Claim: Original Calvine UFO Photo

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
so he's just making up his own story. the real question is if you are poaching, why would you take photographic evidence of your crime? please.
The poaching thing just makes no sense. If they were poaching, but weren't caught in the act, why on earth would they admit to it? They'd just say they were hiking and taking evening snaps.
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
"You will be aware there are questions about what they were doing on a mountainside at 9pm on a weekend after a long shift at work - with a camera. Draw your own conclusions. Think about what they might have been doing might have something to do with why they were persuaded not tp go any further with their Press contacts and to disappear for 32 years"
The way Clarke phrases this sure sounds like he's hinting they were on the mountain not hiking or poaching but doing something else entirely with that camera... (Not that he would know - I assume he's referring to another activity that has occurred to him.)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The poaching thing just makes no sense. If they were poaching, but weren't caught in the act, why on earth would they admit to it? They'd just say they were hiking and taking evening snaps.
i dont think there was a "they". i could be wrong, but my understanding is just one guy spoke to anyone about anything.
did i miss something where Linday said he spoke to a second witness?
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
i dont think there was a "they". i could be wrong, but my understanding is just one guy spoke to anyone about anything.
did i miss something where Linday said he spoke to a second witness?
This undated handwritten report from some time later mentions two witnesses, one named - but yes, Lindsay only spoke to one. 1660865171223.png
 

Rory

Senior Member.
The way Clarke phrases this sure sounds like he's hinting they were on the mountain not hiking or poaching but doing something else entirely with that camera... (Not that he would know - I assume he's referring to another activity that has occurred to him.)

Clarke's words are a bit weird since he then makes it clear he hasn't heard from them, and he also says in that post "I don't know why the DI source said they were poaching", which is presumably what he trusts.

He also thinks people might find it odd that "two men were on a mountainside at 9pm on a Saturday night" when others have said it's common to see people walking in that area at that time and Struan Point is hardly "a mountainside", it's 200m above the surrounding countryside and apparently takes about 20 minutes to reach the top (described here as "a small rise").

Only thing other than poaching I can think of is they were taking nudies of each other. :D
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
He also thinks people might find it odd that "two men were on a mountainside at 9pm on a Saturday night" when others have said it's common to see people walking in that area at that time and Struan Point is hardly "a mountainside", it's 200m above the surrounding countryside and apparently takes about 20 minutes to reach the top (described here as "a small rise").
I think it's the combination of the late walk PLUS camera that's odd.

Only thing other than poaching I can think of is they were taking nudies of each other. :D
That's what it seems Clarke is hinting at - as he says, he's had 13 years to speculate on what they were doing out there.
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
This undated handwritten report from some time later mentions two witnesses, one named - but yes, Lindsay only spoke to one. 1660865171223.png

So do we have any evidence at all that there was a second witness? The MoD (or whoever wrote the above) didn't have the name, and Lindsay didn't talk to a second person. Perhaps the witness simply told the Daily Record he had a friend with him, to bolster his story - but that he wanted to remain anonymous for his privacy.
 
D

Deleted member 17800

Guest
Hi all :).
I have been looking at that 'ufo' photo till I'm blue in the face and I am now starting to lean to it being an outright hoax.
Oh it's exceptionally well done indeed so how and why do I think this way having previously believed it was an object in the sky.

Well that ' protrusion ' that I found on top of that ' ufo ' is a factor ( least for myself ) and:

The only other way I believe this could be pulled off is the following.

A purpose made ' low res looking ' as in painted created that specific way to not appear ' odd ' in the photographs ' model..
A close /er to the camera object still quite possibly feet in length.
The story just irks me.
If they were terrified like I have previously read why take six shots over that presumed amount of time?
I mean IF they went there to take photos of landscapes etc presumably they would have multiple rolls of film at the ready.\\And so I asked myself what would I have done.
Well I would have used up every roll of film as quickly is physically possible.
They took 6!
IF that had been myself goodness me I would have wanted to come forward because it would have been amazing and I would be damned to be ridiculed until I demanded to know what it was.

This is just my speculation and I am not stating it actually happened this way.

You see most people that have faked ufos in the past use relatively small models and they are obvious to see they're not real.

What if you had a much larger yet lightweight model?
That could / would cause confusion to how far away it was ( and if it is staged the best I have seen).
My suspicions are with the ' specialist film' so why?

Well I have used every kind of film for just about every photo shoot possible in the past but landscape !!

No sir I want them greens and yellows shades of colour to burst through the photo. That film is suspicious.
Just circumstantial bits and bobs that ( for me ) not suggesting I am right are just too many.

No sir I NEED detail for seascapes or land. Especially in summer.
And they say it's the best photo of a ufo!

It might be if we had the negative who knows but why would you have this processed on very average paper?
I mean seriously I want detail in my images film or digital I need detail I need colour because a colour film negative can easily / could easily be processed back then in a multitude of ways including black and white and everything else.

For myself at least back in the 80's 90's the 'paper ' the photograph was on was more important.
Technology had even by that point enabled a wealth of photographic options and manipulation.


Not enough detail yet almost too much detail on the ufo in the white washed sky just shouts to me a flash of some kind was used.

The more I stare at that photo the less impressed I am becoming.

Truth is I think the headline and it's obvious publicity took away my lack of diving deeper ( hey maybe I wanted to believe it was a huge object ) I'm only human and fickle.

Thank you for reading.
 

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Mendel

Senior Member.
Well I would have used up every roll of film as quickly is physically possible.
They took 6!
that might've been the end of the roll, and the object is said to have gone away after that

It might be if we had the negative who knows but why would you have this processed on very average paper?
the newspaper did that because that's what they had at hand? for newsprint use, some detail of the picture was going to get processed into much worse quality to be printed (click to enlarge).
picturetopeople.org-ed6a6233e013143e56df25b822599cbcd56cd887a9abe01dd5.png

The way Clarke phrases this sure sounds like he's hinting they were on the mountain not hiking or poaching but doing something else entirely with that camera... (Not that he would know - I assume he's referring to another activity that has occurred to him
Are we certain that the witnesses in question were both male? if they were, say, a gent and a lady, I can imagine artful things to undertake where b/w film might be appropriate. It would also explain why that lady would be kept out of the subsequent proceedings.
 

Darat

New Member
that might've been the end of the roll, and the object is said to have gone away after that


the newspaper did that because that's what they had at hand? for newsprint use, some detail of the picture was going to get processed into much worse quality to be printed (click to enlarge).
picturetopeople.org-ed6a6233e013143e56df25b822599cbcd56cd887a9abe01dd5.png


Are we certain that the witnesses in question were both male? if they were, say, a gent and a lady, I can imagine artful things to undertake where b/w film might be appropriate. It would also explain why that lady would be kept out of the subsequent proceedings.
But the photo isn't black and white.
 

Bernd Lauert

New Member
What's the source and evidence for the claim the film used was Ilford XP?
If that's the case, the negatives are B&W as the film cannot by any means capture color information.

Still if you print B&W film on color paper some false color will be in the image. Then scan the print with a color scanner and get more color artifccts. I think this is what happened. I do not see any actual color information in the photo.
 

Tomer

Member
Mark on the photo or even negative is my guess - ie, nothing to do with the actual image.



Best protocol here is to quote the source and post what Lindsay actually said.
Sweat doesn't seem likely, the circle is very well formed.

A mark on the photo is possible but then you have to hypothesize what creates a perfectly circular mark.
 

Darat

New Member
Mendel - I see you disagree that the photo is a colour photo. I've attached a file showing areas of different colours in the latest tiff file provided. As you can see the vegetation is different shades of green. I've done no colour manipulation of the image - just cut the various areas out to make it easier to see and exported it out as a PNG with colour profile embedded. scottish_ufo_scan_print_front_A4 colour swatches.png
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
What's the source and evidence for the claim the film used was Ilford XP?
If that's the case, the negatives are B&W as the film cannot by any means capture color information.

Still if you print B&W film on color paper some false color will be in the image. Then scan the print with a color scanner and get more color artifccts. I think this is what happened. I do not see any actual color information in the photo.
a photography lecturer at SHeffield University
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/claim-original-calvine-ufo-photo.12571/post-276335
 

Darat

New Member
I know scanning a B&W photo as a colour image can introduce colour artifacts, but would they be consistent with the type of image i.e only the vegetation showing the green and brown shades, or would it be applied over the entire photo?
 

Bernd Lauert

New Member
Mendel - I see you disagree that the photo is a colour photo. I've attached a file showing areas of different colours in the latest tiff file provided. As you can see the vegetation is different shades of green. I've done no colour manipulation of the image - just cut the various areas out to make it easier to see and exported it out as a PNG with colour profile embedded. scottish_ufo_scan_print_front_A4 colour swatches.png
Sorry, all I see is shades of greyish-brown which is what is to be expected from a color scan of a color photo which was created from Ilford-XP B&W negatives.
The film prints well on color paper, but you can definitely see some funky colors. I've had rolls processed at drug store minilabs that have produced pink, yellow, sepia, etc.
https://www.photo.net/discuss/threa...t-it-on-color-paper-rate-400asa-or-800.85194/

Thank you!

Note that Ilford XP-2 was not available in 1990, it was introduced in 1991. Only its predecessor XP-1 was available from 1981.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilford_XP

I also disagree that the choice of this film implies a 'knowledge or interest in photography'. Rarher the opposite. The main advantage of the Ilford XP chromogenic films was that they could be developed via C-41 process meaning it could be given to any supermarket or drugstore-chain which developed color film in automated labs. True B&W films require processing with B&W chemistry which was not performed by every chain store and if it was significantly more expensive because of the non-standard treatment compared with the masses of color negative film.

While certainly doable, I also do not think the lads developed the Ilford XP themselves. Why would anyone do that at home and negate one of the main advantage of this film? C-41 process is not cheap, needs high temperatures and the chemicals go bad quickly. The automated labs for color films were cheap and fast, way easier and cheaper than doing this at home. If you wanted to develop a film yourself, using a true B&W film would have been much less hassle.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
for newsprint use, some detail of the picture was going to get processed into much worse quality to be printed

1660924529197.png

That's not how it would have looked. The Record had actually been printed in "full colour" since 1971. Here's an inside spread from July 1990:

1660924659422.png
 

Rory

Senior Member.
its not a perfect circle. its close but its a tad wider than high. but i think your device could still do that since hands are shaky and dont apply pressure evenly.

On the first image that was released (watermarked-jpeg-2.jpg) I don't see that circle, but I do see a smaller one in a slightly different place on the object:

1660926467163.png

Maybe it's just something on the scanner?
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
I also disagree that the choice of this film implies a 'knowledge or interest in photography'. Rarher the opposite. The main advantage of the Ilford XP chromogenic films was that they could be developed via C-41 process meaning it could be given to any supermarket or drugstore-chain which developed color film in automated labs. True B&W films require processing with B&W chemistry which was not performed by every chain store and if it was significantly more expensive because of the non-standard treatment compared with the masses of color negative film.

While certainly doable, I also do not think the lads developed the Ilford XP themselves. Why would anyone do that at home and negate one of the main advantage of this film? C-41 process is not cheap, needs high temperatures and the chemicals go bad quickly. The automated labs for color films were cheap and fast, way easier and cheaper than doing this at home. If you wanted to develop a film yourself, using a true B&W film would have been much less hassle.

Not necessarily. From post #235 , here is what the photo expert said about the film stock and the choice:

1660926323871.png
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/claim-original-calvine-ufo-photo.12571/post-276335

Not saying he's right. As for home development, Illford actually made home kits, again form post #235 :

So, we have an experienced amateur using expensive film stock. But the part about needing a lab isn't exactly correct, as he says "only few hobbyists" could process it at home.

A little digging around on some photo forums shows that Illford marketed a home XP1 kit, just for home development of their XP1 film, maybe as far back as the '80s:

1660926427003.png
https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/xp1-vs-xp2-development.64616/#:~:text=


One can still find them on ebay today:

1660926476110.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
That's not how it would have looked. The Record had actually been printed in "full colour" since 1971
Full color printing simply uses 4 half-tone screens, one each for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black; and since the picture is b/w anyway, that's pretty much exactly what it would have looked like, possibly bigger and with a finer grid, but still the quality of the photographic paper used for the "poster" would be leagues above the quality of the news-printed reproduction.

Take a magnifying glass and look at a newspaper if you don't believe me.
 
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Darat

New Member
Sorry, all I see is shades of greyish-brown which is what is to be expected from a color scan of a color photo which was created from Ilford-XP B&W negatives.

https://www.photo.net/discuss/threa...t-it-on-color-paper-rate-400asa-or-800.85194/


....snip....
We are going to have to disagree on this - my monitor (which for work is correctly colour calibrated) lets me see clearly distinct greens, and those greens only appear in the vegetation - for example the fence posts don't have the same range of greens.

I've just scanned a B&W photo (taken and printed around the late 90s on "Kodak Royal Paper") with the scan settings set to "colour photo" and whilst "colour" is introduced it appears consistent across the entire image, it's a cast - the colours are not confined to the green and browns that appear in the vegetation as they are in the TIFF UFO image. (The example on the right is the image scanned as a B&W photo.)
 

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Rory

Senior Member.
Going back to the idea of colorizing, which I think would be really useful for this photo, I had a quick blast through a couple of dozen of the free online colorizers and found only two that added at least some of the color that Chrissy had found manually in her photo:

img002.jpg img002.jpg
photomyne.com (left) and colourise.com (right)

So in general they seem good at skin and hair and not so great for everything else (apart from, maybe, reds - so not really useful for sky).

I did try those two with the Calvine photo and colourise.com was the better. But who knows if it's anything like reality?

I also see that the latest versions of Photoshop also colorize. Anybody wanna give that a try? (I'm still using Photoshop 2003!)
 

Bernd Lauert

New Member
Not necessarily. From post #235 , here is what the photo expert said about the film stock and the choice:

1660926323871.png
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/claim-original-calvine-ufo-photo.12571/post-276335

Not saying he's right. As for home development, Illford actually made home kits, again form post #235 :

So, we have an experienced amateur using expensive film stock. But the part about needing a lab isn't exactly correct, as he says "only few hobbyists" could process it at home.

A little digging around on some photo forums shows that Illford marketed a home XP1 kit, just for home development of their XP1 film, maybe as far back as the '80s:

1660926427003.png
https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/xp1-vs-xp2-development.64616/#:~:text=


One can still find them on ebay today:

1660926476110.png
Well, I agree with most of what the photo expert said but he adds liitle from what is on Wikipedia or a minimal search on the film. He notes that XP1 was more expensive than standard color negative film whis is true of course. It was however the easiest and cheapest way to get B&W photos from a lab, cheaper than giving them true B&W film and having it printed on B&W paper.

If you had no darkroom at home which had fallen out of fashion in the 90s, Ilford XP was the most straightforward way to get cheap B&W photos. Not the best though as the negatives had low contrast and the prints had color artifacts on color paper. I've done it once and was - underwhelmed.

Of course using a B&W film at all was uncommon in '90 but made sense if they:
.)wanted to take 'artsy' landscape photos
.)take 'artsy' photos of themselves
.)keep suspicious color information out of a hoax picture.

A real 'artsy' photographer would have just used true B&W film and developed it himself which gives you way better control over the negatives. But only very few people would have processed XP films themselves with C-41 chemistry. Unless you love to experiment or absolutely need to use widely mixed ISO settings on the same film roll I see no reason to do so. C-41 processing is nothing to do for fun in between and wery uneconomic unless you develop large quantities of film. It just makes no sense. You can have the same or better result much easier with true B&W film.

So I highly doubt two young lads working at a hotel would have bothered with that in '90.
 

Itsme

Active Member
Did anyone consider the possibility that we are looking at a 'picture of a picture'?
If the newspaper only had prints and the MOD PR officer asked for one, the newspaper might have taken the pragmatic route to take one of their cameras at hand and simply make a photo of the print. Probably this photo would be a cropped, less sharp version of the original.

Afer all, why would the original photographer give away the negatives to a newspaper imediately. He/she might have only sent prints instead.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Did anyone consider the possibility that we are looking at a 'picture of a picture'?
If the newspaper only had prints and the MOD PR officer asked for one, the newspaper might have taken the pragmatic route to take one of their cameras at hand and simply make a photo of the print. Probably this photo would be a cropped, less sharp version of the original.

Could be true. But according to Lindsay (from 44:00) in the video:

"[The newspaper] said they had come in with six negatives [...] so I said, 'well what about a print?' 'Yep, no bother at all, I'll get one done and we'll get it to you as soon as possible.' And I think it was the next day a hardback envelope was delivered to my room. I opened it and inside was a photograph."
Content from External Source
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
We are going to have to disagree on this - my monitor (which for work is correctly colour calibrated) lets me see clearly distinct greens, and those greens only appear in the vegetation - for example the fence posts don't have the same range of greens.
Boosting the contrast a lot it does look like there's a graduated red-green color cast across the image, and the trees just happen to be in the green/blue bit.
2022-08-12_14-12-12.jpg
 

Bernd Lauert

New Member
Did anyone consider the possibility that we are looking at a 'picture of a picture'?
If the newspaper only had prints and the MOD PR officer asked for one, the newspaper might have taken the pragmatic route to take one of their cameras at hand and simply make a photo of the print. Probably this photo would be a cropped, less sharp version of the original.

Afer all, why would the original photographer give away the negatives to a newspaper imediately. He/she might have only sent prints instead.
Wouldn't you see some dust or scratches in a photo of a photo? I guess there should be ways to rule this out. So far I see no evidence of it.

We are going to have to disagree on this - my monitor (which for work is correctly colour calibrated) lets me see clearly distinct greens, and those greens only appear in the vegetation - for example the fence posts don't have the same range of greens.

I've just scanned a B&W photo (taken and printed around the late 90s on "Kodak Royal Paper") with the scan settings set to "colour photo" and whilst "colour" is introduced it appears consistent across the entire image, it's a cast - the colours are not confined to the green and browns that appear in the vegetation as they are in the TIFF UFO image. (The example on the right is the image scanned as a B&W photo.)
There are a number of sources that can produce a color gradient as seen above. A tint of the negative, a bad enlarger, bad photo paper or photo paper aging (it hung on a wall exposed to light) or a bad scanner, possibly a combination of all.

If you propose meaningful color information in the photo you reject the assessment that Ilford XP film was used because it is physically impossible for this film to capture color. I cannot think of a process that would produce such faint but true colors either.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
Various knowledgeable people have argued (here and elsewhere) that the 'colour' photo could have been made by printing a B&W negative onto 'colour' photographic paper, but let's not forget that the original basis for the claim that it was produced in this way is just the assertion by Robinson that the print doesn't show 'true' colour. ( I note in passing that we can have no idea of the 'true' colour of the 'UFO' itself! ) He may be right, but his assertion really needs backing up in detail, preferably with examples of images taken with a variety of cameras, camera settings, and film types and in suitable lighting conditions.
So far as I recall, no-one who saw the photo(s) at the time, either as prints or negatives, is on record as saying that the originals were taken in B&W.
 
As we understand it, this photo was produced by the Daily Record. Is there any reason to imagine that it represents a rough-and-ready print, get it in the post to the RAF asap, or is it as good as it gets, i.e. the maximum quality obtainable from a negative obtained by a newspaper print room in 1990? Thanks
 
D

Deleted member 17800

Guest
For those interested I have been thinking how to write simply an observation that may or may not add information to the 'ufo ' image in general.

One of the problems that is evidently obvious with photographic restoration is the ability / knowledge of the ( scanning ) process of a photograph irrespective of it's quality.

Example if I was scanning a newspaper photograph then higher resolution than the original 'image ' on that newspaper print would be utterly destructive.
The very grain of the newspaper print would be too much if you will ( that's why I don't generally accept a home scanned photo to restore).

Scanning is a delicate process and if I am brutally honest is a bit trial and error at times even today 35 years later of doing said.

Most scanners A4 or more even top end machines have ridiculous resolutions and the consumer often makes the vital mistake of thinking higher is better. This is also seen albeit in the physical printing ( I print using pigments.
So to conclude:

The bells and whistles of typical life include 4k television resolutions = better.
Extreme large gallery prints that I myself work with = better ( in that category choice work ).

Not so is the case with scanning and indeed printing.
Take a look at the monitor right now you are using.
Some of you will have 4k even 8k monitors perhaps for graphic art or entertainment.

I don't.
I choose to use wide 1440p so why?
Well that covers more than is needed for a ( at least generally ) 100 year old photographic print.
The rest and above is somewhat candy floss .
The print the scan of said determine the pixels visible.

Do we know what the original ( scan ) that is doing the rounds is?
Do we know what settings?
Do we know it was done properly or for usage on ( newspaper print)?

I shall forward a few examples to visually understand this in the coming hour.
Thank you for reading.

Anyway I hope at least this offers a little insight into the original photo / the scanning / the printing and overall quality.

This is an original image of a blocked out individual that I have scanned in the past.
Original image is 4 * 6 inches and is of poor quality and print.
Originally I scanned this too higher a resolution and visibly altering the image hindered myself with that pixel look in example 8.

So I bumped it down to around 400-600 dpi to get the correct / working aspect of which was quite doable.
I shall not share the finished photo for confidentiality reasons.

Too higher the scanning shows all of the damage plus all of the photographic grain on the actual print.
Too low and you have later examples that are not clear enough.
So a balance to get this right is needed at the first point of processing.

If you scan too higher resolution you end up restoring the grain on the paper !
Too low and you basically don't get enough information to restore it !

Imagine that never ending hall of mirrors :)
 

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Rory

Senior Member.
This 2020 Daily Record article on the Calvine UFO is weird. It references another paper in regards to what they supposedly did.

I don't find that aspect weird. A lot of articles these days are just rehashes - or even direct duplicates - of articles from other publications. That's why so many 'newspapers' (or their online versions) do this "The XXX reports" thing.

The Mirror published the article and The Daily Record put out their own version about an hour later on the same day. The Mirror writer is credited as the main writer for the Record version, which is basically the same with some rewording.

Also remember that both newspapers are owned by the same group and have a "close kinship".

The real weird bits here are the facts they got wrong, including:
  • A secret dossier into one of the UK's most famous UFO sightings will be sealed from the public for another 50 years
  • The file is said to contain colour pictures
  • Two hikers saw the diamond shaped aircraft speed off into the distance (half a mark for that)
  • RAF jets were scrambled to the area
  • A 30-year rule meant the file was meant to be declassified in January 2021 but the Ministry of Defence has now blocked its release until 2072
  • UFO investigator Nick Pope helped colourise the famous image
Which is actually pretty much the entire article. :D

I really expect much more from a tawdry tabloid website.
 
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Charlie Wiser

Active Member
I've lost track of where we are with the film used, but it seems it may have been intended for easy b&w home developing?

So - I'm thinking once they'd taken pictures of their model/reflection or whatever it is, they probably knew some shots would not work out and may have given the game away. Anticipating this, would they have risked sending the film to a commercial place for developing? Someone working there may have seen the Record and called to say they'd seen all the failed shots, thus spoiling the hoax.

If the hoaxer was a holiday worker, it's unlikely he had a darkroom at home. But if he crossed paths with someone in Pitlochry who did, that may have been the spark that set this in motion. If I was in Pitlochry today, I'd be knocking on doors of long-term residents asking who was known to have a darkroom set-up in the 80s.
 

jackfrostvc

Senior Member
Anticipating this, would they have risked sending the film to a commercial place for developing? Someone working there may have seen the Record and called to say they'd seen all the failed shots, thus spoiling the hoax.

I've thought about this before generally.
If they would do such a thing , they can kiss their business goodbye.
No one would trust them with their film processing.

Although I do wonder what they do if they happen across a pic of a crime or something like that.
I've often though about the pics an old school film processor saw in their career. You can imagine
 
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