McMinnville, Oregon. 7:30 pm. May 11, 1950. Evelyn Trent was walking back to her farmhouse after feeding rabbits on her farm while she saw an unidentified flying object in the sky. She called out to her husband, Paul, who took the above picture. At the urging of a friend, they later submitted the photo to the local newspaper the Telephone-Register, which put it on the front page on June 9th. The Oregonian published the photographs the next day, and within a month they were published in LIFE magazine (June 26 1950).
LIFE subsequently misplaced the negatives and they were through to be lost for 17 years. Since its rediscovery, the photograph had since been subjected to intense scrutiny involving computer analysis and sophisticated scanning and stretching procedures. The Trents’ background was also thoroughly checked. Some thought they hanged an object from the power lines. Some measured the shadows and assumed it was ‘staged’ in the morning time. Others insist the Trents’ original resistance to publish the photo was a testament to their honesty. It has never been satisfactorily explained, and some believe it is the best (if not only) authentic UFO photograph. The affair led to a “UFO Festival” being held in McMinnville each year, which is the biggest such gathering apart from Roswell, New Mexico’s.