Jim Templeton, Sollway Spaceman

Published: Thursday, 29 May 2014 , contact Patrick on Facebook or Email.

According to David Bowie, there is a starman waiting in the sky! That may be true, but 50 years ago there might have been a spaceman having his photo taken at Burgh Marsh which overlooks the Solway Firth.

On the 23rd May 1964, the late Jim Templeton, a firefighter, was taking photos of his daughter on a family day out. He took three photographs, two of which were perfectly normal. However, the third is bizarre because it seems to show a spaceman in the background. Jim did not see the figure when he took the photo, nor was there anyone nearby. Experts at Kodak confirmed the image was genuine i.e.; something had been there at the time the photo was taken. Then things got really weird. Unsurprisingly, the press were fascinated by the image and soon it became known all over the world. After the photograph was published, Jim claimed to be visited by two men who said they were from the government but who refused to show any identification. Jim said:

"They said they worked for the government and that they were only identified by number".

Jim also believed that a Blue Streak missile launch in South Australia had been aborted because, according to technicians, two figures the same as the one in his photo were seen on the firing range. Not everyone is convinced: David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam University, thinks the spaceman is, in fact, Jim's wife. David commented that:

 "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 was wearing a pale blue dress, which was overexposed as white and she also had dark, bobbed hair. Using photo software to darken the image and straighten the horizon, the spaceman seems to be a normal person viewed from behind. Spaceman or simply spaced out, what do you think?

Jim Templeton, Sollway Spaceman
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