Fortunato Zanfrettas abduction story has become one of the most famous urban legends in Italy over the last few decades.Zanfretta has probably given more details about his alien abduction than any other person in history; his detailed accounts may cause even the most vehement skeptic to pause for thought. To this day, the Zanfretta case remains one of the most curious and fascinating x-files around the world.
According to his own accounts (originally made while under hypnosis), Zanfretta was abducted by aliens called Dragos from the planet Teetonia, and experienced repeated abductions by the same group over a period of several years (1978-1981). As frightening or creepy as this case might sound, it seems like we can paint a more optimistic picture of the intentions of these visitors when we consider the words of Zanfretta during one hypnosis section:
I know you are trying to come more frequently . . . no, you can’t come to Earth, people get scared if they look at you. You cant make friendship. Please go.
Shortly after midnight on December 6, 1978, Zanfretta was on duty in Torriglia, a village near Genoa. It was a dark and moonless night. It was also very cold and snow had fallen during the day so that there was a dangerous film of ice on the roads. As Zanfretta approached a client’s uninhabited country-house (called “Our Home” by the owner, Dr. Ettore Righi), in the area of Marzano, his patrol car, a Fiat 126, mysteriously stopped dead. The car engine, lights and radio all failed seemingly for no reason. At the same moment he saw four strange lights moving about in the garden of the house and stepped outside of his car to investigate with gun and flashlight in hand. At first he thought that burglars were behind the house. So he walked through the open gate and crept along a wall in an attempt to surprise them. But Zanfretta had underestimated the problem and ended being the one who was surprised by what he had taken for thieves. Feeling himself touched from behind, the security guard whirled around and saw something that filled him with terror: only inches away stood what he called: “An enormous green, ugly and frightful creature, with undulating skin, no less than ten feet tall”.
When he directed the beam of his flashlight on the being’s face, he was so frightened that he dropped it, but quickly it up again and run away. While running, he became aware of a large and very bright light behind him. Turning around, he saw a huge, flat triangular form which was blinding in its brilliance. Zanfretta shielded himself from the light with his arm. This thing which he assured was a flying saucer, ascended from the back of the house. It was bigger than the house itself, and produced a hissing sound. Later, Zanfretta said that he felt an intense heat. He made it back to his car and tried to call his security company’s operations center in Genoa. It was 12:15 A.M. Carlo Toccalino, the radio operator, has testified that Zanfretta was speaking in an excited and disconnected way. He kept saying: “My God, are they ugly!”. The operator then asked if “they” were human and if they were assaulting him.
The answer was: “No, they aren’t men, they aren’t men”. At that point, the communication were abruptly broken Zanfretta surprised by aliensoff and Toccalino called the chief of the security service, Lt. Giovanni Cassiba. An hour later, a couple of other patrol guards, Walter Lauria and Raimondo Mascia, found Zanfretta in front of the country-house, lying on the ground. It was 1:15 A.M.. When he saw them, he jumped up, gun and flashlight at the ready. Eyes bulging, Zanfretta didn’t seem to recognize them, nor to understand when they told him to lower his weapon. The other patrolmen rushed and disarmed him. To their surprise, his clothes felt warm even though the December night air was quite cold. They also noticed that the gate was closed as usual. The Carabinieri, the Italian military police, began an investigation on what happened that night and one of the first thing they discovered were clear imprint that some large and heavy object had left on the ground in back of the country-house. There were two of them in the frost covered grass, 9 feet in diameter and shaped like horseshoes. Antonio Nucchi, the commandant of the Torriglia station, has stated that he was every confidence in the testimony given by Zanfretta.
In fact, he has known the security guard for many years and, when I asked him what he thought about him, he answered: “I can state with certainty that he is a clear thinking man with no strange fantasies in his head. When we went to investigate the scene the next day, he almost didn’t want to come, he was so scared. Only something exceptional could have frightened him so.” During the investigation Nucchi discovered that 52 residents of nearby Torriglia saw a bright glare in the direction of the country-house at the same time Zanfretta reported seeing it ascending. When the strange story of Zanfretta was published in the local newspapers, the articles were all tinged with amused curiosity and skepticism. Most journalists didn’t want to examine the incident too closely because it involved a UFO.
But nobody has been able to give any explanations to three fundamental phenomena:
1) Zanfretta’s inexplicable panic and confusion;
2) the two 9 foot circular impressions in the grass behind the country-house;
3) the sighting by the 52 people in Torriglia.
The prevalent opinion about Zanfretta just after the incident was: “Since he says that he saw a flying saucer and a monstrous extraterrestrial being, he must be crazy.” Many people thought that the Carabinieri were wasting their time. As for myself I asked is it possible that a security guard who was the father of two children and had a reputation for honesty could have invented a story like this, and thus knowingly put himself at the risk of being dismissed from his job? And is it also possible that it was mere luck that 52 people were able to provide an indirect confirmation of his story? My answer was “no” to both questions and that’s why I decided to investigate Zanfretta’s story further. Zanfretta under aliens’ examinationGianfranco Tutti, the director of the Institute of Vigilance Val Bisagno, the security company that Zanfretta worked for, was worried about the possible negative publicity. But he believes that the guard was an honest man.
When I met Zanfretta, I got the impression that he was shy and he felt uneasy. “People call me on the phone at all hours just to play jokes on me”, he said, “I don’t know what it was that I saw, but I saw it. I am not a liar”. In another attempt to uncover the actual events of that night, according to the Institute Val Bisagno, Zanfretta agreed to be hypnotized by Dr. Mauro Moretti, a psychotherapist and member of the Italian Association of Medical Hypnosis, in Genoa on December 23. I was present on that occasion and noted that what he had to say was really astonishing. In fact, Zanfretta said that he was abducted by “monsters about 10 feet tall, with hairy green skin, yellow triangular eyes and red veins across the forehead” who brought him to a hot, luminous place where they interrogated and examined him. During the same session, Zanfretta also indicated that the creatures came from the “third galaxy” and that “they want to talk with us and that they will soon return in larger numbers.”
The aliens did not speak Italian to the guard, but used a “luminous device” to translate what they were saying. What Zanfretta was stating under hypnosis was too unbelievable, so I preferred not to write anything down at that time. But then something else happened. Three nights later, on December 26, the guard disappeared again. At 11:45 PM on that night, Zanfretta was at work as usual, driving a Fiat 127 inside the Bargagli tunnel, near the Scoffera Pass. Suddenly he lost control of the car. On the radio, he reported that the Fiat turned on its own and came out of the tunnel. Terrified, Zanfretta tried to work the brakes and steering wheel, but the car continued on its own along the steep road uphill. Speaking with the radio operator, the guard said that he was having difficulty with the patrol car, and couldn’t see well because of the very thick fog.
After going for about a mile, the car finally come to an abrupt stop, throwing Zanfretta’s head against the steering wheel. He called the radio operator and this time, in a very controlled voice, said: “The car has stopped. I saw a bright light. Now I am getting out.” Zanfretta and his car were found at 1:10 AM by other guards. The first to see Zanfretta was sergeant Emanuele Travenzoli. Zanfretta was in a field near the road. His clothes were warm and dry, and so was his head, despite the rain. The man was very scared, he was shaking and crying. “They say I must leave with them. What about my children? I don’t want to, I don’t want to…”. Again the Carabinieri were called. During their investigation they found that, though the car had been in the cold and rain for a long time, the roof of the Fiat was as hot as if it had spent an entire day in the sun. The interior of the car was also said to be as hot as an oven. All around the car were disproportionately large footprints.
The Carabinieri defined the degree of reliability that the eventsactually occurred as “good”. One must also point out that in December 1978, there were so many UFO sighting all over Italy that Falco Accame, at that time a Socialist member of the Italian Parliament, asked both Italy’s Premier, Giulio Andreotti, and Minister of Defense, Attilio Ruffini, to inform the Italian Congress about their opinion concerning the nature of these recent UFO sighting in Italy. Getting back to Zanfretta, this second “encounter” had aroused much publicity. Once again, in an attempt to get at the facts, a second hypnotic regression was arranged with Dr. Moretti. But this time the regression was recorded and broadcast by a local TV station, TVS, and hundreds of thousands of people watched it. And this time, of course, I had to write an article. In a few days, Zanfretta became a popular personality. But many people who didn’t believe in UFO stories, were going around saying that his mental health was probably not very good. Zanfretta had problems even at work.
“If I could have, I wouldn’t have reported my experiences, now that I see the consequences”, he said. In an attempt to end any further disturbing discussions of the incidents, the Institute Val Bisagno asked Dr. Giorgio Gianniotti, a prominent neurologist at San Martino Hospital in Genoa, to examine Zanfretta. “The man is in a state of shock”, Dr. Gianniotti diagnosed, “but he is perfectly sane”. Dr. Gianniotti’s diagnosis made the guard seem much more credible in the eyes of public opinion. But the Zanfretta story was now reaching audiences outside of Genoa. Enzo Tortora, in those years a very popular Italian TV personality, invited the guard on his national TV program “Portobello.” Zanfretta was also examined while on camera by Dr. Cesare Musatti, a famous psychoanalyst called “the father of the Italian psychoanalysis”. On that occasion, Musatti said that Zanfretta spoke in good faith even if it was hard to differentiate objective facts from subjective experiences. At the same time, articles about the guard began to appear in newspapers and magazines all over the world. He now became known as the man who was abducted by a UFO.
For some months nothing strange happened to Zanfretta. I kept thinking that his story must have a logical explanation. What reason, if the UFO was real, did it have for abducting that man twice? What kind of role did Zanfretta’s gun with exploded cartridge-casesZanfretta play? I didn’t have any answers. And I was still questioning myself like this, when Zanfretta was abducted a third time. It was on the night of July 30, 1979. The guard was on duty, this time on a motorcycle, in the residential area of Quarto in Genoa and not in the hills nearby Torriglia. But he disappeared again as before and some other guards found him after two hours on the top of Mount Fasce, also near Genoa. There is only one road up to that hill and it was patrolled by security guards working for the same company as Zanfretta. They said that Zanfretta had not been seen on that small road. But there he was at the top of the hill. How did he get up there? The only way to find out more was trough hypnosis. But this time Zanfretta was taken to the International Center of Medical and Psychological Hypnosis in Milan where, on his own request, he was injected with a truth serum by Prof. Marco Marchesan. Zanfretta confirmed everything he has said before and he explained that the last time “he was lifted from the ground into to the alien spaceship by a mysterious green light”. Professor Marchesan declared: “No human being can knowingly lie while he is under Pentothal treatment, so I think it’s very probable Zanfretta had these encounters”. But Zanfretta’s adventure was not an end, yet. Perhaps the most exciting of his strange encounters occurred a few months later. At 10:30 PM on Sunday, December 2, 1979 Zanfretta disappeared for the fourth time while driving an Austin Mini in the suburbs of Genoa. While looking for him, four patrol guards clearly saw a very large UFO in the sky. It was over the hills above Genoa.
Suddenly from out of a large cloud above the guards, two lights came on and shown down directly on the four men. The engines of their cars stopped dead and they got out of their vehicles, terrified. Only one of them, Lt. Cassiba, reacted and fired his gun at the UFO. The lights turned off and the cloud moved away. One of those guards was so shocked that he never completely recovered his mental stability. A few months later he killed himself with a bullet in the head. His name was Germano Zanardi, so the Zanfretta case has also a victim. In yet another hypnotic regression, made on Monday, December 3, induced by Dr. Moretti, Zanfretta said many interesting things. This account begins around 9:30 PM. The guard was in a self-service gasoline station on a highway near downtown Genoa. Zanfretta heard someone calling him from a shadow and he walked towards the voice. He said that he was helpless to resist that voice. And when the owner of that voice ordered him to drive into a small cloud, he obeyed. Then, and this is the most incredible part, he was Carabinieri, the Italian military police, investigate on a place of UFO sightingwhisked off in the cloud to a large spaceship.
Was this a coincidence? And why, if Zanfretta’s story recounted under hypnosis is imaginary, did the guard mention Spain? And what about the coincidence in the dates? Zanfretta said he was abducted by aliens on Sunday night and gave his account under hypnosis on Monday evening. Dr. Cuesta’s adventure occurred on Saturday night. Before Tuesday no one in Italy knew about Dr. Cuesta, and it was only on Wednesday that the Italian public was finally informed. I’ll let you make what you will of these facts.Time went by and left many more questions without answers. First of all, why all these abductions? What reason did all those discussions between the guard and the aliens have? Perhaps an explanation may be found in an object that the mysterious beings wanted to give to the man. It was a transparent sphere with a pyramid inside. Something like jumping sparks were discharged from the pyramid’s vertices toward the inside. With that sphere, the aliens said, it was possible to understand who they were and how they live. Under hypnosis, Zanfretta said that he didn’t want to take the object: he had had enough of all these strange encounters and wished only go back to his normal life.
But they insisted, and told him that he was to give the sphere to a man of whom name he had never heard before: Dr. J. Allen Hynek Don’t ask me what kind of relation there was between the Zanfretta’s aliens and Dr.Hynek, because I really don’t know. Zanfretta with other security guards on a place of UFO sightingAnyway, you maybe surprised that wève still not finished yet! Zanfretta disappeared again on February14, 1980. But this time his car was in constant radio contact with headquarters and he was reached in a short period of time up in the hills. That chilly night I participated in the rescue operation. When he was found by his colleagues, the guard was freezing and in a state of shock. A villager living nearby said that a few minutes before the rescuers arrived, he saw a huge brilliant mass in the sky shaped like a football balloon. During the next hypnosis session, doctor Moretti faced a new problem. Zanfretta, suddenly, started to speak a strange and unknown language. He was uttering words like these: “Ei chi snaua…si naila…isne ghe…il se lai…go ghe ti snau exi ghe…sci nis che ixi kai snoue…chisnauag the…aiex piscinau kep na…tei sdei…”.Moretti was not able to control the hypnotic regression. Zanfretta continued on his own and he said that he was contacting the aliens.
His voice changed and in a very guttural way he said: “You can’t work out anything in a case like this. To believe or not to believe doesn’t mean anything: each thing in its own time”.Zanfretta’s last disappearance was on August 13, 1980. But this time, Zanfretta wasunder close observation 24 hours a day and he was reached before he made contact with the aliens.The last hypnotic regression was illuminating. The guard was absolutely out of control and didn’t answer any questions at all. “What is happening here is scientifically inexplicable to me”, said Dr. Moretti. Under interrogation, Zanfretta kept saying: “Question with negative answer, tixel”, and it was useless going on. Fifteen years have passed now since Zanfretta’s last encounter with the aliens.
He has Location of the UFO sighting not been abducted any more and very few UFO are seen now in the Italian sky. Zanfretta, who recalls only a few things of his extraordinary experiences, says that somewhere in the hills near Genoa he is hiding the sphere given to him by the aliens. And he waits.