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Written by Last modified: Sunday 12-Aug-2012 03:52:48 EEST        

How and Where to Report your UFO sighting

UFO sighting by Trents, McMinnville Oregon USA 1950

The Trent UFO Photos - McMinnville, Oregon USA, taken on 11-May-1950 by a couple of farmers, are considered classic in the history of UFOs.

Note: The object depicted in these photos may appear mundane at first glance ("a hubcap thrown in the air"), however the Trent case has withstood the tests of expert photo-analysts. You can get magnified versions: photo 1, photo 2 or high-resolution scans of first-generation prints of the two photographs (BIG files): photo1 (2.6MB), photo2 (3.7MB) (courtesy B.Maccabee / Anomalia.org's FOTOCAT)

Story: On 11-May-1950 around 7:00PM, Mrs. Trent was outside checking on her hens and rabbits, when she saw a metallic-looking, disk-shaped UFO. She called her husband, they located their camera, and he took 2 photographs of the object before it disappeared in the distance.
"The object was coming in toward us and seemed to be tipped up a little bit. It was very bright-almost silvery-and there was no noise or smoke".

The 2 photographs by the Trents have been analyzed again and again since the 1950s.
  • The 1968 University of Colorado UFO study (a/k/a Condon Report) contracted by US Air Force, concluded:
    "This is one of the few UFO reports in which all factors investigated, geometric, psychological, and physical appear to be consistent with the assertion that an extraordinary flying object, silvery, metallic, disk-shaped, tens of meters in diameter, and evidently artificial, flew within sight of two witnesses." [full study]
  • Optical physicist Dr.Bruce Maccabee's analysis of the 2 photos (done between 1977 and 1981 and last updated in 2000 to include rebuttal of skeptical arguments). He calculated the UFO to be over 1 kilometer away, and about 30 meters in diameter and 4 meters thick. Maccabee also concluded that the photos were genuine; not hoaxes of any kind: "The bottom line, from my point of view, is that they are real," he said. "Now, what do we do about it."
  • In 1999, NBC obtained the original negatives and contracted Brooks Institute of Photography for analysis, which determined to be authentic.

Note: Again, this is one of the classics, taken in a time when 1/ no computer-aided image-editing was possible, 2/ in retrospect 60 years later, we can be reasonably sure no Earth government had such a craft and 3/ investigated in the officially-sanctioned Condon study.

Extract from "Best Evidence: Top-10 UFO sightings" 2007 documentary with re-creation and analysis of the two photos by the Trents, featuring Dr.Bruce Maccabee and Brad Sparks:

There are many Websites where people can send UFO reports, but if the cases are not investigated, what value are they? We encourage UFO witnesses to report their sightings to whomever they wish, as long as the reports end up being available and used in scientific analysis, and investigated in detail, which means in-person investigations when possible. Unfortunately, it is estimated -if we believe the polls which show 8%-9% of all people think they have seen a UFO- that the overwhelming majority of UFO sightings goes completely unreported to anyone except close friends and loved ones, and most of the few sightings which do get reported go uninvestigated.

If You Have A Sighting: Observe carefully; try and see as much detail as you can about the object(s). If you have a camera, take pictures. If you don't have a camera, try and estimate the size of the shape (in comparison, for example, to a coin or pea held at arms length.) Make note of the time of day, the direction and (apparent) speed of flight. If others are with you, enquire if they see the object, and their observations of it. Write down your observations while they are still fresh in your mind.

Where to report: You can file a UFO sighting report with MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and/or NUFORC Hotline (USA National UFO Reporting Center, but accepts international reports too). Additional regional or country-specific UFO reporting centers are listed in our UFO organizations, UFO portals and UFO blogs pages.

Ideally you need to provide:

  1. Number of Witnesses
  2. Date/Time and duration of sighting
  3. Location
  4. Number of Objects
  5. Object Shape
  6. Object Lights / Color / Brightness
  7. Object Motion / Behavior
  8. Object (angular) Size
  9. Distance to Object
  10. Angle of Observation
  11. Weather conditions
  12. Other details (e.g. were there lights on the object? did it leave a "trail"? was it surrounded by "haze"? did it emit other objects? etc)
Pictures and video are a real plus. As is any corroborative evidence or testimony from other witnesses that can be obtained.

How to take videos of UFOs: Disable auto-focus (or the object will constantly be in and out of focus, as the camera tries to get a lock), set it to infinity and hold the camera STEADY (if you don't have tripod, lean to a tree / wall etc). Try not to "pan with the action", so the moves and apparent speed of the objects can be evaluated. More on how to video a UFO.

Use a camcorder or camera to record the event. Try to keep reference points in the field of view, as this will aid researchers in analyzing the film. Practice filming UFOs on your computer (shockwave app). If you do not have a camera or camcorder then draw pictures of what you saw and the area around it.

If the sighting is from a distance, at an arms length, what would it take to cover up the object? A Quarter? A Penny? A Dime? An Aspirin? Or would it take something bigger? A Golf ball? A baseball? Or a Tennis ball?

Try to judge the distance from you to the object, the object's altitude, and its speed. Was it across the street or was it over the next field? Was it tree top level or was it a few hundred feet up? Did it cross the sky in 5 seconds or 5 minutes? -- 10 Things you should remember if you see a UFO

Astronomer Dr.Hynek (for 20 years the scientific consultant to USAF's official UFO study project "Blue Book") has given the following criteria, suggesting that a purported photograph of a UFO (particularly a Daylight Disc, because they are quite simple to fake) should not be taken seriously unless the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. there are reputable witnesses to the actual taking of the picture, and those witnesses also sighted the object visually at the same time;
  2. the original negative(s) is available for study, since no adequate analysis can be made from prints alone;
  3. the camera is available for study; and
  4. the owner of the photograph is willing to testify under oath that the photograph is, to the best of his knowledge, genuine, that is, that the photograph shows what it purports to - a UFO. (The last condition need not apply if the photograph in question is accompanied by several independently taken photographs, preferably from significantly different locations).
It is important to remember that in the case of UFO photographs, the photograph is no more reliable than the photographer. Thus, even when all of the above conditions have been met, the most positive statement that one can make about such photographs is that while the probability is quite high that they are genuine, the physical reality of the UFO(s) photographed cannot be established with absolute certainty.

If you took photo(s) with a digital camera, upload the images straight off the memory card to a file on your computer (DON'T use a graphics program to resize / process the image in ANY way, because that might remove the valuable EXIF data). Then you can upload to one of the free file-sharing sites and just post the URL. Since computer-generated fake UFO images are so easy to produce nowadays, nobody can pronounce any digital UFO image as 100% authentic.

Table of UFO shapes, from the classic book "Unconventional Flying Objects" by Paul Hill (a NASA/NACA engineer who developed an interest in UFOs in the 1950s after having two sightings of his own and privately studied UFOs for years). His list of UFO shapes above, did not include the very large V-shaped (boomerang / crescent), the triangular and the smaller triangular/pyramid UFOs. Those were quite rare in the 1950s - 1970s, when Paul Hill collected data and wrote his book, but became very common in the 1980s and beyond (there are several documented sightings of very large black triangular UFOs even in the 1960s, so it's not a contemporary phenomenon).
Table of UFO shapes, from the book Unconventional Flying Objects by NASA engineer Paul Hill

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Written by Last modified: Sunday 12-Aug-2012 03:52:48 EEST

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