UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Two UFO tales (of innocent human duplicity)

One of our favorite UFO encounter stories is the Dainelli (Lotti) account of November Ist, 1954, in Cennina, Italy, pictured here:
Artist Walter Molino's impression of the incident, from the cover of the Nov. 14, 1954 issue of "La Domenica del Corriere," an illustrated Sunday supplement to the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera."

While the woman who reported the encounter is listed by UFO sites as Rosa Lotti, LIFE magazine provided her real identity as Signora Rosa Dainelli, along with this photo of her with her husband and family.

(Note the face of the husband.)
Signora Dainelli told that she was assaulted by two dwarf-like creatures that emerged from a cylindrical craft (as pictured above).

They took one of her stockings and some flowers she had gathered.

The encounter is intriguing and bizarre. No other encounter duplicates this one.

But let us suggest an alternative explanation…

Perhaps Signora Dainelli had a dalliance with a neighbor or local she liked. Her nylon stocking got torn during her escapade and she had to make up an excuse to keep her husband from finding out about her “affair.”

The story is so egregiously bizarre that news media took an interest and Signora Dainelli’s husband, while suspicious of her account, accepted it, hesitantly it seems from the LIFE photo.

Also, in that issue of LIFE is a story about an Italian shepherd, Giuseppe Milia, who claimed he saw a stranger dropping pamphlets from a balloon.

The pamphlet, LIFE reported, was an anti-communist tract from Hungary.

What’s my point here?

It’s that some UFO encounters and reports are botched accounts from troubled humans; humans who in a momentary panic either confabulate a tale or extrapolate a tale from something unusual but which is, in essence, prosaic.

UFO researchers need to gather information forensically from UFO witnesses and use a Sherlock Holmes mentality to arrive at the real truth behind UFO accounts.

Up to now that has rarely been done.



  • I've become increasingly wary of the humanoid encounters. It seems too neat to cry hoax and human folly on them all, but caution is required. For example, Larry Hatch has some of the Magonia database down as hoaxes although it isn't always clear how he decided - sources-wise.

    One that was similar in tone to your example involved a French man claiming to have been assaulted by spacemen. It turned out he'd been assaulted by local youths for being unpleasant.

    So indeed, there could be all sorts of colourful shenanigans hiding behind some of those encounters. Also, there could be cases like the Blue Man of Bad Axe; kids messing about who *weren't* found out and now lie untouched in Magonia.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • Kandinsky...

    I looked at the Blue Man stuff we have and checked out your extensive commentary at Above Top Secret.

    It's a puny story of a lousy hoax attempt.

    Why do you find it so fascinating?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • It's a minor episode in ufology that makes me smile; the image made me laugh. I won't pretend it's anything more than that really.

    I do wonder how many of the scores of humanoid sightings were as straightforward as guys having fun? Also, there are times when it's not so bad to take a step back from this subject and look at what it's made of.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • K:

    I'm just now reading the TRUE magazine article by Blue Book's Captain Ruppelt. (No date)

    It's chock full of UFO accounts that are blissfully fraudulent.

    He takes to task some classic sightings: The Lubbock Lights, The Florida Scoutmaster hoax, and many others.

    It seems that "screwballs" (as he cites them) took hold of the UFO topic and we today have not yet recovered from the nonsense.

    As some have it, UFOs are a matter for sociology or psychology rather than physical science.

    I tend to agree.

    (Your Blue Man/Bad Axe, Michigan tale is an example.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • I've just skimmed through the Ruppelt article and see what you mean. It's like the past 60 years of UFOs and ufology all in one place.

    There's Nash arguing with Ruppelt and they both argued with Menzel. Then we have comedy foolishness with the cow manure sample and the scoutmaster incident. Media mischief surrounding the Washington sightings and how the USAF wished to deal with it. Buried amongst all this human drama - unexplained UFO sightings.

    Not much has changed although the discussion was far more 'on the table' in those days. Of course, there was more occurring than we ever see in recent years. I half envy your presence through some of the heydays of the UFO years.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • Yes, K...

    During the heyday of flying saucers, every sighting caused a spurt of excitement.

    I, like others, accepted each account as true and proof of an ET presence.

    Ruppelt also felt, as you know, that the interplanetary visitation explanation was viable, or that UFO didn't exist materially at all.

    The times were heady....not so much nowadays -- we're all so sophisticated.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • I would say that rather nowadays we're "jaded" by all the online hoaxes masquerading as UFO sightings.

    It sometimes seems as if every geeky prepubescent kid with access to the Internet (and many adults whose brains are stuck in that phase of development) has faked some goofy paranormal crap (dead Bigfoot hoaxer a case in point).

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • PG:

    TV shows and movies like "Jackass" encourage people to do stupid things to get some notoriety and that fifteen minutes of "fame" that Warhol ascribed to wannabes.

    It's almost harmless, a spicy element of society.

    We should laugh rather than cry, maybe.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • On what basis (other than the hearsay reports about his alleged character in the Air Force report) do we conclude that the classic "Scoutmaster" case was a hoax? No hoax was ever admitted, no confederates ever surfaced, and we have the HUGE problem of some very weird physical evidence: the charred grass roots under where the alleged UFO hovered. Why doesn't inexplicable physical evidence outweigh claims and allegations of a hoax (based soley on alleged character flaws)? And if it does not, aren't we all in trouble?!

    By Blogger Dominick, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • Dominick:

    Get your hands on Ruppelt's rundown of why Blue Book considered the Desvergers story to be a concoction.

    The case was examined and the site tested extensively.

    Of course, if one thinks the AF isn't trustworthy, then the hoax idea won't stand on the evidence they supply to explain their conclusion.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • I've read the "Ruppelt rundown." The site was, indeed, tested extensively. And what was never explained was just how the grass roots (not the grass itself) could have been charred. No charring found outside the alleged UFO area. Ruppelt offers some speculation which you do not mention above, namely, that some sort of electro-magnetic pulse could have caused the charring. And the Scoutmaster did that beforehand? You must be kidding.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • I've always liked the Desvergers episode, Dominick.

    But Desvergers' actions, after the fact, make his story iffy for me.

    It's a toss up.

    You accept his account. I'm wary.

    Since there are a few caveats, I prefer to look elsewhere, at incidents where the witness isn't compromised or seems to be.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

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