Claim: Original Calvine UFO Photo

Steve Hammond

New Member
I'm thinking that the plane in question is likely to be a Harrier. The strange lightness of the left wing could be explained because the Harrier's wings have significant anhedral. In other words, one has a flatter angle to the camera than the other, reflecting more light.

harrier.png
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
I view the account by the Press Officer with some suspicion. He claims that he went to interview the 'witnesses' himself. But according to one of David Clarke's various articles, the Defence Intelligence branch sent someone to do this:
a DI55 officer was sent to Scotland to examine the evidence and interview the men. The two photographers were reassured they not in any trouble as a result of their activities
That's not a normal job for a Press Officer. Of course, the claim about DI55 might be wrong, but at least it makes sense. The main job of a Departmental Press Officer in the UK is to act as a buffer or intermediary between the officials dealing with the subject and the media. The Press Officer is expected to tell the media as much as has been officially approved and no more. So did the Press Officer in this case go there at all, or is he fantasising? If he did go, was he authorised to do so, (in which case for what purpose?), or was it what the lawyers call 'a frolic of his own'?
 
im not sure if its allowed here so sorry in advanced.

As with all things, it’s important to consider proper data analysis.

This analysis was carried out by Andrew Robinson of Sheffield Hallam University. Grab the file from the link below

https://t.co/xiMrFie1t8

As ZW Wolf pointed out, this film was used by art photographers. So whatever is the expert's analysis done it can't rule out a possible artsy effect allowed by the presence of a pond or a mirror. I think this case is closed now.
 
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Daves!

Active Member
As ZW Wolf pointed out, this film was used by art photographers. So whatever is the expert's analysis done it can't rule out a possible artsy effect allowed by the presence of a pond or a mirror. I think this case is closed now.
not sure if the case is closed at all. People are still arguing and analysing it. The pond / loch is for me closed case since the immediate area doesnt have one. You cant rule it out neitherofcourse. Im curious what the university is going to tell after their analysis.

The witness who made the picture is nothing known about ( or at least the MoD knows the identity ) so what his ( its a man not a woman ) background is is also unknown. The only thing what we can try to indentify is the plane as its still not indentified nor the pilot, who is also a witness.
So the case isnt close at all.

This picture only gave us more questions than answers.
 
Does someone have some explanation about why only one of the six photos was released to the public by the MoD?
I wonder if the other unreleased ones might feature a less "grainy" aspect of that UFO, especially if speculating that it's made of some kind of metallic material. Judging by its appearance though, that's the less likely possibility.

The MoD haven't released anything. They also claim to have no copies of the photos or the negatives. They say so in the DEFE files and in response to more recent FOI requests.

The only photo in existence, the one we're talking about, and which is now at SHU, was sent by the Daily Record to RAF Press Officer Craig Lindsay at RAF Pitreavie Castle in August 1990. The paper was going to run the story and they wanted a comment from the RAF. Lindsay, naturally, wanted to see the photo before commenting on it, so the paper sent a print to him of "the best of the 6" photos that had been taken. Having looked at it, he thought it a bit out of the ordinary, so he faxed a photocopy of the print to MoD HQ in London. They very quickly took over the case and cut him out of the loop. As it became all hush-hush (the Record never published the story, witnesses disappeared, etc), no one ever bothered to mention it to Lindsay again (no "need to know"), and due to that oversight, he was never asked to send the photo itself to London. He hence kept it all those years and took it with him as a souvenir when he retired.
 
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I view the account by the Press Officer with some suspicion. He claims that he went to interview the 'witnesses' himself. But according to one of David Clarke's various articles, the Defence Intelligence branch sent someone to do this:

That's not a normal job for a Press Officer. Of course, the claim about DI55 might be wrong, but at least it makes sense. The main job of a Departmental Press Officer in the UK is to act as a buffer or intermediary between the officials dealing with the subject and the media. The Press Officer is expected to tell the media as much as has been officially approved and no more. So did the Press Officer in this case go there at all, or is he fantasising? If he did go, was he authorised to do so, (in which case for what purpose?), or was it what the lawyers call 'a frolic of his own'?

Craig Lindsay only spoke to, what he presumed to be, one of the witnesses on the phone, i.e. he called the number given to him by the Daily Record, got through to the hotel, and asked for the person whose name the Record had also given him. He asked several Qs, typed up the answers, and faxed them to London. He never met either witness in person.
 
AW&ST supposedly did an article in a Dec 90 issue that describes an "unmanned diamond-shaped hypersonic vehicle" then under development in the US. I say supposedly because, although I have seen a screenshot of part of the article, I have not seen the actual magazine. I dropped my AvWeek subscription after I retired, so I have no means of electronically checking out the 4-5 issues published in Dec 1990 to read it in its entirety. I'm sure the tech library on base has hard copies of the magazine, so when time permits I will go take a look.

I grant you the bit about the US getting mad when the story/photos were released/acknowledged is kinda stupid, but I can assure we flew classified a/c over highly populated areas in the 80s/90s. And yes, some of them were reported as UFOs.

There's this article from Pop Mech that might be of interest. Mark McCandlish did the artwork.

Cheers

https://ayuba.fr/pdf/pope1991.pdf

1660565591342.png

1660564671274.png
 
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Ravi

Senior Member.
@banditsat12oclock

The problem with this is though, that the craft is travelling hypersonically. The ufo craft was described by the witness hoovering. The witness could have hoaxed the whole thing, but if not, a witness surely could make a differentiation between a stationary craft and a fast moving one.
Could still be a secret craft though, perhaps a blimp type new craft with straight edges to evade radar detection.

All in all, we don't have enough to even rule out anything.. Tricky case!
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There's this article from Pop Mech that might be of interest. Mark McCandlish did the artwork.

Cheers

https://ayuba.fr/pdf/pope1991.pdf
That name is a blast from the past. McCandlish got some notoriety in the chemtrail community in the 2000s as an aviation expert, I posted this about him 8 years ago:

Mark McCandlish, the "Defense Industry Technician", is an artist, and worked in the aerospace industry as an artist, nothing more.

He's also a bit of an UFO enthusiast, and thinks he's discovered some new physics.
http://www.markmccandlish.com/
Mark McCandlish is an internationally-recognized artist who has specialized in aviation and conceptual art within the defense and aerospace industries for the better part of the last thirty years, serving the needs of many of the top American corporations in this regard. Mark’s father was a twenty-five year veteran of the United States Air Force and as a consequence, Mark has had a life-long love of aircraft and aviation history. His first UFO sighting occurred at Westover Air Force Base in the State of Massachusetts, in the Winter of 1966 and he observed the craft through an 80 power telescope for about ten minutes before it accelerated out of sight at an extreme velocity. He later discovered that this craft had been hovering above a flight of nuclear-armed Boeing B-52′s sitting on the Alert Ramp of the flight line on base. Mr. McCandlish has spent most of his life trying to discover the science that would make such incredible performance possible, and he believes there is a plausible answer to interstellar flight without violating the currently-accepted laws of physics. Having had literally dozens of sightings since 1966, he feels certain that this carefully protected technology has been co-opted by an as-yet-unknown group, and the sequestration of this technology has provided that organization tremendous leverage in world politics, finance and international conflicts over the past five decades.
Content from External Source
Really though, the key thing here is that all these people think that contrails can't persist, and they are demonstrably wrong there. One can point out that their backgrounds have been exaggerated and embellished, but it's much more important to focus on the fact that what they say contradicts known science and history - including 70 years of books on clouds.
I'm not sure if he's still around, but in 2014 he was speaking at a "Secret Space Program"
Article:
[The theory] Mark McCandlish articulated at the end of the evening in day one of the Secret Space Program conference is that he believes that the blankets of reflective material spread across the sky as chemtrails may be used to "disguise exotic propulsion" by craft which are already using technologies which may mask them from radar and which may also be using technologies which mask them to some degree from our ordinary vision.

In fact, he described seeing one such craft himself, which was almost invisible to the naked eye, but whose outlines could be barely discerned due to the fact that it was sunset at the time of the sighting and some of the edges of the cylindrical craft were outlined by a thin line of reflection


The point is, he's highly imaginative and not actually drawing from any reliable source about the shape of things.

This one image is strikingly similar. The article is from December 1991, and the photo is from August 1990. But perhaps both are inspired by some earlier artist's impression of a hypothetical craft.
2022-08-15_06-43-45.jpg
 

Rory

Senior Member.
The only photo in existence, the one we're talking about, and which is now at SHU, was sent by the Daily Record to RAF Press Officer Craig Lindsay at RAF Pitreavie Castle in August 1990. The paper was going to run the story and they wanted a comment from the RAF. Lindsay, naturally, wanted to see the photo before commenting on it, so the paper sent a print to him of "the best of the 6" photos that had been taken. Having looked at it, he thought it a bit out of the ordinary, so he faxed a photocopy of the print to MoD HQ in London. They very quickly took over the case and cut him out of the loop. As it became all hush-hush (the Record never published the story, witnesses disappeared, etc), no one ever bothered to mention it to Lindsay again (no "need to know"), and due to that oversight, he was never asked to send the photo itself to London. He hence kept it all those years and took it with him as a souvenir when he retired.

Can you link to where this account comes from please? Seems slightly different to ones I've read.

The ufo craft was described by the witness hoovering.

If only we had that photograph! :D
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
Craig Lindsay only spoke to, what he presumed to be, one of the witnesses on the phone, i.e. he called the number given to him by the Daily Record, got through to the hotel, and asked for the person whose name the Record had also given him. He asked several Qs, typed up the answers, and faxed them to London. He never met either witness in person.
Thanks. I must have misunderstood the sequence of events. If Lindsay was the first MoD person to be contacted by the newspaper, it would be reasonable for him to try to get the best available version of the photos, contacting the original informant if necessary. Somehow I got it into my head that he claims to have been asked to carry out an investigation of the 'evidence', which I still think would be very odd for a Press Officer, as distinct from an experienced investigator from Defence Intelligence. But I may have misremembered this, and I can't now find it in David Clarke's online articles. I may have picked it up from someone on Twitter. Charlie Wiser on Twitter does say that
Craig Lindsay (former RAF) questioned one witness at Atholl Palace where he & his friend worked.
I may have taken this as implying that Lindsay physically visited the witness rather than just phoning him, but it is ambiguous about that. Incidentally, the correct location appears to be Atholl Palace Hotel, which is indeed a hotel and not a stately home. The ancestral seat of the Dukes of Atholl, the chieftains of Clan Murray, is Blair Castle near the village of Blair Atholl. It is close to Calvine, and quite possibly the location of the 'sighting' would be within the grounds of the Atholl estate. I found this map of the estate (presumably the area in blue):

https://d1ssu070pg2v9i.cloudfront.net/pex/athollestates/2017/02/24165512/Estate-Map-1-880x1200.jpg

If the two 'witnesses' were indeed poaching game, most obviously deer, as has been claimed, it might help explain why they would have kept quiet about the affair.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Given what we know about them can we make any estimation of age for the witnesses?
Article:
In October, The Scottish Sun reported that MoD files relating to the August 1990 Calvine UFO incident, which should have been released as per the “30 year rule”, were blocked for release by the Ministry of Defence until 2072.

Article:
It is usual for material exempt under section 40(2) to be closed for the lifetime of the subject, which is assumed to be 100 years from subject’s date of birth. Closure dates therefore are dependant on the age of the individual whose details are given, and duration of the closure could well be over 50 years.


This implies that the younger of the witnesses was born in 1972, and so would be 18 in 1990.

And, for people who wonder why these important UFO photos are being withheld, they are not. Just the names of the people
Article:
As noted on our catalogue, the full contents of DEFE 24/1940 are closed until 01 January 2076. A redacted version of the file is open and available to download from our catalogue here. There are three folios within this file that relate to the incident in question (pages 35-37 of part 2). There are no photographs contained in the file. The file itself states that the original negatives were returned to the Scottish Daily Record.

Article:
As explained above, the only closed information within this file is personal information exempt under s40(2) of the FOI Act. The remainder of the file is open and available to download.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Re: Getting the film processed and prints made in the 90's? Piece of cake. I would have taken it to Allen Photo on Industrial Road (Las Vegas).
My memory is that a lot of people that were into B&W photography back then often had their own darkroom setups, no need to get it developed. If this person was shooting "artsy" film stock, is it conceivable, that he could have manipulated various set of negatives in a darkroom to create what we see? A home version optical printer. Regardless of what the expert is saying.

This is not supported by the available evidence. In the podcast, Clarke played the interview with Lindsay where he attempts to recall what the witness told him when he called the hotel in 1990. What Lindsay actually says:
I was responding to the Daily Mail article by Clark.

Now I've listened to the interview, and a couple of things to clarify. I'm going to summarize what he's saying at these time stamps, as he just rambles too much to try to type it out verbatim and still get the important gist.

At 44:00: He says that the Daily Record had 6 negatives and when he asked for a print, that was made by the Daily Mail. He faxed a copy of the print to London, then kept the print for himself.

So presumably, the "original picture" now being discussed, was printed by the Daily Mail from the negatives in their possession. If this is accurate, it also means the Daily Mail Record did NOT receive any prints, which is back to the question of why someone would send in their original negatives, they only thing they have.

If Robinson, the photo expert, is correct and this is a print made with color paper and a B&W negative, was the Daily Mail running color photos in 1990?

At 46:00-49:20: He tells the Daily Mail Record where to send the negatives, gets the phone number the witness and interviews him by phone. The story is that they are seasonal hotel workers out for a hike after work. See this thing floating, get scared and hide. Then see the jet make a couple of passes, snap some pictures before it silently ascends very rapidly.

Which sounds nothing like the hypothetical Aroara, which was still an aircraft that moved forward to create lift and was noted for excessive and continuing sonic booms. If it existed at all.

At 50:00-51:040: He describes going to London and seeing the 3' poster sized version like Pope saw. He says his memory of the other pictures was that they were the same except the aircraft moves along to different positions. He thinks he must have seen these in London later, and he assumed that they had printed them from the negatives.

At 51:40-52:30: Linsday never had the negatives, he had the Daily Record sent them directly to London. In London he was told the negatives, after being analyzed, where "sent back" and he assumed it was to the Daily Mail Record.

I'll note something to keep in the back of the head. At this point, the entire story starts with Linsday. Clark and the other guys in the video, despite a lot of effort, can't find anything to corroborate it. The photographers are unknown. Nobody in the area has any memory of any of it. Nobody at the hotel has any memory of it, or it seems the 2 witnesses. Nobody at the Daily Mail Record can find anything about it. The original negatives are gone. The poster sized print is gone.

There is an envelope, a print and the fax copy of the print. The only currently remaining evidence for any of this all passed through Linsday's hands. Not saying anything nefarious happened, just something to note.

Edit: Mixed up the news papers.
 
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DavidB66

Senior Member
At 44:00: He says that the Daily Record had 6 negatives and when he asked for a print, that was made by the Daily Mail. He faxed a copy of the print to London, then kept the print for himself.
Just a warning about potential misidentification. The Daily Record is a popular tabloid based in Glasgow, Scotland. So far as I know, it has no ownership or working connection with the Daily Mail, a well-known tabloid based in London, England. They are also politically opposed, as the Daily Record traditionally supports Labour, while the Daily Mail traditionally supports the Conservative Party (aka Tories). So it sounds odd that the Daily Mail would make a print of a negative held by the Daily Record. The Daily Record does however have a sister paper, the Sunday Mail. The Daily Record is published from Monday to Saturday, and the Sunday Mail - surprise! - on Sunday. [The Daily Mail also has a Sunday partner, the Mail on Sunday. From memory, I think this title was chosen specifically (when it was launched in 1982) to avoid a clash of title with the existing Scottish Sunday Mail.]

So if Craig Lindsay refers simply to 'the Mail' it is likely that he means the Sunday Mail, and even if he refers to the Daily Mail this might be a slip of the tongue. (I have not listened to the podcast.) I can imagine that if someone urgently wanted a print of a negative held by the Record at a time when the office was working on the Sunday Mail (all day Saturday and part of Sunday?), it would be obtained by the staff at the Sunday Mail.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Just a warning about potential misidentification
Yeah, Rory pointed out to me that I mixed up the papers. I knew what I meant, it just wasn't what I typed. I think I fixed it now. Clark wrote a story for the Daily Mail. Linsday was dealing with the Daily Record.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
@DavidB66

Complicated, and thanks for the explanation.
It is the Record messing about here, they should have called it "the Sunday Record" (in line with the naming), and would've avoided the confusion! ;)
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Just taking a look back at Clarke's various statements and the history and timeline of the photos so it's all in one place.

From Clarke #1 (spring/summer 2021):

On the photos
  • "According to a brief, hand-written report from the MoD’s UFO files, the photograph/s at the centre of the mystery were taken at 9pm on Saturday 4 August 1990 by two people walking near the village of Calvine close to the A9"
  • "The original MoD account says a large diamond shaped object appeared in the sky and hovered for ten minutes ‘before ascending vertically upwards at high speed’"
  • The witnesses "saw what they believed was a Harrier jump jet make a number of low-level passes. During this time a series of six colour photographs were taken"
  • The MoD summary says that "shortly after their experience the photographer sent his negatives to the Glasgow-based Daily Record newspaper. The paper subsequently passed them to the Press Officer at RAF Pitreavie"
  • "A source from Defence Intelligence claims they were poachers who had killed their prey and were posing with the animal when the ‘UFO’ appeared"
  • This same source "claims a DI55 officer was sent to Scotland to examine the evidence and interview the witnesses. They were reassured they not in any trouble as a result of their activities and simply ‘went on their way’"
  • A "file opened by the DI55 UFO desk officer confirms that the negatives were examined first in September 1990 and were subsequently sent to the RAF’s Joint Air Reconnaissance Centre (JARIC) at RAF Brampton in Cambridgeshire for detailed analysis"
  • The unnamed source from Defence Intelligence says that "the investigation concluded the ‘object’ was a US experimental aircraft flying from the former RAF airfield at Machrihanish on the Mull of Kintyre"
  • This is contradicted by Air Commodore Simon Baldwin who asked the US if it was one of theirs and, due to a misunderstanding, received the same question back (ie, the US wondered if it was a craft developed by the RAF)
  • A cover note on the MoD's "defensive briefing" says the negatives were returned to the Daily Record
  • "In response to a number of FOI requests since 2009, MoD claim they have not retained any of the images after the negatives were returned to the paper in 1990"
  • In 2020 a senior journalist at the Daily Record said that any negatives could have been destroyed when it cleared out its old picture library some time before 2010
  • The newspaper’s picture editor who handled the negatives died in 2007
Nick Pope's story
  • Pope says he saw a first generation print of one image ("the poster on the wall") on his arrival at Secretariat (Air Staff) in 1991 to take over UFO duties from Owen Hartop
  • According to Pope, his head of division, JRG Clark, later removed the poster and locked it away in a safe in his office at MoD Main Building
  • In 1996 the MoD wrote that "A number of negatives associated with the sighting were examined by staff responsible for air defence matters. Since it was judged they contained nothing of defence significance the negatives were not retained and we have no record of any photographs having been taken from them"
  • Pope told The Sun in October 2020 that MoD tests had shown that the photos weren't fake and that experts had calculated that the object was around 100 feet diameter (dubious, since he wasn't around at the time)
  • In May 2021 Pope claimed that the photos had been authenticated by Defense Intelligence Staff
Clarke #2 (July 31, 2021):

As above except -
  • Location is stated as being "a remote Scottish valley, 20 miles north of the town of Pitlochry" (as per the original handwritten notes)
  • Pope is quoted as adding "sharp focused" (The Sun, May 2021) to his earlier "broad daylight, countryside visible" from seven months before
  • This is the one where Clarke's Defence Intelligence source is quoted as saying that "the US agencies ‘went ballistic’ when they saw the image [...] captured by civilians in ‘a one in a million chance’"
  • In a conversation with Sir Donald Spiers, Controller [of] Aircraft between 1989 and 1994, Clarke says that Spiers recognised the photocopy as the one he saw at the time and that "there was no doubt that the photograph was a spoof" - a conclusion he came to based on analysis by "our technical experts"
  • Clarke proposed three possible explanations: ETs, secret stealth aircraft, or hoax (as Baldwin believed it, "an airborne Loch Ness monster") and plumps for "hoax" (while remaining open to the possibility of an advanced human aircraft)
Clarke #3 (writing in The Daily Mail, August 12, 2022)
  • Adds that the photographers were "young chefs" who drove to Calvine "for a walk in the hills" after finishing work at 9pm
  • "They hadn’t gone far when they saw a huge, solid, diamond-shaped object, about 100ft long, hovering silently in the sky above them. Terrified, they hid in some bushes and looked up."
  • "Minutes later, they heard the scream of a jet aircraft going north"
  • Insinuates that the jet was a Tornado stationed at RAF Leuchars in Fife
  • "The jet came back and circled the ‘thing’ before heading off on its original course [and] the two men stuck their camera out from where they were hiding and fired off six frames. At that point, the object shot vertically upwards and disappeared way, way up in to the sky."
  • Retired RAF officer Craig Lindsay is stated as being "the first official to speak to one of the young chefs after that night"
  • Lindsay says he didn't take it seriously until the witness said the object "didn't make any noise at all"
  • He says he "arranged for the negatives the men had handed to the Daily Record to be collected and faxed a copy of the best print to the Ministry of Defence’s now-defunct UFO desk in London"
  • He says he saw "the poster" on the MoD wall a year later
  • Clarke says he is convinced that the Calvine photo shows the result of a classified US program
  • In contrast to the sobriety of the articles on his own website this one is much more dramatic and full of insinuations of cover-ups (I wonder if a Mail writer tabloidized it?)
Clarke #4 (August 12, 2022)
  • Shows the photograph-sized Daily Record envelope in which the original prints were sent to the RAF (or rather "collected from Edinburgh Waverley railway station")
Disclosure Team Video (August 12, 2022)
  • Clarke says Pope told him the poster was 3 feet by 3 feet (8 minutes)
  • Clarke says his Defence Intelligence source was telling him about an incident where "two young lads were on the Scottish moors - and I won't say what they were doing - and they captured something on camera. It was a one-in-a-million chance, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was an American secret reconnaisance aircraft being escorted by American and British jets" (12 minutes)
  • Clarke realises he's talking about the Calvine incident and believes that his 2007 FOIA request confirms this story (he describes it as "a huge high-level meltdown" involving an "absolutely fuming" Lt General John Jaquish (described in Clarke #1 as being responsible for US stealth programs)
  • Clarke describes how he tracked down Craig Lindsay by figuring out who the press officer was at the time (around 22 minutes)
  • Apparently Lindsay immediately said "I know what you're calling me about - that UFO photo from Calvine" (23)
  • Lindsay tells Clarke he was contacted by the picture editor at the Daily Record looking for a comment and that the picture editor said he would send him the best of the six pictures (24)
  • Clarke says the photograph was sent by train from Glasgow to the Record's Edinburgh office and then couriered by a photographer (Bill Fraser) to Pitreavie Castle where Lindsay was based (about 40 minutes away)
  • Clarke says it was "an 8 by 3 colour print - or appeared to be colour"
  • Next bit is the story of getting the negatives from the Daily Record, them sending them to the MoD, the UFO Desk taking over, Lindsay seeing the poster of "the best print" in the office in London, and nothing happening
  • Lindsay then says he has the envelope and the photocopies he originally faxed to the UFO Desk (31:44); that he'd read Nick Pope's book that mentions Calvine; and then, eventually, the actual photograph (which apparently has the photographer's name on the back)
  • From around 35 minutes is where Giles Stevens talks about looking for what he thinks might be the actual location
  • At 41:50 Clarke says there was a "massive investigation" (seems a bit of stretch) and that Lindsay was told to "keep your mouth shut, don't talk to anyone about it, forget about it" - whereas what Lindsay says they told him was "thank you very much for all this, leave it to us" (49:41)
  • At 46:40 Lindsay talks about speaking to one of the witnesses and describes him as having "an English accent" and says he learned they were "holiday workers at the Atholl Palace Hotel mainly washing dishes for pocket money" (so not "chefs" as stated earlier)
  • After parking the car they walked what he thinks "wasn't terribly far" and then went "through a wood, came to the edge of it, climbed over a barbed wire fence, started to walk over moorland, and then realised there was somethign in the air above them or near to them"
  • At 47:38 Lindsay says they "hid in bushes or behind trees or something" (was wondering about the existence of "bushes", as stated by Clarke in The Daily Mail - but this seems to confirm it could have been trees, scrub, etc)
  • In contrast to The Daily Mail article Lindsay says he saw the poster "some weeks later", that it was about 3-feet wide, and in colour
  • He says he thinks he did see the other five images but all they showed was the aircraft in different positions and that the one he had - and the one that was made into a poster - was clearly the best one
  • Around 52 minutes Lindsay tells Clarke that the negatives were returned to The Daily Record (Clarke doesn't challenge this but later tells Newsweek (below) that the Record say they were never received)
  • Lindsay handed the photo to Clarke and Vinnie Adams at the end of June 2022 and from there it went to Sheffield Hallam University
  • At 58 minutes Matthew Illsley says he found that the editor of The Daily Record at the time, Endell Laird, was also a member of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC) whose Defense Notices (D-notices) "gave general guidance on what might be published and what was discouraged". He concludes that the photographer had sent their pictures to the "worst newspaper you could have picked [run by] a guy serving on the committee designed to keep things like this out of the public eye" (note: D-notices were advisory, not requirements)
Newsweek article featuring interview snippets with Clarke (August 15 2022)
  • Clarke says this time that the two men, after first seeing the object and becoming afraid, "ran into some woodland"
  • He also claims that "the Ministry of Defence say that they returned them to the Daily Record, but the Daily Record say they never received them and they have no idea what happened to them". This appears to be a new spin on things
Questions arising from the above
  • Where were the photographers? Just outside Calvine? Struan Point? A "remote valley"? 20 miles north of Pitlochry? Or somewhere else (possibly poaching)?
  • Did they finish work at 9pm and then drive somewhere (as stated by Clarke in The Daily Mail) or was the picture taken around 9pm (as recorded by the MoD)?
  • If they were 18 that seems awfully young to be a chef. Though I suppose that could just be a general term for cook or kitchen assistant (more likely that than them being older I would think)
  • Clarke says "six colour photographs were taken" but we now see they're black and white
  • Can we put any credibility into what Clarke's Defense Intelligence source says? (I think not) Is he the only one who says they were poachers?
  • Was there really a dramatic "high-level meltdown" around the supposed CIA/Pentagon misunderstanding resulting from the photo? Or a "massive investigation"? Seems like a bit of embellishment is going on
  • If Clarke has the original photo and the original photo has the photographer's name on the back...
  • Are there any other sources for the story of these photographs?
  • What's the betting that one of the witnesses will come forward now that the story is out?
(Also attached are the related documents Clarke obtained through the FOIA. Any missing?)
 

Attachments

  • Incident report.pdf
    797 KB · Views: 12
  • Original photocopies and DI55 request.pdf
    998.8 KB · Views: 16
  • Loose minutes and defensive lines - 12 Sep 1990.pdf
    985.5 KB · Views: 11
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Duke

Active Member
The first illustration shown above of the diamond shaped vehicle looks like an illustration that is in the screen shot I have seen from the Dec 1990 AW&ST. I'm hoping to have time today to find that issue/article.
I can confirm the 24 Dec 1990 issue of AW&ST did publish an article entitled "Scientists' and Engineers' Dreams Take to Skies as 'Black' Aircraft" written by William B Scott. It mostly discusses an unmanned diamond-shaped hypersonic vehicle that, according to the article, could have already bern flying by the date of the article. Attached are an artist conception (by McCandlish) and the paragraph describing the aircraft.20220815_131508.jpg20220815_131550.jpg
 

Biggles79

New Member
Just taking a look back at Clarke's various writings and the history and timeline of the photos so it's all in one place.

From Clarke #1 (spring/summer 2021):

On the photos
  • "According to a brief, hand-written report from the MoD’s UFO files, the photograph/s at the centre of the mystery were taken at 9pm on Saturday 4 August 1990 by two people walking near the village of Calvine close to the A9"
  • "The original MoD account says a large diamond shaped object appeared in the sky and hovered for ten minutes ‘before ascending vertically upwards at high speed’"
  • The witnesses "saw what they believed was a Harrier jump jet make a number of low-level passes. During this time a series of six colour photographs were taken"
  • The MoD summary says that "shortly after their experience the photographer sent his negatives to the Glasgow-based Daily Record newspaper. The paper subsequently passed them to the Press Officer at RAF Pitreavie"
  • "A source from Defence Intelligence claims they were poachers who had killed their prey and were posing with the animal when the ‘UFO’ appeared"
  • This same source "claims a DI55 officer was sent to Scotland to examine the evidence and interview the witnesses. They were reassured they not in any trouble as a result of their activities and simply ‘went on their way’"
  • A "file opened by the DI55 UFO desk officer confirms that the negatives were examined first in September 1990 and were subsequently sent to the RAF’s Joint Air Reconnaissance Centre (JARIC) at RAF Brampton in Cambridgeshire for detailed analysis"
  • The unnamed source from Defence Intelligence says that "the investigation concluded the ‘object’ was a US experimental aircraft flying from the former RAF airfield at Machrihanish on the Mull of Kintyre"
  • This is contradicted by Air Commodore Simon Baldwin who asked the US if it was one of theirs and, due to a misunderstanding, received the same question back (ie, the US wondered if it was a craft developed by the RAF)
  • A cover note on the MoD's "defensive briefing" says the negatives were returned to the Daily Record
  • "In response to a number of FOI requests since 2009, MoD claim they have not retained any of the images after the negatives were returned to the paper in 1990"
  • In 2020 a senior journalist at the Daily Record said that any negatives could have been destroyed when it cleared out its old picture library some time before 2010
  • The newspaper’s picture editor who handled the negatives died in 2007
Nick Pope's story
  • Pope says he saw a first generation print of one image ("the poster on the wall") on his arrival at Secretariat (Air Staff) in 1991 to take over UFO duties from Owen Hartop
  • According to Pope, his head of division, JRG Clark, later removed the poster and locked it away in a safe in his office at MoD Main Building
  • In 1996 the MoD wrote that "A number of negatives associated with the sighting were examined by staff responsible for air defence matters. Since it was judged they contained nothing of defence significance the negatives were not retained and we have no record of any photographs having been taken from them"
  • Pope told The Sun in October 2020 that MoD tests had shown that the photos weren't fake and that experts had calculated that the object was around 100 feet diameter (dubious, since he wasn't around at the time)
  • In May 2021 Pope claimed that the photos had been authenticated by Defense Intelligence Staff
Clarke #2 (July 2021):

As above except -
  • Location is stated as being "a remote Scottish valley, 20 miles north of the town of Pitlochry" (as per the original handwritten notes)
  • Pope is quoted as adding "sharp focused" (The Sun, May 2021) to his earlier "broad daylight, countryside visible" from seven months before
  • This is the one where Clarke's Defence Intelligence source is quoted as saying that "the US agencies ‘went ballistic’ when they saw the image [...] captured by civilians in ‘a one in a million chance’"
  • Clarke proposed three possible explanations: ETs, secret stealth aircraft, or hoax (as Baldwin believed it, "an airborne Loch Ness monster") and plumps for "hoax" (while remaining open to the possibility of an advanced human aircraft)
Clarke #3 (writing in The Daily Mail, August 12, 2022)
  • Adds that the photographers were "young chefs" who drove to Calvine "for a walk in the hills" after finishing work at 9pm
  • "They hadn’t gone far when they saw a huge, solid, diamond-shaped object, about 100ft long, hovering silently in the sky above them. Terrified, they hid in some bushes and looked up."
  • "Minutes later, they heard the scream of a jet aircraft going north"
  • "The jet came back and circled the ‘thing’ before heading off on its original course [and] the two men stuck their camera out from where they were hiding and fired off six frames. At that point, the object shot vertically upwards and disappeared way, way up in to the sky."
  • Retired RAF officer Craig Lindsay is stated as being "the first official to speak to one of the young chefs after that night"
  • Lindsay says he didn't take it seriously until the witness said the object "didn't make any noise at all"
  • He says he "arranged for the negatives the men had handed to the Daily Record to be collected and faxed a copy of the best print to the Ministry of Defence’s now-defunct UFO desk in London"
  • He says he saw "the poster" on the MoD wall a year later
  • Clarke says he is convinced that the Calvine photo shows the result of a classified US program
  • In contrast to the sobriety of the articles on his own website this one is much more dramatic and full of insinuations of cover-ups (I wonder if a Mail writer tabloidized it?)
Clarke #4 (August 12, 2022)
  • Shows the photograph-sized Daily Record envelope in which the original prints were sent to the RAF (or rather "collected from Edinburgh Waverley railway station")
Disclosure Team Video (August 12, 2022)
  • Clarke says Pope told him the poster was 3 feet by 3 feet (8 minutes)
  • Clarke says his Defence Intelligence source was telling him about an incident where "two young lads were on the Scottish moors - and I won't say what they were doing - and they captured something on camera. It was a one-in-a-million chance, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was an American secret reconnaisance aircraft being escorted by American and British jets" (12 minutes)
  • Clarke realises that he's talking about the Calvine incident and believes that his 2007 FOIA request confirms this story (he describes it as "a huge high-level meltdown" involving an "absolutely fuming" Lt General John Jaquish (described in Clarke #1 as being responsible for US stealth programs)
  • Clarke describes how he tracked down Craig Lindsay by figuring out who the press officer was at the time (around 22 minutes)
  • Apparently Lindsay immediately said "I know what you're calling me about - that UFO photo from Calvine" (23)
  • Lindsay tells Clarke he was contacted by the picture editor at the Daily Record looking for a comment and that the picture editor said he would send him the best of the six pictures (24)
  • Clarke says the photograph was sent by train from Glasgow to the Record's Edinburgh office and then couriered by a photographer (Bill Fraser) to Pitreavie Castle where Lindsay was based (about 40 minutes away)
  • Clarke says it was "an 8 by 3 colour print - or appeared to be colour"
  • Next bit is the story of getting the negatives from the Daily Record, them sending them to the MoD, the UFO Desk taking over, Lindsay seeing the poster of "the best print" in the office in London, and nothing happening
  • Lindsay then says he has the envelope and the photocopies he originally faxed to the UFO Desk (31:44); that he'd read Nick Pope's book that mentions Calvine; and then, eventually, the actual photograph (which apparently has the photographer's name on the back)
  • From around 35 minutes is where Giles Stevens talks about looking for what he thinks might be the actual location
  • At 41:50 Clarke says there was a "massive investigation" (seems a bit of stretch) and that Lindsay was told to "keep your mouth shut, don't talk to anyone about it, forget about it" - whereas what Lindsay says they told him was "thank you very much for all this, leave it to us" (49:41)
  • At 47:38 Lindsay says they "hid in bushes or behind trees or something" (was wondering about the existence of "bushes", as stated by Clarke in The Daily Mail - but this seems to confirm it could have been trees, scrub, etc)
  • In contrast to The Daily Mail article Lindsay says he saw the poster "some weeks later"
  • NorCal Dave got the whole next relevant section covered :)
  • Lindsay hands the photo to Clarke and Vinnie Adams at the end of June 2022 and from there it goes to Sheffield Hallam University
  • At 58 minutes Matthew Illsley says he found that the editor of The Daily Record at the time, Endell Laird, was also a member of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC) whose Defense Notices (D-notices) "gave general guidance on what might be published and what was discouraged". He concludes that the photographer had sent their pictures to the "worst newspaper you could have picked [run by] a guy serving on the committee designed to keep things like this out of the public eye" (note: D-notices were advisory, not requirements)
Questions arising from the above
  • Where were the photographers? Just outside Calvine? Struan Point? A "remote valley"? 20 miles north of Pitlochry? Or somewhere else (possibly poaching)?
  • Did they finish work at 9pm and then drive somewhere (as stated by Clarke in The Daily Mail) or was the picture taken around 9pm (as recorded by the MoD)?
  • If they were 18 that seems awfully young to be a chef. Though I suppose that could just be a general term for cook or kitchen assistant (more likely that than them being older I would think)
  • Clarke says "six colour photographs were taken" but we now see they're black and white
  • Can we put any credibility into what Clarke's Defense Intelligence source says? (I think not) Is he the only one who says they were poachers?
  • Was there really a dramatic "high-level meltdown" around the supposed CIA/Pentagon misunderstanding resulting from the photo? Or a "massive investigation"? Seems like a bit of embellishment is going on
  • If Clarke has the original photo and the original photo has the photographer's name on the back...
  • Are there any other sources for the story of these photographs or are the five above pretty much it?
  • What's the betting that one of the witnesses will come forward now that the story is out?
(Also attached are the related documents Clarke obtained through the FOIA. Any missing?)
This is an excellent summary except that the photos are not black and white. They are washed-out colour. You can see the greens, browns and blues in this surviving print.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
The photos are not black and white. They are washed-out colour. You can see the greens, browns and blues in this surviving print.

According to Andrew Robinson:

"The photograph is a colour print from XP-1 chromogenic Black and White C41 film printed on standard Kodak
colour negative paper"

drive.google.com/file/d/1QPqd-G9f7vMW77orEHlvQHagrxm3uZ9r/view
Content from External Source

Also this posted in the comments underneath the YouTube discussion video:

The film used was Ilford XP1, which is a 400 ISO 35mm black and white film that is unusual that it is developed using a standard colour film processing machine. Because the film processors used at that time were intended to develop the film as quickly as possible, the final wash to remove remaining chemicals in the film itself was very short and often results in the film decaying quite rapidly a few years after development. It is quite possible that the original negatives are now quite faded and will soon be unusable. Similarly, the original print may be fading.

You mentioned Kodak in relation to the print. This implies that the paper type is resin coated multi contrast paper, still in use today. Newspaper film developing and print department are under pressure to make prints as fast as possible, so they cut corners, especially in the washing time. It is amazing that the print is in such a good state probably because it wes kept in total darkness inside the book in a dry place and not in a plastic or celluloid bag, which accelerate the decay process.

The image has been cropped, because the original negative was 35mm shape, which is a ratio of 3:2. I am a very experienced film processor and b/w printer, I owned and managed a professional darkroom, just around the corner from Fleet Street in London, for over 40 years.
Content from External Source

And one other interesting comment:

I used to freelance for the Daily Record in the early 90s. Prior to it closing, the in-house darkroom guys used to have copies of the photo printed up and in the staff area. I remember talking to the deputy picture editor about it at the time. They also dup’ed the negatives that were sent to the MOD.
Content from External Source
 
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Duke

Active Member
Just taking a look back at Clarke's various writings and the history and timeline of the photos so it's all in one place.
Two comments based on the above:

1. No one in the USAF would have asked the Brits (with a straight face at least) if the vehicle in the photo was a classified UK program. We never doubted the capabilities of Brits, but knew their military budget was very tight and their R&D budget tiny. I learned more about this first hand working with UK counterparts for five years on JSF in the late 90s/early 00s. No way the Brits could have afforded to develop something so exotic.

2. I don't remember ever hearing of Gen John Jaquish in our chain, maybe he was responsible for unmanned programs. Out of curiosity, I looked up his USAF bio. In Aug 1990, was principal deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C. He assumed that position in July 1990.
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
If they were 18 that seems awfully young to be a chef. Though I suppose that could just be a general term for cook or kitchen assistant (more likely that than them being older I would think)
This seems to be another point where Linsday's actual words and the Daily Mail article diverge a bit. In the interview, at 46:50, he says he remembered them as sounding English, and that they were "washing dishes for pocket money". So, not chefs or big-time chefs as someone else alluded to.

Where were the photographers? Just outside Calvine? Struan Point? A "remote valley"? 20 miles north of Pitlochry? Or somewhere else (possibly poaching)?
At 35:50 in the video, they seem to think they found the place as Struan Point, but they say it's only 1/2 mile out of town, so I don't know how Clarck goes with that and still thinks it's a Top Secret US aircraft. Right next to town?

Looking back at the photo, there just isn't much to go on. It's a grey sky, with the top of a barbed wire fence and a bit of tree at the top. It was said to be Calvine so they went out of town and found a fence and a tree. I can almost do that here in Northern California. Go out on an overcast winter day and find a barbed wire fence with a tree and not much else to see.

Was there really a dramatic "high-level meltdown" around the supposed CIA/Pentagon misunderstanding resulting from the photo? Or a "massive investigation"? Seems like a bit of embellishment is going on
I'll go back and read again, and unfortunately listen again, but it seemed that he would find things in an FOIA search, that "might" apply to this picture, and then goes with it. I kept getting the feeling that maybe there were other incidents that may account for what he was hearing about or finding, but he would cobble them in with this picture. The F117 and the B2 were only publicly seen 2 years earlier, so maybe one of them was seen somewhere in Scotland as the Gulf War 1 was getting ready?
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
Just taking a look back at Clarke's various statements and the history and timeline of the photos so it's all in one place.
I think this is an extremely useful summary. I would just suggest that as Baldwin is mentioned, the corroborative comments by Spiers should also be covered:

The prank explanation was confirmed by Sir Donald Spiers, a former Assistant Chief Scientist RAF. He said that he recognised the black and white image from the MoD files as the same one he saw at the time. There was, he said, ‘no doubt that the photograph was a spoof,’ a conclusion he claims is based upon analysis by ‘our technical experts’.
I think this is important because Spiers is a senior named individual; he had scientific expertise; he makes a very firm and definite statement ('no doubt'); and he specifically claims to base the 'spoof' interpretation on analysis by 'our technical experts'. This is useful if only as a counterbalance to the claims by Nick Pope that the experts considered the photographs genuine. The two claims are not necessarily incompatible if the experts first took one view but then changed their mind. Baldwin himself (as quoted by Clarke) says that the hoax
briefly fooled the intelligence services.
Of course without knowing the basis of their analysis we can't be sure whether they got it right on either occasion!
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I would just suggest that as Baldwin is mentioned, the corroborative comments by Spiers should also be covered

Will add.

Also, anyone know which FOIA document this comes from/have a link to copy?

1660596628198.png
Source: https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/secret-files/the-calvine-ufo-photographs/

I don't remember ever hearing of Gen John Jaquish in our chain, maybe he was responsible for unmanned programs. Out of curiosity, I looked up his USAF bio. In Aug 1990, was principal deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C. He assumed that position in July 1990.

So not quite "responible for stealth programs"?

As a result Lt General John Jaquish, who was responsible [for] the Stealth programs, mistakenly came to believe an experimental aircraft had been secretly developed by the RAF, drawing upon privileged access to Stealth technology that had been shared in confidence with its European ally.

https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/secret-files/the-calvine-ufo-photographs/
Content from External Source

Has anyone brought up that this occurred during the 1990 stock market crash?

If this were some kind of hoax, i wouldn't blame these guys if it was initially done with the purpose of making some quick cash from a newspaper.

I don't think 18-year-olds need an incentive to seek a bit of extra cash or carry out pranks. Probably not bothered by recessions either - especially since these guys both had jobs in a fancy hotel.
 

Unys

New Member
Will add.

Also, anyone know which FOIA document this comes from/have a link to copy?

1660596628198.png
Source: https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/secret-files/the-calvine-ufo-photographs/



So not quite "responible for stealth programs"?

As a result Lt General John Jaquish, who was responsible [for] the Stealth programs, mistakenly came to believe an experimental aircraft had been secretly developed by the RAF, drawing upon privileged access to Stealth technology that had been shared in confidence with its European ally.

https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/secret-files/the-calvine-ufo-photographs/
Content from External Source



I don't think 18-year-olds need an incentive to seek a bit of extra cash or carry out pranks. Probably not bothered by recessions either - especially since these guys both had jobs in a fancy hotel.
It seems these two lads were employed over the summer to mostly wash dishes, so perhaps a nice bit of cash from the Daily Record was an enticing prospect for when they went off to uni?

They witnesses are discussed after the 40 min mark:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgekUVzMSCc&t=5s


We are told one had an English accent. Personally, after having discovered a remark by a skeptical Air Commodore Simon Baldwin to Clarke that it was in fact an "airborne Nessie"*, I now feel it may have been a poor attempt by two young lads to hoax a Nessie hump in a pond or lake whilst still in England that captured the reflection of an RAF Harrier (where such aircraft actually did operate) and suddenly became a much better UFO photo. Have discussed this on the 'Reflection theory' thread.


https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/2021/07/31/the-ufo-that-never-was-the-calvine-photographs/
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
Dr David Clarke has tracked down three members of the hotel staff from 1990, in fact the present-day hotel manager was the head chef back then. He has also found the RAF Press Officer who handled the photos (he is 82 now). It seems these two lads were employed over the summer to mostly wash dishes...

All already covered earlier in the thread (and, indeed, on this page)...
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
Fair point. Though given they had a car, a decent camera, bought specialist film, and were potentially English youths far from home they could just as easily have been from well-off families who supported them in their adventures; it's all speculation really.

All I know is when I was 18 it wouldn't matter how much cash I had, if I had the idea and means to fake a UFO photo and get it in the papers I'd have given it a go. The larks would've been payment enough. :D
 

Robert Sheaffer

New Member
Nick Pope wrote that the Calvine photos consisted of "colour photographs." However, the photo we have seen is black-and-white. Any explanation? Might this be a print from a black-and-white copy negative of a color original?
https://web.archive.org/web/20190331171512/http://www.nickpope.net/calvine-ufo-photo.htm

Also, how exactly was this photo digitized? Was it done on a scanner, or just using a camera to take a copy photo of it? As I noted before, this photo uses lossy JPEG compression, which does not preserve fine details. It won't be possible to do any serious analysis of the print until it is placed on a high-quality scanner, and re-scanned to produce a lossless copy.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
That name is a blast from the past. McCandlish got some notoriety in the chemtrail community in the 2000s as an aviation expert
Mark McCandlish died of suicide in 2021.

Or, dark forces within the military industrial complex had him killed because of his revelations about the “Fluxliner” Alien Reproduction Vehicle, and made it look like suicide. :rolleyes:
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I've seen in several articles (though probably mostly syndicated/copied from The Sun) that the object is described as "metallic":

"The men - whose identities remain unknown to this day - claim they watched the metallic object hovering with a low hum for around ten minutes."

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/19494171/best-ufo-photo-calvine-hidden/
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I don't see any mention of it being "metallic" in Clarke's writing, nor is it there in Lindsay's recounting in the YouTube video (unless I've missed it).

Funny how they report the "low hum" too - presumably a hangover from Pope's telling - when its apparent silence is one of the main features of the story.

But then...

The saga began on 4 August 1990 when two members of the public out walking in the vicinity of Calvine, near Pitlochry, in Scotland, sighted a massive, diamond-shaped, metallic UFO. The UFO was virtually stationary and hovered silently for what the witnesses believed was several minutes, before accelerating away vertically at massive speed. During the sighting, a military aircraft, believed to be a Harrier, was seen.

https://web.archive.org/web/20190331171512/http://www.nickpope.net/calvine-ufo-photo.htm
Content from External Source

That was written by Nick Pope in 2019. This time he has it as silent - and also metallic.

In another article he is quoted as saying:

"The MoD has all sorts of equipment and expertise that we used to analyse and enhance imagery to tell whether there were any signs of fakery. This picture was assessed by our digital experts, who concluded it was a real photograph showing a solid-structured craft which was estimated as being around 25m (80 feet) in diameter.

I remember going to a briefing with the defence intelligence staff where the photograph was discussed. My opposite number in defence intelligence pointed his finger to the left and said, 'It is not the Americans,' then to the right, saying, 'It is not the Soviets,' and finally, he said, 'That only leaves...' and pointed his finger directly up."

https://www.scotsman.com/news/close-encounters-of-pitlochry-kind-1-1305251
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Though I have no idea whether people consider Pope a reputable source or not.

It won't be possible to do any serious analysis of the print until it is placed on a high-quality scanner, and re-scanned to produce a lossless copy.

I have read that they'll be putting out a high quality copy.
 
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