With the passage of time, old cases are being re-investigated in the light of today's knowledge. There have been major advances in our understanding of the human brain, and the way in which it works. A two part article in the English "Fortean times" (January and February 2011) takes a look at a classic English abduction case, from 31 years ago.
"A Policeman's lot: Part 1 & 2" is authored by Peter Brookesmith (click here); David Clarke (click here) and Andy Roberts (click here.)
The November, 1980, Alan Godfrey, alien abduction case occurred in the location of Todmorden, in West Yorkshire, England.
Police Constable Alan Godfrey was driving alone in a police car on a cold wet night, when a large object caught his attention. He described it as a fuzzy oval with light beneath it. Leaves were shaking on bushes. Both his car's VHF radio and personal UHF 'batphone' failed. he drew a sketch of the object; there was a burst of light and he found himself driving the car 100-150 yards further up the road from where he had been. A circular marking was found on the roadway. Later, it was said that three other police officers saw an object nearby at about the same time.
Godfrey underwent hypnotic regression in August 1981 and "something resembling an 'abduction' account emerged."
The case attracted much attention and it has gone down in the UFO literature as a classic UFO abduction.
"Jenny Randles believes there is a strong case for his seeing an unidentified atmospheric phenomena (UAP) - a catch-all term for a range of light phenomena that includes earthlights, ball lighting and atmospheric plasma and vortices similar to those proposed by Terence Meaden as the source of some crop circles." (p.46.)
"An analysis of 10,278 UFO sightings between 1947 and 2001 shows, that, as a ratio of population against sightings numbers, sightings are 12 times more frequent within the sparsely populated region that the national average...73 per cent of all alien contact reported within the Pennines occurred within 10 miles of Todmorden." (p.46.)
Jenny based her conclusion on the facts:
* Godfrey's UHF and VHF radios experienced electrical interference when the UFO was present.
* A low pressure frontal system had just gone through.
* The UFO was described as "like a glowing, spinning top."
Andy Roberts thinks "Godfrey may well be reporting his own experience but that it is unlikely to have taken place in our consensus reality...no physical evidence...no other witness to any part of it has come forward..."
There was a report that three other police officers had seen something unusual just 15 minutes before Godfrey, but it later turned out that this had occurred 4 days before.
Godfrey "Stated repeatedly that when he first saw the object his first thought was that it was a bus." (p.48.)
The article postulates: "Godfrey had been up all night. It's the later part of his shift, and he's been unsuccessfully hunting cows up and down the back streets of Todmorden. He's driving up the road, tired, through a light drizzle. Suddenly he sees something at a bus stop opposite the Mons Mill. Whatever it is, by his own account, it reflected the headlights of his police car. He can't immediately recognise the object but thinks it is a bus.
"As he's tired, perhaps confused, mind processes this information, he slips into an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and in this hallucinatory state, voila, the bus becomes a UFO. The ASC lasts long enough for him to test the radios, sketch the object, and drive his car 100 yards (90m) or more up the road before he comes around."
Where did the UFO imagery come from?
A saucer shaped building "The Futuro," saucer shaped with elliptical windows, had been parked at various sites around Todmorden between 1969 and 1980's.
"The bus-and-ASC hypothesis is the simplest and most elegant explanation, and it accounts for all the elements of his story."
In support of the ASC is that fact that Godfey had undergone previous odd events:
1. In childhood, a ball of light appeared in his bedroom.
2. At age 18 - a woman and a dog stepped out in front of his car, he braked, got out but there was nothing there.
3. At age 23 he was found wandering in a daze.
1. There are documented instances where an individual has claimed an abduction while other people physically present with them, saw nothing, e.g. the 1972 Frankston, Victoria, Maureen Puddy case (click here).
2. However, one crucial piece of information seems to have been missed from this article. Was there or was there not a bus scheduled to be at that bus stop at the time? If so, did anyone interview the driver of the vehicle or any passengers? I suggest that as the article does not mention checking whether or not a bus had been present, then the investigators did not do so. If they had, and a bus was there, their hypothesis would be greatly strengthened.
3. Usually, one cannot locate the possible source of imagery which generated a specific UFO report. Here the authors identify a very unusual saucer shaped building which had been around Todmorden for years.
Similarly, if you read other case accounts of the Maureen Puddy case you will find that Maureen spoke of a "mushroom" shaped object in the room where she was, but yet the VUFORS investigator stated "She picked off a little gadget from the dashboard of her car and to my amazement it was exactly what I had envisaged from her description of the 'mushroom.' A small compass on a suction cup." (Click here for more on this.)
4. I think one needs to give serious consideration to the possibility that some abductions occur in an altered state of consciousness. What this exactly means, remains to be further researched.