Nick Pope worked for the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) for 21 years. From 1991 to 1994, he was the head of the MoD’s U̳F̳O̳ project. He said that during his time in the MoD, he came across several credible U̳F̳O̳ cases. One such case involves the photograph from Calvine I̳n̳c̳i̳d̳e̳n̳t̳.
The story of how the photograph reached the MoD’s office is phenomenal. Mr. Pope said that when he began his investigation into U̳F̳O̳s in 1991, it led him to a poster, hanging on the wall near his desk. The poster was an enlarged-colored photograph of the U̳F̳O̳ from the Calvine I̳n̳c̳i̳d̳e̳n̳t̳.
How did the photo get to the MoD?
Two unnamed hikers from the Perthshire region allegedly took the photo of a large U̳F̳O̳ 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. The witnesses sent the alleged photograph to the local newspaper and from there, it got to the MoD that later took the authority of it. Besides, during the incident, the hikers saw an RAF fighter jet flying near the U̳F̳O̳, but it is not determined whether it was escorting the craft or appeared there coincidently.
“The photos were then sent to the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) who then sent them on to imagery analysts at JARIC (Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre). Yet at the time, the MoD hadn’t even publicly acknowledged that there was any intelligence interest in U̳F̳O̳s at all,” Mr. Pope explained.
According to Mr. Pope, the MoD had a great interest in the U̳F̳O̳ sightings, but they were merely interested in the origin of these strange crafts. They were looking for the technology behind the crafts.
Interestingly, the photo disappeared without any trace when the U̳F̳O̳ investigators questioned the MoD whether Americans were testing secret prototype aircraft in the area. Mr. Pope asked the US if the craft belonged to them but they refused to admit it.
According to a 30-year rule in the UK, the MoD was supposed to release a secret U̳F̳O̳ dossier on January 1, 2021, but the UK government banned the release for another 50 years. This secret file is said to contain the infamous U̳F̳O̳ photo from the Calvine incident. Now it is set to be released on January 1, 2072.
The U̳F̳O̳ h̳u̳n̳t̳e̳r̳s̳ got frustrated after this decision. They said that by the time the file releases, the witnesses will be already dead. What’s more, the names and contact details of the hikers were removed from the file.
Mr. Pope suggested that the US government should take the initiative and release the photo because the US officials who were involved in Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (the unclassified program by the United States Government to study U̳F̳O̳s) knew about the Calvine incident.
What Points to this Being a Hoax?
David Clarke, an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Arts and Communication at Sheffield Hallam University, UK has recently released a response to his FOI requests.
He writes: “According to three separate senior MoD sources and documents I obtained from responses to Freedom of Information requests, the photographs were indeed the subject of several expert investigations. These were carried out by the Defence Intelligence Staff, the RAF’s JARIC agency, and by the P̳e̳n̳t̳a̳g̳o̳n̳.
The dossier reveals how, in 1992, the DIS sent an image of a ‘possible research vehicle‘ flying in Scottish airspace to the CIA. That image was sent to the P̳e̳n̳t̳a̳g̳o̳n̳ where it was subject to further US-UK analysis, as revealed in a document written by the UK’s Air Attache in Washington DC.”
Clarke said that one MoD source claims it was an experimental US aircraft. Although also points out that this contradicts the original conclusions of investigations in the 1990s. Simon Baldwin, who was the UK Air Attache in Washington at the time the photograph appeared at the P̳e̳n̳t̳a̳g̳o̳n̳ told Clarke that he believes the story to be an elaborate hoax and the photo to be a fake. But one that fooled the intelligence services on either side of the Atlantic. Sir Donald Spiers, the former RAF Assistant Chief Scientist told Clarke, he had ‘no doubt that the photograph was a spoof, after analysis by ‘technical experts.’
Clarke presented three options about the mystery of the Calvine U̳F̳O̳ incident:
1. An unknown possibly ET spacecraft and a cover-up.
He points out that if this was so secret why was a poster-sized version of the photo allowed to be displayed in an MoD office in view of civilian employees/visitors?
Why was Nick Pope allowed to tell the story in a book he claims was subject to security clearances, and why release the low-quality image of the photo in MoD U̳F̳O̳ files to the public?
2. A top-secret US/UK aircraft
Clarke finds this unlikely. To test it in broad daylight over Scotland when other locations like over the ocean would be more secure seems foolish. Although he doesn’t completely rule it out.
3. A Hoax
Clarke is leaning towards the whole thing being a hoax and explains why. He said:
“Due to the compartmentalized nature of the UK MoD, this would explain why both Nick Pope and my DI source had no need to know about the results of the UK-US analysis of the images that must have happened early in 1993 and has left no record in the released documents.
It would also explain why the photographer has not come forward, despite significant media coverage. It might also explain why the Daily Record spiked the story and why no one (including MoD at the time) has been able to trace the source of the RAF Harrier shown in the image.
If it really was a spoof then the unusual date, time, and location provided in the original report to MoD might also be false. As it is a pre-digital image there would be no way of proving its precise provenance…” He believed that the U̳F̳O̳ in the Clavine incident was not an a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ craft will not be acceptable for many people, especially Nick Pope.