The alien abduction phenomena is a tricky, tricky, thing. There are a variety of different proposed explanations for alien abductions. Many feel that they are completely fabricated events within the person's subconscious. Others are convinced that abductions represent a systematic biological program which is being performed by extraterrestrials in order to produce a race of alien-human hybrids. Some believed that these experiences stem from sleep paralysis. Still others see it is as some kind of demonic activity meant to deceive and lead people from the path of righteousness. I haven’t decided where I land on the topic yet.
Today I wish to take a look at an interesting abduction case which isn’t discussed too often. As an added bonus, at least in my mind, it doesn’t involve those pesky Greys. On the night of December 6, 1978 security guard Pier Fortunato Zanfretta was out patrolling his route around Torriglia, a village near Genoa, Italy. An Italian journalist named Rino di Stefano, who has done an extensive amount of research into the case firsthand, tells the following version of events which befell Zanfretta that fateful night:
As Zanfretta approached a client's uninhabited country-house (called "Our Home" by the owner, Dr. Ettore Righi), in the area of Marzano, his patrol car, a Fiat 126, mysteriously stopped dead. The car engine, lights and radio all failed seemingly for no reason. At the same moment he saw four strange lights moving about in the garden of the house and stepped outside of his car to investigate with gun and flashlight in hand.At first he thought that burglars were behind the house. So he walked through the open gate and crept along a wall in an attempt to surprise them. Feeling himself touched from behind, the security guard whirled around and saw something that filled him with terror: only inches away stood what he called: "An enormous green, ugly and frightful creature, with undulating skin, no less than ten feet tall". When he directed the beam of his flashlight on the being's face, he was so frightened that he dropped it, but quickly it up again and run away. While running, he became aware of a large and very bright light behind him. Turning around, he saw a huge, flat triangular form which was blinding in its brilliance.
At this point, I have to commend Zanfretta for keeping his senses about him and getting the hell out of the area. I’d like to think I would maybe stick around and check the situation out some more. Of course I’ve never come face to face with a 10ft tall anything. So who knows how I would actually react. Getting back to the account, Stefano continues:
Zanfretta shielded himself from the light with his arm. This thing which he assured was a flying saucer, ascended from the back of the house. It was bigger than the house itself, and produced a hissing sound. Later, Zanfretta said that he felt an intense heat. He made it back to his car and tried to call his security company's operations center in Genoa. It was 12:15 A.M. Carlo Toccalino, the radio operator, has testified that Zanfretta was speaking in an excited and disconnected way. He kept saying: "My God, are they ugly!". The operator then asked if "they" were human and if they were assaulting him. The answer was: "No, they aren't men, they aren't men". At that point, the communication were abruptly broken off
The radio operator called the chief of the security force and two other security guards were sent out to look for Zanfretta. Arriving at 1:15 am the two guards found Zanfretta lying on the ground apparently frightened and near hysterical. Stefano says:
When he saw them, he jumped up, gun and flashlight at the ready. Eyes bulging, Zanfretta didn't seem to recognize them, nor to understand when they told him to lower his weapon. The other patrolmen rushed and disarmed him. To their surprise, his clothes felt warm even though the December night air was quite cold.
The Italian police were said to have launched an investigation almost immediately following these events. During their investigation, they found that nearly 52 people admitting to seeing strange lights in the vicinity of Zanfretta’s encounter at around the same time it was alleged to have occurred. Stefano tells us the following in regards to the investigation:
Antonio Nucchi, the commandant of the Torriglia station, has stated that he was every confidence in the testimony given by Zanfretta. In fact, he has known the security guard for many years and, when I asked him what he thought about him, he answered: "I can state with certainty that he is a clear thinking man with no strange fantasies in his head. When we went to investigate the scene the next day, he almost didn't want to come, he was so scared. Only something exceptional could have frightened him so."
Per Stefano’s insistence, Zanfretta agreed to undergo hypnosis. According to an Above Top Secret thread:
Zanfretta agreed to be hypnotized by Dr. Mauro Moretti, a psychotherapist and member of the Italian Association of Medical Hypnosis, in Genoa on December 23. During that occasion Zanfretta said that he was abducted by "monsters about 10 feet tall, with hairy green skin, yellow triangular eyes and red veins across the forehead" who brought him to a hot, luminous place where they interrogated and examined him.
During the same session, Zanfretta also indicated that the creatures came from the "third galaxy" and that "they want to talk with us and that they will soon return in larger numbers." The aliens did not speak Italian to the guard, but used a "luminous device" to translate what they were saying.
To my surprise, Zanfretta was back to work only a few weeks after the event. I have to admit, I would probably use this encounter as an excuse for a vacation, but “to each his own” I suppose. Zanfretta may have later regretted this decision to return to work as these creatures from the “third galaxy” were not evidently not finished with him yet. According to Stefano:
At 11:45 PM on that night [December 23rd], Zanfretta was at work as usual, driving a Fiat 127 inside the Bargagli tunnel, near the Scoffera Pass. Suddenly he lost control of the car. On the radio, he reported that the Fiat turned on its own and came out of the tunnel. Terrified, Zanfretta tried to work the brakes and steering wheel, but the car continued on its own along the steep road uphill.
Speaking with the radio operator, the guard said that he was having difficulty with the patrol car, and couldn't see well because of the very thick fog. After going for about a mile, the car finally come to an abrupt stop, throwing Zanfretta's head against the steering wheel. He called the radio operator and this time, in a very controlled voice, said: "The car has stopped. I saw a bright light. Now I am getting out." Zanfretta and his car were found at 1:10 AM by other guards.
The first to see Zanfretta was sergeant Emanuele Travenzoli. Zanfretta was in a field near the road. His clothes were warm and dry, and so was his head, despite the rain. The man was very scared, he was shaking and crying. "They say I must leave with them. What about my children? I don't want to, I don't want to...". Again the Carabinieri were called.
During their investigation they found that, though the car had been in the cold and rain for a long time, the roof of the Fiat was as hot as if it had spent an entire day in the sun. The interior of the car was also said to be as hot as an oven.
All around the car were disproportionately large footprints. As measured by the Carabinieri, the tracks proved were 20 inches long by 8 inches wide, with a distinct empty spot between sole and heel.
In addition, the Carabinieri found that Zanfretta's gun, a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, had been fired five times. But the guard couldn't recall at whom he had fired the weapon.
Zanfretta would go on to have many other abductions and encounters with various “extraterrestrial” denizens, far too many to name here. Instead I invite those curious to learn more to check out the links below. Zanfretta seemed to not be too bothered by the actual encounters themselves, frightening as they may have been. Instead the majority of stress and negativity Zanfretta received was from earthly sources. After Zanfretta’s story got out, he received constant harassment via telephone. People calling him crazy or phony. However Zanfretta always maintained that the events he recalled were real and had truly happened to him.
What are we to make of Zanfretta’s account? According to all who knew him, he was a reliable, stand up guy. Co-workers described him as honest and most seemed to believe that something strange happened to him, if not necessarily an abduction. He never seemed to have profited from these experiences, although he did appear on television and Stefano would eventually write a book detailing Zanfretta’s reports. I’m reserving my judgement on this case for now. I will say that I do believe Zanfretta had a genuine experience. What that experience involved remains a mystery.