(August 20, 1993) full-size

Filiberto Caponi Close Encounter 1993

This is the account of the repeated encounter between a humanoid being and a 23 years old Italian from Pretare d'Arquata, who took a series of 6 Polaroid pictures of the being.

The alleged series of encounters starts in Pretare d'Arquata, a small sector in the province of Ascoli Piceno, at the top of the Monte Vettore, a few kilometres after one leaves the road to Salaria.

They show, in sequence, a being in a various positions, seated, nearly erected, in seemingly painful physical conditions although this may be only an anthropomorphic impression. The being seems to have small dimensions, rather sturdy, with the skin that in some instantaneous ones appears burnished and thick and in last photograph, completely red, moisted, with the aspect of a badly wounded skin.

The photos were published in the weekly magazine "Visto" n. 43 on 28 October 1993, and then produced on TV during the program "I Fatti Vostri" ("Your facts") on Friday, November 5, 1993, hosted by Giancarlo Magalli.


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May 24, 1993
The first photo showed a small shadow, as Caponi stated. The effect of the mysterious combustion of the two first pictures, altering the zone where the being was, resulted in this. May 24, 1993.

The first investigation was headed by the CUN and consisted of several inspections, interviews of Caponi and his relatives and the answers to their questions to other indirect witnesses. At the end of the investigation, they had a detailed report on the case but drew no firm conclusion whatsoever.

At the same time, other investigators approached Caponi and obtained from him similar statements, substantially coinciding with those published by the CUN. Some of them gave their interpretation of the events, such as Massimo Fratini Maximum from the CETI, in Rome, who stated that he has always been convinced by the sincerity of the witness.

"In the course of our inquiry and during last the three years, we have had to reconsider, step by step, all the vicissitude, to reconstruct all the details, meeting Filiberto Caponi several more times and trying to collect other testimonies."

"We are not still in a position to give the conclusions - today - but we are approaching the possible truth of what happened in the outskirts of Pretare d'Arquata (Marches), on the Monte Vettore, starting in May 1993."

Caponi's photograph remain disturbing to this day.

There were, however, some contradictions and omissions which emerged when investigations started to put more pressure on Caponi. Yet there seems to be no way to differentiate if these contradictions and omissions are simply caused by the confusion between investigators, and the stress put on Caponi who was literally sieged by Italian and foreign journalists as his photographs were just published in a weekly Magazine in Milan.

Essentially, the story told by Filiberto Caponi was quite consistent over time, chronologically always consistent, but some parts of his story was slightly at odds with the photographs themselves. This prompted the chief investigator of the CUN, Roberto Pinotti, to insist that he needs to look at the photographic material in good conditions, first to elucidate some points, and also because CUN thought that the witness should have the right to manage his material.

Indeed, in an unprecedented and utterly unexplainable manner, the magistracy of Ascoli Piceno had seized and confiscated the photographs from Caponi, and started a judicial procedure against Caponi under the never heard of motive that his photograph might disturb the civil peace. Because of this confiscation, CUN could only analyze them visually but not instrumentally.

Caponi told to CUN's Roberto Pinotti, Gianfranco Lollino and Massimo Angelucci, and Fabio Della Balda of the CROVNI of Saint Marino about his first encounter;

"I first thought it was a small cat complaining, trapped in a plastic bag."

"It was the evening of 9 May 1993. As usually I re-entered from a ride on my motorbike and I was closing the garage, just near the country, when I heard I complain, different from those typical of usual animals. I was also thinking that it may be a drunk coming down from the same road making noises. Then, in an angle of a house, I saw a "white [palleta,]" it seemed to me that the strange complain came from it. Smiling, as I thought I had found an abandoned cat, wrapped in a plastic bag, I stretched a hand to touch it, but on reflection I stopped because it occurred to me that it might scratch me. So I limited myself give the bag a little kick to see if it would come out on itself. And I was terrified, because the "old plastic bag" jumped on, showing that it had a head, arms and legs. It raised from the ground, and went to the wall that I have shown to you before. Anyway, it was quite fast, it had wrapped legs and it carried something that tripped, it looked like a bag that it had on the back, but it was not skin. I only saw the skin of its head and from its small arms which it did not use and not move."

An interesting point regarding this first encounter, it that Caponi suffered from an inexplicable cutaneous blackening on the right foot, the foot that he used to touch the entity. The blackening disappeared after three days.


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May 24, 1993
The second picture was also damaged, but the being is more distinguishable, although partly covered with "something." The arrow indicates where the head is.

Caponi thought that he was the victim of some confusion, but he has been very frightened so he decided to reopen the garage and to rest a little moment on his motorbike and think about it, and to calm his nerves listening to the radio.

"I thought to myself that what I saw may not have existed, that I have been tired, that it must have been some animal..." However, back home, his mother noticed that something was wrong, as the boy was very pale. She managed to get her son tell what happened, and, with his father, he decided to return on location of the encounter in order to find some trace of the "animal." On the wall, behind which the being disappeared, the father found a "medical gauze covered with blood" but he did not take it home because it was disgusting and instead he put it under an old washing machine in the courtyard, planning to go to Ascoli Piceno in order to have it analyzed.

In the night, Caponi still heard the strange complain, went down again to the road, but he saw nothing this time. "Nothing, just nothing, it was impossible," explained Caponi. "...and my father was there so that I could show him, and I have said to him 'I have heard it, but I do not know where it is' and he told me to go up in my room because from there we could see better. We stayed up there for roughly an hour, then my father was tired and went to bed again. Just at that moment 'the thing' reappeared... I called my father and so he has been able to see it too, for a moment, while it went away under that arch, in the blink of an eye, and my father looked at me as if he wanted to say 'so you were not joking!'... anyway he told me to go to bed, because it was late (3 in the morning)."

The next morning, Filiberto's sister went to control the gauze, but it had disappeared. "It must have been a dog that smelled the odor of the blood," says Filiberto.

"However it has been at that time that I decided to lend a camera from my brother-in-law. I put it right on the bedside table. For a week then I waited there (indicates the night place) thinking that perhaps the being would come again and that I could photograph it."

15 days went by and nothing happened, so Caponi decided to forget all about it, when one evening:

"It was approximately the two o'clock in the night and I heard the strange scream again. I sent up, I took the camera (a Polaroid 660) and opened the door, - while I felt that something was walking in the alley. I saw it arrive, from far away enough, to not fast, nearly walking. I took a first photo, the Polaroid ejects it, and I take it away, ready to take an other photo. In the light of the flash it had stopped, as if it had noticed the light, maybe but it must have been deaf... because I have made some noise when I opened the door, and it continued to come in my direction. It had stopped and turned around only when I took the photo. I have thought 'I will race with it, take a photo and run after it, this is a unique opportunity' and what I did, I went towards it, advancing a few meters, I photographed it again, and then I escaped screaming 'I have photographed it!', without watching where I went, so I ended against a wall. My father woke up and asked me what had happened. The photos developed under the eyes of my relatives: on the first one only a dark shadow was visible, but on the second, the head and the hanging arms wrapped with something, were visible. I looked at it intensively. I explained that when I have taken the second photo it had slightly turned its head towards me, without turning its body at all. My father felt it was quite a hair riser. My mother said 'My god, what is he?' And then I had calmed down and I told them 'a lot of it in the photos, let's put them in a secured place, let's not have everyone see them' and we decided to put them in a wooden box, in order to study them with calm on the next day."


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August 11, 1993
The first picture where the small being is clearly seen, at least as for the head, a hand, and some dark clothing on its back and whitish cover on its lower body.

"I found the cover of the box curved, blackened underneath, filled with smoke. I ask what can have happened . Then I opened it I feel a smell of burnt similar to burned plastic's odor. The photo was burned around and where the being was shown, it was swollen and ruined... I detach the second photo and the image was also swollen, only in surface, it was not destroyed."

Later, CUN investigators tried to determine if the ruined photos were explicitly attacked, and considered the possibility that the film may have been the Polaroid for a long time and maybe expired. But the hypothesis of a normal deterioration due to expiration revealed not valid, because the following photos were made with the same film and were not ruined at all.

The only possible explanation that remained was that of a chemical interaction between the photos and an old past due battery conserved in the wooden box where the images were stored, which is what Caponi also proposed. The problem is that all the material, including the wooden box, have been delivered to the Police officers of the station of Arquata of the Tronto, subsequently to their first publication in a magazine. Moreover it must be emphasized that Caponi had circulated the photos (reproduced in dias) among roman newspapers and press agencies.

Back on May 24, 1993. The news by now had been diffused, in because Caponi told about it in confidence to a friend:

"I have made a big mistake, the day when I went at a friend who is a carpenter and told him all about it. He had sworn to me that he would not tell a word about it, but one evening he had drunk a glass too much and three days later the whole country knew the story and the "Messagero di Ascoli Piceno" newspaper telephoned, and a few days later they published the burnt photos."

"The story still diffused more, even if many did not believe it and created popular legends about me or people hunting in the country. One evening I went to the circle and encountered the friend who had spilled the story out; in spite of that I have made peace with him, and we were walking outside with two others. And then all of us heard 'the scream,' coming from behind the gate of a house which is shown in the published photos. We decide to go check it out and I begin to climb up, while a friend remains a little behind, an the other progress in order, and when we get close to the direction of the complain, it stops immediately. We return to the bar and some sort of expedition gets organized, with others, in all 15 to 20 people, some of them with knives - everyone excited - torches and photographic cameras.

One them has a hunting dog. We all go back the gate. We here the complain and the dog heads on and leaves us, crosses the gate and begins to bark, nearly as if fighting, and there are more and more screaming. Then the dog 'jumps down the road', throwing itself from a wall, falls on his back, stands up on his legs again and flees to hide in a corner. The other people present begin to look at me speechless. But, when I propose to locate the source of the sound in order to discover what it is they all say no. However from that moment, people in the area begun to believe me a little and I get interviewed from a journalist of 'Stop' magazine, but when he sees the burnt photos he does not think opportune to acquire them."

Over time, the feeling that something strange and interesting is really happening spreads in the small country. And then on August 8, Pretare is the location of a new unusual phenomenon: many hens in the country die mysteriously, some enduring amputations of limbs or of the head, but without signs of blood or bites. They have been recovered all piled up. The fact remains stunning, because it is difficult to imagine that a predator, such as a fox or a vixen, can do so much damages in one night.

So far Caponi had had two encounters with the being. But on August 11, 1993, when Caponi was somewhere outside on a bench, watching shooting stars:

"It was five o'clock in the morning and all at once, in front of the door of my laboratory, I saw again that white pack, moving; at the start I thought that it was my cat, but then, looking with more attention, I understood that it was 'it' again, seated, and watching around. Then I went into the house, took the Polaroid camera, and looked at it through the Window. It was still here, so I went down and made one photo of it. In the light of flash the being turns its head, raises, tilts its back, turns and runs away. Then I said to myself that I have photographed it just right, and I hoped the photo does not get ruined like the others, and I decides not to say anything not even to my parents and I held it in the drawer."

The being shown on this picture is apparently still wrapped in its "external protecting covering", and partially covered with gauzes or whitish wraps. Filiberto describes its covering: "it may be pants, in a strange way, and the being had some sort of leather on the shoulders, with some bandage."

Nine days passed, and on August 20, another encounter gave Caponi the opportunity two take two new pictures, still using the same Polaroid, in spite of the allegation by the "Visto" weekly magazine that the pictures were made with a professional camera.

"No, it was always with the Polaroid, I literally lived with it, while a friend of mine lend me another one, I declined, I gave it back to him without having ever used it. I open the window and I see it seated to the center of the courtyard. I come down and I make one first photo of it. It made the usual movement, turns the head slowly and I take a second picture, moving to the side. At this point it escaped. They are not successful to dirgli nothing, I would have intentional. The being had always appeared with gauze around the legs, and something similar to leather on its back, but this time it did not wear its covering anymore, but appeared with two tubes on the thorax that seemed to slightly move under its skin, like from air or liquid pressure, or some fluid, I don't know, maybe for its respiration. The small tubes both moved rhythmically. And an other important thing: I was convinced that the body was wet, it drained water, it dripped. But not much. From its head, water passed beside the eyes like some sweat. I want to emphasize that that evening my sister had also heard the noises, on the small terrace of our house, where my father had two drums in which he put water for watering the flowers.

We have thought that perhaps it had gone to bathe itself. The drums were supposed to be full, but instead one was half empty. Maybe during the night, it had "undressed", dipped in a drum, washed, and jumped from the terrace, producing the noise of a jump in water that my sister heard. They came down, to see if it had left its coveralls, but there was nothing. Except a small hole, under the house, not wider than 25-30 centimetres, that opens on a bulwark. I have illuminated it with a torch, but I have not been able to see correctly within it." An other particular thing, maybe of great importance emerges then, when the enquirers ask Caponi greater details about the physical aspect of the creature and the color of its skin. One assumes that its epiderm, as it appears in the two photos of the seated humanoid, is really in "coveralls" that joins perfectly to the body and wraps it completely.

The difference, in the photos handed by Caponi between the humanoid with and without its kind of "protection" appears clearly from the last picture, in which the being is half seated half erected and seems to be "naked."

A month passed, and the next encounter was on September 20, 1993.

"Every night I waited, by now. I still did not sleep more. So, towards at about 3 o'clock in the morning, I see it under the house. 'Stavolta, I say to myself, before photographing I call someone. I woke up my grandmother, that sleeps in the room besides, but she was not able to see it from her window, although it was just under. It was standing. Then we came down and my grandmother finally saw it in all its splendor - she was frightened because she thought that she was seeing some sort of malignant entity - and she started to scream, while I tried to calm her, I approached and photographed it." Then a scene already wintessed repeated: the being bent, turned the head a little bit, and looked at Caponi. The grandmother, Perla Antonia, told about this experience, explained how frightened she was that the being may hurt her grandson: "Filiberto, let's go away from here, because I am frightened now. But by now I run after it up to the arch, in the country, under the rainy night, I was all wet, in the middle of the grass I have lost it from sight." Other important details emerge from the questions of investigators: "The being made noise when moving, its dorsal structure is rather grip, but its sides seems wide, which is practically the contrary of the way we are made. It seems built to run, the arms are not used, remember how he raced to the nearby door with leaps like those of an ostrich. Its dimensions? It is very small, not more than 70 centimetres, the way it had its feet on the ground, it seems that it weighs the double than it really weighs. It has two nostrils for the nose, but no ears."


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August 20, 1993
The strange creature photographed in front of Caponi's workshop.

In summary, there has been five encounters by Filiberto Caponi with the strange creature. in the first one, of 9 May have not photographed it). On the May 24, he took two photos, on the August 11, one photo, where the being is within the dark covering.

On August 20 he took two photo of the seated being and on September 2, he took the last picture in which the creature is seen with stretched legs and seemingly covered in a bloody substance, in front of Caponi's workshop.

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