41 years after his death, the strange case of Yorkshire miner Zigmund Adamski remains unsolved.
The Polish-born 56-year-old walked out of his home in Tingley, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire at around 3:30 pm on June 6, 1980, saying he was going to the local shops to buy groceries. After pausing to chat to a neighbour he walked off and was never seen again.
Five days later, his body was found atop a 10ft high pile of coal at a coal yard in Todmorden, around 20 miles from his home.
He was wearing a three-piece suit but its jacket was "improperly" fastened and his shirt had been removed. Adamski’s watch and wallet were never found. His shoes were oddly tied. His hair had been cut short and curiously, despite the five-day disappearance, Adams appeared to have shaved the day before his death.
The person who found the body on the afternoon of June 11, Trevor Parker, swore he hadn’t seen Adamski enter the yard and that the body definitely hadn’t been there a few hours earlier.
Constable Alan Godfrey investigated Adamski’s unexplained death at the time. He noted that Adamski "was on top of the coal pile on his back with not a bit of coal on him. His eyes were wide open and he had burn marks".
The burns on Adamski’s body, which resembled acid burns, remain unexplained. James Turnbull, the coroner who dealt with Zigmund’s death, called the case "the biggest mystery of his career". He added that the burns appeared to have been treated with an ointment of some kind, but the substance could not be identified by forensic scientists.
Turnbull said: "The question of where he was before he died and what led to his death just could not be answered."
The exact cause of death was not determined, but Adamski appeared to have died a few hours before his body was found.
Explaining the mystery as a case of UFO abduction seems almost too obvious, but certainly, there have been many alleged UFO sightings in the Pennine hills around Todmorden.
And in November 1980, less than six months after Adamski’s body was found, Constable Godfrey had his own encounter with a UFO less than a mile away from that very coal yard.
He was investigating a report of a herd of cows going astray when he had a bizarre 'missing time' incident. A number of other officers in the area reported "strange lights" in the sky at the time.
Constable Godfrey eventually, reluctantly, submitted a UFO sighting report to his superiors. Not long after that, he was forced into retirement.
The once-respected policeman made a sketch of the UFO and later, under hypnosis, told a story about being taken aboard the UFO and given a physical examination by two non-human entities. The policeman’s UFO story made headlines around the world.
But Mr Godfrey, now 70, has since discounted the take he told under hypnosis as "probably a dream," adding: "I never said I was abducted by aliens."
He added" "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 it’s even worse."
However, he believes it’s possible that Adamski was taken by aliens.
"I am open-minded. I can’t rule it out."
There could be simpler explanations. Two British UFO investigators, John Hansen and David Sankey, who reviewed the case discovered that around the time he disappeared Mr Adamski had a disagreement with a family member who had moved into his home after experiencing marital problems.
They theorised that Adamski’s disappearance may have been an abduction linked to the feud.
Commenting on this suggestion, said: "We had no reason to suspect any members of the family."
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police told the Yorkshire Examiner: "The Adamski case is not part of any current investigation by the Protective Services (Crime) department."
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