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UFOs in the Daily Press:

The McMinville, Oregon, USA, UFO photographs by Paul Trent, 1950:

I gathered a number of press articles which discuss this famous photographic case. These articles give precious indications, through news, opinions, review, interviews, about the way that newspapers, local or national or foreign, introduce the case or discuss it since more than half a century.

More information on the McMinnville UFO photographs themselves here.

List of other newspaper articles in this collection:

Telephone-Register, McMinnville, Oregon, USA, June 8, 1950.
News-Register, McMinnville, Oregon, USA, May 9, 2000.
News-Register, McMinnville, Oregon, USA, May 13, 2000.
News-Register, McMinnville, Oregon, USA, May 15, 2000.
News-Register, McMinnville, Oregon, USA, May 9, 2001.


This article has been published in the daily newspaper News-Register, McMinnville, Oregon, USA, on May 13, 2000.

Ufologist analyzes famous McMinnville sighting

By PAT FORGEY of the News-Register

The 50-year-old McMinnville photos that have grabbed the attention of the UFO world continue to hold interest.

Analyst Bruce Maccabee, who has conducted the most exhaustive study of the photos, offered this reason in a local appearance Thursday: "These photos are so clear they're either the real thing or a hoax. There's no halfway point."

Maccabee spoke to a packed house at McMenamins Hotel Oregon, 50 years to the day, in fact the hour, after Paul and Evelyn Trent spotted the mysterious object in the air near their Bellevue-area home.

Evelyn Trent had been feeding the rabbits between 7 and 8 p.m. when she spotted the object and called husband Paul. They had time to take two photos before the thing sped off.

A month later, the Telephone-Register, predecessor to the News-Register, got wind of the photos. They appeared on the front page and were propelled into history from there.

When McMenamins Pubs renovated and opened the Hotel Oregon in McMinnville, company historian Tim Hills came across the Trents' story in the archives of the Yamhill County Historical Society. "The photos just grabbed me," he said.

Looking into the history of the photos led him to Maccabee, who "did the definitive work on the case" back in the 1970s.

Maccabee said his efforts were both aimed at determining whether the photos were authentic and at evaluating the methods of other analysts who had branded them likely fakes.

Maccabee said his first efforts were aimed at deciding whether the photos themselves backed up the Trents' story. That is, do they show what the Trents said they show? Do the shadows appear as if they'd have to appear? Are any spots of the photos too dark or too light to be real.

Eventually, after months of work, Maccabee determined they were credible.

Then he looked at a well-publicized study which concluded the photos were faked. He found it poorly done and likely wrong.

Even after concluding the photos were authentic, Maccabee wasn't done, because that's only part of the story. "A photo a UFO does not make," he said.

Maccabee then had to decide whether he thought the Trents were the kind of people likely to fake UFO photos. To do that, he interviewed them repeatedly and collected other people's impressions of them.

After talking with people like Telephone-Register editor Bill Powell, the first to interview the Trents, and the family's bankers, he concluded they were unlikely hoaxers. An Air Force summary of the sighting agreed, noting, "The Trents are known as solid, substantial citizens."

Such interviews are standard to determine whether an unexplained sighting is credible. "Anybody who brings me a UFO photo had better be ready for a siege," he said.

The passage of time has largely ruled out another possibility, he said, that what the Trents saw was a still-secret military craft. That was Paul Trent's view, Maccabee said, and he was afraid that he might be giving away government secrets that "maybe he wasn't supposed to know about."

The UFO's movements were far beyond the aviation technology of the time. And if it had been some type of Air Force plane, or Soviet plane, it probably wouldn't still be secret today.

Eventually, Maccabee said, he reached a conclusion.

"The bottom line, from my point of view, is that they are real," he said. "Now, what do we do about it."

Maccabee said his just-published book, "UFO-FBI Connection," raises allegations that the U.S. government knows much more than it's saying about possible interplanetary visitors. That book actually began with the allegations that the FBI had a role in investigating the Trent case, but Maccabee said he was not able to confirm that.

"The Trent case is not discussed, but what is discussed will knock you off your feet," he said.

Among the records he came across, he said, was one in which the Air Force told the FBI it was seriously considering the possibility that interplanetary visitors were real. The same day, he said, the Air Force was publicly reporting that all supposed sightings could be explained by natural phenomena.

He said, "I'll tell you what, folks. There's something out there we should know about."

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This page was last updated on May 10, 2002.