Date: April 24, 1950
Location: Varese, Italy
Bruno Facchini heard and saw sparks coming from a dark, hovering object, near which a man dressed in tight-fitting clothes and wearing a helmet seemed to be making repairs. Three other men were seen near the craft. The full realization of what he was witnessing sent Bruno into a full run away from the frightening encounter, at which point one of the beings projected a "light" from a tube and the witness fell to the ground. When the work was finished, a trap through which light had been shining was closed and the craft took off.
Artist's impression of the encounter at Varese. (credit: UFO Italy)
Left: Bruno Facchini showing his jacket and shoes he wore on the night of the encounter. Right: Bruno Facchini showing one of the fragments he picked up on the site on the next day. (Source for both photos: Italian newspaper "Domenica del Corrierre;" credit: UFOs at Close Sight)
Type of Case/Report: StandardCase
Hynek Classification: CE3
# of Witnesses: Single
Special Features/Characteristics: Humanoid/Occupant, Physiological Effects, Physical Trace, Artifact, Witness Photo
The province of Varese already had its share of UFO sightings, yet this case is in fact one of the most well known "early" close encouters of the third kind in Italy.
Source: Ezio Bernardini, excerpt from FSR 1987 No. 4
BRUNO FACCHINI: A FAMOUS ITALIAN CE-III WITNESS RE-VISITED
(C.U.N., Italian National Ufological Centre) (Translation from Italian)
On April 24, 1950, at a place called Abbiate Guaz-zone (Varese region — 45D 49 N., 8° 50 E.), which lies slightly to the east of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, the 42-year-old worker Bruno Facchini was the protagonist of a truly mind-boggling experience which, at the time, received widespread treatment both in the Italian regular press and in the "Rivista Aeronautica " (Aeronautical Review).
Facchini, a capable and highly esteemed worker, employed at the time in a local firm, was living in a little house on the outskirts of the village. He had stepped outside from the house [and noticed a flash.] [When he went to investigate], he perceived an enormous black shadow, almost round, "like a ball flattened from above". In the middle of it there was a small ladder, from the top of which was coming a faint greenish light, and he was now able to see at close hand the source of the flashing. An individual wearing a "diver's suit" and a mask, on top of a sort of pneumatic lift, seemed to be welding something. The hull of the craft, lit by the glow from the welding, gave off metallic reflections. Two other individuals, about 1 m 70 in height, also in "divers' suits", were moving very slowly around the craft, as though hampered by the suits they were wearing. Over their faces they wore masks of the same dark colour as the "divers' suits", terminating at the level of the mouth in a tube with a little opening at the end.
Facchini's first thought was that it was a military aircraft in difficulty (the military airfields of Vergiate and Venegono were only a few kilometres distant), and he went up and asked if he could be of any help. The response was some incomprehensible guttural sounds. Meanwhile, in the interior of the object, he had caught sight of a second ladder, and all around on the walls, tubes, cylinders, and gauges. At the same time, he noticed a noise "like the sound of a gigantic beehive".
At that point it was that Bruno Facchini grasped that he was in the presence of no aeroplane. Seized with panic, he took to his heels.
Turning back as he ran, he saw one of the crew point at him a sort of "photographic apparatus" that he was wearing round his neck, and shoot a beam of light at him. He felt immediately as though he had been struck by a powerful jet of compressed air and it sent him rolling on the ground. Bruised and aching, but perfectly conscious, Facchini then saw the lift descend, bringing down with it the individual with the welding equipment, and then reduce in size until it (the lift) was a sort of small box. Then the crew put it into the craft. The ladder was now drawn in and the door closed. Then the hum that Facchini had heard right at the start became louder and, a few instants later, the craft rose and vanished at a fantastic speed into the darkness of the night.
Next day, Facchini reported the matter to the Police Station in Varese, and the Authorities started their investigations at the spot. On the ground, which was quite hard, were visible four round impressions about one metre in diameter and distant about six metres from each other and set in a square. The grass was scorched or withered, and some small fragments of metal were found at the site; probably the remains from the welding. They were of a shiny metal with a granulous surface which, when analyzed, was defined as "an anti-friction metal", very resistant to heat.
With a view to completing the investigative picture, the journalist Renato Vesco subsequently had an analysis made of a few metal fragments from a piece that Facchini had kept...
[The conclusion was that the fragments] are... of a "lead bronze", with a high content of tin...
Case ID: 746
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