Zigmund Adamski

More interesting than his captivating name, Zigmund Adamski’s death has been whispered about in the corners of the paranormal world for decades. He left his house on the evening of June 6th, 1980 for potatoes and would be found inexplicably dead just five days later. But how did Polish-born miner end up dead on top of anthracite coal in Todmorden, England?

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56-year-old Zigmund seemed to live a fairly normal life. However, that changed on the eve of his niece’s wedding when he left the house on routine errands. When he did not return home that evening his wife was distraught and called the police. She was afraid he had been kidnapped (although why anyone would kidnap a relatively unknown middle-aged miner is unknown) and a search for Zigmund began.

Sadly (and strangely), his body was found just five days later on June 11th, 1980 in the town of Todmorden. If that name sounds a little strange to you...maybe it should. Todmorden translates, roughly, to ‘kill the dead’ in German (well according to google translate, anyway). However, it is believed to be an odd coincidence.  But this does beg another question...why is there a town named Todmoern in West Yorkshire?

Anyway, back to Zigmund! Zigmund’s body was discovered on top of a 12-foot pile of anthracite coal. Anthracite coal is hard coal that has the highest energy density and fewest impurities of all types of coal. A miner being found on top of a pile of coal may not seem too strange, but Zigmund had no ties to Todmorden and was roughly 20 miles away from his home. His body was discovered around 3:30pm by Trevor Parker, the son of the owner of Tomlin’s Coal Yard where Zigmund laid.

Police arrived on the scene a short while later and the Police Constable, Alan Godfrey, examined the body to the best of his ability (although he was not a trained medical professional) and decided it was likely Zigmund had died from a heart attack. 

Although this seemed like a routine cause of death...there were some questions about the scene that even the seasoned PC Godfrey had. For example, how had the body made its way facedown on top of the coal pile? Furthermore, there was no evidence that this person had been roughing it, homeless, or in any way anything but a normal man. Although he was dressed smartly in his suit, his shirt was missing along with his wallet and watch. Some reports claim that it appeared someone had re-dressed Zigmund, but had done a poor job of it...almost as if they had no idea the right way to tie shoes, use buttons or fasten pants.

Besides his clothing, there were also strange burn marks around his neck and shoulders which appeared to be covered in a green gelatinous substance, like a salve...although its origin could not be identified. 

Even stranger, once it was established that the body was that of Zigmund’s, was the time of death. Although he had been missing for five days, Dr. Alan Edwards, the consulting pathologist at the Royal Halifax Infirmary, concluded that Zigmund died between 11am and 1pm on June 11th, just mere hours before Trevor Parker discovered him.

What’s more is he, as the police on the scene had noticed, had not appeared to have been roughing it or under any extreme physical distress. Furthermore, according to the corner he only had about one day of beard growth, despite being missing for several days. 

The burn on his neck was also believed to have happened about two days before his death and, as mentioned before, the apparent ointment that had been rubbed on the wound could not be identified. Ultimately, after some debate, it was determined that the cause of death was a heart attack. The strange burns and his strange final days were never addressed or discussed.

Questions about Zigmund’s strange death and the circumstance his body was found in began to swirl and soon rumors of a potential abduction began to brew. Some believe that this may have been a Close Encounter of the Sixth Kind. According to Hynek’s scale, the Sixth Kind is “Death of a human or animal associated with a UFO sighting, although some might consider this as a more severe example of a second-kind encounter.”

Several months later, PC Goddard had another strange experience that became tied to Zigmund’s story. On November 28th, 1980 PC Goddard was driving around Todmorden shortly after 5am in the morning. He saw what he believed to be a bus and its headlights coming towards him. However, as he drove closer he realized that what he had perceived as a bus was floating roughly five feet above the ground. He attempted to radio in this sighting but his car radio and walkie-talkie both failed. Nervous about what he had experienced, he later heard that four policemen in the nearby town of Halifax had reported something similar. This encouraged PC Goddard to submit his own sighting. 

UFO researchers later heard about this sighting and contacted PC Goddard who believed he had been missing roughly 15 minutes of time. He was encouraged to undergo hypnosis to see if any memories of that time could be dredged up.

A journalist, John Sherard, watched a video of the hypnosis video and wrote in an edition of Sunday Mirror  (published on 9/27/1981) Goddard’s strange words...

“They’re horrible…..small…three to four feet, like five year old lads! There are eight of them. He’s touching me…..He’s feeling at my clothes. They have hands and heads like a lamp. They keep touching me…….they are making noises……Joseph, I know him as Joseph. He has told me not to be frightened.

They are robots! They’re not human! They’re robots! They’re his! They are Joseph’s robots! There’s a bloody dog…..it’s horrible! The size of an Alsatian!”

As a note...I googled Alsatian...it appears to be a breed of dog, or, someone from Alsace.

So, was there a strange flap in Yorkshire in the 1980s? Or is this just a very strange missing-and-then-found case? What do you think?


The above image from Anthracite Coal 01 10x Photomicrograph From Randolph Black licensed in the Public Domain.

Thanks to Tracey S. for this blogstonishing suggestion!