from Alfredo Lissoni, Italy's National UFO Center
based - and updated - from an Antonio Huneeus's article (first published in Fate, September 2000).
Copies of 18 secret documents from the Fascist era (handwritten notes and telegrams), as well as a forensic report authenticating one of the the papers (with a drawing of an UFO), were released by CUN to the Italian media last April 2. It received considerable coverage in Italy, including the national TV network RAI Uno and leading newspapers like Il Resto del Carlino, La Nazione and La Repubblica. Although these articles were posted in Italian on the web, the Mussolini UFO documents were hardly noticed by the American UFO community, so this is the first time the full story is told in any detail outside Italy.
With its anonymous postings and references to a mysterious, super secret "Cabinet RS/33," supposedly in charge of collecting, investigating and suppressing UFO data, this story has many similarities to the MJ/12 saga, as Lissoni points out in his articles far "UFO Notiziario". But there are significant differences.
The main one is that the Italian documents received anonymously in the mail by Pinotti, starting in 1996, were originale and not photocopies or undeveloped film, as in the various Mj-12 drops to Shandera, Berliner and Tim Cooper (in 2000 anonymous "Mister X" sent more material addeessed directly to Mr. Lissoni, but in the mail by Pinotti). The difference between an original and a copy is pivotal since it allows forensic analysis of the paper, typewriter ink, aging process, and so on.
Antonio Garavaglia, a top Italian forensic consultant, conducted tests orn the Mussolini papers - but we are getting ahead of our story.
It all began in early 1996 when Roberto Pinotti received a handful of handwritten notes on stationery bearing the seal of the "Kingdom's Senate". (Mussolini ruled Italy with an iron grip, nominally under the king). The year is 1936 and the secret agent uses simply a first name "Andrea" (Andrew in Italian) and also includes a sketch of the "mysterious airship". "It was sighted in the morning (and not in the evening) of Monday - he writes - it was a metallic disc, polished and reflecting light, with a length of ten or twelve meters. Two fighters from a near base took off, but were not able to reach it even at 130 km/h. It didn't emit sound, which would lead one to consider an aerostat. But nobody knows of balloons that can fly faster than the wind. I know for sure that it was seen by other aviation pilots ... it [report] has arrived to the hands of Ciano."
Count Ciano was Mussolinis son-in-law and Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs; he was later executed after participating in the cabal to overthrow the Duce and surrender to the Allies in 1943. Andrea's report continues: "Then, after approximately at least an hour and after passing over Mestre, it was seen as a sort of metallic tube, gray or slate." A drawing by a confidential informant was redrawn by Andrea, who explained that "A was described like a kind of aerial torpedo, with very clear windows ... and alternating, white and red lights.'B' were two 'hats, two hats like those used by priests: wide, round, with a dome in the center, metallic and following 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 inroad and will have a similar outcome to that of '31. The Duce has expressed his worries, because he says that if it were a matter of real English or French aircraft, his foreign policy would have to start all over again."
Although Andrea's report is only one of several received since 1996, you can see that its contents are sensational - they describe a classic flying saucer report with aircraft scramble and multiple witnesses in 1936! It also, discloses that Mussolini and Ciano, Italy's number one and two leaders at the time, were intimately appraised of the situation. Indeed, other caches of documents received, always anonymously, by CUN and the newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, mention a mysterious department known as "Cabinet RS/33." It was charged with both investigating and covering up what the documents call "unconventional aircraft" or "aeromobiles."
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 propaganda. Italys most famous scientist and inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, was the director of the Cabinet, which also included several other prominent Italian astronomers, scientists and aeronautical engineers.
When the war began the Cabinet's secrets were shared with and literally shipped to Nazi Germany. As Lissoni points out, rumors 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 confýrmed by FBI and other U.S. and German documents.
Are the "Fascist X-Files" authentic? To Lissoni (who made principal search), Pinotti,and the CUN, they appear so. To the investigators'credit, however, the whole affair was kept strictly confidential under Antonio Garavaglia's forensic analysis was completed. Only then were the documents released to the Italian press and published in a series of articles beginning with the March issue of UFO Notiziario (and now, in a book). Garavaglia conduced a series of chemical tests of the paper and ink - remember he had originals and not copies - and he concluded they seemed authentic handwritten documents from the Fascist era. The color of the paper and ink aging process led him to believe they were genuine and not modern forgeries.
Lissoni also consulted with Andrea Bedetti, a historian and expert on Italy's Fascist period. "I cannot exclude the real existence of a Cabinet RS/33," said Bedetti. He also examined the documents vis-Ó-vis "the lexicon and the bureaucratic style of the period", as well as the stationery ("Kingdoms Senate" and Stefani agency telegrams) and aeronautical terminology utilized. Bedetti found that all of it was consistent with genuine Fascist-era documents. This didn't rule out a skilled forger, but it would have to be someone deeply knowledgeable of Fascist style, vocabulary and terminology. Bedetti also pointed out that in the period 1933-40 - coinciding with the alleged Cabinet RS/33- Mussolini's power was at his peak and Italy was one of the world's leading nations in aviation and military aeronautics.
Finally, Lissoni dug up a cryptic reference from a speech by Mussolini on February 23, 1941, when the Duce stated: "It's more likely that the United States will .be invaded by unknown but warlike inhabitants from the planet Mars, who will come down from the starry space on unimaginable flying fortresses, than from the soldiers of the Axis". What was the Duce trying to say? The story of the Fascist X-Files is still unfolding ... if in the end they turn out to be real, then the whole history of ufology will have to be revised.
to be continued...
Italian cover up