November 28, 1980
Location: Todmorden, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
officer Alan Godfrey was on routine patrol when he encountered
a metallic disc with a dome and a row of windows. Suddenly,
there was a burst of light, and he found himself 100 yards
farther down the road, and the UFO was gone. Under hypnosis
later, Godfrey recalled being struck by a beam of light
which floated him into the craft, and meeting a human-like
being named Joseph, whose clothing was very Biblical in
nature. Aboard the craft, he was physically examined and
Alan Godfrey, with a drawing of the craft. (credit: Evans
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 U.S.), 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.
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.
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
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.
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.