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Classified 1990 UFO photograph has surfaced 32 years on


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23 minutes ago, jethrofloyd said:

I saw this a more cleaned image of this case before. Don't remember where.

Secret UFO dossier into 1990 Scottish 'spacecraft sighting' sealed for  another 50 years - Daily Record

No this was an artist impression.  The new photo that has emerged is apparently the real mccoy.

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When I zoom in on it, it looks to me that it might not be what it looks like at first. To me it looks like it could be a flat square or romb shaped object, where the two parts you get if you draw a line through the diagonal have different colours/shades of grey. In other words, it looks to me like it could be a kite.

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11 minutes ago, fred_mc said:

When I zoom in on it, it looks to me that it might not be what it looks like at first. To me it looks like it could be a flat square or romb shaped object, where the two parts you get if you draw a line through the diagonal have different colours/shades of grey. In other words, it looks to me like it could be a kite.

I`m going for classified airship with a radar inside.

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Luckily one of the chef had a camera, that day

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Maybe this will trigger the release of the other 5 photo's ? 

Not sure how significant it is but can any plane spotters on here give a suggestion for the aircraft type seen in the photo. 

I have an idea but interested to see others opinion. 

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1 hour ago, fred_mc said:

In other words, it looks to me like it could be a kite.

That was my first thought when I saw a image.

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56 minutes ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

 

Very nice thanks.  The nonsense about secret craft still raises it's crazy head.  32 years later and where are they?  Why haven't the military deployed and showcased them?  How come there are no leaked photos from hangars.  Sorry doesn't wash.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

Not sure how significant it is but can any plane spotters on here give a suggestion for the aircraft type seen in the photo.

I have an idea but interested to see others opinion. 

They say it could be a Harrier but it is very blurry.

The only other RAF jet I could think of which looks similar is the Hawk.

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

Edited by smokeycat
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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, smokeycat said:

They say it could be a Harrier but it is very blurry.

The only other RAF jet I could think of which looks similar is the Hawk.

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

What do you think about a Hawker Hunter as an option ? although the image is low on detail it does seem to show something with squared off wing tips.

And a Harrier for comparison.

 

Hawker-Hunter-T7-WV372.jpg

harrier_flight-at-jvl-2012.jpg

Edited by L.A.T.1961
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Look similar but I think they were retired by 1990.

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35 minutes ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

What do you think about a Hawker Hunter as an option ? although the image is low on detail it does seem to show something with squared off wing tips.

And a Harrier for comparison.

 

Hawker-Hunter-T7-WV372.jpg

harrier_flight-at-jvl-2012.jpg

Ross Coulthart agrees:

 

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5 hours ago, fred_mc said:

In other words, it looks to me like it could be a kite.

Oh yes of course which is why a plane returned to take a second look and the military confiscated the images.  Makes perfect sense that they wanted to keep a kite secret.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

Maybe this will trigger the release of the other 5 photo's ? 

Not sure how significant it is but can any plane spotters on here give a suggestion for the aircraft type seen in the photo. 

I have an idea but interested to see others opinion. 

Hi,

Well as a aviation photographer and enthusiast for, what 40 odd years now who specializes in military aviation I'll pitch in. It looks like a Harrier but I wouldn't call that conclusive although that's been the usual suspect mentioned in this case previously, although obviously without the original photograph in the public to judge by. I would also add a Hunter and just possibly a F-4 as small possibilities. I know that somebody who works with Dr Clarke has been on the UK based Fighter Control forum in recent months looking for opinions on the possibility of a Harrier being in that location at that time and he has got some good feedback, but obviously nothing conclusive.

The Harrier seems to be a odd choice if you work on the assumption that the unknown is either a terrestrial test vehicle under escort or a genuine unknown being intercepted. The nearest air defence station which mounted QRA was RAF Leuchars, which had recently transited  from F-4s to Tornado F-3s. It certainly isn't a F-3, completely the wrong shape and whilst QRA in the South was still flown by RAF F-4s at Wattisham (about 4 miles from where I am sitting now), it doesn't resemble one of those either, wings aren't swept enough or the correct shape. The Harrier is the better silhouette in the image although at the time the two frontline stations operating Harriers in the UK military were the Fleet Air Arm at Yeovilton, Somerset with the Sea Harrier FRS.1 and the RAF at Wittering, Cambridgeshire, with one frontline sqn and the Operational Conversion Unit. Additionally, two more frontline sqns were then still in Germany at Gutersloh. The RAF was in the early stages of converting from the Harrier GR3 to the new build GR5 (which would then be upgraded to the GR7 and finally GR9), so small numbers would be with test and trials units, also with BAe at Dunsfold. The RAF operated the Harrier as a ground attack/recce aircraft, although it did retain a basic air-to-air defence capability. The RN Sea Harriers were primarily a fighter, but could also operate in the same roles as the RAF Harriers on a more basic level, as they lacked the types more capable air-to-ground avionics. Bottom line is it would be way down the list for any UK air defence/interception duties. 

The Hawk has been mentioned, and although it does look somewhat similar the type in the photo looks too long in the rear fuselage to be a Hawk, which (in the T1 variant of the time) is a quite stubby airframe. Also, although the silhouette is quite poorly detailed, it does look like a high or mid wing mounted type, where as the Hawk is low wing. Hawk T1s were mostly used as advanced and weapons trainers by the RAF in this timescale, based with several training schools in Wales and the South West. Small numbers were used in other roles, aviation medicine school, test pilots school and obviously, the Red Arrows. Some Hawks had been modified for a basic frontline, daylight fighter role in wartime, when they would be flown by instructors, fitted with the gun and AIM-9s and dispersed to the frontline fighter stations. This was regularly done during NATO air defence exercises and Wattisham just up the road usually had some deployed. Again, this is not somewhere where I can see a Hawk being used through choice, although RAF air-to-air photography is usually done from the back seat of a Hawk. 

It does look a little like a Hunter, although I'm pretty sure they were out of RAF service by then, just possibly being used in the FRADU unit by the Fleet Air Arm, not sure. The Hawker Hunter was a former fighter relegated to secondary roles by the mid to late 70's. It was used by the advanced training schools until being replaced by the Hawk. Quite a few in private hands though, and a couple even now are flown commercially on UK military contracts out of RAF Scampton. So a Hunter is pretty unlikely.

All the above assumes that a military jet was there as a reaction to the unknown and by purpose. Probably unlikely but it could have been any of the above types on a routine training sortie that chanced upon a unknown target and made multiple passes as it would no doubt have then become a item of interest. This would be the same scenario as the USAF F-15s out of Lakenheath a few years ago who chanced upon a unknown 'object' over the UK (2007 I think, not sure), and made multiple visual and radar passes whilst talking to ATC. It only came to light as the radio comms was being monitored by aviation enthusiasts - as they usually are! If, as previous enquires on this case suggest that the MoD claim to know nothing about military jets in that location at that time is, and taking them at face value, this is hard to understand. Any NATO or allied air arm working in UK airspace would have to book into the UK system, so there would be records. UK based squadrons would obviously have their own logs of flights and ATC records would be generated so I don't see how such a encounter could go unrecorded. I've seen the suggestions about the aircraft being a US operated Harrier and I have my doubts. Only the US Marine Corps did operate the AV-8 (although it is being replaced by the F-35B now) amongst the US air arms. Deployments by USMC combat types to the UK were rare, even during the cold war and the aircraft enthusiast community would know if any were in the European theatre - that's one of the questions that came up on Fighter Control. It was normal for USN amphibious assault ships to carry a tailored air group of helicopters and a small number (usually a half dozen) of AV-8Bs, but they usually did not operate in UK air space and USMC cold war ops were heavily orientated to Norway. This goes back to what I wrote above and a regular, line USMC AV-8B flight on a LHA is hardly going to be tasked with any covert/sensitive ops unless it stumbles across something like this by chance.

Overall, it looks like a Harrier, probably 80% to my eyes, but a Harrier makes no sense to me in any of the scenarios I can think of for being involved with a unknown or secret test vehicle unless it just chanced upon it during a routine sortie.

Gary

   

 

Edited by gary1701
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Cookie Monster said:

I`m going for classified airship with a radar inside.

Erm nope...............


Eventually the two men stuck their camera out from where they were hiding and fired off six frames. At that point, the object shot vertically upwards and disappeared way, way up in to the sky.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11106737/Most-spectacular-UFO-photo-captured-glimpse-secret-Aurora-spy-plane-program.html?ito=whatsapp_share_article-home-preview

and again:

Two unnamed hikers from the Perthshire region allegedly took the photo of a large UFO while walking near the village of Calvine on August 4, 1990. They saw the object hovering over the village without any noise. It stayed there for some time and then ascended vertically up in the sky with a “massive speed” and disappeared.

 

https://www.trendradars.com/history/show/41142/

Edited by Vaz
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Posted (edited)

Curiously even Todmorden UFO (West Yorkshire 1980) was descrbed as diamond shaped.

When PC Alan Godfrey had a close encounter, he was branded crazy - and the  fallout cost his job | Daily Mail Online

 

 

Edited by jethrofloyd
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6 hours ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

Maybe this will trigger the release of the other 5 photo's ? 

Not sure how significant it is but can any plane spotters on here give a suggestion for the aircraft type seen in the photo. 

I have an idea but interested to see others opinion. 

From the blurry shape I first thought F-86 Sabre.

They were in operation at the time with multiple nations, but I don’t know if they would be visiting Scotland.

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17 hours ago, gary1701 said:

Hi,

Well as a aviation photographer and enthusiast for, what 40 odd years now who specializes in military aviation I'll pitch in. It looks like a Harrier but I wouldn't call that conclusive although that's been the usual suspect mentioned in this case previously, although obviously without the original photograph in the public to judge by. I would also add a Hunter and just possibly a F-4 as small possibilities. I know that somebody who works with Dr Clarke has been on the UK based Fighter Control forum in recent months looking for opinions on the possibility of a Harrier being in that location at that time and he has got some good feedback, but obviously nothing conclusive.

The Harrier seems to be a odd choice if you work on the assumption that the unknown is either a terrestrial test vehicle under escort or a genuine unknown being intercepted. The nearest air defence station which mounted QRA was RAF Leuchars, which had recently transited  from F-4s to Tornado F-3s. It certainly isn't a F-3, completely the wrong shape and whilst QRA in the South was still flown by RAF F-4s at Wattisham (about 4 miles from where I am sitting now), it doesn't resemble one of those either, wings aren't swept enough or the correct shape. The Harrier is the better silhouette in the image although at the time the two frontline stations operating Harriers in the UK military were the Fleet Air Arm at Yeovilton, Somerset with the Sea Harrier FRS.1 and the RAF at Wittering, Cambridgeshire, with one frontline sqn and the Operational Conversion Unit. Additionally, two more frontline sqns were then still in Germany at Gutersloh. The RAF was in the early stages of converting from the Harrier GR3 to the new build GR5 (which would then be upgraded to the GR7 and finally GR9), so small numbers would be with test and trials units, also with BAe at Dunsfold. The RAF operated the Harrier as a ground attack/recce aircraft, although it did retain a basic air-to-air defence capability. The RN Sea Harriers were primarily a fighter, but could also operate in the same roles as the RAF Harriers on a more basic level, as they lacked the types more capable air-to-ground avionics. Bottom line is it would be way down the list for any UK air defence/interception duties. 

The Hawk has been mentioned, and although it does look somewhat similar the type in the photo looks too long in the rear fuselage to be a Hawk, which (in the T1 variant of the time) is a quite stubby airframe. Also, although the silhouette is quite poorly detailed, it does look like a high or mid wing mounted type, where as the Hawk is low wing. Hawk T1s were mostly used as advanced and weapons trainers by the RAF in this timescale, based with several training schools in Wales and the South West. Small numbers were used in other roles, aviation medicine school, test pilots school and obviously, the Red Arrows. Some Hawks had been modified for a basic frontline, daylight fighter role in wartime, when they would be flown by instructors, fitted with the gun and AIM-9s and dispersed to the frontline fighter stations. This was regularly done during NATO air defence exercises and Wattisham just up the road usually had some deployed. Again, this is not somewhere where I can see a Hawk being used through choice, although RAF air-to-air photography is usually done from the back seat of a Hawk. 

It does look a little like a Hunter, although I'm pretty sure they were out of RAF service by then, just possibly being used in the FRADU unit by the Fleet Air Arm, not sure. The Hawker Hunter was a former fighter relegated to secondary roles by the mid to late 70's. It was used by the advanced training schools until being replaced by the Hawk. Quite a few in private hands though, and a couple even now are flown commercially on UK military contracts out of RAF Scampton. So a Hunter is pretty unlikely.

All the above assumes that a military jet was there as a reaction to the unknown and by purpose. Probably unlikely but it could have been any of the above types on a routine training sortie that chanced upon a unknown target and made multiple passes as it would no doubt have then become a item of interest. This would be the same scenario as the USAF F-15s out of Lakenheath a few years ago who chanced upon a unknown 'object' over the UK (2007 I think, not sure), and made multiple visual and radar passes whilst talking to ATC. It only came to light as the radio comms was being monitored by aviation enthusiasts - as they usually are! If, as previous enquires on this case suggest that the MoD claim to know nothing about military jets in that location at that time is, and taking them at face value, this is hard to understand. Any NATO or allied air arm working in UK airspace would have to book into the UK system, so there would be records. UK based squadrons would obviously have their own logs of flights and ATC records would be generated so I don't see how such a encounter could go unrecorded. I've seen the suggestions about the aircraft being a US operated Harrier and I have my doubts. Only the US Marine Corps did operate the AV-8 (although it is being replaced by the F-35B now) amongst the US air arms. Deployments by USMC combat types to the UK were rare, even during the cold war and the aircraft enthusiast community would know if any were in the European theatre - that's one of the questions that came up on Fighter Control. It was normal for USN amphibious assault ships to carry a tailored air group of helicopters and a small number (usually a half dozen) of AV-8Bs, but they usually did not operate in UK air space and USMC cold war ops were heavily orientated to Norway. This goes back to what I wrote above and a regular, line USMC AV-8B flight on a LHA is hardly going to be tasked with any covert/sensitive ops unless it stumbles across something like this by chance.

Overall, it looks like a Harrier, probably 80% to my eyes, but a Harrier makes no sense to me in any of the scenarios I can think of for being involved with a unknown or secret test vehicle unless it just chanced upon it during a routine sortie.

Gary

   

 

If a harrier might it be from a carrier, US and UK with other NATO nations conduct exercises in the north sea at times ? 

FRADU Hunter's were sent up to Lossiemouth on deployment at various times during that period which is only 70 miles N from Calvine. 

But I don't know how long each deployment was for. 

"FRADU's task sheet fulfilled several roles that belied the name of the Unit, and included supporting the Royal Navy's Task Fleet with Simulated Ship Attacks and airborne Early Warning (AEW) exercises."

https://www.fradu.info/hunter/johnclm/

 

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17 hours ago, NCC1701 said:

Maybe it is some kind of radar reflector hanging on a very long string from a balloon

If a stealth aircraft comes between a radar tower and a radar detector it might be able to detect the `radar hole`.

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Hi,

The more I look at that image, and I've had a play around with the aircraft image in photoshop, the less I'm thinking Harrier and the more Hunter, despite that making even less sense from the operational point of view. In answer to the Harrier question above, yes it is possible that a carrier with Harriers may have been operating off the coast. The list of suspects in 1990 is quite small though, the Royal Navy with either 800 or 801 NAS with Sea Harriers embarked aboard one of the Invincible class light carriers, the Spanish with their small number of AV-8s and their light carrier. The US Navy with AV-8Bs onboard either a Tarawa or Iwo Jima class Amphibious Assault Ship (LHA/LPH). Generally, USMC Harriers do not deploy onboard the large deck USN carriers that everybody is familiar with. I remember reading on one of the various discussion threads elsewhere (can't find it at the moment) that a LHA was deployed to European waters at that time, which would be relatively normal but not sure where. A RN Harrier I could buy, given how frequently the RN's Sea Harriers would be operating in home waters, and they would often deploy to other UK bases besides Yeovilton during routine training. A USMC Harrier that is rarely seen in the UK involved in this, either by design or coincidence seems too much of a stretch. 

So FRADU were still operating Hunters on fleet support operations at that time. FRADU was a second line unit that supported RN surface ship training by simulating attacking aircraft and missiles amongst a few other support roles. The Hunters were eventually replaced by Hawks and the unit renumbered as 736 Naval Air Squadron. I'm not sure of the timeframe and whenever this was the case in 1990, but 736NAS in it's later years (it was disbanded earlier this year) was pretty much a contractor operated unit despite still being on the books as a military unit. So again, unless a Hunter operating on other duties just stumbled across the unknown target, I can't think of a reason why a second line support unit would be involved in something like this by design.

It still comes back to the same problem though. Unless you go along with the covert/cover up theory, there would be a record of the flight. A QRA launch (even though this is clearly not a F-3) from Leuchars would be almost impossible to hide from local residences and aviation enthusiasts.  I believe this was a Saturday, which means there's going to be little to no routine flying from military fast jets, making it even harder to conceal a flight. Unless it's a briefed covert operation, the crew room is going to hear about it when that pilot gets back as well, so it would have leaked after all this time. 

Overall, the event is very strange and it's extremely hard to draw any kind of informed conclusions from the evidence so far. Given what I've seen so far and subject to change, I tend to lean in one of two opposite directions. It is a real classified and covert operation involving either a test vehicle or a genuine unknown and the aircraft - what type it is - is there intentionally. That would mean either the MoD is lying through it's teeth or that it is compartmentalized so well that they genuinely didn't know anything about it. Seems a strange place to operate a highly secretive test vehicle though. The second is that it's a fake image. I know the MoD did do some basic investigations on the assumption that it was a genuine photo and I believe it has been subject to some form of professional testing and has apparently passed, but, however unlikely it could still be wrong. It seems a coin toss to me unless any further evidence appears.

Gary  

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