Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP), Scotland 1990

Another unusual story.

1990: A 100-foot-wide diamond-shaped object was seen by 2 hikers at Calvine, Scotland. They took 6 photographs which the UK’s Ministry of Defence said, after investigation, had not been faked (above is a reconstruction).  The object hovered silently for 10 minutes before “accelerating away at immense speed – vertically.” A military fighter jet can be seen in the background.

Nick Pope just published this article:

I’ve Seen The Top Secret Photos Showing ‘Britain’s Most Significant UFO Sighting’ – They Left Us Shell-Shocked, Nick Pope, Oct 10 2020

Who is Nick Pope? He worked for the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD). From 1991 to 1994 he ran their UAP program:

I worked for the MOD for 21 years. From 1991 to 1994, I was posted to a division where my duties included undertaking these investigations. It was a fascinating job, to say the least.

The article discusses the Calvine Incident, and its soon-to-be-released (January 2021) high-definition color photographs which the MOD kept classified for 30 years. The image above is considered an accurate reconstruction of one of the hiker’s photographs, based on actual MOD line drawings and Nick Pope’s memory.

The reason for this interest in a 30-year-old sighting? It’s being reported that the MOD has decided to block release of the photos for another 50 years.


In the cult sci-fi series The X-Files, Fox Mulder has a poster of a UFO on the wall of his basement office. Underneath are the words “I want to believe”.

In the Ministry of Defence office, which served as the nerve centre of the UK’s UFO project, we had something very similar. But our picture was real.

Most UFO photos are either obvious fakes, or blurry and indistinct – a vague light in the night sky, or a fuzzy dot in the distance.

Not this one. It was up-close-and-personal, had been taken in broad daylight, and showed a large diamond-shaped craft.

I soon got the story out of my predecessor and read the file myself. It was an extraordinary tale: two men had been out hiking near Calvine in Scotland.

Suddenly, they’d seen a massive UFO hanging in the sky above their heads, silent, motionless and menacing. Awestruck, they shot off six photographs before the object accelerated away at immense speed – vertically!

The shell-shocked witnesses sent the photos to a Scottish newspaper and a journalist contacted the MoD press office, looking for a comment.

Somehow – perhaps using a D-Notice or perhaps using some real-life Men-in-Black trickery – someone at the MoD managed to extract all the photos and the negatives from the newspaper, who never got them back.

The MoD’s technical wizards leapt into action. The images were enlarged and analyzed, using the full resources and capabilities of intelligence community specialists.

Even now, years after these events, I can’t discuss the details of this process, as so much of the information is top secret.

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.

Because the photos had been taken in daylight with the surrounding countryside visible, MoD boffins could make some calculations about the mystery object’s size. It turned out to be nearly 100 feet in diameter.

The MoD’s standard line on UFOs was that the phenomenon was of ‘no defence significance’ – a meaningless Whitehall soundbite that meant whatever we wanted it to mean.

At best it was misleading and at worst, it was a downright lie.

We consistently played down the true level of our interest in UFOs, telling parliament, the media and the public that the subject was of little interest, while all the time, behind closed doors, we struggled to make sense of cases like the Calvine incident.

Despite an extensive investigation, we never found a definitive explanation for what was seen at Calvine.

Like the Tic Tac, this is a well-documented sighting of an unusual aerial phenomenon that remains unexplained.

Related:British MOD Buries UFO Dossier For Another 50 Years

6 thoughts on “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP), Scotland 1990

    1. Bix Post author

      Thanks for this. I agree with Reid here. Stick to the science.

      Pope said that of all the sightings his Department had to investigate, 95% were explainable. But there are a few, like this Calvine Incident or the Tic Tac (after 16 years the Navy is still saying it’s unexplained), that need a little more study. Why not study them? Why not toss them out to educated people and see what they come up with? Crowd sourcing or brainstorming can be pretty effective.


  1. mboydp

    Nick Pope’s article is remarkable, as are the photos. But further study should definitely be at University-based science labs. I agree with you on that.


    1. Bix Post author

      You know … I vaguely recall that flying wing. I can imagine it was difficult to maneuver, without other control surfaces.

      I think drones are going to be the new UFOs or UAPs. I even saw that they are purposely designing them in the shape of flying saucers.



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