UFO 1950-60

25.01.2014 13:18


Mid-1950's  -  Yokohama, Japan

May 11, 1950  -  McMinnville, Oregon, USA

McMinnville, Oregon - May 11, 1950: Two of the most notorious UFO photos of all time were taken on a farm near Mcminnville by a farmer named Paul A. Trent. Beyond many such cases, these two photos have withstood the test of time--through generations of researchers. It could be said that this case specified the boiling point for the heated ongoing debate over what qualifies as physical evidence--at least when it comes to the subject of UFOs.

Mrs. Trent was outside getting finished feeding her rabbits, when she noticed the large, disc-shaped object approaching from the northeast. She called out to Mr. Trent who joined her to look at the mystery device. After a few moments, he went back in the house to get his camera. He got back out and picked a spot to stand and took the first picture, then wound the film for the next picture. (That was typically a time consuming process with a 1950 box camera.) Several minutes later, he took the other.

In the meantime, Mrs. Trent called out to her in-laws on their porch, about 400 feet away. They didn't hear her, so she ran into the house to call them on the telephone. Mrs. Trent's mother-in-law didn't get to see it because it disappeared by the time she was off of the phone, but Mrs. Trent's father-in-law did catch a glimpse of it just before it disappeared in the west.

Mr. Trent waited to finish the roll of film before he got the pictures developed. They were displayed nearly a month later in a local bank. (The Trents' banker worked there.) A reporter named Powell, who worked for the McMinnville Telephone Register, saw the photos and convinced the Trents to let him publish their story and photographs. However, it did take a bit of coaxing because the Trent's feared they might get in some kind of trouble with the government.

The photographs and story wound up in the June 26, 1950 issue of Life, who borrowed the negatives from Powell. The Trents didn't get the negatives back for another 17 years. They were requested for examination by the Condon investigation in the late 1960's, and after that analysis was done, they were finally sent back to Mr. Trent.

The first people to examine the negatives found no signs of manipulation of the negative and no visible means of support for the UFO pictured, and so it has remained, for over half a century. No scientific study of this case has ever revealed anything that contradicts the witnesses or their fortunate photos. (NURMUFO)

See also the in-depth analysis, "The Trent Farm Photos", by Bruce Maccabee, available online at:


UFO Casebook / B. J. Booth)

A classic set of impressive UFO photos was taken by Mr. and Mrs. Trent in the early part of the evening, just before sunset, on May 11, 1950, near McMinnville, Oregon. According to the Trent's account the object, as it appeared over their farm was first seen by Ms. Trent while she was feeding the farm's rabbits. She then quickly called her husband who got the family's camera and Mr. Trent then took two shots from positions only just a few feet apart. The pictures first appeared in a local newspaper and afterwards in Life magazine. Seventeen years later the photos were subjected to a detailed analysis for the University of Colorado UFO Project.William K. Hartmann, an astronomer from the University of Arizona, performed a meticulous photometric and photogrammetric investigation of the original negatives, and set up a scaling system to determine the approximate distance of the UFO. Hartmann used objects in the near foreground, such as a house, tree, metal water tank, and telephone pole, whose images could be compared with that of the UFO. There were also hills, trees, and buildings in the far distance whose contrast and details had been obscured by atmospheric haze.

Hartmann used these known distances of various objects in the photo to calculate an approximate atmospheric attenuation factor. He then measured the relative brightnesses of various objects in the photos, and demonstrated that their distances could generally be calculated with an accuracy of about +/- 30%. In the most extreme case, he would be in error by a factor of four. He then wrote:

"It is concluded that by careful consideration of the parameters involved in the case of recognizable objects in the photographs, distances can be measured within a factor-four error ... If such good measure could be made for the UFO, we could distinguish between a distant extraordinary object and a hypothetical small, close model."

Hartmann then noted that his photometric measurements indicated that the UFO was intrinsically brighter than the metallic tank and the white painted surface of the house, consistent with the Trent's description that it was a shiny object. Further, the shadowed surface of the UFO was much brighter than the shadowed region of the water tank, which was best explained by a distant object being illuminated by scattered light from the environment.

"it appears significant that the simplest most direct interpretation of the photographs confirms precisely what the witnesses said they saw"

Hartmann further wrote that "to the extent that the photometric analysis is reliable, (and the measurements appear to be consistent), the photographs indicate an object with a bright shiny surface at considerable distance and on the order of tens of meters in diameter. While it would be exaggerating to say that we have positively ruled out a fabrication, it appears significant that the simplest most direct interpretation of the photographs confirms precisely what the witnesses said they saw."

In his conclusion, Hartmann reiterated this, stressing that all the factors he had investigated, both photographic and testimonial, were consistent with the claim that "an extraordinary flying object, silvery, metallic, disc-shaped, tens of metres in diameter, and evidently artificial, flew within sight of [the] two witnesses."

(Thanks to UFOCasebook.com for information about this classic photographic case.)

An in-depth, scientific analysis of this case was conducted by Dr. Bruce Maccabee, optical physicist. His paper can be found at:

March 20, 1950  -  New York City, New York, USA

This cylindrical-appearing UFO was photographed over New York City on March 20, 1950. The photographer's name was deleted from Project Blue Book's files -- as were most names when the material was finally declassified and released. Upon investigating the report, Project Grudge officially labeled it: "the moon"! Some ufologists have speculated that tubular objects of this sort may be "mother ships," purportedly capable of taking on and discharging smaller "craft" in stacks, poker-chip fashion.

August 31, 1951  -  Lubbock, Texas, USA

Lubbock Lights, 1951


"Four Texas Technical College professors were sitting in the backyard of one of [their] homes... [watching for meteors]... they observed a group of lights pass overhead from N to S. The lights had about the same intensity as a bright star but were larger in area. Their altitude was not determined but they traveled at a high rate of speed. The pattern of the lights was almost a perfect semi-circle containing from 20 to 30 individual lights. Later in the evening a similar incident was observed and during a period of about three weeks a total of approximately 12 such flights were observed by these men... Attempts were made to obtain an altitude measurement... however all attempts failed because the objects did not appear on the nights the observers were waiting for them... The objects were observed by at least 100 people in and around Lubbock..."

"On the evening of 31 August 1951 at about 2330 CST (11:30PM), a college freshman observed a flight... pass over his home... two more flights of objects allegedly did occur and were photographed."

"In one instance, the lights were observed to have a "wiggling" motion. "at 12:17am on 09.02.1951 by 5 people ... in the case of this flight, an irregularly shaped yellow light appeared in the rear. The formation included dark diffuse areas and the arc itself quivered or pulsated in the direction of travel.. a group of individually distinct yellow flames, approximately 12 or 15 in number, travelling at extremely high velocity, each with an angular magnitude that would be the equivalent of 12 inches across at a distance of 30 or 40 feet and in violent agitation... moving noiselessly."

"There was no sound that could be attributed to the object; the color of the lights was blue-green; there were from 15 to 30 separate lights in each formation; the first two flights observed were a semi-circle of lights but in subsequent flights there was no orderly arrangement; The object did not gradually come into view as would an aircraft approaching from a distance, neither did it gradually disappear; there was no apparent change in size as the object passed overhead; the angular span was estimated to be 10 degrees."

One observation was of a dark and diffuse dark area with "violently agitated" yellow flames emitted to the rear.

"There is relative movement within the [photographed] formation of spots, so they are not lights on a fixed object. The relative motion is such that it is unlikely they are co-planar and photographed from different angles... The angular size corresponds to an object size of 310 ± 30 feet, seen by the camera 1 mile away. The actual size of the formation may be calculated from this ratio, if the actual distance from the camera can be determined... Although the image size in frame 8 is about 2% less than in frame 7, suggesting that the objects are receding from the camera, the aspect of the V formation does not correspond to a horizontal V travelling parallel to the earth's surface unless at an enormous altitude." Object Behavior "The angular velocity of the object was very nearly 30 degrees of arc per second; the flight path was from north to south in the majority of the flights; there were two or three flights per evening; the period between flights was about 1hr and 10 mins; the objects always appeared at an angle of about 45 degrees from the horizontal in the north and disappeared at about 45 degrees in the south."

(Thanks to the "UFOs at Close Sight" website for the above background information.)

November 23, 1951  -  Riverside, California, USA

Guy B. Marquand, Jr., who made this picture on a mountain road near here, says the object above the skyline is a "flying saucer." Marquand claims that he and two friends saw the object fly past at a very high rate of speed, and when it came back, he had his camera ready to make the picture.

Further info from UFOs at Close Sight website:

Guy B. Marquand, Jr. of Riverside, California, submitted this as a bonafide UFO on November 23, 1951. Interviewed March 24, 1952 by the Air force, Marquand admitted that the whole thing was a hoax. He said it started out as a gag which got out of control when press took over. The object was tire cover from 1937 Ford.

Interestingly, the hoaxed photographed has been presented again decades later by the controversial Colonel Philip Corso in his Roswell fantasy book as the first of a series of "true" UFO photographs

July 16, 1952  -  Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Project Blue Book case 1501:

SALEM, JULY 16, 1952

The case occurred on July 16, 1952, at Salem in Massachusetts, USA.

At 09:35 A.M., the witness, Shell Alpert, took this picture of four roughly elliptical blobs of light in formation through the window of his photographic laboratory. Alpert was a Coast Guard seaman assigned to the base in nearby Salem, MA. This photo has appeared numerous times in the Salem (MA) Evening News.

The first analysis by US Air Force's Project Blue Book concluded it was "probably" a double exposure hoax.

A second analysis by Blue Book concluded that it was "probably" reflections of street lamps on a window.

Finally, the case was considered "unexplained" by Project Blue Book.


The photograph is at the NARA, the National Administration for Records and Archives, www.nara.gov Washington DC, where the complete declassified USAF Project Blue Book files are available to researchers in NARA's microfilm reading room. You can view the image in a better quality and read the corresponding Blue Book case documentation.

The reference for this picture at NARA is National Archives Record Group 341, Project Blue Book Case No. 1501.

This photograph has also been published in the book "Secrets of the Unknown, the UFOs," Time Life Books, ISBN 90-6182-993-3.


July 19, 1952  -  Puerto Maldonado, Peru



At 04:30pm on July 19, 1952, the attention of Customs Inspector Sr. Domingo Troncoso, then with the Peruvian Customs Office at Puerto Maldonado on the jungle frontier with Bolivia, was called to a very strange cigar-shaped flying object over the river area. The big dirigible-shaped craft was flying horizontally and fairly low in the sky, passing from right to left from the observers position. It was leaving a dense trail of thick smoke, vapor, or substance on its wake. This object was a real, structured, physical machine and may be seen from its reflection in the waters of the Madre de Dios river underneath it. The object was estimated to be over a hundred feet long.


Further information from UFO Casebook and Mark Cashman:

Peru, 4:30 PM 7/19/52. Report Summary:
At about 16:30 in the afternoon of 19 July 1952, the attention of Customs Inspector, Sr. Domingo Troncoso, then with the Peruvian Customs Office at Puerto Maldonado on the jungle frontier with Bolivia, was called to a very strange cigar-shaped flying object over the river area. The big dirigible-shaped craft was flying horizontally and fairly low in the sky, passing from right to left from the observer's position. It was leaving a dense trail of thick smoke, vapor, or substance of some kind on its wake. The thick, whitish substance appeared to be emitted from the aft end of the object in flight. That this object was a real, structured, physical machine may be seen from its reflection in the waters of the Madre de Dios River underneath it. It can be clearly seen to be well above the broad-leaved jungle trees along the bank of the river in the foreground of the picture. The object was estimated to be over a hundred feet long. Sr. Troncoso obtained a camera and was able to get one good photograph of the cigar-shaped object.

The following was submitted by Colonel McHenry Hamilton, Jr., USAF, American Air Attache, Lima, Peru.

Aside from some comments by the preparing officer, the report consisted of a translation of a newspaper article in a Lima daily.

A "luminous disc" was supposed to have sped over the Puerto Maldonado area of Peru near the Bolivian border at 4:50 p.m. on July 19th [1951], and among those who claimed to have witnessed the passage was a Peruvian school teacher who took a picture of the UFO, an object that was spewing an impressive wake of smoke. A newspaper account read in part:

"The colour of the head or nucleus of this disc was an intense orange. The direction was south to north, was visible from 1 to 2 minutes, leaving a thick vaporous trail which floated for more than 15 minutes. The altitude was more or less 2500 to 3000 feet. It was seen in broad daylight. During its passage, the Peruvian Corporation of the Amazon radio went dead and wasn't able to transmit or receive any signals."

"The Peruvian Minister of Education later held discussions with American Embassy officials about the UFO report. The school teacher's photograph and an article about the discussion with the Americans was published in the August 15th issue of the Lima newspaper El Comercio.

"The American Intelligence report on the case seems to be incomplete because there is an unexplained reference to more than one photograph. Colonel Hamilton was informed by Peruvian authorities that some falsification had occurred involving "three different photographs taken by three different persons."

In a letter dated August 10, 1957, Mr. Moseley gave NICAP the following account of the incident:

In Lima I met Senior Pedro Bardi, who is an agricultural engineer. On July 19, 1952, while on a farm in the Madre de Dios section of Peru, he and others saw a saucer. It was about 4.30 p.m. and they were talking to Lima by radio.

Suddenly, according to Bardi, the radio went dead. They looked out the window and saw a round object going by at high speed. (The witnesses included Pedro Arellano, owner of the farm). The object had passed; it was at an estimated 100 meters altitude and was a little smaller than a DC-3, according to Bardi. It made a buzzing sound as it went by.

The object's speed, Moseley explains, was determined by a report that it was seen four minutes later near Porto Maldonado, 120 kilometers distant. This speed was computed at 1117 miles per hour. The photograph was secured from a customs administrator named Domingo Troncosco, who said he had taken it as the object flew near the port. Though the photo shows a cigar-shaped object instead of the round shape Bardi described, this could possibly have been due to an elongated effect caused by speed.

"It seems obvious to me, Moseley told NICAP, that the photo is genuine."

"Incidentally, I strongly doubt if this particular saucer was anything but earth-made."

"The object traveled from left to right at about airplane speed. When the trail settled to ground it turned out to be a mass of thin fibrous threads."

1. UFO Photographs Around the World Vol.2 (A.Roberts/W.Stevens..1985), thanks to Victor J.Kean

2. Loren Gross's UFO:s a history, the 1951 booklet pages 34 and 35, courtesy Anders Liljegren

3. UFO Investigator of September 1957 courtesy Anders Liljegren

4. Video: UFO Sightings: The Photographic Evidence Vol 2; Wendelle Stevens

July 31, 1952  -  Passoria, New Jersey, USA

1952  -  Over North Korea

UFO and a MIG-15 fighter over North Korea - allegedly filmed in 1952

Information by Michael Hesemann:

My grandfather dies (died) on ..., 2001. It was in Armenia in Yerevan. I was born in Yerevan. My grandfather work(ed) for the government and I always ask(ed) him all the time about his work because I admire(d) him and he would smile and tell me in Armenian, that it was not my business. He was not being mean, he would smile.

Every Sunday he have (had) friends over and he was very busy. I met some of his colleagues in the government, I never pay (paid) much attention to their names, I always remember first names, but my grandfather had many friends in the government. He did some secret work for them and the military.

My grandfather was (a) very good friend of Anastas Mikoyan (Politburo member under Josef Stalin, MH). They met when they were young boys. Mikoyan went to Politburo and my grandfather stay(ed) in Yerevan. Mikoyan would call when he need(ed) something from my grandfather.

When my grandfather die(d), I went (back) to Armenia after he died and I finish school for last year. Up in the top floor was (were) boxes of his stuff. There were many papers and files and some video tapes. I did not take time to read many of the papers but I make sure they were put in boxes for me to look at later.

I was interested in (the) videos because I could use the tapes for something else if they were not important. My grandfather record movies on TV and no one like(d) them but him.

I get (got) some of these tapes. They have movies on them, and then I find (found) one tape that have (has) military info on it in Armenian and I see these UFOs. This is military film of UFOs. There is a piece of paper that list(s) information about them, place and date, but I do not know which film is which. When you view them you can see which ones are which. I then go (went) into (a) store later (back in the Czech Republic) to buy food at (the city of) Dejvicka and I see your magazine 2000 and I see (read) about the UFOs.

Then I find (found) your web site and I see (saw) your photo with (the) Pope and I know (knew) you are the right person to sell this to. I only want (the) money to help my mother, which is my family. My father I do not know, he left us years ago when I was a small boy. I was close to my grandfather and he give (left) me everything according to the attorney in his will. I will go back (to Armenia) and (will) go through his documents and learn more about this. I want to be careful so I do not get found out (caught).

I know my grandfather would not talk about the UFOs seen in Armenia in the early 1980s. I was young and do not remember much, but I remember police coming to talk to grandfather about them so this is why I think he was involved. Why would the police come to him if this was not true. I could hear them talk about it, about (a) large object seen near our mountain, Ararat.

I later ask(ed) grandfather and he said he could not talk about it.

Now I have this video I want to learn more and will when I go back to Armenia and also in (the) army I can (will) ask quiet(ly) and try to find out things.



According to T. the footage was taken in the following years:

North Korea 1952
Krakov, Poland, July 7, 1986
Helsinki, Finland, September 12, 1996
Ondrey´s Observatory, CSSR, August 15, 199
Vilnius, Lithuania July 18, 1976

He also mentioned footage from
a Soviet Airbase
German WW 2 Footage

To quote from his e-mail, the footage shows "a UFO flying over a MIG in Korea. The plane adjust(s) position to get better see (sight) at (of the) UFO. (The) film was taken from (an)other MIG. Another film show(s) a UFO flying over (an) American plane at a base in the USA. It is a clear disk. Another one show(s) a UFO over (a) Romanian plane. Another show(s) (a) UFO over (a) MIG on the air base and another show(s) a UFO over a MIG sitting on (the) runway only a few years ago. Another shows a UFO taken at Ondrejov Observatory in Czech Republic (sic!). This is footage of (a) famous UFO story. There is another UFO (, a) big disk in Lithuania and also at night with night camera that show(s a) big disk and also (a film) from World War II that show(s a) disk over (an) airplane from (a) German base. It is clear(ly) a disk. These were (the) best movie(s) from KGB agents who collect(ed) information and even steal (stole) camera(s) if they need to."

IF T.´s story is true, we can suspect the existence of a kind of Soviet MJ12 which ordered the collection of this exciting material. In one of his e-mails, dated February 22, 2002, he mentioned the fact that Mikoyan´s brother "create(d) the MIG and it was under this program that they design or try to make aircraft that was (were) copy (copies) of UFO(s) that was (were) reported. They also study reports and yes, as you know (,) there was a secret group."

Do we indeed face a major breakthrough by this unexpected release of unique, formerly Top Secret UFO footage from the archives of the KGB? Indeed, if T´s grandfather was indeed a member of the Soviet intelligence community or nomenclatura, we have to assume that he asked his former comrades for a video collection of some of the best UFO footage from their archives because he was personally interested in the subject. During the breakdown of the Soviet Union, followed by the independence of Armenia (and with it the end of the control by Moscow), this is very well possible. In these times, personal friendships and connections were more important than old orders and classifications.

Therefore it is very well possible that T´s story is true just the way he told it. In the investigation of this case we have to consider that the footage was most probably originally shot on 16 or 35 mm and later -during the 1990ies- copied on Video. On most of the seven films I received, the camera is stable, seems to be fixed, indeed indicating surveillance- or guncameras. On the other hand, a suspicious element in the lack of camera movement is that it would make it easier to copy "artificial" (computer-generated) UFOs into pre-existing footage. But then remains the question how a hoaxer would obtain raw footage from airborne and landed MIGs on Soviet Air Force Bases which, without the UFOs, make no sense at all.

1952  -  Washington, D.C., USA

During the 1952 Washington D.C. sightings.


May 7, 1952  -  Barra da Tijuca, Brazil

Newsmen Ed Kessel and Joao Martins of O'Cruzeiro Magazine, covering a groundbreaking ceremony near Copacabana, saw a strange aircraft approaching. Cameraman Ed Kessel snapped five black and white photographs as the UFO came directly over them, circled Pedra de Gavea Rock, and then flew back out to sea. The developed prints showed a clearly outlined and sharply detailed solid-looking disc shaped object estimated to be at least 50m in diameter and 5m high.

Brazilian Air Force investigators tracked down at least 40 people who were in the vicinity that day and were witnesses to the object in question. All of their stories matched descriptions given by the two newsmen who produced the photographs. During the course of their analysis of the case and photos, Brazilian military investigators tried to reproduce the photos to see if they could have been faked. (They were unsuccessful in all attempts.) This led to a few people who were later interviewed by investigators for Project Blue Book to state they had seen men in the area making fake UFO photos. This in turn led Blue Book staff to write the case off as a hoax.

The in-depth photo analysis by Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization (APRO) started off with the hoax explanation due to a shadow on the trunk of a lone palm tree in one of the photos not matching the shadow angles on the UFO. Field investigators in Brazil informed APRO that a couple of dead branches shaded the tree's trunk in such a way to create an optical illusion that the shadow angles did not match the UFO.

In the end, Brazilian investigators had searched every angle of the story to find evidence of a hoax, but never found it. The two newsmen were considered very reliable and there was no apparent motive for 40 or more additional and unrelated witnesses to perpetuate the story if it was not actually true. (NURMUFO)

More articles:

Ronald Story, "Barra da Tijuca Photos".

Condon Report (1968): Case 48 - Analysis of the Barra da Tijuca Photographs.

July 29, 1952  -  Passaic, New Jersey, USA


July 18, 1952  -  Lac Chauvet, France

The Photos from Lac Chauvet, France

The Lac Chauvet photos first appeared in Aime Michel's "The Truth about Flying Saucers," which showed a clear discoid object. The photos were taken by M. Fregnale on July 18, 1952, who would remain convinced until his death that he had seen, and taken pictures, of some natural phenomenon. He believed that an extraterrestrial origin for the disc was impossible because of the large interstellar distances between star systems [Michel, 1957]. Only in 1994 were these photos subjected to a careful and detailed examination by Dr. Guerin, a professor at the Institute d'Astrophysique in Paris.


Picture of UFO near lac Chauvet, France, July 18, 1952 by André Fregnale. The image investigation by Claude Poher, director of the GEPAN, concludes that the photograph is not a fraud but a genuine ufo.


Guerin, Pierre, "A Scientific Analysis of Four Photographs of a Flying Disk Near Lac Chauvet," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 8, No. 4, Article 1, 1994, pp. 447-469.

A Scientific Analysis of Four Photographs of a Flying Disk Near Lac Chauvet (France)
Pierre Guerin, Institut d'Astrophysique, Paris, France


A series of four photographs of a disk-shaped object apparently flying in the sky was physically analyzed. Certain details led us to develop a mathematical model of the supposed trajectory. The model was validated by measurements on the photographs, which demonstrated that the disk was distant from the camera, flying along a straight and horizontal trajectory, and was not a fabrication.


The Chauvet Lake UFO

Andre Fregnale, an engineer and photographer, walked around France's Lake Chauvet on July 18, 1952, for a great many hours taking pictures of a UFO that came out of the Northwest sky. The sky was clear and luminous and the UFO moved in the heavens at an altitude of 1,000 meters for several hours. The film was developed and analyzed by Pierre Guerin, a well respected astronomer and confirmed the UFO object as real. The photographs have been scrutinized by many experts and all have found them to be real shots of a real UFO.

July 29, 1952  -  Passaic, New Jersey, USA


October 19, 1954  -  Monte Carlo, Rome, Italy

Original caption for this photograph:
Amateur photographer Turi Mattarella snapped this picture of what he claims is a flying saucer hovering above Rome's Monte Carlo. A number of residents in the Eternal City claim they have seen discs, with what appears to be a distinctive central control tower, flying overhead.


December 10, 1954  -  Sicily, Italy

Four Sicilians gaze skyward at two unidentified objects similar to those being mentioned in press reports and appearing in photos from other European countries. The authenticity of the images was checked by questioning the photographer, who said the objects were in the sky and remained still for several minutes. The U.S. Air Force has announced that it is looking into these latest accounts of the objects moving through the heavens.


November 2, 1954  -  Malaga, Spain

One of the claimed Spanish sightings of the 1954 wave. This picture was taken by Juan Coll and Jose Antonio Baena near Malaga, Spain, on 2 November. (Fortean Picture Library)

1955  -  New York, New York


Summer 1956  -  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


ummer 1956, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil

A. Stizak photographed this metallic disc crossing the clear, blue sky. Note the three "white spots" on the underside in the enlargement. An analysis by ICUFON-director Col. ret. Colman VonKeviczky confirmed the authenticity of this early Brazilian UFO photo.

August 27, 1956  -  McCleod, Alberta, Canada

August 27, 1956, near McCleod, Alberta, Canada. The witnesses were two Royal Canadian Air Force pilots who were flying in a formation of four F86 Sabre jet aircraft. The planes were flying due west over the Canadian Rockies at 36,000 feet about one hour before sunset. One of the pilots saw a "bright light which was sharply defined and disk-shaped," that resembled "a shiny silver dollar sitting horizontal," situated below the planes but above a thick layer of clouds. It appeared to be considerably brighter than sunlight reflecting off the clouds. The duration of the sighting was estimated to be between 45 seconds and 3 minutes. The first pilot to notice the object reported the observation to the flight leader and then took a photograph on a Kodachrome color slide. This case and this photograph were subsequently analyzed by Dr. Bruce Maccabee (Maccabee, 1996). Maccabee has presented an argument against the propositions that the phenomenon is due either to reflection of sunlight by the clouds or to lightning. From the available data, Maccabee estimates the luminosity of the object (the power output within the spectral range of the film) to be many megawatts. ("Physical Evidence Related to UFO Reports" - The Sturrock Panel Report)

Dr. Bruce Maccabee's analysis is available online in PDF format:


17 July 1956, ca. 4 p.m.  -  Rosetta/Natal, South Africa


The Drakensberg Photos
17 July 1956, ca. 4 p.m.,
Rosetta/Natal, South Africa

Dipl.-meteorologist Elizabeth Klarer caused an international controversy with her claim of a contact with Extraterrestrials. Her book "Beyond the Light Barrier", written more in the style of a romantic novel, caused a rather sceptical response, since Klarer claimed she became pregnant after her encounter with a tall, white-haired spaceship-pilot. Only in the Nineties, when cases of pregnancies after UFO abductions were given attention by serious researchers, the Klarer case received a more serious attention. Indeed Cynthia Hind, Africa´s most respected UFO researcher and MUFON representative, managed to locate and interview several eyewitnesses of Klarer´s contacts. Furthermore, Klarer was a well-respected member of the South African society. Her husband was a major of the South African Airforce, Elizabeth herself worked for the Airforce Intelligence. Her photo series of an "extraterrestrial spaceship" (as she called it) was taken in the presence of two witnesses whom she wanted to show the site of her first contact. With them she drove through the Zulu-Land, the foothills of the mighty Drakens-Mountains, when she noticed a flash of light between the mighty thunderstorm clouds. Immediately she stopped, left the car together with her companions, in her hand theBrownie Box Camera she had brought with her. A moment later she recognized the metallic disc in the dark-clouded sky, obviously slowly approaching. Immediately, like in a reflex action, Elizabeth shot seven photos before the disc suddenly shot away. In the same moment a thunderstorm started, a shower of hail went over the field. Elizabeth Klarer confirmed the authenticity of her photos in an notarized affidavit. She stood behind her story until she died in February 1994, in the age of 83 years.

Four of the seven UFO photos taken by Elizabeth Klarer on July 17, 1956 - enlargements. Note that the cloud formations did not change remarkably on the last two photos, indicating that they were shot within seconds. The disc seems to follow a clean curve, ruling out the possibility of a frisbee or a hub cap thrown into the air.

October 16, 1957  -  Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, USA

Ella Louise Fortune, who worked as a nurse at the Mescalero Indian Reservation near Three Rivers, New Mexico, took this picture while driving along Highway 54 at about 1:30 PM on 16 October 1957. The UFO was hovering motionless over Holloman Air Force Base.

July, 1957  -  Norway

UFOs at Close Sight (Patrick Gross)

From Project Blue Book files:


This picture sent to Blue Book from Norway in July 1957 has been analyzed by the photographic reconnaissance laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB as a reflection of light on the camera lenses, which is very likely to be correct.

October, 1957  -  Pescara, Italy



September, 1957  -  Near Edwards AFB, CA, USA


In September 1957, this photo was made by a test pilot near Edwards Air Force Base in California. It shows a UFO apparently following a B-47 twin jet military aircraft - but the UFO wasn't discovered until the photo was developed. An enlargement of the object appears in the upper left corner at "insert."


September, 1957  -  Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA


The Condon Report (p.168) devoted 11 pages to this case. One morning in September, 1957 an Arm private at Fort Belvoir, Va. was called from his barracks by his buddies to witness what appeared to be a black, ring-shaped UFO approaching. The private grabbed his Brownie camera and snapped 6 pictures of it, of which this was the first. After about 5 minutes, the black ring, which appeared "solid" to the soldier and glided steadily along, began to be "engulfed in white smoke."


December 22, 1958  -  Poland


January 16, 1958  -  Trindade Island, Brazil





By Jerry Clark (Center for UFO Studies)

Trindade, a small rocky island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean 600 miles off the coast of Bahia, Brazil, was the site of one of the most impressive photographic cases in UFO history.

In October 1957 the Brazilian Navy set up a small scientific base on the unoccupied island, where oceanographic and meteorological research would be conducted in connection with the International Geophysical Year. Starting early the next month, instrument-bearing weather balloons were launched daily. They were designed to explode in the upper atmosphere, releasing the instrument packages which would parachute to earth to be retrieved by the researchers. By the end of the month base personnel were reporting silvery UFOs which seemed to be monitoring the balloons’ movements.

On January 1,1958, at 7:50 A.M., the passage of a bright point of light, like a mirror reflecting sunlight, was observed by the entire garrison. The next evening a round object with an orange glow circled the Navy tow ship Triunfo traveling off the Bahian coast 400 miles from Trindade. As the crew watched, the UFO executed sudden right-angle turns and at other times hovered near the ship. The sighting lasted for 10 minutes.

The most fantastic event occurred on the sixth. The base’s chief officer, Cmdr. Carlos A. Bacellar, had just overseen the launching of a weather balloon into a morning sky clear of everything but a single large cumulus cloud at 14,000 feet. Inside the radio cabin Bacellar listened to the signals the balloon emitted as it ascended. Suddenly those signals inexplicably diminished, then went dead.

When Bacellar went outside to investigate, he saw nothing out of the ordinary, at least at first. The balloon was ascending normally—until it came directly below the cloud, at which point it seemed to be sucked abruptly upward. For the next 10 minutes it remained out of sight and inside the cloud. Finally, when it reappeared, it was above the cloud and devoid of the instrument package.

Soon a silvery object emerged from behind the cloud. As it moved slowly from the southwest to the east, a technician gazing through a theodolite spotted it and alerted the commander, who viewed it briefly through binoculars, then through a sextant. Crescent-shaped and bright white in color, the object reversed course at one point and remained in sight for some time before it entered a cloud bank (Fontes, 1960).

The photographs

Later [16JAN58], at 12:15 P.M., as the Almirante Saldanha sat anchored off the south coast of Trindade and prepared for a return trip to Rio de Janeiro, 48 crew members and passengers spotted an object approaching the island. Among the witnesses was Almiro Barauna, a civilian who had been brought along because of his skill in underwater photography. Barauna gave this account to João Martins of the magazine 0 Cruzeiro:

I had my Rolleiflex 2.8-model E, which was kept inside an aluminum box for protection against the corrosive effects of water and salt. I had left my Leica with a telephoto lens in my cabin a few minutes before. The deck was full of sailors and officers. Suddenly Mr. Amilar Vieira and [retired Air Force] Capt. [José Teobaldo] Viegas called to me, pointing to a certain spot in the sky and yelling about a bright object which was approaching the island.

At this same moment, when I was still trying to see what it was, Lt. Homero [Ribeiro] — the ship’s dentist—came from the bow toward us, running, pointing to the sky and also yelling about an object he was sighting. He was so disturbed and excited that he almost fell down after colliding with a cable. Then I was finally able to locate the object, by the flash it emitted. It was already close to the island.

It glittered at certain moments, perhaps reflecting the sunlight, perhaps changing its own light — I don’t know. It was coming over the sea, moving toward the point called the Galo Crest. I had lost 30 seconds looking for the object, but the camera was already in my hands, ready, when I sighted it clearly silhouetted against the clouds. I shot two photos before it disappeared behind Desejado Peak. My camera was set at speed 125, with the aperture at f/8, and this was the cause of an overexposure error, as I discovered later.

The object remained out of sight for a few seconds— behind the peak— reappearing bigger in size and flying in the opposite direction, but lower and closer than before, and moving at a higher speed. I shot the third photo. The fourth and fifth ones were lost, not only because of the speed the saucer was moving, but also for another reason: in the confusion produced as a result of the sighting, I was being pulled and pushed by other persons also trying to spot the object and, as a consequence, photographed the sea and the island only—not the object. It was moving again toward the sea, in the direction from which it had come, and it appeared to stop in mid-air for a brief time. At that moment I shot my last photo (the last on the film). After about 10 seconds, the object continued to increase its distance from the ship, gradually diminishing in size and finally disappearing into the horizon [ibid.].

The object was gray, metallic, and solid-looking, though surrounded by a greenish haze or mist. With a ring running through its midsection, it resembled a flattened version of the planet Saturn.

Badly shaken by the experience, Barauna removed the film from the camera almost immediately but delayed processing it for an hour. Finally he and Capt. Viegas entered the ship’s darkroom together, while Cmdr. Bacellar (who had not been on deck when the sighting occurred) waited outside the door. Ten minutes later Barauna showed the wet negatives to Bacellar (there was no photographic paper available) and said that it looked as if the UFO’s image had not been picked up. The commander examined the negatives carefully and spotted the image. Subsequently, the other witnesses stated that the object in the photographs was the one they observed ("New Evidence," 1965).


Barauna took the negatives with him to Rio and processed them in his own laboratory. Shortly afterwards Bacellar showed up at Barauna’s home to look at the developed photographs, which he then took to the Navy Ministry. Two days later he returned them, and shortly thereafter Barauna was summoned to naval headquarters, where high-ranking officers grilled him. The Ministry sent his negatives to the Cruzeiro do Sul Aerophotogrammetric Service for analysis. They were declared genuine. In short order Brazil’s President, Juscelino Kubitschek, ordered them released to the press.

In the days ahead some of the witnesses gave interviews to newspapers. On the twenty-second Cmdr. Paulo Moreira da Silva of the Brazilian Navy’s Hydrography and Navigation Service stated that the "object was not a meteorological balloon, for the one we had launched that day was released at 9 A.M., two [sic] hours before the appearance of the object in the sky... . Also it was not a guided missile from the United States because the island of Trindade is off the route of those rockets."

Olavo T. Fontes, a well-connected Rio physician who represented the Tucson-based Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (A.P.R.O.), learned of the incident from naval informants on February 4. On the evening of the fourteenth, at the Navy Ministry, he was shown five photographs. He did not know then that the fifth had been taken earlier than the first four (Barauna’s photographs), and to this day little is known about this picture. Fontes believed it was taken by a Navy sergeant in late December at Desejado Peak on the island (Lorenzen, 1962).

A naval source later told Fontes that the day before Barauna took his pictures, the Almirante Saldanha’s radar had tracked an unknown object. At 2:30 A.M. on the sixteenth, less than 10 hours before the Barauna sighting, Ezio Azevedo Fundao, chief of surgery at a Rio hospital, and members of his family saw a Saturn-shaped UFO off the coast of Brazil, in the direction of Trindade. At approximately the same time the same or an identical object was observed from the deck of the Tridente, a Navy tow ship.

On February 23 Paulo M. Campos, a reporter for Diario Carioca, citing an unnamed but "best possible" source, wrote that "more than the sighting of the flying saucer itself, what really made a deep impression on the Navy was the report that instruments like radio transmitters, and apparatus with magnetic needles, ceased operating while the flying object remained in the island’s proximity. The Navy decided to

consider this a top-secret fact." When he checked with his own sources, Fontes could get neither confirmation nor denial of this alleged aspect of the event. (In a 1983 interview Barauna recalled that just prior to the UFO’s appearance all of the electrical power on the ship had failed [Smith, 1983].)

After Brazil’s House of Representatives demanded further information from the Navy, it was given a secret report on the official investigation. The document was leaked in October 1964 to Coral Lorenzen, director of APRO. After reviewing the various sightings and the January 16 photographs, its author, Corvette-Capt. Jose Geraldo Brandao, concluded that the "existence of personal reports and of photographic evidence, of certain value considering the circumstance involved [absence of evidence of tampering, the presence of other witnesses], permit the admission that there are indications of the existence of unidentified aerial objects." He also noted the "strong emotional upset . . . in all persons who sighted the object, including the photographer, civilians, and members of the ship’s crew" ("New Evidence," op. cit.).

A hoax?

On November 27, 1959, Donald H. Menzel, a Harvard University astronomer and UFO debunker, wrote Richard Hall of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena to report his "tentative conclusion" concerning the object in the Trindade photograph:

I have in my possession one well-authenticated case of a saturn-like object, whose nature is known and clearly distinguishable in this particular instance. A plane, flying in a humid but apparently super-cooled atmosphere, became completely enveloped in fog, so about all one could see was a division where the stream lines were flowing up and down respectively over and under the wings. The cabin made a saturn-like spot in the center, and the wings closely resembled the appearance of the Brazilian photographs.

The Trindade object’s speed and sprightly maneuvers were explainable, Menzel claimed, as an illusion created by the reflection of sunlight on the plane.

But four years later, in The World of Flying Saucers, Menzel publicly declared the case a hoax, charging that Barauna had faked the photographs via double exposure in collusion with an associate (Menzel and Boyd, 1963). He wrote, without mentioning newspaper articles and official reports to the contrary, that when reporters had a "chance to interview the officers and crewmen who allegedly had observed the Trindade saucer and could support Barauna’s story... [n]one of them had actually seen the object." In fact, in 1959 Hall had provided Menzel with a translation of a March 8, 1958, O Cruzeiro article which names several of the witnesses (Hall, 1959).

Menzel reprints a Brazilian Navy press release, but when the original and Menzel’s version are compared, some significant discrepancies become apparent. In the latter three words are added and six left out.

The original reads: "Evidently, this Ministry cannot make any statement about the object sighted over the island of Trindade, for the photographs do not constitute enough evidence for such a purpose." Menzel renders it thus: "Clearly, this Ministry cannot make any statement about the reality of the object, for the photos do not constitute enough evidence for such a purpose." Whereas the first statement acknowledges an object and a sighting, the second implies that their reality is open to question — hardly the Brazilian Navy’s intention.

Menzel’s attack continues in his next book, The UFO Emgma, wherein — though citing no source — he outlines the "extremely simple" method that he claimed was used to fake the photographs. "In the privacy of his home," Menzel writes, "the photographer had snapped a series of pictures of a model UFO against a black background. He then reloaded the camera with the same film and took pictures of the scenery in the ordinary fashion. When the film was developed, there was the saucer hanging in the sky." Menzel seems to have woven this story out of whole cloth. He also repeats the unfounded allegation that "no one else, except a friend (and presumed accomplice), had seen the disk flying overhead" (Menzel and Taves, 1977).

Though the U.S. Navy, which had expressed interest in the case at the time of its occurrence (Fontes, op. cit.), refused public comment, in a 1963 letter Maj. Carl R. Hart of the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book quoted from an Office of Naval Intelligence report: "This gentleman [Barauna] has a long history of photographic trick shots. . . . [He prepared a purposely humorous article, published in a magazine, entitled ‘A Flying Saucer Hunted Me at Home’, using trick photography" (Hart, 1963). It should be noted that the article was a debunking piece intended to show how a much-publicized 1952 Brazilian flying-saucer photograph was created (Smith, op. cit.).

In 1978 an Arizona-based group, Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), which specialized in analysis of purported UFO photographs (and which had rejected most as phony), subjected good-quality prints to a computer-processing technique, focusing on edge enhancement, color-contouring, picture-cell distortion, and digitizing. GSW’s specialists came to these conclusions:

The UFO image is over 50 feet in diameter. The UFO image in each case reveals a vast distance from the photographer/camera. The photographs show no signs of hoax (i.e., a hand-thrown or suspended model). The UFO image is reflecting light and passed all computer tests for an image with substance. The image represents no known type of aircraft or experimental balloon. Digital densitometry reveals a metallic reflection. We are of the unanimous opinion that the Brazilian photos are authentic and represent an extraordinary flying object of unknown origin [Hewes, 1979].

Given the number of witnesses, the results of photoanalyses both military and civilian (Hopf, 1960), and the need for debunkers to reinvent the incident to "explain" it, it seems most unlikely that the Trindade photographs were hoaxed.


Fontes, Olavo T. "The UAO Sightings at the Island of Trindade." The A.P.R.O. Bulletin Pt. I (January 1960): 5-9; Pt. II (March 1960): 5-8; Pt. III (May 1960): 4-8.

Hall, Richard H. Letter to Donald H. Menzel (November 2,1959). Hall, Richard H., ed. The UFO Evidence. Washington, DC: National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1964.

Hart, Carl R. Letter to Richard H. Hall (January 24, 1963).

Hewes, Hayden. "The Mystery Disk over Trindade Island." UFO Report 7,1 (February 1979): 18-19,58.

Hopf, John T. "Exclusive IGY Photo Analysis." The A.P.R.0. Bulletin (May 1960): 1,4.

"IGY Team Snaps UFO." The A.P.R.O. Bulletin (March 1958): 1,6.

Lorenzen, Coral E. The Great Flying Saucer Hoax: The UFO Facts and Their Interpretation. New York: William-Frederick Press, 1962. Revised edition as Flying Saucers: The Startling Evidence of the Invasion from Outer Space. New York: New American Library, 1966.

"Brazilian Official Report on the Trindade UFO." Fate 18,3 (March 1965): 38-48.

Menzel, Donald H. Letter to Richard H. Hall (November 27, 1959). Menzel, Donald H., and Lyle G. Boyd. The World of Flying Saucers:A Scientific Examination of a Major Myth of the Space Age.Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1963.

Menzel, Donald H., and Ernest H. Taves. The UFO Enigma: The Definitive Explanation of the UFO Phenomenon. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1977.

"New Evidence on IGY Photos." The A.P.R..0. Bulletin (January 1965): 1,3-8.

Smith, Willy. "Trindade Revisited." International UFO Reporter 8,4 (July/August 1983): 3-5,14.

"UFOs in Latin America." In Hilary Evans with John Spencer, eds. UFOs 1947-1987: The 40-Year Search for an Explanation, 97-113. London: Fortean Tomes, 1987.

"UFO Photo Certified by Brazilian Navy Labeled a Hoax by USAF." The UF0 Investigator 1,10 (July/August 1960): 3.


1958  -  Kaizuka, Japan



One of the many UFO photographs taken in Japan. This one shows an object over Kaizuka in 1958.


May 17, 1958  -  Giant Rock, California, USA



This picture was taken by Trevor James Constable, using high speed infrared film in a Leica G camera without a filter. At the bottom left of the picture is a ridge adjoining Giant Rock, California. The photograph was shot 'in first light of dawn,' and the 'UFO' or 'critter' was not visible to the naked eye. See Constable's book, "The Cosmic Pulse of Life."


June 18, 1959  -  Waikiki, Hawaii

Project Blue Book Files


Here is one of the most breathtaking photos ever taken of a UFO, Joseph Sigel of Bellevue, Washington, took it June 18, 1959 in Waikiki, Hawaii, the same day that the blue book "unkown" case 6400 happened at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The original is a color photograph. Saucer appears to have rounded top, and twinkling lights at bottom, giving window effect. Sent to Project Blue Book team. It was evaluated as sun glare on lens, though from shadows on shore sun seems to be at camera's rear.

Nevertheless, the photograph has been discussed at the UFO symposium for the Congressional Hearings of 1968 by Dr. Robert N. Sheppard, who pointed out possible similarities with other UFO photographs.