Zigmund Adamski, a 56-year-old miner, went missing from his home in Tingley, near Wakefield in June 1980. He had gone out to do some shopping.
Adamski set out to get some potatoes at 15:30 on June 6, 1980. The next day he was due to attend a family wedding, which he was much looking forward to. To Zigmund’s colleagues at Lofthouse Colliery, it was a complete mystery.
His body was found five days later in Todmorden next to a railway line on the afternoon of Wednesday June 11 at 15:45 by Trevor Parker, the son of the owner of the Tomlin’s coal yard.
The yard had not been used since 11 o’ clock that morning, and the body had not been seen at that time; Parker had arrived at 08:00. At 16:10 a police officer, Alan Godfrey, attended the scene, with a colleague.
On examination, it was found he had died of a heart attack and on the back of his head, neck and shoulders were mysterious burns which attracted lots of attention.
His clothes were in good condition although the shirt was removed. He had not attended any hospitals in the missing five days and had only been on the anthracite a few hours before he was found.
It appeared that neither had he slept rough in the intervening days and he had been eating healthily, and that no struggle had taken place. The post mortem was carried out at 21:15 in Hebden Bridge by Dr Alan Edwards, a consultant pathologist at the Royal Halifax Infirmary.
He found that Adamski’s death took place between 11:00 and 13:00 that day. The burn on his neck had been there two days before his death, and had had a peculiar ointment applied that forensic scientists could not identify. There was some deliberation over the cause of his death as his death was not registered until the autumn of 1980. The coroner was James Turnbull.
James Turnbull, the coroner who dealt with Zigmund’s death, says it’s the biggest mystery of his career. The coroner was baffled because although Zigmund had been missing for five days, he only had one day’s growth of beard.
He says, “The question of where he was before he died and what led to his death just could not be answered.”
James also said a strange ointment that appeared to have been used on Zigmund’s burns could not be identified by forensic scientists. Exhaustive checks failed to reveal any record of Zigmund having been treated at any hospital during his missing five days.
It was at this point that questions began occurring, regarding the origin of this inexplicable ointment and who applied it to Zigmund.
It was not just the usual investigators, the police and coroners, who were attracted to this case. One of the most famous UFOlogists of all time, also called Adamski offered his own amazing theories on the tragedy.
He believed aliens abducted the Yorkshire miner by mistake. The speculation of an extraterrestrial encounter was fuelled by the policeman who originally found Zigmund’s body, Alan Godfrey.
The policeman who found Zigmund Adamski, Alan Godfrey, would claim to have had an encounter with a UFO six months later, on 28 November at 5:00 on Burnley Road (A646) in Todmorden, as he was driving his car on duty.
This was one mile from the coalyard. He could not account for fifteen minutes of his time. Under hypnosis with assistance from Manchester-based MUFORA in 1981, he claimed he had been abducted, which made headlines all over the world.
Alan says, “I wish I’d never seen the UFO, particularly because of the effects on my children.”
“It’s not easy having a policeman as a father but when he’s a policeman who saw a UFO its even worse.”
This was a huge turning point in Alan Godfrey’s life. He left the police force and has a new role as a speaker at charity fundraising events.
In the past 20 years there has been many claimed sightings in the Pennine hills around Todmorden. It’s regarded as the Britain’s UFO hotspot.
The corner is equally unconvinced about the presence of paranormal activity. Although he still has a raft of unanswered questions regarding Zigmund’s death, James is opting for an earthly rather than alien explanation at present.
But he does say, “In fifty years time, if we discover aliens have been visiting us and we didn’t know about it, then that might give an answer.”
But after all these years, Alan Godfrey still has no doubts, leaving thoughts of the extra terrestrial in the minds of all those involved.