In 1964, Jim Templeton was enjoying an afternoon with his daughter. The two were at Burgh Marsh, which overlooks Solway Firth in Cumbria, England. Typical to any parent hoping to capture a moment in time, Templeton took a picture of his daughter. However, what resulted from that photo has become one of the most highly debated topics of ufologists and conspiracy theorists.
The resulting photo shows Templeton’s daughter, sitting calmly and smiling at the camera, with what appears to be a man in an astronaut suit in the background. Templeton claims that there was no such man when he took the photo, and he obviously would have noticed such a strange individual. The photo, since being released into the public, has come to be known as the Solway Firth Spaceman, the Solway Spaceman, and the Cumberland Spaceman.
I took the picture to the police in Carlisle who, after many doubts, examined it and stated there was nothing suspicious about it. The local newspaper, the Cumberland News, picked up the story and within hours it was all over the world. The picture is certainly not a fake, and I am as bemused as anyone else as to how this image appeared in the background. Over the four decades the photo has been in the public domain, I have had many thousands of letters from all over the world with various ideas or possibilities – most of which make little sense to me.
After the photo was published, Templeton says he was visited by two men, who claimed to be from Her Majesty’s Government. However, the men refused to show any forms of identification, and they referred to each other as numbers rather than names. The men asked Templeton about the weather and the local bird activity on the day of the photograph. When the questions were through, they drove Templeton out to the site, where they tried to force him to admit to falsifying the photo. He rejected and the men became angry, leaving Templeton stranded.
Throughout the four decades that this photo has swarm the mainstream media, Templeton claims he has never once received any financial return, nor has he ever hoped to. His only hope is to one day discover the mystery that lies behind this seemingly innocent photo.
When interviewed by the BBC, Templeton said, “Who is he? Where’s he from? Those are the two questions we want answered.”
As if the photo is not strange enough, a Blue Streak missile launch at the Woomera Test Range, located in Australia, was aborted due to the sighting of two large men seen on the firing range. The men looked exactly the same as the Solway Firth Spaceman – same build, same size, and same suit. At the time, the technicians working on the missile had not known about the Solway Firth Spaceman sighting; Australian newspapers had not yet printed the story.