Mar 09, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

More on the "Best Ever" Calvine UFO Photo - Expert Claims He Knows What The UFO Was

It has been over 33 years since it came into existence, but the so-called Calvine UFO photograph is finally getting its 15 minutes of fame. (View the photo here.)  Yesterday it was announced that the young hotel worker who took six photographs of British jets following a huge diamond-shaped UFO – only to have them taken by a government investigator when he showed them to the media – has been identified as Kevin Russell. Russell would now be in his 50s and a massive search for men of that name and age has not uncovered him, so it is hoped that revealing his identity will influence him to voluntarily come forward with his long-awaited eyewitness account of the “Calvine UFO Incident.” One thing it is hoped Kevin Russell can help clarify is what exactly the UFO was – an alien space ship, a secret British or U.S. aircraft, or something else. While the revelation of his name hasn’t drawn Kevin Russell out into the open just yet, the news has influenced someone else to come out with what may be an answer to that question. A British UFO ‘expert’ now claims he knows what the craft in the photo is … and why it was not attacked by the British Harrier jets.

Why didn't the jets attack the Calvine UFO?

“I was sent the Daily Record story and I think it’s fair to say that there are a lot of people out there excited at this exciting development. The Kevin Russell mentioned in the story would have the best, first-hand account of what happened and he could help settle this enduring mystery.”

That comment belongs to Professor Simon Holland. The Daily Star refers to him as “UFO expert” and investigator, and says Holland was a former BBC Horizon producer - Horizon is a long-running British documentary television series on BBC Two that covers science and philosophy. His IMDb bio says he “produced films for University of Hawaii NASA funded program, finding earth killer asteroids.” On his YouTube channel, Holland admits that he’s not a “PHD Scientist” but he qualifies as a professor because he taught communication in higher education. He says he likes asking questions “to raise issues and start a debate,” and he may have accomplished that goal with his comments to The Daily Star and on his YouTube channel.

“But I do have my own theory on what he photographed.”

Professor Holland has revealed in the past that he grew up “next door to Machrihanish, the most secret Scottish airbase.” RAF Machrihanish is a former Royal Air Force station located near the town of Machrihanish at the tip of the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland. An airfield was built there near the end of World War I, so it definitely has a long history. RAF Machrihanish was used for training during World War II and the Cold War, eventually expanding to include U.S. and NATO forces. From 1981, it was certified as a potential emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle in the case of a trans-oceanic abort. Needless to say, RAF Machrihanish was an important base. Besides living in close proximity to RAF Machrihanish, Holland is a private pilot and a UFO investigator, so he has studied the Calvine photo from multiple angles. Based on his experience, he came to this conclusion:

“I think there is an acceptance by many that the photo is not a fake. There was, I believe, a mysterious aircraft in the sky that day.”

One of the things that makes the Calvine UFO photo so unique and important is the fact that there is a military jet flying near it – a fact confirmed by the testimony Kevin Russell gave to RAF officer Craig Lindsay, the first Ministry of Defence official to respond to the call from The Daily Record and interview him. Lindsey is also the official who took the photos and negatives from Russell and The Daily Star, and he’s the person who secretly kept a copy of one for himself – that photo was revealed to the public last year. (See it here.) Holland says that RAF Harrier in the photo is the key to identifying the UFO.

“The MOD previously stated, no ‘known’ Harriers were flying in Perthshire on 4th Aug 1990. That turns out to be a massive clue to whose they were.”

Like a good puzzle solver, Holland read between the lines of the MoD statement and realized that if it was not a ‘known’ Harrier, it could still be an ‘unknown’ Harrier.

“I discovered that the only other British Harriers were privately owned by BAE Systems, the defence contractor. They used their Harriers as multi-roll defence test platforms, testing BAE advanced technology.”

BAE Systems is the largest defense contractor in Europe, so it should come as no surprise that it has its own jets for testing new equipment. Holland suspected that what Russell photographed was a private BAE jet accompanying some new BAE technology. What could that have been? For the answer, investigated the many internal divisions, departments and contractors in BAE and found one of interest.

“I dug deeper and found that Marconi Advanced Materials, based inside BAE HQ at Warton, Lancashire, were probably working on an advanced ‘stealth’ skin material for the USAF.”

Ah-ha! In the late 1980s, radar-evading stealth technology was the new thing and being tested on a variety of secret aircraft. One of them was the alleged experimental Aurora reconnaissance aircraft, which was thought to be a triangular plane being built and tested to replace the aging Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. (Artist depictions of the Aurora can be seen here.) There were a number of alleged sightings of a triangular aircraft around Britain during that time, and all rumors pointed to … you guessed it … RAF Machrihanish. Military and political officials in the UK and the U.S. denied the existence of the Aurora and any connection with RAF Machrihanish. Holland says he recently contacted Ron Evans, the developer of British Aerospace’s Stealth program in late-1980s in Lancashire. Evans did not confirm the Aurora but displayed knowledge of secret metamaterials to hide aircraft from radar that convinced Holland he had found the answer – the Calvine UFO was the Aurora testing new Stealth Skin material developed by BAE Systems and being porotected by the company’s private military jets.

Did the Aurora look like any of these artist depictions? 

“I think there is enough evidence to suggest there was something going on and it would be very helpful if the MOD would just come out and tell us all about it.”

Is Professor Simon Holland right? Will the Ministry of Defence confirm or deny his theory? Will BAE Systems? If Kevin Russell indeed comes forward, will his account support Holland’s theory?

The Calvine UFO is getting its 15 minutes of fame. Let’s hope time doesn’t run out before these questions are answered.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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