During the filming, Mr. Newhouse changed the iris stop of the camera from f/8 to f/16. The film was submitted to Navy authorities, who forwarded it to the Air Force at ATIC in Dayton, Ohio, where it was studied for several months.
According to Mr. Newhouse, frames of the movie showing a single UFO moving away over the horizon (hence providing some ranging information) were missing when the film was returned.
The hypothesis that the objects were out of focus sea gulls was considered by the Air Force, but could neither be confirmed nor denied. The report of Photogrammetric analysis by Dr. Robert M.L. Baker, Jr., Douglas Aircraft Corporation (which included a study of the 1950 Montana film) also examined this possibility. He states:
“The motion of the objects is not exactly what one would expect from a flock of soaring birds, not the slightest indication of a decrease in brightness due to periodic turning with the wind or flapping.”
Dr. Baker reports that no definite conclusion could be reached, but “the evidence remains rather contradictory and no single hypothesis of a natural phenomenon yet suggested seems to completely account for the UFO involved.”