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Updated:
Friday, 16-Jun-2017 19:24:27 EDT


THE CASE OF PUNTA RAISI

Paolo Bolognesi
President of Sentinel Italia

On September 26, 2008, during a TV program titled "Italia allo specchio" [ "Italy on a mirror" ] on Raidue, based on the facts happened in Caronia (Messina, Sicily) where anomalous spontaneous combustion of objects, electrical systems, etc. occurred inside the homes of residents, a photograph of an alleged UFO was shown, without any comment regarding this. Such a photograph, taken in Punta Raisi (Palermo, Sicily) together with two more ones, was in possession of the Inter-Institutional Committee for the events of Caronia coordinated by Arch. Francesco Mantegna Venerando. It was soon known that a civil pilot - Commander Vincenzo Garofalo - was the author of these photos.

After the first diffusion of such images, on December 2008 the CUN (Centro Ufologico Nazionale) [ National Ufological Center ] published on its own journal - UFO Notiziario [ UFO News ] - an article written "by the Managing Board of CUN" regarding the case described above, with the following comment:

"The photos describe an authentic UFO at all effects, which is characterized by a so unusual and peculiar shape to allow us to exclude any doubt on its genuine nature, because we can also find the same shape in a not-well-known reconstruction of a case occurred in China in the eighties, and we again find the same shape in a case occurred England a few years ago."

Meanwhile, on the web, blogs and forums, everyone was discussing on the Punta Raisi case, and some users ventured the hypothesis that this case might be a hoax, namely that the object portrayed in the photo taken by pilot Garofalo might be a toy, a model.

Nevertheless, without having any concrete proof of the reality of a hoax, everything was maintained at the level of a simple hypothesis.

On March 17, 2009, the witness, Commander Vincenzo Garofalo and the President of CUN, Mr. Roberto Pinotti were guests at the TV program "Insieme sul Due" [ "Together on Channel Two" ], on Raidue,


where Garofalo was reporting his witness. And Pinotti, after being asked by the TV host "on what was being faced" (concerning the object photographed by Garofalo), answered:

"It is obvious that this doesn't mean that we are facing an object coming from Andromeda - just for kidding - but it is true as well that we are facing an aircraft of unknown origin and nature, having it surely particular technological characteristics, out of the usual, but which evidently is flying all over the world since many years."

(here he was meaning the 1980 case occurred in China and the more recent case occurred in England).

After looking at that TV program, Paolo Toselli, of CISU (Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici) [ Italian Center for Ufological Studies ], recalling also the resemblance of the UFO sighted in Punta Raisi to a toy-model, then remembered…. that he just owned that toy-model at home. More precisely, this one is a toy-model based on the spacecraft portrayed in the Disney's movie entitled "Chicken Little", which was shown at cinema in 2005, from which, subsequently, the famous chocolate firm Ferrero S.p.A. produced a series of little surprises that were dedicated to the main characters of that movie, just for the little chocolate eggs "Kinder Surprise"; the said toy-model brings the initials "S-510 / Spacecraft". Toselli, together with professional photo-technician Paolo Bertotti, CISU consultant, then photographed the toy-model from the same point of view as the alleged UFO of Punta Raisi… and so the similarity of the toy-model with the alleged UFO photographed by Garofalo appeared to be only too evident:

http://www.focus.it/Community/cs/blogs/ufo

Also the scientific team of the Sassalbo Project published a study concerning this case:

http://www.sassalboproject.com/dettaglio_report.php?id=72

and also in PDF version to be downloaded together with images:

http://www.sassalboproject.com/documenti/ufo_punta_raisi.pdf

These ones were just considerations concerning what went on appearing on the media. Also the study-team of Sentinel Italia of which I am the president, later published - by Fabrizio Rondina of the team HWH22 - a comparative study concerning the toy-model and the alleged UFO of Punta Raisi (in such a circumstance Carlo Sabadin, of Sentinel Italia, coined the term "UFO-Kinder", of which he owns the Copyright), so confirming the results that were previously obtained by Toselli and Bertotti, and by the Sassalbo Project.

More lately, Paolo Bertotti, published a final detailed comparison between the Kinder toy-model and the alleged UFO, confirming once more the absolutely identical nature of the two objects.

But this issue didn't come to an end due to the checks and tests after such comparisons were done by the two research groups and by single researchers, which confirmed the absolutely identical nature of the Kinder toy-model and the UFO of Punta Raisi, because CUN, in spite of this, has gone on making its claims of authenticity as if nothing ever occurred, and without carrying out any analysis (according to what they say, analyses would be still going on…) but going on showing again the case on TV programs and on the Web, and also using the CUN Forum, just validating this case as presumably authentic (article on UFO Notiziario of December 2008, and Roberto Pinotti participating to the TV program "Insieme sul Due" of March 17, 2009) claiming, moreover, that the analyses and comparisons done by others wouldn't have any value because these have been done on copies of photographs (which are lacking of metadata, namely "exif" files) and not on the original copies. Metadata or not ( from which however it is possible to obtain data such as: time, day, month and year in which the photo was taken, camera setup, angle of view, lens opening, model, shutter speed, focal length, meteo mode, a miniature for visualizing a preview on the camera's LCD display, in the manager files and in photo-retouch software, descriptions and information concerning copyright, and nothing more. Moreover these data are easily alterable, due to the existence of specific software able to modify such data ), analytic comparisons have been carried out, by others, while CUN so far produced nothing concerning the analysis of the case.

Against all that which has been presented, everyone, gifted with a minimum common sense and rational thought, is able to ascertain that the alleged UFO of Punta Raisi and the Kinder toy-model - code S-510 / Spacecraft - … are the same thing !

At this point another page of this unpleasant incident of Italian ufology was opened. In fact, CUN, the major Italian ufological research center - the most well-known, also at an international level, the oldest (it is active since over 40 years), credited by several governmental bodies - which never lacked in accusing groups and "non-CUN-aligned" researchers of superficiality, incompetence and proclivity to create false scoops with the goal of "creating a case", went on presenting this case in more than one site (TV, web, International UFO Conference organized by CUN itself in S. Marino on March 21-22, 2009), in spite of the amount of comparative analyses carried out by several research groups. In several occasions CUN claimed, as specified above - first in the pages of its own journal, UFO Notiziario, December 2008, and later, through its president, Roberto Pinotti, during TV program "Insieme sul Due" on March 17, 2009 - that the UFO case in Punta Raisi is presumably authentic, without considering the possibility that this one might be a hoax.

But on the April 2009 issue of journal UFO Notiziario, page. 38, inside a box-note entitled "Controversy on the Punta Raisi UFO" by Vladimiro Bibolotti, CUN General Secretary, it is written so:

..."the object is similar to a toy-model of the Ferrero Kinder Surprise belonging to the series "Chicken Little", code S-510-Spacecraft: it has been triumphalistically noticed; therefore this is a hoax. Well, so what? In any fact, we always knew that."

What does "WE ALWAYS KNEW THAT" mean? What: that it was a hoax? Or that the UFO was very similar to the Kinder toy-model?

In both cases CUN committed a serious mistake, by claiming in several situations (TV, its journal, S. Marino conference) what I have reported in the beginning. None can say (as it has been done by more parts, by CUN members) that those ones were only comments to questions of this or that TV host, because the article on the December issue of UFO Notiziario was not a comment, but a confirmation: the one on Raidue, during the TV program "Insieme sul Due" might be a comment, but if one wanted to make comments without unbalancing, knowing that a similarity with the toy-model was noted (and they knew it, on the basis of Bibolotti's claims), it was necessary to claim that "the case is interesting, investigations are going on, some similarity with a toy has been noted, etc., etc.".

This is just what CUN should have declared concerning this case, as the photos were not been analyzed yet, according to its president Roberto Pinotti, who, in the course of TV program "Mattino 5" ["Morning 5"] of April 4, 2009, overconfident declared:

....we, because we are serious since 43 years, are the reference body for these things in Italy; just because we never made the mistake to say: "this is true", "this is false" before carrying out a careful analysis."

Well, this time CUN committed the mistake, as you have been able to read, through its president and the members of the Managing Board, because the analyses are still going on, as it is declared here:

http://cunnetwork.freeforumzone.leonardo.it/discussione.aspx?idd=8486492&p=1

(posted on 14/04/09, h. 15:52 by Alfredo Benni, member of CUN Managing Board).

Moreover on the CUN Forum:

http://cunnetwork.freeforumzone.leonardo.it/discussione.aspx?idd=8398177&p=1

http://cunnetwork.freeforumzone.leonardo.it/discussione.aspx?idd=8424968&p=1

everything has been said - and more than that - against the undersigned, guilty for having suspected, together with the others, that the UFO of Punta Raisi is a fake, so well connectable with the by now famous toy-model of Kinder Surprise. Finally they felt themselves obliged to ban me from the forum in order not to have to answer my questions anymore. They didn't have explanations to offer, therefore they eliminated me. You can read everything going to the links that I have furnished in this note.

Also in this situation CUN has sharply defended this case, claiming that the analyses by others didn't have any value, while only CUN's analyses could be valid, due to the fact that they own the original photographs. So far, no analysis from CUN was done.

It should be clear that none wants to accuse CUN for the delay of its analyses. CUN can be simply considered guilty because of its confirmation of the case as a presumably authentic UFO before data coming from the necessary analysis was available !

But the biggest damage from this event has not been received by CUN, but by ITALIAN UFOLOGY ! Because if to us - in the field of ufology - it took only a little to unmask the hoax (thanks to the merit of "non-CUN" researchers), THE GENERAL TV PUBLIC, not in the field of ufology, which during a morning TV program - on the RAI channel, at 11:00 A.M. - IS NEVER LESS THAN SOME MILLIONS OF VIEWERS, which informations is able to absorb from what saw and heard ?

These are WRONG INFORMATIONS presented without any control, and the serious damage is that these informations WILL NEVER BE CORRECTED by whom should do that, so that only these informations will be maintained as "ufological information" at all effects !

Is this the information of which CUN is boasting?

To me this is a TRUE AND PLAIN DISINFORMATION, furnished voluntarily or involuntarily. The fact is serious if we accept both possibilities, both if this case has not been investigated in a correct way, and if this case has been deliberately presented in order to furnish wrong information, namely to create disinformation. Or better still, in this case the gravity would be enormous, but I prefer to think of some superficiality by CUN inquirers and its president.

Also because, if the second hypothesis resulted to be the correct one, there would be all the elements for an accusation of "abuse of popular credulity"…

The correct ufological information against disinformation - CUN's leit motiv - has lacked just… from CUN, which, by its own claims, has always set up itself as a strenuous bulwark against the "crackpottery" furnished by "others" who are not CUN supporters. Except for perpetrating and diffusing it from its interior.

No, this is not the way to do ufology, and alas this "bad lesson" comes just from whom should teach others to produce information and ufological research, in addition to presenting the phenomenon correctly to the wide public.

The undersigned doesn't feel himself represented by this way to do ufology, and will try, on the basis of his possibilities, to divulge a correct information concerning the subject, as he has always done so far, without prejudices, without arbitrary denials, but using rational thought and objectivity, for a serious and concrete ufological research.

This event Knocked Out Italian ufology, and I think that it will be very difficult to get up again from the carpet, as soon as the word "end" will be given to the case. Yet, normally, the UFO phenomenon is considered something folkloristic by most persons. Ufologists are pointed out as "those who believe in Martians", they are considered visionary or mad; and this occurs mostly because of the great lack of a correct information towards the masses. If then someone causes a hammer blow on … his own feet as in such a case, which hope does ufology have to go out of its shell and to become not just a true science, but at least a field of research that is considered official and deserving a recognition ?

Almost 70 years have passed since the official date of the birth of ufology, started with the case of Kenneth Arnold in 1947, but a few steps have been done since then, and this one - let me say this - is a step backwards!

But research continues….

Paolo Bolognesi
President of Sentinel Italia


Translation: Massimo Teodorani, Ph.D.