The Mussolini UFO Files – Cover-Up In Pre-World War Two Italy?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
January 24, 2020
Last Updated
October 12, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

Although the claims are subject to debate, not least due to the way they entered the public domain, the apparent sightings of several aerial objects over Venice in 1936 and the subsequent alleged cover-up that followed are perhaps some of the most intriguing claims of UFO encounters on record from before the Roswell incident and the start of the modern UFO era.

A depiction of a UFO blended into an image of Mussolini

Did Mussolini have an active interest in UFOs?

The sighting in Venice in the summer of 1936, as we shall see, would be investigated by what is perhaps the first UFO research department in history. There was, however, another intriguing, and mostly little-known UFO incident three years earlier in Rome in 1933. While there is no certainty that there is a connection – or that the events even happened – the claims are intriguing. And most certainly worthy of our attention.

The claims come to us from an apparent collection of (copied) UFO files from the Benito Mussolini era that were forwarded to Italian UFO researcher, Roberto Pinotti, who along with Alfredo Lissoni would investigate the notion that a secret department operated within the Italian dictator’s government investigating these UFO sightings and even crashes, which we will examine later.

First, however, we will turn our attention to 1936 and summertime in Venice.

An “Aerial Torpedo” And Two “Hat-Like” Objects Over Venice

According to one of the accounts, on the morning of 17th August 1936 in Venice, [1] a cigar-shaped, metallic object was observed overheard. And what’s more, following several minutes, a section at the back of the craft opened and two smaller disc-shaped crafts appeared before settling into flight and following the main object, slightly behind it. The objects were observed by multiple members of the population. Furthermore, the Italian Air Force would respond by scrambling two fighter planes in an intercept mission.

However, as soon as the fighters approached the objects, they would, according to one investigator “zoom away at incredible speed”. This, despite the fighters themselves moving at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Even stranger, none of the strange crafts appeared to make a sound whatsoever and remained silent throughout the encounter. Even when they zipped away at breakneck speed, they did so in absolute silence.

A depiction of the UFO sighting

A depiction of the UFO sighting

The report continues that the objects would remain visible overhead for approximately an hour. The main object was described as “a kind of aerial torpedo” which appeared “metallic” and a “gray or slate” color. Even stranger, there appeared to be “clear windows…with alternating white and red lights” along the side.

Perhaps even more intriguing is the two disc-type craft which the report describes as being like “two hats like those used by priests – wide, round, with a dome in the center”. Furthermore, these two smaller crafts also appeared to have a metallic exterior”.

“Nobody Knows Of Balloons That Can Travel Faster Than The Wind!”

The report of the above account is said to be written by a “secret agent” using the name Andrea (which is Andrew in Italian). They would claim that many witnesses – perhaps in an attempt to find logic and reason in the bizarre incident – would suggest the objects were some kind of balloon or zeppelin airship.

However, as Andrea would note, “nobody knows of balloons that can fly faster than the wind”. He would go on to state the report had been forwarded to Count Ciano, who was Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and also the son-in-law of Mussolini himself. The importance of this shouldn’t be lost. If true, it shows that the top two people in the Italian government had knowledge of, and direct involvement in UFO sightings during the 1930s.

A depiction of the UFO passing over the church

A depiction of the UFO passing over the church

The document report also states that while an investigation was open, “it will make little inroad and will have a similar outcome to that of ‘31”. Of course, if that is something of consequence remains open to debate.

Several years after receiving the files, Pinotti and Lissoni would appear on the television show UFOs! The Untold Story to speak of the account. Lissoni would claim that the sighting was not only most likely genuine, but that is was “the middle of the day with good visibility” when the objects suddenly appeared in view.

Cabinet RS/33 – A Department To Investigate “Unconventional Aircraft!”

Also contained within the files is information about an apparent secret department within the Italian government – Cabinet RS/33 – that was charged with investigating “unconventional aircraft” and “aeromobiles”. The head of this alleged department was Guglielmo Marconi, who was one of Italy’s most respected scientific minds.

More ominously, the mysterious department had dark connections to the secret police throughout Italy at the time (OVRA), meaning any kind of suppression of evidence or even of intimidating witnesses into silence was, at least potentially, easily achieved.

Equally concerning, at the time, Cabinet RS/33 had similar connections to Agenzia Stefani, which the news agency of the Mussolini regime, an organization that, similar to their Nazi German equivalent, would engage in rampant propaganda.

A depiction of military officers walking through a secret tunnel

A depiction of military officers walking through a secret tunnel

There are also claims that in the runup and commencement of World War Two, these secretive files were moved to Nazi Germany. Of course, we have written before of the apparent “Nazi UFOs” and how authentic the claims might be. It is perhaps interesting to note, then, that the previously mentioned Marconi often comes up in research into these apparent flying saucers of the Third Reich.

Another nod toward the credibility of the files is the work and research on them by Andrea Bedetti. Bedetti has studied the history of this period of Italian history extensively. When Lissoni would seek Bedetti’s expert opinion he was told by the respected historian that couldn’t “exclude the real existence of a Cabinet RS/33”. He further expressed his satisfaction that the documents themselves all appeared genuine. At least in terms of stationary, terminology and the general style of the Mussolini regime.

It didn’t rule out the possibility that the documents could be clever forgeries. However, it would take “someone deeply knowledgeable” in this particular period and place in history.

Recovered Crashed Disc In Lombardia, 1933?

With that in mind, then, it is perhaps very much worth our time examining the claims of a crashed UFO in the Lombardia region of Italy three years earlier on the 13th June 1933. Especially as, according to some research, [2] it was “from this single recovery that the top-secret Cabinet RS/33” came into being, based at La Sapienza University in Rome.

It is thought by some researchers that it was after determining that the recovered craft was not one of terrestrial origin that the decision was made to bring in the previously mentioned Guglielmo Marconi into the secret department. He had beliefs in alien life and the possibility of communicating with it using radio transmissions. Whether his appointment was cover for something else (terrestrial experimental craft from alien technology, for example) or whether there was a genuine fear of alien invasion on Mussolini’s part is open to debate.

A close-up of Guglielmo Marconi

Guglielmo Marconi had a genuine belief in life on other planets and hoped to reach them through radio waves!

We should also mention Mussolini’s comments from 1941 in the run-up to America’s eventual arrival into World War Two. He would state that America should “care more about attacks from Martians than about the Axis forces”. It is something that most people likely dismissed at the time. However, it might be a warning that we should take more seriously. Certainly with everything we know in our contemporary era.

Suppression Of UFO Sightings By Mussolini’s Secret Police?

According to the research of the investigators, following the 1936 incident – three years after the alleged recovered craft – the secret police service began a campaign of suppression of the incident and UFO sightings in general. Lissoni would claim that the witnesses to the sighting were quickly rounded up. They would then be transported to Rome where they would face a brutal interrogation behind closed doors.

Following these brutal interviews, they would receive one last final warning. If they spoke of the incident they would “be sent to a mental hospital”. We should stress these types of accounts are far from proven. It is not hard, however, to imagine that such tactics were utilized by the police at the time. Whether for talk about UFOs or a whole host of other matters.

A witness sketch of the 1936 sighting

A witness sketch of the 1936 sighting

The notion of an alien craft crashing to Earth from the skies over Europe may sound preposterous for some. And we need to keep in mind that such accounts are without solid proof. However, we should also keep in mind that such incidents took place at a time without the Internet. And when the media platforms had far less reach than they do today. News quite literally traveled at a much slower pace. And could, if there was a desire to do so, be halted and buried much easier than today.

And the era these alleged events took place most likely also contributed to the perception of them.

The Paranoid Times Of Pre-World War Two

Were the times themselves, as UK UFO researcher, Nick Pope would declare on the same show as the researchers, of importance to the apparent Mussolini UFO files? For example, the fear and paranoia of alien invaders may or may not have been real. However, the paranoia of the Americans and the eventual Allied Forces, the Soviet military, and even their own “friends”, the Germans were indeed very real.

It might even be a possibility that such a “belief” in UFOs was a convenient smokescreen. Perhaps to cover the nation’s interest in experimental terrestrial aircraft. Particularly if that interest was focused on the Nazis. Given their “friendly” status with the regime, this would have had to have been conducted without their knowledge. This is, admittedly, speculation on our part, but certainly not something that requires a stretch of the imagination. Especially when research suggests that Mussolini very much “suspected” that these aerial crafts were the work of the Third Reich.

A picture of Mussolini and Hitler

Mussolini (left) and Hitler (right)

Might there be some credence to Mussolini’s suspicions, if indeed they themselves are accurate? After all, many researchers, even before such disclosures as the Mussolini UFO Files have expressed their belief in a “Nazi UFO” project that was well underway behind closed doors by the time the Second World War was taking hold of Europe. And we might do well to remember that in the years leading up to World War Two, the Third Reich had one of, if not the most powerful, advanced, and futuristic militaries in the world.

Perhaps, then, such suspicion and paranoia, on Mussolini’s or anyone else’s part, is well-founded. And ultimately not as paranoid as they first appear.

A Reexamination Of The Modern UFO Era

What should we make of the sightings? As well as the claims that a secretive UFO department existed in pre-Second World War Italy?

Might the sighting have been nothing more than an airship? If so, how would the two extra ships be explained? Or the fact that the objects vanished at such blistering pace? Lissoni would state that the strange craft “certainly couldn’t have been a Zepplin” simply due to the common knowledge and familiarity the population had with such vehicles meant they would easily identify one had that been the case. And what’s more, as mentioned above “a Zepplin was not capable of carrying inside two smaller vehicles”. And it certainly wasn’t capable of the speeds the report speaks of.

The files, like many other similar ones, are likely to remain a mystery as to their authenticity. Partly because of the passage of time. And partly the apparent desire of the majority of the world’s governments to keep such information locked away.

Indeed, should an opening of these secret files occur and such claims are genuine the implications would be huge. It would force a rewriting of mainstream history. As well as a reexamination of the timeline of the modern UFO era. Which will, in turn, lead us to a greater understanding of the times we live in today. One truth will indeed reveal another, but only if we continue the collective push for such information.

Check out the video below. It features the feature from UFOs! The Untold Stories.


1 The Truth About The UFO In 1933 Italy, Researchomnia, April 12th, 2017
2 Mussolini Fiat Riva Del Garda Disc, Rob Arndt

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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1 Comment

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  • Michael Amato says:

    The wat Mussolini acted about these UFOs tells me he believed they were real. I’m sure Italian WW2 fighter & bomber pilots also reported Foo Fighters just like the other Axis & allied pilots did. This was a very interesting article.

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