UFO Conjectures

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Trent/McMinnville photos: Compare and Contrast

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc. 

This is the first of two photos taken by Paul Trent in May 1950, the subject of much chatter here and elsewhere:


This is a photo taken in Redbud, Illinois, in April 1950:

From UFO Casebook

Note the similarity of the objects, and the time-frame – Spring, 1950.

(The overhead wires in the Trent photo are said to be essential to an upcoming analysis that  will attempt to show a string attached to the object in question. We await that exegesis.)

It’s interestingly co-incidental that two objects, with similar characteristics would be photographed a month apart, if one of them was hoaxed – the Trent photo, using the Redbud photo as a template of sorts?

Was the Redbud photo distributed by news sources. I don’t think so.

Here are three copies of the Trent photos, printed, at the time, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, with an editor’s mark-ups on photo 1, and a fingerprint on the second photo print here, as an attempt to show a crimp in the overhead wires intimating a hoax? and a blemish or scratch on photo 3 here, placed inadvertently or purposefully?:




The Seattle Post Intelligencer was founded in 1863 as the weekly Seattle Gazette and was one of Seattle’s main daily newspapers (the other being The Seattle TIMES) when the Trent photos were reprinted for readers.

Note how shabbily they were treated by the newspaper or how badly they were when the newspaper got hold of them.

I think that the Seattle newspaper editor(s), like LIFE’s photographer and/or reporter, felt the photos were contrived and treated them as hoaxed photos.

But how to explain the like photo from Redbud, Illinois, a month earlier, which I doubt that Paul Trent saw?

Were there other photos in that Spring 1950 time-frame that Paul Trent might have seen and used as a copy for his photo?


The next batch of hyped photos came from George Adamski – the infamous chicken brooder or Xmas ornament photo – in late May of 1950, and which became the copy for many hoaxed photos: The Allingham, Darbyshire, and Madeleine Rodeffer photos.

The 1954 Rouen photo was a take-off on the Trent photo(s), as was the German imitation (below the Rouen):



Paul Trent had no antecedents; his photos were unique….in 1950.

This speaks to a non-hoax or a creative imagination on the part of farmer Trent.

Whatever the reality is – a bona fide flying disk or a bona fide hoax – the result is intriguing in a number of ways, and open to ufological hermeneutics.