Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.

Elizabeth Templeton
Elizabeth Templeton

The “Cumberland Spaceman” or “Solway Firth Spaceman” is to me a very significant photograph. Much like the Cottingley Fairies, this photograph helped shape my interest in the paranormal and the pursuit of the truth. Unlike the Cottingley Fairies, the Solway Firth Spaceman photograph remains unexplained.

At first I was under the assumption that this was somehow a photograph of a spaceman doll. According to Jim Templeton, there was no such dolls or toys in the area. He did not see any obstructions or anyone else in the frame at the time of the picture, yet when the photographs were developed, it clearly shows a humanoid creature wearing what appears to be a space suit.

Many have claimed that this was just Elizabeth’s spaceman toy/doll that somehow was captured during the posed photograph. Others say that it’s just a complete hoax. Some accomplice dressed up in a very 1960s looking “space suit” and stood in the background. There’s even a video explaining how it could have been made:

The video above does explain the angle and distance of the “spaceman” but it does not explain who or what the spaceman is. So as far as debunking, it does not do the job.
Read the details on the case:

The Solway Firth Spaceman (also known as the Solway Spaceman and the Cumberland Spaceman) refers to a photograph taken in 1964 at Burgh Marsh, situated near Burgh by Sands and overlooking the Solway Firth in Cumbria, England. The image, which shows in the background a white figure in what the photographer Jim Templeton took for a space suit, remains unexplained. While it has been suggested by some that the figure is merely someone with their back to the camera, perhaps wearing a hat or helmet, Templeton insists that he did not see anyone present when the photograph was taken. The image has attracted interest from ufologists and has become a source of international fascination.

On 23 May 1964, Jim Templeton, a firefighter from Carlisle, Cumberland, (now part of Cumbria,) took three photographs of his five-year-old daughter while on a day trip to Burgh Marsh.] The only other people on the marshes that day were a couple of old ladies, and although cows and sheep would have normally been plentiful, they were huddled together at the far end of the marsh. In a letter to the Daily Mail in 2002, Templeton recalled, “I took three pictures of my daughter Elizabeth in a similar pose – and was shocked when the middle picture came back from Kodak displaying what looks like a spaceman in the background.” Templeton insists that he did not see the figure until after his photographs were developed, and analysts at Kodak confirmed that the photograph was genuine.

Elizabeth Templeton
Elizabeth Templeton


Templeton tells of a visit after the photograph was published by two men who, he says, claimed to be from Her Majesty’s Government, but refused to show their identification. He says that they referred to each other as numbers and asked him questions about the weather conditions on the day of the photograph and about the activities of local bird life. They drove Templeton to the marsh, where he says they tried to make him admit that he had in fact photographed a passer by — a suggestion that he strongly rejected. The men then became angry and drove away leaving him stranded on the marsh five miles from home.

Templeton spoke to the Daily Mail in December 2002. He said of the photograph: “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.” Templeton asserted that he had experienced no financial gain as a result of distributing the photograph, nor did he ever pursue it. In an interview recorded for BBC television, Templeton spoke candidly about the photograph, saying: “Who is he? Where’s he from? Those are the two questions we want answered.” The case was also covered in the BBC One series Secrets of the Paranormal, presented by Jenny Randles.

Australian connection

A Blue Streak launch at the Woomera Test Range, using Cumbrian-built weaponry, had been aborted because of two large men seen on the firing range. Technicians at the time did not know about Templeton’s sighting until it appeared on the front page of an Australian Newspaper, and they said that the figure in Cumbria looked the same as the ones they had seen on the monitor at Woomera. Templeton told the BBC that technicians considered the two figures to be “exactly the same type of man: same dress, same figure, same size” as in the original photograph.

Full source: Wikipedia

So what was the Solway Firth Spaceman?
A simple error in photography? a hoax? or an alien visitor?

What I also find interesting is the report of the blue streak launch. Last I heard, the MOD was supposedly launched an investigation to these claims. But due to the department shutting down this year, is any of this information going to be released? or will the cases that have been in “cold” status remain that way?

Have any of you done any research on this case? The information online is vague and contradictory of itself.

  • You are referring to this photo of two men wearing white overalls and hard hats?

  • gdaym8

    Soon (very soon), we WILL discover the truth. Unfortunately, we won’t like “the truth”…………………….

  • Pingback: BBC Documentary: The “Cumberland Spaceman” | Ghost Theory()

  • Dave Thawley

    Its not something stationary because there were 3 pictures and this only appeared in one of them. I am not really into paranormal stuff and I’m guessing this can be explained but it wasn’t a statue

  • RotorRob

    I have looked at this all my life it seems, born in 65, pic in 64, strange is all I can safely say, it looks real but off, the figure I mean.

  • Michael
  • FOL

    Mr. Templeton and other photos taken that day both indicated that his wife, Annie, had worn a blue dress along with a hat and scarf. You can clearly make that out in this professionally adjusted photo:

  • FOL
  • Excellent find.
    Thank you for this.

  • Don Pepe

    Mr. Ortega and readers, just look at this link, there’s the solution:
    This BIIIG mistery has a simple answer, like anything else must!