In the verdant landscape of Perthshire, Scotland, an unusual event unfolded that sent ripples all the way to the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the government’s highest echelons. This story dates back to the summer of 1990 when an unidentified object was reportedly seen floating in the Scottish skies near Pitlochry. The sighting was so extraordinary that it warranted more than just a cursory dismissal.

Unlike most UFO reports that are quickly set aside by defence chiefs, this sighting was treated with marked seriousness. An ex-MoD official who investigated the event confirmed that despite their best efforts, they couldn’t find a plausible explanation for the strange craft.

On August 4, 1990, witnesses near Calvine, north of Pitlochry, reported a large diamond-shaped object suspended in the air, eerily still, next to a RAF Harrier. The object allegedly hovered for approximately ten minutes before it accelerated upwards at a high speed, disappearing from sight.

The peculiar event was captured on camera by bystanders, the images showing a blurry, diamond-shaped craft alongside a jet. Considering the potential media interest the photographs could ignite, the MoD decided to alert the government about the incident. The MoD even commissioned a series of line drawings of the object the following year, the sensitivity of the material suggesting a need for utmost discretion.

Nick Pope (1)Nick Pope, a former MoD civil servant who dealt with UFO reports, described the image as the most compelling he had ever seen. According to him, “The MoD has all sorts of equipment and expertise that we used to analyse and enhance imagery to tell whether there were any signs of fakery. This picture was assessed by our digital experts, who concluded it was a real photograph showing a solid-structured craft which was estimated as being around 25m in diameter.”

Despite their best efforts, the MoD could not determine the craft’s origins or nature. Pope even had an enlarged copy of the photograph on his office wall until it was removed by his superior, who believed it showed a top-secret prototype craft. The photograph mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind a trail of questions and speculations.

These classified documents also reveal an attempt to create a computer database of UFO reports, which was abandoned amid fears of a public relations debacle if its existence came to light. It was meant to provide information and explanations for ministers when asked about sightings in Parliament. However, the project was considered a contradiction to ministerial statements claiming that UFOs did not pose a threat to the UK.


In the same trove of newly released files, another report clarified that the death of an US Air Force pilot attached to the RAF was a tragic accident, and not related to a UFO encounter, as rumours had suggested.

The Perthshire UFO sighting remains one of Scotland’s most fascinating and well-documented cases of unexplained aerial phenomena. It serves as a stark reminder of the many mysteries of the skies that are yet to be explained, and the lengths that governments may go to keep such occurrences under wraps.

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