UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Solway Spaceman [Redux]

Esteemed folklorist and British academic David Clarke addresses the Solway Space photo again, after the recent [11/27/2011] death of James Templeton, who captured the strange image, and which we discussed here at some length last year.


Click HERE for Dr. Clarke's report


  • I have always wondered why the mystery image was known as a "spaceman". Why was this? Also, why was this incident ever connected with UFOs?

    The likely answer, as Dave Clarke says, is that it occurred during the UFO era during a 'quiet' period. It also occurred near to a rocket proving area (not actually near, but near enough). Then there was the Blue Streak launch at Woomera soon after which somehow got linked to the photo. Then there was the story of the two mystery agents, i.e. 'Men in Black', associated with it.

    Together these all added up, in ufologists' eyes to another incident involving UFOs, secret agents, threats to the witness, a rocket launch 10,000 miles away with another 'mystery' object seen, and so on.

    Finally, there were those (supposedly) missing files from the UK National Archives.

    It all made a perfect case for the conspiracists. It sounded good and the photograph defied all attempts to explain it.

    Dave Clarke has done a reasonable hatchet job on it. Tony Bragalia did one hatchet job before (but with a different angle on the photo).

    In the end no UFO was ever seen! Neither was any humanoid being. But what a convoluted story came out of it. It is a perfect example of how a series of occurrences, or alleged occurrences, can be woven together to form a marvellous conspiracy tale.

    Yet to this day we still cannot be certain what the photo depicts.

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, March 23, 2012  

  • Yes, CDA, the photo fascinates and remains unexplained.

    The "photographer" Jim Templeton is above reproach, so a hoax may be ruled out.

    It is one of many things with a UFO patina but no actual connection to UFOs, as you note.

    It is interesting all by itself.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 23, 2012  

  • I can't believe the story still includes the element that "no one else was there" when we know for sure that Templeton's wife and other daughter were there. One of them could easily have strolled into view behind the girl while Templeton prepared the camera for the photo without him taking note of it.

    I'm absolutely convinced that the "spaceman" is one of the two (wife or other daughter) perhaps wearing a silk scarf on her head.

    And she is not necessarily wearing white - in another photo from that day, his other daughter's flower-patterned dress dress is partially "whited out" by the sun while she is fairly close to the camera. Perhaps being farther from the camera, along with the camera setting, increased that effect.

    Just knowing that there were two other people in the immediate vicinity (as opposed to "nobody", as the story is usually told) that could account for the image greatly decreases the mystery, in my eyes.

    By Blogger Matt G. (NYC), at Friday, March 23, 2012  

  • Matt:

    You provide an interesting glitch in the story, which diminishes the photo for you.

    Th scarf on the head of Templeton's wife is a stretch for me, but continuing to report that no one else was in the vicinity detracts from the veracity of the usual account certainly.

    However, any person taking a photo, for posterity, which Templeton was doing I think, would likely make sure that it was free of unnecessary detritus.

    But we've all seen trees or telephone poles growing out of the heads of family members snapped by enthusiastic camera buffs, so the possibility of Templeton missing an "intruder" is not out of the question.

    Also, his wife (or someone else) may have been on the downside of the hill behind his daughter and a kind of parallax took place via the camera lens -- no one ever bothered to check if that was a possibility.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 23, 2012  

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