Filiberto Caponi Close Encounter, Italy

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filiberto00Filiberto Caponi has now written a book about his encounters which is for sale from his website.

This interesting case happened in Italy, in the area of Pretare Arquata, located in the province of Ascoli Piceno. To the north is the Monte Vettore and Monte Ceresa, further east. It occurred in 1993 and that happened over several encounters. The main witness is a young man of 23, named Filiberto Caponi.

First Encounter

Filiberto Caponi narrates his adventure to the investigators of the Italian UFO organizations CUN (Centro Nazionale Ufologico) and CROVNI:

It was on the evening of 9 May 1993. As usual, I was coming back from a motorbike ride and I closed the garage just near the country, when I heard complaints, different from the typical, usual animals. I also thought it might be a drunkard down the same road making noises. Then, in a corner of a house, I saw a kind of ‘white bag’ from which the strange moans seem to be coming. Smiling, because 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 mind that I could be scratched. So I limited myself to test the elasticity of the bag with a kick to see if it  would come out ny itself. And I was terrified, because the “old plastic bag” jumped up, showing that it had a head, arms and legs. It rose from the ground and went to the wall that I showed you before. Anyway, it was quite fast, it had its legs wrapped and wore something that broke, it seemed he had a bag he was carrying on his back, but it did not look like skin. I only saw the skin of his head and his little arms that he  had not used and has not moved yet.

Drawing the witness showing, in order, the movements of the being at the 1st encounter.

Drawing the witness showing, in order, the movements of the being at the 1st encounter.

Although he believed instantly that what he saw was only an animal or a hallucination due to fatigue, he remained very frightened. He opened his garage and sat on his bike to recover from his emotions.
Back home, his mother noticed that something was wrong, judging by his pale complexion. The young man told her everything. He went back with his father the site to see if there were any traces left of the creature. On the wall where it had been, the father of Filiberto found what appears to be a medical gauze covered with blood. Instead of taking it home, because it was too disgusting, he hid it under an old washing machine in the yard, and was thinking of having it analyzed later at Ascoli Piceno.

Following this first encounter, Caponi found that the skin on his right foot had turned blaxk. It was this foot he had used to touch the bag. This disappeared after 3 days.

At night

On the night of that evening, Filiberto Caponi again heard the strange moaning. But this time, he saw nothing. He explained:

… And my father was there so I could show it to him, and I said, “I heard it, but I do not know where it is” and he told me to go back in my room because from up there we could see better. We stayed up there for about an hour, then my father was tired and went back to bed. Just at that moment ‘the thing’ reappeared … I called my father and so he could see it for a while, as it walked away under that arch, in an eye blink, and my father looked at me as if he wanted to say ‘so it was not a joke!’ … anyway he told me to go to bed, because it was late (3am).

The next morning, Filiberto’s sister went to get the gauze, but it was not there. Maybe a dog  smelled the blood, clarified the young man.
He subsequently decided to borrow a camera from his brother. He left it on his bedside table (a Polaroid 660). However, fifteen days passed without anything happening.

Second encounter

Caponi decided to forget about it, but on May 24 in the evening:

It was about two hours into the night and I again heard the strange cry. I got up, I took the camera and I opened the door, because I felt that something was walking in the alley. I saw it coming, from a distance, not very fast, almost walking. I took a first photo, the Polaroid ejects it, and I take it off, ready to take another picture. In the light of the flash it had stopped, as if he had noticed the light, perhaps, but it had to be deaf … because I made noises when I opened the door, and he kept coming into my direction. He stopped and turned only when I took the photo. I thought I was going to have to run after him, I would take a photo and run after him, it was a unique opportunity and that is what I did. I went to him, advancing a few meters, I photographed him again, and then I shouted ‘I have photographed it!’, without looking where I was going, and so I ran right into a wall. My father woke up and asked me what had happened. The photos developed under the eyes of my parents. On the first one only a shadow was visible, but on the second, the head and arms wrapped with something, were visible. I looked extensively. I explained that when I took the second photo it had slightly turned his head towards me, without turning his body at all. My father really felt it was a story to make your hair stand on end. My mother said ‘My god, what is it?’ And then I calmed down and I said “Well you can clearly see everything in these photos. Let us put them in a certain place, and not show them to anybody.’ We decided to put them in a wooden box, to study the next day on our ease.

24/05/1993 The first picture, 2nd encounter: Remember that there is no picture the first encounter. Here it is in the form of a ball.

The first picture, 2nd encounter:
Remember that there is no picture
the first encounter. Here it is in the form of a ball.

24/05/1993 Second picture, 2nd encounter: We see the head of the creature (arrow) out of the packaging.

Second picture, 2nd encounter:
We see the head of the creature (arrow)
out of the packaging.

The next afternoon, wanting to look at the pictures, Filiberto had a bad surprise:
I found the lid of the wooden box twisted, blackened underneath, covered in smoke. I wondered what might have happened, so I opened the box and I felt a burning odor similar to the smell of burnt plastic. The photo was burned around and where the being was shown, it was swollen and ruined … I took the second photo out and the image was also swollen, but only on its surface, it was not destroyed.
CRUN-investigators have suggested the possibility that the film could have been expired. However, other images were not damaged and thus excluded this theory. Another possibility was was the presence of an old battery in the same box as the photos, which could produce a chemical reaction on the latter.
After publication in the press, all this material was brought to the police station of Arquata di Tronto.
The case continues
It was from May 24 that the case became known and started to spread. The culprit for this was a carpenter friend to whom Caponi had shared the encounter. He was not supposed to tell anybody about it. Yet a few days later, the newspaper “Messaggero di Ascoli Piceno” telephoned him and then published the burnt pictures. Filiberto adds:
The story spread further, even if most people did not believe it, and popular legends were created about me and other people who had gone on a hunt. One evening I went to the Circle and I met my friend who I had told the whole story, and he was with two others. But I have made peace with him, and we walked out with the other two. And then we all heard the ‘scream,’ coming from behind the door of a house that is shown in the published pictures. We decided to go check it out, and I went ahead, while one of my friends remained a little behind, the other followed me, and when we arrived in the direction of the noises, they ceased immediately. We returned to the bar and some sort of expedition was organized, with others, about 15 to 20 people, some of them with knives – everyone excited – torches and cameras. One of them had a hunting dog. We all went back to the door. We hearrf complaints and there were more and more screaming. Then he dog rushed out through the door, and lefts us there, and started barking, almost as if he was fighting, and there were more and more cries. Then the dog ‘jumped down towards the road’, throwing himself off a wall, fell on his rear, stood up again on his feet and fled to hide in a corner. Other people watched, speechless. But when I proposed to go identify the source of the noise to find out what it is, they all refused. But from that moment, the locals started to believe me and I was interviewed by a journalist from the magazine ‘Stop,’ but when he sees the burnt photos he does not think it appropriate to make copies .
Strange Events
On August 8, bizarre events reinforced the mysterious atmosphere at Pretare. Indeed, many chickens in the country died suspiciously . Some had amputations of limbs or of the head, with no trace of blood or bites. This manner and the short span of such a killing (1 night), cannot be done by a predator.
Third encounter
On August 11, 1993, more than 2 months after the last encounter, Caponi was on a bench outside, watching shooting stars:
It was five in the morning and suddenly, at the door of my laboratory, I saw the white bundle that moved; at first I thought it was my cat, but then, looking more closely, I realized that it was still ‘him’, sitting and observing the surroundings. So I entered the house, I took the Polaroid camera, and I looked out the window. He was still there, so I went down and have their photo taken. With the flash light he turned his head, stood up, stretched his back, and took of running. So I thought I had a good photograph, and I hoped the photo would not be ruined like the others, and I decided not to tell anyone anything, not even to my parents, and I ‘put it in the drawer.
The little creature in this photo, has again what appeared a kind of canvas wrapping. We also distinguished what might be a gauze or some other kind of white envelope on his back and the top of his chest. Here is the description of the witness:
… It can be pants, in a strange way, and the being had some sort of leather on the shoulders, with some bandage.

11/08/1993 Third picture, 3rd encounter: We fully stand head and the cloths on his back.

Third picture, 3rd encounter:
We fully stand head and
the cloths on his back.

Fourth encounter

On 20 August, another encounter gave rise to two new photographs. Note that in the quote below, Caponi emphasizes that he used his Polaroid, while the weekly magazine “Visto” had claimed he used a professional camera.

No, it was always with the Polaroid, I literally lived with this unit. While another friend of mine wanted to lent me another one, I returned it without having used it. I opened the window and I see him sitting in the center of the court. I went down and I took a picture of it at first. He made the usual movement, turning his head slowly and I took a second picture, and moved over to the side. At that time he escaped. I could not catch up with him, even if I had tried. The being had yet appeared with gauze around the legs, and something like a leather trim on his back, but this time he was not wearing his cover, but he appeared with two tubes on the chest that appeared to move slightly under his skin, like under the pressure of air or liquid, or a fluid, I do not know, perhaps for breath. The small tubes both moved with regularity. And another important thing: I am convinced that his body was wet, it was dripping, it was wet. But not a lot. From his head, water passed beside the eyes like sweat. I want to emphasize also that my sister had also heard the noises, on the small terrace of our house, where my father had two drums in which there was water to water the flowers. We thought perhaps he had gone swimming. The drums were supposed to be full, but instead one of the two was half empty. Maybe during the night, he had “undressed”, had plunged into a barrel, had been disturbed, and jumped from the terrace, producing the sound of a jump in water that my sister heard. They came down to see if he had left his clothes, but there was nothing. Except a small hole under the house, no bigger than 25-30 centimeters, which was open, on a low wall. I lit it with a flashl

20/08/1993 4th picture, 4th encounter: It is sitting. The snapshot was taken in front of Caponi's workshop.

4th picture, 4th encounter:
It is sitting. The snapshot was taken
in front of Caponi’s workshop.

20/08/1993 5th picture, 4th encounter: It is still sitting, almost motionless.

5th picture, 4th encounter:
It is still sitting, almost motionless.

Fifth encounter

September 20,  another encounter with Caponi:

Every night I was waiting until that day. I didn’t sleep well. Then, at about 3:00 in the morning, I see it under the house. ‘Stavolta,’ I said to myself (this time), before I photograph it, I call someone. I woke my grandmother, who sleept in the next room, but she could not see it from her window, although it was just below. He was standing. So we went down and my grandmother finally saw it in all its glory – she was scared because she thought she was seeing some sort of malignant entity – and she began to scream, while I tried to calm her, I approached it and  photographed it.

As usual the creature turned his head to look at us. The grandmother, terrified, said:

Filiberto, go away from here, because I’m scared now.

Filiberto continued:

But this time I ran after him all the way into the countryside, and in the rain at the night.  I was completely soaked, and in the middle of the field I lost it.

20/08/1993 5th picture, 4th encounter: Sixth and last picture,  5th encounter: Now he has no cloths and he appears wet. 

5th picture, 4th encounter:
Sixth and last picture,  5th encounter:
Now he has no cloths
and he appears wet.

Description of the creature and photographs

In response to questions from investigators, he tells us about the being:

The being made noise when it moved, its dorsal structure was rather narrow, but its sides seemed wide, which is virtually the opposite of the way we are made. It seemed built to run, but the arms are not used, remember how it ran, leaping to the nearby door with leaps like those of an ostrich. Its dimensions? It is very small, no more than 70 centimeters tall.  The way he put his feet on the ground, it seems he weighed twice his true weight. He had a nose with two nostrils, but no ears.

Then on the physical aspect, he said:

The head is spherical with two frontal eyes going towards the sides; they are fixed and, seen up close, they are like the eyes of a fly, honeycomb, with lots of black dots, which appear polished, almost as if they were made of plastic.

And continuing on the legs:

They were the strongest and more powerful parts of his body, given the way in which they work. It has two digits on his feet, one slightly longer than the other, perhaps an thumb. And finally there are three apparent bump on its back, the one near the neck being the largest. He never issued any understandable sound. Its penetrating screams were made up of two lines of the same melody and they alternated regularly. It seemed however interested in light: in the last picture I took a lamp, he looked, he seemed to have been astonished by the flash, I almost thought he was trying to pose for the photos. One last thing, I also thought about capturing it, but eventually I realized it was an absurd idea.

He also explains that the eyes were oval and were open, his face did not have any movement, except the mouth that opened and closed regularly. His mouth seemed to have gums but no teeth, and it seemed wet with saliva. In profile it resembled a turtle mouth, Caponi said.

The skin was rough, except on the head where it was smooth with spots. The chest also had yellow and white spots.

As for the members, he described the legs as slender and decorated with well-developed muscles, which he compares to those of a calf. Hands seeming atrophied, having three fingers which did not move. The arms remained motionless.

The thorax we have mentioned, it had white tubes. He described them as follows:

The tubes came out of the skin and re-entered the skin but they appeared to be something else, which is not a part of the body, rather an addition. Only the tubes moved, while the belly seems immovable, as if he was not breathing.


The first survey was conducted by the CUN. They interviewed Filiberto, his parents and other indirect witnesses. Simultaneously, other investigators questioned him and obtained a similar story. Only some contradictions and omissions occurred when investigators put more pressure on Caponi. But we can put it on the stress of the repeated interviews and confusing of the group of investigators. But in general the history has remained constant and consistent. Massimo Fratini of CETI also confirms the sincerity of the witness.

Finally, the CUN wrote a comprehensive report but without really giving a conclusion. The pictures do not appear to be a hoax but remain unexplained to this day.

Penal procedure

Because of the commotion caused by the case, Filiberto Caponi was accused by the police which confiscated the photographs. The charges held against the young Italian are crazy and unfounded! Spreading false or exaggerated news that disturbed public order! His photographic equipment was confiscated to be used against him at his trial. Fortunately, in May 1994, the court gave a verdict that he was innocent.

No one actually knows why such a trial took place. Yet we know something; the charges were dropped just after the relay of information in the French, German and Japanese media.

Two drawings made by Filiberto Caponi of the being. From his website: