UFO Conjectures

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Persistent Mystery

Below is the so-called “spaceman” photograph taken by James Templeton near Burgh Marsh, situated near Burgh by Sands and overlooking the Solway Firth in Cumbria, England.

The photo was taken exactly one month after the alleged UFO sighting by Lonnie Zamora in Socorro, New Mexico [April 24th, 1964].

Blowup of original photo

Most of the original photo

Our contributor Anthony Bragalia deals with the photo in his UFO Photo Hoaxes in an earlier post here (below).

Mr. Bragalia contends the “spaceman” is, in reality, a jogger running up the hill that Mr. Templeton’s daughter was pictured upon.

(And Mr. Bragalia may now be suggesting that the image is that of a beekeeper, one of many who reside in the Cumberland area.)

We don’t find Mr. Bragalia’s suggestions to be satisfactory.

And we don’t think that James Templeton created a fake photograph.

Some -- see the comments section following Mr. Bragalia’s discourse, especially those of TemplarScribe – tie the photograph to an incident in Australia involving a missile test that was concomitant with a missile facility near the site of the photo.

Others believe the photo is actually that of a visiting spaceman, invisible to human eyes but caught by the exigencies of the photo camera.

None of the suggested explanations resonate with us, so we’ll be pursuing the incident further of course. (It’s truly intriguing.)

Meanwhile, what is your take on the photo?


Jim Templeton on his photo:

Analysis of photo environment:


  • Things like this rarely exist alone. We seldom take out a camera, snap one shot, pack it up and leave. I would like to see the additional frames of film, the full frame of this one, and a high res scan of it. This person fancies himself a photographer and therefore understands that one shot is never sufficient; you bracket at the very least. Others surely exist. Once we examine those, we can begin to determine what the image might truly depict. If these are unavailable then I would surmise there simply isn't enough information to make a proper decision. We can at least say it appears to be a human(oid) in a white garment, with arms akimbo, wearing something on its head. Much of it is likely blocked by the child's body. It is sunny. There is green grass and little else. The girl is holding flowers.

    For my money, I'm not as turned off by either the beekeeper or the jogger hypotheses, but I'll argue its robust build seems too manly for the head covering to be a "scarf".

    By Blogger Cullan Hudson, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • C:

    Don Ecsedy, in comments for Bragalia's post, hints at something amiss also.

    Your suggestions, if brought to fruition, would go a long way to resolving the mystery.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • I've always thought it's likely some sort of what Bob Ross used to call a "happy accident". My notion is that it's not a person, or being, but debris of some sort. I studied skeletal and muscular anatomy for months in my chosen profession as an artist, and I don't see consistency in an anatomical sense. I think it's a tangent form a pareidolia (in that we're think we're seeing the whole upper torso.

    On the other hand, or rather the whole other side of the argument, it could be unrelated to "spacemen" and all that - but more closely related to an apparition of some sort. Not of the dead, but a mirage in time - perhaps a time yet to come. Think wormhole ala David Rountree.

    I'll stick with the first one for now...but one can't rule out the extraordinary from it. I'd sure like a nice high res scan myself.

    By Anonymous Jeff Ritzmann, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • J:

    Yes, a nice high resolution scan would be nice, but one has to cope with they have in hand, and the photo, as it exists (online), can be deciphered, enough to make some educated determination(s) surely.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • Rich,

    Note that the head shot is elongated vertically compared to the full frame. Probably an error in scanning or resizing. Or, considering it is from the UK, possibly an Amiga computer was involved. Amiga pixels had different dimensions, so moving images between it to the pc platform required care in resizing.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • D:

    We found a source where a better reproduction of the photo is said to exist.

    We hope to locate that photo and put online, here and elsewhere.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • I've added a short interview of Jim Templeton to the post above (and a drawing of the photo's venue with analytical hints).

    Watching and listening to Mr. Templeton, does he strike you as a guy who would commit a hoax?

    I don't think so.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • Some info that supports Tony's position. I had read a story that Templeton's camera was a "Kodak reflex", but in the photo showing him and his wife with the camera, based on the shape of the lens it is a Pentacon. If so, it is likely that it doesn't have an instant return mirror.

    Looking through the viewfinder of an slr is looking through the lens via a mirror. Nothing else is in your field of view.

    With an slr there's a momentary blackout when the shutter is pressed and the mirror moves up and blocks the view, then returns.

    However, Templeton's camera -- and this is true for other early slrs -- did not have an instant return mirror. The film had to be advanced (the shutter cocked) before the mirror returned.

    So, looking through the viewfinder would cut off anything moving into the frame, and upon releasing the shutter, the view would be black, until the film was advanced.

    Amateurs often fail to notice things in the background as relevant to their picture because they are not visualizing the scene they are photographing in the two dimensions it will have when printed (which can result in the forced perspective effect).

    Mr Templeton could have missed the "jogger" altogether fairly easily.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • Don:

    Mr. Templeton's actual camera is shown in the YouTube clip of him added to the post above.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • RR: Mr. Templeton's actual camera is shown in the YouTube clip of him added to the post above.

    That looks like a Pentacon D or F. If so, it would not have an instant return mirror...at least as far as I know. Soviet Bloc camera history isn't anything I'm expert on.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • And Don, I get the impression that you're working on some kind of hypothesis regarding Mr. Templeton and his photo.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • RR: "And Don, I get the impression that you're working on some kind of hypothesis regarding Mr. Templeton and his photo"


    This video identifies the camera and the film, but especially, about 18 seconds in, is another photo from that day. To our left of his daughter, the lower left, you will see a discoloration with a straight left edge. An expert could identify the cause. It may be a reflection from within the lens barrel due to the angle the light is coming in. Can't say for certain, myself.

    So, we know there was a problem with his camera or lens that day. It may explain the curiosities I mentioned in the girl's waist area. The 'unphotograph-like' appearance of the curiosities and the presence of processing artifacts could build a case for a deliberate hoax, but I would not do that without better evidence. As it is, his camera, lens, or film is likely the cause of the problems I see.

    One of the videos you posted demonstrates the distance and rise of the hill. We can tell from the full frame photo that the photographer is below the subject. This may account for forced perspective without a short telephoto, if the figure is a "jogger". Combined with using the eyelevel viewfinder, which if it is anything like other finders of the era was not large or bright, along with the lack of an instant return mirror, strengthens Tony's position.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • Don:

    I suggest you see the latest post about this, at the top of the blog.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • Don and RR,

    You both seem to forget that Templeton's wife was with him that day, and both would have to have been negelectful at exactly the same moment to have missed an intruding figure behind their daughter. They both stated the three of them were the only ones in the area, and with the ocean behind them, there is no track or path for any "jogger" to be following.

    Forgive me for venturing into the impossible, but let's assume that you can agree with me on some things:

    Let's assume for the moment that we eventually, months or years from now, agree that the figure in the background is really there, and is not an artifact of the film (which as I mentioned at the other site, would have very likely been uncovered by Kodak's own experts, or the numerous outside analysts lured by the offer of free film for life).

    Let's also assume that the fact that the figure is leaning at a very peculiar angle, one that a jogger would have a hard time maintaining on what appears to be flat ground into the distance, indicates something out-of-the-ordinary, such as floating (as others suggest) or even localized anti-gravity.

    Let's also assume that the all-white outfit, from top of the head down through the forearms and perhaps down to the waist, indicates something other than a normal jogging suit (which other posters have pointed out were not in normal use in England in 1964 in any case), but something of a protective nature, as a non-terrestrial would use.

    Let's also accept, again for sake of argument, that the images filmed at Woorama test range the next day by security cameras -- described as two tall figures in white -- are connected in some way to this figure, the connection being that a facility located a few miles up the road from where the picture was taken was building the very same Blue Streak missiles that Woomera was testing. This connection, BTW, is supported in part by MOD files Jenny Randles uncovered.

    Let's assume everything you are arguing against is true: that this is in fact an image of a figure that was invisible to both the photographer and his wife, as well as the military and scientists at Woomera, but was captured by Templeton's camera and the Woomera cameras.

    Then the 600 pound gorilla that no one is addressing is this: what the heck was an invisible humanoid, obviously interested in the Blue Streak missile, doing running away (or floating away) from a cameraman and his family miles away from the missile facility?

    Was he ignorant of his invisibility being uncovered by simple 60's-era cameras? Or did he want to be photographed, desirous of leaving behind a record of their interest?

    These are the real questions, I feel, we should be asking ourselves. I understand that this requires a tremendous leap of faith, and the bypassing of many levels of proof. But I expect any real evidence has long since been destroyed by the MOD, who were accused of removing other frames from Templeton's rolls of film, as well as being behind missing canisters of film from Woomera.

    This may not be a leap of faith you can make. But until we have access to the originals, or of the Kodak files, our speculation might as well include what I believe to be an authentic image of an anomalous figure, and what his (it's?) motives were.


    By Blogger TemplarScribe, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • Yes, TS...

    Your points are valid, indeed, and completely acceptable to me.

    It's the Blue Streak episode in Australia that makes the photo and incident near Solway Firth so very interesting.

    They (Australia and Solway Firth) are co-joined, as far as I'm concerned, which makes the episode worthy of further scrutiny.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • RR said, "It's the Blue Streak episode in Australia that makes the photo and incident near Solway Firth so very interesting."

    My feeling exactly.

    Moreover, if this was an invisible figure, but visible on film, does this mean he was oblivious to being photographed, or was he intentionally intruding for reasons unknown?

    One more incident of interest: the recent police officer who observed three tall figures in a crop circle, who ran from him as he approached, before disappearing.

    If I recall, the officer noted that they jumped and bounded into the air as they ran, almost as if gravity somehow affected them differently.


    More discussion, I'm sure, tomorrow, but for now, I have a different deadline. Later!


    By Blogger TemplarScribe, at Friday, October 22, 2010  

  • To all,

    Following my comments last night -- that the Solway Spaceman, his unnatural movements and his clothing bore a strong resemblance to the three Men in White (MIW) spotted investigating a crop circle near Silbury Hill in July, 2009, I did some further research. I contacted Colin Andrews, who gave me permission to quote from his copywritten interview with the witness, an off-duty Wiltshire police sergeant (available in full at http://www.colinandrews.net/UFO-PoliceSergeant-SilburyHill.html and the following page).

    Colin includes an article from the Wiltshire Daily Press that summarizes the event:

    "The contact, who doesn't want to be named, was driving past Silbury Hill early Monday morning, July 6 (2009), when he saw three figures in the formation there.

    "At first he thought they were forensic officers as they were dressed in white coveralls. He stopped his car and approached the field. The figures were all over 6ft and had blond hair. They seemed to be inspecting the crop.

    "When he got to the edge of the field he heard what he believed to be a sound not dissimilar to static electricity. This crackling noise seemed to be running through the field and the crop was moving gently close to where the noise was.

    "He shouted to the figures who, at first, ignored him, not glancing at him. When he tried to enter the field they looked up and began running. He said, 'They ran faster than any man I have ever seen. I'm no slouch but they were moving so fast. I looked away for a second and when I looked back they were gone..."

    Colin's interview also uncovered that the sergeant observed "they moved very fast, as if you were watching a video or DVD in fast forward mode ...When I (Colin) asked whether they ran away out of sight or disappeared he was adamant they disappeared."

    The discussion covered the possibility that the MIW might have stepped over a nearby ridgeline, to which the sergeant was equally adamant that it wasn't the case.

    I include this event to show that tall figures in all-white clothing, at once showing an interest in mundane Earthly matters yet simultaneously exhibiting the ability to move unnaturally and even become invisible to human senses, is not unheard of. The Silbury event, also witnessed by a reliable source (a serving police sergeant with nothing to gain, and with enough to lose that he still wishes to remain unnamed), suggests that what Mr. Templeton witnessed, and perhaps was also captured at the Woomera test range, represents an interested non-terrestrial group which still maintains a presence on our world.

    If you're predisposed, Colin's article also includes a reference to the writings of USAF Airman Charles J. Hall, author of the "Millennial Hospitality" trilogy. In his books and other research, Mr. Hall has called these ETs the Tall Whites, "(who) are in adulthood around six feet in height and...look quite human, except that their skin is a chalky-white in color ...The typical clothing of the Tall Whites is an aluminized, chalk-white jump suit of canvas-looking fabric. They also wear gloves of the same material, and an open, white, motorcycle-like helmet."

    I can neither confirm nor deny that such a description may be based on the well-known Solway image, but can only place this last bit in the "Hmmm..." bin.


    By Blogger TemplarScribe, at Saturday, October 23, 2010  

  • Although Jogging has been around since humanity could stand upright - as a pastime or aid to keeping fit it did not take off until the late 1960's in Britain. Templeton's image came first. Although Boxers and certain athletes jogged as a means of keeping fit the ordinary public didn't get involved until Bill Bowermans 'Jogging Manual' came out in 1966. I think this sways the argument against a jogger straying into the image. As for a 'Beekeeper'? Well it's public land and quite simply there would be no Beehives on publicly accessible land.

    By Blogger Planet Flipside, at Sunday, October 24, 2010  

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