Calvine UFO Photo - Reflection In Water Hypothesis

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
Oh, you're still on the "upside down" hypothesis? Sorry, I've never thought that to be plausible. For one thing, wouldn't the negative itself have different markings on top and bottom? Maybe a photo specialist can tell us that, because my experience is limited in that respect.

I thought about this, too - the Daily Record had the negatives and knew which way to print them. So the photographer would have to have been holding his camera upside-down to fool them. (However, I don't agree with the upside-down hypothesis either.)
ETA: Sorry, didn't see deidre already said this.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
the Daily Record had the negatives and knew which way to print them
stu little says they had copies of negatives. didn't he?
plus if the canon camera is correct (not that i have any real reason to think it is), then the crop bit (also according to stu) makes sense as the canon prints would be 4x6 where as Lindsay's pic is 4x5.



Article:
Prints and Copy Negatives
The simplest way to duplicate negatives is to make a print and then to photograph the print using a large-format camera (4" x 5" or larger) to produce a copy negative. The advantages of this method are cost and convenience. Most museum darkrooms or local photo labs should be able to do the work with little or no investment in equipment. Further savings may be achieved by using already existing prints for copying. Where no original negatives exist, copying existing prints is the only available option. The disadvantage of this system is loss of detail in both the print and the copy negative. A print always has detail loss and a compressed tonal range when compared to the original negative, and further detail is lost when the copy negative is made.



although stu also says it was a film strip of 6 pics (which is odd in itself, does scotland do 6 pic strips or i guess the photographer could have developed the film himself ) in which case they wouldnt be large format negatives...unless im missing something.

  • Photographer Stu Little (I remember that name from some YouTube comments on various Calvine videos) says he saw the negatives in (perhaps) autumn 1993 at the Daily Record building in Glasgow
  • Says he saw them when he was 18/19 and is 48 now
  • Says there was one of the photos on the wall (frame 4; not the Lindsay one)
  • He asked what it was and the guy showed him a strip of 6 negatives (and that they were duplicates of the originals)
  • Says he was told the camera was a Canon AE 1 Program
  • Says the Lindsay image is a crop, that there was more fence line, more tree, more bush
  • Says he remembers the camera model well because he had a Canon F1
  • Seems like he knows his camera stuff
0:18
  • Says he used XP1 around the time "because he was lazy" and used Boots to have it developed
  • Talks about the photo printing machine the Record had at the time
  • Says the "colour tinge" comes because of the colour printing
  • Says the craft on the Lindsay print is more out of focus than it was on the negatives because the person who was working the enlarger didn't focus on print he was copying properly
0:26
  • Talks about how the negatives might have been duplicated
  • Says they most likely printed the original negatives on 10x8 and then re-photographed them on colour film
 

Rory

Senior Member.
lthough stu also says it was a film strip of 6 pics (which is odd in itself, does scotland do 6 pic strips or i guess the photographer could have developed the film himself ) in which case they wouldnt be large format negatives...unless im missing something.

I want to ask him about that because: i) for sure the copied negatives would be sequential since they would have been made by the Record; ii) iirc when he said they were sequential he was saying that's what the guy at the Record told him about the originals (but I really should double check on that).

The way I understood it was that the "strip of six" would have been cut from the full set (no need to hand over personal photos) and the key bit was they were "sequential" (ie, failed shots hadn't been weeded out).

Here's the slide he used to show how he thought the negatives would have been copied:

1661312301334.png

I guess full details from around 0:18 in the talk.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
iirc when he said they were sequential he was saying that's what the guy at the Record told him about the originals (but I really should double check on that).
i just listened through. god that was long and boring and mind numbing. i dont recall him saying anything about order that i could follow anyway...his accent was making the rambling even more brutal for me, sorry.

The way I understood it was that the "strip of six" would have been cut from the full set (no need to hand over personal photos)
yea i rewound that bit 3x and still not sure what he was saying. the thing is if you get them developed you dont get a full sheet of negatives, at least i never did. im thinking maybe he meant they took the 4x5 copies, made negatives and that is what they stuck to the back in the sleeve..although then they wouldnt be in strip form. as it looks like that machine would do one pic at a time, no?

very confusing.

and a far as his craft look memory, i have no faith in his recollection. there is no way Nick Pope could have guessed all the same details stu is telling from the pic we are looking at. i think stu saw Popes pic and it got jumbled in his mind. which is fair and it happens.
also i could swear in beginning of interview stu said he just got a chance to briefly look at the negatives but now at the end (well when the american guy is signing off, i scrolled through all the boring stealth talk stuff) stu says he had maybe 10-15 mins with them.

i'm not knocking stu or suggesting he is being deliberately deceitful, i just don't trust his memory as much as you seem to be. he did though adequately pause and look upward and struggle to retrieve memories, so your description was a bit misleading and i now dont see the "red flag" i mentioned earlier.

either way, we have a pic sent to paper. maybe the paper asks the photographer for negatives (or did the Record just send their crappy negative copies to MOD...since that is what Lindsay has) or not, but either way they are photos of a photo and then blown up?

Stus story about how the daily Record would take negatives because you never get the negatives back is fine, except why on earth would a paper of that caliber take crappy negative copies? that part makes no sense. and stu doesnt (i didnt catch anyway) say whether the ripped photo on the wall at the Record was the crappy pic we see or if the pic on the wall also showed panels on the craft. he seems to only talk about panels on the negatives.

questions, questions.... smh.

(and im sorry but Americans testing a new anti-grav tech machine in the MIDDLE of England... i'm not buying it. unless it used some illegal fuel that we dont allow in America...like how we have the chinese do our gain-of-function work because it's illegal here... there's no way. We have thousands of miles of empty desert, why fly over scotland. i find that implausible.)
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
Scotland.
Corner of a sparsely populated peninsula of Scotland even. It's really quite a useful place for all your black project aircraft needs - somewhat out in the sticks, a massive 10,000ft runway by the coast that's pointing out to sea so you can make your approach from out over the water, located just right for a refueling stop before the final leg back home across the Atlantic.

EDIT: Wait, that wasn't very clear, was it? I was referring to RAF Machrihanish, out of where the US supposedly operated their aircraft.
 
Last edited:

john.phil

Member
Rotated photo of the building:
I thought about this, too - the Daily Record had the negatives and knew which way to print them. So the photographer would have to have been holding his camera upside-down to fool them. (However, I don't agree with the upside-down hypothesis either.)
ETA: Sorry, didn't see deidre already said this.
Not necessarily, an SLR camera can be attached upside-down to a tripod by installing a small adapter to the flash shoe and actioned with a remote trigger.

1661336591381.png

Model 1:1661336586133.png or model 2:1661336862446.png
https://www.photorig.eu/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1438
 
Last edited:

JMartJr

Senior Member
The way I understood it was that the "strip of six" would have been cut from the full set (no need to hand over personal photos) and the key bit was they were "sequential" (ie, failed shots hadn't been weeded out).
Unless the failed shots while getting the setup right were BEFORE shooting the sequence of 6 that looked good.
(Not saying that is what happened, I was not there, but pointing out it is possible.)

Does anybody know how many shots you got on a roll of that sort of film? Or was it variable depending on what you bought? I find myself automatically thinking in terms of digital "take millions and keep the good ones" photography, which is wrong of course. My memory of film camera days was that, at least around these parts, film was available in rolls of 12, 24 or 36 exposures, but it has been a lot of years since them distant days and this more specialized film might have been different anyway...
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Unless the failed shots while getting the setup right were BEFORE shooting the sequence of 6 that looked good.
stu said the strip of 6 were copies of the negatives that the Daily Record had made.* there really is no indication of whether the photographer sent a strip of 6 or individual negatives.

*even this makes no sense, because stu says the copied negatives he saw were clearer. and yet the first photo the Daily Record handed to Lindsay ...which Lindsay then faxed to the MOD office... was allegedly the crappy out of focus photo we see today.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Does anybody know how many shots you got on a roll of that sort of film? Or was it variable depending on what you bought? I find myself automatically thinking in terms of digital "take millions and keep the good ones" photography, which is wrong of course. My memory of film camera days was that, at least around these parts, film was available in rolls of 12, 24 or 36 exposures, but it has been a lot of years since them distant days and this more specialized film might have been different anyway...

Not 100% sure about that exact film, but I remember seemingly infinite rolls of some films that you could cut to your desired length and then retrofit back into an ordinary cartridge with not much effort (apart from needing to be able to do the procedure in the dark). You could get 50-60 shots worth on one "roll" that way. Occasionally this confuses the developers, so warn them in advance.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
Does anybody know how many shots you got on a roll of that sort of film? Or was it variable depending on what you bought? I find myself automatically thinking in terms of digital "take millions and keep the good ones" photography, which is wrong of course. My memory of film camera days was that, at least around these parts, film was available in rolls of 12, 24 or 36 exposures, but it has been a lot of years since them distant days and this more specialized film might have been different anyway...

Either 24 or 36 exposures was normal. This roll of Ilford XP2 from Wikipedia says "36" on the end of the box.

1661378042346.png

When you got your photos back from being commerically developed and printed, you'd receive a paper envelope containing the prints (usually 6"x4" — 7.5"x5" and 9"x6" were upgrade options if you wanted to pay more).

1661380279712.png

You'd also receive the original film (now developed into negatives). This was cut up into strips to fit into the envelope.

Wikipedia tells me that a single frame of 35mm film measures 38mm across, including the blank space between frames. So a strip of six negatives would be ~228mm or approximately 9 inches long. That would be too large for the envelope that a set of 6"x4" prints would come in, but would make sense if the photographer had opted for the large print option.

What I'm saying is that the mythical strip of six negatives could just be the result of having them developed in a normal commercial lab, and doesn't imply anything in terms of what may have been on the preceding/following frames. It'd be natural just to hand over the strips with the frames of interest, rather than the entire roll.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
It'd be natural just to hand over the strips with the frames of interest, rather than the entire roll.
While noting the coincidence that the number of good shots matched the number of frames in a standard cut strip, and all were by chance on the same section after the cut.

Although I guess there could have been more frames and they just handed over a strip of six as being sufficient for the newspaper"s potential needs?
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I think it's impossible to say really. I'm seeing (and kind of remembering) strips containing 4, 5 and 6 negatives - and if they were developed at home, who knows?
 

MapperGuy

New Member
There is a possible geometry that would yield that picture with no funny business and no UFO present.

Imagine yourself standing on the top of a coastal cliff, there is a fence along the edge to prevent sheep and tourists from wandering over the edge. Below the lower strand of the barbed wire along the left side of the image you can even see a bit of the beach, well below you. Off in the distance is a pyramid shaped island, or at least it looks like a pyramid from where you are standing. While focusing your camera you hear a jet coming along, a military jet flying low over the water practicing to evade hostile radars. Its flight path will take it between the cliff and the distant island, and its low altitude will put you line of sight to it below your line of sight to the island. You snap the shutter as it comes into the viewfinder. And you have THAT photo, genuine and not in the least bit suspicious.

Now I have no idea if that is how this actually came to be taken, but the scenario I wrote would do it.

People have a hard time judging distances in photos like this, the plane everyone has some idea how big it is (if its a real plane and not a model plane anyway). But the UFO or island with reflection? They could be much nearer to the camera than the plane, if its a UFO, or much further away, if its an island. But there is no way for us to determine its actual distance, unless we start making ASSUMPTIONS about its size.

The lack of waves I would attribute to the distance from the camera to the nearest bit of water, well below the cliff top and some ways offshore. Its a calm and hazy day and the horizon is lost in the haze out there somewhere.

I favor the reflection idea for one primary reason. The top and the bottom of the object are too similar in brightness. Look at the plane, and how dark the side facing the camera is, yet the bottom of the object, if its a flying saucer is much brighter. If that was a double convex flying saucer the bottom should be much darker than the top, its not.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
and 5x7s.
just pointing out a 6strip would be 9inches long.
Yup. Consumer postal services almost always used 4-strips, for the practical reason of sharing an envelope with the pictures. Pros who archived in A4 binders would often prefer 5-strips, because 5 fits on the page (7 rows thereof), any less would be waste. I've never encountered 6-strips or 7-strips, but I know they have been used by some (e.g. here's a 7: https://www.preservationequipment.c...e-sheet-Holds-42-frames-6x7-frame-35mm-strips )
The slicing into strips is a purely post-processing operation, so it's all pretty arbitrary, and normally decided by convenience.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
People have a hard time judging distances in photos like this, the plane everyone has some idea how big it is (if its a real plane and not a model plane anyway). But the UFO or island with reflection? They could be much nearer to the camera than the plane, if its a UFO, or much further away, if its an island. But there is no way for us to determine its actual distance, unless we start making ASSUMPTIONS about its size.
Agreed, absolutely. We come down to that again and again in "sightings", where people give their off-the-cuff size estimates (or in many cases, their speed estimates) without knowing the distance, or vice versa. People on here have come up with very high size estimates by comparing the object with the plane size without knowing the distance of either, or whether the plane was also just a reflection. Or a fake. Or a rowboat. Or a bird.
 

Robert Webb

New Member
Off in the distance is a pyramid shaped island, or at least it looks like a pyramid from where you are standing. While focusing your camera you hear a jet coming along, a military jet flying low over the water practicing to evade hostile radars
I see the same thing except I don't think there's a plane at all. I suspect it's a guy in a rowboat. Look again with that thought in mind and you'll probably see it.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
I don't see it, sorry. It looks like a plane to me.
I agree, but @Robert Webb sees one thing and we see another. This picture immediately struck me as being a reflection, while others don't think so. That points out a problem with a discussion like this that hangs on limited amounts of evidence. I think there's a tendency to see what we've first envisioned, and we can't "unsee" that initial impression. And while we may acknowledge points that others have made, we still keep coming back to our own mental image of what's going on. It seems unlikely that the photo itself has any further secrets to clarify for us.
 

john.phil

Member
You'd also receive the original film (now developed into negatives). This was cut up into strips to fit into the envelope.

Wikipedia tells me that a single frame of 35mm film measures 38mm across, including the blank space between frames. So a strip of six negatives would be ~228mm or approximately 9 inches long. That would be too large for the envelope that a set of 6"x4" prints would come in, but would make sense if the photographer had opted for the large print option.
You are assuming the negative is straight, negatives can be rolled up and placed inside a roll container. I've got many stored like this and it was common to ship negatives in protective roll containers, even after development:
1661520824833.png
 

Robert Webb

New Member
I agree, but @Robert Webb sees one thing and we see another. This picture immediately struck me as being a reflection, while others don't think so. That points out a problem with a discussion like this that hangs on limited amounts of evidence. I think there's a tendency to see what we've first envisioned, and we can't "unsee" that initial impression. And while we may acknowledge points that others have made, we still keep coming back to our own mental image of what's going on. It seems unlikely that the photo itself has any further secrets to clarify for us.
Agreed the photo is too blurry and low quality to really tell what it is (like every other UFO photo).

I did see a plane first though. After zooming in and looking for a while I saw it as a guy in a rowboat. Wasn't the first thing I saw. I'm surprised if people can't see it that way. He's hunched forward after just pulling the oars back (the guy is the "top wing"). Looks like we can just see the far oar in the air in front of him (to the right), and the "bottom wing" is either the near oar or a reflection of it, combined with a reflection of the guy.

Could be completely wrong of course.
 

john.phil

Member
I don't see it, sorry. It looks like a plane to me.
The man in a boat hypothesis looks like this:

1661523743535.png

The appendage in the aft end is interpreted as either a bag, a dog (the head is out of focus) or a backrest, and possibly there would be a fishing rod, or a pole sticking out from the same location (not drawn), for pushing the boat away from obstacles and around in the shallows. The oar might be blurred due to its movement, or it's the water that's stirred, or both.

As a reminder, pareidolia is powerful, which works equally towards being a plane, bird, man in boat or object. So, if you say "I see a Harrier", it's no different from the other hypotheses, as it's based solely in trying to see something you have seen before, in the noise of a low resolution photograph.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
As a reminder, pareidolia is powerful, which works equally towards being a plane, bird, man in boat or object. So, if you say "I see a Harrier", it's no different from the other hypotheses, as it's based solely in trying to see something you have seen before, in the noise of a low resolution photograph.
except in this case the MOD had 6 negatives to study. the man in the boat assumes the MOD is grossly incompetent. or that little man in the row boat/kayak is rowing his heart out all over the lake area. which is possible... we dont know how far apart the pics were taken. still it's exhausting thinking about. Although looking up college rowing teams in Scotland might help pinpoint the location.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
The man in a boat hypothesis looks like this:
The appendage in the aft end is interpreted as either a bag, a dog (the head is out of focus) or a backrest, and possibly there would be a fishing rod, or a pole sticking out from the same location (not drawn), for pushing the boat away from obstacles and around in the shallows. The oar might be blurred due to its movement, or it's the water that's stirred, or both.

As a reminder, pareidolia is powerful, which works equally towards being a plane, bird, man in boat or object. So, if you say "I see a Harrier", it's no different from the other hypotheses, as it's based solely in trying to see something you have seen before, in the noise of a low resolution photograph.
Of course I understand pareidolia is powerful and a very subjective issue. The part of the oar in the water could even be a shadow on the water coming from the person. But stil, like you, my initial thought was plane.. :)

We will probably never know. Unless more (photo's, witnesses) will surface..
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Surely man in a rowboat means ripples on the loch which means a glassy still lake surface perfectly reflecting sky is an impossibility?
 

john.phil

Member
except in this case the MOD had 6 negatives to study. the man in the boat assumes the MOD is grossly incompetent. or that little man in the row boat/kayak is rowing his heart out all over the lake area. which is possible... we dont know how far apart the pics were taken. still it's exhausting thinking about. Although looking up college rowing teams in Scotland might help pinpoint the location.
That's not the claim of the man-in-a-boat hypothesis. We can say that the individuals at the MOD that agreed on the most likely explanation for what they could work out from the negatives and photographs, could have been biased by the main narrative, affected by pareidolia, constrained in time and interest, and also capable of making mistakes too.
 

john.phil

Member
Very good argument against the reflection theory.
Not really, instead we can say that if it's indeed a reflection, then that's probably not a boat, but still can be a model plane, reflected or not, or the reflection of an actual plane, or bird, reflected or not, or an object in the water, or something else.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Not really, instead we can say that if it's indeed a reflection, then that's probably not a boat, but still can be a model plane, reflected or not, or the reflection of an actual plane, or bird, reflected or not, or an object in the water, or something else.

Well at this point it can be anything. Maybe it was Nessie on holiday.
 

john.phil

Member
Well at this point it can be anything. Maybe it was Nessie on holiday.
There's indeed the possibility the photographer was out and about to try to create a Nessie hoax, went home to develop the film and noticed it would sell better as a UFO hoax story, supposing it's a hoax at all.
 

Mauro

Senior Member
The 'man in a boat' theory looks quite good to me. We see a blurry boat, relatively near to the shore, partially reflected by the water surface below. The ripples made by the rows, with the reflefction of the boat, form what seems to be the 'lower' wing of the airplane. Then, far away, we see a peak (possibily an island) together with its reflection (it's very much clear, to me at least) that the lower part of the 'object' is a reflection of the upper part). Is the reflection disturbed by ripples or not? Hard to say from the picture, but the peak is far from the boat so having both a far away 'clean' reflection and a nearby one with ripples is quite possible.

The water surface reaches at least up to the midpoint of the central 'object' but it can extend further away, in anuy case it then blends with the sky (or fog, clouds..). Looking at a vertically cropped image may help visualizing the scene:

1661528869915.png

1661529375789.png
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I know people aren't a fan of colorization - and with good reason - but it may be helpful with regard to the whole "man in a boat" thing (as well contrast enhancing). To me, both show that what we're looking at is sky.

Calvine colorized.jpg

I think "man in a boat" is simply pareidolia.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I've created a new animation! I've added a bit more textures so things are a bit more clear. I've also used a triangular rock sticking out of the pond. Thoughts?

I think it's tremendously magnificent. But I'm wondering about the focus. In the picture we see that the branches at the top are more out of focus than the object. In the reflection theory what explains this?
 
Last edited:

deirdre

Senior Member.
In the reflection theory what explains this?
the trees are further away? trees are always blurrier than sharp objects due to lots of little leaves? (the trees are blurrier in every reflection pic i have..and i have like 50+ in my folder.

or...see this canal pic. the edge of bridge whichis where the camera seems to be zeroed in on is clearer. is it clearer because everything else in the photo is further away? or just because the leaves are smaller so give the illusion of blurrier?

Screenshot 2022-08-23 173538.png
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Fair point. Much easier to say the bridge is more defined (though most of the leaves are some distance further from the water).

1661537945459.png
(That's the reflection, flipped upside down.)

Glad to know you're enjoying our canals! :)
 
Last edited:
Top