Do you believe in little green men and flying saucers? No matter if you do or not, there’s no doubt that mysterious objects have been spotted in the skies all around the world for hundreds of years; it’s what they actually are – military aircraft or aliens – that causes debate. If you’re interested in UFO sightings, chances are that you’ve heard of Todmorden, a small English market town that shot to fame in the 1980s for just this reason.
Yorkshire is now considered to be one of the top places in the U.K. for UFO sightings, with over 850 reports since 2008. Perhaps its most interesting UFO story is from 1980, when two separate events made the news all around the world.
It all started in the West Yorkshire town of Tingley in June, when 56-year-old miner, Zigmund Adamski went missing from his home. He left the house on June 6th to walk to the local shops and was never again seen alive. Five days later, Adamski’s body was found on top of a 10 foot high pile of coal by yard worker, Trevor Parke in Todmorden, 20 miles away from where he went missing.
There were many mysterious circumstances around the discovery of Adamski’s body. He was wearing a suit but it was improperly fastened and his shirt, wallet and watch were missing. Despite being missing for five days, he only had one day of beard growth. His hair had been messily cut short and his head, neck and shoulders were covered in burn marks, coated in a strange ointment that scientists could not identify. There were no injuries to indicate how he had died but his eyes were open and his face showed an expression of pure terror, suggesting that he had been scared to death.
No-one could explain where Adamski had been for five days, how his body had found its way to the top of the pile of coal, what the ointment was covering his burns, why he only had one day of beard growth, or how he had died. James Turnbull, the coroner assigned to his case, stated that it was the biggest mystery of his career.
This was just the beginning of Todmorden’s UFO story. The policeman who had been called to the coal yard when Adamski’s body was first found, Alan Godfrey, was soon to be in the middle of his own unexplained tale.
Five months following the initial event, Godfrey had his own otherworldly experience less than a mile from the coal yard. He had been on duty, trying to locate some loose cattle when he saw what he described as a ‘flying saucer’ on Burnley Road. He quickly sketched the object that he saw hovering above the ground and then headed back to the local police station to report it, later noticing that he had lost 15-30 minutes of time. Under hypnosis, he spoke about being abducted by the UFO and given a physical examination by two beings. His story made the news all around the world, prompting UFO fanatics to rush to West Yorkshire in search of evidence. The two stories were commemorated three years later, when UFO writer Jenny Randles penned The Pennine UFO Mystery, discussing the two linked cases.
Since then, there have been many reports of strange lights in the sky over Todmorden and the surrounding moors. Other famous UFO sightings in Yorkshire include objects spotted in the sky over Rothwell, a triangular craft glowing green over Holmfirth and one of the most famous cases in the past couple of years when an object could be seen over the Ribblehead viaduct for several hours.
Local Todmorden residents gather once a month in the Golden Lion pub for UFO meetings, where they can tell their own stories of spotting lights and mysterious objects in the skies. Although the abductions in 1980 remain the most famous sightings, Todmorden and the rest of West Yorkshire still seems to be a hotbed for unidentified activity in the skies.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.