From Flying Saucer Review, Volume 46/3, Autumn 2001, pp. 13 - 17
New Documents "Will Revolutionize UFOlogy"! by Alfredo Lissoni
Translation from Italian. G.C. April 9, 2001 (*Il Giornale dei Misteri*, No. 353, March 2001)
The discovery of some documents from the fascist era of Italy opens up new horizons for research on UFOs, and compels students of this subject to amend the official history of the flying saucers. Under "Il Duce", Mussolini, there was a secret government commission of enquiry, known as the RS/33 cabinet, which studied the UFOs.
The story of the newly discovered "Italian Fascist UFO files" had its start in 1996, when an anonymous person (whom we shall call "MR. X") began sending, to various central and local organizations, documents - both originals and photostats - relating to a series of UFO sightings which had occurred over Italy during the 1930s and 1940s. The communications, which had emanated from various regions in Italy, and even in France, were all rigorously anonymous and unsigned.
One of the first packages was addressed to the Bologna daily newspaper *Il Resto del Carlino*, and *contained a bulky dossier of 34 photocopied pages covering various UFO sightings in the regions of Italy between 1933 and 1940 - some of them in fact reports from the Royal Italian Air Force, with the recommendation "SAY NOTHING TO IL DUCE"!
One of the newspaper's editors, thinking it was all a joke, assigned a reporter to conduct an enquiry in quarters that were involved with secret prototypes (domestic) but the results were nil, and so the material was never published, and ended up in the waste-paper basket.
Then a second series of missives, in three different packages, posted in March-April 1996, were sent by "MR. X" to the top Italian ufologist Dr. Roberto Pinotti, Director of the Italian UFO research journal NOTIZIARIO UFO (and long-term FSR Consultant !).
These three packages contained original materials which were examined in
1999 by the chemist Antonio Garavaglia from Como, and were assessed by him as being authentic and datable to 1936. These were papers and documents, and included an envelope marked "*for the hands of Ciano*". (Ciano, son-in-law of Mussolini, was the Foreign Minister of Italy). There was also a memorandum about a meeting of a new thing called the "RS/33 CABINET", plus a long letter about "*the sighting of a flying cigar over the regions of Venice and Mestre on the morning of August 17, 1936*".
This incident was graphically reconstructed on two pages, showing a "cigar" - described as "torpedo-shaped" - along with two spheres beside it, one of which resembled the planet Saturn, being pursued by a fighter aircraft. It was an *original document* - not a copy - about a UFO sighting *ante litteram* - LONG BEFORE THE SUBJECT OF UFOS EXISTED! (More than ten years before Kenneth Arnold. G.C.)
The Italian National UFO Centre (C.U.N., Centro Ufologico Nazionale), whose Secretary-General (Pinotti) had been the recipient of the material, decided to file it away for the time being until a deeper analysis, or fresh evidence, might be able to establish its authenticity. A long time passed. In particular the search for the eyewitnesses of the episode was fruitless. The document had indicated *three names*, all of which were now untraceable. Then finally a C.U.N. member managed to secure the testimony of a relative, FAUSTINO V - (unfortunately deceased shortly afterwards), but who had confirmed that he had been present and had seen the incredible thing flying over Venice.
And this story and the material continued right up until the end of 1999, when "MR. X", seeing that his own efforts were definitely being ignored and nothing was appearing in the press, turned his attention to the "Contactee" UFO journal *UFO, La Visita Extraterrestre*, published by the famous stigmatist Giorgio Bongiovanni. "MR. X" sent to Bongiovanni further material which made it permissible to arrive at a rather more articulated reconstruction for the simple UFO sighting reports.
The first batch of material sent had consisted of a series of coloured photocopies: three telegrams from the Milan office of the STEFANI AGENCY (the Fascist A.N.S.A.), which gave instructions, *on the order of Il Duce Mussolini*, to recuperate [sic] a flying saucer which had landed (it is not known where) on June 13, 1933. There was also a Senatorial letter describing in detail the strategy to be followed after the craft had been recovered; i.e., censorship of the newspapers; arrest of the eyewitnesses by the O.U.R.A. (The Italian Government's Political Police); elaboration of a series of conventional explanations for the UFO (i.e. *sonde* balloons, meteors, perihelia) to be fed to the public via the BRERA ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY at Milan; and notification of the Prefect (Civil Governor). Finally there was also a letter advising a mysterious DE SANTI (probably the Fascist spy Tommaso David known as "DE SANTIS") to keep his mouth shut about the activities of the RS/33 CABINET.
Regarding this last-named body, as a result of further material sent to Bongiovanni's "Contactee" Review, it was discovered that the RS/33 CABINET had been a top-secret study commission, created in the bosom of LA SAPIENZA UNIVERSITY in Rome following upon the recuperation [sic] of the UFO. Headed by the physicist GUGLIELMO MARCONI (known for his belief in Martians, although he never played an active part in the CABINET, always sending in his place the astronomer GINO CECCHINI from Turin). Among its members the CABINET had many of the most highly respected of Italian academics, members of the Royal Italian Academy of Sciences. These people had been studying the UFOs, *but only occasionally did they consider the extraterrestrial hypothesis, being more inclined, as they were, to believe in the existence of secret new Western weaponry*. "MR. X" did not say whether they had also studied the flying saucer that had been recovered. But on the other hand they had, in seven years of research, assembled a thirty-page dossier (i.e. the one that had been sent to the newspaper *Resto del Carlino*) about UFO sightings (termed by them "*velivolvi sconoscuti*," *unknown aircraft*), and had also gathered photos and films.
After Italy's accession to the Berlin-Rome Axis, by arrangement with Hitler this material was all subsequently to be passed to the Nazis (*who did, in actual fact, as a result, attempt a few years later to construct revolutionary discoidal aircraft called the V-7*).
And, furthermore, "MR. X" mentioned that the only direct controllers of the RS/33 CABINET were - BENITO MUSSOLINI HIMSELF, COUNT GALEAZZO CIANO, and the Italian airman General ITALO BALBO.
The first batch of material sent to Bongiovanni did not however have the result "MR. X" had desired. Bongiovanni's Review entrusted their enquiry to the Naples ufologist Umberto Telarico. The material got published, but with the suggestion that it was most probably all a fake.
Evidently greatly disappointed and wearied, on September 10, 1999, "MR. X" sent a letter of protest (always of course anonymous as usual) repeating what we have just given above 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 Giodani, and Professor Crocco, all historically real personages. Enclosed also was a newspaper-clipping about a French air pilot who had vanished in Italy (*a pilot who, as I discovered later, had had the misfortune to film a UFO and to have then spoken to the Italians about it!*)It was at this point in the story that I myself (Alfredo Lissoni) entered publicly into the picture. Right after the publication of the first lot of documents, in Gongiovanni's Review, I had requested from him - and obtained - copies of the documents. Dr. Roberto Pinotti of C.U.N. had also sent me copies of the UFO cases of 1936.
I started to verify all the documents, on the one hand attempting to find confirmations in the newspapers of the time and in the archives of organizations presumably involved, and on the other hand trying to discover an absolutely top expert, "*super partes*" (i.e. not involved) - a person knowing absolutely nothing whatsoever about Ufology, and have him analyze the original documents containing sketches of UFOs. This research work lasted several months, and in the meantime I started to publish my initial results in Bongiovanni's Review (a matter of formal correctness, as he had supplied me with a part of the material) and Pinotti's journal, and on the Internet.
The first conclusions reached by me as I talked with historians of the Fascist Era, and after a close examination of the publications issued in that year (i.e. presumably 1936, G.C.) was that the scenario evoked by "MR. X" was certainly *far from looking "unreal"*.
In the first place, it has come to light that ever 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-baptized as the "flying wheel", and so it is no wonder if the Italian Fascists, finding themselves confronted with a UFO, should have opted for the explanation that it was a secret weapon!
The "*conspiracy of silence*" imposed upon the affair of the crashed UFO in Italy was subsequently demonstrated by the various articles put out in the entire Italian press (and quite particularly in the newspapers of Lombardy, which I personally think was the area involved in the episode). These articles embraced such things as changes of many political leaders, sudden moves of Fascist Blackshirts for no known reason, and even an improvised sudden visit by the Queen of Milan. Furthermore a mass of contradictory reports about the existence of life on other planets, suddenly published, after the recovery of the saucer, in many newspapers ranging from the *Cronaca Prealpina* to the *Italia*; from the *Balilla* to *L'Italiano*; all declaring that there was already telepathic communication with Martians (for such is what the "Aliens" were at the time reputed to be).
Nobody made any explicit reference to happenings in Lombardy, but in all of the papers, all at once, was infiltrated the suspicion that extraterrestrial life might exist. All of which looked like just one more hidden propaganda operation on the part of the Government - *maybe as preparation for some official admission (which of course never happened)*.
Numerous indeed were the sudden changes and switches around of persons during those days. Pietro Bruno, the Prefect (Civil Governor) of Milan, was suddenly "promoted and transferred", and replaced by Gaetano Laino. The *Questore* (Chief Constable) was also changed. Erminio Brusa, the *Federale* (what is this post? G.C.) was moved, and replaced by Rinco Parenti. Although it has not been possible for me - at this distance of 70 years! - to find eyewitnesses of those events who were still living, I think I did find an indirect confirmation of the landing (or maybe of the *crash*) of the flying saucer - in a news item in the newspaper *Domenica del Corriere* of July 4, 1937. Ably camouflaged, this spoke of an *enormous and brilliant flash of lightning which, one night, had injured five pedestrians (on the road between Magenta and Novara*".
Researches in other archives proved less successful. Unfortunately a large part of the historical archives of the period are lost, but in the archives of the *Prefettura* (Civil Governor's office) of Milan I found two bundles of telegrams sent to the Prefettura during the years from 1933 to 1938, and referring to mysterious overflights of aircraft in the skies of Italy. Of about 500 documents, 68 are particularly strange, *and at least 9 are strictly about UFOs. This shows the interest that the Fascists took in what they termed "velivoli non identificabili" ("unidentifiable aircraft")*. There were also constant references to the existence of a "network" (*rete*) for the gathering of reports. I have also managed to learn of the documented existence of an R.S. SECTION (RESEARCH AND ESPIONAGE SECTION) created inside the Fascist Government's SECRET SERVICE, *and interested in UFOs*, and, presumably, identifiable as being, in fact, the "RS/33 CABINET".
The first person to speak of it, away back in 1978, was one of our own staff on this journal (GIORNALE DEI MISTERI), the scholar MARCELLO COPPETTI who was a trusted friend of Italian Defence Minister LEGORIO, and who was also a supporter of the thesis (so dear to the RS/33 CABINET) that UFOs were secret terrestrial weapons.
When Bongiovanni also published *my* conclusions (totally different from those of Telarico) "MR. X", on November 22, 1999, sent me yet further material: a sheet headed "CAMERA DEI DEPUTATI (CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES), containing the day's agenda for a meeting between Il Duce and the RS/33 CABINET, during which - as I have learned - the 1936 UFO sighting was disclosed. There was also a Stefani Agency message instructing a mysterious person named Alfredo to hold his tongue about the CABINET's activities, and mentioning a mysterious Signor Moretti, personally involved in the matter, of whom "it was better not to speak", because "a similar case had ended up being confined in a mental hospital".
The "Moretti" trail led me to the Varese region. My hypothesis is in fact that the 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 of the Sesto Calende in the Varese region of Ticino which at that date were under the control of General Italo Balbo (indicated by "MR. X" as a member of the RS/33 CABINET). The "Varese trail" had been suggested to me through several clues: namely that the messages about recovery of the UFO came from the nearby Telegraphic Office of Milan: that in those very days Blackshirts were suddenly dispatched to that region; that indeed a Varese newspaper, the *Cronaca Prealpina*, of June 20, 1933, gave the first report, emphasising that forms of life on Mars were in contact with men of Earth - almost as it were a matter of official revelation; that at the Marchetti at Sesto there was a Director with the name of Moretti; and that at the time of the Italian Social Republic, it was precisely a man named Moretti who having gone over to the Resistance, had set fire to the hangars at Vergiate (which maybe were guarding some unmentionable Space secret). And, finally, that, when the War was over, the U.S. Air Force and members of the Nazi Secret Service were infiltrated precisely into Sesto Calende, simultaneously with "voices" (i.e. rumours? G.C.) regarding the presence of terrestrial flying saucers kept at Vergiate, and that the entire region, from time immemorial, was at the centre of a most intense ufological activity - to such a degree that it gained the sobriquet of being "The Ticino Triangle".
On October 9, 2000, "MR. X" contacted me via a letter which he had sent to Dr. Roberto Pinotti, and suggested me as a unique and privileged interlocutor. In this letter "MR. X", who had read my work on the Internet, *admitted to me that he has in his possession a handwritten memorandum by one of the actual members of RS/33 CABINET. He said it was written by one of his own relatives whose effects had come down to him*. He said furthermore that 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, in this latest consignment of material, he included copies of new documents which - so he said - demonstrated the existence of agreements between Hitler and Mussolini for the study of alien technology, agreements that had been made in 1938; these documents were: an Agency Stefani message from Florence containing an interview with the Fuhrer 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 by "MR. X" to be for a "riunione riservatissima dedicada al Gabinetto RS/33" - "*an extremely private meeting dedicated to the RS/33 CABINET*"). [ NOTE BY G.C. Here the word "riservatissima" can be taken as the equivalent of our term "TOP SECRET". ]
Our anonymous sender of these documents, who declares that he is not so much interested in Ufology as in adhering to a true and veracious reconstruction of the facts of the 1930s - 1940s period, added furthermore that according to the compiler of the memorandum held by him (and humorously "rebaptized" as "PROFESSOR Y") a section of the O.V.R.A. (The Fascist Political Police) was suspected of acting in agreement with the Nazis, secretly furnishing material to them, maybe in the shape of something to do with a weapon that would employ "*natural forces*" "*of a possibly electromagnetic nature*". There is no need to add that this last detail brings back to mind Marconi's studies of a fantastic *death ray*, which, so Mussolini said, had one day, by remote control, halted all automobile and aircraft engines as far away as Ostia - a weapon which, by virtue of 1938 agreements between Mussolini and Hitler, would evidently reappear in the following year at Essen, Germany, causing a *total blackout* of the city according to the account given by the American ufologist Leonard Stringfield in his book UFO SIEGE (1977), quoting as his source, a rather reliable person, namely a son of the U.S. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs who had worked in Germany for the U.S. Secret Service. [Names, please? - TWC]
Had the Fascists and the Nazis managed to achieve any "back-engineering" from the UFO of 1933? The historical reconstruction given above would seem to suggest so. But in that case, *what became of that work*? Did it get lost in the bombardments and air-raids? Or did the Americans and the Russians get hold of it but without succeeding in perfecting it, as they did with the V7?
Questions destined to remain unanswered, but this business of the Fascist UFO Files nevertheless has a very special importance. FOR IT DEMONSTRATES THE EXISTENCE OF A GOVERNMENTAL COMMISSION ON UFOs *BEFORE* THE OFFICIAL BIRTH OF UFOLOGY ITSELF - WHICH THEN LEADS TO TWO CONSIDERATIONS:
(1) The UFOs are not, as some sceptics maintain, a socio-psychological myth, the fruit of the anxieties of the Post-War Era.
(2) "State Ufology", that is to say Governmental Ufology, compiled and written by governmental and secretive commissions and orchestrated via operations aimed on the one hand to discredit and at the same time to "back-engineer" from alien materials, *DID NOT ORIGINATE IN AMERICA IN 1947, BUT IN ITALY ALMOST FIFTEEN YEARS EARLIER!*
BUT THERE'S MORE TO IT THAN THAT! "MR. X" HAS WRITTEN TO ME: "THERE ARE DOCUMENTS THAT CAN REVOLUTIONIZE THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF EUROPE, FROM THE 1930s UNTIL THE POST-WAR ERA. HE CLAIMS THAT HE HAS COME INTO POSSESSION OF THIS MATERIAL "LEGITIMATELY, AND BY PURE CHANCE".
THE MESSAGE OF "MR. X".
"I have shown a lot of the material now in my possession to a lawyer, under the strict legal conditions of confidentiality. His view was that I should disclose nothing, and that if I myself did desire to "open up a chink" I must do it in the strictest anonymity - and that would have to be not merely to protect myself from the typically Italian habit of lashing out and attacking folk all over the place, *but also indeed in order not to endanger my own life*.
I have in my possession collateral material of the RS/33 CABINET and - what is much more important - I have a Memorandum - in his own handwriting - by one of the actual members of the RS/33 CABINET and (*yes! you have guessed it! - he was a relative of mine!*). This Memorandum deals at great length with the origins, the activities, the results, and the entire background of the whole affair in an autobiographical narrative, as a souvenir for future times".
This piece of historical remembrance is indeed likely to bring about a reconsideration of much of the past history of Ufology. As a start, for example, note Mussolini's famous speech to the Federation of Fascist Combatants on February 23, 1941:
"The United States are far more likely to be invaded, not by the soldiers of the Axis, but by the not very well known but pretty warlike inhabitants of the planet Mars, who will come down out of Space in their unimaginable flying fortresses".
IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THOUGHT TO BE A JOKE, BUT MAYBE IT WASN'T PRECISELY THAT! A.L.
* FOOTNOTE BY EDITOR OF FSR.
Like myself, Galeazzo Ciano, Count of Corellazzo, had served in various diplomatic posts in China. At first he had been the Italian Consul in Shanghai, as I was also H.M. Consul there a little later. Subsequently in 1935/36, when he was in charge of the Italian Embassy in Beijing, I frequently had the pleasure of being among the guests at brilliant diplomatic gatherings and receptions hosted by him and his wife Edda, Mussolini's daughter, as I was in our own Embassy near by. I found them a pleasant and highly civilized couple. Ciano had started by being an enthusiastic Fascist and supporter of Mussolini's general political and social programme, and Daddy-in-law Musso called him home in 1936, to be promoted to Foreign Minister straight away. But Ciano strongly opposed the alliance with Hitler and began to show this openly in 1942, and he was one of those who deposed Mussolini. As a result, Musso's supporters rallied and were able to execute Ciano in 1943. As folk would no doubt say, 'way down in Mississippi,' "that poor man sure got into the wrong war!". G.C.
CAN WE TRUST THESE "FASCIST ARCHIVES"? BY GORDON CREIGHTON.
When you think of all the fuss and palaver and backbiting that is still going on today in the U.S.A. about "MJ-12" and "Roswell", you may well experience a fresh cold shudder running up and down your spine. But *is* it likely to be an exact re-play of all that?
I had not previously heard of Signor Alfredo Lissoni, but the journal in which he writes is the GIORNALE DEI MISTERI (JOURNAL OF MYSTERIES) an excellent publication on the best of terms with us at FSR and with whom we have long exchanged journals. It is more or less a sort of Italian combined version of our own journal of Psychical Research, Fortean Magazine, Nexus, FSR, etc., etc. And Dr. Roberto Pinotti, who is also heavily involved in this new mystery, is quite unquestionably the doyen and expert leader of all UFO research in Italy, *as well as FSR's long-standing Italian Consultant*.
And evidently Dr. Pinotti, like Alfredo Lissoni, feels confident that "there is enough smoke here for us to expect to find fire in the end".
Such is also my own conclusion. Everything said in Lissoni's article seems to me thoroughly and totally plausible. If, at the end of the 1930s, the Italians were beginning to hear of German experiments with disc-shaped aircraft (which we do know existed and which certainly *were* test-flown), then is it surprising that many Italian scientists may well have suspected that any weird craft seen flying over Italy in the years from 1933 to 1936 might well also have been *German*? And then later, during WWII, they might logically have suspected that they were seeing "secret weapons of the enemy Allies"?
NOTE THE IMMEDIATE INTEREST TAKEN BY BENITO MUSSOLINI HIMSELF! And is it in any way surprising? For "Musso" himself was a keen flier, and held a pilot's licence. Who else among the leaders in WWII did that?
Stalin too had at once spotted the immense possibility of the UFOs, and as we know, he at once tried to get his astronomer Korolyov to take charge of all UFO research. (We have published several articles on Korolyov.)
But of the other leaders - Roosevelt, Churchill, de Gaulle, *who* was a flier or knew anything about flying? Not one of them. But "Musso" did. Musso spotted the possible significance.
So, *on the whole*, I do not think this "Fascist Files" business is a fake. I have no doubt whatever that thousands will instantly say it *is* a fake, and maybe all the American ufologists will do that, for the U.S.A. have by now a queer sort of "monopoly" or a "proprietary relationship" with UFOs, and with "MJ-12", and "ROSWELL", and all the malarkey that has grown up around the commercialized "Roswell Story". If Alfredo Lissoni is telling the truth - and personally I believe he *is* - then this affair may well come to be seen as delivering a terrible blow to the entire American idea of their own primacy and monopoly in these matters, and they won't like it a bit! Are their noses "going to be put badly out of joint"?
So, is it possible that we shall see a vigorous U.S. attempt to ignore the newly discovered "Italian Fascist UFO Files" or at least prove them fakes?
For the fact of the matter, as we all know, (or at least we small minority of Europeans who never forget what we owe to the U.S.A., and are very mindful of the fundamental fact that twice - *in two World Wars* - the U.S.A. bailed all of us Europeans out and gave us the victory), is that, generous, good-hearted and dear souls as the vast majority of the American people are, they simply cannot bear it if they aren't the "top dogs" and star performers in everything!
Thus it was that when the film-makers in Hollywood came to deal with the problem of the recovery of Burma from the Japanese, Errol Flynn had to do the job single-handedly, without the presence of the British Army. And likewise, when they recently made a film on the secrets of Bletchley Park and the wonderful British success over "ENIGMA", *the hero of it all had of course to be an American*!
Note several other very important points. This material has only now started to come to light - just 51 years after the end of World War II. HOW SO?
Well, it seems that as Germany tightened her grip on Italy as the War progressed, the Germans were able to *command* the Italians to hand all the evidence over to them! (REMEMBER THE REMARKABLE GERMAN SUCCESS IN BUILDING AT LEAST TWO TYPES OF "SAUCER-SHAPED" MULTI-JET AIRCRAFT, AS DESCRIBED BY ME IN THE ARTICLE WHICH I PUBLISHED IN 1955).
What then happened seems to have been that one member of the Secret Italian "MJ-12" failed to comply, and, as Sr. Lissoni tells us, kept back a part of the material and that this material, most likely by inheritance, has reached "MR. X", who has probably "sat on it for years" awaiting a good moment to launch his bombshell.
Note too that author Lissoni tells us that his *last letter* from "MR. X" was dated October 9, 1999. That is very recent, and there might still be more in the pipeline, more to come. G.C.
I have now had two long telephonic chats (May 8 and 10) with Dr. Roberto Pinotti, who, as I emphasise, is recognized as the doyen of Italy's UFO researchers.
He confirms that it is 100% certain that the "Fascist UFO Files" are completely genuine, and that he and Alfredo Lissoni have already started to write their book about it all. *From what "MR. X" has already said it seems pretty certain that he will be a very frightened man. I don't think we are going to learn HIS identity in a hurry*! G.C.