The Daily Record has learned that the person who took the photo was a young Glaswegian working at the Pitlochry Hydro.
Investigators believe a Scot could hold an important clue to one of the world’s biggest UFO mysteries.
The “Calvine photo” taken in Perthshire in 1990 is regarded as one of the clearest UFO pictures ever taken but is at the centre of a mystery after images sent to the Ministry of Defence disappeared. But one certified copy emerged last year, showing a diamond-shaped object in the sky above Perthshire – believed by some to be the world’s “best ever UFO photo”.
The Daily Record has now been told that the person who took the photo was a young Glaswegian called Kevin Russell, who was working as a porter at the Pitlochry Hydro Hotel at the time. Kevin and a friend were left terrified by the 100ft long aircraft, which they said hovered above the A9 near Calvine for 10 minutes then soared off at high speed when buzzed by RAF jets.
Investigator Matthew Illsley told the Record: “The identity of Kevin Russell, the photographer, remained a secret for 33 years, until now. We would very much like him to come forward to confirm once and for all that what he saw was real.
“The Calvine incident remains one of the most confounding UFO mysteries in history. They may not prove there is life on Mars but no one has ever argued that.
“The more likely truth lies with human aircraft advancements that were covered up by the MoD and US intelligence agencies.”
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He added: “This case is not about little green men or an aerial Loch Ness monster – it’s potentially a piece of military history that can be unlocked once and for all.”
Illsley said Kevin would likely be in his 50s now. Hotel colleagues who were tracked down said he returned to Glasgow in the early 90s.
Exhaustive research by the UFO hunters involved contacting 150 Kevin Russells in Britain, Australia, the US and Canada, and about 300 more Scots called Russell. None confirmed they were the right man.
Illsley said the Calvine file should have been released after 30 years in 2021 but the MoD blocked the release of key details until 2076 due to “privacy concerns”. Some UFO experts believe the object is a secret US reconnaissance aircraft named Aurora – a silent, supersonic spy craft.
The photo of Kevin was supplied to Illsley recently by a person who worked at the Pitlochry Hydro in 1990. It was revealed last year that former MoD press officer Craig Lindsay had worked on the case when the photos originally came to light.
To the astonishment of the UFO buffs, he kept a copy of the photo that was produced at the Daily Record’s Glasgow office at the time of the original prints and negatives being handed to the MoD. When tracked down last year, he said: “I have been for waiting for someone to contact me about this for more than 30 years.”
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The photo we publish today has appeared in international publications. A copy was supplied to an expert at Hallam University, who believes it to be genuine. Hallam prof David Clarke – a UFO investigator who has worked with the MoD – traced down a retired British military intelligence source who told him the diamond-shaped craft was real.
The source said he flew to Scotland to meet the witnesses and insisted he discovered the craft was American in the course of his own 1990 probe. The source was adamant the craft was a stealthy, ultra high-tech, ultra-secret surveillance and target-designation platform.
The craft could, he claimed, stay at high altitude for a long time, guiding stealth bombers to targets on the ground. In the original telling of the Calvine story, Kevin and a hotel worker went to the spot during time off.
They told the RAF’s Craig Lindsay they went through a copse, climbed a fence to moorland then saw the craft. They saw the diamond hovering in silence.
After a minute or two, they saw a Harrier go over northwards at high altitude. A minute or two later it came back southwards at low altitude, circled the craft at low speed.
At that point they took six photos. The Harrier flew off, and minutes later the craft flew off vertically.
Illsley said: “One MoD insider described it as the most spectacular UFO picture ever captured – and the Holy Grail in terms of hard evidence that these things really exist. It’s a picture the MoD and the National Archives tried their utmost to keep hidden.”
He added: “We hope we might be on the edge of solving this once and for all.”