1960′s, England – A local Cumbrian man takes one of the most extraordinary UFO photo’s – ever.
It was May 23, 1964 and a local Cumbrian (UK) firefighter called - Jim Templeton took his wife and daughter to Burgh Marsh an area of natural beauty approximately eight miles west of Carlisle, Northern England. Before Jim Templeton set foot there, Burgh Marsh’s claim to fame was as the site where King Edward I died of dysentery in 1307 on his way back from Scotland.
Jim who was an amateur photographer wanted to take some photos of their daughter Elizabeth with his Kodak SLR – (KODAcolour X at 100th of a second at f16). She posed for him sitting on the grass for one of what was to become one of the most remarkable photographic mysteries ever.
As best as I have been able to pin down from interviews with Jim, this is very near to the location of the photo on the Marsh. Strangely enough, the location of the photo is marked out by a huge concrete arrow, which the bomber crews used in practice runs, during WWII :
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A few days later, whilst popping into the local chemist to pickup the newly developed snaps the chemist remarked to Jim that the photo’s had come out well. Here is one of the three :
But, the chemist remarked, it was a pity about one of the photo’s spoiled by the man in the background wearing white, like a Spacesuit. Jim looked at the picture in question and this is what he saw :
The figure appeared to be standing right behind Elizabeth, how had Jim not noticed this bizarre tall figure encroaching his shot?
Jim and his family swore that they never saw another person on the marsh (bar two old ladies sitting in a car on the road), and this mysterious figure wasn’t in any of the other photographs Jim had taken.
He had snapped three pictures and only the middle photo of the three, had this figure on it.
The story could have ended there but word soon got round and the photo made the local and then national papers. The photo was also passed to the Carlisle police and then sent on to Penrith where photographic experts studied it and finally, Kodak – who checked the camera for faults and the original negative for signs of tampering, they found no trickery or over exposure.
The photograph made its way down under and was published in Australian newspapers, soon after. The newspaper contacted Jim and requested a copy of the negative of the picture.
Shortly after this, Jim reported that a Technician from the Blue Streak project in Australia contacted him and told him had spotted similar looking unauthorised figures in white, wandering around the launchpad, during an aborted countdown on May 23rd.
Woomera, Australia was the launch site of a big space project called Blue Streak. When the site was checked later by security staff, no person or tracks could be found, the operator who had reported the incident was sent on leave.
This freaky incident allegedly happened within hours of Jim snapping his photograph, on the otherside of the world.
Later, Jim learned that rockets used for the Blue Streak project were being manufactured at RAF Spadeadam, England about 25 miles from Burgh Marsh.
The picture and negative was exhaustively examined by Police and then Kodak’s experts for any signs of tampering or hoax but none could be found. They then
offered a reward of free film for a year to any person that could solve the mystery as to how this figure got into the picture. To this day the reward lies unclaimed.
This is where the legend of the Cumberland Spaceman was born.
Stranger still, Jim was visited by two strangers wearing dark suits who claimed to be Government officials, who drove a dark Jaguar. They pulled Jim out of his day job to take them and show them the site where the photo was taken.
They asked Jim specific questions about the weather, had he seen any local people or animal activity on the day. They then tried to get Jim to admit that it was all just a big hoax, to which Jim refused to admit. It was at that point they drove off and left him and it was a five mile hike back to the firestation where Jim worked.
Australian reporters wanted to view the blue streak film taken on May 23rd, but were told it was missing from the archive where it was stored.
About a year later, Jim and Elizabeth returned to the marsh and took more photo’s. They sent them off as normal but the negatives were returned unprocessed. For a while, Jim said he had to send photos to be processed under the name of his neighbours.
The only known fact in this case, is the photo has never been conclusively proved to be fake and Jim has never attempted to make any serious money from it.
Now read my own investigations into the Spaceman incident below :
Investigations Into The Solway Spaceman Photo- My Own Investigation
Spaceman/Woomera/Blue Streak incident – The Spaceman On The Launch Pad In Australia
The Men In Black Visit Jim Templeton – A look at the MIB incident
Jim Templeton – Bio/Obituary
Have a look at my own investigation into the Spaceman photo here.
Check out this video of the incident from Disclose.tv taken from a UK UFO program presented by Jenny Randles. Featuring an interview with Jim Templeton.
Also of interest taken from the News and Star website 13 August 2011
An MoD official recently responded to the paper in regard to MOD Files on the incident, that the Templeton photo was of no interest to the MoD and added: “With regard to a photograph taken of a space-suited figure by Mr James Templeton of Carlisle in 1964, if such information has survived, it will now be open for viewing at The National Archives.”
MOD files were routinely destroyed after five years until 1967 when they were generally preserved for the National Archives. A few have survived before 1967 and these together with records up to 1977 are now available for public viewing.
The National Archives can be contacted at Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU or telephone, 020 8876 3444.
The National Archives also have a website giving information about the records they hold and how to access them at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk. > The Ministry of Defence
Freedom of Information website also contains some released information on UFOs. This can be accessed via the internet at: http://www.mod.uk/defenceinternet/freedomofinformation/publicationscheme