MAY 11, 1950 >> MCMINNVILLE, OREGON
UFO sightings occured often in the McMinnville area. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Trent had previously observed a number of them from their small farm located near the Salmon River Highway, 10 miles southwest of town. Mrs. Trent was outside feeding her rabbits at about 7:45 PM when she saw a very bright, almost silver object silenty approaching the farm. She called her husband outside from the house. When he did not answer she ran inside to get him and to get a camera. She took two photos of the UFO before in accelerated away to the northwest.
The Trents took a casual approach to the film. They waited to use the other exposures on the film before having it developed. When it was they at first just showed the photos to friends and did not protect the negatives. When a local banker learned of the photos he alerted the local newspaper. On June 8, 1950 the McMinnville Telephone Register printed them. The Trents claimed they were visited by two government officials, possibly FBI agents, some weeks latter. The FBI typically denied any involvement or intrest in the case
The photographs were analyzed by astronomer William Hartmann for the Condon committee. He calculated that the UFO was about 0.8 miles from the camera. He believed that the photographs were probably genuine. In the 1970s Dr. Bruce Maccabee repeated the tests and concluded the object was over 0.6 miles away and 100 feet across. Ground Saucer Watch digitally analyzed the original negatives and found no trace of a string from which a model might have been suspended and calculated the object was between 65 and 100 feet in diameter.