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Alan Godfrey

Alan Godfrey is a retired police constable who served with the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police Force. His life and career are notable for having been entangled in some of Britain's most unusual mysteries, including the Zigmund Adamski case, allegedly connected with the UFO phenomenon. His alleged UFO encounter took place during one of the most active waves of UFO sightings in British history. He is considered by some ufologists to be one of the first alien abductees in Britain. Ufologist Jenny Randles has claimed that the Alan Godfrey case cemented the Pennines as the central hot spot of UFO activity in Britain, and possibly in all of Europe.


Godfrey had led a fairly normal life prior to his alleged UFO encounter. He was married with two children. He was commended twice by the police force for his investigative work in cases of sudden and mysterious death. The only incident reported prior to the investigation of Zigmund Adamski's body was a scuffle with 3 unruly men on the day of October 23, 1977. Godfrey was attempting to take the men into custody on the grounds that they had brutally assaulted someone the night before. However, they resisted arrest, beating him to the ground and wounding him severely. He would later lose a testicle as a result of being kicked in the groin. He was told by his doctor that he would no longer be able to lead a normal sex life or father children.

The Zigmund Adamski Case

Alan Godfrey was one of the two officers to inspect the body of the deceased Zigmund Adamski. Adamski's body was found lying on a heap of coal in Tomlin's coal yard in the town of Todmorden at 15:45 on Wednesday June 11, 1980. Godfrey's inspection revealed that the body had been crudely dressed: he was wearing an overcoat and a vest, but no shirt. His jacket was fastened unevenly, the fly of his trousers was unzipped, and his shoes were not tied properly. Godfrey thought that the shoes seemed as though they had been placed on Adamski's feet by someone else. The forensic inspection of the body revealed that he had died of a heart attack, and had been dead for at least 8 hours before the police arrived. There were other unusual circumstances as well: Though Adamski was found at the top of a pile of coal, no scuffs or traces of coal dust were found on his clothing or skin, nor were there any signs on the coal itself to suggest that he had climbed to the top of the pile. Furthermore, strange burn marks were found around the back of his head, and another on the back of his neck that was covered in an unknown gel-like substance. Neither the burn marks nor the substance were ever identified. It was concluded that Adamski had been missing for six days prior to the discovery of his body. Godfrey was tasked with investigating the case (thought to be a homicide), but was not able to ascertain what had happened to Adamski.

The investigation into the death of Adamski was dropped later that year, and a security clampdown forbade officers from speaking to the press. Reflecting on the case in 1993, coroner James Turnbull claimed that the case absolutely mystified him. He also expressed some willingness to believe, along with popular speculation, that a UFO had been involved. The case remains unsolved.

Alleged UFO encounter

Within six months of discovering Adamski's body, Godfrey was given another, seemingly less pressing, assignment. The police station had been receiving multiple calls from concerned citizens regarding a herd of cows that had allegedly been appearing and reappearing on a local council estate. On the night of November 28, 1980, Godfrey was dispatched to investigate. He was driving his car down Burnley Road when he spotted something down the way ahead of him. Thinking that it was a double-decker bus that had skidded sideways on the road, he turned on his police lights and moved in for a closer inspection. When he got within 25 yards of the object, he realized that it was not in fact on the road at all; it was hovering approximately five feet off the ground. Not knowing how to proceed, he tried calling for backup in the car radio, only to discover that it would not function. His personal radio was also "completely dead." Godfrey recalled that the object appeared to have been emitting some kind of force capable of disrupting the trees on either side of the road, yet it made no noise whatsoever, nor could he feel any vibration in the police car. For safety reasons, he remained in the car and proceeded to sketch the object in front of him in a notepad he kept in the vehicle. He described the object as a diamond shape, with the bottom half rotating and the top sitting stationary. Soon after finishing the sketch, he reported a "jump in time"; he suddenly found himself driving the car again, approximately 20 or 30 yards past the point at which he met the object. Confused as to what had just happened, Godfrey turned the car around and inspected the area in which it had rested. He found that the road was perfectly dry where it had hovered, despite the fact that the entire area had been dampened from the rainfall that night. Despite initial scepticism, Godfrey later came to believe that the he was the victim of an alien abduction.

Godfrey returned to the station to retrieve two fellow officers in an attempt to continue the search for the missing cattle. They managed to find them in a field, to which the only point of access was across a bridge and through a locked gate. There was no sign of the cattle having walked there themselves, despite the ground being wet and easily disturbed. Godfrey insisted that the only way the cows could have gotten there was for them to have simply been dropped on the spot.

Upon returning to the station, Godfrey also noticed that there was approximately 30–35 minutes "missing" for which he could not account. While he claims his trip down Burnley Road should have only taken him 15 minutes, he had been gone for approximately 45–50. He also noticed several other things for which he had no rational explanation; an itchy but painless mark had appeared on his foot, and his boot had been split horizontally on the sole. The next day, he also discovered that three other officers had reported seeing strange lights at the time of Godfrey's encounter.

Godfrey reported the occurrences as per standard police procedure, despite some ridicule from colleagues. He soon found that the story had been leaked to the press, much to the embarrassment of the department and his family. Godfrey maintains that the department, uncomfortable with his newfound notoriety, pressured him to resign through such tactics as replacing his car with a bicycle. Godfrey no longer works for the Police Service.


At some point after the UFO encounter, Godfrey's wife was awakened by a strange noise outside the house while the two of them were in bed together. Despite her best efforts, she was unable to wake Godfrey. The next morning, they had sex for the first time since the beating of 1977, an act which resulted in the pregnancy of Godfrey's wife. Godfrey was told that his condition had somehow reversed, and maintains the belief that "the visitors" he encountered on the night of November 28, 1980 served some sort of positive function in his life.

Godfrey was later convinced to undergo hypnotic regression in order to attempt to recall what had transpired during the 'jump in time' he had reported upon encountering the UFO. Despite initial reservations, he conceded. During the session, he claimed that the UFO had stopped his car engine, filled his radio with static, then blinded him with an intensely bright light which caused him to lose consciousness. His next supposed memory was being inside a room that looked very much like that of a regular house. There was a large black dog in the room, and a heavily bearded men assisted by several small, robot-like creatures with heads shaped like lamps. The bearded man, dressed in "biblical" clothes, communicated with Godfrey telepathically, revealing that his name was "Yosef" and that Godfrey already "knew" him. Yosef promised him a later encounter. Godfrey still has no conscious recall of the supposed abduction, and is unsure whether what he 'recalled' during the hypnotic session was fact, fantasy, a dream, or a mixture of all three.

Police constable Alan Godfrey's abduction in West Yorkshire, England

Date of sighting: November 28, 1980
Location of sighting: Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England

Source: Jenny Randles

"In November and December 1980, the eastern side of Britain was experiencing a major UFO sighting wave. There were chases of UFOs by police cars near the coast, a UFO that overflew an oil rig in the North Sea, and the wave culminated in the famous events on the East Anglian coast at Rendlesham Forest. Just a month before these landings beside those NATO air bases, one of the most impressive alien abduction cases took place in the small Penninemill town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, right in the centre of Britain's most active window area known locally as "UFO Alley".

Police Constable Alan Godfrey was on patrol on the night of 28 November 1980. Just before dawn, he drove along Burnley Road on the edge of Todmorden, looking for some cows that had been reported missing. They were only found after sun-up, mysteriously relocated in a rain-soaked field without hoofmarks to indicate their passage.

Giving up his nocturnal hunt, Godfrey was about to go back to base to sign off duty when he saw a large mass a few hundred yards ahead. At first, he thought it was a bus coming towards him that took workers to their jobs in town and that he knew passed about 5:00 a.m. But as he approached, he realized that it was something very strange. It was a fuzzy oval that rotated at such speed and hovered so low over the otherwise deserted highway that it was causing the bushes by the side to shake. The police officer stopped, propped onto his windscreen a pad that was in the patrol car to make sketches of any road accidents, and drew the UFO. Then there was a burst of light, and the next thing he knew, he was driving his car again, further along Burnley Road, with no sign of the UFO.

Godfrey turned around and examined the spot where the UFO had hovered. The road was very wet as it had rained heavily earlier in the night. But just at this one location was a circular patch where the roadway had been dried in a swirled pattern. Only when back at the police station did he realise that it was a little later than he had expected - although any missing time was probably no greater than 15 minutes from estimates later taken on site.

Concerned as to possible ridicule, Godfrey at first chose not to make an official report, but changed his mind later that day when he discovered he was not alone. After breakfast that morning, a driver who had been on Burnley Road three miles further out at Cliviger reported seeing a brilliant white object and contacted Todmorden police. The time matched that of Alan Godfrey's. Furthermore, a police patrol from an adjacent force (Halifax) had been engaged in a stakeout for stolen motorcycles on the moors of the Calder Valley and had witnessed a brilliant blue-white glow descending into the valley towards Todmorden shortly before Godfrey experienced his close encounter. Their story, when it reached Todmorden police station, formed a second match.

Encouraged by this news Godfrey filed an official report, but was surprised when police chose to release the story to the local newspaper the following week. From here, UFOlogists discovered the case and a lengthy investigation was mounted by a Manchester-based UFO group.

Although Alan Godfrey had no further conscious recall of the missing time, he did have increasingly confused memory of the sequence of events surrounding the sighting (with an unexplained image of seeing himself outside the car during the sighting). There was also puzzling physical evidence. His police-issue boots were split on the sole, as if he had been dragged along the floor and they had caught on something. He also reported a previous history of seeing other strange things and having experienced at least one earlier time lapse as a youth — factors that UFOlogists have come to recognise as common with abduction cases.

When sure that all conscious testimony had been recorded, Godfrey agreed to be hypnotically regressed by a Manchester psychiatrist eight months after the incident. He eventually had several other sessions with different therapists, and his recall in later sessions was video-taped. The doctor refused permission to the UFO group for the first session to be recorded.

The hypnotic testimony is very odd, and Godfrey was never to be sure what really happened. Under regression, he told of the bright light stopping the car engine, causing his radio and police handset both to be filled with static and then to be swamped by blinding light as he lost consciousness. His next recall was of being inside a strange room, more like a house than a spaceship, complete with a most unexpected large black dog. He was studied by a heavily bearded man who telepathically conveyed that his name was "Yosef" and whose clothing was very Biblical in nature. Assisting Yosef were several small robot-like creatures "the size of a five-year-old lad" and with "a head shaped like a lamp". They are reminiscent of the "Grays" of UFO lore; although with major differences.

Godfrey was supposedly asked questions, told that he "knew" Josef, and was promised a later encounter. But apparently, he was not subjected to the more familiar indignities of abduction stories (especially from the US), such as bodily fluid samples and rectal probes. Although there were periods of missing memory, the hypnotic recall that did emerge was a curious hybrid of mythic images, UFO case elements and dream-like sequences.

When asked his opinion as to the reality status of this hypnotic testimony, Alan Godfrey was refreshingly honest. He told me he was certain that the UFO encounter was real, but he could not determine whether the story offered by hypnosis was a dream, a fantasy, reality, or a mixture of all three.

Unhappily, Alan Godfrey suffered terribly after this encounter. When I first wrote up the investigation (just before the regression hypnosis began) for Flying Saucer Review magazine in 1981, I deliberately changed his identity to help protect him; although this was probably futile because the story had already been featured in the local press under Godfrey's real name.

However, despite my refusal to assist them, a tabloid reporter traced the witness and devoted a front-page banner headline article to the story — read by millions over the Sunday lunch — which led to the officer being called to explain himself before his superiors. He was forced to undergo medical investigation to determine his "status", but was pronounced psychologically fit and healthy. Yet after some years feeling that he would never be allowed to forget his sighting, he took advice to honorably resign over an unrelated physical injury incurred during an incident in which he bravely intervened to avert a crime.

Todmorden, both before 1980 and in the years since, has been a hotbed of alien contact activity with several other major encounters having been investigated, including another abduction of a truck driver from Burnley Road only a little further out of Todmorden and on the same highway."



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