Chance Encounters in the Valley of Lights
Chance Encounters in the Valley of Lights tells the story of an unsolved extra-terrestrial case from 1980s Todmorden, West Yorkshire. Photographer Rik Moran combines original imagery with never-before-seen archival material to investigate the possible alien abduction of PC Alan Godfrey. In illuminating one of small-town England's most unlikely protagonists, Chance Encounters unearths another other-worldly mystery along the way. Todmorden's ancient standing stones and intricate local folklore have long proclaimed the West Yorkshire market town a site of strange and sinister happenings. In more recent years, Todmorden has become famous for its abundant UFO sightings - but even among such singular company, there's one story that stands out. 11th June 1980. Found in a Todmorden yard, resting on a pile of coal ten feet high, miner Zygmunt Adamski's body had no visible injuries. None, that is, except for a mark - perhaps a burn - on the back of his neck and head. Coroner James Turnbull's report cited a heart attack as Adamski's cause of death but recorded an open verdict. Later, he would describe the case as "quite the most mysterious death I have investigated in 12 years as a coroner". But six months after being assigned to this strangest of investigations, Todmorden PC Alan Godfrey would recall an episode which, if true, made the Adamski mystery seem practically workaday by comparison. In the early hours of 29th November 1980, while investigating reports of cattle roaming a nearby estate, Godfrey claimed to have seen a large dome-shaped object. Blinded by a flash of light, he came to his senses 100 yards away and with 25 'missing' minutes to account for. On returning home, Godfrey realised his left boot was split and he had an itchy red mark - perhaps a burn - on his foot. Photographer Rik Moran grew up just a few miles from Todmorden and first heard the curious tale of Alan Godfrey when his father brought home a newspaper. Chance Encounters in the Valley of Lights uses Moran's original photography - bolstered by archival material including transcripts of interviews and hypnosis sessions, newspaper articles and police reports - to reappraise his childhood's strangest story.
Designer: Patrick Fry Studio
Binding: Casebound book