News & Star - Part of Your Daily Life
9 January 2008

Spaceman mystery?

Snap: Jim Templeton, of  Coledale Meadows,   Carlisle
Snap: Jim Templeton, of Coledale Meadows, Carlisle
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By Dave Gudgeon

A PENSIONER is hoping that unseen files being released this year may solve one of the great Cumbrian mysteries – the spaceman on the Solway.

Jim Templeton’s photograph, which showed the mystery “spaceman” behind his daughter, was taken on Burgh Marsh in 1964 and has been seen around the world.

No-one has yet come up with an explanation for it but the Ministry of Defence is just about to reveal details of files which chronicle UFO (unidentified flying object) activity over Britain.

And Jim, who is 87 and lives in Coledale Meadows, Carlisle, believes they may contain some answers to a mystery that has puzzled him for half his life.

He said: “It would be absolutely amazing if there was something in the files about the Solway spaceman. It is incredible but I still receive letters about it now.

“I have no explanation for the image but what I can say is that it is not a fake. The film was sent away for processing and came back like that.

What is even more strange is that shortly afterwards the launch of the Blue Streak rocket at a base in Australia was delayed because two similar spacemen were spotted on monitors there.

“Apparently they searched the area at the time but could find nothing, They said the delay in the launch was down to a technical hitch and it went ahead later. The interesting thing, of course, is that the Blue Streak was developed at Spadeadam to the east of Brampton. I was told about this by someone who worked there at the time.”

Every year around 100 people contact the Ministry of Defence to report sightings of unidentified flying objects, and they are the subject of scores of Freedom of Information Act requests.

The files, which are more than 25 years old and many of them handwritten, are being processed into an electronic format and will be released this year.

An MOD spokesman explained they regularly releases files through Freedom of Information and that it is policy to release old files.

They said that, contrary to reports, the MOD does not investigate UFOs and no UFO branch exists. They only investigate perceived military threats to UK security.

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