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Tags scotland , UAP , ufo

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Old 13th August 2022, 09:15 AM   #1
Big Les
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Calvine UFO / UAP photo

I couldn't find a thread on this - does anyone have a view on the new photo that Dr David Clarke has discovered, and/or on his revised opinion (published yesterday) on the Calvine UFO photo? He now claims it to be some sort of US government 'black' aircraft project;

https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/2022/08/...-ufo-revealed/

Link includes reasonably high res version of the photo showing a diamond-shaped object. For me the problem is that just because it's (probably) not a fake and (almost certainly) not an alien spacecraft, we can't assume that it's a totally unknown type of terrestrial aircraft either, surely?

edit - I suppose the presence of a Harrier jet does point toward something military-related. Perhaps an aerial radar target of some kind.

edit 2 - Metabunk have picked it up; https://www.metabunk.org/threads/cla...1/#post-276519

Last edited by Big Les; 13th August 2022 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 13th August 2022, 11:58 AM   #2
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I don't claim to know anything more than what is identified in the links, other than what is NOT a legitimate conclusion. From your Dr David Clarke link:

Quote:
He says: ‘My conclusion is that the object is definitely in front of the camera, i.e. it’s not a fake produced in post production, and its placement within the scene appears to be approximately halfway between the foreground fence and the [Harrier jet] in the background.
And this quote from your second link:

Quote:
Relative measurements of objects of known size within the photograph allow a calculation of an estimate of the approximate size of the unidentified object of between 30m and 40m with a height of between 8m and 12m.

I posit that there is not enough information to make such conclusions (though the first one does say "appears to be", which CAN be considered a disclaimer) regarding its size and location. Example: Imagine the "object" is actually the top of a mountain in the background peaking out of the clouds (it isn't, of course, but this just shows how much we assume without proper reference frames). That certainly changes the size and location perspective. With such shoddy analysis, it makes any other "conclusions" suspect to me.
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Old 13th August 2022, 12:11 PM   #3
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I'd really like these photography experts to provide their methods and data. Every time it sounds like they looked at the photograph over breakfast.
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Old 13th August 2022, 12:15 PM   #4
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It's probably a kite.

ETA: "In my opinion", of course.
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Old 13th August 2022, 12:17 PM   #5
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Looks legit.
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Old 13th August 2022, 02:00 PM   #6
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He's a Professor of Folklore. Very appropriate for UFO's.
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Old 13th August 2022, 02:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
It's probably a kite.

ETA: "In my opinion", of course.
Yeah, I think you may well be right. To be fair though I couldn't have told you the plane in the background was a Harrier. I thought it was a commercial airliner.

I'm curious that it's a black and white photo. Black and white film was a bit hobbyist niche in 1990. Press photo, sure, but is it a monochrome print the newspaper made from a colour negative?

If the original photo shows the object is bright orange and very obviously a plastic kite, perhaps the story only has any residual interest because so much information has been discarded.
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Old 13th August 2022, 02:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MBDK View Post
I don't claim to know anything more than what is identified in the links, other than what is NOT a legitimate conclusion. From your Dr David Clarke link:



And this quote from your second link:




I posit that there is not enough information to make such conclusions (though the first one does say "appears to be", which CAN be considered a disclaimer) regarding its size and location. Example: Imagine the "object" is actually the top of a mountain in the background peaking out of the clouds (it isn't, of course, but this just shows how much we assume without proper reference frames). That certainly changes the size and location perspective. With such shoddy analysis, it makes any other "conclusions" suspect to me.
Plus, his "conclusion" is:
Quote:
When I last published an update on this story I concluded it must be a hoax. But now I am convinced the Calvine UFO photograph shows one of these US classified ‘Black Project’ programs.
So the author does not think it is anything other than Earthly made mundane (although a bit exotic).

And I'm a bit worried that the photographer has never been identified.

The complete analysis at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QPq...grxm3uZ9r/view is very, very detailed but hugely speculative. In the absence of such things as the date, location, the type of camera, the lens used it just piles one assumption on another.

YMMV
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Old 13th August 2022, 02:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
In the absence of such things as the date, location, the type of camera, the lens used it just piles one assumption on another.

YMMV

*sigh* Yes. The all-too-often uniting factor in the vast majority of any CT enthusiast's "evidence".
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Old 13th August 2022, 02:44 PM   #10
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Looks to me like a chip in a window
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Old 13th August 2022, 04:07 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone - I note the Metabunk guys are saying similar things and having gone over that analysis myself I agree it seems to be built on something of a house of cards.

Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
And I'm a bit worried that the photographer has never been identified.
I'm not - GDPR regulations in the UK prevent it. Clarke should know this, yet he makes a big deal over the redaction and refusal to remove it and also demands (to no-one in particular) that MoD should answer his questions. I respect his work, but it does seem like an overreach of his expertise to conclude that this is some sort of experimental heavier-than-air aircraft, and I don't really see the reasoning behind his sudden change of opinion. It could be something mundane like a balloon or dirigible, or something even less exciting. As a piece of UFO belief folklore/material culture though, it is a cool find, though, especially after all this time.
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Old 13th August 2022, 04:25 PM   #12
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Somebody on some page I googled a while ago thinks it's just a rock in the water, with it's reflection. Which seems more probable than aliens. And the "Harrier" is more of the same, just a twig sticking above the surface.
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Old 13th August 2022, 04:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Somebody on some page I googled a while ago thinks it's just a rock in the water, with it's reflection. Which seems more probable than aliens. And the "Harrier" is more of the same, just a twig sticking above the surface.
That actually works better, yes.

Rather than a rock, I say an island in the far background top half being the island, the bottom being its exact reflection on still water, and the harrier is a harrier in the foreground. The picture itself is from a hilltop looking down on the lake/body of water.
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Old 13th August 2022, 05:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
That actually works better, yes.

Rather than a rock, I say an island in the far background top half being the island, the bottom being its exact reflection on still water, and the harrier is a harrier in the foreground. The picture itself is from a hilltop looking down on the lake/body of water.
Yeah, it appears to be a pretty cool optical illusion (similar to one we saw recently that was probably a capsized boat). The island, or whatever it is, is reflected onto the water or glass or whatever giving it a symmetrical appearance. And, looking at the angle of the fence makes it clear that the photo was taken from a high vantage point looking down.

That might be a shadow of an aircraft, rather than a direct view of it.

In any case, I am sure the photographer knew what was being photographed and may have intentionally shared a blurry, black-and-white version to make it more intriguing.

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Old 13th August 2022, 05:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
Thanks everyone - I note the Metabunk guys are saying similar things and having gone over that analysis myself I agree it seems to be built on something of a house of cards.



I'm not - GDPR regulations in the UK prevent it. Clarke should know this, yet he makes a big deal over the redaction and refusal to remove it and also demands (to no-one in particular) that MoD should answer his questions. I respect his work, but it does seem like an overreach of his expertise to conclude that this is some sort of experimental heavier-than-air aircraft, and I don't really see the reasoning behind his sudden change of opinion. It could be something mundane like a balloon or dirigible, or something even less exciting. As a piece of UFO belief folklore/material culture though, it is a cool find, though, especially after all this time.
Yup. I understand that part. But the fact that the photographer has not come forward to be interviewed after apparently identifying himself to the press originally (if I read things correctly) is, to say the least, suspicious.
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Old 13th August 2022, 05:48 PM   #16
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I posted this link in another thread recently: Mystery Solved: We Now Know What's Going On In Area 51. It debunks the existence of the Aurora though not other “black project” aircraft. Why the US would fly such any such thing in the UK without telling the DoD is hard to understand.
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Old 13th August 2022, 06:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
...I'm curious that it's a black and white photo. Black and white film was a bit hobbyist niche in 1990. Press photo, sure, but is it a monochrome print the newspaper made from a colour negative?
That seems to be de rigueur for UFO photographs, which always look like they were taken on an overcast day in the Depression-era Great Plains with grandma's old Brownie.
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Old 13th August 2022, 08:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Somebody on some page I googled a while ago thinks it's just a rock in the water, with it's reflection. Which seems more probable than aliens. And the "Harrier" is more of the same, just a twig sticking above the surface.

Revisiting the image with that in mind, I have to concur that this explanation seems to be the most likely, so far.
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Old 13th August 2022, 08:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MBDK View Post
Revisiting the image with that in mind, I have to concur that this explanation seems to be the most likely, so far.
Once you decide that the "UFO" is an island or rock, it seems obvious and it is hard to see it as anything else.

I thought the "Harrier" might be the shadow of an aircraft, but I agree that it could very well be just something else in the water.

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Old 13th August 2022, 10:09 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
Once you decide that the "UFO" is an island or rock, it seems obvious and it is hard to see it as anything else.

I thought the "Harrier" might be the shadow of an aircraft, but I agree that it could very well be just something else in the water.
Pure conjecture here, but that also might be why the photo was at least printed in black and white, as a color picture may have given the scenario away.

ETA: Just noticed you wrote pretty much the same thing in post #14. Perhaps I subconsciously plagiarized your post?

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Old 14th August 2022, 12:36 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by MBDK View Post
Revisiting the image with that in mind, I have to concur that this explanation seems to be the most likely, so far.
I too agree. After looking more closely at the image, both the UFO and the "airplane" have near perfect horizontal symmetry.
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Old 14th August 2022, 03:13 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Yup. I understand that part. But the fact that the photographer has not come forward to be interviewed after apparently identifying himself to the press originally (if I read things correctly) is, to say the least, suspicious.
Ah, I see, apologies.

To those saying that the photo is black and white - it isn't. If you follow my original link to the image Clarke has hosted, you can see greens and browns - notably on the 'UFO', which also supports the idea that it's a landscape feature.

There's a compelling overlay from Reddit that appears in the Metabunk thread
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/cla...o.12571/page-2

Although I don't quite understand how a mountaintop poking through mist could also reflect as though it's in water.
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Old 14th August 2022, 06:29 AM   #23
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Having properly read around this now, it seems Clarke's mind has been changed not so much by the clearer image, but by a DI55 (Defence Intelligence) source and some documents that prove that this was (sigh) 'Aurora'. See this article;
https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/secret-f...o-photographs/

He elaborates somewhat at this point in this recent video, although for some reason deliberately avoids mentioning the claim that the photographer's name is sensitive because he was *poaching at the time*, which would surely explain the MoD/National Archives reluctance to reveal the name and confirm the fact that MoD concealed a crime due to their interest in the photo. But even that isn't necessary to invoke, because as Clarke admits in the video UK GDPR (data protection regulations) are now a thing. His beef is with those regulations and National Archives interpretation of them (which is in line with my own organisation and others), and does not really support the 'coverup' that he claims.

Yet he seems to be reaching massively. He assumes that the US "must have" admitted to the UK MoD that they were operating such an aircraft, yet he also says that supposedly the US was sent the photo and assumed it was an experimental British aircraft using their technology. Why wouldn't they know it was theirs, or even assume it was theirs rather than a spectacular illicit reverse-engineering project by their ally? It's all very muddled and not at all conclusive, unless these "four or five documents" make it any clearer. Why hasn't he published these documents, and why doesn't he outline this case properly on his site?

Apart from any of that, why on earth he thinks that a hypersonic high-altitude aircraft would look anything like this on a photo taken at ground level, I have no idea.

Finally, on 22 August you can ask Clarke questions about all this - please do feel free! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQqt0d34nbI
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Old 14th August 2022, 06:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
That actually works better, yes.

Rather than a rock, I say an island in the far background top half being the island, the bottom being its exact reflection on still water, and the harrier is a harrier in the foreground. The picture itself is from a hilltop looking down on the lake/body of water.
Yep. Would have thought one of the first steps in analysing this if you were serious would be to go to the location and take new photographs.
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Old 14th August 2022, 07:01 AM   #25
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Well I'm slightly taken aback to be told this is actually a colour photo, not monochrome. It's not exactly a riot of colour but I guess on reflection it is.

Speaking of reflection, I quite like the idea this is a photo taken looking over a fence slightly downwards into a body of water and the plane is a reflection. The UFO can then be anything partly submerged. Even something as mundane as a cardboard box.

If it is one of those opportune illusion photos the photographer would obviously know that perfectly well but since their identity is not revealed there's probably not much more to be gleaned, absent the location or the rest of the allegedly 6 photos.
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Old 14th August 2022, 07:20 AM   #26
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I've copied the photo from the article - the larger sized one. And noted a few things.

1) It is a colour photo - there is green in what appears to be the leaves in the vegetation, and there is some blue - predominately in the bottom 2 thirds of the photo i.e. all around the triangular object.
2) At the bottom left - I'm convinced that is showing lapping water
3) The little plane - I don't think it is a plane, it's merely some random object sticking out of the water.
4) The quality of the print is atrocious; I can't see how you could have a colour photo on any 1990s era camera and paper that would look so bad - by accident. I've albums of such photos and most look like they were taken and printed yesterday.
5) If this is the "best" photo - where are the other 5 that weren't the best?

Take the "plane" out to help stop you making scale assumptions, look at the bottom left as lapping water and it becomes something sticking out of the water, could be an island, could be a rock or something else as there is no detail left in the photo to be able to sure of what it is.




ETA:

The UFO is also green:

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Old 14th August 2022, 07:26 AM   #27
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The perspective seems off for it to be an island or anything large. Imagine the horizon; you'd have to look at it from a ridiculous height.

It's probably something small.

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Old 14th August 2022, 07:40 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
The perspective seems off for it to be an island or anything large. Imagine the horizon; you'd have to look at it from a ridiculous height.

It's probably something small.
I'm not too sure - considering how close the shoreline is and the vegetation framing the photo I think it was took at eye height looking across the water.
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Old 14th August 2022, 08:28 AM   #29
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Anyway, this is the "best ever" UFO image? Sheesh. :-)
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Old 14th August 2022, 09:16 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
3) The little plane - I don't think it is a plane, it's merely some random object sticking out of the water.
The MoD not only identified it as a plane, but specifically a Harrier. See the Clarke article I linked (https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/secret-f...o-photographs/)

Quote:
5) If this is the "best" photo - where are the other 5 that weren't the best?
According to the interview with the owner of the print, more of the same, but with the aircraft in different positions. See;

As to going to the original location, perhaps MoD photo interpretation (JARIC, who were sent it) did do that. If so, no record survives (but then, no negative or print of this survived in the archives either; just a fax copy).

Clarke and his chums claim to have found the location; https://youtu.be/IgekUVzMSCc?t=2121

If so, it would tend to suggest that it's not a view looking down with a reflection (which is still my preferred explanation), although of course it might not be the correct location. Alternatively, as I noted above, Metabunk have proposed that the UFO is actually the peak of a mountain surrounded by dense mist/fog. Not sure I buy that, but either way that 'aircraft' is definitely brown and green, with flecks of white (possibly cloud or mist).

Then we have Clarke's claims that someone from DI55 confirmed this was a US experimental aircraft and that documents he'd obtained via FOI supported this; see the same article with a snippet from one of the documents; https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/secret-f...o-photographs/

Edited for clarity and links. Edited again to say on reflection I still don't get why Clarke is suddenly convinced. Other than a nicer pic, what's changed since he wrote this above-linked sceptical take?

Edited yet again (sorry) to highlight this post; https://www.metabunk.org/threads/cal...72/post-276648

Despite what that poster says, that is quite convincing for me i.e. the UFO is likely (as previously suggested) a reflected piece of land in the water and the 'Harrier' is quite possibly a rowing boat with a hunched over occupant!

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Old 14th August 2022, 10:54 AM   #31
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Good points Big Les.

The identification of the Harrier remains weak for me - all we have is the one line "confident that jet aircraft is a Harrier" - but we have nothing like a photo of sufficient quality to make a positive identification that it is a plane, never mind a specific type of plane. I struggle now to even think it looks like a plane.

Have to see a much better quality of photo to change my mind.

Looked at where they think the photo was taken - they are wrong - the fence posts are different in the two locations. There are none like the one I circle below in the claimed location.



Of course this is all predicated on the photo not having being deliberately altered in the first place....

Yet again we are left with a crappy copy of a photo that has lost so much detail that it is now impossible to be confident about anything.
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Old 14th August 2022, 11:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I'm not too sure - considering how close the shoreline is and the vegetation framing the photo I think it was took at eye height looking across the water.
But then it can't be an island. Imagine the horizon was the top edge of the picture. There's way too much water above the island. There's no way to take the photograph without the horizon being in the shot unless you're doing it from way up.

But if it's a smaller object like a rock, it works, because it's closer.

Last edited by Olmstead; 14th August 2022 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 14th August 2022, 11:08 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Looked at where they think the photo was taken - they are wrong - the fence posts are different in the two locations. There are none like the one I circle below in the claimed location.

Not that it makes a LOT of difference, but there is also the possibility that one or more fence posts have been altered (repositioned/mended/replaced) over the years.
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Old 14th August 2022, 11:14 AM   #34
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I very, very much doubt the idea of the object being a hilltop sticking out of a layer of cloud or fog. It's an ingenious explanation but the profile of the top of the diamond shape would have to match precisely the hilltop, and the candidate I've seen is not a good match. Plus of course it requires the lower half of the diamond to be a reflection off the fog layer (does that ever happen?) or more of the hill seen through a weirdly coincidental v=shaped gap in the fog.
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Old 14th August 2022, 11:18 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by MBDK View Post
Not that it makes a LOT of difference, but there is also the possibility that one or more fence posts have been altered (repositioned/mended/replaced) over the years.
Absolutely. After 30 years I'd expect many posts to variously lean over, fall down or break. Also, the item Darat shows circled above looks to me like a piece of rope tied to the fence rather than itself being a post.
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Old 14th August 2022, 11:34 AM   #36
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Agreed on the Harrier thing Darat. I'm going back and forth on this all the time, maybe it's the heat! If there are indeed 5 other photos of an aircraft flying around this... thing (meaning it's not a rowing boat or any other object), then it must be a Harrier or a Hunter.

This is the 'best' UFO photo for me in terms of a) superficially looks the most like something otherworldly and b) defies easy debunking. But it's a low bar, of course!
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Old 14th August 2022, 11:39 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Absolutely. After 30 years I'd expect many posts to variously lean over, fall down or break. Also, the item Darat shows circled above looks to me like a piece of rope tied to the fence rather than itself being a post.
Looks like a metal stick post to me. But if we remove that from consideration there aren't enough fence posts in the UFO photo to match the claimed location. Whichever way you slice it there is nothing distinct that can be used to say it is the same location.
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Old 14th August 2022, 12:01 PM   #38
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The more I look at it, the more I don't buy that we're looking at the sky. How do you get a fence and nothing but sky in the same shot?
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Old 14th August 2022, 12:04 PM   #39
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I'm tending toward Harrier rather than Hunter (or Hawk or Tornado or Jaguar or Buccaneer or Gnat for that matter) as the sweep of the wings seems about right and the "bulk" towards the front of the wing roots seems about right for Harrier's large cowling. But that's so dependent on stepping back and vaguely squinting a bit that I wouldn't even be surprised if it turned out to be an A4 Skyhawk. I'm equally happy to see it as right-way-up or a reflection upside-down (or the aircraft momentarily flying inverted for that matter).


The thing that surprises me most (or raises my suspicion most) is that there's no visible horizon in the picture. Unless it's in line with the lower fence wire but I find that unconvincing. So the horizon is out of shot either below or above what we can see.

The perspective (or perspective-like) lean outward of the fence posts encourages us to see them as being below us and we're looking down. (I accept it needn't necessarily be true as the posts may not be vertical.) If true though that's a pretty solid indication that the horizon is out of shot above the frame, the plane is reflected in water and it was just an amusing photo opportunity which the photographer spotted and later decided to send to the newspaper as a prank.

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Old 14th August 2022, 12:36 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
I'm not - GDPR regulations in the UK prevent it.
GDPR protects the privacy and anonymity of someone who wants to remain private and anonymous. The issue here is that the photographer wishes to remain private and anonymous. The GDPR doesn't prevent them from coming forward with a transparent account of how this photograph came to be. As far as I'm concerned, without that account, there's no UFO, and nothing to investigate. Clarke is playing silly buggers, and you're falling for his antics.

Speaking of which...

Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
The MoD not only identified it as a plane, but specifically a Harrier. See the Clarke article I linked (https://drdavidclarke.co.uk/secret-f...o-photographs/)
That links to a claim by Clarke that an MOD document makes the identification. But that link, in turn, links to another page of Clarke's own report. On that page, Clarke links to a general document dump website.

Have you found where Clarke actually identifies the specific MOD document that makes the identification? Have you checked the document yourself, to see if it matches Clarke's description?

Why is it that "serious" UFO reports always look like a silly buggers at first glance, and then when you give them the benefit of the doubt and look more closely, they still look like silly buggers?
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