Claim: Original Calvine UFO Photo

Duke

Active Member
Regardless of whether he comes forward voluntarily or gets outed, his life will not be his own for years. He'll get requests to do (free) interviews across the broadest spectrum of the media, everything from national publications and network programming to third rate bloggers and podcasters the world over. He'll be "that guy" everyone wants a piece of.

On the other hand, if he sticks with his story (vice admitting he was part of a hoax) and is willing to have his life upended, he could make a good deal of money speaking at conferences, writing a book, doing videos, etc. Jazz the basic story up a bit with claims of missing time and MiBs, he'd be a crowd pleaser. Guys like Travis Walton and Jim Penniston have been milking their stories for decades.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
That's an interesting idea though I see it differently. I mean, it's not like it's a super striking photo that has people scratching their heads and thinking "what the eff is that?" and considering that it could actually be aliens.

I think mostly the interest - and it's not like there's that much if we look at it objectively - comes because one man (Nick Pope) called it "the most spectacular UFO photo ever sent to the Ministry of Defence" several years ago and that then allowed all the tabloids to quote him in the headlines ("what some have called the world's clearest UFO picture") whereas without that quote it wouldn't really have the same pizzazz.

But what if he'd never said it? Or what if he'd stuck to what he nonchalantly called it in 1996?

"One of the most intriguing cases in the Ministry of Defence's files."

That the photo was lost and then resurfaced also adds to the interest in the story. But beyond a cluster of tabloids two weeks ago and maybe ten thousand people on the internet I don't think anyone's that bothered.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
gets outed, his life will not be his own for years. He'll get requests to do (free) interviews across the broadest spectrum of the media, everything from national publications and network programming to third rate bloggers and podcasters the world over. He'll be "that guy" everyone wants a piece of.
that's why the MOD has laws about protecting his identity.
 

Duke

Active Member
That's an interesting idea though I see it differently. I mean, it's not like it's a super striking photo that has people scratching their heads and thinking "what the eff is that?" and considering that it could actually be aliens.

I think mostly the interest - and it's not like there's that much if we look at it objectively - comes because one man (Nick Pope) called it "the most spectacular UFO photo ever sent to the Ministry of Defence" several years ago and that then allowed all the tabloids to quote him in the headlines ("what some have called the world's clearest UFO picture") whereas without that quote it wouldn't really have the same pizzazz.

But what if he'd never said it? Or what if he'd stuck to what he nonchalantly called it in 1996?



That the photo was lost and then resurfaced also adds to the interest in the story. But beyond a cluster of tabloids two weeks ago and maybe ten thousand people on the internet I don't think anyone's that bothered.
Agreed, the guy has Pope to thank/curse for interest in the sighting and photographs. The resurfacing of the photo has created much more interest than Pope's initial reveal, however, both in the mainstream media and tabloids/internet equivalents like forums, blogs and podcasts.

It's the latter that will make the photographer's life unpleasant if his identity is revealed.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
will make the photographer's life unpleasant if his identity is revealed.
I dunno, there are plenty of people out there who took UFO pics and whose identity is known. Far as I can see, they are doing OK. Not sure a negative outcome is inevitable, especially given how widespread belief in some sort of UFO phenomenon has become.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Indeed. "Incredible" UFO images are ten a penny these days and I would say it's telling that not one of the tabloids that initially reported it has done any sort of follow up: I don't really see it as that different from all the other UFO stories they post (and of course it hasn't really featured in the more serious outlets the way the US navy videos did).

It's just so easy in cyberspace to think things are bigger than they are. Every time we go online we're reading about it and talking about it and we think it's become something that "everybody" is paying attention to. I remember the genuine panic people used to have when flat Earth was taking off - but at most you're talking about a few thousand people worldwide, which is less than are currently watching some small-time soccer match in some small town somewhere in England.

Same thing here really: almost everyone on the planet is either unaware or shrugging their shoulders disinterested. It's just us nerds really, in a little corner thinking that other people are thinking about what we're thinking about. :)
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
"Incredible" UFO images are ten a penny these days
but his isnt really an incredible UFo thing, it's more (to me anyway) as a Secret black op American project thing. and the British gov coverup of that would grab more attention from the internet, just like the alleged US gov involvement in the TTSA vids.
 

Biggles79

New Member
Indeed. "Incredible" UFO images are ten a penny these days and I would say it's telling that not one of the tabloids that initially reported it has done any sort of follow up: I don't really see it as any different from all the other UFO stories they post (and of course it hasn't really featured in the more serious outlets the way the US navy videos did).

It's just so easy to think things are bigger than they are in this realm. Every time we go online we're reading about it and talking about it and we think it's become something that "everybody" is paying attention to. I remember the genuine panic people used to have when flat Earth was taking off - but at most you're talking about a few thousand people worldwide, which is less than are currently watching some small-time soccer match in some small town somewhere in England.

Same thing here really: almost everyone on the planet is either unaware or shrugging their shoulders disinterested. It's just us nerds really, in a little corner thinking that other people are thinking about what we're thinking about. :)
I wouldn't go quite that far, since I first came across this case on a subreddit dedicated the recent movie "Nope". It's definitely managed some penetration of the public consciousness. Although I agree that UFOs in general are not particularly "hot right now" and are quickly forgotten by most.
 

Duke

Active Member
I dunno, there are plenty of people out there who took UFO pics and whose identity is known. Far as I can see, they are doing OK. Not sure a negative outcome is inevitable, especially given how widespread belief in some sort of UFO phenomenon has become.
You're equating a "negative outcome" to belief/disbelief in UFOs by the public in general. That's not my point. Similarly, most of those "plenty of people" who've taken photos of/reported UFOs whose identities are known elected to be identified. As I pointed out previously, some of them have profited handsomely from doing so.

Clearly this individual has chosen not to be identified, at least yet. That tells us he considers any outcome associated with being identified publicly as negative, or at least unwanted. It has nothing to do with who believes in what. He apparently doesn't want to deal with the issues such notoriety would bring.

Btw, lots of UFO witnesses have regretted going public for reasons ranging from losing their jobs and broken marriages to getting phone calls from drunks in the middle of the night and having their children picked on by other kids. Then there are those pesky MiBs...
 

Duke

Active Member
but his isnt really an incredible UFo thing, it's more (to me anyway) as a Secret black op American project thing. and the British gov coverup of that would grab more attention from the internet, just like the alleged US gov involvement in the TTSA vids.
Interestingly, one of Pope's responsibilities was diplomatic clearances associated with foreign military aircraft in and out of the UK. Assuming the US was abiding by the all the legalities/niceties of entering the airspace of our closest ally, Pope would have been part of the process.

I personally asked Pope if he processed clearances for classified US aircraft to transit/operate in UK airspace and/or had been briefed, even if only defensively, on these aircraft. He did a masterful job of not answering the question.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Clearly this individual has chosen not to be identified, at least yet. That tells us he considers any outcome associated with being identified publicly as negative

Not really. They could be dead. They could be enjoying watching people speculate over things. They could be busy and waiting for some upcoming free time. Or they may not have seen the story.

Lots of possibilities really.
 

Duke

Active Member
Not really. They could be dead. They could be enjoying watching people speculate over things. They could be busy and waiting for some upcoming free time. Or they may not have seen the story.

Lots of possibilities really.
Both possibilities I brought up earlier. I mentioned he could be dead and said he hasn't opted to be identified "at least yet."

Btw, the dead have no privacy rights, at least in the US. Don't know if that's the case in the UK, but even if it was it doesn't mean HMG would unilaterally release the guy's name if he's dead.
 
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Stingray

Banned
Banned
Considering that they were young, Mr. Clarke has a name and is contacting all the possible matches and that UK tabloids have made publications about this, it is more likely than not that at least one of them is alive and aware of the story.

I'd put 10 bucks that the photographer has been already contacted by Clarke but lied about having any involvement in this.

Why? I won't put any money on that yet.
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
Clearly this individual has chosen not to be identified, at least yet. That tells us he considers any outcome associated with being identified publicly as negative, or at least unwanted. It has nothing to do with who believes in what. He apparently doesn't want to deal with the issues such notoriety would bring.
And I am certainly nor arguing that the person should be "outed" or anything. My only thought was that the sort of negative stigma that came with seeing a UFO 50 years ago is not an issue any more. You'd not be assumed to be a drunk, or a kook, or something. You STILL might not want the attention, of course. But the perception of what reporting a UFO might say about the person reporting has changed since the witness(es) first decided to remain anonymous.
 

Duke

Active Member
Considering that they were young, Mr. Clarke has a name and is contacting all the possible matches and that UK tabloids have made publications about this, it is more likely than not that at least one of them is alive and aware of the story.

I'd put 10 bucks that the photographer has been already contacted by Clarke but lied about having any involvement in this.

Why? I won't put any money on that yet.
My understanding was the photo had one name on the back, that being the young man who took the photo. If he is still alive, I agree he's probably aware of the story of the photo's recovery.

I have my doubts Dr Clarke has contacted the young man, however. As I recall, he gave Lindsay his word he would not reveal or act on the name.

Btw, Pope knows both names, but can't act on this knowledge since he learned them while performing official duties. That aside, I'd bet Pope would jump at the chance to write a book with one or both of them, like he did with the NCOs from Bentwaters.
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
I'd put 10 bucks that the photographer has been already contacted by Clarke but lied about having any involvement in this.

Why? I won't put any money on that yet.
This is currently my feeling, too.

Clarke tracked down someone with the same name, right age, and his social media showed him hiking in the Scottish highlands - he was understandably quite confident he'd found him, but the guy denied it.

If the photo is a hoax, and the photographer for some reason *does* come forward, he needs to decide whether to tell the same story (which he may not feel capable of doing - he's bound to trip up - and he may fear it'll piss off the UK government, even if in reality they don't care) or admit to the hoax (which will bring all kinds of positive and negative attention to him).
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Pope knows both names,
i'm not sure this is accurate. the official docs say one witness unidentified.

As I recall, he gave Lindsay his word he would not reveal or act on the name
i heard him say (or i heard @Rory say he said) that he is holding the name back so they can tell if calls they get in are real or not.

My only thought was that the sort of negative stigma that came with seeing a UFO 50 years ago is not an issue any more. You'd not be assumed to be a drunk, or a kook, or something.
i'm not so sure about that. maybe the younger generations are more open, but don't you roll your eyes once in a while at some of these threads we get? i know i do. and reading through the MOD archives connected to this case, quite a few of those stories i thought ... a bit kooky.
Granted if you see starlink and had never seen it before that's normal, but to exclaim you saw a ETufo because you saw starlink is a bit kooky. (Kooks is one of my favorite songs, so i'm not using that word in a mean derogatory way).
 

Rory

Senior Member.
As I recall, he gave Lindsay his word he would not reveal or act on the name.

Nope, no promise not to act. As they said in the Q&A video they've contacted over 200 people with or related to that name. Clarke has also said he's not 100% sure it is the photographer's name on the back of the picture (though it makes sense that it is).

Clarke tracked down someone with the same name, right age, and his social media showed him hiking in the Scottish highlands - he was understandably quite confident he'd found him, but the guy denied it.

The guy they're talking about at 1:56:31? That person is only "about 30" now.

Also, they say they were excited and clearly hopeful but not that they were ever "quite confident".

i heard him say (or i heard @Rory say he said) that he is holding the name back so they can tell if calls they get in are real or not.

Yep, that and things to do with the data protection act; Clarke's legal and ethical responsibilities ("as a freelance journalist I am required to adhere to Section 14 of the Editor's Code of Practice that stipulates 'journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information'"); and also not being overly-impressed with the response of people on social media and discussion groups like this.

i'm not sure this is accurate. the official docs say one witness unidentified.

Right. And he may not remember either.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
("as a freelance journalist I am required to adhere to Section 14 of the Editor's Code of Practice that stipulates 'journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information'")
well that's good. that is the first time i've heard that.
 

Duke

Active Member
Nope, no promise not to act. As they said in the Q&A video they've contacted over 200 people with or related to that name. Clarke has also said he's not 100% sure it is the photographer's name on the back of the picture (though it makes sense that it is).


Right. And he may not remember either.
Ok, thanks. I must have confused Dr Clarke's comment about withholding the information to verify the identity in case he was contacted with not acting.

Pope saw both names in the 90s when at the MoD. I don't know if he still remembers them 30 years later, but I'd bet he does.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Pope saw both names in the 90s when at the MoD. I don't know if he still remembers them 30 years later, but I'd bet he does.

How do you know he saw both names? From the incident report:

1662003262601.png

Also, there are plenty of names I've forgotten from 30 years ago - including people I spent time with, didn't just see on a piece of paper. Wouldn't be a shock if he didn't remember it.
 
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Duke

Active Member
How do you know he saw both names? From the incident report:

1662003262601.png

Also, there are plenty of names I've forgotten from 30 years ago - including people I spent time with, didn't just see on a piece of paper. Wouldn't be a shock if he didn't remember it.
I'm trying to remember if I heard him say it or if he told me that in an email. I'll look at my emails tomorrow. We exchanged emails about two specific incidents, Calvine and a case involving a USAF exchange pilot who, it was claimed, had been abducted by aliens from the cockpit of his RAF jet.

Whether he knows one or two names, the point was it's illegal for him to act on knowledge he gained in official duties unless the information is in the public domain. He would have to be able to point to a source where he came across the name(s.)
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
The guy they're talking about at 1:56:31? That person is only "about 30" now.

Also, they say they were excited and clearly hopeful but not that they were ever "quite confident".

The one right before that (I mixed up the Scottish highlands reference with the next person they talk about) where they found someone in MOD and were confident it was the right guy:

Matthew: We have found people we absolutely believed we nailed them, it had to be X... [re. someone who is current MOD] We thought but the gentleman says not... It might not even be him. When we found him we just thought: Got to be, got to be, right age, right name.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
This is currently my feeling, too.

Clarke tracked down someone with the same name, right age, and his social media showed him hiking in the Scottish highlands - he was understandably quite confident he'd found him, but the guy denied it.

If the photo is a hoax, and the photographer for some reason *does* come forward, he needs to decide whether to tell the same story (which he may not feel capable of doing - he's bound to trip up - and he may fear it'll piss off the UK government, even if in reality they don't care) or admit to the hoax (which will bring all kinds of positive and negative attention to him).
Can you supply evidence that Clarke tracked down someone with the same name?
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Clarke tracked down someone with the same name, right age, and his social media showed him hiking in the Scottish highlands - he was understandably quite confident he'd found him, but the guy denied it.

Can you supply evidence that Clarke tracked down someone with the same name?

Same name was right, it was just the "right age", "quite confident", and "guy denied it" that was wrong, as clarified here:

I mixed up the Scottish highlands reference with the next person they talk about
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Matthew: We have found people we absolutely believed we nailed them, it had to be X... [re. someone who is current MOD] We thought but the gentleman says not... It might not even be him. When we found him we just thought: Got to be, got to be, right age, right name.

This is timestamped to where they talk about the guy who had the same name, same age, but denied it. Matthew doesn't seem 100% convinced by his denial because he says "it might not even be him..." (present tense).

Aside from some wrong words I think there are some things here that make it misleading. Like the "it might not even be him" is Illsley just kind of stammering and I think clearly not the meaning he was intending. Plus the bits that have been omitted from the conversation haven't been indicated and that changes the meaning also.

Also, "denied" has quite a different connotation to what the guy they contacted likely did: simply said it wasn't him.

I mean, I'm sure they were excited and thought they'd found their man - but it's also pretty clear in the interview that they don't think it's him and they moved on to the next anecdote without any particular fuss, just seem to see it as an amusing incident.

Fuller quote:

Illsley: "We have found people you [meaning "I" or maybe "we"] believed were absolutely nailed on - it had to be X. Vinnie knows exactly what I'm talking about."

Clarke: "Well I think we can say that one of them is ex-MoD."

Illsley: "Is current MoD. And, you know, we thought...but the gentleman says not."

Clarke, impersonating a politician: "'I have no recollection of being in Scotland in 1990.'" [laughter from the group]

Illsley: "He was very polite and he replied with good grace. He could have just ignored me but, yeah, that's word for word what he said and so i can't prove otherwise. And it might not even be him, we've had...when we found him we thought: got to be. Right age, right name, you know, er -"

And then Clarke moves on the next moment of excitement when they found the guy who had pictures of the Highlands but turned out to be too young.
Content from External Source

It's quite interesting - and challenging - quoting from videos. When people have written something they've had time to figure out what they want to say and read it over and edit. But when it's actual speaking there's so much stammering and unthought out aborted attempts; half-finished sentences and interruptions; you knows and ers and the words just generally not coming out right - plus when transcribed the nuance of nonverbal cues and the context of the conversation is lost.

All just means we have to be doubly careful in trying to relate what people have said accurately I guess.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Illsley: "Is current MoD.
nice. so if it is the real name they just alerted the MOD that an ex-MOD officer released a confidential name to a bunch of yahoos?

do they know the name of the editor who printed and sent the photo to Lindsay in the first place?
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
"but the gentleman says not."

Clarke, impersonating a politician: "'I have no recollection of being in Scotland in 1990.'" [laughter from the group]

The first paraphrased response by the team is a denial.

But if all the guy really said was "I have no recollection..." then that's certainly more interesting.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
The first paraphrased response by the team is a denial.

Yeah, you can definitely interpret "the gentleman says not" as "but the guy denied it" - and you wouldn't be wrong in a strictly literal sense - but I would say it puts the wrong connotation on it. Maybe better for our purposes (if we must paraphrase a paraphrase - and I'm not sure that we must) if we just say something like "and they said it wasn't them".
 

Duke

Active Member
Apologies if this has been previously posted, but here is an excerpt from what is clearly a recent addition to Nick Pope's website (nickpope.net) entry on Calvine. Although the new entry is written in third person, it's reasonable to assume Pope either wrote it himself or at least approved it before it it was posted to his personal site.

"In August 2022 an image that some claim to be one of the original photos was published in the media, having been passed to several civilian ufologists by a retired Royal Air Force press officer, Craig Lindsay. Neither the MoD nor Nick Pope has commented on the provenance of the Craig Lindsay image, and Nick Pope has neither confirmed nor denied that it’s one of the originals that he had access to at the MoD."

So he's being coy as to whether he believes this is one of the "original photos." Sounds to me like Pope is keeping a low profile relative to Calvine since the Lindsay story broke last month, other than updating his website with the statement posted above. I doubt it's due to OSA or any NDA or similar document he signed upon leaving the MoD. That leads me to believe he's planning to do something independently such as book, article, video, etc. Maybe a book about the sighting with one of the witnesses?

The second clause in the last sentence is a bit puzzling, assuming I understand Lindsay's story. If he "stashed" the photo given last month to Dr Clarke and company before sending the photos/negatives to the MoD as directed, it wouldn't have been in the official file Pope accessed after assuming his duties at the "UFO desk" in 1991. So Pope couldn't have seen this specific photograph, unless multiple copies of it had been made. I don't doubt multiple copies were made, I just can't recall that being stated any where.
 
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Charlie Wiser

Active Member
The second clause in the last sentence is a bit puzzling, assuming I understand Lindsay's story. If he "stashed" the photo given last month to Dr Clarke and company before sending the photos/negatives to the MoD as directed, it wouldn't have been in the official file Pope accessed after assuming his duties at the "UFO desk" in 1991. So Pope couldn't have seen this specific photograph, unless multiple copies of it had been made. I don't doubt multiple copies were made, I just can't recall that being stated any where.
Pope has (always?) said he knows the photo from a poster on the wall in an office (later, his office). The excerpt below from his book leaves out the part of the story where the poster was already there when he first arrived on the job in 1991.

It's possible that now the photo has surfaced and it's rather underwhelming and likely hoaxed, he wants to distance himself. It would be embarrassing to have to admit he was fooled by a hoax, so maybe he intends to give the impression - or leave open the possibility - that this isn't the UFO photo he saw back in the 1990s.
 

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Duke

Active Member
Pope has (always?) said he knows the photo from a poster on the wall in an office (later, his office). The excerpt below from his book leaves out the fact the part of the story where the poster was already there when he first arrived on the job in 1991.

It's possible that now the photo has surfaced and it's rather underwhelming and likely hoaxed, he wants to distance himself. It would be embarrassing to have to admit he was fooled by a hoax, so maybe he intends to give the impression - or leave open the possibility - that this isn't the UFO photo he saw back in the 1990s.
The photo on the wall could not have been produced from the Lindsay photo since it never made it to MoD, unless there were multiple copies of it made.

To be fair to Pope, he wasn't "fooled" by anything if the offical report on the incident did not include a statement to the effect the photos were faked. We've seen statements attributed to GOs the photos were faked, but I've seen nothing to indicate that was part of the case file he inherited. Remember, Pope was forced to take down the poster not because the image it showed it was fake, but because it was real and assumed to have been of a classified US a/c.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
what's a GO?

not because the image it showed it was fake, but because it was real and assumed to have been of a classified US a/c.
that's likely just Pope making an assumption of why the photo was taken down

Article:
2009 During his time with the ministry, Pope had a blown-up copy of the photograph on his office wall until it was personally taken down by his superior. He recalled: "My head of division removed it and put it in his drawer because he was convinced, wrongly in my opinion, that it showed a top secret prototype craft.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
The photo on the wall could not have been produced from the Lindsay photo since it never made it to MoD, unless there were multiple copies of it made.

Obviously they made multiple copies of it - you also contradict yourself by saying "no doubt they did" - and Lindsay has said that he saw the poster of his photo when he visited the office in London.

Read the highlighted sentence

Yep, it says the boss took it down, not that Pope was forced to (Pope says this in all his writing on the subject). And if you remember I posted the (almost) full chapter from Pope's book some days back (though there are only two or three paragraphs on Calvine).

If he "stashed" the photo given last month to Dr Clarke and company before sending the photos/negatives to the MoD as directed, it wouldn't have been in the official file Pope accessed after assuming his duties at the "UFO desk" in 1991. So Pope couldn't have seen this specific photograph

Pure speculation. He didn't "stash", he kept a copy and showed it to many people over the next several years. And there's no reason to think it wasn't in the file - especially when the MoD's notes say they received all six negatives.

There's been a few occasions now where you've posted things that were mistaken and/or untrue - in amongst some otherwise excellent posts - and given that we're in the business of 'debunking' we really ought to be more careful not to start 'new bunk'. Also good to read what's come before, to try not to repost things that have already been discussed, and to avoid speculating about things that aren't related to the debunk/explanation.
 
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