RAF Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Carn nan Gabhar, Glen Loch, crash date 27/05/93

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There are some rumours about a 'cover-up' about the crash of this Hercules. In 2012 I received some email correspondence from Jon Miller about this crash. To try and record real testimony about this event I am quoting portions of the correspondence (with his kind permission) here, to publish this information to the public domain. The quoted details draw on source materials which are not security classified:

"I was actually the duty officer at Perth Police HQ when the Hercules crashed in Glen Loch, and was the senior officer on the scene and prepared the report which subsequently went to the Procurator Fiscal.

In summary the aircraft was on what the RAF term a reinforcement exercise as part of a periodic refresher training course run at RAF Lyneham. That day three C-130s took off from Lyneham and flew in company up to Loch Long where they parted and took independent low level courses across Scotland with the intention of ending their day at Lossiemouth. During the flight they would undertake a 'dummy' drop which entailed some tricky manoeuvring.

The task for XV193 was to fly east across the A9 just north of Pitlochry following the course of Glen Girnaig. At the point that Glen Girnaig passes south of Beinn a'Ghlo to meet the south/north orientated Glen Loch there was a tiny stone shed with a distinctive red corrugated iron roof (this has I think now been demolished). This was the target for the dummy drop which entailed a low level approach - about 250' - possibly opening the rear ramp and doing all the drills required for an actual equipment drop. The difficulty was the fact that immediately after this 'drop' the aircraft would have to perform a very sharp turn to avoid the rising slope on the east side of Glen Loch. The intention was to proceed north over Loch Loch and thence still at low level follow the terrain northwards across Deeside and onwards to Lossiemouth. The sharpness of this turn was dictated by the inward course taken to the dropping point and if that was miscalculated the turn would be very tight.

XV193 evidently made the turn but was then faced with having to reverse the turning movement to avoid Beinn a'Ghlo and pass over Loch Loch. Low height, flying speed, and the drag effect of flaps combined to create the stall which resulted in a near vertical drop with a nose-up attitude onto the bare patch which you saw the other day - and which earlier this year when I was up there last still retained an aroma of kerosene.

Although the crash was seen shortly after it happened by witnesses on the ground there was a delay before they could report it by phone - one man actually running to Forest Lodge in Glen Tilt to raise the alarm. The RAF reported the aircraft as overdue when it failed to arrive at Lossiemouth or respond to radio and a training aircraft (I think a Jet Provost or similar) reported a smoke plume and overflew the site. I managed to trace the captain of a British Airways airliner en route from London to Helsinki who saw the fire from 30,000 feet but was unaware of the crash and assumed it was heather burning.

The first aircraft on the scene was a Sea King search and rescue helicopter whose crew made an initial assessment and confirmed the absence of survivors. Over the next three weeks the RAF 'crash and smash' team, assisted by Royal Engineers who effectively rebuilt part of the estate road up from Straloch, removed the wreckage almost entirely and it ended up at Farnborough for examination by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch Inspectors.

I have since read in a book of 'unexplained UFO mysteries' a suggestion that the crash was in some way 'covered up'. As support for this theory the author referred to the immediate air exclusion zone that was put in place, and the police control of access into the site. This is complete rubbish. I was responsible for both - the reason being that we did not wish an army of press or curious hillwalkers roaming into the area while the initial body removal and search for potential evidence of cause was ongoing. The air exclusion zone was put in place as in the initial stage we had two Sea King helicopters and a Nimrod overflying, and latterly the RAF board of enquiry were operating from a Wessex. The considerable press contingent were all encamped at Kirkmichael where no doubt they boosted the local hotel bar takings."


1) The crew of XV193 were being supervised by a screen captain and navigator from the Support Training Squadron, and also included a ground engineer and Army air despatcher. Full details of all nine service personnel who died in the crash can be seen here.

2) There is only one name on the memorials at the site, 'Bernard'. This probably refers to the nickname of LCpl Gary Reginald Manning who died in the crash.