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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.

Spring 1947, Montichiari, Lombardy, Italy, Pierina Gilli:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

In a 1974 book, the Swiss Eric von Däniken, promoter of the theory of the "Ancient Astronauts", thinking that extraterrestrials are posing for us as "gods", published a list of apparitions of the "Holy Virgin".

He said that on 16 December 1947, in Montichiari, Italy, "Mary" as "Rosa Mystica" appeared to nurse Pierina Gilli in the street, and later in the convents church of the Sisters of Mercy.

Around 2016, citing "McClure 1983 p122" as source, and "Spring 1947" as date, the British "skeptical" ufologist Peter Rogerson noted the same case, in the form:

"A 36 year old nurse Pierina Gilli or Guilli encountered in a room in the hospital, the figure of a 'beautiful' woman wearing a violet dress and white veil and with three swords in her chest. The figure was identified as the Virgin Mary and other encounters followed."

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001734
Date of event: Spring 1947 and on
Earliest report of event: 1947
Delay of report: Hour, months.
Witness reported via: Told others, noted in pesonal diary.
First alleged record by: Newspapers.
First certain record by: Newspapers.
First alleged record type: Newspapers.
First certain record type: Newspapers.
This file created on: November 15, 2018
This file last updated on: November 15, 2018
Country of event: Italy
State/Department: Lombardy
Type of location: Hospital bedroom in Montichiari, etc.
Lighting conditions: Not reported.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
UFO/Entity Relation: None.
Witnesses numbers: 1
Witnesses ages: 36
Witnesses types: Not reported. Religious woman with poor health and distrubed family background.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: "Blessed Virgin"
Entities height: Mot reported.
Entities outfit type: Dress, veil.
Entities outfit color: Varied, purple, red, white.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported. Lady of extraordinary beauty. Three swords piercing her heart.
Entities head: Not reported. Sad.
Entities eyes: Not reported. Full of tears.
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: Not reported.
Entities voice: Yes, speaks witness language.
Entities actions: Appears, complains about atheism, preaches, wants pesonal cult, reappears.
Entities/witness interactions: Complains about atheism, preaches, wants pesonal cult.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: The "Blessed Virgin".
Explanation category: Psychological, not UFO-related.
Explanation certainty: High.



16.11.1947 Mary as 'Rosa Mystica' appeared to the nurse Pierina Gilli in the street and later in the church of the Convents of the Sisters of Mercy at Montichiari, Italy.


Spring 1947.


A 36 year old nurse Pierina Gilli or Guilli encountered in a room in the hospital, the figure of a "beautiful" woman wearing a violet dress and white veil and with three swords in her chest. The figure was identified as the Virgin Mary and other encounters followed.

McClure 1983 p122.


Points to consider:

Erich von Däniken, (www.daniken.com), Swiss citizen, born in 1935, became famous by publishing from 1968 on, books translated worldwide claiming the influence of extraterrestrial visitors on the first human civilizations - what is now called the "Ancient Astronaut Theory". He used ideas already published in France by author Robert Charroux. In his book "Erscheinungen", there is a list of "Blessed Virgin" appearances reports, briefly described and without any indication of sources, such as this one, which he attributed to extraterrestrials influencing humanity through such supernatural manifestations of religious appearance. Some ufologists share this point of view and therefore cited the reports of this list, without any other effort.

Kevin McClure, "skeptical" ufologist, cited as "McClure 1983 p122" by Peter Rogerson, wrote about this case in his book "The evidence for visions of the Virgin Mary", 1983. It recounts and compares various alleged visions of the "Virgin Mary", describes the witnesses and circumstances, and sometimes suggests possible explanations.

The other source given by Peter Rogerson, on the www.marypages.com website, webmaster Leo de Bondt, now leads to a non-existent web page and redirects to the home page of that website. The website is a French-speaking religious website about (alleged) apparitions of the "Blessed Virgin" but also about the Pope John Paul II, the Bible, the saints, prayers, pilgrimages etc.

This is not even a scholar or well-documented website on the topic of such appearances. Only a few of them are mentioned, with summaries from the Christian traditions, followed by prayers and religious messages, no source, no historical documents and a call for donators. The website is registered at the Chamber of Commerce of Flevoland, the Netherlands.

Of course, other religious websites give a narrative of what - allegedly - happened.

More objective and documented websites say that "Mary" appeared under the name "Rosa Mystica" in Montichiari, 20 km from Brescia in Northern Italy, and the nearby village of Fontenelle in 1947 and on.

One Pierina Gilli was born on August 3, 1911, in Montichiari. Between 1918 and 1922, she was placed in a Montichiari orphanage, conducted by the sisters of the Handmaids of Charity; which obviously had a lasting impact on her.

At 17, sh decided to follow a religious life, but she would not attain the profession of final religious vows. At 18 she became a children assistant nurse at Montichiari's hospital.

In December 1944, she contracted meningitis and was 12 days in a coma.

She kept a diary, in which her future "visions" were already announced, though these were alleged "preliminary visions" of "Sister Mary Crucified of the Rose." The "Holy Virgin" appeared to her first in her hospital bedroom on December 17, 1944, as a "lady of extraordinary beauty" dressed in purple and with a white veil around the head. She looked sad and her eyes were "full of teard that dropped on the ground. Her breast was pierced by three big swords, and she told Pierina: "Prayer, Penitence, Reparation" and shut up.

The first reported vision occurred on June 1, 1947 in Pierina's room at the Civil Hospital of Montichiari. Pierina was very ill, near the point of death, and claimed an apparition of the "Madonna" as "Mary the Mystical Rose", who talked to her. In her diary, she sais Mary was in a purple dress and long white veil and with three swords piercing her "Immaculate Heart,"

On June 13, 1947, she appeared again at the hospital in the early morning, but this time she was dressed in white and instead of the three swords she had three rose, a white one, a red one and a pinkish golden one.

Pierina asked her who she was, and the apparition smiled and replied "I am the other of Jesus and the mother of all of you", and then "Our lord sends me to rebew the faith in Mary in all men and women's organizations and also to the priests. I promise [... those... ] who worship me specially, that they would get my special protection", etc. she asked that the 13th day of every month becomes a cult day for Mary, all preceded by 12 days of special prayers to her, and added this yarn:

"The most obvious miracle will consist in this: the consecrated souls who for a long time and especially during the war have cooled in their good spirit, so that they have become unfaithful to their vocation and have even betrayed it, those consecrated persons who have provoked by their grave failings punishments and persecutions against the Church, as is the case now, they will cease to seriously offend Our Lord, they will revive the spirit of origin of their holy founders!"

She then appeared on October 22, 1947 at the chapel of the hospital during mass, where many people were present (but only Pierina saw her, or rather, claimed to have seen her and heard her talk to her). She asked again for cult, saying that Jesus is disgusted by the "offenses" of men.

She again appeared on November 16, November 22, and claimed she would next appear on December 8, and that many conversions will then occur.

Instead, she appeard on December 7, in the parish church in front of 3 people (but we are not told who of the ttree actually saw her) She wore a white coat held by a boy and a girl at her sides, claimed that she had appeared in Fatima, in Bonate, that she will show her "immaculate heart" the next day, insisted again that people must worship her.

On December 8, several thousand people had gathered inside the church to see her - as she told Pierina she would. Of course only Pierina saw her. Pierina told she appeard on a big white staircase covered of roses, introduced herself as the Mother of God and again asked to be worshipped, with a celebration of her all December 8's, adding she must be worshipped under the name of "Rosa Mystica".

"Our Lord, my divine Son Jesus, will grant his great mercy as long as the good ones continue to pray for the poor sinners, that we want to share, as soon as possible with the supreme pastor of the Catholic Church, Pope Pius XII, it is my wish that this GRACE HOUR be known and spread all over the world. The one who cannot go to the church must pray at his home at noon time and he will then receive my graces. Whoever prays here on this marble and pours tears of repentance will find a sure way and receive from my maternal heart protection and graces."

Just like in the Fatima story, Pierina told that Mary gave her "a secret" not to be revealed until further notice.

That day, people claimed three miracles occurred. a 5-6 year-old by with a polyiomilethis was brought to the church and walked again, claiming he saw the Madonna, and "a young girl of about 26" with tuberculosis who was unable to speak started to sing and talk without difficulties, and became a nun. The third alleged miracle occurred in a city house: a "young woman, aged 36" was allegedly healed during the apparition. She had been slightly mad and could not talk, but she was cured and started to pray happily.

The apparitions in nearby Fontanelle started in 1966, with another woman as witness.

Now, having read this, regardless of the reader religious faith or lack thereof, the reader can try to answer with on heaven or earth did this appear in a catalogue supposed to deal with cases of sighting of UFO occupants...

Here is my explanation. Peter Rogerson was a "skeptical" British UFO researcher, ie, he thought that all UFO sighting reports, all UFO occupants sighting reports, were only misinterpretations, or inventions. He though the same of ghost stories, "Blessed Virgin" appearances, etc. His reasoning was that since ghosts do not exist, since the "Blessed Virgin" does not exist, then, UFOs and UFO occupants do not exist. The whole is only invention or mistakes.

He never actually studied ghost stories or religious appearances to demonstrate they are inventions or mistakes, thinking that they must be. In his ufology catalogue INTCAT, he only very rarely gives a "one sentence" conclusion such as "reported decades after the event" but does not detail any explanation or provide trivial explanations of UFO occupants encounters he summarized. I consider this approach unconvincing. It is the approach that was adopted in the past with meteorites; "since there are no stones in the sky, people who claim a stone fell from the sky are either inventing or mistaken," But, as well all know, cases after cases, the "cause" for the meteorites became stronger, and eventually one had to admit the unthinkable: sometimes stones do fall from the sky.

My approach is to look into each case and try to determine as much as it is possible what is was: a hoax, a misinterpretation, something else? When I conclude "misinterpretation", I explain what caused it and how. First, I try to get all the sources, especially the primary source, I try to get all the opinions, then I think about it, look for possible or certain explanations, rate the explanation's likeliness or lack of solidity, and explain my process, my reasoning, etc.

I am perfectly aware that most cases are inventions or misinterpretation. But I also discvered that a large number of cases were introduced in ufology catalogues by "skeptical" people, that those cases are "ghost stories" or "religious vision" stories and are only there as "a priori proven examples" of hoaxes and mistakes. If I reversed this process, I would say, "see, some alien encounters are for real, so some ghost stories and religious visions are for real also." I just cannot deal with the topic like that.

There are many other flaws with the inclusions of "Blessed Virgin" stories in ufology catalogues. One of them is that only a very small number of those are introduced. Peter Rogerson - and other "skeptics" who do this - are absolutely not including all the "Blessed Virgin" cases in their catalogs, which are meant to be exhaustive when it comes to alien encounters. Why? Why this case and not that case? Why not all?

Secondly, as seen here, there is no care for "best sources". Just any source is used (here, a general religious website, when there are much better sources).

Thirdly, the difference of treatment between "Blessed Virgin" cases and alleged alien encounters cases is blatant. For example, in this case, we have many sightings by the same witness, and they include sightings where she is the only one among a huge and attentive crowd who "sees" anything (other example of that process here). What would skeptics say of an alien encounter claimed to have occurred in front of a crowd of believers in which only on person "sees" the alien? Such differences - there are myny other - should at least be discussed. But in this case, we see that Peter Rogerson does not even tell that only one in several people claim to "see".

Such shoddy reporting make the reader believe that all those stories, ghost stories, "Blessed Virgin", "alien encounters", are all "one paragraph stories" all of the same kind. Are they? I am not convinced that they always are.

What about the fact, proven in this catalog of mine, that some cases have huge documentation (Wait for the Socorro 1964 file for example) while others ave almost no details? Of course this does not "prove" a case to be a genuine alien encounter, but does it not tell something about the low value of catalogs who summarize volumes of information in one paragraph?

Let me try a little game:

July 25, 1947 Mineral, Wash. USA. Daytime. - Pilot K Arnold reported seeing 9 flying discs over a mountain as he was looking for a wrecked Marines plane. He told they were flying at 12000 mph.

Source: newspapers, July 25 1947.

Would this writing of that famous case help anyone determine whether he saw pelicans or aliens craft? Doesn't any attempt at explanation require full documentation when it exist?

Example: what would anyone say of the value of ufology if it appeared that all UFO witnesses were always believers, even before "seeing"? Am I to believe all UFO witnesses believe aliens visit the earth even before seeing them? I certainly don't. Many are skeptical about that beforehand (in the majority of case we just do not know what they believed beforehand because nobody cared to check, and because it is difficult to check. difficult, but not always impossible; investigators, just have a look at the witnesses bookshelves.)

The Church's statement on Pierina's vision, according to Wikipedia EN (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierina_Gilli) were:

The Episcopal Curia on June 30, 1968:

"The Monsignor Bishop vividly exhorts all the faithful that they declare themselves respectful to the directives of the Church not to favor either by publications or by pilgrimages the spreading of devotions that are founded upon a non-approved interpretation of facts neither objectively controlled nor responsibly evaluated."

Monsignor Luigi Morstabilini on November 25, 1975:

"The Monsignor Bishop renews the firm invitation to the faithful and to the clergy because by their obsequious acceptance of preceding decisions they might find at other sanctuaries and places recognized by the Church the better form to experience the right and necessary devotion to the Mother of God according to more authentic contents of faith and of Catholic spirituality."

Monsignor Bruno Foresti on October 15, 1984:

"The Bishop of Brescia supported by the authoritative opinion of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, communicates that (a) the afore-mentioned apparitions of Our Lady the Mystical Rose in Montichiari do not present motives of credibility; (b) the cult relative to Our Lady the Mystical Rose, therefore, is not approved and can not be practiced nor favored; (c) whosoever favors it, by spreading publications or by organizing pilgrimages, does not help, but disturbs the faith of believers by inducing them to behave contrary to the disposition of the Church."

We are actually dealing with a single witness case whose many reports sometimes have "negative" witnesses (She "sses" but the others there do not see.).

She is also a witness with strong beliefs that what she claimed to see is real, beliefes that predate the sighting. $she is educated by strong believers.

She is also a witness with a very distrubed childhood in an unstable family, and a witness who suffered many diseases including brain disease.

The common traits with some UFO occupants stories are real: the repeated "visions", the complex "lore", the "messages" can be found in "UFO contactees" stories. "Rempentance" is a usual topic, just like "contactees" stories in which humanity is claimed to be behaving badly and must be "re-educated". "Contactees" stories, interestingly, quite often include religious topics. However, there are differences: the motivation of "contactees" is often financial. "Contactees" stories do not often have "negative" witnesses - no one else is here during the "encounters" they claim.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:


Psychological, not UFO-related.

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 15, 2018 Creation, [ed1], [km1], [ml1], [mp1], [pr1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 15, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 15, 2018.