It has since been suggested that the spaceman is actually Templeton's wife, Annie, who was present at the time and seen on other photographs taken that day. Since the Zeiss Contax Pentacon F SLR camera he used only displayed 70% of the actual photograph in the viewfinder, it would be possible for him to take the image without noticing his wife in the periphery of the shot. Annie was wearing a pale blue dress on the day in question, which was overexposed as white in the other photos taken that day. She also had dark, bobbed hair. Using photo software to darken the image and straighten the horizon, the spaceman increasingly appears to be the figure of a normal person viewed from behind.
The mysterious spaceman story might have rocked on forever as one of Forteana's greatest hits were it not for the denizens of a number of internet forums who wielded Occam's Razor with deadly accuracy. A photo analyst demonstrated that the “spaceman” was nothing more than an adult person of normal height with their back to the camera walking away from the child. Others observed that another photograph taken that day shows Templeton's wife, Annie, wearing a very light blue sleeveless dress. Closer examination of the original "spaceman" image reveals that the arm of the mysterious figure has a decidedly tapering, feminine curve to it. Exactly like the bare arm of a woman wearing a very light blue sleeveless dress. Her back to us, she is probably wearing some kind of white cap over her close-cropped hairstyle. Enhancing the contrast of the photo further reveals the distinctive neckline and arm holes of her dress.
What actually happened
The famous "spaceman" illusion was created when Annie Templeton inadvertently photobombed the snapshot taken by her amateur photographer husband. He didn't see her in the background due to the blind spot in his Pentacon F SLR camera's viewfinder that only allowed him to see 70% of what the lens was capturing. This is backed up by the other photo taken that day that shows his wife, again caught in Templeton's blind spot.
So Templeton's lifelong claims were technically sincere: there was no one else with them that day, and he really didn't see anything other than his daughter when he took the photo, and the photograph wasn't manipulated, faked, or staged in any way. Templeton may have been honestly puzzled by the photo, at least initially. But given the improvements in SLR design over the years, it's hard to imagine photo hobbyist Templeton never discovered his vintage camera's notorious blind spot. It's more likely that possible public embarrassment prevented Templeton from changing his "mystery" story once it became cemented as fact by the world wide press.
It's also quite possible that Templeton was fully aware that his chance photo mistake had created a perfect vehicle for mass misinterpretation and pareidolia, but he enjoyed the attention gained by the photo so much that he encouraged the mystery and even promoted it over the years. And given the choice of having her husband seen in the press as either a bungling amateur photographer or someone who captured evidence of something mysterious, no doubt his wife Annie would have chosen the latter.
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