A bizarre series of UFO related events unfolded over Italian skies in the year 1978. Throughout the year, and extending into January 1979, hundreds of UFOs sightings were reported by people across the country. Richard Hall – one of the most prominent ufologists – states that more than 500 cases are on record for that year, with at least 130 being close encounters and 25 involve humanoid entities. The sightings led to an unprecedented bout of public discussions in Italy, some even in the Parliament. Many reports of sightings came in from the officers of the army, police and navy, which prompted the New York Times to run a story on December 17, 1978, with the headline, “Italian Skies Peppered By Lighted Doughnuts — Some Say UFO's”. The report stated,

“The skies of Italy, it seems, are full of OVNIS, the Italian version of U.F.O.'s. Unidentified flying objects that give off green, red or white lights and have a doughnut-like hole in the middle have been reported and, in some cases, photographed, at dozens of places between Palermo, Sicily, and Milan, in the north…Newspapers all over the country have been getting calls for weeks — so many that Paese Sera, the Communist newspaper in Rome, said it might have to consider a daily column about the sightings…

The most alarming item was from San Benedetto del Tronto, a fishing village on the Adriatic’ near Pescara, where two fishermen in a boat were reported to have disappeared without a trace on a clear night. Fishermen in the area refused to go out at night after that, and there is talk of an “Adriatic Triangle,” reminiscent of the legendary “Bermuda Triangle,” where ships and planes are rumored to have disappeared for generations.”

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