The Solway Spaceman
While out with his family in 1964 local historian, fireman, and photographer Jim Templeton took three photographs of his five-year-old daughter while at Burgh Marsh overlooking the Solway Firth in Cumbria, England. Templeton claimed the photograph shows a background figure wearing a space suit and insisted that he did not see anyone present when the photograph was taken. The image was reproduced widely in contemporary newspapers and gained the attention of UFO specialists and fans.
Templeton said the only other people on the marshes that day were a couple of old women sitting in a car at the far end of the marsh. In a letter to the Daily Mail in 2002, Templeton stated, “I took three pictures of my daughter Elizabeth in a similar pose – and was shocked when the middle picture came back from Kodak displaying what looks like a spaceman in the background.” Analysts at Kodak confirmed that the photograph was genuine.
In 2014, UFO author David Clarke stated the “spaceman” was most likely Templeton’s wife, Annie, who was present at the time and was seen on other photographs taken that day. “I think for some reason his wife walked into the shot and he didn’t see her because with that particular make of camera you could only see 70% of what was in the shot through the viewfinder”. Annie Templeton was wearing a pale blue dress on the day in question, which was overexposed as white in the other photos; she also had dark bobbed hair. It has been argued that, when using photo software to darken the image and straighten the horizon, the figure increasingly appears to be a regular person viewed from behind.
Today, the picture still fascinates and excites people who want to Believe.