UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Dec > Dec 23

Re: Trent Photos Deemed 'Hoax'

From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2012 16:16:49 -0500 (EST)
Archived: Sun, 23 Dec 2012 08:09:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Trent Photos Deemed 'Hoax'

>From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 15:39:28 -0800
>Subject: Re: Trent Photos Deemed 'Hoax'

>>Tony Bragalia has 'determined' that Trent hoaxed his photos
>>because more photos on the same roll of film* show his 9 year-
>>old son standing on a ladder in the same yard with the same
>>cloud cover.


>>*Note that one commenter to Bragalia's Blog stated that the shot
>>of Trent's son was taken by Life magazine not Trent.

>More than one commentator on Bragalia's blog and
>ufocon.blogspot.com has noted that the shot of Trent's son was
>in fact taken by the LIFE photographer. I likewise noted that
>FACT over on Kevin Randle's blog today.

>The LIFE Trent photoshoot used to be on Google images, but has
>been removed for some reason. The Trent son on the ladder was
>clearly part of the photoshoot, complete with the LIFE
>"watermark" at the bottom of the photo.

>So far Tony Bragalia has not acknowledged he is dead wrong about

I agree that the "ladder shot" was by the LIFE photographer who
took many pictures of the Trents and their house and nearby

David Rudiak has presented his typically erudite response to
Bragalia and Randle. Here is my response... written years
before Bragalia and Randle leapt into the "McMinnvile Photo



and two related papers with mostly technical details:



Unlike the critics, I spoke numerous times with Evelyn Trent
during the main period of my investigation (1974 - 1977, 1980

I was able to check on numerous aspects of the sighting as
reported in initial news articles and also I learned from her
various other details which had not been reported. But perhaps
of more importance is that I got a "sense of the person" through
hours (roughly 20 hours) of conversation with Mrs. Trent over
that time span. (I asked to speak to Paul but he wore a hearing
aide and didn't like to talk on the phone.)

I also collected information from other investigators who had
direct contact with the Trents. These people are listed and
their opinions presented in the above web paper.

One of the most important people to speak to the Trents was
the first person to interview the them about a month after
they were taken, Bill Powell, photo editor of the
newspaper - Telephone Register.

Powell interviewed the Trents at their house, retrieved the
negatives from under the couch where the kids were playing with
them and took them back to the newspaper office. According to
Powell, when I interviewed him in the mid-70's, he "blew them up
every which way and couldn't figure out how they faked them" or
words to that effect. But perhaps his most important statement
to me was his succinct evaluation of the liklihood that the
pictures were faked: "I finally decided that the pictures must
be real because they're too stupid (to have faked them)," with
some emphasis on the last three words. (In previous public
presentations to avoid embarrassing anyone I have used the
phrase "too mentally challenged" to fake the pictures.)

In this case there are two types of evidence: "hard" physical
and "soft" circumstantial. A lawyer once told me that a case is
usually NOT made based on the physical evidence because experts
on the evidence can always be disputed by other experts.
Instead, the case is made by the circumstantial evidence
history, personality, motive, ability, etc.)

In this photo case there is physical evidence that could prove
the UFO was distant (ca. several thousand feet) and large (ca.
30 ft) and therefore not a hoax, as pointed out by Bill Hartmann
(Condon Report photoanalyst). The evidence is in the relative
brightness of the bottom of the UFO image. Hartmann's "Nobel
Prize" idea was that the shaded bottom of the UFO image was
brighter than one would expect from the bottom of a nearby (ca
16 ft) model (ca. 5" diameter), even if the bottom were as
bright as a white paper. Using a conventional atmospheric
optical calculation based on data from the negative of the photo
he estimated the distance.

His conclusion was that the object was distant. Robert Sheaffer
pointed out that "veiling glare" due to the lens (optical light
scattering or thin layer of dirt/grease on the lens) could
increase the brightness of shaded areas of the image. He made a
qualitative argument which, through research, I improved upon
and even quantified. I demonstrated that veiling glare was large
enough to account for the increased brightness if there were no
other optical effects contributing to the brightness.

Then I realized that there was another effect that had not been
incorporated in Hartmann's calculation. Hartmann had measured
the relative brightness of the image of a distant vertical white
house wall and equated that to the relative brightness of the
horizontal bottom surface of the UFO if it had a white bottom. I
measured the relative brightness of a white house wall and the
relative brightness of a white horizontal surface seen from
below and found that the horizontal surface was about half as
bright as the house wall. When this factor was included in the
calculation the effect of the veiling glare was "cancelled" and
the result was a distance comparable to what Hartmann found.

(NOTE: if the bottom were dark or copper colored as reported by
the witnesses the calculation would have yielded an even greater
distance and size.)

Thus Hartmann's calculation was vindicated: even if the bottom
were white the distance was large.

However, I realized that it could still be a nearby model if the
bottom were a source of light. It could not be a single
flashlight inside a model with a white paper bottom because that
bottom brightness is uniform. It would have to be more like a
translucent model such as made out of paper and having the shape
as shown in the photo.

The main point is that it was possible to imagine that the
Trents had made a model that satisfied Hartmann's calculation
even though nearby.

Basically, the photos don't offer positive proof of UFO reality
because one can always imagine that the Trents were clever
enough, or lucky enough to create a model that appears to be
distant. As I discovered years ago, the main value of a photo is
as an aide to the witness when describing the reported object.
Only in a very rare case would a UFO photo contain an absolutely
unfakable UFO image(a movie or video would be harder to fake).

That leaves the circumstantial evidence. What is the liklihood
that they would think of faking a UFO photo, and if they did
think of it, what is the liklihood that they would go to the
trouble of doing it and making up a story about it and so on and
maintaining that story "until death?"

The answers to these questions lie in the life story of the
Trents. IMHO faking a UFO sighting, or faking anything, is not
compatible with the character and life history of the Trents.
The circumstantial evidence is presented in detail in the above
referenced article.

After all is said and done I would say to the
skeptics, believe what you will.

As for me, IMHO it was real.

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



These contents above are copyright of the author and
UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced
without the express permission of both parties and
are intended for educational use only.

[ Next Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com