Exactly forty years ago, in the autumn of 1978, the whole Italy was overwhelmed by a real “UFO psychosis”: thousands of lights sighted in the sky and hundreds of close encounters (often with traces and humanoid beings) spread all along the peninsula in a crescendo culminated at the end of December.
But that’snot all: daily newspapers, magazines and general mass media were overflown with articles on the UFO subject, movie theaters projected Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (and “Eyes from Behind the Stars”, too), “Atlas UFO Robot” cartoon conquered the young kids from TV screens.
In order to celebrate the forty years from ’78 and the continuing presence of UFOs and extraterrestrial spacecraft in our everyday life, the Italian Center for UFO Studies (CISU) presents the thematic exhibition “The famous invasion of Flying Saucers at Bassavilla”, at the Ethnographic Museum ” Once upon a time” in Alessandria, with free admission every day from 9 to 12 and from 15.30 to 19 (closed Sunday morning), from September 7th to 30th.
Inauguration will be held at 6 pm on Friday, September 7th. On Sunday, September 23, at 5 pm, there will be a conference by Danilo Arona and Paolo Toselli about “Alessandria and the UFOs: 45 years of investigations”.
In the above picture: exhibition poster by Franco Brambilla (artist of many “Urania” cover pages) showing Dome Square in Alessandria (the “Bassavilla” born from the mind of Danilo Arona) “invaded” by spaceships and aliens, who look like intrigued by a classic Borsalino hat.
For over a year he has been working on a research project on a global history of the UFO subject with particular regard to the evolution of UFO sightings phenomenon and of its study.
His usual summer tour in the old continent was therefore an opportunity for a visit to Italy, with his colleague Richard Sherman (who’s teaching video making at the same university and is collaborating on the historiographical project with a documentary).
On June 11, Eghigian and Sherman arrived in Torino, specifically to meet and interview some CISU members and to visit Italian Center for UFO Studies headquarters and archives (the second largest in Europe).
American researchers’ Italian day has been articulated in three different moments.
In a first part, the stories and personal evolution of a few CISU members (Paolo Toselli, Paolo Fiorino, Edoardo Russo) were collected as video interviews, with an exchange of opinions on the past and future of ufology – which highlighted strong philosophical affinities.
A second part consisted of a general overview of the history of Italian ufology, followed by a guided tour of the CISU Archives, which amazed our visitors from overseas for the quantity and quality of the collected and organized documentation.
The meeting was also the starting point for identifying specific areas of collaboration, with particular regard to the historiographical aspects, which our association is particularly and actively interested in.
[In the pictures taken during the meeting at CISU registered office, from top to bottom: Richard Shermand and Greg Eghigian preparing interviews; Eghigian talking with Edoardo Russo and Paolo Toselli; Eghigian interviewing Paolo Fiorino.]