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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 in the newspaper Domenica del Corriere for May 26, 1955 reportedly told that in Sinopoli, Calabria, Italy, around the deathbed of Domenica Fedele, an old dying lady, 18 relatives gathered for death-watch at the gleam of an oil lamp which insufficiently lit the room.

Exactly at midnight, an huge hand contour was seen on the wall, it came down and extended on the face of the dying woman. A young nephew of the woman, Rocco, grabbed a chair, but whereas he was going to leap against the phantom hand, he saw a demon coming out of the wall and terrorize the people, who fled by the door and even the balcony.

The next day, the woman was found dead, and the house was blessed to drive out any evil spirits.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-000493
Date of event: 1955
Earliest report of event: May 26, 1955
Delay of report: Days, years?
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Newspaper.
First certain record by: Ufology catalogue Rosales.
First alleged record type: Newspaper.
First certain record type: Ufology catalogue.
This file created on: February 12, 2008
This file last updated on: February 12, 2008
Country of event: Italy
State/Department: Calabria
Type of location: Crowded bedroom.
Lighting conditions: Poorly lit by one source only.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 18
Witnesses ages: Various.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Family.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Ghost or demon
Entities height: Not reported.
Entities outfit type: Not reported.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: 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: Not reported.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Came out of the wall.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, fled.
Witness(es) feelings: Frightened.
Witness(es) interpretation: Demon.
Explanation category: Confusion, shadows.
Explanation certainty: Medium.



Albert Rosales indicates in his catalogue that in Sinopoli, Sicily, Italy, in June 1955, late at night, a group of about 18 family members had gathered around the deathbed of an elderly grandmother, who was quickly fading. A dim light illuminated the room. Suddenly those present were horrified to see a huge hand suddenly become outlined on the wall and start to descend towards the dying woman. While most of the family members ran out of the room in a panic, the young grandson, Rocco, flung a chair at the "demonic" hand. Suddenly out of the wall a "monster" figure emerged and disappeared out the balcony, in front of the terrified remaining witnesses. The woman died the next morning.

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is CUN.

[Ref. ab1:] ALFREDO BENNI:

The author indicates that perhaps in June, in 1955, in Sinopoli, Calabria, around the bed of Domenica Fedele, an old dying lady, 18 relatives had gathered for death-watch, in the gleam of an oil lamp which insufficiently lit the room.

Exactly at midnight, an enormous hand was said to have appeared on the wall, descended and extended on the face of the dying woman. A young nephew of the woman, Rocco, is said to have held up a chair but whereas he went against the phantom hand, he would have seen a monster ("a demon") coming out of the wall and terrorizing the people who were there.

Some went out, others escaped jumping from the balcony. The next day, the woman is said to have been found dead. The house is said to have been blessed then.

The author indicates that "this doubtful news", halfway between ghosts legends and the casuistry of the "bedrooms visitors", was published by the Domenica del Corriere in the May 26, 1955 issue.

He comments by evoking the "physics of the waves" and ensures that in practice a mechanism of "dispersion" of energy of these entities could be possible, which would be measurable on the ultraviolet, optical sometimes, and infra-red.

He then doubts that the case can be explained by collective hallucinations, which could be only an excuse to deny precise and detailed facts, that one cannot deny that there are well organized pranks but when so many normal people and with a normal life see unexplainable phenomena, he does not believe that it can always be explained as collective hallucinations.

[Note: it cannot have occurred in June 1955 if it was in a May 1955 newspaper!]


This author indicates that a "terrible diabolic archetype" materialized in the presence of many witnesses, at the bedside of a dying woman, in the city of Sinopoli in Calabria in 1955.

First a gigantic hand appeared, which extended on the face of the woman, named Domenica Fedele; then, when a relative held up a chair against this thing, a kind of demon would have leaped out of the wall of the room.

The author indicates that a possible explanation is that the poor woman, on the point to die, was crushed by distressing thoughts and that she involuntarily evoked this creature, because according to many beliefs, at the moment of the physical death, psychic energies release themselves, especially if the last moments of life are accompanied by anxiety, or terror, and that it is this energy that the satanists who devote themselves to black magic and human sacrifices are using.

The author indicates that another hypothesis is that among the 18 people gathered around the woman's bed, there was someone who had considerable mediumnic powers and involuntarily or even voluntarily materialized the monster by the power of the thought.

He suggests that it could have be an operation of black magic to hasten the death of the patient, who was found dead the nest day, and one blessed the house to throw out possible malignant presences.

The author indicates that the story was published in the Domenica del Corriere for May 26, 1955, and by Leo Talamonti, Universo Proibito, Milano, Mondadori, 1969, pp. 245-48.

Points to consider:

I do not need to use supernatural concepts such as ghosts, demons, psychic powers and mediumnity, nor bunk "physics" to propose a solution to the mystery. Of course, there is nothing to guarantee that it ever happened, as newspapers sometimes just print stories from readers that could be totally made up.

However, if the possibility of an invention is ignored, what appears here is that the room was full of people impregnated in supernatural ideas about death. They were on a deathwatch and might have been quite tired or even sleepy, certainly not very attentive. They were apparently about 18, there is little chance that everyone had a clear sight of what could occur in the bedroom - certainly not a huge room, as would realize those who have been in Calabria.

Moreover, it is specified in the story that the light was insufficient, and provided only by one weak source.

Any nephew or youngster could then have willingly or unwillingly cast a shadow of his own hand on a wall! The fact that the hand was "huge" explains easily of course if it is a cast shadow. The story does suggest that it was the shadow of a hand and not a three-dimensional hand.

When seeing this, nephew Rocco, probably under the influence of the general mood, lifted a chair at the "ghost"; he probably screamed and threw others in a panic, and likely, the "demon" that then "came out of the wall" was just another shadow, that of the first of the people who wanted to flee. This increased the panic.

The fact that the house was blessed the next day is just another sign that the people there were prone to superstitious beliefs, not "competent observers."

And of course, all this has absolutely nothing to do with UFOs and aliens.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe February 12, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source not available. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe February 12, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source could have been a fabricated story in a reader's letter. Help needed. Opened.
3 Ufology Severe February 12, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross An obvious possible commonplace explanation was not even considered. Help needed. Opened.


Confusion, shadows.

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 February 12, 2008 Creation, [ar1], [ab1], [fr1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 12, 2008 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 12, 2008