Spooky Calderdale Hallowe’en special: Mystery of the burned corpse

Zigmunt Jan Adamski
Zigmunt Jan Adamski
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ZIGMUNT Adamski had been a Polish prisoner of war, but he escaped the Nazis and settled and married in England.

He was found dead in mysterious circumstances in Todmorden after going missing for five days.

In June 1980 he had left his Wakefield home to buy potatoes. He had been looking forward to the next day, when he was due to give his god-daughter away in marriage.

On June 11 his body was found by Trevor Parker, the son of a Todmorden coal merchant, resting in a hollow on top of a pile of coal. It would have been difficult for anyone to have scrambled up the steep sides of the coal heap.

It had been raining most of the day and the coal was slippery.

There were no indentations in the coal, and it is unlikely Mr Adamski climbed up himself – he had lung and heart damage.

Strangely Mr Adamski was wearing the same jacket he had left home in – but his shirt was gone.

Although he had been missing for five days, he had only one day’s beard stubble.

There were burn marks on his head, neck and shoulders.

The first policemen on the scene were PCs Mervyn Haig and Alan Godfrey.

During a post-mortem carried out in Hebden Bridge by Dr Alan Edwards, it was discovered the burns were covered in a sticky brown substance – some kind of ointment.

The burns – caused either by scalding water or some kind of corrosive fluid – were not the cause of death, said Dr Edwards.

An inquest ruled Mr Adamski died of natural causes. Dr Edwards noted there was lung and heart damage and said some kind of fright could have triggered a heart attack

During the summer of 1980 there was a spate of UFO sightings in Calderdale.

In 1981 detectives admitted they had investigated the theory that Mr Adamski could have had a UFO encounter.

But the five lost days were never accounted for and the burns were never explained.

It was, as someone said, as if his body had simply fallen to Earth from the sky.

The top of a coal heap would be an unlikely place for anyone to dispose of a body...except for one strange coincidence.

For most of his life Mr Adamski had been a coal miner.