Friday, November 12, 2010

The "Cumberland Spaceman"

Here is an interesting documentary on this famous photograph which reveals some unusual information on this photograph. To learn more about this case look HERE

On May 23, 1964, Jim Templeton, a former fireman from Carlisle in the North of England and a keen photographer, took his wife and 5 years old young daughter out to on Burgh Marsh overlooking the Solway Firth estuary eight miles west of Carlisle in Cumbria, UK, to take some photographs. They parked and walked out over the grassy expanse.
"...all the animals on that particular day were away on the other end of the marsh, all huddled together, as though they'd been frightened..."
Jim Templeton
There were sheep and cows grazing on the far side of the marsh, which Jim related later as being fairly unusual as normally the cattle would be scattered across the area, and a couple of old ladies knitting in a car parked at the roadside 300 to 400 yards away. The weather was warm and sunny, and everything seemed normal. At a good spot they decided to take a photograph of his daughter in her new dress sitting with a bunch of hand-picked flowers. The snap taken, they moved off and took many more pictures of the walk.
Some days later Mr Templeton got his photographs processed by the chemist, who said that it was a pity that the man who had walked past had spoilt the best shot of Elizabeth holding a bunch of flowers. Jim was puzzled. There had been nobody else on the marshes nearby at the time. But sure enough, on the picture in question there was something odd: overlooking her left shoulder, at a canted angle, was what appeared to be a man in a spacesuit. This figure was either extremely tall and capable of leaning off balance quite comfortably or was floating in the air. The figure did not reappear in any of the other photographs. Neither Jim nor his wife nor his daughter had seen anyone near them at the time of the photograph, let alone a tall man in a spacesuit.

Source: BBC TV program "Secrets of the Paranormal" presented by Jenny Randles
Summary: Mr Jim Templeton, who was at the time with the Cumbrian Fire Brigade, took his daughter onto the marshes nearby to have her photograph taken in her new frock.

The case was reported to the police and taken up by Kodak, the film manufacturers, who offered free film for life to anyone who could solve the mystery when their experts failed. Kodak had investigated Jim Templeton's film and tested it for all known photographic faults and tampering. They believed the image to be genuine, so they decided to offer a reward to anyone who could explain the mysterious photograph. It has not been claimed. It was not, as the police at first guessed, a simple double exposure with one negative accidentally printed on top of another during processing. It was, as Chief Superintendent Oldcorn quickly concluded, just "one of those things... a freak picture."

Not long afterwards the editor of the Cumberland News newspaper contacted Jim and asked if he could borrow the negative to send a copy out to Australia. Apparently the photograph had appeared in the press there and staff working at the Woomera test range area in Southern Australia had seen it. Jim was told that the day after he took his photograph, a Blue Streak space rocket was due to be launched from Woomera in Australia. The countdown was postponed when two automatic survey camera had independently spotted two large figures in the firing area during the countdown phase. They were very similar in appearance to Jim's mysterious visitor. At the time of the launch, the photograph had not reached Australia and the staff had no knowledge of the bizarre image.


  1. Hi

    As an Australian researcher, I would be very interested in hearing any further details or sources for the Woomera end of this story. I may be contacted at

    See my blog posts at

    Thank you.

  2. Hi

    I have now posted the results of my research on the 5 June 1964 Blue Streak rocket UFO film at:

    Happy reading.

  3. It was not, as the police at first guessed, a simple double exposure with one negative accidentally printed on top of another during processing.

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