Mintaka III was the inhabited third planet in the Mintaka system. This was the homeworld to the Mintakans, a pre-warp-capable proto-Vulcan humanoid species. It was also home to the non-sentient hornbuck.
By 2366, the Federation had been covertly observing the Mintakans on the planet for several years. That year, the existence of the anthropological team recording their behavior was exposed to the Mintakans when the generator powering their duck blind malfunctioned. As a result the team suffered several injuries and two fatalities, and during the course of their retrieval by the USS Enterprise-D the cultural contamination was worsened when several Mintakans witnessed the Federation's use of their advanced technology which they assumed was the power of the god they called 'The Picard'. (TNG: "Who Watches The Watchers")
Later that same year, when Captain, Jean-Luc Picard was kidnapped and held along with three other individuals of other species, one of which was actually one of the kidnappers posing as a Bolian Starfleet cadet named Mitena Haro, her knowledge of the Enterprise's visit to Mintaka III led him to realize she might be an imposter. (TNG: "Allegiance")