The following is reproduced, with permission, from the book UFO CONTACTS IN ITALY VOLUME TWO.
By Roberto Pinotti
The following information is taken from my new book ‘UFO CONTACTS IN ITALY -VOLUME TWO’ which has just been published by Philip Mantle’s publishing company ‘FLYING DISK PRESS’. It is the first time that this information has been made available in english.
In 2000, during the annual World UFO Symposium in San Marino, my colleague Alfredo Lissoni and I gave a lecture on the sensational discovery of some new original material, which has been sent to us anonymously on a number of occasions regarding the existence of the so-called “Fascist UFO Files”. This material dealt with a purported flying saucer that had either crashed or landed near Magenta in Lombardy in Italy on April 11th, 1933, some fourteen years before the famous Roswell, New Mexico, UFO crash. This event involved a subsequent investigation by an obscure war time intelligence unit called “Gabinetto RS/33” (or RS/33 Cabinet ), ‘RS’ is the acronym for Ricerche Speciali or Special Researches, and 33 means 1933, this group had been authorized by Benito Mussolini to study the problem.
Later the crashed UFO was stored in the hangars of the SIAI Marchetti in Vergiate. Mussolini thought that this “unconventional flying vehicle” was a French, British or German secret weapon, but apparently Guglielmo Marconi believed it was Extra-Terrestrial in nature. The RS/33 Cabinet – according to the mysterious sender of the material who wrote to us saying he was a relative of one of its members who had investigated this. Apparently, between 1933 and 1940, there were many different Italian UFO sightings: in one instance an Italian fighter plane intercepted an UFO between Ravenna and Rome and in August 1936 there was a multiple UFO sighting (a “flying cigar” and two Saturn-shaped UFOs) over Mestre and Venice.
Indeed, in Italy there were many UFO sightings between 1933 and 1940, so little wonder a secret commission was established to study them. According to the “Fascist UFO Files” we received, it was founded by Mussolini along with Fascist Ministers Italo Balbo and Galeazzo Ciano and it was headed by Guglielmo Marconi. The first UFO case was in 1931 near Venice; the second is above mentioned case when, on June 13, 1933, a landed UFO was recovered.
We have three telegrams (there are four) concerning the recovery of this UFO and a ‘protocol’ was sent to the Prefect, intended for the Italian secret services and the newspapers, in order to cover up this news. It all began in early 1996 when I received a handful of hand written notes on stationary bearing the seal of the “Kingdom’s Senate” in the mail. The year mentioned in the material was 1936 and in the hand written document, first sent to a Certain “Valiberghi” by a secret agent using the first name “Andrea” there was a sketch of a “mysterious airship”.
“It was observed in the morning” he writes “it was a metallic disc, polished and reflecting light, with a length of ten or twelve meters. Two fighter aircraft from a nearby air force base took off, but were not able to reach it even traveling at 130 Km/h. It didn’t emit any sound, which would lead one to consider an aerostat (balloon). But nobody knows of balloons that can fly faster than the wind. I know for sure that it was seen by other pilots… the report arrived in the hands of Ciano [Mussolini’s son-in-law and Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs]. “Then, after approximately an hour and after flying over Mestre, it was seen as a sort of metallic tube, grey or slate in colour”. A drawing by a confidential informant was redrawn by Andrea, who, as far as the two ‘A’ and ‘B’ drawings are concerned, explained that “ ‘A’ was described as being like a kind of aerial torpedo, with very clear windows… and with alternating white and red lights. ‘B’ were two ‘hats’, two hats like those used by priests. They were wide, round with a dome in the center, metallic and followed the torpedo without changing their relative positions”. The document mentions that “the Prefecture has opened an inquiry, but you can imagine that it will make little inroads and have a similar outcome to that of 1931. The Duce has expressed his worries, because he says that if it was an English or French aircraft, his foreign policy would have to start all over again”. Although Andrea’s report is only one of several received by Lissoni and I since 1996, its contents are sensational since it describes a classic “flying saucer” in 1936, with aircraft alerted and multiple witnesses. It also reveals that Mussolini and Ciano, Italy’s number one and two leaders at the time, were kept informed of the situation.
At first, as the recipient of the material for Centro Ufologico Nazionale, I decided to file it away for the time being until a deeper analysis, or fresh evidence was available that might be able to establish its authenticity. A long time passed and the search for eyewitnesses was fruitless. The document had indicated three names, all of whom were now untraceable.
Then, finally, CUN member Dr. Cristina Vannucci managed to secure the testimony of an ageing relative, Faustino (who unfortunately died shortly afterwards), but who confirmed that he had been present and had seen the incredible thing flying over Mestre and Venice.
Indeed, other caches of documents sent by the anonymous “Mr. X” (as we decided to call him) were received by CUN, before the daily newspaper, IL RESTO DEL CARLINO of Bologna, – whose skeptical journalists did not publish them – and by the contactee-oriented magazine, UFO: LA VISITA EXTRATERRESTRE– mentioned in Cabinet RS/33. This magazine was charged with both investigating and covering up what the documents call “Velivoli Non Convenzionali” or VNC as an acronym for (Unconventional Flying Vehicles).
Unfortunately, an original thirty-page dossier about VNC (i.e. the one that had been sent to the newspaper IL RESTO DEL CARLINO of Bologna) was lost, while the first batch of photocopied material sent to UFO: LA VISITA EXTRATERRESTRE did not have the result “Mr. X” had desired. This magazine entrusted their enquiry to the Naples ufologist Umberto Telarico who was skeptic about the case. The material got published, but they considered it a fake.
Evidently greatly disappointed and weary, on September 10, 1999, “Mr. X” sent a letter of protest (always of course anonymously) repeating what we have just said about the RS/33 CABINET and supplying the names of some of its members: – a certain shadowy Dr. Ruggero Costanti Cavazzani, and also Professor Severi, Professor Bottazzi, Professor Giordano, and Professor Crocco, all real people.
Enclosed also was a newspaper-clipping about a French air force pilot who had vanished in Italy (a pilot who, as we discovered later, had had the misfortune to film a UFO and then spoke to the Italians about it!).
Cabinet RS/33 had links with the Fascist Secret Police OVRA and with “Agenzia Stefani”, the regime’s news agency in charge of disseminating Fascist information and propaganda. As far as the 1933 case, the “Fascist UFO Files” include a “PRIORITY and MOST CONFIDENTIAL” telegram from the Telegraphic Office in Milan, the sender was Agenzia Stefani – Milano, explaining that:
“By personal order of the Duce (i.e. Mussolini), absolute silence is required about an alleged landing on national soil of unknown aircraft STOP Released version dispatched today by Stefani Agency confirmed STOP The same version also applies to personnel and journalists STOP Anticipated max punishment for transgressors up to referral to the Tribunal for State Security STOP”.
Although it has not been possible for us – 70 years later! –To find eyewitnesses to those events who were still living, we think we did find an indirect confirmation of the landing (or maybe of the “crash”) of the flying saucer – in a news item in the popular weekly magazine Domenica del Corriere of July 9, 1937.
Ably camouflaged, this spoke of an ‘enormous and brilliant flash of lightning’ which, one night, injured five pedestrians on the road between Magenta and Novara”.
As the President of the Royal Italian Academy of Sciences, Senator Guglielmo Marconi, Italy’s Nobel Prize winner and most famous scientist and inventor, was the director of the cabinet, which also included several other eminent Italian astronomers, scientists and aeronautical engineers such as Senator Luigi Cozza, astronomer Gino Cecchini and professors Vallauri, Pirotta, Crocco, Debbasi, Severi, Bottazzi and Giordano.
The late Dr. Antonio Garavaglia, a top Italian forensic consultant, conducted tests on the material I received, and the results were positive, authenticating the most important of the papers (the drawing of the 1936 UFO reported over Mestre). Copies of eighteen secret documents from the Fascist era (handwritten notes and telegrams), as well as a forensic report authenticating one of the papers (with a drawing of two Saturn-shaped “flying saucers” following their cylindrical “mother ship”) were released by CUN to the Italian media, including the National TV network RAI UNO and leading newspapers such as IL RESTO DEL CARLINO, LA NAZIONE and LA REPUBBLICA.
As things went sour for Italy during the war, all the files from the RS/33 Cabinet were supposedly shipped to Nazi Germany. As Lissoni points out, rumours of Nazi discs have plagued the UFO literature for decades, and one Italian scientist, Giuseppe Belluzzo, is always mentioned in conjunction with the Germans, Miethe, Schriever and Habermohl. Much nonsense has been written about the so-called Nazi flying saucers – some of it unabashed neo-Nazi propaganda – yet undoubtedly there is at least some truth to the matter. The names of Miethe, et al., are confirmed by FBI and other U.S. and German documents. It is also possible that the German V-7 (a revolutionary discoidal aircraft whose existence as a prototype was confirmed by Hermann Oberth) was initially developed after Italian research by VNC.
The technician for Mussolini’s Italian Social Republic in 1944 and 1945 in the Garda Lake area, found and gave us seventeen original documents from her father, including detailed drawings of the outer parts of the design of an Italian disc-shaped “DISCOMET” showing an unknown and never produced Italian discoidal aircraft he had designed in the last months of WW2.Besides, since the end of the Thirties a German aircraft designer named Nordung had been attempting to build a “solar” flying disc to be sent out into space – subsequently re-named the “flying wheel”, so it is no wonder that the Italian Fascists, finding themselves confronted with a UFO, should have opted for the explanation that it was a secret weapon!
Are the “Fascist UFO Files” authentic? Obviously, considering the technical forensic analysis conducted for CUN, the answer is positive for me and my colleague Alfredo Lissoni (who, in the Archives of the Prefecture in Milan, also found about 500 copies of telegrams of the Prefects of the Kingdom of Italy to the Government, between 1933 and 1938, some of which concerned definite reports of “Unconventional Flying Vehicles” and showed the attention Italian Authorities directed to the problem).
So they appear genuine, in spite of the fact that critics do not accept them as proper “historical documents”. But even if we considered them only as a sort of “private correspondence”, the fact that they mention the UFO the phenomenon in a report dated 1936 cannot be ignored.
To the investigators’ credit, the whole affair was kept strictly confidential until Antonio Garavaglia’s professional forensic analysis was completed. Only then the documents were released to the Italian press and published in a series of articles in CUN’s official magazine and later in a book. Garavaglia conducted a series of chemical tests of the paper and ink – remember, he had originals and not copies – and he concluded they are really authentic, hand written documents from the Fascist era. The color of the paper and ink aging process led him to believe they were absolutely genuine and not modern forgeries.
Alfredo Lissoni also consulted with Andrea Bedetti, a historian and expert on Italy’s Fascist period. “I cannot exclude the existence of a “RS/33 Cabinet” said Bedetti. He also examined in the documents for the wording and the bureaucratic style of the period”, as well as the stationery (“Kingdom’s Senate” and Stefani Agency telegrams) and aeronautical terminology used. Bedetti found that all of it was consistent with genuine Fascist-era documents. According to debunkers this didn’t rule out a skilled forger, but they have to admit he would have to be someone deeply knowledgeable about Fascist history, style, vocabulary and terminology. Bedetti also pointed out that in the period between 1933-1940 – coinciding with the alleged RS/33 Cabinet – Mussolini’s power was at its peak and Italy was one of the world’s leading nations in aviation and military aeronautics.
So, if the “Fascist UFO Files” are authentic, this rewrites the history of ‘official’ ufology, and the first country to officially deal with the UFO problem was no longer the United States, but Italy.
Alfredo Lissoni’s hypothesis is that the purported saucer recovered in 1933 had been hidden in one of the nearest and most discrete hangars in that region – namely the hangars of the aeronautical establishments of the SIAI Marchetti at Vergiate or Sesto Calende in the Varese region of Ticino. At that time they were under the control of Regia Aeronautica (Royal Italian Air Force) and General Italo Balbo, a very popular and world famous airman and, as indicated, a member of the RS/33 Cabinet. At the beginning of World War II, although he was against Italy’s alliance with Nazi Germany, he became the viceroy of Lybia, but his plane was shot down there by Italian batteries “by mistake”. Another member of the Cabinet, Mussolini’s son-in-law Count Galeazzo Ciano, was later executed by the Fascists due to his opposition to Il Duce.
The “Varese trail” had been suggested to Lissoni via several clues: namely that the messages about the recovery of the UFO came from the nearby Telegraphic Office of Milano; and at that time Black Shirts were suddenly dispatched to that region; and a Varese newspaper, “Cornice Praline”, of June 20, 1933, gave the first report, emphasizing that forms of life on Mars were in contact with the Earth – almost as it were a matter of fact. Also at the SIAI Marchetti at Sesto Calende, there was a director by the name of Moretti; and during the existence of the Italian Social Republic, it was a man named Moretti who, having gone over to the Resistance, set fire to the hangars at Vergiate (which were perhaps guarding some aerospace secret). And finally, when the war was over, the US Air Force and members of the Nazi Secret Service were simultaneously infiltrated into Sesto Calende, to investigate rumours of the presence of terrestrial flying saucers kept at Vergiate. Also, from time immemorial the entire region, was at the centre of intense ufological activity – to such a degree that it gained the nickname of being “The Ticino Triangle”.
In April of 1945, the 1st Armoured Division captured the SIAI Marchetti Aviation Facility where the 1933 Magenta UFO (or it debris) was probably kept and it was brought to the United States. Indeed the “RS/33 Cabinet” had continued to work right up to the time of the Italian Social Republic, the period in which a part of the documentation on UFOs, in several sealed boxes, had been sent to Berlin, while a part – “a not irrelevant part” – remained in Italy.
And this latest consignment of material, included copies of new documents, which possibly demonstrated the existence of agreements between Hitler and Mussolini regarding the study of a new (alien?) technology, agreements that had been made in 1938.These documents were: a Stefani Agency message from Florence containing an interview with Hitler when he was visiting Italy; a banknote of the nominal value of a million Lire (maybe “black funds” of the RS/33 Cabinet); minutes regarding the oath of secrecy given by the professors who collaborated with the Fascist Government; an invitation (registered) to Benito and Rachele Mussolini to Villa Torlonia (said to be for a “riuione riservatissima dedicada al Gabinetto RS/33” (that is “an extremely private meeting dedicated to the RS/33 Cabinet”).
Indeed, we know that a few years later, just before the Second World War, the Italians were able to produce the prototype of the first jet airplane in History (the “Campini Caproni 1”). But we also know that the aviation industry in Italy was the last in Western Europe at the end of WW1. So the question is: can it be that the study of the UFO stored in hangars near Milano gave the Italians the needed technology? We have to remember that Italian engineer Secondo Campini submitted a report on the potential of jet propulsion to the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Italian Air Force) and demonstrated a jet-powered boat in Venice. In 1934 the Regia Aeronautica granted approval for the development of a jet aircraft to demonstrate the principle used by Campini and requested him to build two aircraft with “propulsione a reazione” (jet propulsion) in the second half of the 1930s.
What is striking is the coincidence that all this “jet” development, in line with the Italian interest in the so-called “superaviazione” (super aviation) started to happen exactly one year after the first VNC sighting in Venice (1931) and one year after the Magenta UFO crash (1933).Campini had proposed the jet engine in 1932 and the first flight of a jet engined aircraft that is known about was in the Italian Caproni Campini N. 1 motor jet prototype that flew on August 27, 1940.
It was the first jet aircraft recognized by the Fédération Aèronatique Internationale (at the time the German Heinkel 178 program was still being kept secret by Nazi Government). Has all this to do with “reverse engineering” to copy the unknown flying machines reported in the “Fascist UFO Files”?
Another question relates to the original idea of the disc called, “Turboproietti” (Turbina proiettile), created during WW2 by Giuseppe Belluzzo. Working with the SS after 1943, Belluzzo designed a three motor jet-pipe system that would rotate an annular wing. Belluzzo had been inspired by Hermann Oberth’s orbital platform concepts in the 1930’s so he put his own engineering skill to work with this design. Here is a brief description of the design, made by Rob Arndt: “Jet pipes on the edge of the disc had a variable diameter.
A turbine drove the pipes initially until air accelerated through the pipes. At the widest section of each pipe, oil was injected and ignited. The temperature was raised quickly and at the end of each pipe, the air reached a speed of 700 meters/second, able to allow the circular craft to spin at a rotation speed of 400 meters/second. When the fuel ran out, the explosive-laden “Turboproietti” simply dropped to the ground in similar fashion to the German V-1 missile. It was hoped that it would hit its target.”
While the SS supported this idea, an unmanned aerial “Flakmine” version was considered more important, and that was what Giuseppe Belluzzo was working on in 1945 when the war ended. No prototypes were ever constructed. And so a third question arises: is it possible that the design of the Belluzzo’s Turboproietti is similar to the UFO allegedly stored in the hangars of the SIAI Marchetti in Vergiate near Milan after 1933?
Besides, there is also a strange and cryptic reference from a speech by Mussolini on March 23rd, 1941, when the Duce stated:
“It’s more likely that the United States will be invaded by unknown but war-like inhabitants from the planet Mars, who will come down from the starry space on unimaginable flying fortresses, than by the soldiers of the Axis”. What was the Duce trying to say quoting ‘Martian’ invaders? Beyond H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”, as Timothy Good underlines, “this was almost certainly the first official reference to alien spaceships – and one that turned out to be prescient. A year later, an extraordinary incident led some American military leaders to wonder if they were indeed being invaded by beings from elsewhere”. This happened in 1942 with the so-called “Battle of Los Angeles”. In 2013 we learnt that U.S. classified documents obtained by French ufologist Jean Gabriel Greslé stated that two UFOs were shot down and recovered during that incident, and the June 1947 Einstein-Oppenheimer undelivered letter about “Relationships With Inhabitants of Celestial (sic) Bodies” addressed to the President of the United States implies that the U.S. Authorities were well aware of alien UFO crashes before the “Roswell incident”: that is, the Los Angeles case (1942) and the Magenta 1933 case (1945).
About the author:
Roberto Pinotti was born in Venice, Italy, in 1944. He is an aerospace journalist and author and the main Italian scholar in ufology, with a degree in politics and sociology from the University of Florence. Roberto Pinotti is a world-class UFO expert. He is the only living founder of Italy’s Centro Ufologico Nazionale (CUN), one of the world’s oldest and most authoritative private UFO study organizations formed 50 years ago. Formerly an officer of the NATO Italian Army III Missile Brigade, he also co-operated with the Italian Intelligence community as a consultant for UFOs and was given important official documents by the Italian Department of Defense and was a writer for the Rivista Aeronautica of the Italian Air Force. Over the last 50 years he has been the editor of CUN’s ufological magazine, publishing more than 250 issues. UFO CONTACTS IN ITALY: VOLUMES ONE & TWO are out now on Amazon.