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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.


Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

A story of unknown first publication and unknown initial nature seems to have been published by Italian ufologists, and was later variously included in the ufology literature.

The case reportedly occurred on Mount Sona, in Sicily, Italy, or Mount Etna or near the Etna according to other sources.

Sources indicate that the witnesses are Attilio Di Salvatore, of the Italian Air Force, Franco Padellero, of the Italian navy, Mauritzio Esposito, Antonino Di Pietro. Others introduced the four people without naming them as all military personal of the air and sea base of Catania, one source introduces the fourth as "Antonia" di Pietro, not "Antonino" di Pietro.

Apparently, on July 4, 1978, at approximately 10:30 p.m., these four people, in their spare time, felt "urged" to climb the mount, and saw there three bright red pulsating lights in the sky, one of which landed approximately 300 meters away, hidden behind a slope.

The four people reporteldy went there to see, by foot or in the car, and found that a sharp light came from behind the edge of the road. An disc-shaped object, approximately twelve meters in diameter, or forty feet in other sources, with red and yellow lights on its body and a shining yellow cupola, was there.

Next to the object there were two tall beings, with the golden or blonde hair, in "white robes", sometimes called "Nordics", or "beautiful", accompanied by three or four smaller beings with helmets and "diving-suits" or "space suits" or "black coveralls", one source saying that these beings were at "more than 5 meters" of the alleged witnesses, others telling that two "Nordics" approached the witnesses who were "paralysed" during all this time, or during the time the saucer was there.

Some sources report that when a car passed by on the road, the light of the saucer turned off or dimmed, and when that car was out of sight it was luminous again.

Finally the witnesses weren't paralyzed anymore and just drove away.

One source says these witnesses were later interrogated by the police force, who wrote a report about the sighting.

Other people in and around Catane allegedly reported UFO sightings about the same time.

Ufologist Richard Hall noted that the witnesses are reported as having "satisfied" their curiosity and driving away without more concern, and indicates that they had been exposed to the lectures of a notorious local "contactee", which throws doubts on the credibility of the story although the witnesses "seemed to be responsible people."

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001157
Date of event: July 4, 1978
Earliest report of event: 1978?
Delay of report: Day, 2 years?
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Newspaper.
First certain record by: Richard Hall in MUFON ufology bulletin.
First alleged record type: Newspaper.
First certain record type: Foreign ufologist in foreifn ufology bulletin.
This file created on: November 12, 2009
This file last updated on: November 12, 2009
Country of event: Italy
State/Department: Catania
Type of location: Mountain road, in car or near car.
Lighting conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Not reported.
UFO/Entity Relation: Certain
Witnesses numbers: 1 to 4
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Young adults or adults or aged.
Witnesses types: Not reported. 4 men or 3 men and 1 woman, 1 an airforce member, 1 a navy member, uncertain. Attended "contactee" lecture(s).
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1) 2, and 2) 3 or 4
Type of entities: 1) Human 2) humanoid
Entities height: 1) Tall, 2) Small
Entities outfit type: 1) Robes, 2) coveralls or diving suit or space suit.
Entities outfit color: 1) White, 2) Black.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: 1) Human-looking, beautoiful, 2) Not reported.
Entities head: Not reported.
Entities eyes: Not reported.
Entities mouth: Not reported.
Entities nose: Not reported.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Not reported.
Entities fingers: Not reported.
Entities fingers number: Not reported.
Entities hair: 1) Blonde hair, 2) Not reported.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Are near landed UFO.
Entities/witness interactions: None reported.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, went.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Probable UFO-cult invention.
Explanation certainty: High.


[Ref. rh1:] RICHARD HALL:

Richard Hall indicates that on July 4, 1978, military personnel from the Navy Air Base at Catania, Italy, felt a compulsion to ascend the slopes of Mt. Etna, and there saw three red, pulsating UFOs, one of which landed. It was a domed disc about 12 meters in diameter with red and yellow body lights.

The group then encountered two tall, golden-haired, white-robed beings accompanied by three or four shorter beings wearing helmets and "space suits." The witnesses are reported as having their curiosity "satisfied" and departing! They had been exposed to the lectures of a notorious local contactee, casting doubt on the credibility of the story, but appeared to be responsible people.

Also, independent witnesses in and around Catania had reported UFO sightings about the same time.

Richard Hall indicates the case as one of a major wave of UFO sightings in Italy during 1978, mostly in the period from October through the first few days of January 1979, with more than 500 cases on record, with at least 130 of them close encounters, 25 involving humanoid entities. These sightings led to unprecedented public discussion and debate, even in the Italian Parliament, and were essentially ignored by conventional news media in the United States.

Richard Hall indicates that this comes from data supplied by Edoardo Russo of Centra Ufologica Nazionale, Milan; Massimo Greco, Brescia; and Maurizio Verga, Cermenate.


Maurizio Verga indicates in complement for the case described in "Relazione su avvistamento di ogetto volante non identificado" in FSR vol. 26, #6, that on July 4, 1978 at 10:30 p.m. at the Mount Sona, Catania, there were two categories of beings:

- two were tall, human-looking "of Nordic type";

- three or four others were little, wearing diving-suits.

The distance between the witnesses and the entities was more than 5 meters.

Les témoins ont été par la suite interrogés par les carabiniers [police] qui devaient établir un rapport d'observation d'OVNI.

[Ref. js1:] JOHN SPENCER:

The author indicates that in July 1978, near Mount Etna in Italy, Air Force Sergeant Attilio Di Salvatore, together with a colleague, Franco Padellero, Navy officer Mauritzio Esposito and Antonino Di Pietro witnessed the landing of a red light near their group.

They drove to the scene and witnessed a saucer-shaped object approximately forty feet wide on the ground. It displayed an illuminated dome and a variety of blue and red lights.

The group reported six tall entities, described as human and beautiful. Two of the entities walked towards the group who found themselves paralyzed although there was apparently no contact between them.

The witnesses did not see the UFO depart though they did witness it dim all its lights to disguise itself from a passing vehicle, a subterfuge not often reported.


Albert Rosales indicates in his catalogue that in Mt. Etna, Catania, Italy, on July 4, 1978, in the evening, four military personnel from the local Navy Air base felt a strange compulsion to ascend the slopes of the volcano; there they saw three red pulsating objects overhead, one landed. It was a domed disc shaped craft with red and yellow lights. The group then encountered two tall golden haired white robed beings accompanied by three shorter large headed beings wearing helmets and silvery suits. The humanoids made several hand gestures towards the witnesses. The witnesses then quickly drove away from the area.

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is "Richard Hall, Mufon Journal #153."

[Ref. ni1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

The web site indicates that on July 4, 1978 on Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy, four witnesses of the Italian Air Force saw an object in the shape of a saucer of 40 feet in diameter, with a transparent dome on top. It was brightly-lighted, red in color. Two tall human-like beings. Long golden hair, wearing white robes. Three or four smaller beings with space suits and helmets. Three objects hovered in sky. One object lands. Occupants disembark from landed object.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on July 4, 1978, at 22:30, at the Mount Etna, Italy, the "Air Force Sergeants incident" occurred. "Three red objects, one, a domed disc 10m in diameter, landed behind mountain. 5-6 Nordic beings with blond hair, wore divers suits. Witnesses paralyzed."

The website adds that "Objects were observed. Telepathic phenomena were said to have occurred" and that "Three multi-colored domed discs, about 40 feet across, were observed by four experienced military witnesses at a mountain for over 35 minutes (Esposito; Paderello). Five nordic beings, each wearing a diver's suit, were seen."

The sources are indicated as Webb, David, HUMCAT: Catalogue of Humanoid Reports; International UFO Reporter, International UFO Reporter, CUFOS; Spencer, John Wallace, World Atlas of UFOs, Smithmark, New York, 1992, ISBN:0-8317-9498-4; Haines, Richard F., Project Delta: A Study of Multiple UFO, L.D.A. Press, Los Altos, 1994, ISBN:0-9618082-4-1; Farish, Lucius, UFO Newsclipping Service, UFO Newspaper Clipping Service, Plumerville; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002; Smith, Willy, UNICAT computer database.


4. In July 1978, two sergeants of the Italian air force, Franco Padellero and Attilio de Salvatore, as well as the agent of the navy Maurizio Esposito and Mrs Antonia di Pietro, had a close encounter of the third kind around 10:30 p.m. during their spare time. Near the Etna in Sicily they saw three bright and pulsating red lights in the sky. One of the lights came down and landed approximately three hundred meters away, hidden behind a slope. The four people went to this place and saw a sharp light which came from behind the edge from the road. An object in the shape of a disc approximately twelve meters in diameter was there, it had a shining yellow cupola. At the side of the object there was a group of large beings, approximately five or six, in black coverall and with blonde hair. Two of them climbed the slope, one bent towards them, and they went down the slope again. As a car passed on the road, the light of the object turned off, when the car was out of sight it turned on again. While they had the object in sight, all the four felt paralysed and they could not move. Lastly, they however recovered their capacity of movement and continued to drive.

The source is indicated as"mailbox 'Schattenblick' Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, 1996".

Points to consider:

It appears obvious to me that all the story is very probably related to the lies of a dangerous Sicilian "contactee" of that time, Eugenio Siragusa. The four witnesses were probably members of his cult. And it goes without saying that the story is typical od "contactees" story, with "beautiful" and "tall" blonde "Nordics" in white robes, accompanied by other "little extraterrestrials", all flying the most classic domed saucer with pretty colors.

As Siragusa's claims are not the subject of this file, I will just provide the context using one of the many articles of the Italian Press of the time about the misdeed of this man, an article published in "Gente" #50, for December 16, 1978, quoted by GEPAN on March 31, 1981 in their technical note #6 about the faked "alien abduction" of Franck Fontaine in France:


Catania, December.

It had a weakness for young women and in particular young fresh wives and heiresses. He claimed to be in contact with extraterrestrials which from time to time came to abduct him to go on a journey on board mysterious ships in unknown and remote worlds. It is a beautiful bride who sent him to jail. He is charged of seduction, sexual violence and swindle.

His name is Eugenio Siragusa, this uncommon character, he is 62-year-old, has a wife whom he abandoned since long time and 2 sons more than 30-year-ols. He has white hair, an ascetic face, and infallible method to drive girls into his bed. When he layed his eyes unto one of the followers of the Cosmic Fraternity, the community he had founded some 20 years ealrier, he took her apart and told her: "You know, darling, our friends the extraterrestrials decided that you will be the mother of a prophet, the Elijah prophet, who will save planet Earth from disaster." The big boss made her his bride for a few weeks his and of course forced her to silence by threatening her family and herself of terrible things. When he did not want her any more and pursued another one, here is what it said: "Listen, darling, my friends the extraterrestrials ensured me that you do not have the necessary qualities to give birth to a prophet. Unfortunately, we must give up our project. But do not fear, you are not the only one who does not have these qualities. My wife gave birth to two sons and none of them is a prophet."

Many children were born. Until now, none the fathers of the community suspected the ascetic E. Siragusa. However, since the community was disbanded much question itself (the community was disbanded well before the arrest of its chief, for those who funded it had decided to sell the house, the park and all the remainder in order to recover their money).

As of the saucer that "dims" when a car passes on the road, I suspect that the inventors of the story would have simply planned a good answer to possible negative testimonys by motorists who could have driven on the road in time and place: "nobody else saw anything because the saucer was off when someome drove by"... Clever!

Lastly, it must be noticed that whereas late Richard Hall had reflected at least part of the "çontactee" relation, all the other sources I found at the time I first published this file say not word about that inconvenient information, involuntarily or voluntarily.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe November 12, 2009 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source not available and not referenced. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe November 12, 2009 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross . Help needed. Opened.
3 Ufology Severe November 12, 2009 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross . Help needed. Opened.


Probable UFO-cult invention.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:


Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 12, 2009 Creation, [rh1], [mv1], [js1], [ar1], [ni1], [ud1], [am1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 12, 2009 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 12, 2009