD Press guy once dripped some tea on the photo?

Apologies if the second (and third?) circle have been previously mentioned.
 

captancourgette

Active Member
Maybe I'm misremembering, but wasn't someone a few months ago going to make a better quality print/scan of the image and release that soon?
I tried searching to back up my recollection but couldn't find anything
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Maybe I'm misremembering, but wasn't someone a few months ago going to make a better quality print/scan of the image and release that soon?
I tried searching to back up my recollection but couldn't find anything
They were talking about a high res scan being made. But, regardless of how high res it is, one is still depended on the original source material. If this is a nearly 30-year-old photo NOT made on archival grade paper, then a scan can't make up for what's not there. It could help to clarify if things like the above mentioned "circle" is part of the original photo, or a compression artifact related to the versions we can download online.

It seems we were all waiting for Dr. Clarck's big write up in Fotean Times. Apparently, that might have happened back on October 1:

1667411945064.png

Unfortunately, it's behind a pay wall at 3 quid for 3 months, or around $1.15 for an issue. May have to be a big spender and give it a read.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
They were talking about a high res scan being made. But, regardless of how high res it is, one is still depended on the original source material. If this is a nearly 30-year-old photo NOT made on archival grade paper, then a scan can't make up for what's not there. It could help to clarify if things like the above mentioned "circle" is part of the original photo, or a compression artifact related to the versions we can download online.

It seems we were all waiting for Dr. Clarck's big write up in Fotean Times. Apparently, that might have happened back on October 1:

1667411945064.png

Unfortunately, it's behind a pay wall at 3 quid for 3 months, or around $1.15 for an issue. May have to be a big spender and give it a read.
Before breaking open the piggy-bank, please note that I subscribe to a magazine aggregator service called Readly, and I vaguely recalled that Fortean Times is included in the magazine list! I haven't previously looked at it, but I just checked, and the relevant issue is indeed available. On a quick glance, I see that it mentions (and pooh-poohs) the 'reflection in water' theory, and the 'model (or Christmas tree star) on a fishing line theory'. I'll read it properly tomorrow and post any relevant points. It's quite long (6 pages), so no way am I going to type it all out.
Added: Readly is available with a month or more 'free trial' in the UK, US, and Australia (at least). But I don't know if the magazine coverage is the same in all territories.
2nd added: I checked the US website and the US version does indeed have Fortean Times. Ditto Australia.
 
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Rory

Closed Account
I like the headline: "how the world's best UFO photo was hidden by the UK government for 30 years."

Translation: "how an image one person restrospectively called 'the world's best UFO photo' some years after he'd last seen it (having originally merely called it 'one of the most intriguing cases') was lost or shredded about 28 years ago and then a nice old man turned up with a copy he'd freely shown to quite a few people and kept in a book."
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
I said I would write a note on the main points from David Clarke's article in Fortean Times. This is it.

There is a lot of overlap with Clarke's previous articles, interviews, and YouTube appearances. I will only mention those points in the article which seem new. I haven't checked them line by line against the previous material, so I may have either missed some new points or repeated some old ones.

The article is in Fortean Times Issue 423, October 2022. Note that this is not the latest issue, so if you look for it at a magazine outlet you may be unlucky.

A bold headline on the front cover reads

UFO: Cover-Up at Calvine: how "the world's best UFO photo" was hidden by the UK government for over 30 years.

The article is also mentioned in a brief editorial on page 2.

The article itself runs from pages 30-35 inclusive. David Clarke is credited as the author, and I assume that he is responsible for its contents except where explicitly quoting from someone else. Comments in square brackets are by me.

Points of interest:

Page 30 begins

A dramatic photograph showing a huge UFO hovering above a Scottish glen has been found after a 32-year cover-up. The elusive photographs [sic] were taken by two frightened hotel workers...

[Implicitly assumes the story is not a hoax.]

The Press Officer Craig Lindsay is quoted as saying "This story has been with me for over 30 years... now I just want to know the truth". [Classic tabloid journalese.]

There is not much new on page 30. Clarke says that

I tracked down Craig Lindsay in August 2021, but mystery still surrounds the identity of the photographer and his friend.

[This is a bit rich, as we know that Clarke has the name of the photographer but presumably can't use it.
Later he quotes Lindsay as saying "...now I hope the two witnesses will come forward and tell their own stories." ]

Page 31 is an imaginative mock-up of Nick Pope's office in the MoD, with someone (presumably intended to be Pope's boss) taking down the notorious picture from the wall.

Not much new on page 32. It prints Clarke's photo of the view from Struan Point, describing it as the 'most likely' location for the 1990 photo. No reason given. Surely the mere presence of a fence and trees is not sufficient? One other point on this page:

...when Lindsay retired in 1999 the 'best image' remained in his desk and he decided to take it with him, keeping it safe inside his copy of Great Aircraft of the World.

[Arguably theft. When employees retire, they can't just take whatever they like from the workplace! In this case, it was a possibly unique, historically important, and commercially valuable item. Taking a copy of the photo, as a precaution, might be excusable, but taking the only known original, apparently without consulting anyone, is somewhat mind-boggling. I note incidentally that the version of the photo printed on page 30 in the article is captioned 'With permission of Sheffield Hallam University/Craig Lindsay'. Is Lindsay claiming copyright?]

Page 33 recounts the history of David Clarke's own involvement in the case from 2009 onwards. Describes his efforts to track down the 'witnesses' to the Calvine object, until "thirteen years and many dead ends later, a lucky break led me to call Craig Lindsay..."

[The nature of this 'lucky break' is not explained here, or elsewhere as far as I recall. It would presumably be a tip-off from someone who knew of Lindsay's involvement, more than 22 years ago. But who? We have a right to know the truth!]

On page 33 Clarke also makes much of the MoD's decision to conceal the identity of the witnesses:

The Ministry of Defence must now explain to the public why, if there are no such things as UFOs, they can justify keeping their identities secret for a further 54 years. [i.e. from now to 2076]
Yet on page 34 Clarke himself explains the legal niceties:

Before Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act arrived in 2005, the photographer's identity would normally have been released after 30 years - on 1 January 2020. [Under the standard 30-year rule for release of official documents in the UK. But note that there are various exceptions to the rule, and also that many documents are routinely destroyed long before 30 years. Only those deemed of long-term value are archived.] But MoD and The National Archives continue to insist it must be kept secret for another 56 years, until 1 January 2076, because of privacy concerns. UFO researcher Matthew Illsley is challenging the extended closure decision that he says is unjustified.
[Note the fact that the National Archives as well as MoD are resisting release of the name. The National Archives have no policy responsibility for UFOs, so they are presumably just following what they see as the legal requirements on privacy.]

Page 34 also includes an inset section credited to Andrew Robinson, summarising his photographic analysis. Otherwise, page 34 and 35 are mainly concerned with Clarke's currently favoured theory that the Calvine photograph shows an American 'experimental aircraft'. He describes the various rumours about the Aurora project and the Northrop Black Manta. He points out that the MoD-commissioned 'Condign Report' of 2000
...includes an image of the SR71 [the 'Blackbird' spy plane] but photographs and descriptions of two other secret US experimental programmes have been redacted. Do these censored images show the UFO captured on film by the two young chefs in the Scottish Highlands? We may never know, as earlier this year the MoD revealed it had 'accidentally destroyed' the single surviving unredacted copy of the Condign report...
[Very sinister, unless it is just a further sign that the MoD have little interest in UFOs! Edit: I have looked at relevant portions of the (redacted) Condign Report, and I don't see how Clarke knows that the redacted portions contain 'photographs and descriptions'. The most likely relevant portions are redacted so completely that there is no way of knowing what is missing. But I may have overlooked some clue to their contents. Edit 2: I did miss a possible clue. The most likely place for discussion of secret US experimental planes is in paras 3 and 6 of Working Paper 9, dealing with ''"Black" and other aircraft as UAP events'. These paras are entirely deleted from the redacted report, but they both have the note 'S.27' against them in the margin. The 'clue' is that there is an appendix containing illustrations, and in this 'Figure 2' has been deleted, but has the note 'S.27' against it in the margin. I suspect that 'S.27' refers to Section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which provides an exemption from the Act for information whose disclosure would be prejudicial to relations with another country. In this context the other country would most likely be the United States. The deletion of paras 3 and 6 of the paper, and figure 2 in the appendix, therefore may well indicate a reference to some sensitive US project or projects. Whether it includes 'photographs and descriptions' is not clear. ]

Finally, at the end of page 35 Clarke considers the possibility of a hoax:

Since the Calvine image went viral on social media, the internet has been buzzing with competing and contradictory theories and explanations that seek to debunk the image as yet another fake UFO photo. Perhaps the most bizarre explanation suggests the photo is actually an inverted image not of an object hovering in a cloudy sky, but of something partly submerged in a body of water. The promoters of this theory believe the UFO is actually a small island or rock in a Scottish loch, and the bottom of the 'diamond' is actually a reflection of the island in the still water! Photographer Andrew Robinson, who produced hi-resolution images of the print in Sheffield Hallam University's photo labs, says the photo does superficially look like a reflection of a flat object sticking up from a body of water. "But your gut instinct tells you this isn't an inverted image", he says. "The other items in the image and all the angles are wrong for this to be a reflection."
Sceptics say the most straightforward explanation is that the diamond-shaped object is actually a small model hanging from a thin thread near the camera. Belgian sceptic Wim van Utrecht believes he has identified the object as a five-pointed cardboard 'Christmas star' ornament suspended from the overhanging trees. [It's a pity this is not illustrated: it looks a great deal more like the Calvine object than any of the 'artist's impressions' of secret experimental planes!] A similar theory was proposed for the classic McMinnville photograph, taken in 1950... But as the Calvine photo shows both the large UFO and a tiny Harrier jet, a more ingenious arrangement is required. According to Utrecht, the two pranksters, after hanging the ornament from a tree, produced a fishing rod and while one of the men "moved the small model round the 'saucer', his companion snapped the pictures". As of writing, scrutiny of a high-resolution TIFF version of the Calvine image has failed to detect any evidence of strings, wire, or other suspicious anomalies (although experiments by Utrecht have found that fishing line is very difficult to detect in any camera image).
The article ends there. I won't comment further here, except to note one important omission: it does not mention that two named senior MoD officials have previously stated that the incident was eventually identified as a hoax, even though one of them (Air Commodore Baldwin) is mentioned in the text.

If some of my comments above may seem snarky, I should stress that I have a high regard for David Clarke's work. His book The UFO Files is excellent.

There is correspondence on Clarke's article in the subsequent issue number 425, with a reply by Clarke.

I must say this is the first time I have read Fortean Times. I have heard of it before but may have been put off by the lurid and National-Enquirer-esque covers. In fact it is enjoyable and interesting, and I will be reading more. UFOs and other areas of Metabunk interest are frequently covered. The Readly service has back numbers from December 2017 onwards.
 
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DavidB66

Senior Member
I mentioned earlier in this thread that I subscribed to a magazine aggregation service called Readly, and had a subsequent conversation with one or two of you about the service. I mentioned somewhere that Readly didn't include 'New Scientist' magazine, so I think I should now mention that New Scientist has just been added to the service, at least in the UK. It has the latest issue (a special number on 'Limits to knowledge'), and back issues from October 2022 onwards.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Wim van Utrecht updated his Christmas ornament recreation, PDF attached.



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Attachments

  • A UFO with a High X(mas) Factor – Second Attempt.pdf
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Duke

Active Member
Wim van Utrecht updated his Christmas ornament recreation, PDF attached.



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Not bad, similar to the Calvine photo. One thing I didn't see in his PDF is any discussion of the specific camera van Utrecht used for this effort. Film or digital?
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Wim van Utrecht updated his Christmas ornament recreation, PDF attached.



DSC04596.JPG
DSC04635.JPG
To take a photo of that particular shape without showing any value changes between the angled points, I'd think you would need some carefully-balanced studio lighting, something unavailable to two boys with a camera en plein air. And Photoshop didn't exist back then, so I think it's fair to conclude that it was indeed a single unmanipulated photo, taken in daylight. That doesn't preclude a hoax, but suggests that this star-shaped ornament wasn't what was used.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
To take a photo of that particular shape without showing any value changes between the angled points, I'd think you would need some carefully-balanced studio lighting
I don't understand, are you saying that Utrecht was using studio lighting to create the new photo? According to his report, he just went outside and shot on a cloud covered day:

1674510341893.png

something unavailable to two boys with a camera en plein air.

I'll repeat this: IF the photo is a hoax, then it is possible that the back story is a hoax as well. Clark and Linsday seem to know the name of one of the people involved, but not the other. Assuming there is another. The existence of a second person comes solely from Linsday 30 year old retelling of a 10-minute phone conversation he had with only one person. Presumably this is the same person that's name Linsday wrote on the photo.

Two lads running about the countryside with a camera after work and stumbling upon a UFO/Black ops craft is a secondhand story with little to no corroboration.

And Photoshop didn't exist back then, so I think it's fair to conclude that it was indeed a single unmanipulated photo, taken in daylight. That doesn't preclude a hoax, but suggests that this star-shaped ornament wasn't what was used

To be clear Utrecht is using a digital camera and does confess to using Photoshop to "erase" a power pole:

1674511307149.png

1674511340573.png

But he's not hiding anything, he's showing his original and how he got to his recreation.

I think focusing on whether the star ornament is the exact thing used is missing the point. Something similar could have been used to create the general look of the photo. I think I got somewhat close using a 2D cardboard cutout with some drawn on shadows, certainly similar to Utrecht.



It shows that something very similar to the Calvine photo can be created with a number of different items and in camera techniques.

He seems to have the same issue I did with everything being in focus a bit more than the original and the need to add "film grain" as we're working with digital equipment.

But again, I think with an actual film camera this is very doable.

I go back to Dr. Clark and his almost complete rejection of a hoax possibility. I just don't get it. It's worth reading his review of a hoax as presented in his article for Fortian Times issue #423 October '22. I don't have the article online, but here is the transcription form the hard copy provided by @DavidB66 in post #169. I've added the bold to the sections where, first the reflection theory is considered and then rejected because it doesn't feel right. It just sounds very Grham Hancock to go with a gut reaction. He does say the angles are wrong, but doesn't really explain why:

Since the Calvine image went viral on social media, the internet has been buzzing with competing and contradictory theories and explanations that seek to debunk the image as yet another fake UFO photo. Perhaps the most bizarre explanation suggests the photo is actually an inverted image not of an object hovering in a cloudy sky, but of something partly submerged in a body of water. The promoters of this theory believe the UFO is actually a small island or rock in a Scottish loch, and the bottom of the 'diamond' is actually a reflection of the island in the still water! Photographer Andrew Robinson, who produced hi-resolution images of the print in Sheffield Hallam University's photo labs, says the photo does superficially look like a reflection of a flat object sticking up from a body of water. "But your gut instinct tells you this isn't an inverted image", he says. "The other items in the image and all the angles are wrong for this to be a reflection."
Content from External Source
Then he admits that Utrecht did a pretty good job using an ornament as a model, but then reasons that no strings can be found in high-res TIFF version, so not a hoax. But then says fishing line is very hard to detect?

And as in our discussion of the Patterson Gimlin film, regardless of how high-resolution a scan is made, if the original source material couldn't capture something, like a string, no amount of 4K or 8K scanning is going to reveal what is not there:

Sceptics say the most straightforward explanation is that the diamond-shaped object is actually a small model hanging from a thin thread near the camera. Belgian sceptic Wim van Utrecht believes he has identified the object as a five-pointed cardboard 'Christmas star' ornament suspended from the overhanging trees. [It's a pity this is not illustrated: it looks a great deal more like the Calvine object than any of the 'artist's impressions' of secret experimental planes!] A similar theory was proposed for the classic McMinnville photograph, taken in 1950... But as the Calvine photo shows both the large UFO and a tiny Harrier jet, a more ingenious arrangement is required. According to Utrecht, the two pranksters, after hanging the ornament from a tree, produced a fishing rod and while one of the men "moved the small model round the 'saucer', his companion snapped the pictures". As of writing, scrutiny of a high-resolution TIFF version of the Calvine image has failed to detect any evidence of strings, wire, or other suspicious anomalies (although experiments by Utrecht have found that fishing line is very difficult to detect in any camera image).
Content from External Source
I actually looked at old film cameras at some antique stores over the weekend to better attempt a recreation. However, they were much more expensive than I thought. People wanted $200-$300 for an old simple Pentax K1000! I don't think they cost that much new.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I actually looked at old film cameras at some antique stores over the weekend to better attempt a recreation. However, they were much more expensive than I thought. People wanted $200-$300 for an old simple Pentax K1000! I don't think they cost that much new.
do you have pawn shops? i cant imagine any shop giving me 100$ for my old camera (assuming a 2-3x markup in the store). you might also run into a developing issue, as i said earlier my brother developed his own film in school and they would come out like that "look"...i have some old photos from wales/bath that kinda look like that (as i have bad vision and wasnt good with my fstops :), but still none of my photos looked that 'washed out' as far as sky. so i wouldnt spend more than 50$ on a camera tops!! for experimenting. better still if a pawn shop would rent one for 10$ for the week.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
It just sounds very Grham Hancock to go with a gut reaction. He does say the angles are wrong, but doesn't really explain why:
I agree, a "gut reaction" is generally insufficient to debunk anything. But the fact remains that a reflection in water is always going to look either about the same value (if viewed at a very shallow angle to the water surface) or darker (if viewed at a larger angle) than the object itself, so the original photo cannot be merely an inverted image.

Here's an example, in which the more distant part of the reflection (small angle) is close to the color of the object while it gets much darker as it comes closer to the viewer (larger angle). You could never mistake an upside-down image of this photo for one right side up.
2B636591-1F58-4B54-8953-2142623E5A4D.jpeg
 

Scaramanga

Member
I agree, a "gut reaction" is generally insufficient to debunk anything. But the fact remains that a reflection in water is always going to look either about the same value (if viewed at a very shallow angle to the water surface) or darker (if viewed at a larger angle) than the object itself, so the original photo cannot be merely an inverted image.

Here's an example, in which the more distant part of the reflection (small angle) is close to the color of the object while it gets much darker as it comes closer to the viewer (larger angle). You could never mistake an upside-down image of this photo for one right side up.
2B636591-1F58-4B54-8953-2142623E5A4D.jpeg

Having checked the weather for August 4th 1990, a record breaking hot spell was just coming to an end and in Scotland it was back to the usual windy and rainy with a north-west wind. None of the local lakes would have had smooth as glass surface anyway.
 

Scaramanga

Member
Hasn't the 'circle' already been mentioned in one of the Calvine threads? IIRC, someone suggested it might be a stain from a drop of water (etc) on the photo.
Personally, I don't see the circle in the un-enhanced version; I see it very clearly when it is ringed in red; and in the intermediate version it is difficult to 'unsee' the ringed version.
Added: I did notice something mildly interesting just now. Previously I had my laptop plugged into power, but when I unplugged it to take it to another chair, the screen switched to a lower-brightness mode, and the circle in the intermediate version suddenly looked clearer. Playing around with the brightness level I can either eliminate the circle or enhance it. OK, that's not very interesting: it just shows that the circle isn't an artifact of Photoshop in particular. But while playing around with the image I also happened to see the lower half of the photo in isolation (without the mystery object in view), and it seems to me that there is another definite circle in the image, to the south-west of the object, and above the middle fence-post. More doubtfully, there is another possible circle to the south of the nose of the object. Is it possible that the MoD Press guy once dripped some tea on the photo?

Apologies if the second (and third?) circle have been previously mentioned.

The more I look at the photo, the more absurd the 'reflection in lake' hypothesis becomes. Leaving aside the fact that it was actually rainy and windy at the time and any lake would not have been smooth, there is a further major issue. A photo of a reflection in a lake would leave the clouds upside down, with the dark bottom of the clouds being at the top....which is precisely what you see if you do turn the photo upside down. But, you then have a bizarrely placed fence at the top of the photo...with the water going right up to the fence. I have regularly visited this area and its surrounds. The fences are actually only a few feet high ( and not like some military base fence as some imagine. You can even see tufts of sheep hair caught on the fence...a common sight ), as in the example below which is near Calvine...and none of them are right next to a lake, nor would anyone put such a fence ( they are purely for keeping sheep in ) literally right on the lakeside and subject to waves and erosion etc. There's no reason to put a sheep fence right on the shore of any lake. That is a huge clue that the photo has nothing to do with any lake.

Sheep can swim ( though these lakes are several hundred to a thousand yards wide ), but the reason you don't put sheep fences right on the lake shore is simple. If everyone did it, then on the occasions when the fence broke and sheep got through and swam away...they'd have no way of getting back onto dry land again !

calvine_fences.jpgcalvine_fences2.jpg
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Having checked the weather for August 4th 1990, a record breaking hot spell was just coming to an end and in Scotland it was back to the usual windy and rainy with a north-west wind. None of the local lakes would have had smooth as glass surface anyway.
I'd have to search through all the treads again but I'm pretty sure the Daily Record and then Linsday got the photos or the negatives around September 10th (?) or nearly 3+ weeks after the incident supposedly took place. The date of 8/4 is likely secondhand reporting from Linsday's phone conversation, assuming he's the one that wrote, or provided the info for the original MoD report. Not to say the reflection theory is a great idea, but the date could have been anytime before the photos/negatives showing up at the Daily Record.

do you have pawn shops? i cant imagine any shop giving me 100$ for my old camera (assuming a 2-3x markup in the store). you might also run into a developing issue, as i said earlier my brother developed his own film in school and they would come out like that "look".....

i wouldnt spend more than 50$ on a camera tops!! for experimenting. better still if a pawn shop would rent one for 10$ for the week.
Yeah we have pawn shops, but I can't imagine them giving anyone much for a film camera. I did see an older Pentax on Craigslist for $50 I guess I could check out. I'm pretty sure the Calvine photo is a hoax of some sort, but is it really that important?
 

jackfrostvc

Senior Member
Just a note on the thread that could be used to suspend a model. Assuming it's not thrown in the air that is, which I suspect in some hoaxes, the model actual is


During the pandemic I got into doing card tricks and also saw some tutorials on other types of tricks.
One of the tricks used by magicians is to levitate a card or some other object. Even close up you cannot see the thread. They don't use fishing wire, they use a super thin, almost invisible thread. In fact in the demos I've seen of it in videos, I've yet to actually see the thread.

I wonder how many models are suspended using "magician" thread

For example, here is a demo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6LmtyH9IR4
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
A photo of a reflection in a lake would leave the clouds upside down, with the dark bottom of the clouds being at the top....which is precisely what you see if you do turn the photo upside down.
I just explained how reflections behave as a function of the angle of view. You can even see that in my photo (#176) that you replied to (#177), in which the water is, just like the reflection, light in the distance and dark at the bottom. Please, go back and READ post 176, which explains reflections and why they are not mirror images. It's not difficult; it's just high school physics.
 

Scaramanga

Member
I just explained how reflections behave as a function of the angle of view. You can even see that in my photo (#176) that you replied to (#177), in which the water is, just like the reflection, light in the distance and dark at the bottom. Please, go back and READ post 176, which explains reflections and why they are not mirror images. It's not difficult; it's just high school physics.

It's irrelevant whether the reflection is an exact mirror image....exact degree of light and hue and so on. The point is that however twisted, distorted, different contrast, changed light, etc......a reflection will show the clouds upside down. Turn the Calvine picture upside down and it very clearly is upside down.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
It's irrelevant whether the reflection is an exact mirror image....exact degree of light and hue and so on. The point is that however twisted, distorted, different contrast, changed light, etc......a reflection will show the clouds upside down. Turn the Calvine picture upside down and it very clearly is upside down.
You're assuming that there IS a dark bottom to the clouds (typical of heavy cumulus clouds) rather than just an overcast which is thin enough that the sun can shine through, or even (if we believe the late hour) clouds that are illuminated from below by the setting sun. Your dark-bottomed clouds are nowhere visible in the photo. Nevertheless you still seem not to grasp the principles of reflections on water.

I'll try to explain ...again...
At a distance (a shallow angle to the surface) you see almost all the light reflected. Stand very close to a pond and look down (much larger angle) and you'll see into the water with very little reflection at all. The larger the angle, the less reflection there is, as more of the light is refracted into the water. It's a continuum from good reflections at the top to almost no reflection at the bottom, and the closer edge of the water is always going to be much darker than the object reflected.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Having checked the weather for August 4th 1990, a record breaking hot spell was just coming to an end and in Scotland it was back to the usual windy and rainy with a north-west wind. None of the local lakes would have had smooth as glass surface anyway.
But then, as has been mentioned somewhere upstream, IF it were an intentional hoax, claims like when it was taken cease to be trustworthy.
 

Scaramanga

Member
You're assuming that there IS a dark bottom to the clouds (typical of heavy cumulus clouds) rather than just an overcast which is thin enough that the sun can shine through, or even (if we believe the late hour) clouds that are illuminated from below by the setting sun. Your dark-bottomed clouds are nowhere visible in the photo. Nevertheless you still seem not to grasp the principles of reflections on water.

I'll try to explain ...again...
At a distance (a shallow angle to the surface) you see almost all the light reflected. Stand very close to a pond and look down (much larger angle) and you'll see into the water with very little reflection at all. The larger the angle, the less reflection there is, as more of the light is refracted into the water. It's a continuum from good reflections at the top to almost no reflection at the bottom, and the closer edge of the water is always going to be much darker than the object reflected.

That's really all missing my primary point, that if the photo is an upside down reflection in water then the fence is literally right on the water's edge. In fact given the short height of those sheep fences, it is effectively in the water as I see no indication that the water stops at the 'top' of the photo. Nobody puts a sheep fence in a lake. To me that is pretty good evidence that the 'upside down reflection in water' theory is untenable and one is genuinely looking at the sky.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Nobody puts a sheep fence in a lake.
There are reasons why you might indeed run fencing into/through a body of water. "I want my sheep/cows/whatever to be able to drink or wade to cool off, but not to swim away" being one that leaps to mind. Some people do indeed run fencing along, even in, the water.
fence in water.JPG
I personally find the "thing(s) on strings "explanation more likely. But things I consider unlikely happen pretty frequently.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
that if the photo is an upside down reflection in water then the fence is literally right on the water's edge.
so? several places i "drove" google car) had fences going down to the water like this"
Screenshot 2023-01-26 000757.png

but really it is all in the camera angle
Screenshot 2022-08-22 224735.png
1674710518445.png

not that im saying the fence is part of the reflection:
Screenshot 2022-08-17 202238.png

i think the only drawback to the theory is whether the plane is upside down or not...which i cant tell.
 

Scaramanga

Member
There are reasons why you might indeed run fencing into/through a body of water. "I want my sheep/cows/whatever to be able to drink or wade to cool off, but not to swim away" being one that leaps to mind. Some people do indeed run fencing along, even in, the water.
fence in water.JPG
I personally find the "thing(s) on strings "explanation more likely. But things I consider unlikely happen pretty frequently.

What the photo doesn't show is that the fence at Sandy Loch in Shetland runs just a short distance perpendicular to the lake shore, and to a small island offshore. That left me a little suspicious....and sure enough, in the photo you've shown the lake is actually flooded ( for example if you compare with the 2003 shoreline ).
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
But I am not claiming that the first fences in the water in Google image search are THE location, merely refuting the idea that fences never run along/into the water. They sometimes do.
 

Scaramanga

Member
But I am not claiming that the first fences in the water in Google image search are THE location, merely refuting the idea that fences never run along/into the water. They sometimes do.
In none of them is the fence actually parallel with the shore....which would make the photographer standing in the lake itself. I feel that some of these theories are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel...the degree to which one has to contrive more and more things to the extent that there being an alien space ship actually becomes a simpler explanation than upside down photos taken in the one place in the whole of Scotland that has a fence in a lake and a background that looks obviously like distant scenery but somehow mysteriously isnt, and a glow on one side that looks very obviously like sunset but is just dismissed as yellowing of the picture.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
...the degree to which one has to contrive more and more things to the extent that there being an alien space ship actually becomes a simpler explanation than upside down photos taken in the one place in the whole of Scotland that has a fence in a lake and a background that looks obviously like distant scenery but somehow mysteriously isnt
It's a black and white film, and a fuzzy photo. I couldn't find one closer to the OP, but here for comparison is a photo with more distinct ripples. You can see how much darker ALL the water looks at a close distance, and the ripples even more so. I don't find it implausible that a very tiny glimpse of even tinier ripples could be mistaken for distant hills. It's not "upside down" or else you'd have an object in the "sky" with the shadow on the bottom, and there's no indication that there's a fence in the water when you're only seeing the top of the fence.
667A6E9B-884E-4891-BF08-161AC6A85C59.jpeg

I can think of no situation in which "an alien space ship" is the "simpler" explanation. Easy to say, yes, but considering the number of other questions it would raise, it would be vastly more complicated to explain.
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
In none of them is the fence actually parallel with the shore....
That is a modified version of nobody builds a fence in the water, adding a coondition not on the original claim, but OK. Here you go, fences in or at the edge of the water, this time constrained to those parallel to the shore -- 2 minutes searching Google:

barbed-wire-fence-farm-pond-chuckschugphotography.jpg Fencing-the-farm-pond-with-chain-link.pngfence 2.jpg fence fence.jpg pond fence.JPG
which would make the photographer standing in the lake itself.
I disagree, but OK, say it would require the hoaxer (if hoaxer he was, I'd agree that is not proven) to stand in the lake to get the shot he wanted. That seems a small price to pay for a good hoax. Certainly not impossible. People do from time to time stand in the water for various reasons! :)

I feel that some of these theories are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel...
The only theory I am rebutting is that fences in/parallel to water are unheard of. I think that claim is demonstrably in error. Again, I am not a fan of the reflection theory -- give me good old "hang a thing on a string," please.

the degree to which one has to contrive more and more things to the extent that there being an alien space ship actually becomes a simpler explanation than upside down photos taken in the one place in the whole of Scotland that has a fence in a lake
You have not demonstrated how many places in Scotland have a fence in the water. Nor that the fence would have to be in the water. You've made those two claims without backing them up. (Though, frankly, I doubt there is any way to demonstrate there is only one, or there are no, fences in the water in Scotland.)

and a background that looks obviously like distant scenery but somehow mysteriously isnt, and a glow on one side that looks very obviously like sunset but is just dismissed as yellowing of the picture.
Circle back in the unfortunately-too-many threads about Calvine -- unless my memory is more faulty than I know, the image is a monochrome picture, so if there is yellow, it would have to be something other than from the actual colors at the time and place the picture was taken. If my mamory is wrong there, anybody feel free to correct me.
 

Scaramanga

Member
It's a black and white film, and a fuzzy photo. I couldn't find one closer to the OP, but here for comparison is a photo with more distinct ripples. You can see how much darker ALL the water looks at a close distance, and the ripples even more so. I don't find it implausible that a very tiny glimpse of even tinier ripples could be mistaken for distant hills. It's not "upside down" or else you'd have an object in the "sky" with the shadow on the bottom, and there's no indication that there's a fence in the water when you're only seeing the top of the fence.
667A6E9B-884E-4891-BF08-161AC6A85C59.jpeg

I can think of no situation in which "an alien space ship" is the "simpler" explanation. Easy to say, yes, but considering the number of other questions it would raise, it would be vastly more complicated to explain.
No..its a colour photo. David Clarke and numerous sources say so.
 

Scaramanga

Member
But I am not claiming that the first fences in the water in Google image search are THE location, merely refuting the idea that fences never run along/into the water. They sometimes do.
And you've found a fence in the water in a lake at Calvine ? I mean...I don't care what they do in Outer Mongolia
 

Scaramanga

Member
It's a black and white film, and a fuzzy photo. I couldn't find one closer to the OP, but here for comparison is a photo with more distinct ripples. You can see how much darker ALL the water looks at a close distance, and the ripples even more so. I don't find it implausible that a very tiny glimpse of even tinier ripples could be mistaken for distant hills. It's not "upside down" or else you'd have an object in the "sky" with the shadow on the bottom, and there's no indication that there's a fence in the water when you're only seeing the top of the fence.
667A6E9B-884E-4891-BF08-161AC6A85C59.jpeg

I can think of no situation in which "an alien space ship" is the "simpler" explanation. Easy to say, yes, but considering the number of other questions it would raise, it would be vastly more complicated to explain.

I'm simply pointing out that surely Occam's razor applies. What is the simplest explanation for everything that is in the photo ? Once you start postulating upside down photos, distant ripples, fences in lakes, a man in a rowing boat, yada yada, in order to explain what 'ought' not to be in the photo....it is easy to lose sight of the blindingly obvious that ought to be there if the photo is simply a pic of something in the sky on a cloudy day in Scotland. Why would there not be distant landscape ? The photo is only at an elevation of a few degrees. It would be remarkable if there were no landscape visible. Why would there not be a Harrier jet....given how often they overflew that area. Why does one have to invent a whole bunch of upside down stuff in order to explain the elephant in the room...the UFO...and in doing so ignore the most logical explanation for everything that is not the UFO.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
And you've found a fence in the water in a lake at Calvine ? I mean...I don't care what they do in Outer Mongolia
Mongolia is lovely this time if year, dont be hating on Mongolia.

Again, my point is that fences can and do run in or along the water from time to time. I think that is amply demonstrated. If you have some information to suggest that Scots in the area of Calvine have a bee in their bonnet about wet fences and never put them in the water like people in the rest of the world sometimes do, I would love to hear it.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Once you start postulating upside down photos, distant ripples, fences in lakes, a man in a rowing boat, yada yada, in order to explain what 'ought' not to be in the photo....it is easy to lose sight of the blindingly obvious that ought to be there if the photo is simply a pic of something in the sky on a cloudy day in Scotland.
I'm not sure who you're responding to, but I have postulated not a single one of those things. As has been repeated many times in these threads, it was black and white film, even though it was printed on the type of photo paper generally used for color, and has discolored over the many years since it was taken. I've explained, again and again, why the photo is NOT upside down. The ripples are the closest part of the reflected water, and are the the darkest, and are the thing you seem to be mistaking for hills in the landscape, "hills" that inexplicably break up into lots of little parts on the left. I have no idea where that notion came from that the fence is in the water but it didn't come from me; we never see anything but the top of the fence. Ditto for the "man in a rowboat". And we have no idea at what angle the photo is taken, except that if it's sky, it's angled up, and if it's a reflection in water, it's angled down ....and that is precisely the unresolved point that is under debate. You really need to go back and read the Calvine reflection in water thread.

I cheerfully admit to not believing in any kind of craft that breaks all the known laws of physics, and if you postulate such a thing, you've got a lot of 'splainin' to do before I give it any credence.
 

Scaramanga

Member
I'm not sure who you're responding to, but I have postulated not a single one of those things. As has been repeated many times in these threads, it was black and white film, even though it was printed on the type of photo paper generally used for color, and has discolored over the many years since it was taken. I've explained, again and again, why the photo is NOT upside down. The ripples are the closest part of the reflected water, and are the the darkest, and are the thing you seem to be mistaking for hills in the landscape, "hills" that inexplicably break up into lots of little parts on the left. I have no idea where that notion came from that the fence is in the water but it didn't come from me; we never see anything but the top of the fence. Ditto for the "man in a rowboat". And we have no idea at what angle the photo is taken, except that if it's sky, it's angled up, and if it's a reflection in water, it's angled down ....and that is precisely the unresolved point that is under debate. You really need to go back and read the Calvine reflection in water thread.

I cheerfully admit to not believing in any kind of craft that breaks all the known laws of physics, and if you postulate such a thing, you've got a lot of 'splainin' to do before I give it any credence.

But why conjure up imaginary lakes and ripples ? What is wrong with the photo being what it purports to be....a photo looking up at the sky. Why would the darkened areas at the bottom of the photo not be distant landscape ? One can even see distant trees on those distant hills. The sky amazingly contains no waves or ripples....which is exactly what you'd expect if it was....sky. The tail plane of the plane is the right way up, exactly as you'd expect of a plane in the sky rather than a reflection. And despite objections, I even maintain that the clouds are dark at the bottom ( more evident if you turn up contrast )....which accords with how clouds appear most of the time.

Now I'm sure people can find fences right next to lakes, pics with clouds dark at the top, Harriers flying upside down...yada...yada....but one simply compounds the imaginary stuff all the more and starts to contrive a more unlikely scenario than the pic simply being what it purports to be !

In other words, why suppose that the entire photo is in on the fake...rather than just the UFO bit. The UFO is all we really need to explain, after all. Without the UFO, I doubt anyone would question that it was a photo of sky with a Harrier flying past. Personally I go with the idea that it is a Christmas decoration hanging from a tree. No need for lakes, etc.
 
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