Retired fire fighter Jim Templeton died on 27 November last year. His name will mean little to all but the more ardent students of Forteana and UFOlogy. But the ‘freak’ photograph he took in May 1964 on the Solway Marshes, in Cumbria, has been reproduced across the world in numerous TV programmes, books and magazines during the past half century.
The photo depicts a strange white-suited ‘spaceman’ standing, or floating, at an odd angle behind his five-year-old daughter Elizabeth, who is posing with a bunch of flowers in the foreground. It was taken using an SLR camera loaded with Kodacolor film which was processed by Kodak. Despite numerous attempts to explain the photograph it continues to remain one of the most puzzling anomalous images ever taken. It was, apparently, examined by the CID branch at Carlisle police station and by RAF experts at the Air Ministry.
But new facts have recently come to light that put a new twist on Jim’s story about a subsequent visit from two mysterious ‘Men In Black’ who he believed had been sent by the British government.
In a letter published by the Daily Mail on 13 December 2002, Jim wrote: ‘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 people all over the world with various ideas or possibilities – most of which made little sense to me.’