This article was published in the daily newspaper Daily Mail, London, England, on December 13, 2002, and written by James Templeton, the original photographer.
There is more on this bizarre photograph including a scan of the photograph in this section of my site.
Photographer Comments On Cumberland Spaceman Picture
As an amateur photographer on a day-trip with my family, I took the photograph on Burgh Marsh on May 23, 1964, using an SLR camera loaded with the new Kodacolor film which was processed by Kodak.
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.
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. It should also be noted that I have received no payment for taking this picture.
The only suggestion that struck a chord with me was a letter from Woomera in Australia which came a month after the picture was shown around the world. The people there were keen to see a good colour copy of the photo, as they had stopped a countdown of the Blue Streak rocket within hours of my photo being taken. Apparently, two similar looking 'spacemen' had been seen close to the rocket.
Only later did I find out that part of the Blue Streak rocket was made and tested within sight of Burgh Marsh.