Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Calvine 1990 Photo: Missing Rumored 'Most Spectacular' UFO Photo Found!

It was only a week or so ago that I posted on a UFO group, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, "the Calvine UFO photo is the best 'classic' UFO photo that nobody has ever seen, except Nick Pope." That was then; this is now.

UFO celebrity Nick Pope claims to have investigated UFOs for the British government, a claim he repeats often. Too bad it isn't true. The reality is that Pope was little more than a file clerk for the UK Ministry of Defense, who had no responsibilities for investigating UFO sightings, or anything else. But a credulous media almost invariably accepts his claims, and hangs on his every statement, no matter how absurd. Just one example: in 2006, Pope, described as a "former MoD chief," warned in the Daily Mail that "the country could be attacked by extraterrestrials at any time." Like Luis Elizondo in the US, Nick Pope claims to have led a UFO investigation program for his country's defense establishment. Both claims are equally bogus; neither of them was responsible for investigating anything.

Nick Pope wrote, "The Calvine UFO photo is the most spectacular UFO photo ever sent to the Ministry of Defence. It's also missing." In brief, the story is: When Pope was working for the MoD, his boss had a poster-sized copy of one of the Calvine UFO photos hanging on the wall by his desk. Later it was taken down, and it (along with the photos themselves) had apparently disappeared. Here is what Pope wrote about it in 2020.

The analysis was nothing short of sensational. The photos hadn’t been faked.

They showed a structured craft of unknown origin, unlike any conventional aircraft. There was no fuselage, no wings, no tail, no engines and no markings of any sort.

Color image re-creation of Calvine UFO photo, by the Cynon Valley Leader. Not the real thing!

Well, it appears that one of the Calvine photos has been found! Dr. David Clarke is a folklorist and skeptical researcher who teaches journalism at the Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. He is the author of the delightful 2015 book, How UFOs Conquered the World - The History of a Modern Myth. I reviewed that book for The Skeptical Inquirer.

At long last, one of the actual Calvine UFO photos!

After a long and difficult investigation, Clarke finally located a print of the Calvine UFO photo, in the possession of the retired RAF officer Craig Lindsay. Here is a video of David Clarke and other researchers going into the background of the photo in more detail. After Clarke released the photo, Pope released the following gobbledygook statement in order to try to remain relevant:

Calvine UFO Photo: It's my policy not to comment on leaked information, especially if it might be classified, so until I receive Ministry of Defence advice, I can neither confirm nor deny if this is the picture that was displayed on my office wall when I ran the MoD's 'UFO desk'.

It's not my intention to delve into an analysis of the photo yet. That will require more time, and better scans. The only scans of the photo available so far are.JPEGs, which is a lossy compression scheme and does not preserve fine details. 

So far, most serious UFO investigators seem to be "underwhelmed" by it. After so much hype, just another fakey-looking UFO photo. Some of my initial comments are:

  • The "UFO" seems to be the only object in the photo that is actually in focus. That suggests that it is small and close to the camera, which was focused for it.
  • Nick Pope wrote that the Calvine photos consisted of "colour photographs," but the print we have seen is black-and-white. What explains the discrepancy?
  • David Clarke is suggesting that the object is an authentic photo of a supposed US secret supersonic aircraft called "Aurora." I can't accept that for a number of reasons. This supposed aircraft was built over 30 years ago. Where has it been since? Why hasn't it been revealed? (Think of how many people must know about it, yet we have no leaks.) It flies only over northern Scotland, and nowhere else? And nobody sees it, except these two guys? New secret aircraft are tested over the deserts of Nevada and California, not half a world away. Also, I don't see how that thing can fly, it's not going to generate lift. While alien UFOs can reportedly use anti-gravity propulsion and Element 115, terrestrial craft must be built using the technology available at the time, more than 30 years ago. So what powers it, and how does it fly? Also, the photographers claimed that the object was "hovering" for about ten minutes. How does an aircraft do that?

When more details are available about "the most spectacular UFO photo ever sent to the Ministry of Defence," you will read about it here.