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The Filiberto Caponi close encounters of the 3rd kind, 1993:

This is the account of the repeated encounter between a humanoid being and a 23 years old Italian from Pretare d'Arquata, who took a series of 6 Polaroid pictures of the being.


The alleged series of encounters starts in Pretare d'Arquata, a small sector in the province of Ascoli Piceno, at the top of the Monte Vettore, a few kilometres after one leaves the road to Salaria.

"The last encounter has happened just here behind. Before, it was a little more outside in the country. Here, this is the last photo that I have released."

They show, in sequence, a being in a various positions, seated, nearly erected, in seemingly painful physical conditions although this may be only an anthropomorphic impression. The being seems to have small dimensions, rather sturdy, with the skin that in some instantaneous ones appears burnished and thick and in last photograph, completely red, moisted, with the aspect of a badly wounded skin.

The photos were published in the weekly magazine "Visto" n. 43 on 28 October 1993, and then produced on TV during the program "I Fatti Vostri" ("Your facts") on Friday, November 5, 1993, hosted by Giancarlo Magalli.

The 6 Polaroid pictures:

Here are scans of the six Polaroid pictures. Please be aware that the pictures are rather shocking for sensitive people.

The detailed events, investigations and interviews:

The first investigation was lead by the CUN and comprized several inspections, interviews of Caponi and its relatives and the answers to their questions to other indirect witnesses. At the end of the investigation, they had a detailed report on the case but drew no firm conclusion whatsoever.

At the same time, other investigators approached Caponi and obtained from him similar statements, substantially coinciding with those published by the CUN. Some of them gave their interpretation of the events, such as Massimo Fratini Maximum from the CETI, in Rome, who stated that he has always been convinced by the sincerity of the witness.

"In the course of our inquiry and during last the three years, we have had to reconsider, step by step, all the vicissitude, to reconstruct all the details, meeting Filiberto Caponi several more times and trying to collect other testimonies."

"We are not still in a position to give the conclusions - today - but we are approaching the possible truth of what happened in the outskirts of Pretare d'Arquata (Marches), on the Monte Vettore, starting in May 1993."

Caponi's photograph remain disturbing to this day.

There were however some contradictions and omissions who emerged when investigations started to put more pressure on Caponi. Yet there seems to be no way to differentiate if these contradictions and omissions are simply caused by the confusion between investigators, and the stress put on Caponi who was literally sieged by Italian and foreign journalists as his photographs were just published in a weekly Magazine in Milan.

Essentially, the story told by Filiberto Caponi was quite consistent over time, chronologically always consistent, but some parts of his story was slightly at odds with the photographs themselves. This prompted the chief investigator of the CUN, Roberto Pinotti, to insist that he needs to look at the photographic material in good conditions, first to elucidate some points, and also because CUN thought that the witness should have the right to manage his material.

Indeed, in an unprecedented and utterly unexplainable manner, the magistracy of Ascoli Piceno had seized and confiscated the photographs from Caponi, and started a judicial procedure against Caponi under the never heard of motive that his photograph might disturb the civil peace. Because of this confiscation, CUN could only analyze them visually but not instrumentally.

Caponi told to CUN's Roberto Pinotti, Gianfranco Lollino and Massimo Angelucci, and Fabio Della Balda of the CROVNI of Saint Marino about his first encounter:

"I first thought it was a small cat complaining, trapped in a plastic bag."

"It was the evening of 9 May 1993. As usually I re-entered from a ride on my motorbike and I was closing the garage, just near the country, when I heard I complain, different from those typical of usual animals. I was also thinking that it may be a drunk coming down from the same road making noises. Then, in an angle of a house, I saw a "white [palleta,]" it seemed to me that the strange complain came from it. Smiling, as I thought I had found an abandoned cat, wrapped in a plastic bag, I stretched a hand to touch it, but on reflection I stopped because it occurred to me that it might scratch me. So I limited myself give the bag a little kick to see if it would come out on itself. And I was terrified, because the "old plastic bag" jumped on, showing that it had a head, arms and legs. It raised from the ground, and went to the wall that I have shown to you before. Anyway, it was quite fast, it had wrapped legs and it carried something that tripped, it looked like a bag that it had on the back, but it was not skin. I only saw the skin of its head and from its small arms which it did not use and not move."

An interesting point regarding this first encounter, it that Caponi suffered from an inexplicable cutaneous blackening on the right foot, the foot that he used to touch the entity. The blackening disappeared after three days.

Caponi thought that he was the victim of some confusion, but he has been very frightened so he decided to reopen the garage and to rest a little moment on his motorbike and think about it, and to calm his nerves listening to the radio.

"I thought to myself that what I saw may not have existed, that I have been tired, that it must have been some animal..."

However, back home, his mother noticed that something was wrong, as the boy was very pale. She managed to get her son tell what happened, and, with his father, he decided to return on location of the encounter in order to find some trace of the "animal." On the wall, behind which the being disappeared, the father found a "medical gauze covered with blood" but he did not take it home because it was disgusting and instead he put it under an old washing machine in the courtyard, planning to go to Ascoli Piceno in order to have it analyzed.

In the night, Caponi still heard the strange complain, went down again to the road, but he saw nothing this time. "Nothing, just nothing, it was impossible," explained Caponi.

"...and my father was there so that I could show him, and I have said to him 'I have heard it, but I do not know where it is' and he told me to go up in my room because from there we could see better. We stayed up there for roughly an hour, then my father was tired and went to bed again. Just at that moment 'the thing' reappeared... I called my father and so he has been able to see it too, for a moment, while it went away under that arch, in the blink of an eye, and my father looked at me as if he wanted to say 'so you were not joking!'... anyway he told me to go to bed, because it was late (3 in the morning)."

The next morning, Filiberto's sister went to control the gauze, but it had disappeared. "It must have been a dog that smelled the odor of the blood," says Filiberto.

"However it has been at that time that I decided to lend a camera from my brother-in-law. I put it right on the bedside table. For a week then I waited there (indicates the night place) thinking that perhaps the being would come again and that I could photograph it."

15 days went by and nothing happened, so Caponi decided to forget all about it, when one evening:

"It was approximately the two o'clock in the night and I heard the strange scream again. I sent up, I took the camera (a Polaroid 660) and opened the door, - while I felt that something was walking in the alley. I saw it arrive, from far away enough, to not fast, nearly walking. I took a first photo, the Polaroid ejects it, and I take it away, ready to take an other photo. In the light of the flash it had stopped, as if it had noticed the light, maybe but it must have been deaf... because I have made some noise when I opened the door, and it continued to come in my direction. It had stopped and turned around only when I took the photo. I have thought 'I will race with it, take a photo and run after it, this is a unique opportunity' and what I did, I went towards it, advancing a few meters, I photographed it again, and then I escaped screaming 'I have photographed it!', without watching where I went, so I ended against a wall. My father woke up and asked me what had happened. The photos developed under the eyes of my relatives: on the first one only a dark shadow was visible, but on the second, the head and the hanging arms wrapped with something, were visible. I looked at it intensively. I explained that when I have taken the second photo it had slightly turned its head towards me, without turning its body at all. My father felt it was quite a hair riser. My mother said 'My god, what is he?' And then I had calmed down and I told them 'a lot of it in the photos, let's put them in a secured place, let's not have everyone see them' and we decided to put them in a wooden box, in order to study them with calm on the next day."

But the next afternoon:

"I found the cover of the box curved, blackened underneath, filled with smoke. I ask what can have happened then I opened it I feel a smell of burnt similar to burned plastic's odor. The photo was burned around and where the being was shown, it was swollen and ruined... I detach the second photo and the image was also swollen, only in surface, it was not destroyed."

Later, CUN investigators tried to determine if the ruined photos were explicitly attacked, and considered the possibility that the film may have been the Polaroid for a long time and maybe expired. But the hypothesis of a normal deterioration due to expiration revealed not valid, because the following photos were made with the same film and were not ruined at all. The only possible explanation that remained was that of a chemical interaction between the photos and an old past due battery conserved in the wooden box where the images were stored, which is what Caponi also proposed. The problem is that all the material, including the wooden box, have been delivered to the Police officers of the station of Arquata of the Tronto, subsequently to their first publication in a magazine. Moreover it must be emphasized that Caponi had circulated the photos (reproduced in dias) among roman newspapers and press agencies.

Back on May 24, 1993. The news by now had been diffused, in because Caponi told about it in confidence to a friend:

"I have made a big mistake, the day when I went at a friend who is a carpenter and told him all about it. He had sworn to me that he would not tell a word about it, but one evening he had drunk a glass too much and three days later the whole country knew the story and the "Messagero di Ascoli Piceno" newspaper telephoned, and a few days later they published the burnt photos."

"The story still diffused more, even if many did not believe it and created popular legends about me or people hunting in the country. One evening I went to the circle and encountered the friend who had spilled the story out; in spite of that I have made peace with him, and we were walking outside with two others. And then all of us heard 'the scream,' coming from behind the gate of a house which is shown in the published photos. We decide to go check it out and I begin to climb up, while a friend remains a little behind, an the other progress in order, and when we get close to the direction of the complain, it stops immediately. We return to the bar and some sort of expedition gets organized, with others, in all 15 to 20 people, some of them with knives - everyone excited - torches and photographic cameras. One them has a hunting dog. We all go back the gate. We here the complain and the dog heads on and leaves us, crosses the gate and begins to bark, nearly as if fighting, and there are more and more screaming. Then the dog 'jumps down the road', throwing itself from a wall, falls on his back, stands up on his legs again and flees to hide in a corner. The other people present begin to look at me speechless. But, when I propose to locate the source of the sound in order to discover what it is they all say no. However from that moment, people in the area begun to believe me a little and I get interviewed from a journalist of 'Stop' magazine, but when he sees the burnt photos he does not think opportune to acquire them."

Over time, the feeling that something strange and interesting is really happening spreads in the small country. And then on August 8, Pretare is the location of a new unusual phenomenon: many hens in the country die mysteriously, some enduring amputations of limbs or of the head, but without signs of blood or bites. They have been recovered all piled up. The fact remains stunning, because it is difficult to imagine that a predator, such as a fox or a vixen, can do so much damages in one night.

So far Caponi it had had two encounters with the being. But on August 11, 1993, when Caponi was somewhere outside on a bench, watching shooting stars:

"It was five o'clock in the morning and all at once, in front of the door of my laboratory, I saw again that white pack, moving; at the start I thought that it was my cat, but then, looking with more attention, I understood that it was 'it' again, seated, and watching around. Then I went into the house, took the Polaroid camera, and looked at it through the Window. It was still here, so I went down and made one photo of it. In the light of flash the being turns its head, raises, tilts its back, turns and runs away. Then I said to myself that I have photographed it just right, and I hoped the photo does not get ruined like the others, and I decides not to say anything not even to my parents and I held it in the drawer."

The being shown on this picture is apparently still wrapped in its "external protecting covering", and partially covered with gauzes or whitish wraps. Filiberto describes its covering: "it may be pants, in a strange way, and the being had some sort of leather on the shoulders, with some bandage."

Nine days passed, and on August 20, another encounter gave Caponi the opportunity two take two new pictures, still using the same Polaroid, in spite of the allegation by the "Visto" weekly magazine that the pictures were made with a professional camera.

"No, it was always with the Polaroid, I literally lived with it, while a friend of mine lend me another one, I declined, I gave it back to him without having ever used it. I open the window and I see it seated to the center of the courtyard. I come down and I make one first photo of it. It made the usual movement, turns the head slowly and I take a second picture, moving to the side. At this point it escaped. They are not successful to dirgli nothing, I would have intentional. The being had always appeared with gauze around the legs, and something similar to leather on its back, but this time it did not wear its covering anymore, but appeared with two tubes on the thorax that seemed to slightly move under its skin, like from air or liquid pressure, or some fluid, I don't know, maybe for its respiration. The small tubes both moved rhythmically. And an other important thing: I was convinced that the body was wet, it drained water, it dripped. But not much. From its head, water passed beside the eyes like some sweat. I want to emphasize that that evening my sister had also heard the noises, on the small terrace of our house, where my father had two drums in which he put water for watering the flowers. We have thought that perhaps it had gone to bathe itself. The drums were supposed to be full, but instead one was half empty. Maybe during the night, it had "undressed", dipped in a drum, washed, and jumped from the terrace, producing the noise of a jump in water that my sister heard. They came down, to see if it had left its coveralls, but there was nothing. Except a small hole, under the house, not wider than 25-30 centimetres, that opens on a bulwark. I have illuminated it with a torch, but I have not been able to see correctly within it."

An other particular thing, maybe of great importance emerges then, when the enquirers ask Caponi greater details about the physical aspect of the creature and the color of its skin. One assumes that its epiderm, as it appears in the two photos of the seated humanoid, is really in "coveralls" that joins perfectly to the body and wraps it completely.

The difference, in the photos handed by Caponi between the humanoid with and without its kind of "protection" appears clearly from the last picture, in which the being is half seated half erected and seems to be "naked."

A month passed, and the next encounter was on September 20, 1993.

"Every night I waited, by now. I still did not sleep more. So, towards at about 3 o'clock in the morning, I see it under the house. 'Stavolta, I say to myself, before photographing I call someone. I woke up my grandmother, that sleeps in the room besides, but she was not able to see it from her window, although it was just under. It was standing. Then we came down and my grandmother finally saw it in all its splendor - she was frightened because she thought that she was seeing some sort of malignant entity - and she started to scream, while I tried to calm her, I approached and photographed it."

Then a scene already wintessed repeated: the being bent, turned the head a little bit, and looked at Caponi. The grandmother, Perla Antonia, told about this experience, explained how frightened she was that the being may hurt her grandson:

"Filiberto, let's go away from here, because I am frightened now. But by now I run after it up to the arch, in the country, under the rainy night, I was all wet, in the middle of the grass I have lost it from sight."

Other important details emerge from the questions of investigators:

"The being made noise when moving, its dorsal structure is rather grip, but its sides seems wide, which is practically the contrary of the way we are made. It seems built to run, the arms are not used, remember how he raced to the nearby door with leaps like those of an ostrich. Its dimensions? It is very small, not more than 70 centimetres, the way it had its feet on the ground, it seems that it weighs the double than it really weighs. It has two nostrils for the nose, but no ears."

In summary, there has been five encounters by Filiberto Caponi with the strange creature. in the first one, of 9 May have not photographed it). On the May 24, he took two photos, on the August 11, one photo, where the being is within the dark covering, on August 20 he took two photo of the seated being and on September 2, he took the last picture in which the creature is seen with stretched legs and seemingly covered in a bloody substance, in front of Caponi's workshop.

In the interview published by the CUN investigators, Caponi meticulously described the physical aspect of the being.

"The head is spherical with two frontal eyes going to the sides; they are fixed and, seen at close range, they are similar to the eyes of a fly, honeycombed, with many black points, that appear polished, almost as if they were made of plastic."

The eyes were ovals, Caponi still explained, and they were not closed, the face "did not show any movement, except that the mouth opened and closed with regularity, the mouth is wets sign of a sure salivation and hard gums, I have seen no teeth, no tongue."

During the encounter there has always been a discreet street lighting system and the shadow projected from the small body could be correctly distinguished. The head "was turning regularly, but it did not seem only to watch me, more as if by curiosity or alarm".

The mouth seen from the side, "has a vague shape of a beak and reminds of a turtle's mouth. The rough skin looks scratchy, while the skin visible on the head is completely smooth, but has spots. The head and the chest have spots of white and yellow colour."

Continuing with the limbs, "the legs are thin, and have muscles, like thos of a well developped calf. Three fingers can be distinguished in the hands, but the being does not move them, and it also does not move the arms, they are frail and contracting muscular fibre is distinguished in the movements, even though imperceptible, because the hands appear atrophied and almost did not move, and the fingers were hardly noticed, except when there was a move of the shoulders."

A particularly interesting feature described by Caponi are the two small "tubes" that were on the thorax of the creature:

"The tubes come out of the skin and enter again in the skin but they seem to be something else, which is no part of its body, more an addition to it. The tubes moved, only a little, while the belly seems immovable, as if it did not breathe."

Filiberto described the legs to the investigators: "they were its more strong and powerful parts, considering the way in which it run. It has two fingers on its feet, one slightly longer than the other, perhaps a thumb. And finally there are three bumps noticeable on its back, the one on the neck being the largest. It had never emitted any understandable sound. Its screams were composed of two 'exact and precise lines' alternating in a regular lament. It seemed however interested in the light: in the last photo I have taken it was looking at a streetlamp, it seemed to have an astonishment reaction to the flash, I have almost thought that it tried to pose for the photos. One last thing, I have also thought to capture it, but then I have understood that it was an absurd idea."

The interview by CUN investigators was concluded by some bitter comments from Caponi:

"What worries me is that these facts are not considered with the importance it deserves, it is only discussed in tabloid newspapers. But it is also true that nobody was really interested. with few exceptions. As for the presumed ufologists that contacted me repeatedly, few trusted me." "If someone thinks I hoxed it, I will challenge that. Or you can make your own investigations and draw your conclusions."

Filiberto Caponi has been considered open, frank and available by the CUN investigators, but he also stayed quite on his guard probably because of the pressures he experienced from every part, and because of the strong tensions caused by all that within his family.

In his testimony there were contradictions just regarding the number of the photos in its possession and about their release in public, through newspapers and the television. He could have had legitimately ask for financial profits with their publications. Unfortunately, also because he was adviced against that, Filiberto did not manage his stunning and delicate material.

Therefore, later on, because of the fuss created by his claims of his encounters, Caponi has been formally accused by the Police officers and interrogated in the context of an amazing penal procedure under the charge of "having spread false or exaggerated news to disturb the public order" and his photographic material was confiscated, as evidence to hold against him in a lawsuit.

In May of 1994 the court published a decree about the suit that innocented him completely. There was never a judicial procedure instructed on such bases: its consequences was only that it contributed to spread the story even wider.

The judicial provision has been taken shortly after French, German and Japanese news media had relayed the information, and it prevented all the investigations. Italian ufologists still do not understand the reason for this lawsuit.

After the apparition of Filiberto Caponi on the Italien TV in the "Maurizio Costanzo show" in July 2001, and articles that appeared on the ufological magazine UFO Notiziario, the Caponi case was debated again, and discordant opinion were issued, with no serious new argument given. To sum up, there is no conclusion and there probably never will be one: skeptics state it must be a fraud because alien beings do not visit the Earth and a fraud is much more plausible anyway, and many ufologists simply say that through many interviews and investigation, no evidence of fraud has been found.

More comments:

Massimo Fratini:

An Italian case, an alleged encounter with an EBE, occurred in the summer of 1995 [1993], when the young Filiberto Caponi said he met and photographed a humanoid being, of approximately 80-90 centimetres height, in the sector of Pretare d'Arquata, in the Marches. The most interesting feature of the case is that he presented 6 instantaneous Polaroid photograms, of which two show the being to the inside of a transparent covering, similar to a plastic bag. Approaching the covering, Caponi noticed that a being was inside who subsequently let himself be seen. During the development of the first two instantaneous photographs, they noticed bumps where the being appeared through that strange bag [NdT The bumps appeared after the pictures were stored inside a wooden box, not at development time, according to Caponi and the CUN investigators].

Assuming a defect in the development substance and implantation of the film, they had it checked by the manufacturer, who stated that if it had been a problem of faulty chemical solution on the film, the defect would have had to be found also on all the photos from the same cartridge. So it is not to exclude, on the theoretical plan, than the being was inserted in a antigravitational bubble or a field of electromagnetic energy, that could have modified the chemical structure of the photosensitive grain of the film.

Federico Provvedi:

From: "Federico Provvedi" federico.provvedi@telecomitalia.it

Caponi Case

In the article http://www.psispy.com/ufo/updates/1998/mar/m27-038.shtml dated Sat, 28 Mach 1998 appears: "... But sightings literally cover the globe. In Italy, photographer Filiberto Caponi claims to have met an alien creature several times outside his house in Abruzzo. He captured it on Polaroid film in 1993. ..."

I'm a friend of Filiberto and he's from Pretare di Arquata del Tronto in Marche and not in Abruzzo. Filiberto is not a photographer, but a ceramist. Anyway I have investigated that case since 1993 and my conclusion is : it's true in every aspect.... In the July 1993 from a Radar of Rome (Pratica di Mare) and a Radar in the Marche (Falconara marittima) the Italian aeronautics destroyed a UFO flying from Lazio to Abruzzo... and with 2 air-to-air missiles it was destroyed. The fragments fell in the canal of Monte Vettore (a mountain) near Arquata. The pilots of the Caccia airoplain saw 3 balls leaving the UFO before the explosion. Three days later Filiberto encountered the first alien... after several encounters in the area, he managed to take six photographs...

Tim Good:

"I devoted six chapters to these extraordinary colourful Polaroid photographs taken by Filiberto Caponi in Italy. Itís a long complicated story, but we have these 6 photographs which he took between May and October of 1993. Iíve spent time in Italy on several occasions with Caponi and his family and Iím satisfied that heís telling the truth. I met his grandmother, and this was the most compelling witness in a way for me, because she had actually witnessed him, her grandson, taking the last photograph close up. Then, of course, the problem is that Caponi is an artisan and he works in terracotta as well as being a fine painter. So the obvious conclusion that the sceptics come to is that he fabricated this creature. First of all, I commissioned a Law Society checked expert witness Professor Roger Green who specializes in examining imagery for the police in forensic analysis. And he determined, in his opinion Ė having studied examples of Caponiís sculptures, terracotta work, and paintings Ė that the creature didnít represent something that Caponi would have produced, were he to have fabricated it. But of course, that is just a legal opinion. We cannot prove the case, we cannot produce the creature Ė and itís very frustrating."


I compiled the above information from various ufology articles in Italian mostly from Italian-speaking web sites. I had a hard time with the translation, although I did my best and there is no gross lapse of sense, there may be inaccuracies in the details.

I am highly interested in obtaining more information. The case has obviously been discussed, documented and investigated a lot in Italy, whereas ufologists from other countries did not seem to know much about it, except for English writer Tim Good.


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