I have 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 is here.
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 15, 2000.
UFO legend keeps going
By PAT FORGEY Of the News-Register
There may be something "out there" but two of the most knowledgeable observers of 1950's McMinnville unidentified flying object case say they don't know what it is.
"I don't know whether flying saucers exist or not," said Phil Bladine, the retired newspaper editor who first published the celebrated photos. His paper, a predecessor of the News-Register called The Telephone Register, heard about the photos taken by Paul Trent at his farm off Highway 18 west of McMinnville, and sent a reporter to retrieve them.
The paper published them in what became its biggest selling issue ever, and the photos have since been published around the world.
The McMenamins brewpub chains recently opened the Hotel Oregon in McMinnville and company historian Tim Hills got interested in the story.
For the 51st anniversary of the taking of the Trent photos, McMen- amins brought Bladine and videographer Terry Halstead to speak about the Trents and their photos.
Both Bladine and Halstead dealt with the case as journalists, unlike most of the others in the UFO community, and haven't taken sides on the issue of whether UFOs exist. Both, however, were willing to speak about the Trents, their photos and their opinions of them.
Bladine related how reporter Bill Powell retrieved the photo negatives from the Trents' farmhouse, where they'd been misplaced under a davenport.
They blew the photos up on the wall of the Telephone Register darkroom, and couldn't see any wires or other evidence of fakery.
"Well, they look legitimate to me," Bladine said he told Powell.
With that, there was only one thing to do. "So we put them in the paper," he said.
National news media coverage, including Life magazine, nationally syndicated radio and television, resulted in so much interest in the June 8, 1950, edition of the Telephone Register that it was forced to reprint 10,000 extra front page copies to meet the demand. At the time, the paper's circulation was about a third of that.
Bladine said that he doesn't know what it was that Paul Trent snapped two frames of in 1950, but he's convinced that the photos themselves weren't a hoax.
"We know the Trents aren't the kind of people who'd do that," he said.
Halstead, who did a video documentary of the Trent case, said that the Trents told him that they were interviewed by FBI agents after the news media coverage began, but Halstead said he was unable to obtain any FBI reports on the case, either from Washington, D.C., or the Portland field office.
Halstead's documentary was done in the early 1990s, and features Paul and Eveyln Trent, who have since died.
He said his research led him to the same conclusion as Bladine - that the Trents were telling the truth about what they saw and photographed, but that he didn't know what it was.
When UFO fans in the McMenamins audience asked Halstead questions about other UFO cases he declined to answer, pointing out that he was a videographer who covered the Trent case, not a UFO expert.
He did say that the government's UFO secrecy was suspicious, and that he had dealt with it for years while trying to use the federal Freedom of Information Act to get information about the case.
"The government has been so secretive, it makes you question," he said.
Historian Hills said his research into the case left him convinced something was out there as well. "It's made a believer out of me," he said. "I don't know what else to think."