Posted on: February 16, 2012

Zigmund Jan Adamski was a retired coal-miner who lived in the small Yorkshire town of Tingley, near Wakefield. He was Polish by birth, but had lived in Britain since 1960. He lived with his housebound wife, Leokadia, (or Lottie) who suffered from multiple sclerosis. The couple had been married for nearly 30 years. They were, by any stretch of the imagination, a perfectly normal, unassuming couple. But Zigmund’s sudden disappearance and subsequent death were to leave us with a tantalising mystery, and are linked with a sequence of UFO-related events which are intriguing to say the least.

At 3:30 on the afternoon of 6 June 1980, 67-year-old Zigmund set out, on foot, to buy some potatoes from a nearby shop. As he left he gave a cheery greeting to a neighbour. All seemed as it should be that summer afternoon, but Mr Adamski was never seen alive again. And for 5 days his whereabouts from that moment on have remained a complete mystery.

Five days later, on Wednesday 11 June, his body was found lying on top of a 12ft coal heap in a coal yard near a busy railway line at Todmorden, a few miles away. He was found at 3:45 in the afternoon by the coal yard owner’s son, Trevor Parker. The yard had last been used at 11 o’clock that morning, and Adamski’s body must have been dumped there in the intervening 4 hours. Trevor Parker called the police, and an officer, Alan Godfrey, arrived on the scene at ten-past four.

On examination it was found that Adamski had died of a heart-attack. What compounded the mystery though were sinister burn marks on his neck and shoulders. There was a strange gel substance covering the burn marks. His clothes were in good condition, which seemed to rule out any idea that he had been living rough over the previous 5 days. Mr Adamski seemed to have been somewhat crudely re-dressed if anything. He was wearing a coat (which was buttoned up the wrong way) and vest, but no shirt, his trousers weren’t fastened properly, and neither were his shoes. (Godfrey said at the time that it looked as though someone else had placed the shoes on Mr Adamski’s feet). No traces of coal dust were found on his clothing. Although he had been missing for 5 days, there was only one day’s growth of beard on his face. He had eaten well, but not on the day he had died. It was said that it looked as though he had been dropped there from above.

PC Godfrey was to relate how Adamski’s face looked contorted with terror, which was borne out by the coroner, who said Mr Adamski must have known great fear or pain before passing.

At the post mortem it was concluded that he must have died between 11 and 1 o’clock on the Wednesday lunchtime, the day that he was found. He had received the burn on his neck two days previously. The strange gel-like ointment was tested by a Home Office laboratory, but remained unidentifiable.

There seemed to be no reason for Adamski’s sudden disappearance. It was reported at the time that he was due to attend a family wedding the following day, which he was looking forward to. Many years later though, in 2005, BUFORA investigators interviewed the Adamski family, and found that it wasn’t quite as straightforward as that. There had been a family feud in progress, and one relative had moved in with Zigmund and Leokadia after a restraining order had been taken out on him by another family member. BUFORA surmised that Zigmund had been kidnapped by a relative, and held in a shed for that 5 days, where he had suffered the fatal heart-attack.

That could well have been what had happened. Families do some pretty odd things at times. It’s quite plausible that when Mr Adamski died, the family member had panicked and dumped the body at the coal yard. But there are still some very odd factors to be taken into account. Such as the peculiar burn marks on Mr Adamski’s body. Strong hints of alien abduction were in the air when the story hit the Sunday papers, and it’s impossible to completely write them off. Todmorden is known as a UFO hotspot. This angle is compounded by the involvement of PC Godfrey … who would himself become an alien abductee.

PC Alan Godfrey was to all appearances a pretty normal guy, married with two children. He had received two commendations for his investigative police work. In 1977 he had been badly beaten up by three men he had been trying to take into custody. He was kicked savagely in the groin, and would later lose a testicle as a result, meaning he would no longer be able to father children, and was unable to have a full sex life.

A few months after finding Adamski’s body, in the early hours of 28 November 1980 Godfrey was sent to investigate the odd case of a herd of cows which had (bizarrely) been appearing and disappearing on a local council estate. Driving down Burnley Road at 5 o’clock in the morning, PC Godfrey saw what he thought was a double-decker bus ahead of him, which seemed to have skidded on the road. Thinking it was a shift bus for local workers, he drove over to get a closer look, and found that the said “bus” was hovering 5 feet off the ground.

PC Godfrey tried to radio for help, but found that his car radio wasn’t working. His own radio was also dead. He decided to err on the side of caution and stay in the car, where he would sketch the strange object, which was described as a spinning diamond-shaped object. It was after finishing the sketch that he experienced that other staple of UFO abductee reports: Missing Time. He found himself further along the road than where he had stopped. He was later to find that there was 30-35 minutes of time he couldn’t account for (although some argue it was in fact 15 minutes). His police-issue boots were split on the sole, as though he had been dragged along the ground. He turned the car round and drove back. There was no sign of the strange object.

He returned to the police station and commandeered a couple of colleagues to help him look for the missing cows. They were eventually located in a field, the only access of which was through a locked gate, and although it had rained recently and the ground was muddy, there were no hoofprints. Like Zygmund Adamski, they seemed to have been literally dropped there.

Godfrey had reported his experiences that night as standard police procedure. He later found out that another driver on the same road, only 3 miles further along, ahd seen a white light, and had called Todmorden police. A week later Godfrey’s story was mysteriously was leaked to the press, something which caused both him and his department much embarrassment. Godfrey now found himself being slowly pushed out. He eventually left the police.

The weirdness doesn’t end there. Soon after the strange incident on Burnley Road, Mrs Godfrey was woken up by a strange noise outside the house. She was unable to wake her husband. The following morning they managed to have sex for the first time since the terrible beating Alan had endured in 1977. Mrs Godfrey became pregnant, and Alan said that he believed his condition had somehow been reversed.

He eventually underwent hypnotic regression, under the supervision of MUFORA, a Manchester-based UFO group. Under hypnosis he related classic alien abduction events, such as a bright light filling the car. He said he had found himself in a room such as you’d find in any normal house. There was a large black dog in the room, and a bearded man, looking not unlike a Biblical prophet, accompanied by small robot-like figures. The bearded man communicated telepathetically, and said that his name was “Yosef” (or “Joseph”), and he and Godfrey already knew each other. Godfrey said he was instructed to lie on a table, where the robots took off Godfrey’s shoes and studied his toes. Instruments were placed on his arms and legs, which caused him acute discomfort. A foul odour penetrated his nostrils.

Josef asked him questions, but Godfrey refused to reveal what those questions were. Godfrey later admitted to veteran UFO researcher Jenny Randles that he couldn’t tell if this whole bizarre incident was real, or something he had dreamt.

It appears that Alan Godfrey had a lifetime of strange experiences behind him. As a child he had seen a ball of light appear in his bedroom. Then in 1965, when he was 18, he had been driving home with his girlfriend at 2 AM when a woman and a dog stepped out in front of his car. He stopped to investigate but found nothing. On arriving home both he and his girlfriend found they had 2 hours of time unaccounted for.

When he was courting his wife, she came to his house one day and saw a strange black dog which licked her hand and ran upstairs. Alan didn’t have a dog at that point, but the description matched tat of a dog he had once owned which had died 2 years earlier.

One of the most sinister aspects of his 1980 experience were the tales that some time later a person had been seen giving out leaflets in the area, calling for the murder of PC Godfrey. The police were alerted, but the person disappeared.

Recalling the death of Zigmund Adamski, the coroner who had examined the body, James Turnbull, said later in 1993 that the case had completely mystified him, and didn’t rule out the possibility of UFO involvement.

I know some might quibble about me putting these two cases together, but for me they are inextricably linked. In retrospect, the autumn of 1980 seems to have been an important time in UFO history, leading up to the extraordinary events at Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk over Christmas. The more I have read about the strange death of Mr Adamski, and the bizarre experiences of PC Godfrey, the more complex and fascinating they have become.


[…] Wikipedia SJH Strange Tales BBC Inside Out Webpage (Article dated 3rd February 2003) Sites pulled on 21-2 March […]

So if Adamski had died on the 11th of June, what had happened to him in the 5 days between his disappearance and his death? If the motive was robbery, why keep him hostage and then dispose of his body in such a bizarre way? Maybe the heart attack was the response to the treament/torture that he suffered?

That’s a good point. This applies as well to the theory according to which he was kidnapped by a member of his family he was in conflict with.
Besides the fact that the police never considered this a plausible explanation, why in the hell would any potential murderer interested in either money or vengeance dispose of his body in such a bizarre way?

The only conventional explanation I can envisage is that he was captured by an extremely gifted and perverse psychopath who (perhaps) wanted to make people believe he had been abducted by a UFO.

[…] years earlier and only a very short distance away in Todmorten, a similar case of apparent alien abduction seemed to have occurred. Only this time however, the person involved wouldn’t be able to offer […]

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