ITACAT is the Italian Catalogue of Close  Encounters (CE), those well-known special UFO cases where the witness claims to have been  quite next to the reported anomalous phenomenon (usually within 150 meters of distance  and below 30 meters in altitude). In the late sixties a raw 900+ entry catalogue of UFO landings was published as an appendix of "Passport to Magonia" and now is available  in part 1 and part 2.

Without any doubt close encounters are  the most interesting (and controversial) kind  of UFO sighting available on file. Researchers focused most of their investigative and  analysis interest just on these cases. The usually rich content of information describing  the phenomenon (thanks also to the short distance between it and the  witness, our real "recording device") should deliver more details about its  aspect and behaviour. More, the presence of "hard evidence" such as ground  traces or even "occupants" such as in CE III events  should deliver more arguments and data to study.

In the sixties the  franco-american researcher Jacques Vallée proposed a classification system for UFO sightings. Landings were labelled "Type-1" events and splitted in  sub-categories.In 1972 the late J.A.Hynek proposed a different  classification system in his first book "The UFO Experience", naming UFO  landings as "close encounters" and grouping them in three  categories. The term "close encounters" became worlwide popular when Steven  Spielberg released in 1977 the movie all of you know.

The original Hynek classification has been later revised and integrated with a couple of  new categories, as follows:

CE 0

no effect reported


temporary effects


permanent effects


entities reported


contact or abduction

Started in 1977, the ITACAT  Project has been collecting the widest documentation possible about all the CE cases taken  place in Italy between 1912 and 1998. About 650 sightings  originating from different sources have been filed, including original sketches, artworks, newsclippings and maps.

About one fourth of the total is made  by the so-called "close encounters of the third kind", very  interesting cases where what we can call "entities" have been sighted in  association with phenomena commonly referred as "UFO". A special section devoted to CE III will be ready soon.

In 1989 the
Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici  published a 260-page first edition of ITACAT, including summaries,  original sources and comments for each case. By the end of 1995 a new edition has been  presented, a first volume devoted to the period 1912-1954: it is a brand new edition,  completely revised, corrected and featuring a rich iconography.

Unfortunately, evaluation of all data coming  from the human testimony of these special events is far from being easy and simple for the very low budget UFO investigators. And in-depth data collection and consequent survey would involve resources usually unaffordable for most but all UFO associations.

More, the available information  about high-strangeness cases such as close encounters is often very weak  or unexahustive, when coming from the press or poorly-trained and poorly-skilled on-field enquirers.

Starting since  the early sixties, there have been quite a lot of attempts to collect and study close  encounters (often known as "UFO landings" too), in both an international and national perspective. You may find here a complete bibliography  of such works, most of them quite rare to find now.

In Italy, Maurizio Verga (author of ITACAT) produced several papers and catalogs  about the Italian close encounters and their study, including
trace cases: here  you may find the related bibliography.

Generic close encounters counts most among the Italian events. It is likely this is also due to the fact that generic cases are usually lower strangeness ones, where perception mistakes and - above all - classification issues (example: some cases where an odd glowing phenomenon is seen near the ground but a greater distance than 150 meters) are much more frequent. The percentages for the Italian sample:

CE 0
52.5 CE I 14.7 CE II 11.8
CE III 19.3 CE IV 1.7

Despite all of this, there are  still tens of worldwide well-investigated CE cases defying a large range  of rational and popularly-known explanations, but accepting the case for a hoax. This is a real hardcore evidence any serious ufologist may introduce to the  scientific establishment for a strict scientific anaylis. This is one but the most  important key of the whole UFO phenomenon.

A fully-searchable database including all the basic data for each case is now  on-line. Browsing more than 600 cases is neither easy or fast: the database will help your search dramatically.

Updated at 1994, a
complete listing of all Italian CE  cases is now available, featuring also sources and low-resolution images.  It is an important reference work: cases are sorted by year and then by month, just to  give you a guided tour.bbb

An early selection of ITACAT  case summaries, including sketches and artworks, is available through an  unupdated list of all entries. Just click on  the linked cases and you'll get a complete summary for that same case.

As most of Italian  cases are unknown outside Italy (while others have been published with plenty of errors),  this is an unvaluable source of information.

NEW  !
First Volume of the ITACAT Monography (1912-1954) is now on-line, including its original layout and illustrations ! Right now  still in Italian, but anyway an outstanding source of information.


Italy Map: move the mouse on any
     RegionCalabriaBasilicataPugliaVenetoFriuli Venezia GiuliaCampaniaLazioSiciliaSardegnaMarcheEmilia RomagnaLiguriaValle d'AostaTrentino Alto AdigePiemonteLombardiaAbruzzoMoliseToscanaUmbria
Cennina Case, 1954. UFO Close Encounter
UFO Landings in Italy


Italian UFO Close Encounters

Map of Italian UFO Landings

Move slowly your mouse over the regions of the Italian Map on the right!.

You'll get a short statistical sheet about the "close encounter" events recorded in that same regions.