Exhibit / August 23, 2017
The 1968 Futuro House—a flying-saucer-shaped prefabricated dwelling originally intended as a skiing cabin—was the brainchild of Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. Made of pre-cast fibreglass-reinforced polyester plastic elements that could be assembled on site, the Futuro was designed to be easy to construct and heat in rugged environments. The small number manufactured—less than 100—included one produced in 1971 by Waterside Plastics, a company based in the British industrial town of Todmorden in West Yorkshire. Waterside manufactured the Futuro under license and was known for producing the first cabinets for the spherical Keracolor TV.
The Futuro pictured above was to be the information centre and booking office for the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Todmorden’s being granted a charter of incorporation, and it spent the anniversary year at various locations around the town, where it was apparently still to be found nine years later when events involving Alan Godfrey, a local police constable, made him famous as one of Britain’s first alleged UFO abductees.
While driving around in search of a group of missing cows in the early hours of the 28th of November, 1980, P.C. Godfrey noticed what he initially thought was a double-decker bus. Upon closer inspection, it was revealed to be a spinning, diamond-shaped object in the sky that soon proceeded to vanish in a burst of light. Godfrey managed to make a sketch of it before its disappearance, but upon reaching the police station he realized that there was a period of time between the sighting and his arrival—variously described as around 15 or 30 minutes—for which he could not account.
Originally reluctant to make an official report on his experience, Godfrey only decided to do so after learning of several other reports of lights in the sky that night. The story was leaked to the press, and Godfrey quickly became headline news in the UK, and later the basis of a 1983 book by prolific local UFO writer Jenny Randles, The Pennine UFO Mystery. In an attempt to understand what had happened during the “missing time,” Godfrey subsequently underwent hypnotic regression, and recalled having been in a strange room containing a large black dog and a man of biblical appearance with a large beard—“Yosef”—who was assisted by several small, robot-like creatures.
Todmorden lies in the Pennines, a mountain range running down the west side of Northern England and an area with a centuries-long tradition of supernatural phenomena including the Gabriel Hounds, “human-headed dogs, who traverse the air,” and the Pendle Witches—the nine women and one man executed in the 1600s for ten murders committed through alleged supernatural means. The parish of Todmorden itself is home to the legend of Lady Sybil, who sold her soul for supernatural powers, as well as to sundry ghosts.
Five months before the sighting, Godfrey and another officer had been the first police to attend to the dead body of miner Zigmund Adamski, a 57-year-old Polish immigrant who had disappeared some days earlier and whose corpse was discovered on top of a pile of anthracite more than twenty miles from his home—the strange burns on its neck and shoulders were attributed by some as the result of alien abduction. This, together with the longstanding local presence of a Futuro house, have led some to hypothesize that a tired Godfrey simply imagined the entire episode after slipping into a semi-awake state, perhaps confusing the sight of a real double-decker bus with memories of the UFO-shaped residence. Though Godfrey insisted that the sighting of the UFO was real, he himself remained skeptical about the “memories” unearthed by the hypnosis.
In 1984, Godfrey was a guest on Breakfast Time, Britain’s first national breakfast television program, together with Colin Baker, the latest actor to play the title role in the BBC’s SF program Doctor Who. The sports presenter who comments on the similarities between Godfrey’s case and that of Betty and Barney Hill is ex-footballer David Icke who, after a period as an ecological activist, became better known for his theories regarding the many prominent world figures he claimed were actually members of a secret group of reptilians named the Babylonian Brotherhood.