Mysteries revisited: the 1980 Todmorden UFO incident

Over 40 years ago, a British policeman encountered something that would stick with him for the rest of his days.

At around 5am on November 28th, 1980, Todmorden constable Alan Godfrey had been nearing the end of his shift and had been investigating reports of cattle on the estate when he witnessed a large diamond-shaped object hovering above the road just ahead of him.

Estimating the unidentified craft to be approximately 20ft high and 14ft across, he attempted to radio for assistance but found to his horror that his equipment was no longer functioning.

Before he knew it, the object had disappeared and he found himself 30 yards down the road having experienced a period of around 25 minutes of missing time that he could not account for.

It is what followed the encounter, however, that would cement Godfrey’s place in the UFO history books.

Around six months later, he was tasked with investigating the death of a missing man – Zigmund Adamski – whose body had been found in a Todmorden coal yard.

It wasn’t long before the media had linked the man’s death with Godfrey’s UFO encounter and the rest, as they say, is history. Godfrey quickly became a household name and has since spent several decades talking and writing about his experiences.

During a recent interview, he recalled that the case had attracted the attention of senior officers and a mysterious individual who he believed was some sort of government agent.

“I was ordered under the Official Secrets Act not to disclose anything to the media… about Adamski or my own encounter,” he said.

The stress of the whole thing ultimately ended his career with the police.

“It wrecked me. It completely changed me,” he said. “I ended up drinking a bottle of whisky every single day. I was nearly an alcoholic. It drove me to despair.”

To this day, he blames much of this on being silenced by the government.

“They’ve released all the UFO files from the MoD. They’ve never released mine,” he said.