Cumberland Spaceman

Discussion in 'Ufology' started by Anonymous, Jul 24, 2001.

  1. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    Fuck- I didn't notice the flowers. What a coinkydink.
     
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  2. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    LOCATION:
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    It's a persuasive visual conjunction, coincidental or otherwise.
    • Grass slopes
    • Windswept hair
    • Skirts
    • (Flowers, as said already)
    • Shared 'Industrial' alien look
    I am very persuaded as to the veracity of the current debunk for the Cumberland Spaceman itself (annoyingly, as the original inferred mystery image was iconically-strange).

    The filmed 'spaceman' looks very retrofuturistic / Dan Dare / 1930s chemical process worker. I wonder if that head-pipes image helped inform aspects of the design ultimately chosen for Cybermen?
     
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  3. David Plankton

    David Plankton Justified & Ancient

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    But this photo suggests it was a deliberate hoax and not a misidentified woman in white/seagull/paper bag.
     
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  4. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    Yes, that's certainly a strong possible implication.

    Although: I question whether the principal people involved in the 'Cumberland' shot show even the slightest signs of hoaxing or malintent.

    Another major factor is that the Cumberland picture is too naturalistically ambiguous (especially for it's time) to be a deliberate scam. By many orders of magnitude.

    More later- gotta go Santa (verb tense)
     
  5. Carse

    Carse Devoted Cultist

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    The chap behind the children in the These Are The Damned screenshot is not a spaceman but is a scientist wearing a radiation protection suit. Because the children were radioactive, you see.
     
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  6. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    I know; it is one of my favourite films. Oliver Reed as an umbrella-wielding leader of a biker gang; Shirley-Ann Field as a honey-trap for American tourists; Weymouth harbour and the dock railway; abstract sculpture on the clifftops; ice-cold mutant children living in a cave... this seem to be at least three different films rolled up into one.
     
  7. Carse

    Carse Devoted Cultist

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    Yes indeed, they don't make 'em like that any more.
     
  8. cycleboy2

    cycleboy2 Ephemeral Spectre

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    Don't know The Damned at all - looks very, very odd indeed...
     
  9. Coal

    Coal Gentleman, scholar, acrobat.

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    They could. Weymouth's the same.
     
  10. dr wu

    dr wu Doctor Prog

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    I just had to post this short you tube clip of the Solway Firth Spaceman because Ms Randles is in it and it's one of my favorite weird stories in the ufo arena. Does anyone know, including Ms Randles herself, what ever became of this tale and was it ever satisfactorily explained or is it still a mystery?

     
  11. humanoidlord

    humanoidlord ce3 researcher

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    it is the back of templeton's wife, i saw an picture somewhere that proved without doubts that, you can even see her necklace if you know where to look
     
  12. Jayceedove

    Jayceedove Junior Acolyte

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    WEBSITE:
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    I
    No, it isn't. She was behind the camera at all times looking after her other daughter whilst watching her husband take this shot. I asked her specifically many years ago.

    I spent some years before filming that BBC documentary talking to them and going over the case in detail as it has always been pretty likely not to be an alien. And more likely to be an attempted hoax.

    Jim Templeton had a bit of a history of those. But here I am virtually certain he did not fake it. Partly because Kodak looked for signs of superimposition on request of the police. But mostly because I believed him and his wife that they did not do this.

    More specifically he was the fire officer responsible for taking photos for police investigations so, as he pointed out, he would have been incredibly stupid to call the police in - as he did - to investigate a silly hoax he created as it could well have cost him that job to waste so much time. The police went to considerable effort to try to find out what was on the photo.

    So I looked for other options - and, of course, either his wife or other daughter or another person on the marsh was the most obvious as it was the very first thing Jim was told when the developed prints were handed over by the chemist - a pity the best shot was spoiled by the person walking in the background.

    From the very start they considered this option and eliminated it - which had they just been doing that years later might have been something they just did not realise at the time, but is much less likely as they were forced to consider this right away.

    The most likely option is that someone tinkered with the film before it was sent off for processing trying to trick Jim but never confessed because he called the police in to investigate - something I expect any hoaxer would never have anticipated. Though Kodak's belief it was not a double exposure has to be considered.

    Once the Ministry of Defence got involved because of the link with the Blue Streak rocket then any likelihood a joker would own up probably disappeared.

    The links between the Blue Streak and the photo are that film was taken during a launch at Woomera in Australia with a 'UFO' alongside. It was almost certainly a lens flare - although there is also claims of a figure being seen by the launch pad that caused a launch to be aborted around the same time.

    The missiles launched on the other side of the world were the UKs early shot at entering the space race and were assembled across the marsh from where Jim took the photo.

    Hence this became quite a big coincidence and likely enough to attract interest from the MoD.

    There are no files on the record that support the MoD did follow it up but the 'MIB' story that Jim and his wife both told me about involves somebody that appeared to be implying they were from the government.

    They acted in a classic MIB manner - asking deep probing questions about things like the unusual weather on the day and the odd behaviour of cows that Jim noted. Not your run of the mill questions a reporter might ask. They also referred to one another by numbers not names and left Jim high and dry when they went with him to the site.

    I asked Nick Pope if he thought they could have been from the MoD and he was adamant they never did this. So in his view the visitors were probably just play acting eccentric UFO buffs following up Jim's story.

    But we know the MoD did sometimes visit. There is the PC Colin Perks sighting in Wilmslow, Cheshire, where we have actual data on the MoD files that shows that around the same period as Jim's photo they sent someone to Wilmslow to interview the policeman and did a site analysis and collected samples from the ground. He never mentioned this when reporting the UFO and it is not on the BUFORA files but when the MoD file appeared I asked Colin Perks and he told me that the MoD man reminded him he had signed the Official Secrets Act when becoming a policeman. So he would only now talk once the 30 year rule had released the fact.

    Without any knowledge of the Perks case until I recently told him UK abductee police officer Alan Godfrey had a similar visit by someone who interviewed him at Todmorden police station alongside Alan's commanding officer. He only identified himself as 'the man from the ministry' and reminded of his signature of the Official Secrets Act and asked Alan to sign a new waiver not to talk to the media.

    This story, which I have known for some time because of my family links with Alan Godfrey, is told in the new book that I just helped Alan to write - Who or What Were They?

    I did write up the Jim Templeton case alongside several other UK MIB cases I have investigated in my 1997 book - The Truth Behind the Men in Black Phenomenon.
     
  13. humanoidlord

    humanoidlord ce3 researcher

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    what if miss templeton just accidentally walked behind the camera? she would have never noticed and would have forgotten about that, also the cameras of that time had an small field of view wich dint show the entire photo
    anyway the MIBs that visited templeton were the real deal, as john keel has shown they arent human
    just another projection of the humanoid hivemind (yes i call them that) playing 4D chess with the witness
    their appearence was to make it look like an genuine encounter
     
  14. David Plankton

    David Plankton Justified & Ancient

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  15. Dr_Baltar

    Dr_Baltar Justified & Ancient

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    She was behind the camera at all times...except when she wasn't:
     

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  16. Paul Haresnape

    Paul Haresnape Fresh Blood

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  17. humanoidlord

    humanoidlord ce3 researcher

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    well i think this puts the photo to rest, anyone could easily hide there
    also what if templeton's wife just lied to him because she was embarrassed of what she had done?
     
  18. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    Anyone "lying" seems like a bit of an extreme conclusion to me; although of course, it cannot be eliminated.

    As others have pointed out, she - or at least someone in a blue sleeveless dress - gets in shot at least once.

    These days it's a simple job to take the picture into PhotoShop or Gimp and by simply playing with the brightness, contrast and colour saturation, establish that what you have there in the background is a woman in a short sleeved dress looking - possibly walking - away from the camera.

    Kodak would look for signs of superimposition and, by implication, double-exposure; both of which leave particular signs around the film 'gate' area. -What they perhaps wouldn't have commented on is how the shot is exposed; although I'm aware claims to the effect they did are about... But, it's irrefutable fact that the figure contains hidden detail that is revealed with even simple adjustment. This evidences that the figure is 'blown out' or over exposed.

    Double-exposure techniques involve carefully marking the films starting position in the gate, making the first exposure set, rewinding the film, removing the tongue from the cartridge (this was, I believe, 35mm film) then making the second set of exposures. Kodak's assessment is supported by at least two points:

    1) Even the most exotic of professional cameras will produce evidence of a double exposure around the edge of the frame as it's almost impossible that the film would 'register' twice with the micrometre (μm) perfect alignment not to make a 'double-edge' on the frame. - Certainly not with something like a Kodak Retina Reflex (as I've seen claimed as the camera in question) nor the (what looks to me like) the Contax/Pentacon F Jim Templeton is pictured holding.

    2) To get the image alignment 'right' on such a double-exposure would require either the most extraordinary skill in a studio or some precision rostrum work - again, sub-millimeter precision. - not likely IMO.

    - It's to be noted that while Jim Templeton had bought himself what, for the time, was a pretty fancy camera - he wasn't a 'hardcore' amateur photographer who would most-likely process their own film, and shoot colour on slide film. - These were bog standard colour negs processed at the local chemist! - I would also say it's more probable that's a picture of a real space alien rather than somebody being able to pull off the 'double exposure trick' without any markings on the film or any clue what was actually on it.

    Back in the early 60s, I'm not sure either the police or fire brigade would have routinely employed the same sort of 'forensic photographers' they did in later years. - So simply being the 'bloke at the fire station wot can work the camera' is not a massive thing; and I suspect you've been sold a bit of a dummy in that respect Jenny.

    Where Alan's story - having read his book and considering it a volume of some value - is in my view entirely straightforward and credible. I'm less inclined to view this piece of embroidery as anything but that. The possibility has been raised that these people (the MIBs in the Templeton case) were 'UFO cranks' (or possible journalists?) using deception to gain a first-hand account; that seems not unlikely.

    What kills this for me though is that "Jim Templeton had a bit of a history" - which implies he was/is a bit of a chancer... So did the MIBs exist at all?

    And here's the thing...

    If you look through the viewfinder of one of those old early SLRs (maybe the nice folks at the museum in Bradford would let you?) you'll find that you only see maybe 60% of the full frame that goes onto film. And that the focusing screen just doesn't work as well as any SLR made from about the late-70s on. - All you'll see sharply is the centre with the edges falling off sharply in both brightness and focus... No built-in adjustable 'diopter' tot he eyepiece either, and no framing marks.

    Another point is that many early SLRs and their associated lenses lacked a mechanism to automatically close the aperture diaphragm as the picture was taken. Instead, the aperture ring needed to be manually turned to the appropriate f-stop just before you pressed the shutter... What's more, there was no instant return mirror - so for a good 1/4-1/2 second before the shutter was pressed you were pretty much plunged into darkness, and after were in complete darkness 'till the camera was wound on and reset.

    The effect of that is it's entirely possible for 'somebody' to have walked into that frame as the picture was taken, and simply not been seen! - They'd only have had to be there for (literally) a fraction of a second.

    And I think there is the cornerstone of the explanation... Jim Templeton genuinely saw nobody in shot as he closed the aperture ring and pressed the shutter. - By the time he looked up from the camera and his eyes readjusted they were gone; but they'd been there just long enough to spoil what was otherwise a nice family photo. The rest, I strongly suggest, is maybe down to a wee bit of opportunism combined with heels being dug in.

    - Neither Jim Templeton nor his wife are lying per se... they're simply mistaken and entrenched in that mistake.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  19. humanoidlord

    humanoidlord ce3 researcher

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    i agree with your comment
     
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  20. dr wu

    dr wu Doctor Prog

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    I can see how it might be possible that someone else on the hill that day walked behind the little girl and Templeton simply didn't see them....but with all the fuss over this picture in the area and on the news, etc it is a bit surprising that person has never come forward to say they were the one wearing that very white outfit. How could that person be so oblivious to all the press about this over the years?
     
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  21. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    My guess is that it's Mrs Templeton herself - lady in the blue dress. He didn't see her when he took the picture, and she had no idea she was far enough round to get in shot; and neither recognise the 'blown out' figure, possibly because they're seeing what they want to see. - I'm intrigued that there seems to be a shot 'missing' and never released; maybe that would blow the whole thing out of the water? But otherwise I think the benefit of the doubt should be given and account taken of human frailty.
     
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  22. Austin Popper

    Austin Popper Devoted Cultist

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    Some things in this thread are bordering on what has become a pet peeve of mine. Too many people new to the UFO field seem to have the attitude that the people investigating cases like this were morons, or at the very least incompetent doofuses. Some of the people I've seen posting silly assumptions about famous old cases couldn't carry John Fuller's notebook, or Allen Hynek's pipe.

    The real story of the early investigators is quite an interesting one. Many bright, well educated people (including a lot of professionals in various relevant fields) invented ufology by adapting investigative and analytical techniques used by those in law enforcement, anthropology, physical sciences, history and journalism. Many of them had the means and the contacts to do an excellent and thorough job of it even though it was essentially a hobby. They made dozens of phone calls when it was not cheap to do that, went and interviewed witnesses, examined sites, and consulted various experts in many fields. They did the legwork that so many "investigators" on the internet assume never was done. They weeded out thousands of hoaxes and honest mistakes as they went. Read some books before making silly pronouncements, armchair experts! Seriously, reading the detailed accounts of such investigations is fascinating. Those books are full of interesting details that never make it into the three-paragraph brain-fart blog entries most people seem to think ufology is about.

    One of the most egregious examples of the kind of crap I'm talking about was making the rounds several years ago, when some arrogant twit decided that Lonnie Zamorra was a poor witness because he wore glasses. Morons. Some people still claim he saw some non-existent prototype for the lunar landers, a "theory" that's laughable for a good dozen reasons. Some of those reasons are so obvious it's beyond funny.

    The idea that the MoD, Kodak, and whoever else was involved in the Templeton case lacked the means to extract whatever details exist in that photo, or weren't smart enough to think of doing it, is just lame. Military photo analysis was quite sophisticated decades before Photoshop was invented.

    I'm sure it won't be long before some future generation assumes we all lived in caves before computers and the internet liberated us from our primitive state. /rant
     
  23. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    ...At the age of 11 (circa 1973) I found an old Kodak Box Brownie. Within weeks I was taking my first faltering steps processing my own B&W film (the only way I could afford to do it). By 1979, when I left school I'd become quite accomplished with both stills and cine. - Which secured me an ACTT apprenticeship, the first year of which was spent as a (Trainee) Audio Visual Technician at the University of Strathclyde before moving to Thames Television in London where I spent 3 1/2 years before qualifying as an ENG/EFP cameraman and another 18 months to be considered a 'Journeyman', fully fledged cameraman.

    I returned to my native Glasgow in late 1985 - started my own production company and in parallel served as a Special Constable with Strathclyde Police (my fallback plan was to join the police had my business not succeeded) until the end of 1989. - I've worked in broadcast, industrial and news television ever since... Including a stint of 12 years lecturing (part time) in TV production at the same Creative Industries department that brought you acts such as Biffy Clyro and Snow Patrol alongside many that you would know as household names. - Now educated to Masters level I've actually authored SQA-Approved material and helped design courses for them. Systems technology is a primary component of my skillset.

    38 years of professional experience in photography, film, video and the audio industry generally says that Kodak - who examined the Templeton negative and camera only for signs of double-exposure and camera faults - would have found very little. It's not known whether Kodak (actually the main office at Hemmel Hempstead AFAIK) got to examine the single negative or the uncut roll (it makes a difference) - and I can tell you they would most certainly have struggled to resolve the sort of detail that has been recovered recently. - There is no evidence the time or the money was available; nor that Mr Templeton was entirely free with his material.

    Of course - and I'll be happy to have Jenny Randles arrange this - if the Templeton family care to turn the NEGATIVES (ideally the whole roll) - over to me for a week or so (or even have archivists at Bradford provide the scans) I'll be happy to scan them on a professional negative scanner and see what else can be extracted. - Factually photographic analysis, particularly of vintage material - has come a very long way since the 1960s!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  24. Austin Popper

    Austin Popper Devoted Cultist

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    I'd be very interested in seeing some of this newly recovered detail. Does anyone have any links or anything?
     
  25. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    To be clear here, what I said was that given the negatives (and/or a suitably high quality scan of them) - I'd be in a position to recover much from those negatives; and there are others out there in a far better position to do so than me. Simply do a google image search on 'Solway spaceman' and you'll come up with as good an analysis as any...

    Taken together with the circumstantial evidence from accounts, it stands up well.

    One - of many points - worth considering is that it would have taken months (if not years) of work using traditional (i.e darkroom) techniques to apply to the sort of brightness/contrast/colour examination we can do nowadays using modern photographic processing software. - Back in the day, there just wasn't the budget, the time nor really the facilities.

    Kodak was - and remains - a commercial entity; not a club for friendly Fortean boffins who have nothing better to do than obsess over any and every mystery; their services come at a cost! The same is essentially true for both police and military forensic analysis facilities... They don't exist for the purposes of entertainment!

    By way of illustration... Let's prod one of the many holes in the story. Sent by the local chemist to be processed by Kodak? Now I'm happy to be corrected on this, but every account I've heard or read speaks of colour negative film processed to prints via the local chemist shop... For a start, this slightly-knocks Jim Templeton's supposed status as a 'passionate photographer'. - If you're that you generally shot (back in the day) Black and White (B&W) and home processed it, Ektachrome (in the 60s this was E1 or E2) again home processed - or Kodachrome reversal film - which only Kodak processed.

    But there is, in fact, reference to the shot being taken on Kodacolor-X - Which was a common C-22 processed film more usually associated with the 'Instamatic' range and that any local lab would have handled under licence. So the notion that 'Kodak' processed the film is a little doubtful to start with! - The film would have been returned as prints plus negatives cut into strips of four or five shots. - Where are the negatives?
     
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  26. Austin Popper

    Austin Popper Devoted Cultist

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    I did a google search and didn't see anything that impressed me much. It has been a long time since I paid any attention to the case, and I don't recall anything about the negatives not being made available. That is a big red flag. I never thought the "mysterious figure" was an astronaut. Astronauts were all over the news at the time so we have some artifacts from then that seem kind of silly now. Unlike a lot of people, I did not need an answer for what it was. I'm happy enough to leave some questions open. The cartoonish nature of the photo and the event seems to fit into some kind of "trickster" category. Still, I don't really have an opinion. That seems to bother some people on other boards. Oh well.
     
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  27. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    ...So where are the negs? I've never seen them nor even a really good scan of the picture; not that'it's really necessary.

    Fact is it's 2017. And almost-anyone has access to photo analysis software the allows them to outstrip in a few moments what would have taken years to achieve back in the 1960s. - It's the woman in the blue dress seen in other frames - got into the background and 'blown out' by the very (sunlight) relied upon for modelling in the main shot.
     
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  28. Austin Popper

    Austin Popper Devoted Cultist

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    Thanks for the info. I wonder if anyone tried to recreate the photo. Seems like it would have been pretty easy since the place was public, the date and time known. I know such things were done back in the day. Seems like it would have been worth a roll of film and a few hours time. Film and processing weren't cheap, of course, but not prohibitively expensive either.
     
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