The UFO Iconoclast(s)

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:

trent1-2.jpg

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

redbud.jpg
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?:

t-1.jpg

t-a.jpg

t-2.jpg

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?

No.

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):

rouena.jpg

germana.jpg

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.

RR

41 Comments:

  • The George Stock, Passiac, N.J. pictures from July 29, 1952 also show a very similar "garbage can lid" UFO. These 5 pictures (UFO approaching, UFO overhead, UFO moving away) hardly get any publicity but their clarity is almost unsurpassed in the ambiguous history of UFO photography. See UFO Photographs, Vol. 1, 1986.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Rich: "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."

    Me, too. since the photos on the Maccabee and Schaeffer sites have probably been examined by hundreds (some with "digital enhancement", as someone wrote), at least, with nothing found, I'd like to see what we've all missed. Perhaps, they've got a scan of a different or new lineage. In either case, it'll be news.

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Since any theory due to it's speculative nature seems to be inherently tied to left field approaches, here is another one with a dash of kismet..
    Looking carefully at the shaft atop the disk ( which has no aerodynamic advantage as an adjunct to a fixed wing), I noticed that atop this shaft, it appears to have two distinct portions. A very small protuberance at the top atop the fixed vertical shaft, much like a more prosaic example...a helicopter.
    I received a small RC helicopter that is disguised as a UFO for Christmas and flying it, I noticed that when it reached a certain height the blades became invisible, which led me to look at propeller craft images in flight..depending on the contrast of the image, generally the props were invisible. Was this small protuberance on the fixed shaft of this X craft, a rotating hub for fixed blades? One more addendum..my little alien helicopter lost one of it's stabilizing links, it would only fly at a skewed angle...Battery power was certainly available in those days as well as small dc motors..Was this a project kit in some DIY hobby publication? Also..I intend to build a replica and see if it flies..well enough to snap a photo..a small fun project to be availed of in my retirement...

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • BTW..I should have mentioned that such a craft would have to be tethered.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Bruce:

    I think your "application" is a bit of a stretch....a bit premature for 1950 machinations.

    The set up is much simpler I imagine, or the photo is of a real flying disk of 1950 vintage, as I surmise here as a possibility -- possibility!

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Well, kit helicopters were around in several forms aka the vintage COX .049 Engine for Marines Helicopter No 4800 that run off one cylinder you could easily hold in your hand. The AF had turbine driven design prototypes of a similar approach recently declassified. I suppose another possibility is a X craft as either a ruse via a model craft or a failed prototype experiment..given the short time frame this particular model was spotted..never to be seen again.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • But in the hands of a semi-destitute farmer?

    I don't think so...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • This is a question I asked that was unanswered, was he destitute? If so, why purchase such a camera as a luxury for himself? As I said, this is a left field consideration but for the unbiased record, I think all possibilities must be considered..whether they are culled as improbable in light of other evidence. I am not convinced this was a hoax but I have no horse in the race. The horizontal tethering wire would be deflected upward if this was a model of a lifting body regardless if it were lighter than air, electric or gas driven. The only reason to mention this is to potentially explain the height of the image in relation to the horizontal wires, which appears to be above same...

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Yes, the crimped wire seems to go up, not down.

    And looking at Trent's venue, it's not the site of a well-to-do farmer.

    But why a rather pricey camera then?

    It's part of the puzzle...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Another fly to stick in our ointment in regard to an upcoming theory of tethering is the nature of the wire itself. Is it a guy wire ( anchoring) wire or a carrier wire? Is it stranded or a solid sheathed conductor? What gauge is it? This has a direct bearing on the deflection of same in relation to the amount of pull placed on various guys and carriers. Depending on the gauge and the anchoring and strain, some wire can become crimped never to be straightened..you especially see this in DIY installations in rural areas..where they are loosely anchored on buildings etc.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Your presumption is that there are hints of fakery by Trent, based upon the crimped wire appearance.

    If the wire was electrical, which I think it was, I can't imagine Paul Trent fooling around with it.

    Was it a telephone wire? Would he have been hesitant to play with that also?

    I think we would do well to wait for the pending analysis by a "credible, well-known" researcher whom Martin Shough indicates will answer all our questions.

    I can barely wait...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • In photo #2, the phone lines -- the top one in the upper right of the image, for example -- have some angles. They are not hanging gracefully. Maybe it was a gusty day.

    I've posted a fourth image on

    http://http://www.foreshadower.net/trent-photo-comparison/

    of the Chicago Tribune photo #2, processed to display the linear bits in the neighborhood of the 'crimp'. Are they real things, scratches, artifacts, etc.?


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • The Maccabee photo at your site, Don, is a bit muggy, but in it is that damn fingerprint.

    Is that a print from a hand of one of the kids (who were found playing with the negatives and photos, on the floor)?

    I think anyone hoping to get a resolution of this "sighting" and its photographs has to come at it from a different angle -- a "New Think" way, as de Bono would have it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • I'm amused anyone would attempt a photo analysis of grainy copies of photos posted online (and subject to the exigencies of screen size, resolution, etc.). Without analyzing the original negatives, it's all heated atmosphere, really.

    I'm not rejecting or endorsing any of the photos (although, by now everyone probably knows I accept no UFO images as real).

    Your post title says it all. The only thing that can reasonably be done with these photos is contrast and compare the UFOs the photos show. We can't technically go any deeper than that.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Rich, the fingerprints are in Schaeffer's as well, but not so obviously. I wondered whether the Chicago Tribune print had been retouched there. If the fingerprints are embedded in the negative, they would have been put there during development and should be found on all of them unless a sample was retouched.

    I'm suspecting there was at least one attempt to clean the negatives. Perhaps when they were retrieved from the children's playthings. The local paper might have wanted to remove -- what? -- a film of grape jelly? Who knows?

    Photo #1 appears to be streaked vertically.

    Rich: "I think anyone hoping to get a resolution of this "sighting" and its photographs has to come at it from a different angle..."

    Probably, unless someone pays for expert restoration and analysis of the negatives.

    I'm mulling over Dean's photos of Trent with his camera. Trent's technique is good. He's held a camera before. Where he is facing to our left, his left thumb is blocking incidental light, his left eye is shut, so he uses his right eye for the viewfinder (people are either right or left eyed, usually); his eye is not squeezed shut, but closed and relaxed etc., true too, of his shooting eye -- relaxed, not tense. He thought about photography, at least, and did the right things. The only criticism is for the waist-level shot (with his foot on the running board), he ought to have his elbows tucked in more. Stuff like that. I'd like to hear from a pro about this.

    The camera was inexpensive, but more than the average box camera. Back in 1950 my Mom had a similar camera, from the low end of the Kodak Tourist line.

    Unless the object was stationary, it is unlikely he could have gotten the shots with the waist-level (actually such cameras were held against the sternum for support, as Trent demonstrates in one photo). The photo of Rhodes in the Arizona Republic shows him sighting along the body of the box camera, which only had the waist-level finder. Those finders on both Rhodes' and Trent's cameras were tiny, dim, and reversed the image. Not what you would use to track a moving object.


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • I'm seeing Trent's picture-snapping almost in the same way as was debated about Oswald's getting off enough shots to account for the fusillade that killed JFK; i.e., how was Trent able to grab his camera (from in the house) and snap two shots of a moving object that, if one accepts reports of the time, would be zipping along?

    The feat is remarkable, not impossible, but almost as good as that of a journalistic pro.

    It's odd.

    I think that may have been one of the questions nagging the LIFE fellows -- pros that they were.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • You rightly compare the Trent photos with the Red Bud photo. Similar looking and in the same time period. Interestingly, Dean Morgan (a part-time photographer) who shot the Red Bud UFO got very close for a good look. He said it was 20 feet up and "directly over me", that the bottom was "convex" and looked to be of a "clear metallic substance" and that semi-sphere dome on top was "reddish" in color. It also hovered so that Morgan could take his shot...or so he said way back when. Similar objects, allegedly, were also seen that very same day within 50 miles of the Red Bud saucer. To my knowledge, we know nothing about camera, negatives, or any serious analysis. Does anyone here know anything?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Rich, good evidence in the case wouldn't require crisp negatives, just whole ones. If there is strong evidence they were shot with the waist-level viewfinder and Trent said the object was in motion, then I think it would be time for the skeptics to step back and the Trent advocates come forward instead to replicate the shots that way.

    Strong evidence could be obtained by examining the other shots on the roll, based on the time required to set up the camera for the second shot. How did Life know the other shots they saw came from the same roll as the UFO photos? Did the prints or negatives have a number sequence or the same batch number on the back of the print?

    What was Life's evidence for believing them to come from the same roll?

    Film in such cameras is advanced by looking through a small window in the back of the camera as you wind to the next shot. The film is backed with paper which has symbols and frame numbers on it. When the next frame number appears in the window as you are winding the film, you know you are set to shoot a new picture. If you don't have to change exposure or focus (as Trent didn't) all you have to do is cock the shutter and compose the scene in the viewfinder and shoot. But normally you will want to wind on slowly so as not to pass the frame number. There is no stop lock. There is no rewind. Also, to view the number as you wind on, you have to look at the back of the camera and take your eye off the subject.

    One can quickly wind on enough by guessing and adding a few more turns and be confident you're not going to expose on the previous shot, but then there will not be enough film left for eight full shots. If the roll had eight uncompromised full shots, then Trent took his time winding on, indicating he was not feeling rushed to take the second photo. He could, of course, have memorized the number of turns needed for his camera to reach the next frame number closely. As I wrote, it would be strong evidence, not proof.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • Don:

    You're asking pertinent questions that can't be answered and were not pursued when they should have been.

    PG understands this.

    I suggest that you and others here get the book New Think by Edward de Bono (or his Mechanism of Mind) so that a whole other approach to this event might be envisioned.

    As it is, we've covered the territory, superficially perhaps, but are nowhere in the vicinity of a denouement.

    If the pictures are real, what do we have?

    If the photos were hoaxed, what do we have?

    We solve the "crime" but don't have the murderer in our clutches.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 26, 2012  

  • The object "Red Bud" photo is identical to the object in the Trent photo, and predates it by a month. If both were taken in the same State, if hoaxed, it could prove telling. Find the source of the Red Bud photo and you'll get more answers.

    By Blogger Dare_Devil, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Greetings,

    I copy paste a little remark I made in Kevin's blog, to David Rudiak who "calculated" probabilities about "repeaters":

    David,

    In your probabilities about "repeaters, you must imho take into account and add "in the numbers" that Miss Trent is repeater (you did it)
    + Mister Trent took 2 shoots (two witnesses in the family)
    + that in the 60's (in an UFO conference if I'm correct?), it surfaced the claim another member of Trent Family* (not at the Trent farm itself if I'm correct) seeing Paul Trent Pictures (3 witnesses), would have said a posteriori seeing Paul's pictures he saw the object too.

    + the (negative) fact they were probably others farmers and families outdoors in the McMinnville area, but in my humble knowledge of the affair, many were interviewed and I dont remember one or several corroborated to have seen something themselves. (?)

    So, following the story, we have a family circle (3 persons) seeing and photographied a flying object (or different ones), in different closed areas, one of them two or more times, despite the fact they were probably other farmers in the area outdoors too, but seeing nothing.

    The "odd" are very strange or suspect, even if all is possible.

    * This family third witness, if I'm correct, surfaced when this Trent's family member was not still alive, and surfaced never before.
    "Strange", because Miss and Mister Trent however didn't hesitate to say that another member stayed at home when the shoots were taken. Why dispite they didn't hesitated to incorporate in the tale a third Family Member who saw nothing, staying at home, but didn't mention a member who corroborated their story (at least seeing such a flying object too? (I think P. Klass made this remark himself).

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • One might posit that the Trent photos are genuine, in that they weren't hoaxed by the Trents, but that they don't show an actual physical object but rather a projection of one - a vision that fit the preconceptions of the era, just as "visions" always seem to conform to the time period in which they manifest.

    All part of the cosmic art project, perhaps - or maybe a subtle form of communication. Or a puzzle.

    Regardless of the authenticity of the Trent photos, I think there is enough anecdotal evidence (and yes, even photographic evidence) to suggest that the time has come to move one way or another - either reject the idea of our interaction with a non-human intelligence altogether (fair enough), or accept the idea that this interaction has occurred, and then ponder what it might mean.

    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Paul:

    You've presented a Mac Tonnian concept, n'est ce pas?

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Rich: "I suggest that you and others here get the book New Think by Edward de Bono (or his Mechanism of Mind) so that a whole other approach to this event might be envisioned."

    I don't need new ways of thinking. I think my ways are just fine. I need, instead, more information. Figuring out what is the right question to ask is rare in ufology because the question asked is always 'is it real or not'. Which usually means 'is it ET or not'. I try to avoid that. How can you know whether the fossil was an herbivore or carnivore until you find some teeth and a bit of jawbone? Treasure hunters tend to dig away to get to the gold, tossing the bits of pottery aside. I gather them up and see what they suggest.

    Last night I got an email about someone who read the Life article who says the count of shots on the roll was seven, not eight. Next time I'm at the library, I look up the issue.


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • D on:

    I didn't and don't suggest New Think lightly.

    It's a methodology for approaching a subject or problem from a totally new angle -- an unimagined angle.

    De Bono coined, I believe, "thinking outside the box."

    I'm glad you're happy with your own thought processes, but the back-and-forths about the Trent photos and sighting(s) have taken us nowhere.

    You and we are spinning our wheels as it were.

    PurrlGurrl gets it, as do a few others.

    I'm not so hubristic -- although some would disagree -- to think that I can fathom what happened exactly in 1950 with the Trent episode.

    You think otherwise, so may the gods bless you.

    You hope for more information. If there is more information, I would think it would have shown up by now.

    This is where you and I often bump heads: you keep pressing for things that do not exist or are impossible to come by -- the Trent negatives or original prints.

    They are not available, and if they were, they'd be so damaged that they would be virtually useless.

    It's time to either drop the matter or come up with a new approach to it.

    Being intellectually smug doesn't answer anything. It just irks those who are less self-satisfied with their thinking or thought processes.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Rich: "You hope for more information. If there is more information, I would think it would have shown up by now."

    I don't hope. I look.

    Count 'em up:

    http://tinyurl.com/bpodyaf

    So, for 62 years there should have been a question asked: why are there only 7 shots from an 8 shot camera?

    Or

    What was on the missing one?

    A debunker might assume it was a bad shot of the fake object, and Trent disposed of it. A believer might assume that Trent wound on blindly, taking enough turns to insure he didn't double-expose part of the first shot.

    I don't have the answer and I doubt I could juju it into existence by reading the book. But now I know the right question to ask.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Don:

    The question is superb, and truly relevant.

    But how to get at the answer?

    Who has the negative roll?

    Did LIFE see or have access to the stream of photos or film roll?

    If so, did LIFE not disclose that 8th photo? If not, why not?

    The question is blunted by non-answers to such questions.

    You're on a treasure hunt, and have a map that shows where the treasure may lie.

    But how do you propose to find your answer?

    Who has the film roll or that 8th photo?

    Is there any reference to that 8th missing shot?

    What's your plan for getting the information?

    Are you expecting someone to see your question -- someone who knows -- and volunteer the answer?

    Again, your query is juicy, ripe with possibilities. But the answer(s) to it are problematical.

    You are hopeful. I am not.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • The Red Bud photo didn't appear until 1959 in Ray Palmer's FLYING SAUCERS magazine. That alone is enough to cast doubt on its veracity--not as if there were any real flying saucers at all--in any study of the history and evolution of media-manufactured "UFO" forms.

    The Rouen photo (usually dated 1954 but is actually from 1957 FSR) has been shown to be the Trent2 photo flipped on itself to make it more substantial and symmetrical.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Rich, I'd like to know where Life got its information about the shots on the roll.

    Sometimes information can exist, but has been ignored. Maybe a ufologist has it in his files, but because he (or, she) is looking for ET or whatever, they don't care about anything except the two UFO photos. Maybe its in a footnote in a UFO encyclopedia.

    Not having a comprehensive knowledge of, and a long history in, ufology, I'm not the person who would know which ufologists might have the information, published in some newsletter or magazine, or long out of print self published book.

    Any of the "Geezers" are better choices than me to do that research.

    A connected question is 'why did Dean think the photos are fakes?'.

    Consider it a cross-discipline approach. The photography buffs and the ufology buffs can compare notes, and maybe something rhymes.

    Was Dean naturally skeptical of saucer hogwash? But if he had a specific reason, it very likely involved photography.

    I'd begin with Dean because I know a lot more about photography and its history and ideologies than I know about ufology's. I'm very familiar with another Life photographer of the era, Gene Smith, and over the decades have read a lot written by him and about him. I had no reason before to attend to what he might have written about Dean, if anything, having no interest in Dean's work. You've changed that, Rich. A little Christmas present from you. I'm not sure if I'm grateful 8-)

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Hahahahaha, Don...

    You know you like "The Hunt."

    There may be an answer to your question, lurking in the recesses of someone's archives; Maccabee's or Sheaffer's perhaps or even Phil Klass's archival material, which is online, and rather extensive.

    LIFE may have some material in its "morgue" if that is still extant.

    Also, I would hope some enterprising person, like Rudiak, would track down the kids to see who has the films and/or negatives.

    But, again, settling the Trent imbroglio doesn't take us to the heart of the UFO enigma.

    A comment, above, from Paul Kimball opens the door so some speculation that I plan to extend and elaborate upon upcoming.

    I think Paul hints at something which gets at the UFO meaning.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Rich,

    Or Mac presented Paul Kimball-ian concepts. ;-)

    I think you're quite right about how none of this discussion about 60+ year old cases (or current cases, for that matter) gets to the heart of the questions, which are philosophical (and even spiritual) in nature. People are indeed spinning their intellectual wheels - it all reminds me of early Christians (or even modern ones) arguing over dogma, all whilst missing the truly thought-provoking angles.

    But that's just me. Carry on.

    Best,
    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • In all the nonsense about the LIFE photos of the Trents I asked:
    "Where can we see the rest of the exposures from Trent's roll?"
    And since the LIFE article only accounts for seven photos...
    Where is "the lost Trent photo?"

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Ufologists and UFO buffs have taken the phenomenon, Paul, for an orthodoxy that has a religious patina but is nowhere religious or theological even.

    The same thing happened, as you well know, with phenomena that others turned into their religious cults, since time immemorial, all the time missing the sine qua non of the "messages' and "signs" given them.

    You provide provocation for views that Mac Tonnies (and you) have thought about and which should be addressed -- which I plan to do, and hope you will add your erudition as it pleases...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Zoam...

    Don (and others) are trying to get more information about that supposed extra photo or blank spot on the original roll of film.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • || Or Mac presented Paul Kimball-ian concepts.||

    Where Have All the "Saucers" Gone?

    In the 1970s, after the predictable failure of the "UFO" hypothesis ("UFOs" exist), high-profile advocates of the "UFO" myth (Hynek, Vallee, Keel, Clark and others) proposed that the "saucers" had disappeared into an "alternate reality." To which Robert Sheaffer said, [This] "'alternate reality' talk is not a promising new hypothesis. It is total intellectual abdication."

    The "quantum UFO" hypothesis is more of the same. An hypothesis in search of a non-phenomenon. "There never were any saucers."

    The point was that the "quantum UFO" hypothesis is just as worthless as the "interdimensional UFO" hypothesis of the 1970s because it's not falsifiable, one of the hallmarks of pseudoscience. It explains nothing. Keel's "ultraterrestrials" (and every other excuse) are no better than invoking magic fairies or Easter Bunny as a meta-rationale for the lack of evidence of real "UFOs" of any kind.

    The "elusive companion" hypothesis is more of the same and just as worthless.

    http://www.debunker.com/historical/SmithsonianUFOtalk.html

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • Sure, Rich - I look forward to it.

    Meanwhile, folks like "Zoam" can continue to bash into the trees, missing the forest all the while. It's not that he and his ilk are necessarily wrong, anymore than die-hard ETHers are necessarily wrong - it's just that their strict reductionist viewpoint (from whichever side) is so lacking in imagination and a true sense of wonder.

    It reminds me of guys I knew in law school who were so focused on the minutiae of the law that it became an end in and of itself to them, as opposed to the means to an end.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, December 27, 2012  

  • So Martin Shough on UFO UPDATES tells us that some new analysis is coming about strings and wires being detected in Trent's photos.

    Shall I predict what will occur?

    These 'wires' (which should have been detected 50-60 years ago if they were really there) will turn out to be like David Rudiak's analysis of the 'Ramey memo'. The analyst will detect the wires but nobody else will. Everyone will adhere to their own views about the photos, nobody will budge or change sides, and the great Trent photo mystery will continue.

    Meanwhile consider this:

    Someone ought to have by now surmised the real truth: The USAF has the true negatives, and has held them in tight secrecy ever since May 1950. Trent had his negatives confiscated by a secret 'visitor' to his ranch soon afterwards and was told to keep his mouth shut about it. It resembled the captured Roswell saucer almost perfectly.

    Simple, isn't it? Mystery solved.

    Next case, please.

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, December 28, 2012  

  • Paul reminds me of one earnest Believer who implored me to "think outside the box." I asked, "What box?"

    So, what "forest?" What "UFOs?" What "phenomenon?" As fantasy-prone types who believe in spooks and other pseudoscientific claptrap habitually say without a thought about what the word means. The use of anomaly, paradigm and open mind are also reliable indicators that the speaker doesn't fully understand our one scientific reality.

    Another foolproof indicator of "UFO" apologism is the irrational and obviously false equivalence of scientific realists--astronomers, social scientists, cultural historians, professional educators and skeptics--who've studied the subject and who bother to debunk this nonsense with "die-hard ETHers." Such phony middle-ground finger-pointing "agnosticism" must truly mean to "know nothing."

    Paul; If you really believe the "UFO" non-issue is even remotely undecided, then you're suffering under an immature, paranoid, blinkered pseudoscientific delusion.

    You know, exactly like "die-hard ETHers."

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, December 28, 2012  

  • Chris writes: "Trent had his negatives confiscated by a secret 'visitor' to his ranch soon afterwards and was told to keep his mouth shut about it."

    And this secret visitor was none other than Fred Crisman. See how it all fits? (g)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Saturday, December 29, 2012  

  • "Was [Loomis] Dean naturally skeptical of saucer hogwash?"

    Of course he was. I've talked to rational people who were adults at the time, and each and every one says they knew it was utter nonsense from the get-go. They had already been exposed to decades of pulp fiction, Welles' WOTW radio play and the recent Shaver-mystery craze. They knew--just as certainly as we know there's no monster under our child's bed or NAZI saucer bases on the Moon--there were no real saucers, it was all a bad joke, a sensationalist's slimey prank, a trashy insane hoax to sell magazines to boys--and not worth even a moment's consideration.

    In 1947, the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society called it a "mass hysteria." The very fact that in 1950 at Los Alamos, Enrico Fermi was incited by flying-saucer mania--knowing it was utter nonsense--to ask the real question: "Where are they?" tells us just what Dean thought.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Saturday, December 29, 2012  

  • "Of course he was."

    Thank you, God.

    Prayerfully,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, December 29, 2012  

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