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November 19, 1954; Taormina Sicily: Newsman Giuseppe Grasso took a picture of some people outside.
The photo appears to be a double exposure of the outdoor scene and a flash failure of a scene containing
an art-deco tree lamp.
Update: It now looks like Grasso purposely staged the photo to go with a visual sighting of
a sounding balloon reported the same day. The picture was published the day after it was taken.
Also, there were two photos taken, each showing completely different objects.
Further update: I found the sounding balloon in the usually published photo.
It is a tiny white dot. It is in the correct place for the people to be looking at it (the faked UFOs are too high for their gaze).
Apparently Grasso came in boasting that he had photos
of a UFO (which was independently reported). He couldn't find the UFO in the print,
guessed that the UFO had moved out of frame, and then tried to add in what he had seen visually.
1954-Sicily, Italy, December 10. Four men are staring upward at two very
odd shapes in the sky. The photographer was questioned about his pic,
and he claimed that the objects were actually in the sky, as opposed to
a film or camera anomaly, and that the objects simply stood still for
Background Information / Description:
Four Sicilians gaze skyward at two unidentified objects similar to those
being mentioned in press reports and appearing in photos from other European countries.
The authenticity of the images was checked by questioning the photographer,
who said the objects were in the sky and remained still for several minutes.
The U.S. Air Force has announced that it is looking into these latest accounts
of the objects moving through the heavens.
In December a photograph of two UFO's over Taormina, Sicily, appeared in many newspapers.
The picture showed three men standing on a bridge, with a fourth running up with a camera.
All were intently watching two disk shaped objects. The photo looked good, but there was one flaw,
the men weren't looking at the UFO's; they were looking off to the right of them.
I'm inclined to agree with Captain Hardin of Blue Book -
the photographer just fouled up on his double exposure.
Sighting Description: Various people observed for some time two objects that made changed positions in the sky.
The objects nearly graze the surface of the sea.
A daily paper described them as platforms circling from a common center.
The two objects reflected a whitish light on the water for some time.
They covered a few kilometers going back and forward over the water in perfect synchronization.
After some time the objects nearly graze the balconies of some lodges in Taormina.
Subsequently, one of the two objects goes up and behind mountains, while the other object
fell into the sea approximately three hundred meters from the beach.
Many tourists and a journalist from the New York Herald Tribune observed the phenomenon.
The American newspaper published some photos. Two Military Police Officers headed to the
point of impact in their boat and recovered nylon, soft object of large dimensions
and weighting about 100 kilograms. These circumstances and the photograph were in retrospective
questioned by the partners, CISU Antonio Blanco, Savior Forest and Antonio Offshoot.
They stated the object was not recovered by the Military Police Office, but by fishermen
Cosimo and Antonio Carnabuci. Cosimo and Antonio Carnabuci witness the facts and delivered
the objects to the local station of the Guard of Finances.
The enquirers ascertained the photo that sent by the press around the world, taken by a journalist from
the New York Herald Tribunes was in fact taken by photographer Giuseppe Grasso. Giuseppe Grasso took the photos
from the promenade of Gardens-Naxos and not from the balcony Belvedere of Taormina.
Deepened searches carried out in the local area and local press of the period found other images of the event.
Between the photos of "discs", recovered sounding balloons and other irregulars the objects
can be identify and explained. This case has retained Ufological “mysteries” from the confusing events.
This reference: USOCAT by The Italian Center for UFO Studies (CISU) © 1996 by Marco Bianchini.
DATE: 19 November 1954
LOCATION: Taormina, Messina, Sicily (Italy)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Giuseppe Grasso
EXPLANATION: Fake (initially as per Dr Donald Menzel,
confirmed after recent reinvestigation by CISU’s Antonio
REFERENCES: SUFOI Newsletter, February 1974. Ole
Henningsen. David C. Knight, UFOs. A Pictorial History
from Antiquity to the Present (McGraw-Hill, 1979),
page 680. Solas Boncompagni et al, UFO in Italia.
L’Ondata del 1954 (Corrado Tedeschi Editore, Firenze,
1980), pages 370-371, quoting local newspapers dated
November 21, 1954: Giornale di Sicilia, Il Messaggero,
Giornale del Matino and Voce Adriatica. Margaret
Sachs, The UFO Encyclopedia (Perigee Books, 1980),
pages 318-319. Loren E. Gross, UFOs: A History. 1954:
November-December, 1991, pages 41 and 53, quoting
The New York Herald Tribune, December 19,1954. UFO
Forum, July 1998, pages 22-28. Giuseppe Stilo. UFO
Forum, March 1999, pages 39-43 and 47. Antonio Blanco.
Edoardo Russo. UFO Forum, July 1998, pages 22-25.
1957-Deemed authentic by Kodak labs. This photograph was taken by one B.C. B.C. and his fiancee were riding their Harley Davidson through the southern Sierra Nevada's, in what is now Lake Isabella, California. They found an old dirt road that led down to the dry lakebed and pulled off the main highway to take some random scenic shots. Neither of them saw anything out of the ordinary at the time.
This highly unusual photo has been in my family since before I was born. It filled me with curiosity during my
childhood years. As I grew older I had my doubts about it being a real picture, but remained curious over the years. On my 27th birthday my father came by my apartment and gave me a birthday card that included the original color slide of this UFO image.
My father carefully explained how this photograph was shot by a friend of his named B.C., who did not actually see the UFO at the time he took the picture! It wasn't until B.C. received the box of color slides he had shot that he noticed one picture with an image of a sideways, saucer-shaped UFO which appeared to be parked above an old oak tree.
According to my father, B.C.'s first reaction was that someone at the "Kodak" film lab must have been playing a trick on him. When B.C. showed the color slide to my father, he believed it was worth further examination. My father explained to B.C. how he had gone to some of the UFO meetings that were held at Giant Rock airport out in the Mojave Desert during the early 1950's and that he believed something was definitely going on. At that time, they were both members of the Self-Realization Fellowship and had heard their guru, Parmahansa Yoganada, say that he believed there was life on other planets.
After having some copies and enlargements made, my father decided to take the original slide to the Los Angeles office of Time Life Magazine. It was in their possession for a few days before they concluded that the photo was authentic. According to their tests, it was not a lens flare, an acid splash or a double exposure. Oddly enough, they were instructed by their main office in New York not to run the story or the photo. They claimed it was not their policy to do so. I find this highly unusual considering that Life Magazine had published clear black and white UFO photos in the early 1950's.
Dr. Elmer Green is a physicist who worked just northeast of Lake Isabella for the Naval Ordinance Test Center, at China Dry Lake, from 1947 to 1957. He frequently heard about encounters with UFOs that would fly into range of their observation cameras. Many times while range testing new weapons systems, good quality films were made of UFOs. He personally saw black and white still shots of UFOs that were taken by other scientists in his work group. While telling his story to scientist and author Richard Thompson, Dr. Green claimed that he knew of some 40 to 50 professional people who had some connection with UFO sightings during weapons testing at China Lake.
Dr. Green had even experienced a clear UFO sighting with the base's photographic officer, Jack Clemente while watching an AJ Bomber coming in for a landing. According to Dr. Green, "As the airplane flew over, we saw an object about 16 feet in diameter flying about 400 feet below the bomber. The object seemed to be a structured, mechanical craft. It had a semi-circular forward section that was amber colored. In the blink of an eye, the UFO flipped up to the wing of the plane. It remained there, pacing the plane for a few seconds and then it flew away at great speed vanishing from sight in 2 or 3 seconds."
Dr. Green noticed that even though UFOs looked mechanical, they often seemed to perform beyond the laws of physics. Even though they could move faster than the speed of sound, they did not produce a sonic boom. Dr. Green compared these maneuvers to a spotlight projected on the wall and he considered that they might be real physical structures that were somehow being projected into our space-time. Dr. Green also noted that during his early years at China Lake in 1947, many UFOs were sighted and that he would also regularly see the flashes from atomic bomb air bursts at the Nevada test site nearby. Some of Dr. Green's co-workers even speculated that there might be a connection between all the UFO activity and the frequent atomic testing.
10 May 1957 Dusk
Lake Isabella, California , USA
Highway abduction. White bubble, slight oblong floated above trees, descended to 10 feet above ground. Thin, bony humanoids 7-8' tall, wearing transparent clothes. Telepathy.
An abduction of a witness was reported. Healing effects were reported. Witness reported that a period of time could not be accounted for. Telepathic phenomena were said to have occurred.
One white oval object, about 10 feet across, was observed by one female 25-year-old witness on a road. A high-pitched sound was heard. A 7.5-foot-tall tall thin being, wearing a transparent coverall, was seen.
Hynek rating: CE4: Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (Abductions)
Vallee rating: CE4: The witness has been abducted.
Vallee reliability rating: 344: Reliable source, firsthand; site visit by a skilled analyst; no natural explanation possible, given the evidence.