“The Caponi Alien Evidence: Real, Fake, or an Elaborate Conspiracy?” #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: The Filiberto Caponi alien encounters… the story, the evidence, and the theories to his veracity. The photos are intriguing, the tale is elaborate and intricate. But the conclusions range everywhere from it being a real incident, to an ingenious fraud, to a clever conspiracy to cover up the real truth of what happened.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
PHOTOS of the creature: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/16273
BOOK: “Unearthly Disclosure” by Timothy Good: https://amzn.to/3XXnBEe
“The Caponi Alien Evidence: Real, Fake, or an Elaborate Conspiracy?” by Marcus Lowth for UFO Insight: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/4b67wsj5
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Interestingly or not, the case of Filiberto Caponi is one that divides the UFO community as to the authenticity of the claims. And it is also one of the most intriguing and fascinating on record. Several different encounters with an apparent alien entity would unfold around Filiberto Caponi beginning in the early summer of 1993.
Not only would the witness manage to capture several photographs of the strange creature, but the case itself would also take several twists and turns during the many months that it would unfold over. Furthermore, even though many now view the case as nothing more than an elaborate hoax, when we examine the intricacies and timeline of the encounters there is ample reason to believe that this perception is one purposely manufactured by the Italian military police, who would often involve themselves in such cases.
The incident will either prove to be one that opens up the inner world of the world’s governments, and their real stance on such matters, or it will be a cautionary tale to investigate such outlandish claims thoroughly and extensively when they happen, something which it would appear many of the UFO investigative groups in the region failed to do.
The encounter comes to us initially from the files of the Centro Nazionale Ufologico (CUN) and more recently by Timothy Good in the book Unearthly Disclosure, which I will link to in the show notes. Good would spend several years corresponding with Filiberto, both in person and through the mail, following a friend who lived in Italy seeing a documentary on an Italian current affairs show and arranging a meeting between the two. It is a most fascinating case and one that continues to divide opinion in the UFO community as to its authenticity.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode… the Filiberto Caponi alien encounters… the story, the evidence, and the theories to his veracity. The photos are intriguing, the tale is elaborate and intricate. But the conclusions range everywhere from it being a real incident, to an ingenious fraud, to a clever conspiracy to cover up the real truth of what happened.
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, to enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
In the small and quaint village of Ascoli Piceno province of Italy, near Pretare di Arquata del Tronto, 23-year-old Filiberto Caponi was driving home from a nearby village at around 11:30 pm. It was as he was about to park his vehicle in the garage at the side of the family home that he heard “a very strange cry” from somewhere in the surrounding countryside.
Filiberto got out of the car, not particularly disturbed by the noise as there was often strange sounds from the many wild animals, cats, and dogs that roamed the area during the nocturnal hours. However, once he was outside, he could tell that this sound, whatever it was, was completely different from anything he had heard before.
By the time he had parked the car and was in the process of closing the garage door, he could tell the sound was getting closer. And for the first time that evening, he began to feel a little unnerved. Although the area was dark aside from the natural light of the night and the lights from the house, he could still see down the roadway. And while the sound continued, he could see nothing of consequence.
Despite this, though, he decided to walk down the quiet path to investigate. When he reached the corner of the pathway, which “stood with the wall on my right and a house where the dim light of a streetlight created a dark corner”, he noticed something strange on the ground.
In front of him, a short distance away was a “whitish, spherical shape”. And what’s more, it appeared that the strange sounds and calls were coming from this strange object. Filiberto began to wonder if the object was, in fact, a plastic bag that housed an abandoned or trapped animal. Cautiously, thinking what was inside the “bag” might bite him through fear if he simply reached out and touched it, he instead used his foot to give it a tap.
As soon as he did so, though, “the ‘bag’ leaped into the air emitting a terrifying scream”. This caused Filiberto to back off somewhat, although he kept his eyes on this bizarre scene unfolding in front of him all the while. He would recall that the bizarre creature appeared to “stretch itself like an elastic band” from the balled-up position it was previously in.
By the time the creature had hit the ground, it was running down the roadway as fast it could, and at what Filiberto would describe at “alarming speed”. As it did so, however, he could also see for the first time that the creature was distinctly humanoid, with a “head, small arms, and long legs”. What’s more there appeared to be bandages hanging from its frame. He further noticed a “strange, brownish bundle” on the creatures back which “appeared to deflate”.
The creature also appeared to have “stains” and spotted marks on its scalp and across its body. Filiberto would later wonder whether these were scorch or burn marks.
As Filiberto watched, it would run headlong into a brick wall at the end of the road. It took a moment to gather itself, and then, “using only its legs”, it would jump over the wall, clearing it easily, and disappeared into the woodland.
Filiberto would find himself simply staring at the wall for several minutes following the incident, replaying the event over and over in his mind. When he did finally snap back to his senses, he would return to the garage and enter his car once again, deciding to drive around the village for a little while so as to clear his head.
Although the music was playing on the vehicle’s radio, Filiberto hardly noticed it. Instead, his mind was full of the bizarre encounter he had just witnessed. He went over and over the possibilities to explain the strange creature.
Might it have been a monkey, possibly escaped from a laboratory or even a circus? Or might it have been a short human being, possibly from the same place but who had somehow found himself hurt and in the middle of nowhere?
He would continue driving around, paying little attention to the music as the songs changed, his mind full of tumbling thoughts concerning the strange sighting. After around 15 minutes and beginning to fear that the bizarre creature would “jump out at him”, he would make the decision to drive home once again.
On his return journey to the family house, he recalled how scared the creature sounded. As if it was it who was frightened of him as much as he was of it. Upon arriving at the property and pulling the car once again into the garage, his mother, Domenica, greeted him at the door and could tell straight away that something had happened to her son.
Filiberto would play down that something had occurred in an attempt to satisfy his mother’s concerns. And while his father, sister, and brother-in-law were seemingly convinced, his mother was not so. He would eventually relent and tell all of what he had seen. While his mother believed her son unreservedly, the others, most predominantly his father, Luciano, who was convinced it was a “trick of the light” would grab a torch and urge his son to take him to the spot where he had seen the strange entity.
The pair would do so and while he waited nervously a little way from the spot, his father made the discovery of what appeared to be a “standard medical bandage” on the ground where Filiberto saw the creature run into the wall. The bandage was “soaked in a reddish substance” which the pair both believed looked akin to blood.
Now a little more convinced, Luciano believed this was the bandages his son had witnessed around the strange creature’s legs. Deciding there was nothing more to achieve the pair took the bandage and returned to the house. They planned to take it to the town the following morning and have it subject to analysis.
They would, however, decide against bringing the bandage into the house in case there were any contaminating substances on it. Instead, Filiberto would place it underneath an old washing machine that rested “against the wall of a neighboring house”.
The family would retire to bed. However, several hours later, it would appear the strange creature was back.
It was around 4 am when an already wide-awake Filiberto heard the same, strange screaming sound coming from outside the house. He would immediately head for the front door, calling out as he did so that “the creature had come back”. What’s more, the closer he got to the door, he could hear the “hurried footsteps on the cobbles” outside the property.
He flung open the door and stared outside into the darkness of the early morning hours. No creature stood, nothing even moved. Just the usual and expected stillness of the night. He remained where he was on the doorstep for around 15 minutes, scanning the area intently over and over again. It was only when he had ventured several yards from the house and was stood “in the middle of the street in my pajamas” did he return to the moment somewhat.
At the same time, alerted by his son’s calls, Luciano would watch the scene from the upstairs window of the property overlooking where Filiberto now stood. He too had heard the strange screaming noise. However, he too also had seen nothing out of the ordinary.
Filiberto would return inside. However, instead of returning to bed, he would head for his parents’ bedroom. Once there, he would take up a stakeout position at the window alongside his father. They would remain there for around 30 minutes before Luciano stated they should turn in for the night and then take the bandage for analysis as planned.
Just as Filiberto was about to relent and head to his room, though, the piercing, chilling high-pitched screech cut through the night once more.
This time, Filiberto “flung the window open” immediately looking out on to the scenery before the property. As he was focusing in, he saw the strange humanoid entity running across the road “quick as lightning”. He zeroed in on the moving creature as best he could, eventually losing sight of it as it disappeared underneath an archway ahead.
Filiberto noticed that his father had also returned to the window. He too witnessed the creature and was now convinced of his son’s claims. They stood for several moments to gather their thoughts and given that they had each witnessed the creature running away from the house, they determined it was unlikely to return. At least before the morning.
With everyone in the house now fully awake and preoccupied with strange events, they would decide against returning to their respective beds. As they spoke between themselves until the morning hours, Filiberto’s mother would state matter-of-factly that “maybe the creature was coming back for its bandage”. Little did they know at the time, upon waking the following morning, her words were seemingly more accurate than any of them could have imagined.
Up next… the vanishing evidence… and the second return of the alien creature!
When daylight finally arrived, Filiberto and his father went to retrieve the bandage from underneath the washing machine so they could take it for analysis as planned. However, they would find it had disappeared completely.
It would have been impossible for a wild animal to simply drag the cloth away with them as it was secure underneath the appliance, which was of considerable weight, heavy enough that it was an effort for either of them to shift it. Filiberto remembered his mother’s words only hours earlier. Maybe the creature really was responsible for the missing bandage?
Whoever or whatever was the culprit, the pair now had no proof of the incident. Because of this, they would make a decision to not speak of the incident outside of those in the house who had witnessed it.
As the days went by, Filiberto, in particular, would become increasingly bothered by the events. He would spend hours searching out of the windows of the property night after night in the hope that he would see the strange creature once more. It became an obsession and quickly led to him becoming detached from the outside world and he would describe feeling a “terrible emptiness” in the aftermath of the incident.
Eventually, Filiberto obtained a Polaroid camera. If the creature did come back, he wanted to make sure he got proof of the encounter. More than that, he would actively set up stakeout-type missions, waiting in various locations, camera at the ready in an attempt to capture the strange creature on film.
Then, a fortnight after the first incident, the creature was seemingly back in the vicinity of their home.
In the early hours of 23rd May, the now-familiar screeching sound rang out once again. To Filiberto, it was a call to action making him reach for his camera and head straight for the front door. He stepped outside and could hear the creature moving clearly. However, he could not see it.
He quickly scanned the surroundings before steadying himself and aiming the Polaroid in the direction the sounds were coming from.
Then, he noticed the creature “in the shadow of a streetlamp” meaning although he could see it, he wouldn’t be able to capture a clear picture of it. He didn’t want the creature to notice him, so he remained where he was and waited.
To his disbelief, the creature appeared not to pick up on his presence and instead continued to walk to wherever it was heading. As it came more into the light, Filiberto pressed down on the button and captured the first picture. When the flash went off, the creature stopped for a moment before then continuing on its way.
As it was a Polaroid, the picture came out instantly and was visible in seconds. However, as soon as it began showing he realized it was not clear. Filiberto discarded it and made the decision to follow the creature in an effort to get a better picture.
He had made the decision in his mind that although the creature could see (as it had reacted to the flash of the camera) that it likely couldn’t hear, as it didn’t seem to react to his footsteps. Filiberto continued on, in an effort to catch up with it.
The young man continued to follow the creature. When he was within only several meters of it, it still had not turned around or noticed him approaching. This further convinced him that the creature was either very poor of hearing or completely deaf.
The closer he got, however, the more nervous he became. Wanting to wait for exactly the right moment, he finally pushed the button once more, forcing the flash once again. At this, the creature began to turn around.
Filiberto, caught the picture from the bottom of the camera and turned and ran in the opposite direction as fast as he could. As he raced to the house, he called out that he had managed to get the picture, which caused his family to wake up and view him returning to their home. On his way back he scooped up the first picture he had discarded and made his way into the house to show his waiting family the proof of the strange creature they had sought.
The family would examine the pictures with great interest, and while the first one was not at all clear, the second was of much better quality.
One thing that Filiberto would state to the rest of the family was the distinct feeling that whatever the strange creature was, “they were not dealing with a dangerous entity”.
After several hours discussing the pictures and what the creature might be, the family would return to their beds. Filiberto would place the pictures in a keepsake box by his bed.
The following day, after informing Filiberto’s elderly grandmother of the bizarre events of the last two weeks, he would return to his room to examine the pictures once more. However, when he did so, he immediately noticed that the lid on the wooden box that housed them was “curving”.
When he opened the box, a strange and intense aroma of “burned plastic” hit him straight away. He looked inside and noticed the picture appeared to have altered somewhat. When he lifted it out, he further realized that the pictures were stuck together.
Even more bizarre, the picture appeared “raised” as if it had transformed itself into a strange 3D image. He became immediately frightened and dropped the picture to the floor.
He would gather the rest of the family to examine the photographs. When they finally managed to pull apart the two pictures, they could see that the second picture had also changed. They would examine the rest of the box’s contents and discovered that none of them were damaged in any way. Filiberto would recall that it appeared as though “a beam or source of heat” had somehow “cut through “ the lid of the box and targeted the pictures intentionally.
He and his father – as much as they couldn’t explain it – began to wonder if the alteration might be nothing more than a chemical reaction. His mother and grandmother, however, began to question whether they were dealing with a supernatural situation, possibly an evil spirit.
The family would discuss their next move, which would ultimately be to remain quiet and not speak of the encounter to anyone else. At least until “experts had been called in”. Filiberto would carefully place them in a clear plastic bag for storage. However, only two days later, while in the village, he would overhear two women speaking, which brought the incidents flooding back to his mind.
He would overhear the two women, both of whom he knew, speaking of hearing “strange screams” in the middle of the night. What’s more, it appeared that others around the village had also heard these strange screeches and, in turn, a number of theories and claims as to who or what was behind them were circulating. These ranged from the screams being the spirit of an elderly lady from the village who had recently died to them being nothing more than the work of “drunks” or “pranksters”.
Filiberto would join in the conversation, having to fight the urge to relay what he knew of the strange screams and what might be behind them. He managed to do so, though, realizing that even though others had heard the screams, they had not witnessed the creature.
It was around this time that Filiberto began buying as many magazines as he could on the paranormal and UFOs. He would take note of several organizations that looked at strange events and incidents. One of them being the National Ufology Center in Rome. He would make the decision that he must visit the NCU as soon as possible with a report on the incidents and the photographs for them to examine.
Several days later, though, he would speak to a friend of the account.
Around 10 days later at the end of May, Filiberto would visit a friend named Carlo on an unrelated matter. It wasn’t long, however, before Filiberto told his friend everything that had happened over the previous weeks.
Much to his surprise, Carlo would take Filiberto’s story very seriously, admitting that he too had heard several rumors around the village of strange screams. However, he would state that until hearing his friend’s story, he had dismissed the stories as nonsense.
It was during this offloading of information by Filiberto that Carlo’s brother walked into the room. And from the look on his face, it was obvious to both men that he had heard their conversation in full.
Even more bizarre, was Carlo’s brother’s comments that he had heard several strange rumors from around the village himself. He would state that, according to some people, an unknown family was “hiding a deformed child”. Furthermore, they would only let this child out at night. The three of them even spoke of a family that could be responsible for such an act.
However, Filiberto insisted that the creature he had witnessed didn’t move or act as a young child would. He began to regret telling his friend about the incident. Especially when the two brothers asked if they could see the pictures in question. He declined, insisting that it was probably nothing and would leave hoping they would let the matter rest.
On his way home, however, when he stopped at a local café, he would overhear another bizarre and strange conversation.
As Filiberto sat listening to a conversation between two local men, he learned that there was “an abnormally high number of deaths among the local chickens”. The men claimed that this was down to a “beast” that was roaming the area. One of the men even claimed that “dozens” of his own chickens had been killed already. Furthermore, a third local would overhear their conversation and volunteer that he too had lost 20 chickens in one night. He would, he claimed, find them one morning “piled on top of each other with no traces of wounds or blood”.
As Filiberto listened to the bizarre conversation, he began to question whether the dead birds were the work of the strange creature he had photographed several weeks earlier. He would ask himself whether the creature was some kind of vampire that required the blood of the birds to live.
As he sat contemplating this new piece of information, he suddenly made the decision that he would have to examine one of the bodies of these dead birds. Armed with an excuse that the recently perished poultry could be of use for “starving dogs”, he approached the owner of the recently deceased birds and asked if he would disclose where he had buried them. As strange as the man undoubtedly thought this was, he nevertheless revealed that they were “in the ground surrounding the henhouse”.
Although the man expressed concern that the birds would “not be appropriate” for use to feed dogs, Filiberto made his way to the area unchallenged.
Upon examining the land, however, he quickly realized he had no idea exactly where to dig and would have likely overturned the entire area in an effort to locate the carcasses. He did, though, notice that the only way into the henhouse was a small window above the ground. Certainly enough to allow the creature he had witnessed to get access to the interior.
He began to suspect that the “beast” behind the deaths of the birds was the same creature he had witnessed and photographed. When he spoke further to the owner, they claimed that some of the creatures were even found “strangled”, while some were missing altogether.
All of these thoughts and possibilities would swirl around his mind. The following day, however, things would take on a more intense nature.
Upon returning to the café, a strange quiet descended in the room. He had the feeling that something was amiss. When one of the locals stepped toward him and asked if he could speak with him outside, this feeling intensified. He would then inform him that he knew of the strange creature he had witnessed. And that he had photographs of it, to boot.
Filiberto would deny this and claim that someone was having a joke with them. However, when he later met with Carlo and accused him outright of betraying his trust, he would eventually relent and admit that he had told a friend in confidence. A confidence they had obviously betrayed.
From then on Filiberto was stopped in the street regularly by people wanting to see the photographs and hear of the encounter. Eventually, he would state that he no longer had them as he had sent them away for analysis and research.
The following weeks would border on unbearable for Filiberto. Not only were people in his village aware of his account, but those in the surrounding villages and even larger towns knew of them too. He began to feel so cornered by this sudden interest that for a short period, he stopped leaving the house altogether.
By mid-June, he would finally make the decision to contact the daily national newspaper, Il Messaggero to make a report of the sightings. Much to his surprise, news of them had already reached them and they informed him that a reporter was on his way to the region to cover the story. He would reply that it would be best to speak with him directly as he was the only witness to the events. An appointment was arranged, and on the 28th of June – two weeks later – he and his mother would travel to the newspaper’s main editorial offices. Although he took them with them, the reporter who they met had no idea that he had captured the pictures.
Upon seeing them, his interest in the story and their accounts evidently increased. He admitted he had not thought much of the strange claims. But now, with the pictures in his hands, he believed the account was much more intriguing. And credible.
The pair would conduct an interview with the reporter, stressing to him that they had no idea what the creature was, and wouldn’t wish to hazard a guess. Several days later, the story appeared in print.
In their 1st July 1993 edition, the Il Messaggero newspaper would publish their interview with Filiberto, using the headline I Have Seen ET, Filiberto’s account was relayed, along with black and white copies of the two photographs he had taken. The reproduction of the prints was not great quality, and Filiberto would comment to author Timothy Good years later that even he struggled to make out what they were.
Furthermore, every single word printed was of complete accuracy aside from one detail, which could force people to view Filiberto in a slightly different, and less credible light. He had informed the newspaper that he returned home on the night of the first sighting, his mother had given him a glass of water as he looked shaken and upset. However, the newspaper had printed that this drink was a “glass of mulled wine”. A small detail, but the insinuation of alcohol being consumed is a detail that skeptics would seize upon.
As was perhaps expected, several UFO and paranormal organizations would contact Filiberto after his account appeared in print. One of them was the Italian Center For UFO Studies (CISU), who would request a report from, as well as copies of the photographs. Although he would send them a lengthy report, he would decline to send the photographs as he had no negatives and didn’t wish to lose the originals.
While he awaited for a response to the report he submitted to the CISU, he was “bombarded” with letters and requests from all around the country. Many were of a friendly nature, welcoming the fact that someone was speaking of such strange things. Even so, the attention was once again putting a strain on Filiberto that he was not at all comfortable with.
By this time, the story was getting out of hand – and it wouldn’t stop. When we return, we look at reports of other sightings in the surrounding villages.
By the end of June, Filiberto’s account and pictures of the strange creatures, and the subsequent “other” sightings were beginning to take on a life of their own. One particular afternoon, during a meeting with Carlo and “Professor Alfred F” (who had also taken an interest in the case), he would disclose of two recent sightings in the nearby villages of Pescara and Sulmona. Descriptions of the creature were extremely similar to the one witnessed by Filiberto back in May.
Perhaps even more bizarre – and the first reference to an actual UFO in relation to the strange sightings on the ground – was an incident that occurred on the afternoon of 15th June. In a fire brigade helicopter, piloted by Captain Vincenzo D., while flying over Pecara, five experienced firemen would report “an unusual object” approaching their position at an altitude of around 600 meters. At the very last minute, the strange craft changed its position, avoiding what had looked to be a certain collision.
Only a week later on the afternoon of the 20th June near Sulmona, Guiseppe Zitella would witness a “strange creature in a wheat field”. The air force veteran had first noticed a “balloon-like” object that appeared to land gently in the field. It appeared to have the shape of “doll”. However, when he went to investigate it, he quickly realized that it was a living creature.
He would estimate it to be around 80 centimeters tall (a similar size to the creature described by Filiberto) and appeared to be covered in a strange, black plastic. He would further recall that while it remained completely silent, “it looked me in the face”. Zitella had “no doubt it was alive”. When he moved forward, the creature “jumped into the air” and disappeared into the distance.
Although Filiberto had not witnessed the strange entity become airborne, the majority of the descriptions were eerily similar to the creature he had witnessed outside the family home several weeks previously.
What’s more, there were several other very similar reports that would come in on a regular basis in this particular region of Italy during the summer of 1993. Whether they were a case of “copycat” sightings – possibly a sign of public hysteria at the thought of alien creatures roaming the villages at night – or whether they are genuine sightings remains open to debate.
During this time, Filiberto would continue to educate himself on such matters as UFO and alien sightings and encounters. One late June night, though, he would see the creature once again.
The evening had begun with a gathering at a village club in order to watch a film. Filiberto would spend the evening there with Carlo and several other friends. Following the end of the evening, the pair would leave the club together. Their journey home would prove to be one of the most eventful and unforgettable of their lives.
As they were walking home, the now familiar, piercing and chilling scream (at least to Filiberto) broke the relative silence of the night. Filiberto noticed that his friend, who had obviously heard it too, was pointing toward a large gate, convinced that the noise had come from that area.
The pair looked at each other and cautiously made their way toward the gate.
There were others in the vicinity who had obviously also heard the scream. What’s more, from what Filiberto could hear behind him, a couple could also see the strange creature. A man and his girlfriend were arguing, with the girl pleading with her boyfriend not to approach the strange creature.
Meanwhile, as the two men were approaching the gate, Carlo was becoming increasingly nervous. So nervous, in fact, that he wished to retreat. Filiberto, desperate for another witness, urged him to continue onward but to no avail.
As these events were taking place, the intense screaming noises continued, making all concerned extremely nervous. By this point, the girl’s boyfriend had approached the gate where Filiberto was still stood. He immediately climbed up on it and began throwing stones and rocks in the direction of the screaming sounds to which Filiberto told him to cease.
Within several seconds, however, the scream was dying down indicating that the creature was moving away from them, disappearing once again into the night. The group would debate whether they should inform the police of the incident and would eventually decide against doing so before the CISU had completed their investigation.
Over the following weeks, Filiberto would begin to relent on showing the photographs to interested parties. Partly because many were beginning to suspect, and some would even accuse him of having made up the entire account.
Further stories appeared in the press. And further and increasing phone calls came to Filiberto’s home, including one that enquires whether he had had any visits from the Men In Black. This mysterious caller also urged Filiberto against making his story well-known lest he triggered some kind of intervention by the “intelligence agencies of the United States”.
Even more unnerving for Filiberto, was the advice not to attempt to capture the strange entity. He would claim that he had done so and had almost ended up blind as a result of the creature’s defenses (which he didn’t detail). He did, though, go on to describe burn marks all over his body which Filiberto took to be a result of the alleged encounter.
Most unnerving of all, however, was the warning to “look out for dark cars” which would contain these mysterious Men In Black, who were “responsible for the disappearances of many people who had been in contact with aliens”.
Several days later, he would receive another phone call. This time from a mysterious group who claimed that they all had their own encounters with these strange creatures. And what’s more, all could demonstrate proof of such encounters with strange scars and markings on their bodies. It was also revealed to Filiberto that the mysterious caller who had warned him several days previously was also a part of this group.
The intense scrutiny and interest in Filiberto and his claims continued. And numerous people ranging from those with an interest in UFOs to people looking for a chance for a miracle cure by witnessing the strange creature.
In early August, however, almost three months after the initial encounter came perhaps the most intriguing incident of all.
On the evening of 10th August, Filiberto was outside his home watching the Perseids meteor shower. He was alone and still entertained thoughts of seeing the creature once again. After being sat there for some time, he suddenly became aware of a strange presence watching him. Then, the strange creature would appear in front of him, as clear and as close as it had ever been. Realizing that this might be his chance to both get a clear picture and even attempt to communicate with it, he carefully and slowly stepped forward.
As he got closer, he began to take mental notes as to its appearance. He would recall that it had “big, black almond-shaped eyes”. Furthermore, these “appeared immobile in their sockets”. This made them “shine like plastic”. He would further describe them (much like other people) as the “magnified eyes of a fly”.
He noticed two small holes which he believed was its nose, and every once in a while, what appeared to be a mouth opened, although he could see no teeth and only what appeared to be gums. Furthermore, he would also see how the arms were seemingly too short for its body and that its legs contained the strange bandages as he had seen back in May.
Filiberto would “raise a hand” in a greeting sign to the creature. However, it either didn’t notice the gesture or ignored it. Instead, it appeared “preoccupied by its surroundings”.
Suddenly realizing that he didn’t have his trusty Polaroid with him, he began to quietly back off before rushing back to the house. He quickly went to his room, grabbed the camera, and rushed back to the spot where the creature had been only minutes before, hoping against hope that it was still there.
He wasn’t disappointed. Within a few moments of rushing toward the creature, who still seemed content examining the houses and streetlights. He stopped several meters from the creature, not daring to alarm it. He brought the camera up to a height, and then pressed down on the button. The flash once more sent the creature high into the air before it vanished into the distance, being swallowed up by the blackness of the night.
He remained where he was, catching the photograph that dropped from the Polaroid. He began to wish he had managed to fire off more than the one picture. However, when he saw the quality of the one he had taken, it more than made up for the lack of quantity. Not only was it clear and close-up. But it showed clearly the details on its face and body – I’ll place a link in the show notes where you can see this photo and others that were taken of the creature.
He would keep the events to himself for just short of a week when the family was gathered for a meal to celebrate his brother-in-law’s birthday. During the course of the evening, Filiberto would show the picture, much to the surprise and shock of all present.
Although they would keep the most recent pictures to themselves, the requests for interviews and information would continue to come in. These would include requests for appearances on television.
Despite this, though, Filiberto was still waiting to hear back from the UFO group who were conducting their investigations on the case.
This persistent waiting made Filiberto contemplate going to the authorities to report the incident to them officially. However, remembering the warnings he had received, he felt sure they would confiscate the pictures and leave him with no proof whatsoever of the encounters. He would ultimately decide against it.
However, he would resist the urge to do so. Not least as he suspected they would not only not believe his account. As it would turn out, events in the upcoming months would prove him correct.
For several weeks after the August incident, things appeared to quieten down. Then, one evening in mid-September another incident would unfold near the Caponi family home. The entire family was in bed when the screaming noise rang out causing Filiberto and his father to simultaneously make their way to the windows overlooking the front of the property.
By the time they focused in on the dark surroundings outside, they could see something moving in the bushes, but couldn’t see the creature clearly. Just as Filiberto was about to retrieve his Polaroid camera, a “trail of light illuminated” the area where it appeared the creature was moving. So bright “it was almost like daylight”. The light appeared to grow even brighter so that it temporarily blinded the father and son. When the light had gone, so too had the strange creature.
This is an interesting detail in terms of close contact encounters with apparent extraterrestrial entities. Many accounts state that – particularly when approaching such an entity – a sudden bright, blinding white light would often halt them. When this light was gone, much like the creature in front of the Caboni home, would also no longer be there. Does this detail lend a further notch of credibility to the Filiberto encounters?
Several weeks later in early October 1993, almost half a year after the initial incident, another encounter would unfold. And this encounter would feature another detail that shows up in many other close encounters.
On the evening of 9th October, Filiberto would awaken suddenly for no apparent reason. However, try as he might, he could not return to sleep and was wide awake. He would get up and visit the bathroom before returning to his bedroom. On a whim, he would walk over to the window and looked out into the rainy night.
To his shock, right there in front of the house, was the strange creature once again.
We should ask at this point, was Filiberto awoken by some strange “calling” which many other people who claim close contact encounters say they are? Or was it merely a coincidence? Might he have even heard the creature outside, if only in his subconscious mind?
Whatever the reason, the creature was there in front of him, staring up at the streetlamp as it had several weeks earlier. Filiberto would turn on his bedroom light in order to retrieve the camera. This would cause the creature to look directly up at him, but it remained where it was.
He realized that he not only had to obtain another picture of the strange creature, he had to make sure that another person saw it also. Not wanting to call out and risk frightening it away, and not having enough time to go to his father’s room, he would decide to wake his elderly grandmother.
He did so, even covering her mouth with his hand, so she didn’t scream out. When he took her to the window, she too saw the creature, which had remained in the same spot as it had been when he had left the room moments earlier. Sure that his grandmother would be afraid, he was a little taken aback when she exclaimed “He’s so small – he’s a darling! What’s he looking at?”
Although she was perfectly calm, his grandmother urged him not to go outside, even to photograph the strange creature. However, Filiberto realized that he might not get another chance to obtain such a picture up close, so brushed off her concerns.
All the while, the creature would occasionally turn its head to look in their direction.
Filiberto would insist that he take the picture and would request that she remain at the window and make sure that he was OK. He would then make his way carefully outside, eager not to scare the creature away.
He once again got to within several meters of the strange creature before he took the photograph. This time, however, although the creature did turn its head to look at him upon seeing the flash, it remained where it was before turning its attention to the light once again.
It was at this time that Filiberto would reach out his hand in an attempt to touch it. However, as he was doing so he heard his grandmother’s voice calling out to him “not to touch it”. This warning appeared to cause the creature to back off slightly.
Even so, Filiberto would reach forward again. The creature remained where it was as if allowing him to get closer. However, at the very last moment, just as he was about to make contact with its skin, it ran off into the distance.
His grandmother would shout from the window that it had gone toward the archway nearby. Not wanting to give up the chase, he headed in that direction. He would explore the dark tunnel-like area for almost an hour but there was no sight of the creature.
He would eventually return home, a little dejected, but still with another, close-up photograph of the strange humanoid entity.
Several nights later, during the early evening of 13th October, Filiberto’s brother-in-law would witness a strange light in the skies overhead as he was driving home. He would dismiss it, even though he was intrigued by it. However, the following morning, Filiberto’s wife would state that she had awoken in the middle of the night to find her husband standing at the side of the bed, almost in a trance.
When he eventually spoke to her in the morning, he would recall that he awoke to a strange, bright light shining in from outside the room. He would get up to go to the window to see what the cause of the light was. He would trace it to a “small ball” just outside the window.
Following this encounter, and with half a dozen photographs of the creature in his possession – some of which had never been seen before by anyone outside of the house – he would toy once again with the notion of making his encounters “official” and reporting them.
Filiberto would set out to Rome with his brother-in-law in order to arrange interviews with national press – in particular, the Italian National Press Agency (ANSA). Their photographic expert, Renato Bianchi, would state that he was “genuinely shocked” at the photographs, which appeared to be genuine.
He would meet with the two men and state that he believed the agency would be extremely interested in running the story. He also stated that they would need access to the pictures “at some point” as they needed to ensure they had the details correct. Once they ran with it, he would claim, newspapers and television stations would pick it up around the country.
Five days later, however, Bianchi would contact the men again. This time, he would state that the agency was not interested in the story as they didn’t “involve themselves in such cases”. Bianchi himself, however, was still more than intrigued, and would ultimately ask Filiberto to return to Rome several days later.
This time, the photo expert had more ominous information to pass over. He would claim that after meeting with Filiberto and his brother-in-law, two strange men approached him out of nowhere asking to tell them about the meeting.
Following a brief exchange, the two men warned Bianchi to “drop the matter” and not to publish the account. Furthermore, when he returned to his offices, he was issued a similar warning from two long-time colleagues who would claim they were “part of a religious sect” when he demanded to know who they were representing.
Despite this, Bianchi still wished to publish the pictures. However, he would “likely have to bypass the agency and approach the tabloids”. He would suggest approaching his son, Alessandro, a former police officer and now well-connected photojournalist. Shortly after, he was on the phone.
Up next… the phone call… and more strange watchers.
Filiberto, Bianchi, and Alessandro (Bianchi’s son) would agree during the phone call to exchange the photographs and that a contract would be signed that would protect all parties and allow Alessandro to have them published on Filiberto’s behalf.
However, as the phone call came to an end, two strange men burst into the room and began searching through paperwork and computer files. However, Bianchi tapped Filiberto’s foot underneath the table, informing him that these two men were obviously there to listen to what they were saying.
The pair then made polite conversation, immediately changing the subject, before Filiberto got up to leave and join his family waiting in the underground car park of the offices. He was conscious that he had all of the photographs in his pocket. However, when he and his sister (who had accompanied him into the office) reached the outside of the building, they noticed that one of the men was following them. What’s more, he didn’t pretend to not be doing so.
The pair would enter a café in order to lose the man, which they ultimately did.
However, after eating lunch and walking back to the car, the entire family realized they were being followed once again. What followed was a nothing short of a chase, with the men following their car on foot as it became trapped in the busy traffic of Rome. However, due to Filiberto’s brother-in-law’s intimate knowledge of the Rome road networks, he would ultimately lose them.
They would return to their quiet village, the photographs still in their possession. However, all of them were shaken by the encounter. Particularly Filiberto, who recalled his warnings from the mysterious caller several weeks earlier.
Filiberto’s encounter and the photographs would eventually appear in VISTA magazine in their 28th October edition. Almost immediately the press would converge on their small village to speak with the family further.
What’s more, Filiberto would state that many different (and often appearing to be) rival UFO groups and organizations would also suddenly contact Filiberto. They would warn against speaking to the press, and on occasion, other UFO groups. Indeed, this apparent needless rivalry not only reduces the credibility to outsiders to the UFO community, but it further muddies the already cloudy waters.
The National Ufology Center (CUN) also contacted Filiberto. They would send Gianfranco Lollino to examine the case and speak with the family. Like Bianchi, he too was completely baffled by the photographs. In particular, the ones that had “burned together” of their own accord.
A little more ominously, he would be warned by Lollino of the potential visits of the Men In Black and even of “white helicopters” flying at low altitude. This particularly unnerved Filiberto, who had witnessed just such a white helicopter very recently.
Following the surge of publicity, Filiberto, his father and grandmother would appear on the Your Affairs television show on the evening of 5th November. The show was in-depth and featured all the details of the incident. The photographs would draw an audible response from the studio audience and the witnesses themselves would come across as genuine and of sound mind.
The show itself, at least ratings-wise, was a phenomenal success. And while there, as there always will be, a steady number of detractors and skeptics, many of the audience, both in the studio and at home, were more than impressed with the family and how they came across.
However, following the appearance, Filiberto worried it was only a matter of time before he received a visit from the authorities. Most likely the military police. As it happened, he couldn’t have been more right.
In mid-November, the military police would arrive at the Caponi house requesting to speak with Filiberto. When he reluctantly agreed, the police officer in question would produce a search warrant giving him permission to confiscate all of the materials relating to the encounter involving the strange creature. Then, came the kicker. According to the officer, Filiberto was accused of “creating panic and spreading false rumors”.
Furthermore, if he were to continue with his claims, he would face “serious consequences”. Even more concerning, the charges were not brought against him by an individual, but by the police themselves who did so after the chief magistrate was “not convinced” by the account. They would also disclose that he had been the subject of a six-month investigation before their visit this particular morning.
We should perhaps pause here for a moment to contemplate this string of events. One of the charges the police brought would revolve around armed groups of people taking it upon themselves to take to the countryside in an attempt to locate and capture the strange creature.
It is easy to see the responsibility of the police to stop this from happening. After all, there is a very real threat that such groups, armed to boot, would wound or even kill an innocent bystander. However, such measures can also be used to silence people. For example, it would appear apparent that there was enough evidence for an open transparent investigation into Filiberto’s claims.
Might this have been what happened here? Was Filiberto essentially blackmailed into handing over the photographs to the police or else risk facing a trial and a possible jail sentence? Might that have been the reason that he would also change his version of events, risking that all who had heard of his story – including those in his own village – of being nothing more than a hoaxer?
Filiberto would state – and sign his name to the statement – that he had indeed seen the strange creature. However, he would state that he became increasingly frustrated at not being able to capture a picture of the entity. Therefore, using his skills as a sculptor would construct a “clay puppet” which he then photographed and passed off to the public as authentic pictures of an alien entity.
Even more damning for Filiberto was the piece of clay the police had in their possession as proof of the “puppet”. For his part, Filiberto would claim to Timothy Good that as he didn’t have a puppet (as he claimed he had only manufactured the story to save himself from police charges) he simply took the officer to his workshop and picked up the first piece of discarded clay he could find and claimed it was indeed part of the puppet. The police appeared satisfied with this but would state he would still need to speak with the judge. And pay a considerable fine.
Furthermore, the police would make all attempts to stop any articles relating to the incident from being published. Even sending a police helicopter to France to stop an upcoming article in Le Figaro.
The day following the meeting with the police, newspapers nationwide would report the story – that the whole incident was a hoax due to the lack of being able to obtain a photograph which, in turn, made Filiberto worry his story of seeing the creature was even less credible.
However, despite several local residents taking exception to “the hoax”, generally speaking, most people around the country took even more interest in the case, with many even suspecting that the police had indeed applied pressure on Filiberto to alter his version of events. And what’s more, at least according to the research of Timothy Good, it wasn’t the first time the military police in Italy had taken such action when seven witnesses to a sighting of a silver humanoid entity in Naples would suddenly change their initial statements following a visit from the department following their advice that “for their well-being” they should “forget all about it”.
What Filiberto claimed surprised, shocked, and hurt him most was the fact that almost all members of the UFO investigative community, including the CUN, after warning him of the authorities and their tactics (as well as the backbiting warning of each other) suddenly turned against him, claiming he was an obvious hoaxer.
It is an interesting charge against the country’s UFO investigative groups from Filiberto. Not least due to the apparent rivalries between them, at least according to their own claims. As he himself stated, of all the groups and organizations that should have come to his defense, it should have been those who investigated such encounters. Especially following their very specific warnings of secretive departments and agents whose sole purpose was to shut down and cover over any mention of such encounters.
Might someone from the military police have “gotten” to these UFO groups? Might they have decided to let one case go in order that they were (relatively) free to pursue other accounts? And if this was the case, should that not have alerted them to the potential authenticity of the Caboni case? Things would take an even further twist when a representative of the CUN was claimed to have been the person who advised the police that the Filiberto case was nothing more than a hoax.
It would appear that even today, there are many who can’t fully decide on the authenticity of the case, nor the credibility of Filiberto. In his defense, however, even those who skeptical of his claims are often equally damning of the shoddy investigation of the UFO groups in the region at the time.
Of course, the possibility remains that the charges against Filiberto were accurate, as was his changed statement. However, even if we accept that he had manufactured the doll due to his inability to capture it on film, that still leaves several lingering questions. What happened to the strange, what was it, and where did it come from?
Was this creature an alien crew member who may have crashed to Earth? Was this alien alone and does that explain the apparent bandages and burn marks all over his body? Or might it have been something that itself escaped from alien captivity? And if that is the case, does that suggest an alien base on Earth that this creature escaped from?
Perhaps even more intriguing, is that the creature, whatever it might have been, escaped from a very terrestrial facility. One that is carrying out experiments of such a terrifying, unnatural and inhuman nature, that any evidence of them must be destroyed?
As always, these are wildly speculative possibilities. However, speculation is all that we have at the moment. And through that continued speculation we might one day get to the truth of this account and so many others that currently escape our collective understanding.
It is most definitely an interesting case. And one that deserves to be revisited by UFO and alien investigators. It also contains many elements and details that come up in other cases, right across the world and throughout the years. If we were to ever unlock this and other similar cases, we will likely find that the “truth” is far more outlandish and disturbing than many of would ever wish to contemplate.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at email@example.com. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find all of my social media, listen to free audiobooks I’ve narrated, visit the store for Weird Darkness t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, phone cases, and more merchandise, sign up for monthly contests, find other podcasts that I host like “Retro Radio – Old Time Radio in the Dark”, “Micro Terrors; Scary Stories for Kids”, “The Church of the Undead”, and more. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“The Caponi Alien Evidence: Real, Fake, or an Elaborate Conspiracy?” by Marcus Lowth for UFO Insight
I’ve also linked to the book, “Unearthly Disclosure” by Timothy Good in the show notes
And I’ve linked to a page where you can see numerous photos of the creature in question.
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Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” – 1 Peter 4:7
And a final thought… “Acknowledge the part of you that may not want to let go. Be honest with yourself, let go when you are ready, and the change will come about.” – Myra Lewin
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.