Claim: Original Calvine UFO Photo

Ravi

Senior Member.
ISO100 film was/is definitely not very great for low light conditions or indoor, unless tripod and long shuttertime.. But if a lens with large aperture (F/1.4 or so) was used, you can extend it quite a bit.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Some comments on an army forum addressing those who suspect there's something fishy about the lack of MoD records regarding Calvine:

As far as the wide ranging gaps in documentation which you feel you have identified, I have written all sorts of exotic reports where the files would eventually be archived for review at the 10 year point - at which stage files would be reviewed to decide whether they should be kept to the 30 year point or destroyed.

Guess what? After 10 years much that seemed exciting and exotic is only fit for the bin when you are being encouraged to reduce warehouses full of filing.

In short, where you surmise there was a culture of obfuscation and official secrecy by MoD the answer is likely to be much more mundane: “we are moving to an electronic filing system, unless there’s a good reason not to, get rid of this 30 foot high stack of old files. And do it by Friday.“

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...calvine-ufo-in-the-1990s.308465/post-11323271
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The partial and random preservation of files doesn’t strike me as unusual.

I’m ex-MOD, spending many years as the local IT expert before evolving into a central policy role developing MOD Information Management processes and practices.

One of the biggest problems we had was duplication and gaps. Back in the 90s, when you raised a loose minute, copies went to everyone listed. Another copy went into the registry for filing, and another copy went on circulation within the unit.

The circulation copy would be destroyed pretty quickly. The registry copy would be filed, The copies sent out would be retained or destroyed depending on how interested the receiving desk officer was.

If anyone replies, copies will go to everyone on the original distribution list. The reply might also contain a snippet of useful information. And, again, the receiving desk officers will retain or destroy depending on how interested they are.

This means it is entirely possible that a receiving desk officer would destroy the first loose minute but retain any of the subsequent loose minutes because they contain something of interest beyond that contained in the original loose minute (e.g. the name of an expert who was consulted who might be a useful contact for the desk officer‘s other work). It’s fairly random, but means some documents are destroyed quite quickly, whilst others are held in multiple places.

If you then throw in 20 years of review and weeding, by desk officers who are several post-rotations away from the originator, then the retention becomes even more random.

Then add in endless reorganisations and responsibility changes, and what may have been within a unit’s Area of Responsibility in 1990 would not be in the unit’s AOR ten years later, so any records would get destroyed as no longer being relevant to that unit.

And then we moved to electronic records, with pressure to reduce the amount of paper held so migration to the electronic system would be cheaper, thus putting further pressure on keeping old documents.

Incomplete and random records from 30 years ago is not at all surprising.

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...calvine-ufo-in-the-1990s.308465/post-11324169
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You rather pejoratively refer to what you clearly think is some sort of cover up, and one that even now people are "afraid to talk about".

Well that, Sir, is just a load of bollox. To be blunt the majority of us were busy in the 1990s with real sh1t from NI to Bosnia, Kuwait and a hundred other things besides. We were more interested in black ops flights into Tusla than we ever were into things that might or might not be scudding around the skies of Scotland.

So don't confuse "wall of silence" with "better things to have been worrying about".

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...calvine-ufo-in-the-1990s.308465/post-11323861
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The above are all from a thread started by Clarke's associate, Matthew Illsley. I've read the whole thing and the replies are mostly people pulling his leg or calling him a conspiracy theorist. He also posted the same initial comment on some air force forums, where he wrote the following:

We understood initially that the men were out walking, but it was then suggested to us by a senior ex-military source that they had been poaching, hence the camera. They were out in the middle of nowhere on a remote, private, 90,000-acre deer reserve at dusk, having driven 13 miles to get there. The camera was to capture a shot of they bagged a prize, but they allegedly got more than they bargained for.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...o-uap-1990-calvine-scotland.html#post11180473

On this point we have a senior former defence intelligence source who interviewed the witnesses at the time.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...o-uap-1990-calvine-scotland.html#post11180649

The senior ex-mil source insists that 1 Harrier was UK, 1 was US, the diamond was real, and the US harrier was there because of the diamond in case it went down. He could, of course, be leading us down the garden path, but one has to trust somebody in all this.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-5.html#post11182575

According to [his] version of events, the source got the RAF and USMC information from the 6 prints originally taken by MoD from the negatives and, later, from the Americans themselves.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-5.html#post11182709

Admittedly, he could be deliberately misleading us. He could even be unintentionally misleading us (telling us what he thinks is true but he has himself been misled). Once one starts to go down that route, though, one seems to lose sense of what's up and what's down, so when people who we don't yet have reason to doubt tell us something, we have tried to treat them as if they were straight shooters.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-5.html#post11182668
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Other comments from that thread:

I was shown an original print of this photo in the course of my duties around that time. As a UFO sceptic I was utterly gobsmacked. It wasn’t an F117 (and why would an F117 be at low level?), or any aircraft revealed before or since. I had no explanation for it and have been a lot less sceptical since!

It was noted at the time that it was taken on a Saturday when, as we know, no routine FJ LL flying takes place.

https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/644967-alleged-ufo-uap-1990-calvine-scotland.html

It was a long time ago, but my recollection is that the copy I saw was black and white. It was sharp, on glossy photo paper ( not a photocopy) and looked authentic. The mock up on line is a pretty accurate recreation but I think the “object” was lower and not exactly side on. My impression at the time was that the circling aircraft was a Hunter but it could have been a Harrier.

It may have been a fake, but it was certainly not any aircraft revealed before or since or a blimp/ balloon/kite etc.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-3.html#post11181322

I don’t really understand how the senior military source gets one RAF and one USMC Harrier from the photo. As I said earlier, my initial impression was of a Hunter, and no sign of a second aircraft. If JARIC, or whoever could identify the nationalities of the aircraft they must have seen a MUCH better picture than I did. OR they have another source of information.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-5.html#post11182690

There were indeed Hunters at Lossiemouth in 1990 but I would have thought that operating them on a Saturday night would have attracted a lot of comment. I knew most of the Hunter qualified Lossiemouth pilots at that time and never heard any mention of this incident.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-4.html#post11181626
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Ex Pitreavie Int here. We did have a dark red file on this general topic but it contained nothing that persuaded me we were having ET visitors. Also later worked in the next office to Nick Pope and same applies.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-2.html#post11181115
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I live fairly close by and spend a lot of time in the hills around there. Some of the most popular hills in Scotland are in the area just N of Pitlochry/Calvine, and at that time of year, on a Saturday evening the area is packed with tourists and hillwalkers, even that late in the evening. There are one or two genuinely remote and unfrequented areas of the Scottish highlands, but the Cairngorms NP/A9 belt are most definitely not in this category. The idea that an event like that could have just a single witness seems highly improbable/incredible to me.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-4.html#post11182499
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There is also mention of a low-fly air exercise called "Mallett Blow 90/2" which took place between July 30th and August 3rd 1990 in Northern England and the Borders region and which probably featured Harriers. This, however, isn't followed up, and the one commenter doesn't see it as useful.

Among the most repeated comments are that they don't fly low-level on weekends and that if it was where they say it was lots of people would have noticed. And everyone who saw the original photo before it was rediscovered says the mock-up was very similar (interesting that no one seems to have said "but there weren't hills or trees").

I get the impression from Illsley that they may have located a possible spot for the photo before the original was found - which makes me wonder if they were looking for something that contained the same kind of view as the recreation.

The air force chaps, by the way, are almost infinitely more polite and welcoming than the army boys.

Illsley also asked question in two other aviation forums: e-goat (gets nothing useful) and fightercontrol.co.uk (nothing to add).
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
Did I include this one? Illsley seems to think that the photographer was interviewed more than once:

After being twice interviewed by the military, the photographer (likely a deer poacher) has never again come forward and his identity is unknown.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...o-uap-1990-calvine-scotland.html#post11179186

We have a senior former defence intelligence source who interviewed the witnesses at the time.

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...o-uap-1990-calvine-scotland.html#post11180649

We only have one alleged witness (there were two men walking there apparently, but only one is named in the file, only one sent the photos in, and only one was interviewed).

https://www.pprune.org/military-avi...uap-1990-calvine-scotland-4.html#post11182479
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Though he does contradict himself there, and may be confusing his DI mole with someone who actually talked to the witness(es).
 

Duke

Active Member
Rory--

Rather than repeat your entire post, I thought I'd open a new post strictly talking about government organizations keeping/getting rid of records/correspondence.

In the late 90s, the Engineering Directorate of the Aeronautical System Center at WPAFB moved into a new, purpose built facility that would allow all Directorate branches to unite under one roof. Having just returned to the home office from a colocation to a SPO and having no assigned duties yet, I was delegated "move Czar" for our three letter organization.

The first thing we were told was the new building would have significantly less storage than older facilities. From on high we were given only very general direction/metrics on what to keep/dispose of for both files and hardware storage areas. After much discussion, we were given so many linear feet of files, and so many cubic feet of hardware to get rid of by such a date. Deciding what was to go and the criteria used to decide what was to go was left up to individual branch chiefs. The last thing we were told was historical value/interest was not to be used to justify keeping anything.

Long story short, any commonality between branch/division criteria for throwing stuff out was purely coincidental. Not only that, the engineers assigned the worker bee jobs of pulling files and deciding what to keep/pitch were all recently hired kids right out of college who had no knowledge of older programs or their impact on new programs. For the most part, anything dated more than 10 years earlier was pitched.

I forget how many thousands of linear feet of files and cubic feet/pounds of hardware the Directorate threw out, but all that mattered was we met the metric. Nobody cared what it was, just how much of it we got rid of. And yes, I personally squirreled away stuff that otherwise would have been destroyed.
 
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Daves!

Active Member
@Duke what i find so fascinating and even funny is, that the press officer in 1990, Craig Lindsay, kept the original picture in his possession, and what i think, is without knowing what the procedure was what to do with stuff he got from the press.

Even "sensitive" material like this, he decided well no one is going to investigate this stuff further so im going to keep it as a souvenir.
No one ever asked him what he did with it, even forgetting about him. He years later lived a quite life enjoying a peacefull and good life till one day David knocks on his door and he simply says " ah yes i have the picture, here you go keep it i dont have any use for it "..

reminds me somehow of Bilbo Baggings who has the One Ring in his possesion all those years without knowing what forces were searching for it.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
that they had been poaching, hence the camera. They were out in the middle of nowhere on a remote, private, 90,000-acre deer reserve at dusk, having driven 13 miles to get there. The camera was to capture a shot of they bagged a prize, but they allegedly got more than they bargained for.
the uk military couldnt locate a 90,000 acre private deer reserve? 13 miles from atholl palace hotel?
 

Rory

Senior Member.
i found this tweet interesting :

Can you post as a comment please rather than an attachment? Just ctrl+v the twitter url.

@Duke what i find so fascinating and even funny is, that the press officer in 1990, Craig Lindsay, kept the original picture in his possession, and what i think, is without knowing what the procedure was what to do with stuff he got from the press.

Even "sensitive" material like this, he decided well no one is going to investigate this stuff further so im going to keep it as a souvenir.
No one ever asked him what he did with it, even forgetting about him. He years later lived a quite life enjoying a peacefull and good life till one day David knocks on his door and he simply says " ah yes i have the picture, here you go keep it i dont have any use for it "

That's not really what happened though is it? Doesn't Clarke say he at first didn't even let them handle the picture, and only gave it to them on a subsequent visit? Also that he didn't mention it at first, but showed them the photocopies?

Also isn't his story that he carried it around with him for several years and showed it to quite a few people saying "what do you think of that?"

The uk military couldnt locate a 90,000 acre private deer reserve 13 miles from atholl palace hotel?

I'm sure they could, but this comment is the only place I've ever seen that mentioned.

(I don't trust all of Illsley's statements, but they're representative of things that he and Clarke's team may have believed at least at some point - and also therefore that many things from them shouldn't necessarily be taken as 'factual').
 
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nsurround

New Member
It is most likely a remote controlled kite (no String) made from brown paper and jet/airplane just happened to fly by. The kite can stay in better focus while the jet cannot (not hovering). All you have to do is replicate the photo in real life with a brown paper kite (not sure about the remote control) and a 32 year old or more film camera on an overcast day by an old barb wired cow fence. However the jet maybe problematic. Maybe have a remote control model jet also. Could be a cool project for somebody. Any takers?
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Just for fun, this popped up on my news feed while have a bit of lunch:

World's clearest UFO photo revealed after 30 years; it's called 'The Calvine Photo'​

1660680864737.png
The caption for the photo:
1660680920547.png
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/worl...ars-it-s-called-the-calvine-photo/ar-AA10HDyI

Wow, if this is the newly scanned and enhanced version it's a lot better looking. That's clearly a Harrier now. And apparently there was a lot more hills and no fence and....wait a minute:
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;
JMartJr had it figured out all ready. But the story does run with it as if this is the actual picture.
 

Alexandria Nick

Active Member
I wish this had popped up two weeks ago.

I just spent a week vacationing in coastal Maine. We had plenty of extremely foggy mornings that were combined with overcast conditions. I could have taken dozens of pictures of islands or mountains poking up through the fogbank that look exactly like this picture. I'm more of a "see vacation with my eyes instead of through a viewfinder," so no pictures unfortunately. There's nothing remarkable, at all, about the picture with those images fresh in my mind. Some of them, I was high enough up (the mountains in Acadia) that an aircraft could have been below me yet one of the islands sticking up through the fog would be "above" the aircraft. If this subject was on my radar before that trip, I could have readily duplicated the picture.
 

Charlie Wiser

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.
The whole camera thing doesn't ring true to me. On the assumption Lindsay's account is correct and they saw a UFO in the sky: these guys went out near dark - they saw the UFO at an undetermined time after leaving the car, but apparently not *hours* later. So it was already late when they arrived in Calvine in the car. They weren't there to shoot sunsets, they had unusual artsy B&W film in the camera. What were they intending to shoot? Nature? They knew they'd be shooting in low light - why not take a tripod?
 
D

Deleted member 17800

Guest
Just to make a note to anyone remotely interested:
Like I introduced myself previously I amongst other things restore photographs to museum grade.
The grain on the photograph truly is not a problem.
That grain contains a thousand different shades.

Software commonly available can enlarge an image like said and it utilises AI to input perceived data between those pixels ( similar to hand done restoration I use the nearest common pixel to establish a pattern / shape.

Then with the enlarged and AI used photo you shrink it back down ( even smaller to some extent or the original size.
When looked at ( it's not a science ) one may or may not be able to discern more detail at least to the human eye .

So the best image ( oh I wish we had the negative ) would be the best because developing and processing today is far more advanced than in 1990.
That negative if found would be the holy grail for sure.

I have taken the liberty of showing ( I have permission ) a museum photograph I am restoring.
This original photo looks sepia doesn't it? It isn't. It does have a metallic tint of blue which again is how it would have originally looked.
When looked at this is the glue and card / paper it is upon that over 100 years ago has sadly become damaged.
The replication is matched to 1910- 1915 roughly.
Before I began this one restoration I spent / waited over a week to identify the car .
It's a Hupmobile model 20.
Yet if one looks at the vintage car the back fender is different.
The car museum helped me age that fender to 1913 the car itself was manufactured between 1911 - 1914.
The camera it was taken with was older by this time probable around 1905.

So before a restoration commences so much is needed to replicate least to the best of ability.

So to conclude:
To my knowledge the ' ufo ' was taken with colour film yet it appears a specialist film ( not certain ) used for a certain effect'.
It is ( with lots of hard work ) feasible to restore colour within the shades of pixels this would take trial and error guess work and hope.

One can define N S E and West what the time is where the sun is positioned.
This will be the definitive in the finished above method to give a more natural colour.

Alas in theory it is possible.

Leaves for example are green or brown generally ( depending on season ).
Posts of the fence look generally a certain colour shade.
With that and more basic pixel play about one can ' guess ' the pixels in the entire photograph. ( Imagine difficult painting by numbers).
Each shade of pixel represents a colour or part thereof.
There is no such thing being black and white but thousands of shades of light and dark.
 

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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here is their new release of what they claim is a high quality copy scan of the Calvine pic

Doesn't look any better to me though, But my eyes are not that good, and I have not compared it to the first one they released
It's not really any better than the 4Mb jpg that was released. It's also 8-when they scanned it a 16-bit. But I doubt that would really add much.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Just to make a note to anyone remotely interested:
Like I introduced myself previously I amongst other things restore photographs to museum grade.
The grain on the photograph truly is not a problem.
That grain contains a thousand different shades.

Do you rate any online colorization sites? Or can you colorize yourself?

Seems like a good (or even "acceptable") colorized version would really answer the question of whether we're looking at a boatload of fog (supporting mountaintop hypothesis) or clouds and sky.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
They weren't there to shoot sunsets, they had unusual artsy B&W film in the camera. What were they intending to shoot? Nature? They knew they'd be shooting in low light - why not take a tripod?
be careful not to over think unnecessary details. he could have been out shooting sunsets or nothing. i almost always took my camera with me on walks in case i saw something i wanted to shoot. and i liked shooting in B&W, but b/w or color i used whatever was in my camera because if you took the roll out midway you just wasted shots and film.

often the simplest explanation is the right one. he was out walking, took some cool scenic shots, with whatever was still in his camera, wasnt even thinking UFOs until after the film was developed and he realized it looked like a UFO and maybe he could sell these. Or at least be "all famous" like the Nessie guys. Youre 18. it's a goof. Then the British Intelligence Service contacts you and you panic, (cause that WOULD suck) and come up with some cover story because you dont want to tell them they just spent the last few weeks researching a rock

:).
 
D

Deleted member 17800

Guest
Do you rate any online colorization sites? Or can you colorize yourself?

Seems like a good colorized version would really answer the question of whether we're looking at a boatload of fog (supporting mountaintop hypothesis) or clouds and sky.
Honestly to colour entirely a photo and make it natural to the film it is on camera and everything else is a science.
Most pop your photo online sites will charge peanuts and sadly you get ' peanuts.
This is my family brothers and sisters ( still not finished ) for an example it's 50 years old.

It's not finished I've been too busy but it may answer your query.

Yes but done properly and knowing the film the camera the age etc is paramount for half decent results.
Forget generic online.

P.S I am in no way here promoting myself I am genuinely flat out lol thankfully.

It takes a good 10 hours at least to do a ' proper ' job even on the most simplistic image.
Online it is done by button pressing.

It would be hit and miss the software simply translates a colour ( most look unnatural ) and replaces it ( Imagine 1940's - 50's movie posters outside cinemas ).
Then you may be left with an image that may or may not look good but it won't be a true representation just an embellished one.

To colourise ' properly' the 'ufo ' would take me months to do it properly.
I personally could not / would not take that on board for obvious reasons.
You can try ' reputable ' sites but don't bet it won't be anything more than a button press technique that a trained orangutan could likely do :(

Edit: For what it's worth my opinion ( that's all it is ) is the ' ufo ' is indeed an object that is in the sky and around 80-90 odd feet long.
I do believe it is at the lowest denominator a real photograph. What ?I don't know.
 

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Rory

Senior Member.
It takes a good 10 hours at least to do a ' proper ' job even on the most simplistic image.
Online it is done by button pressing.

Useful to have your pre and post pictures there for comparison: here's what hotpot.ai (left) and imagecolorizer.com (right) makes of your b&w:

Hotpot (1).png jjkkjk.jpg

Ie, they're colored and look all right - but there's nothing in the way of the blues and reds and yellows that your version has (and presumably were there in real life).

Interesting.
 
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D

Deleted member 17800

Guest
Useful to have your pre and post pictures there for comparison: here's what hotpot.ai (left) and imagecolorizer.com (right) makes of your b&w

Hotpot (1).png jjkkjk.jpg

Ie, it's colored and looks all right - but there's nothing in the way of the blues and reds and yellows that your version has (and presumably were there in real life).

Interesting.
Exactly :)
 

Robert Sheaffer

New Member
The whole camera thing doesn't ring true to me. On the assumption Lindsay's account is correct and they saw a UFO in the sky: these guys went out near dark - they saw the UFO at an undetermined time after leaving the car, but apparently not *hours* later. So it was already late when they arrived in Calvine in the car. They weren't there to shoot sunsets, they had unusual artsy B&W film in the camera. What were they intending to shoot? Nature? They knew they'd be shooting in low light - why not take a tripod?
How do we know that they did NOT use a tripod? I rather think they did. In my view: they set out with the intention of producing a hoax UFO photo, perhaps playfully intending to replicate (or, pay homage to) a 1988 UFO hoax photo from Puerto Rico. Load up the car with camera, "artsy" film, a tripod, a cable release, plus whatever paraphernalia they used to create the model UFO. They carefully set up the tripod and the model, focused the camera on the model, and took advantage of seeing the jet in the background.

For information on the Puerto Rico hoax, see
http://www.hoaxorfact.com/Pranks/al...t-a-local-restaurant-in-puerto-rico-hoax.html
 

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john.phil

Member
How do we know that they did NOT use a tripod? I rather think they did. In my view: they set out with the intention of producing a hoax UFO photo, perhaps playfully intending to replicate (or, pay homage to) a 1988 UFO hoax photo from Puerto Rico. Load up the car with camera, "artsy" film, a tripod, a cable release, plus whatever paraphernalia they used to create the model UFO. They carefully set up the tripod and the model, focused the camera on the model, and took advantage of seeing the jet in the background.

For information on the Puerto Rico hoax, see
http://www.hoaxorfact.com/Pranks/al...t-a-local-restaurant-in-puerto-rico-hoax.html
There's a chance it's not a jet after all but a bird instead, and they most likely had the camera on a tripod, perhaps to fake Nessie, but went home to develop the film and realised they could fake a UFO sighting instead.

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/calvine-ufo-photo-reflection-in-water-hypothesis.12572/post-276897

If you recall, back in the days anyone serious about photography would regularly carry a tripod around. Today, there's image stabilisation hardware in-built in the lenses, software stabilisation, access to higher ISO than film and softwares for denoising, deblurring and retouching, so carrying a tripod nowadays is rare (I only carry one if I have planned photos of running water, night sky or time lapses).
 

Mendel

Senior 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.
autofocus in a 1990s chemical camera? automatic exposure, fine, but focus?
twist the ring to stop at ∞ and you're set
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.
20 minutes before (not after) sunset under an open sky is neither "dark" nor "twilight", and @NorCal Dave quoted the expert as stating the film could be exposed at 50 to 800 ISO, 400 being sufficient for scenes much darker than this picture.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I would imagine that they just wanted to move it from Google Docs since linking to Google Docs doesn't look very professional.
Google Drive has a bandwidth limit, I believe. (That's why I reposted the PDF as soon as I saw that link.)
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
autofocus in a 1990s chemical camera? automatic exposure, fine, but focus?
twist the ring to stop at ∞ and you're set

20 minutes before (not after) sunset under an open sky is neither "dark" nor "twilight", and @NorCal Dave quoted the expert as stating the film could be exposed at 50 to 800 ISO, 400 being sufficient for scenes much darker than this picture.
Film cameras had autofocus as far back as the late 80's.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS_650

And what would the calculated shutter speed be at those film ISO's? we don't know the EV

I shot a a butterfly stack at close to sunset in shadow in my garden the other night, I had to shoot 1/6s at ISO 400 and f/2.8 to get a well exposed image.
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
How do we know that they did NOT use a tripod? I rather think they did. In my view: they set out with the intention of producing a hoax UFO photo, perhaps playfully intending to replicate (or, pay homage to) a 1988 UFO hoax photo from Puerto Rico. Load up the car with camera, "artsy" film, a tripod, a cable release, plus whatever paraphernalia they used to create the model UFO. They carefully set up the tripod and the model, focused the camera on the model, and took advantage of seeing the jet in the background.

For information on the Puerto Rico hoax, see
http://www.hoaxorfact.com/Pranks/al...t-a-local-restaurant-in-puerto-rico-hoax.html

Someone mentioned camera shake, so presumably a tripod would've fixed this. I agree with you that I think they planned this in advance while washing dishes bored out of their minds, probably scouted out some areas on prior walks. If they were paying homage to the PR hoax then the jet had to be prearranged too.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Film cameras had autofocus as far back as the late 80's.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS_650

And what would the calculated shutter speed be at those film ISO's? we don't know the EV

I shot a a butterfly stack at close to sunset in shadow in my garden the other night, I had to shoot 1/6s at ISO 400 and f/2.8 to get a well exposed image.

I also had a nice SLR in those days (Canon) and indeed there was auto focus.

It could be the guys had a nice lens, like one that goes to F/1.4 or something. Seeing the non-perfect focusing in the image, a shallow depth of field could be expected.
 

Liptrot

New Member
A fella on Twitter reckons it's a Hunter rather than a Harrier because the Hunter has more v-shaped wings and that's what's indicated in the photo:

1660494200927.png

Harrier:
1660494234092.png

Hunter:
1660494276052.png

The upper wing does seem more swept back in the Calvine photo. But then the quality's so bad perhaps it would have been easy to have lost that information.
The earlier Harrier variant (GR.3 / F/A-2) had a much more swept back wing, similar to the Hunter's. Although RAF GR.3s were out of service by 1990 (I think), the F/A-2s were still in service with the FAA.

I can't prove anything, but something about this case doesn't ring true to me.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Someone mentioned camera shake, so presumably a tripod would've fixed this. I agree with you that I think they planned this in advance while washing dishes bored out of their minds, probably scouted out some areas on prior walks. If they were paying homage to the PR hoax then the jet had to be prearranged too.
As I said before, let's keep in mind that if the photo is a hoax, the back story could be as well. The whole notion that "two young dishwashers" went out and took this photo of a UFO or were the hoaxers, is based entirely on the 30-year-old recollection of 1 phone call.

For example, at 47:18 (I'm not going to repost the link to the video again, it's in this thread multiple times starting on page 1) in the interview, Linsday says "they climbed over a barbed wire fence". Does he really remember a detail like that from a 5-10 minute phone conversation that happened 30 years ago? Or has he looked at the photo over the years, seen the fence and reasoned that they must have climbed over it and that has since become confabulated in his memory as something that he was told over the phone. Even if no such thing was ever said.

As for the jet, it obviously can't be pre-arranged, but if one knew that they did on occasion train near where the photo was taken, one could repeatedly set up and wait until they got lucky. In addition, there seems to be very little in the photo to identify where it was taken. There's some overhanging tree limbs and a fence, then just grey sky, right? The photo could have been taken 100s of miles away from Calvine where jets do often train at low level.

But, as I said before, if I'm trying to make something like the Puerto Rico photo, I'd just add a British jet in.
 

Liptrot

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?
The 'Hopeless Diamond' flew in c. mid 70s to prove that its radical design sharp edged faceting) worked. It did, and it was decided to develop and put into service the F-117. What would a model of it be doing over Scotland 15 years later?
 

Liptrot

New Member
Wikimedia commons picture of a FAA Harrier FA-2, showing wing anhedral and smaller higher sweep wing. Still in service in the early '90s.

The GR.3 has the same planform; of course it was out of service in 1990.
 

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Bernd Lauert

New Member
Hello, this is my first post here!

I don't know if it helps but the tree in the upper left corner is most probably an European larch (Larix decidua) which is grown for timber in Scotland.

tree1.jpg

The tree shown on the contemporary photo of the alleged location is also an European larch and you can see several larches in the distance (the yellow trees between the evergreen pines).

struan2.jpg

Larch needles turn yellow and are shed in fall as seen in this photo.

Larches are easily recognized by their needle-bearing short shoots grouped along their thin often pendulous branches. After needles fall the short shoots look like small beads on a string. Additionally there are the 2-4cm large larch cones, visible in the photo as larger egg shaped black dots.

If the branch on the right is a larch, the 'UFO' photo was taken during the growing season, likely in summer as the larch needles are rendered completely black as they would have been dark green in real life. The tips of the branches are bare and likely dead.
I do not know when larches turn yellow in Scotland, probably September. But this gives a limit to the season the photo could have been taken.

I am unsure about the branch in the middle. It looks odd. It might belong to the same larch tree but I cannot discern any branches with short shoots or needles. This may be due to the high contrast between dark needles and the bright sky but it still looks remarkably different to the branch on the left.

tree2.jpg

An alternative would be weeping birch (Betula pendula) but it branches differently. Unfortunately the quality of the photo is not good enough to give a definite answer.

The most interesting plant however is the "shrub' on the fence post on the lower left. It puzzled me for a long time because I can hardly think of a Scottish plant with such growth pattern.

tree3.jpg

It almost looks like an old palm frond. At first I thought in might be some sort of reed but what we see are probably dead branches if a tree that's either tilted 45° or 135° and almost upside down. In this case the dead branches would originally have pointed upward while the crown still has foliage and is at the base of the fence post. It could be a pine. But I am really not sure, maybe this is something entirely different and not a plant at all.

One last hypothesis - this is a close-up of the shoot of a Scot's pine (Pinus sylvestris) and the horizontal reed-like appendages which appear to emerge from a trunk are the pine's needles.

tree3a.jpg

Scots pine.jpeg
This would however mean that the entire 'plant' at the fence post is only about 10-20cm, long. But if this branch is right in front of the camera, how can the rest also be in focus?
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
This would however mean that the entire 'plant' at the fence post is only about 10-20cm, long. But if this branch is right in front of the camera, how can the rest also be in focus?

Good point. It would require a very small aperture of the objective to make that work. So, say, F/16 or so. Large aperture=shallow depth of field small aperture=large depth.
 

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