Zygmunt Jan Adamski


Zygmunt Jan Adamski was a Polish-born miner whose body was found on a coal tip near the busy railway line in Todmorden in June 1980.

Mr Adamski was born in Poland, and had been a British citizen since World War II, and he lived with his invalid wife, Lottie.

He disappeared from near his home at Tingley, near Wakefield, around 3:30 pm on Friday, 6th June 1980 when he had gone out to buy some potatoes for dinner. He left the house, had a quick word with a neighbour and walked down the street. Nobody saw him alive again.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, 11th June 1980, his body was found on a 12 ft high coal heap in Todmorden Railway Station goods yard, 30 miles from his home. There were no footmarks to indicate that anyone had climbed the 6 ft high heap of coal.

Two officers from the Todmorden Force, PC Alan Godfrey and a colleague, arrived at the scene at 4:10 pm. His wallet, watch and shirt were missing and the rest of his clothing was intact. His body was clean as if he has stepped from a shower.

The most unusual aspect of the body's appearance were irregular marks on the back of his head, neck, and shoulders where the skin had been burned off. On seeing the burns, they immediately suspected a crime, and the police investigation began. The precise cause of the burns – possibly some sort of corrosive agent – was never identified. The burns were estimated to have been inflicted 2 days before his death. There were traces of greasy substances on the burns, possibly an ointment which had been used to treat the wound. Analysis failed to identify the ointment.

He had one day's growth of beard, and he had eaten well, although forensic examination showed that he had not eaten on the day the body was found. His body had been exposed to the pouring rain for at least a day. Medical examination concluded that death occurred somewhere between 11:15 am and 1:15 pm that day, and the body had been on the coal-tip beside the busy railway line for perhaps 3 or 4 hours. His widow believed that he had been kidnapped and tortured. The Coroner's inquest returned an open verdict.

Adamski's body was returned to Poland where he was buried on 17th July 1980.

The incident was linked to UFOs and orange fireballs which had been seen in the area during the week that Adamski disappeared

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 16:52 / 25th July 2023 / 4419

Page Ref: MMA120

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