Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Solway Firth Spaceman

Very often, photographs of the paranormal are fussy and blurry, which makes it easy for skeptics to attack its authenticity. But, there exist a handful of clear and distinct paranormal photographs that the skeptics have had a harder time with. One of those photographs was taken in 1964 on a hill in the northern parts of England.

It was on May 24, 1964 when firefighter Jim Templeton and his wife decided to take some photographs of their daughters in Burgh Marsh, near Burgh by Sands, Cambria, with Jim's Pentacon camera. Jim took a photograph of his five year old daughter Elizabeth. The Templeton's were the only people on the marsh throughout the day. Nothing seemed to out of the ordinary, except they the animal behaved strangely. After the photograph of Elizabeth was taken, the family headed home.

Image right: The photograph in question. Still a mystery.

One week later, Templeton picked up his photographs at the local photochemistry. The person at behind the desk said it was “a pity that someone in a spacesuit had destroyed the best picture of Elizabeth by standing behind her.” Jim thought it was a joke. He was absolutely sure that they were the only the marshes that day. But sure enough, someone was standing behind his daughter in what looked to be a spacesuit. Templeton, confused and angry, took the photograph to the police.

Also the police was surprised by what Templeton shows them. To them, it was without a doubt that someone was behind Jim's daughter, despite, whatever it now was; it looked to be floating rather than standing. The police sent the photograph away to Kodak, the manufacturer of the film. Either could Kodak identify the anomaly. The only they could say was that the photograph was genuine and had not been manipulated.

The police had started to investigate the case, and after a few weeks, they were able to conclude that the anomaly in the photograph was just human. Also, one of the investigators tried to make Templeton confess that it was his wife that had, by mistake, stepped behind Elizabeth at the time for the photograph. But why would the wife were a spacesuit and how did she make look that she was floating?

The case gets even stranger. A few weeks after the incident, Jim was visited by two mysterious visitors. The two men arrived in a black car and wore dark suites, but except that, they looked normal. Their behavior was also strange; they only referred to one another by numbers and asked the most unusual questions as they drove Jim out to the marshes. The men tried to make Jim admit that he had just photographed an ordinary man walking by. Jim behaved polite, but rejected their theory. At this point, the men became angry and drove away, leaving Jim for a five mile walk home.

But the story does not end there. After some time, it becomes known that similar phenomena had occurred when a Blue Streak space rocket was due to be launched from Woomera in Australia. The countdown was postponed when two automatic survey cameras had independently spotted two large figures in the firing area during the countdown phase. But how is a missile launch in Australia related to Jim's photograph? It turns out the photograph was not taken far away from the factory were missile was constructed.

This is how far we can go when it comes to this photograph. Despite years of investigation and leads from the other side of the world, we're left with a photograph of a little girl and a person that one has been able to identify.


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