Fact or fiction

Humanoid Invasion. The mystery of one of the most mysterious photographs of the twentieth century

A photograph of a space alien taken at a family picnic has become one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century.

On May 23, 1964, a photograph of the so-called Solway-Firth astronaut, who became one of the most famous in the twentieth century. A firefighter from the English countryside, who went with his family on a picnic, took a photo that circled all the world’s newspapers. Some researchers for a long time considered photography the only reliable picture of an alien.

The birth of a legend

On May 23, 1964, a fireman and amateur photographer from Carlisle Jim Templeton went with his wife and daughter to a picnic in Burg Marsh, a picturesque area near Solway Firth Bay on the border of England and Scotland. On the trip, he took with him a Zeiss Contax camera, hoping to take some pictures against the backdrop of local landscapes.

Nothing extraordinary happened during the trip, after returning Templeton gave the film to the developer. Several dozen pictures taken by him that day were not unusual, but one of the photographs was out of the ordinary. Behind his five-year-old daughter, the silhouette of a humanoid in a silver-white “space” suit or suit was clearly visible in the photo, and a helmet with dark glass could also be seen on his head.

Templeton was absolutely sure that strangers simply could not get into the frame, because that day no one was resting in the Burg March except for a couple of pensioners who were very far from them. In addition, he was convinced that he did not see anyone (except his daughter) in the frame at the moment when he was taking the picture.

An excited fireman took the picture to the police. The police shrugged and returned the photo back, not knowing what to do with it. Templeton then gave the photograph to Kodak representatives to tell him if this could be a defect in their film. The company studied the photo and came to the conclusion that there could be no defect, someone was really captured in the photo, moreover, the photo definitely does not have any traces of photo montage and fake.

Photo © Wikipedia

History got into local newspapers, and from there it passed on to the most popular and large-circulation English newspapers. Of these, she got into the world press. The Humanoid was dubbed the Solway-Firth Astronaut / Astronaut.

A few days after that, a rocket launch at the training ground was to take place in Australia. However, the launch was canceled due to technical problems. But the story of the Solway-Firth astronaut at that time was so popular that a rumor was born that the launch was actually canceled due to the fact that on the site they saw two figures similar to the English “astronaut” figures in silver spacesuits. They tried to detain them, but they disappeared without a trace, as if dissolved in the air.

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Although no evidence of this story could be found in the archives (the launch of the rocket was filmed in photos and videos, but no presence of “astronauts” on the films was recorded), it became a popular urban legend, picked up by enthusiastic ufologists.

Men in black visit

There is a popular urban legend about people in black. Allegedly working for a top-secret government organization whose function is to hide the traces of an alien presence in the world. The legend originated in the circles of ufologists in the mid-50s, and Templeton made a certain contribution to its popularization, although he himself was not one of the ufologists.

A few days after the story with the “astronaut” hit all the world media, two people came to Templeton’s home. They called themselves government agents, but refused to give their names, stating that “they are identified only by numbers.” They demanded that the firefighter take them to the place where he took his famous photograph.

Screenshot © Youtube / Dave Armitage

On the way, they asked him about the circumstances in which he took a photo. After making sure that Templeton could not tell them anything sensational, and not finding anything unusual in the Burg March, the men left very upset.

Templeton himself in later interviews said that he believed that they were most likely not associated with any government organizations. Perhaps they were amateur ufologists or reporters longing for sensation. However, in ufological circles, the version about their involvement in the “people in black” was more popular.

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Humanoid

Templeton’s photo immediately gained cult status in the circles of ufologists and UFO hunters. This was almost the first serious material evidence, since almost all the other stories about UFOs and aliens were based only on unverified eyewitness accounts or obviously fake photos. In this case, a convincing argument was the examination of the Kodak film manufacturer, which confirmed that the photo is genuine and not a photo montage.

Ufologists besieged the British Department of Defense for many years with requests to study and comment on the photo, but the military did not show much interest in it. The author of the photograph received many letters from conspiracy therapists, ufologists and paranormal researchers until his death. All of them put forward their explanations of what happened and once again asked Templeton to share memories of that day in the hope that he would remember something forgotten or lost.

Falsification

Skeptics believed that Templeton simply deliberately went to falsification. A bored fireman from a remote English province went on a forgery for the sake of five minutes of fame. In this regard, England had a rich tradition. At the end of the 19th century, in the wake of the universal popularity of spiritualism, a lot of fake photographs appeared with ghosts, spirits, fairies, elves, etc. So why in the middle of the twentieth century, in the wake of the popularity of UFOs and in general the space theme, do not go for a similar forgery?

Jim Templeton 

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The main argument of the supporters of this version was the fact that there were no other witnesses who could independently confirm Templeton’s words on the Burg March that day. So, nothing prevented the fireman from dressing his wife in a “space” suit or even taking a picture of a mannequin.

Templeton himself, who lived almost 50 years after this photo and regularly gave interviews, always assured that at the time when he took the photo of his daughter, there was nobody in the frame. In any case, he did not see anyone through the viewfinder of the camera, otherwise he would not have taken the picture.

Optical illusion

In the XXI century, modern technology has allowed a more thorough study of the photograph of the Solway-Firth astronaut. So the version was born, which has become one of the most popular at the present time.

Researchers were encouraged by other Templeton photos taken that very day. Several of them depict his wife, dressed in a light blue dress. Annie Templeton wore short black hair, which in a blurry photo (the “humanoid” figure was in the background and was out of focus) could be mistaken for a helmet.

After examining the photo in several professional photo editors, the researchers concluded that the “humanoid” is definitely a human figure that stands with its back to the photographer. If you look closely at the photo, it will be noticeable by the “humanoid” arm bent at the elbow.

Due to overexposure of the exposition at the time of the photograph, Templeton’s light blue dress could have acquired a white and silver color, which is noticeable in some other photographs taken that day.

However, Templeton was not necessarily a liar. He really could not see that a few meters behind his daughter was his wife. The fact is that the viewfinder of his camera had a characteristic feature, he displayed the frame far from completely. The area in which Annie Templeton was located could simply be hidden from the eyes of her husband. Therefore, he was very surprised to see a strange figure in the photo shown, reminiscent of a character from then popular science fiction films.

Jim Templeton lived a long life and passed away in 2011 at the age of 91. Becoming the author of one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century, he regularly gave interviews until his death. Templeton did not claim that the figure in the photo is an alien or a ghost, he insisted only that he did not see her in the viewfinder while photographing and he did not know who it could be.

Currently, most researchers believe that in the famous photograph there is nothing supernatural and unusual. But some still believe that this photo is one of the few reliable evidence of the existence of life outside the Earth.

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