Ilkley Moor Alien Photo (Yorkshire; December 1987)

Analogue Boy

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I haven’t spent any great amount of time analysing this picture but it seems that someone’s done some fancy colouration to indicate a bulbous alien head. Ignore that thought and the figure looks as if it’s walking away with the back to the camera and the head is hooded and more normal sized in terms of body proportions. It would also make the figure right handed and that bulky object could be a bag, rucksack or even a pixellated dog being taken for a walk.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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I haven’t spent any great amount of time analysing this picture but it seems that someone’s done some fancy colouration to indicate a bulbous alien head. Ignore that thought and the figure looks as if it’s walking away with the back to the camera and the head is hooded and more normal sized in terms of body proportions. It would also make the figure right handed and that bulky object could be a bag, rucksack or even a pixellated dog being taken for a walk.
Yep, it's a dog!
 

BS3

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I haven’t spent any great amount of time analysing this picture but it seems that someone’s done some fancy colouration to indicate a bulbous alien head. Ignore that thought and the figure looks as if it’s walking away with the back to the camera and the head is hooded and more normal sized in terms of body proportions. It would also make the figure right handed and that bulky object could be a bag, rucksack or even a pixellated dog being taken for a walk.

This is pretty much what I see too, particularly looking at the non colour adjusted versions - a human figure, well wrapped up for a morning walk in December, walking away with something held in its right hand - probably just a plastic shopping bag. The right 'leg' only looks short as the person is clambering up what is obviously a bit of a slope. The amount of grain means that any detail you can pick out really is subjective.

I think Randles and Hough said they had examined the rest of the film and found it to be consistent with the witnesses' story of taking a few early morning photos of the moor. My thoughts are, then, that he either took this picture and noticed his fellow walker later on, or was aware of them at the time and the whole thing is a tall tale.
 

Stillill

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This is pretty much what I see too, particularly looking at the non colour adjusted versions - a human figure, well wrapped up for a morning walk in December, walking away with something held in its right hand - probably just a plastic shopping bag. The right 'leg' only looks short as the person is clambering up what is obviously a bit of a slope. The amount of grain means that any detail you can pick out really is subjective.

I think Randles and Hough said they had examined the rest of the film and found it to be consistent with the witnesses' story of taking a few early morning photos of the moor. My thoughts are, then, that he either took this picture and noticed his fellow walker later on, or was aware of them at the time and the whole thing is a tall tale.
I think you’re spot on with the position of the right leg. The knee is coming up to walk up a slope. That’s why the right leg looks an odd shape.
 

BS3

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I haven’t spent any great amount of time analysing this picture but it seems that someone’s done some fancy colouration to indicate a bulbous alien head. Ignore that thought and the figure looks as if it’s walking away with the back to the camera and the head is hooded and more normal sized in terms of body proportions. It would also make the figure right handed and that bulky object could be a bag, rucksack or even a pixellated dog being taken for a walk.

NB the "noise" around the head, particularly just to the left of it, could also be explained by the fact that anyone walking uphill on a misty, cold December morning would also be emitting some pretty big plumes of visible breath.
 

BS3

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I think you’re spot on with the position of the right leg. The knee is coming up to walk up a slope. That’s why the right leg looks an odd shape.

Yes, and the bottom of the left leg is less visible due to the vegetation the person is walking past. By chance they appear to have very short legs (reminds me of the old "What's ET short for?" joke)
 

BS3

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I have now looked at a few copies of this photograph and am now 100% convinced. It's a man walking uphill with his back to the camera.

His right leg is raised to climb up the slope in front of him and foreshortened, giving the impression of an oddly short leg. His left leg is partly obscured by vegetation, again giving the impression of a short leg. The torso proportions are quite normal when this is understood.

The large 'hand' seen on the right arm is just a bag. You can see it's a bag because it suddenly gets much thinner at the 'wrist" point. One explanation might be that ETs have oddly skinny wrists; the other is that the 'wrist' is just the point where he's clutching the handles of the bag, which is probably just a supermarket plastic bag or similar. The left arm is held a bit forward and may actually be steadying him on something, or just maintaining balance.

Now, the bulbous 'head' is a bit harder to work out but the effect of it seems to be defined by two highlights on top. Looking at these more closely it is only the right hand one that has the same sort of colour as the highlights defining the right arm and shoulder, and caused by the very low sunlight you can make out in the full picture coming from the right. This suggests to me that the left 'highlight' may not be part of the figure at all - it's something behind him, or as I mentioned it might even be a cloud of breath. The effect of a 'face' looking to the left, or of an ET looking straight ahead, is just clutter.

With this in mind the head becomes clearer - the person has the hood of their coat up, and they are looking ahead and slightly to the right, as you'd expect when looking at the direction the path in front of them is going. The right 'highlight' is on the side and top of the coat's hood.

Now, how does this square with the witnesses story? As I see it there are three options

- It was all a conscious hoax based on a chance photograph
- He later noticed the figure in the photograph, believed he'd caught an alien on camera and built an elaborate fantasy around it, possibly fuelled by a dream or two
- He did see the other bloke at the time, but misperceived it as an 'odd' figure and the photo he took seemed to back it up. I note the witness claimed that the figure gestured at him to stay away before running off. Well, you would, wouldn't you, if some strange person was pointing a camera at you in that situation? For that matter the bloke could have just come back from committing a burglary or something, with a bag containing stolen property, and was taking what he thought was a secluded short cut across the moor. You can easily imagine how it would play out.
 

SimonBurchell

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I first came across this photo in a book about fairies, by the Bords I think, and I don't remember it being discussed in a UFO or ET context at all. It has been a very long time since I read the book though.
 
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I've been doing photography for over 40 years and it never ceases to amaze me how little some people actually see in the viewfinder. They concentrate on the subject blissfully unaware of what's in the background or foreground.

This was a plot point in Neighbours in the 80s. Harold was accused of being a dirty old man/peeping Tom because he had a topless photo of Melanie but he was so intent on taking a photo of a rare bird that he missed half nude Melanie, in keeping with his character.
 

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B53 - Brilliant Analysis!!
This photo, as everyone has mentioned, could be anything - I never thought of the 'cloud of breath' around his face on a cold morning.
Never thought of it wearing a hood, but that could explain the head shape.
(I know the 'bicycle' theory is not popular, but looking again at the photo, between the two legs could be the round front wheel, highlighted and shadowed in whatever light was there, his left leg standing on the ground, his right leg upwards on the pedal, his right arm leaning over holding the front bars and supporting him as he stopped cycling.)
But whichever direction this figure is going in, and as out-of-focus and blurry as it is, it seems very obvious that it IS only a man.
To give Mr. Spencer the benefit of the doubt, he might very well have been abducted by a UFO, and then taken this photo, and in his confusion and fright, mistaken it for something it isn't.
 

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Is anyone here going to Ilkley Moor sometime this year or next?
I mean to the photo location?
 

Krepostnoi

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Is anyone here going to Ilkley Moor sometime this year or next?
I mean to the photo location?
I live comparatively locally, and I have vague plans to take the Kreposterous Pup out in that direction once she can handle slightly longer distances. There's also a stone circle up there for us to explore.

Are we relatively confident as to the supposed location of the sighting?
 

Rushfan62

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This was a plot point in Neighbours in the 80s. Harold was accused of being a dirty old man/peeping Tom because he had a topless photo of Melanie but he was so intent on taking a photo of a rare bird that he missed half nude Melanie, in keeping with his character.
I suppose his defence of,"I was just trying to photograph some tits", didn't help.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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I live comparatively locally, and I have vague plans to take the Kreposterous Pup out in that direction once she can handle slightly longer distances. There's also a stone circle up there for us to explore.

Are we relatively confident as to the supposed location of the sighting?
While bowing to the excellent Maximum Otter and his awesome research, I stumbled across this supposed location pinpointing the exact spot on the 'Dale's Way Link'.

Ilkley Moor Site.png
 

Ronnie Jersey

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Supposedly the photo location spot is directly below that 'White Wells' cottage or Inn or whatever that building is (that blue arrow on the photo), with the group of trees directly on the right hand side.
I have so been dying to get there, just to inspect that spot and take photos of a person standing right there.
Very interesting..........
 

Ronnie Jersey

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Don't recall but it's basically the same map Maximum Otter has, and it's in that area where Dale's Way and Dale's Way Link meet - looks like it's the actual intersection.
And looking at the 'alien' photo, looks like it must be something like that intersection, because there's a path going right, and one going left, apparently.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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Could there be a rock or something on that path, that this 'man' is sitting on, which would make him appear short in stature?
 

Ronnie Jersey

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Just an interesting photo, which has been all over the internet and I'm sure you've all seen it -
but it just shows how a photo can be interpreted as a man / or a dog.
At first I saw a man running with his back to me, then I saw a dog.
Reminded me of the Ilkley Moor photo, and how puzzling it is.

1652293307347.png
 

catseye

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Just an interesting photo, which has been all over the internet and I'm sure you've all seen it -
but it just shows how a photo can be interpreted as a man / or a dog.
At first I saw a man running with his back to me, then I saw a dog.
Reminded me of the Ilkley Moor photo, and how puzzling it is.

View attachment 55206
When I first saw this, I also thought it was a man, but a 'cartoon' type (I think because the hair looked a bit odd, and the legs were bending the wrong way. Then I suddenly saw a big poodle/labradoodle dog and now that's all I can see. I can't even remember HOW I saw a man...
 

Paul_Exeter

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I just had another read of the original witness story. It is another case in which the witness under hypnosis describes Spielberg's ET, right down to its two large pointed toes (another being Colin Wright of the A70 abduction). Read it again and see for yourselves.

It might be that he did see something strange and his subconscious could only relate it to ET, but given the other doubts I call shenanigans
 

Ronnie Jersey

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I just had another read of the original witness story. It is another case in which the witness under hypnosis describes Spielberg's ET, right down to its two large pointed toes (another being Colin Wright of the A70 abduction). Read it again and see for yourselves.

It might be that he did see something strange and his subconscious could only relate it to ET, but given the other doubts I call shenanigans
I think Mr. Spencer did see some peculiar things out there on Ilkley Moor, and I have read his story.
I just think that he took this photo and got it confused with what is probably just some type of animal.
He should have taken a photo of the UFO.
 
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