- uploaded: Jul 16, 2010
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The "Cumberland Spaceman"
Source: BBC TV program "Secrets of the Paranormal" presented by Jenny Randles
Summary: Mr Jim Templeton, who was at the time with the Cumbrian Fire Brigade, took his daughter onto the marshes nearby to have her photograph taken in her new frock.
Cumbria, May 1964. At the time, Blue Streak missiles were being assembled in Cumbria and then being shipped to Woomera for test launches.
Mr Jim Templeton, who was at the time with the Cumbrian Fire Brigade, took his daughter onto the marshes nearby to have her photograph taken in her new frock. There was nobody else on the marshes apart from a couple of old ladies, and even the normally plentiful cows and sheep had huddled at the far end of the marsh as if they had been frightened.
Unwittingly, Mr Templeton captured the bizzare image above. The figure was not seen until the photograph was developed.
After the photograph was published in a local Cumbrian newspaper Jim Templeton received calls from the Government telling him "not to persure the matter and to drop it". In the meantime Jim had two visitors who called at the fire station where he worked. They were dressed like typical bowler hatted Civil Servants who when asked would not show their identification. "Can I ask where you are from?" asked Jim, "No you can't, we are Her Majesties Government" was the reply. They asked Jim to show them the site where he took the photograph and drove him to the site in their car, a Jaguar. On arriving they asked Jim where he had seen the figure in the photo to which Jim replied that he hadn't. At this they walked away and left him.
This strange story may have ended there but for the fact that the photo had been sent over to Australia by the Cumbrian News where strange things were also happening on the Woomera Test Range. Unbeknown to anyone at the time a Blue Streak launch had been aborted due to two large men seen on the firing range. Technicians at the time did not know about Jim's sighting until it appeared on the front page of an Australian Newspaper and they said that the figure in Cumbria was the same as the ones they had seen on the monitor at Woomera.
Jenny Randles visired the Kew Records Office (where new files from around the same time had been made available) to search for references. Her first discovery relating to the incident was an MOD letter dated 29/12/64 which referred to the "Cumberland Spaceman", then references to the aborted launch and finally a report sent in by someone (at Woomera) asking what the large object was hovering which was impossible to miss. Jenny Randles also found a reference to film held by COI and invitations for people to view it. There was however no film in the archive, not even stills, even though film existed of other launches. The aborted launch was missing. What is strange, is the Governments reaction to such a strange picture. A picture that could have easily been dismissed as a prank.
From the BBC TV program "Secrets of the Paranormal" presented by Jenny Randles who is well known in the field of UFO's and is an active member of BUFORA.