By Rob Arndt



On June 13, 1933 on orders from Il Duce Mussolini, a crashed disc aircraft of unknown origin was ordered recovered from Lombardia.


There was also a Senatorial letter describing in detail the strategy to be followed after the craft had been recovered which included censorship of the newspapers, arrest of the eyewitnesses by the O.U.R.A. (The Italian Government's Political Police), elaboration of a series of conventional explanations for the disc (balloons, meteors, weather phenomenon) to be fed to the public via the Breara Astronomical Observatory at Milan, and notification of the Prefect (Civil Governor).


From this single recovery the top-secret Cabinet RS/33 had been created at La Sapienza University in Rome following the recovery of the mysterious disc. The only direct controllers of the RS/33 Cabinet were - Benito Mussolini, Count Galeazzo, Ciano (Mussolini‘s son-in-law and Foreign Minister of Italy), and the Italian airman General Italo Balbo. It was charged with both investigating and covering up what the documents called "unconventional aircraft" or "aeromobiles."

Guglielmo Marconi believed Martians could be reached by radio 

The Cabinet RS/33 had links with the Fascist secret police OVRA and with "Agenzia Stefani," the regime's news agency in charge of disseminating Fascist propaganda. Cabinet RS/33 was headed by the Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi (known for his belief in Martians, although he never played an active part in the Cabinet, always sending in his place the astronomer Gino Cecchinin from Turin). Marconi believed that alien life existed on Mars and that contact with the “Martians” would be possible from powerful radio transmissions. Probably due to this belief he was chosen to lead the RS/33 once it became apparent that the recovered disc was not a man-made one from a Western nation - especially an enemy of Italy.


Fearing aliens, Mussolini put Marconi in charge, someone who was trying to communicate with them.


Among its members the Cabinet had many of the most highly respected of Italian academics, members of the Royal Italian Academy of Sciences, and the best Italian engineers. Among them was Dr. Ruggero Costanti Cavazzani, Professor Severi, Professor Bottazzi, Professor Giodani, and Professor Crocco, all historically real personages. These people had been studying the UFO phenomenon, but only occasionally did they consider the extraterrestrial hypothesis, being more inclined, as they were, to believe in the existence of secret new Western weaponry.


In the first place, it had come to light that ever since 1929 that a German rocket engineer named Hermann Noordung had been attempting to build a "solar" flying disc to be sent out into space - subsequently re-baptized as the "flying wheel", and so it is no wonder that the Italian Fascists, having found themselves confronted with a crashed disc, should have opted for the explanation that it was a secret weapon!

The "conspiracy of silence" imposed upon the affair of the crashed disc in Italy was subsequently demonstrated by the various articles put out in the entire Italian press (and quite particularly in the newspapers of Lombardia). These articles embraced such things as changes of many political leaders, sudden moves of Fascist Blackshirts for no known reason, and even an improvised sudden visit by the Queen of Milan. Furthermore a mass of contradictory reports about the existence of life on other planets were suddenly published after the recovery of the saucer, in many newspapers ranging from the Gronaca Prealpino to the Italia; from the Balilla to L'Italiano; all declaring that there was already telepathic communication with Martians (due to what the "Aliens" were reputed to be at the time).


Mussolini for his part had actually created in 1933 the world’s first UFO research team.


Strange aerial encounter by the Italian AF on August 17, 1936

On August 17, 1926 another aerial incident occurred in Italy with the sighting of a flying cylindrical object over the regions of Venice and Mestre. This incident was graphically reconstructed on two pages, showing a "flying cigar" - described as "torpedo-shaped" along with two spheres beside it, one of which resembled ‘the planet Saturn“, being pursued by Italian fighter aircraft.


It was sighted in the morning, a metallic disc, polished and reflecting light, with a length of ten or twelve meters. Two fighters from a near base took off, but were not able to reach it even at 130 km/h. It didn't emit sound, which would lead one to consider it an airship. But nobody knows of aerostats that can fly faster than the wind. A report was made and arrived into the hands of Ciano.

Count Ciano was Mussolini’s son-in-law and Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs; he was later executed after participating in the cabal to overthrow the Duce and surrender to the Allies in 1943. The report continued:

Then, after approximately at least an hour and after passing over Mestre, it was seen as a sort of metallic tube, gray or slate. It was described like a kind of aerial torpedo, with very clear windows ... and alternating, white and red lights. Following were two disc “hats; two hats like those used by priests: wide, round, with a dome in the center, metallic and following the torpedo without changing their relative positions.


The document mentions that "the Prefecture has opened an inquiry, but you can imagine that it will make little impact and will have a similar outcome to that of 1933. The Duce has expressed his worries, because he says that if it were a matter of real English or French aircraft, his foreign policy would have to start all over again“.


It also, discloses that Mussolini and Ciano, Italy's number one and two leaders at the time, were intimately appraised of the situation.

Whether Cabinet RS/33 had studied the flying saucer that had been recovered or learned anything from the strange aerial encounters is not known. But on the other hand they had, in seven years of research, assembled a thirty-page dossier ( the same one that had been sent to the newspaper Resto del Carlino) about UFO sightings (termed by them "velivolvi sconoscuti, "unknown aircraft“), and had also gathered photos and films.


Italy's accession to the Berlin-Rome Axis, by arrangement with Hitler personally meant that this material was all subsequently to be turned over to the Nazis, including the recovered disc when war started in 1939. One year later in 1940, Cabinet RS/33 was dissolved.


In 1941 before America became involved in the war Mussolini made a speech at a time when tensions between America and the Axis was strong.


In that speech, Mussolini said the USA should “care more about attack from 'Martians' (extra-terrestrial civilization which could land on Earth in the crafts that people have never seen), than about the Axis forces“. In that time, that speech hadn't been understood as a serious one. But looking back on the incidents of 1933 and 1936 in addition to all the material compiled by Cabinet RS/33 led by Marconi it is understandable. The Germans, on the other hand, were already heavily involved in occult projects led by Thule, Vril, and a special SS unit E-IV. Where they got their technology from is also debatable as Germany claimed that a crashed disc near Freiberg in 1936 was taken to Himmler’s Wewelsburg Castle for examination and disassembly.


Diagram of the Fiat underground facility at
Lake Garda in Northern Italy
which worked under direction of the Germans

But as the war progressed and Germany tightened it’s grip on it’s fascist ally Italy, the Fiat Riva Del Garda complex was renamed the Hermann Göring Institute -  a complex for advanced research into exotic engines and aircraft. Dr. Giuseppe Belluzzo, a turbine expert, was recruited from there to help aid in “Projekt Flugkreisel” which was an SS project to improve or replace Rudolf Schriever’s disc-fan. Belluzzo made some proposals but ultimately the leader of the team Dr. Richard Miethe was responsible for the new German disc.

Dr. Belluzzo returned to Riva Del Garda to pursue his own design of a radical Italian round flying bomb he named the “Turbo Proietti” (Turbine Projectile) which removed him from the German project altogether.

At Riva Del Garda were other engineers and specialists that were pressured by the Germans to develop radical new aircraft and that included disc types as well. One scientist came up with an Italian disc aircraft that was very different from the types being developed in Germany.

Dubbed the “Piastra di Volo” (Flying Plate) this disc was to be powered by four staggered underslung turbojets, had a round plexiglass canopy, twin canted vertical tailfins and had a series of round circles all over the body that defy explanation with conventional Italian landing gear.


Drawings of the disc that survived the war give no official name nor designation for the craft but it may have used some technical material from the recovered 1933 disc as evidenced by the two strange missile-shaped objects that are neither turbojets nor weapons. No one has figured out what those are… yet. The scientist that designed the craft died and only recently was his work discovered among his things in his apartment.


But it is nonetheless a purely Italian design, separate completely from the German Flugscheiben.

Mysterious WW2 Riva Del Garda Disc


Top view of disc


Strange missile-looking devices




Early Italian Disc Craft


Strange Sight in the Italian Skies in the 1930s

1932 Guido Tallei Diri-Disk Blimp



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