The Policeman and the Aliens

Alan Godfrey

There are many characters in the UFO field, some famous, some infamous. They range from the wildest hoaxsters to the deeply believable experiencers. Few, though, are as convincing as PC Alan Godfrey.

Alan was a good copper. He was liked by his peers and performed his duties with diligence. In June of 1980, though, his life was about to change forever.

Zygmund Jan AdamskiOn 6th June 1980, Zygmund Jan Adamski, a Polish-born miner from Tingley in West Yorkshire set out to the shops, a short walk from his home. On the way, he stopped to chat with a neighbour and duly arrived at the store and bought his items. He never made it back home.

Mr Adamski's body atop the pile of coalFive days later, Mr Adamski’s body was found lying on a pile of coal in the town of Todmorden, twenty-six miles from Tingley. Alan was on duty at the time when the report of the body was phoned in to the police station by the owner of the coal yard. A colleague picked up Alan from his beat in a panda car and they headed out to the location. PC Godfrey describes the coal yard as well known if you live in the area, but not the sort of place a stranger to the town would visit. Mr Adamski had never been to Todmorden in his life.

Upon arriving at the scene, they immediately saw Mr Adamski’s body lying face-up on top of the pile of coal, pouring rain giving his form a silvery sheen. Anybody entering the yard could not help to see this grim sight. The trouble is that workers at the yard had arrived earlier in the day to take a lorry and Mr Adamski’s body was not there.

The burn and 'substance' on Mr Adamski's neckAlan described Zygmund’s face as one of abject fear. He also noted that his jacket buttons were fastened out of sequence, as though he had been hurriedly dressed after death. His shirt had been removed, leaving only a string vest beneath the jacket. His watch had gone. They also found a tyre mark on the site that belonged to none of the vehicles of the coal yard. On a closer inspection, Alan and his colleague found that Mr Adamski had several burn marks on the back of his head (his hair was cropped very short and they were clearly visible) and a large welt on his neck that appeared to have a jelly-like substance smeared onto it.

Mr Adamski's death certificateThe coroner’s verdict was that Mr Adamski had died of natural causes – heart failure. He also noted that due to the contortion on his face, it appeared that Zygmund had either been in tremendous pain or extremely frightened immediately prior to his death. Upon the pathologist’s declaration of the cause of death, the CID dropped the case and handed it over to the uniformed division.

PC Godfrey and his colleague began enquiries in the area, distributing photographs of Mr Adamski in an attempt to find out what might have happened to him. Alan could not understand why the CID did not follow up the case. Mr Adamski had died of a heart attack, but what about the surrounding circumstances? How had he got to Todmorden? Why were some of his clothes missing? How did he get the burn marks?

Later, to Alan’s surprise, he picked up a local newspaper and found that an inquest had been held into Mr Adamski’s death. Neither he nor his colleague had been called to give evidence at this meeting, as they should have been, given that they were the attending officers at the time that the body was found. The man who discovered the body had also not been called.

At the post mortem, it was estimated that Mr Adamski had been dead for around six hours. That gave a time of death of between 11:15am and 1:15pm of that day. According to a local fireman, Peter Sutcliffe, he had been at the yard at 1pm that day and Mr Adamski’s body had not been there. If it had, it would have been clearly visible.

The substance that had been applied to the burns on Zygmund’s neck was tested by a Home Office laboratory and they could not identify it!

Following interest from the Sunday papers, Alan was called in to his superiors and handed a memo with an order for him not to speak with any member of the media about Zygmund Adamski – specifically. The memo, or minute sheet, as it is called, had a heading bearing the stamp of the Official Secret’s Act.

Later, Alan was to receive a telephone call at his home from his Chief Superintendent requesting him to give an interview to a reporter from the Sunday Mirror. Alan agreed, as long as it was agreed that it was all above board and he should have a colleague, such as his inspector or sergeant, present. Everything was arranged and the reporter arrived at PC Godfrey’s home.

No sign of anybody from the police arrived. Alan called the station, but nobody appeared to know anything about it. Before he reluctantly agreed to the interview, Alan asked the reporter who had arranged the meeting. The reporter said that the police press officer had been in contact with him. Fair enough, thought Alan, and the interview went ahead.

The Monday after the publication of the article, Alan was summoned to the headquarters of the West Yorkshire Police in Wakefield and given a dressing down for disobeying orders and giving an interview about the Adamski case! Alan defended himself, but his protestations fell on deaf ears. Godfrey telephoned the Sunday Mirror reporter, John Sheards, and he contacted the Wakefield police press office and informed them of what his next story was going to be about!

Alan was issued with an apology immediately, blaming a lack of communication between departments!

Shortly afterwards, Alan received a memo, informing him that he was being transferred to Wakefield. Usually there is some form of notice or an interview in which such matters are dealt with, but this was simply a piece of paper telling Alan that he must uproot his family and move them to a new town. They even told him the address of the house in which he was going to live!

PC Godfrey had no desire to move to Wakefield, besides his wife had a business in Todmorden and his children went to school there. He wrote a note explaining that if he was forced to move, it would split his family, as his wife had no intention of moving to Wakefield. Thankfully, the order was rescinded and he was allowed to remain in Todmorden.

A short time later, on Alan’s day off, his friend and colleague, Jack, arrived at his home, saying that he had to go with him to Wakefield for a medical. Alan had been injured on duty previously and presumed this was something to do with that. They arrived at Stanley Royd Hospital and Alan was stunned to find out that it was a psychiatric hospital. He told Jack, who was in uniform, to stay by his side no matter what happened.

It turned out that his superiors had asked the doctors at the hospital to examine Alan because they claimed he was having hallucinations. Apparently this concerned an incident in which Alan had a UFO encounter shortly after the Adamski incident (I will cover this later) and that was, by this time, two years in the past! When Godfrey, with Jack backing him up, told them that he was still on active duty, they were furious (with his superiors, not Alan) and sent him home.

A short time later, Alan and his family came back from a holiday to find that he had been transferred to Halifax. Luckily, this town was close enough so that his family did not have to move house. Nevertheless it was a complete surprise. It also came to Alan’s attention, through local gossip more than anything else, that he was no longer welcome at Todmorden Police Station, a place where he had happily worked for many years.

Then the most sinister thing happened. Alan was on duty, guarding the cells at the station, when his sergeant asked if he could borrow PC Godfrey’s flat cap from his locker. They went up to the locker and Alan retrieved the cap for his sergeant. Then Alan returned to his duty area. A short time later, a sergeant and constable from Todmorden arrived and asked the receptionist who was in charge of the control room because they wanted to speak with him.

Later, the sergeant who had borrowed Alan’s cap came down to the cells and asked if the inspector had been to see him with the officers from Todmorden. He told Alan that they had wanted to know where his locker was.

Alan and his sergeant friend went up to his locker and found that it had been broken into and contraband placed inside. Alan was furious. He could have gone to prison for this! He contacted Internal Affairs and began proceedings to clear his name. Eventually, after seemingly getting nowhere, he had a meeting with the Assistant Chief Constable, Keith Hellawell. Alan said he could not have met a nicer man. He was very understanding and made the cryptic remark of: “Why couldn’t they let sleeping dogs lie?”

Alan has wondered who ‘they’ were ever since. The only thing he can think of that has been the catalyst of all the events of his last few years in the police force (he resigned honourably, citing the injury mentioned previously) was the Zygmund Adamski case.

To this day, the file of Zygmund Adamski remains in the archives of West Yorkshire Police under the heading – RESTRICTED.

Now, the other major incident in PC Godfrey’s life, the one that had him sent to a psychiatric hospital two years after the fact, has become famous in UFO lore.

A few months after finding Zygmund Adamski’s body, on the night of 28th November 1980, Alan was in the patrol car in Todmorden, looking for some cows that had gone missing from a farmer’s field. Unable to locate them, he was about to return to the station when, through the rain, he saw a bright light in the road ahead of him. It was about 5am and he thought it might be a local, early morning bus. As he neared, though, he saw that it was a large, oval object that was spinning above the road so rapidly that it was making the bushes at the verge shake violently. He stopped the car and took out his notepad and sketched the object. Then there was a brilliant flash. The UFO had gone and he found himself driving the car, further up the road.

PC Godfrey's drawing of the object that he saw on the night of 28th November 1980

He turned around and headed back to where he had seen the UFO, but found nothing, save for a patch of road that appeared to have been dried into a spiral pattern. It was later learned that he had ‘lost’ about fifteen minutes during that time.

Fearful of making an official report and being classified as a loony, Alan changed his mind when he discovered that somebody else had seen something strange that night. A driver on the same road as Alan, at roughly the same time, but three miles further along, had seen a brilliant white object and had been so affected by it that he had called the police in Todmorden. Also at roughly the same time, police officers from Halifax had seen a bright, glowing object descending from the sky towards Todmorden.

Buoyed by these matching statements, Alan filed his official report. He was surprised when the police released his story to the local papers the following week!

Alan became troubled with the missing time he had experienced, as well as odd, disjointed memories with which he could not get to grips. He had also found at the time that his pristine police boots had a split in the sole and had scuff marks on them as though he had been dragged somewhere.

Eventually, he was persuaded to undergo hypnotic regression. The results of the session were strange and Alan admits that he cannot be sure if they are real. Under hypnosis, he recalls being inside his car as the bright light hit. His engine stalled and the radio and police handset emitted loud static. Then he found himself inside a strange room, with a man dressed in ‘Biblical clothes’, surrounded by small, robot-like things with heads shaped like a lamp. The room appeared like a room in a house and he was surprised to see a large, black dog.

The man communicated telepathically with Alan and told him that his name was ‘Yosef’. Alan was asked questions by Yosef and then told that he would be contacted later. As far as I know, this has not yet occurred, unless Alan’s keeping it to himself.

Despite Alan’s honesty regarding the hypnosis session, being very sceptical of the results himself, it seems that his encounter may have been another catalyst that ended up with him leaving the force several years later.

It is sad when a loyal public servant is seemingly hounded out of his job, even when he does that job to the very best of his ability and speaks the truth, as far as he can see it, about what has happened to him.

Was PC Godfrey’s UFO experience connected with what happened to Zygmund Adamski? Alan has no idea about that himself. What is known is that there were other, independent witnesses that night in November. So we know that something did happen to Alan at that time.

Oh, and by the way, the cows eventually turned up in a completely separate field, somehow leaving no hoofmarks in the ground to betray their passage!

© Steven Johnson - 2005


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Updated 16th August, 2012