Claim: Original Calvine UFO Photo

deirdre

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

we have another older thread on Clavine. here i linked to the docs available from the national archive... is it in here anywhere (i dont want to reread them all again.

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/claim-1990-calvine-ufo.11574/post-245013


i checked that file doesnt cover the date of Dec 18 1992...that seems to be this archive which they deemed "closed" in 2020.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C11496717
 
Last edited:

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
I was responding to the Daily Mail article by Clark.
Yes I was quoting the Daily Mail article there, and pointing out that it appears to be inaccurate (or unsupported). I have a problem with Clarke's phrasing because the location he (with a local researcher) found, where they believe the photo was probably taken, is close to Calvine. So they "need" the witnesses to have not walked very far. But Lindsay doesn't know if they walked far or not. If they actually walked far, then the proposed location is wrong.

There are at least two other unsupported claims in the Mail article that seem designed to persuade the reader the photo is real, rather than sticking to facts. Maybe Clarke will produce the evidence, but the problem is that in one case (i.e. whether or not the photos were classified) last year he reached the opposite conclusion (hoax), based on the evidence.
 
D

Deleted member 17800

Guest
I am wondering if Mr West could potentially obtain a higher resolution original image?
 

Unys

New Member
I think it could be Hunter. They were based at the nearby RAF Lossiemouth in 1990, and the A9 is a known low fly route for aircraft returing to Lossiemouth. I've tried to use a 3d model of a Hunter to show it in the same aspect as the Calvine plane. This is the best I could do.

https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/hawker-hunter-f6-ff8c9a9e9d31491bac0d08393bef4daf

Note that the 3d model of the Hunter is the single seat version. In 1990 the RAF used the two seat T6 variant as a crew trainer for the Buccanneer aircraft (source). They were both based at RAF Lossiemouth - which is about 90 miles north of Calvine.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 14.07.57.png
And in Black & White with some noise and blurring
1660485388638.png

1280px-Hawker_hunter_t7_blue_diamond_in_planform_arp.jpg
I do feel that there isn't definitive proof it was a Harrier and of course Harriers weren't based in Scotland, so much more likely a Hunter.

Now that we have a copy of the statement written when interviewing witnesses we know that they claimed the aircraft made "repeated passes of the object" and would have got a lot closer to whatever it was than the lad with the camera:

Source: https://twitter.com/WilsonStraiph/status/1558773564244910080/photo/1

Harriers were fitted with HUD cameras and oblique wing-mounted cameras:

http://on-target-aviation.com/harrier.html

Hunters are fitted with gun cameras and, I believe, an early version of HUD:

https://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/hunter/walkaround.php

Therefore, the RAF ought to have had some pretty definitive camera footage of the object on 4th August 1990, long before those photos made their way to RAF press Officer Lindsay on 10th September 1990. Yet we know from official documents that there was a great deal of surprise and uncertainty within the MoD when Lindsay received the photos and then forwarded them to the 'UFO desk' in London. Moreover, according to the testimony of Air Commodore Baldwin, the Pentagon was also flummoxed.

To my mind this is a major red flag in the narrative provided by these two young lads and I personally believe it was an opportunistic hoax
 

Unys

New Member
Just to add, it seems Clarke has been given the lead article in the next Fortean Times and the link to the Sheffield Hallam University photo analysis has been deleted:

https://www.docdroid.net/HzDxVpq/russell-ufo-photographic-analysis-v2-personal-details-redacted-pdf

So we might not hear much more from Clarke for a while.

Also, it seems the Press Officer interviewed the two young lads by telephone, which is a bit of a let-off in my opinion as the formality of being interviewed face-to-face in his office might have seen them slip-up within their narrative or given them second thoughts
 
Last edited:

jarlrmai

Senior Member
So I had a think about the F117 and it kind of made me wonder about what testing models etc were done

Lockheed had an original design called the "hopeless diamond"

https://www.f117sfa.org/f117-development
Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/WeirdWings/comments/bfqi1o/lockheed_hopeless_diamond_experimental_stealth/


1660647765452.png


"From the computer program, the Skunk Works engineers created a ten-foot wooden model dubbed the "Hopeless Diamond". The model was taken to an outdoor radar test range on the Mojave Desert near Palmdale. The model was mounted on a 12-foot high pole, and the radar dish zeroed in from about 1,500 feet away."

Is it possible the object could have been another balloon/model being used to test the radar visibility of the shape and coatings?
 

Unys

New Member
So I had a think about the F117 and it kind of made me wonder about what testing models etc were done

Lockheed had an original design called the "hopeless diamond"

https://www.f117sfa.org/f117-development
Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/WeirdWings/comments/bfqi1o/lockheed_hopeless_diamond_experimental_stealth/


1660647765452.png


"From the computer program, the Skunk Works engineers created a ten-foot wooden model dubbed the "Hopeless Diamond". The model was taken to an outdoor radar test range on the Mojave Desert near Palmdale. The model was mounted on a 12-foot high pole, and the radar dish zeroed in from about 1,500 feet away."

Is it possible the object could have been another balloon/model being used to test the radar visibility of the shape and coatings?
There is the Chris Gibson 1989 North Sea oil rig sighting that almost certainly saw him witness some such prototype being refuelled, especially given his reliability as an eyewitness (ex-ROC and trained in aircraft recognition):

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/the-north-sea-aurora-sighting.2868/

However, they aircraft was accompanied by US F-111s, was out at sea and was at least attempting to stay out of sight.

As regards Calvine and the narrative from our witnesses, the RAF Harrier/Hunter loudly made "repeated passes" of the object, thus drawing the attention of every local and visitor in the area, not really a great move by the pilot if they were there in an escort capacity. Alternatively, if the RAF Harrier/Hunter chanced across the prototype whilst engaged in other duties, as the witnesses believed, then the pilot will have taken pretty definitive camera footage during those "repeated passes" and the MoD would have known about it on the 4th August 1990. However, as stated previously, all the available official documentation points to the RAF being unaware of this object until Press officer Lindsay received the photos on 10th September 1990. Also, Air Commodore Simon Baldwin has gone on the record to say the Pentagon were as flummoxed as the British were, having been summoned to meet an irate "three-star US general" who demanded to know what the British were up to.

In my opinion, when those two boys spoke on the phone to Press Officer Lindsay they had rather naively not stopped to consider that jet fighters were equipped with multiple cameras. In fact, even if we go down the road of camera failure or whatever, then you still have the detailed eyewitness report of the pilot.
 
Last edited:

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
In my opinion, when those two boys spoke on the phone to Press Officer Lindsay they had rather naively not stopped to consider that jet fighters were equipped with multiple cameras. In fact, even if we go down the road of camera failure or whatever, then you still have the detailed eyewitness report of the pilot.

The jets would already have been part of the narrative when they sent the pics to the paper - not expecting the RAF to get involved - so I can only imagine their freak-out when they got the call.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
What's the deal with absolutely nothing in the image appearing to be in focus?

I'm no photographer so have no idea how easy/difficult that is to achieve.

But the deep mistrust instilled in me tells me that that would be a good trick if you want to hide the real distance of objects.
 

Unys

New Member
The jets would already have been part of the narrative when they sent the pics to the paper - not expecting the RAF to get involved - so I can only imagine their freak-out when they got the call.
Agreed, they are expecting the Daily Record to run the story (and maybe a nice cheque in the post) but instead they get a call from the RAF who now have the negatives. If the call was unexpected then you can imagine their panic as they tried to get their narrative straight and not tie themselves in knots.

Press Officer Lindsay looks like a kind old gent now, but back in 1990 he may not have sounded so nice on the phone
 

Duke

Active Member
So I had a think about the F117 and it kind of made me wonder about what testing models etc were done

Lockheed had an original design called the "hopeless diamond"

https://www.f117sfa.org/f117-development
Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/WeirdWings/comments/bfqi1o/lockheed_hopeless_diamond_experimental_stealth/


1660647765452.png


"From the computer program, the Skunk Works engineers created a ten-foot wooden model dubbed the "Hopeless Diamond". The model was taken to an outdoor radar test range on the Mojave Desert near Palmdale. The model was mounted on a 12-foot high pole, and the radar dish zeroed in from about 1,500 feet away."

Is it possible the object could have been another balloon/model being used to test the radar visibility of the shape and coatings?
RCS models can't fly or hover, and need a highly instrumented, specialized radar test range to be utilized for the purpose for which they are designed/built. Did such a facility exist in Scotland in 1990?
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
Also, it seems the Press Officer interviewed the two young lads by telephone, which is a bit of a let-off in my opinion as the formality of being interviewed face-to-face in his office might have seen them slip-up within their narrative or given them second thoughts

It does seem more likely that if they witnessed a top secret project or ET craft that was also witnessed by RAF pilots, they'd get a personal visit and a stern warning from men in uniform.

If they come forward, perhaps they'll tell us that they did! That seems to be the way these things go.

(I think Lindsay only spoke to one of them - so we don't even have two eyewitness reports to compare.)
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
RCS models can't fly or hover, and need a highly instrumented, specialized radar test range to be utilized for the purpose for which they are designed/built. Did such a facility exist in Scotland in 1990?
My thoughts went as far as a diamond triangle shaped balloon and they were seeing what it looked like on the passing planes radars, but I agree its probably very unlikely.

On another note I wonder if the recent photo release and subsequent attention plus the upsurge in UAP related news might lead to a re-emergence of the witnesses.
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
My thoughts went as far as a diamond triangle shaped balloon and they were seeing what it looked like on the passing planes radars, but I agree its probably very unlikely.

On another note I wonder if the recent photo release and subsequent attention plus the upsurge in UAP related news might lead to a re-emergence of the witnesses.
Lindsay said their name was on the back of the photo (on a sticker I think?). Clarke had the photo and donated it to his library. So either he now knows the name, or Lindsay removed the name before handing over the photo. The latter seems more likely since Lindsay was concerned about security protocols and would have known, or been told, that the witness name could not be released by law.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
That's the name of the photo analyst.
Maybe the report was going to be released under the name Russell, hence the file name and redacted personal details, but somehow "Andrew Robinson" (his real name on SHU website) was attached to it instead. Maybe changed his mind but didn't change the filename?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

DavidB66

Senior Member
I wondered if I had had a brain fart when I repeatedly gave the name as 'Robinson' before, but no, that's still the name on the report! I think 'Russell' is most likely just a mistake by the writer on the uapmedia website. But it's (mildly) intriguing that the link to Robinson's report has been deleted. Maybe he has had second thoughts about his 'distance' claims and is revising his text (again)? [Edit: but the new link works and the text doesn't seem to be amended on this point.]
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
That's odd, so Russell was a pseudonym for Robinson?

Seems this link works now: https://www.docdroid.net/POxz6na/calvine-ufo-photographic-analysis-v2-pdf, just with a different filename.

https://contemporarylegend.co.uk/about/

Both SHU people involved David Clarke and Andrew Robinson have links to folklore/Fortean/paranormal interests.

David Clarke more specifically has most interest in these subject publicly but Andrew Robinson is also involved in the folklore research group at SHU.

It is unclear how, if at all, this interest is reflected in any analysis.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
[Edit: but the new link works and the text doesn't seem to be amended on this point.]
I verified it's the same PDF, just the file name changed2022-08-16_07-44-01.jpg

The "A Russell" name was on the earlier 8 July 2022 version, which still had Andrew Russell's name on the first page (and the file properties)
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
What's the deal with absolutely nothing in the image appearing to be in focus?

I'm no photographer so have no idea how easy/difficult that is to achieve.

But the deep mistrust instilled in me tells me that that would be a good trick if you want to hide the real distance of objects.
If the time they report is approximately right, it's a photo taken by a teenager with a hand-held camera very late in the day, certainly with a heavy cloud cover and perhaps even after sunset.
 

Unys

New Member
https://contemporarylegend.co.uk/about/

Both SHU people involved David Clarke and Andrew Robinson have links to folklore/Fortean/paranormal interests.

David Clarke more specifically has most interest in these subject publicly but Andrew Robinson is also involved in the folklore research group at SHU.

It is unclear how, if at all, this interest is reflected in any analysis.
I have listened to Clarke tear into every aspect of Rendlesham on a podcast (Mysteries and Monsters), He went through every alleged detail and poured scorn on all of it and in a pretty convincing way, too. He is in no way afraid of being unpopular with Ufologists and Forteans
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
If the time they report is approximately right, it's a photo taken by a teenager with a hand-held camera very late in the day, certainly with a heavy cloud cover and perhaps even after sunset.
Not sure which of those conditions causes everything to be out of focus.

Shouldn't a big floating diamond off in the distance at least be in focus?

I swear I couldn't take a photo that bad without some effort.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Not sure which of those conditions causes everything to be out of focus.

Shouldn't a big floating diamond off in the distance at least be in focus?

I swear I couldn't take a photo that bad without some effort.
Low shutter speed leads to more camera shake being recorded, which causes blur which can make things appear out of focus.

Low light makes autofocus systems perform poorly.

Overcast twilight are very hard conditions for a camera, especially if they had low ISO film loaded and a slower lens.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
I am wondering if Mr West could potentially obtain a higher resolution original image?
All, --be wary of pics like the following, which has been turning up online here and there as purported copies of the newly released better quality copy of the pic. It is obviously no such thing, little in it other than the presence of a jet and an aerial chevron match the actual picture. It appears to be some sort of "artist's impression" which has been published in several of the tabloid papers' online versions, such as here;
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/ne...g-cavine-scotland-aliens-ministry-of-defence/
Nothing really to import from the site other than the image, which I already got elsewhere -- the only purpose of the link is to back up that the image appears in such places.

fake version of scotland UFO with jet.JPG

If moderators feel that the potential confusion of sharing a fake version outweighs the potential benefit of being made aware of it, feel free to obliterate this post!
 

Rory

Senior Member.
But it's (mildly) intriguing that the link to Robinson's report has been deleted. Maybe he has had second thoughts about his 'distance' claims and is revising his text (again)? [Edit: but the new link works and the text doesn't seem to be amended on this point.]

I would imagine that they just wanted to move it from Google Docs since linking to Google Docs doesn't look very professional.

I must be missing something very obvious, but what does "Russell" refer to?

It's probably the photographer's name from the back of the picture. :D
 
Last edited:

Rory

Senior Member.
Last edited:

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
Low shutter speed leads to more camera shake being recorded, which causes blur which can make things appear out of focus.

Low light makes autofocus systems perform poorly.

Overcast twilight are very hard conditions for a camera, especially if they had low ISO film loaded and a slower lens.
I was going on the assumption of a standard point and click of the time that didn't give great control over those settings.

Cos given a camera with settings that allow for better tuning for conditions it just adds to the problem of why not adjust the settings for a better photograph in those conditions.

Obviously it'd be great to know what the photo was taken with. I've not seen it mentioned in what I've read but could easily have missed it.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I was going on the assumption of a standard point and click of the time that didn't give great control over those settings.

Cos given a camera with settings that allow for better tuning for conditions it just adds to the problem of why not adjust the settings for a better photograph in those conditions.

Obviously it'd be great to know what the photo was taken with. I've not seen it mentioned in what I've read but could easily have missed it.
Because it would be dark, film cameras couldn't just push the ISO to 12800 you were limited to working with the ISO of the film you had loaded.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
If the time they report is approximately right, it's a photo taken by a teenager with a hand-held camera very late in the day, certainly with a heavy cloud cover and perhaps even after sunset.
Agreed, they are expecting the Daily Record to run the story (and maybe a nice cheque in the post) but instead they get a call from the RAF who now have the negatives. If the call was unexpected then you can imagine their panic as they tried to get their narrative straight and not tie themselves in knots.

Let's remember, this is a recollection from 30 years ago by an octogenarian. There is nothing in the original report about any of this, just a redacted name:
1660666658278.png

If this is a hoax or spoof, then so is the back story. IF the part about ringing up the Hotel and being put in touch with the young dishwasher is accurate, it could be the only part that is. It could also be that Linsday called the witness directly and upon hearing that he supposedly worked at the hotel, his memory has since confabulated that together to "he called him at the hotel". If that's the case, the hoaxer just told him this back story, though maybe he was expecting to tell it to the photo editor, not the RAF.

Even if he did call him at the hotel and he was a dishwasher, that doesn't mean he took the picture. If our hoaxer also worked at the hotel, or frequented it, he could have easily made an offer to the underpaid dishwasher: "Oy, Neal, I'm trying to get a few photos in the big fancy paper and they may call here to ask about it. I'll give you 10 bob to tell them this little story and another 10 if I get some money from the photos."

Linsday, according to his interview, only spoke to him once by phone. He never saw him, never met him and never went to the hotel as far as we know. All we have is what he remembered from 30 years ago.

I'll repost this from the Patterson-Gimlin film thread (bold by me):

According to Loftus, who has published twenty-four books and more than six hundred papers, memories are reconstructed, not replayed. “Our representation of the past takes on a living, shifting reality,” she has written. “It is not fixed and immutable, not a place way back there that is preserved in stone, but a living thing that changes shape, expands, shrinks, and expands again, an amoeba-like creature.”
Content from External Source
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/how-elizabeth-loftus-changed-the-meaning-of-memory

Much of the Loftus article is about the backlash she recieved for working on Weinstein's defense team, but it does talk about her research.

What's the deal with absolutely nothing in the image appearing to be in focus?

I'm no photographer so have no idea how easy/difficult that is to achieve.

But the deep mistrust instilled in me tells me that that would be a good trick if you want to hide the real distance of objects.

Indeed, my thoughts also. Keep the waters muddy.

The photo expert, Robinson, says the craft is in focus the most and because of the depth of field being what it was, the close up fence/trees are out of focus as is the far away jet:

1660669084656.png

Though how sharp is relative to the other things in the photo:

1660669140366.png
1660669177967.png
1660669208411.png

I guess the craft is the least out of focus. He also says this about the film stock:

1660669578107.png

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:

1660665907485.png
https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/xp1-vs-xp2-development.64616/#:~:text=

One can still find them on ebay today:


1660665977929.png
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/224686715680

All the makings for a hoax are right here. At least it doesn't sound like a poor dishwasher just happened to snap a shot with an expensive high end specialty film.

If I'm going back to my darkroom days (35+ years) and I wanted to create this, especially if I had seen the Puerto Rico photo, I think I would have hung the model from the tree in an area where I knew jets practiced low flying, which according to Flarky they did in near there, and waited. Or, maybe easier, I would have hung the model and made multiple shots till I got what I wanted, then in my darkroom or in camera add the jet. Being in the UK, I add a Harrier instead of a Tomcat. A very out of focus Harrier.
 

Attachments

  • 1660669417607.png
    1660669417607.png
    27.6 KB · Views: 26

Daves!

Active Member
if i look to the fence it looks more like the position was upwards than downwards.
So the lake hypothesis is still not convincing me.
backed by Google Maps where i dont see any lake.
Hanging a model of a plane and some diamond shaped ufo would be more likely to a hoax if you point the camera more upwards.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
Just to note that I saw a series of Twitter posts on the Calvine case by one Gordon Hudson (Twitter username @gordonhudsonnu ). So far as I know he does not post here (but may be lurking!) He is an advocate of the 'distant mountain' explanation, and makes some interesting points. He seems familiar with the terrain around Calvine (and is himself Scottish). He argues that it would be very difficult to take a photo of this kind of landscape, with the fence etc visible, without having more of the distant hills in shot, unless they are obscured by cloud or mist. I think this conflicts with the photo analysis by Robinson, which claims that the tops of the distant hills are just visible along the bottom of the photo. Anyway, Hudson's tweets are worth considering.
 

Daves!

Active Member
Just to note that I saw a series of Twitter posts on the Calvine case by one Gordon Hudson (Twitter username @gordonhudsonnu ). So far as I know he does not post here (but may be lurking!) He is an advocate of the 'distant mountain' explanation, and makes some interesting points. He seems familiar with the terrain around Calvine (and is himself Scottish). He argues that it would be very difficult to take a photo of this kind of landscape, with the fence etc visible, without having more of the distant hills in shot, unless they are obscured by cloud or mist. I think this conflicts with the photo analysis by Robinson, which claims that the tops of the distant hills are just visible along the bottom of the photo. Anyway, Hudson's tweets are worth considering.
i found this tweet interesting :
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20220816-194949-994.png
    Screenshot_20220816-194949-994.png
    737.9 KB · Views: 33
Top