Sunday, September 3, 2017

CHRISTIAN BERBERS            

Estimates (done by Duane Miller and other academics) show that in 2015 there were more than half a million Christian Berbers, many living in a situation of diaspora in Western Europe and the Americas while nearly 350,000 of them living in the Maghreb region of North Africa (from Morocco to Libya).

Historically, accomplished Christian Berbers include famous writers such as Martianus Capella and Apuleius, Christian saints such as Cyprian and St. Augustine, Roman popes such as Pope Victor I and even the Roman emperor Septimius Severus. They appeared in a socio-cultural period of development in Roman Africa following the introduction of Christianity. Most of these figures are historical & related to the Classical era, because the Christians in North Africa actually do not have as much of a dominant community as they used to have in Roman times: indeed there was a huge & complete diffusion of Christianity between Berbers, during the Roman rule of the actual Maghreb in Antiquity (read http://www.30giorni.it/articoli_id_3553_l3.htm ).

When lived the most famous Christian Berber in Antiquity, Saint Augustine, there were five million inhabitants (nearly all more or less Latinized Berbers, with some Roman colonists descendants) in the provinces of the Roman empire that now are called the "Maghreb", but -after the 50 years of Muslim Arab conquests- there were only one million Berbers (while nearly all the Roman colonist descendants were murdered or flew back to Italy) in 705 AD: this was one of the biggest massacres registered in History, with the bloody end of Christianity in the region. Arab historians reported that in those years only in the Damascus market were sold as slaves 300,000 Christian Berbers. Roman Carthago was reduced from 500,000 inhabitants during Trajan/Hadrian years (it was the second biggest city of the empire) to a village full of ruins with just 3,000 survivors (of course all Muslims) in 705 AD.

Saint Augustine and his mother Saint Monica

Notable Christian Berbers

Famous historian Theodore Mommsen wrote in his famous "The Provinces of the Roman empire" that, at the beginning of the century when happened the fall of the Western Roman Empire, practically all the Berbers living inside the borders of Roman Africa were Christians.

Christian Berbers were Roman writers such as Terentius, Lactantius, Martianus Capella, Marcus Cornelius Fronto, Apuleius and Tertullianus. Christian saints included Scillitan Martyrs, Cyprian, Victor Maurus, Saint Monica and Saint Augustine (and even Roman popes like Pope Victor I, Pope Miltiades, Pope Gelasius I). Roman emperors such as Septimius Severus, Macrinus and Emilianus were also famous Christian Berbers.

Christian Berber kings of exclusive Christian Berber realms known as the "Romano-Berber states" includes Masuna of Garmul or the Kingdom of Altava. They are known for making Christian "jedars" and mausoleums such as the "Tomb of the Christians" near Caesarea of Mauretania (also known as the "Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania").

History

Roman empire

The first record of Christians in Africa is a document known as the "Acts of the Martyrs scillitans" dating from 180 AD, during the Roman empire era. The Acts document is related to the martyrdom of a dozen Christian (known as Scillitan Martyrs) in a berber village of Africa Proconsularis, which is yet to be named, in front of the proconsul of Africa.

However the major figures in early Christian North Africa was Tertullian, (born of pagan parents; a Roman centurion father and possibly a Romanised Berber mother) who joined the Christian community in Carthage in 195 AD and became close to the local administrative elite, who protected him from pagan repression against his religion. After becoming a priest, he argued in his early writings that Christianity should be recognized as a legitimate religion by the Roman Empire.

"African Christianity" between Berbers grew in followers after Tertullian found a way to merge Christianity with popular Berber life through religious doctrine. This would conflict with the Roman institutions promoting pagan worship at the time. The most major cause of anger between the two sides was the refusal of Christians to serve in the Roman army. For Tertullian Christians joining the army and killing opponents, hence violating the sixth commandment, was a great dilemma. The Romans began to persecute early Christians as they were hence endangering the Roman Empire by refusing military service (this period was a time of dire need for enrolling more soldiers in the Roman legions): Tertullian provoked the authorities until they lead to killing Christians, making them martyrs. It is a known fact the African Church began with martyrdoms. Tertullian later wrote about the rapid growth of Christianity among Africans, and how it had spread across North Africa to eventually reach peoples south and southeast of the Aures mountains.

Around the year 200 AD there was a violent attack at Carthage and in provinces held by the Romans against Christians. This was the persecution in which St. Perpetua died, which we know of from the writings of Tertullian. Despite persecution, Christinaity did not cease to expand. Christian epitaphs were found at Sour el Ghozlane in 227 AD and Tipasa at 238 AD.

By the third century there was a substantial Christian population in Africa. It consisted not only of the poor but also those of the highest rank. A council held in Carthage around the year 220 AD attracted 18 bishops from Numidia. By the middle of the third century, another was held which was attended by 87 bishops. Though at this time the African Church suffered a crisis. Emperor Decius published an edict to persecute Christians further. Bishops -followed by their whole communities- were planned to be executed. Many people had already bought certificates of apostasy for money, so much that they believed they could command the church by the law, and demand their restoration to communion. So, a lot of controversy was seen at this period.

Conflict between Catholics and Donatists

When Constantine arose to power the African Church had become torn apart by heresies and controversies. Catholics and Donatists (the first Christian group in History with "protestant" attitude) conflicted for power in a violent way. In 318 AD emperor Constantine deprived Donatists of churches, most of which had been taken from Catholics. The Donatists were so numerous that this could not stop them and a Donatist council held at Carthage in 327 AD was attended by 270 bishops. Attempts by Constantius II at reconciliation only lead to armed repression. Gratus, the Primate of Carthage, declared in 349 AD that "God has restored Africa to religious unity." However, with Emperor Julian's accession in 361 AD and his permission to allow all religious exiles back to their homes, the African Church saw more troubles. Donatist bishops were centered around a seceded see in Carthage opposed to "orthodox" (meaning 'pro-pope') bishops. One act of violence followed another and bred new conflicts. Opatus, Bishop of Milevi, wrote works fighting this sect.

St. Augustine, converted at Milan, returned to his home land and defended the Pope. Soon and thanks to him, 'Paganism' was no longer a menace to the church. In 399 AD all pagan temples were closed in Carthage. From 390 to 430 AD, the Councils of Carthage discussed with Donatists, gave sermons, homilies and scriptural commentaries persisted almost without stop. Augustine had managed to train clergy and instruct the faithful that Christianity was now strong in Africa. In 412 AD the Council of Carthage condemned "Pelagianism". Donatism, and Semi-Pelagianism were done away with at a time which changed the history and destiny of the African Church. There was Conflict between Carthage and Rome on how the African Church would be run, when Apiarius of Sicca appealed his excommunication to Rome and thus challenged Carthage.

Vandal Invasion

Count Boniface summoned the Vandals to Africa in 426 AD, and by 429 AD the invasion was complete. The Vandals conquered many cities and provinces. Nine years after Augustine died in 430 AD, during the siege of Hippo, king Geiseric of the Vandals took Carthage. The Vandals were Arians. They established their Arianism and set about destroying Catholicism. Churches surviving the invasion were to be transferred to the Arians or closed to public worship. This was only stopped briefly when Emperor Zeno intervened and made an agreement with Geiseric that the Catholics be allowed to choose a bishop. This was in 476 AD. Hunneric, the new king following the death of Geiseric, passed in 484 AD an edict which made matters much worse. The Christians of Africa did not display much resistance to this persecution, even in this terror, as writer Victor of Vita has told us.

Later in the Vandal rule in Africa, St. Fulgentius, Bishop of Ruspe, managed to influence the princes of the Vandal dynasty, who had become more Roman and Byzantine in culture. The Vandal monarchy, which had lasted for nearly a century, was also dwindling in power. The Vandals permitted the creation of some Romano-Berber states at their borders; but were later conquered by the Byzantine Empire, which established an African prefecture, later the Exarchate of Carthage. At this point some paganism was still worshipped in the Atlas mountains despite the strong Christian influence in Africa.
However Pope Gelasius I was able to convert all the pagans of the Aures who became the most loyal Christians (who ended up defending Romanised north-western Africa to the death with their queen Kahina during the Muslim invasion centuries later).

Romano-Berber States

The "Neo-Latin" states in North Africa are called so as they were post-Roman. They were no longer under Roman Empire authority, while Byzantine rule in Africa was collapsing. Their culture was a special form of Latin mixed with the local Berber language and the Christian religion.

The Christians living there initially followed a Christian sect previously mentioned known as Donatism. By the 6th century they only existed within communities of Berber Christians. The Christian kings of the Romano-Berber states left Djeddars. The Byzantines had never managed to conquer land far from Carthage, leaving these states alone for much of their development. The African Church was in decline. The Byzantine invasions had not given it any more of a base it had during the Vandal rule. The church was ridden with those who had failed their duties and those involved in fruitless and petty theological debates. Pope Gregory the Great attempted to send priests to Africa to help deal with this issue. The priest Hilarus became a papal legate and had authority over African Bishops, he reminded them of their duty and instructed them. He had managed to help restore peace, unity and discipline among the African Church. Justinian also helped strengthen the Romano-Berber's Christian elements by establishing Christian centers such as the one in Septem.

Neolatin-Christian Berber Kingdoms
Arab Invasion

This new revival of Christianity did not last long. The Arabs, who had conquered Egypt, were on their way to Berber Africa. In 647 AD the Caliph Othman ordered and attack on North Africa, and gained a victory at Sbeilta against Byzantine and Christian Berber armies. He only withdrew when payed a large ransom. The African church remained loyal to Pope Martin around the time frame of 649 to 655 in his conflicts with the Byzantine Emperor. The last few decades of the 7th century saw the fragments of Byzantine Africa fall into Arab hands.

Indeed at the time of the death of the Arab "Prophet" Mohammed in 632 AD, his Muslims ruled only in Arabia. But within ten years the Arab Muslims had achieved one of the most spectacular conquests in history. They conquered Palestine (635-636), Syria (638-640), and Egypt (639-642) from the Byzantines and first Iraq (635-637) and then Persia itself (637-642) from the Persians. Wherever they went, most of the people were forced to become Muslims and Arabic-speakers. The converted people forgot their language and identity and started considering themselves to be Arabs. This happened with Palestine (today’s Israel), Syria, Levant (today’s Jordan), Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and also partly with Sudan, and Somalia. This trend was reversed only in Persia, where the people, in spite of the brutal Arab conquest, re-asserted their pre-Islamic Persian language after three hundred years of Arab rule. But everywhere else the Arab conquest, Arabized the Middle East and North Africa permanently.

A few Berber tribes converted to Islam without much resistance, but most of the Berbers opposed strong resistance under the queen Kahina who was able to force the Arabs to withdraw to Egypt & Cyrenaica. She ruled a Christian Africa for five years; but the Arabs returned with a stronger and powerful army: Carthage fell initially in 695 AD. It was soon reconquered by the Christians and again lost but this time forever. In 698-702 AD all the major capitals in the Berber states were taken definitively by the Arabs: Christian Carthago was completely destroyed, half the inhabitants were killed (only a few hundreds could escape by boats toward Byzantine Sicily) and the rest enslaved, erasing forever the main center of Greco-Roman influence in the Maghreb.

Musa bin Nusair, a successful Yemeni general in the campaign, was made governor of "Ifriqiya" and given the responsibility of putting down a renewed Berber rebellion and forcefully converting the population to Islam. Musa and his two sons prevailed over the rebels, slaughtered nearly all the Christian Berber civilians of his Ifriqiya and enslaved 300,000 captives (in those years the total population of the Maghreb was around one million, and this gives an idea of the massacre and why Christianity disappeared). The caliph's portion was 60,000 of the captives. He sold into slavery these Christian Berbers (mainly in Damascus, after a deadly deportation trough the desert from southern Tunisia to Egypt): the proceeds from their sale went into the Arab public treasury.

North Africa was eventually totally conquered until the Atlantic ocean in 709 AD by the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate; by this time Christianity in Africa was to be ended for several centuries. The church was fragmented and still suffering from the aftermath of fragmentation and the so-called Donatist heretics. But a few pockets of Christian rule existed for several centuries.

After the Arab Conquest

A few Christians in North Africa still existed even in the 9th century. Though they were no longer numerous, they were mainly found in major towns. Paradoxically the Christians who survived were those who had been the weakest worshipers, those in Morocco, mainly because the Muslim invaders left them alone and they were unfazed by the Vandal and Byzantine invasions.

The main communities of Christians were centered around Volubilis, their influence never stretched much past Tangier and Ceuta. However, from the 7th century onwards they were administered by a council of Christians with Latin names. They were open to Christians fleeing Arab invasion. An 8th-century manuscript mentions a Christian overseer at Tangier, and by 833 the church in Ceuta still had an Overseer. In 986, geographer el-Bekri found a Christian community with a metting hall at Tlemcen in Algeria. Brief Latin inscriptions still existed at the end of the 10th century in En-Ngila, Libya, and even as late as the mid-eleventh century in Kairouan.

Even by the 11th century letters were still being written to Christian leaders in North Africa; these letters were in Latin, showing evidence for the survival of that language among Romano-Berbers. The Overseer in Gummi (Mahdiya), Tunisia, mentioned a good-sized Christian community existing in around 1053 at Ourgla. The traces of Christianity had become so sparse, though. By the mid-eleventh century, there were no more than 5 Overseers in the whole of North Africa, 20 years later there were only 2. An Overseer was chosen at Hippo in 1074 but was sent to Rome by the Muslim governor. Three needed Overseers could not be found in Africa. By 1114 there was one Overseer in Bejaia, Algeria.

Christian communities still existed even up until the 12th century. There is evidence of religious pilgrimages after 850 AD until the eleventh century to the tombs of Christian saints outside Carthage. There was also evidence of contact with Christians in Muslim Spain. The Christian Berbers of Tunis had contact with Rome, as they were able to implement new calendar reforms not possible without said contact.

Norman Rule & last communities of Christian Berbers

The Christian reconquest of Africa began under the norman Roger II (king of Sicily) in 1146–48. His sicilian rule consisted of military garrisons in the major towns, exactions on the local Muslim population, protection of local (mostly berber) Christians and the minting of coin. The local aristocracy was largely left in place, and Muslim princes controlled the civil government under Sicilian oversight. Economic connections between Sicily and Africa, which were strong before the conquest, were strengthened, while ties between Africa and northern Italy were expanded.

So, in 1135–1160 a Norman kingdom of Africa existed in coastal Tunisia and the Christians there were protected. The Christian community, until then mostly servile and enslaved, benefited from Roger II's rule and even grew when some Italian Christians moved there. A new church was built in Mahdia, the first in the Maghreb since the Arab conquest. It is supposed that the episcopal 'See of Africa' was established by the catholic church when the city of Mahdia was held by the Kingdom of Sicily and when Pope Eugene III consecrated a bishop for it in 1148: the Christian bishop Cosmas of Mahdia went to Rome in 1145 and was officially confirmed by Pope Eugene III. He also visited his new sovereign in Palermo. Cosmas returned to Africa "a free man". But in 1156–1160 the Almohads reconquered the region.

The small Christian Berber community was attacked and practically disappeared. However, some small communities still existed in southern Tunisia and western Tripolitania until the beginning of the "Duecento" (XIII century). Only the small island of Tabarka in northern Tunisia remained in Christian hands until the beginning of the Renaissance, as it was the property of the Republic of Pisa.

Norman Kingdom of Africa (1135-1160)
In the second half of the fifteenth century, the Roman humanist Paolo Pompilio noted the territory of Gafsa was populated by a land of small villages in which the inhabitants spoke a "Latinity". Berber Christians continued to live there until the 15th century, while they didn't recognize the new Catholicism of the Renaissance Roman Papacy. This would perhaps deny them support from other Christian powers.

In the first quarter of the fifteenth century, the native Christians of Tunis, even though they were heavily assimilated into Islam in various aspects, extended their church, as the last Christians from all over the Maghreb were gathered there. This is the last reference to native Christianity in North-West Africa; Tunis and Capsa seemed to be the last Christian citadels for over fourteen hundred years of continuous Christianity.

Indeed several families of the old African Church were found in Tunis when Charles V landed there in 1535. Leo the African thus describes the state of affairs in that city about this time: " In the suburb near the gate of El Mauera is a particular street, which is like another little suburb, in which dwell the ' Christians of Tunis.' They are employed as the guard of the Sultan and on some other special duties. In the suburb near the sea-gate, Bab-el-Baar (on the side of the Goulette), live the foreign Christian merchants, such as the Venetians, the Genoese, and the Catalans. There are all their shops and their own houses, separated from those of the Moors."

A most careful distinction was evidently drawn between the 'Christians of Tunis ' and the merchants from Europe. The former have their special quarters, as in eastern cities all nationalities do, but they are allowed to live near the Moors; on the other hand the merchants are necessary to the trade of the city and must therefore be tolerated; but they are kept as near the edge of the town and as far from their Mohammedan neighbours as possible. The ' Christians of Tunis ' were neither settlers from Europe nor renegades, but for the most part at any rate were the direct descendants of the great autochthonous African Church. They performed special and honourable duties, and were allowed to exercise their religion unmolested in a chapel of their own.

However their end soon came. In 1583 the Turks, long masters of Algiers, took Tunis and dethroned Mohammed, the last of the Aben-Hafis. The new conquerors were fanatical haters of Christianity, and all who refused to embrace Mohammedanism were in deadly peril from them. Their violence was chiefly directed against the native Christians, and while the foreigners were too useful or too well protected to be persecuted to death, the poor remnant of the African Church was forced to apostatize or die.

Consequently, native Berber Christianity was assimilated by force into Islam (read https://archive.org/stream/extinctionofchr00holm/extinctionofchr00holm_djvu.txt) and it died out all over the Maghreb under the Ottomans at the end of the XVI century, with the small exception of the surroundings of Ceuta (then called "Septem").

Furthermore, the Berber Christians of Roman Mauretania's Septem seem to have been assimilated into the Christianity of nearby Spain. Septem (actual Spain's Ceuta) was another pocket of Christianity left over from the Roman period. The episode of the martyrdom of Saint Daniele Fasanella and his Franciscans in 1227 AD, showed that Christians were still present in "Septa" (as it was known in Arabic); this Christian community remained on the outskirts of the city until the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century. Since then, the city -renamed Ceuta- has remained in Christian hands (Portuguese and Spanish), and now has a majority of the population speaking Spanish. The Berber Christians of Mauretania's Septem seem to have adopted Christianity with nearby Spain, and are considered the only survivors of the early Christian faith once native to Roman Africa, according to historian Robin Daniel (read http://www.tarifit.info/pdfbooks/thisholyseed.pdf ). This "miraculous" survival is due to the fact that Septem (actual Spanish Ceuta) was never conquered by the Turks, who fanatically exterminated the autochthonous Berber Christians when occupied the Maghreb in the late 1400s - early 1500s.

Reintroduction of Christianity

Christianity was finally made a mainstream religion when the Roman Catholic Church was reintroduced by the French following their conquest. The Diocese of Algiers was established in 1838. In 1685 some Protestants were already in Tunis, while the Vicariate apostolic of Tunis was reestablished in 1843.

Around 1930 there was again a huge community of Christian Berbers, but after decolonization they suffered persecutions and now the Maghreb has only around 1% of its population as Christians in the 2010s (also because of the return to France of the French "Pied-Noirs" after the 1962 Algeria independence).

However Christian Berber minorities are actually making up to 5% of the population at most areas of 'Kabylie' in Algeria, where they are successfully growing: according to Duane Miller in 2025 there could be half a million Christians in Algeria (and nearly another 100,000 in the other countries of the "Berber Maghreb", from Mauretania to Libya).

Well known Christian Berbers in our times include Malika Oufkir, a Moroccan writer, daughter of General Mohamed Oufkir and "Brother Rachid" Hammami, a famous television personality in Morocco.

Actual situation

Actually, even after the Arab domination of the Maghreb since the eight century (interrupted only by the century of French colonialism), estimates show that there are more than half a million Christian Berbers, many living in a situation of diaspora in Western Europe and the Americas while nearly 350,000 living in the "Berber Maghreb" region of North Africa (from Mauretania & Morocco to Libya & western Egypt).

In 2009, the ONU counted in Algeria 45,000 Roman Catholics and 50,000 to 100,000 Protestants, mostly Berbers. Conversions to Christianity have been most common in Berber-populated Kabylie, especially in the wilaya of Tizi-Ouzou. In that wilaya, the proportion of Christians has been estimated to be more than 5%. Furthermore, some researchers estimate that in 2015 there were 380,000 Christians who are converted Muslims in Algeria (most of them Berbers: read https://www.academia.edu/16338087/Believers_in_Christ_from_a_Muslim_Background_A_Global_Census )

In Morocco the expatriate Christian community (Roman Catholic and Protestant) consists of 5,000 practicing members, although estimates of Christians residing in the country at any particular time range up to 25,000. Most Christians reside in the Casablanca, Tangier and Rabat urban areas. The majority of Christians in Morocco are foreigners, although 'Voice of the Martyrs' reports there is a growing number of native Moroccans (45,000) converting to Christianity, especially in the rural areas. Many of the converts are baptized secretly in Morocco’s churches inside the Berber communities.

The Christian community in Tunisia, composed of indigenous residents (mostly Tunisians of Italian and French colonial descent) and a large group of native-born citizens of Berber (and also Arab) descent, numbers more than 30,000 and is dispersed throughout the country. However one third of them lives in the capital metropolitan area.

In Libya there it is a small community of catholic Berbers in Tripolitania: it is numbering around two thousand persons, converted since Italian colonial times. It is concentrated in the Nafusah mountains (where autochthonous Berber Christianity survived until the 1300s; read https://books.google.com/books?id=pIkmvKB8OlsC&pg=PP1&dq=christians+of+Gef%C3%A0ra&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q=christians%20of%20Gef%C3%A0ra&f=false) and in the capital Tripoli's metropolitan area.

Monday, August 7, 2017

ETHNIC CLEANSING SIMILARITIES IN ISTRIA/DALMATIA (1945) & BOSNIA (1991)

The following are excerpts from an article in an english newspaper written in 1999, that explains how the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Croatia of the 1990s was very similar to the one initially done with the Italians in Istria and Dalmatia in 1945:

Italy foots the bill for Tito's ethnic cleansing, by Chris Endean in Trieste

The Italian government has intervened to help thousands of exiles to win back homes they lost when the Yugoslav dictator Marshal Tito annexed the Istrian peninsula.

In a forerunner of the horrors that have swept the Balkans since the collapse of the Yugoslav federation, more than 350,000 Italians were forced to abandon their homes between 1947 and 1954 to flee Tito's ethnic cleansing, in which more than 20,000 people were systematically executed. Almost 50 years later, Italy has offered to grant millions of pounds in compensation to give the Federation of Istrian Exiles the chance to buy back their property. "This is a tremendous window of opportunity to solve an historic problem," said Senator Lucio Todt, the president of the Federation of Istrian Exiles.

In return for Italy lifting its veto on Slovene membership of the European Union, Ljubljana has agreed to offer Italian exiles first right of refusal when a house comes on to the market. While hundreds of former Italian houses remain abandoned in dilapidated Istrian villages, many are now "owned" by second and third generation Slavs.

In such cases, the exiles have agreed to drop claims for their old property on condition they are given the chance to buy another house in Slovenia. "This decision represents a great sacrifice for us but demonstrates our willingness to reach a final solution to the Istrian Question," said Renzo De' Vidovich, a former president of the Istrian exiles federation.

More than 25,000 exiles, living mainly in Trieste but also in Canada and Australia, have applied for the cash. After troops in 1954 took over the village of Momiano, just over the Slovene frontier, murdering the local Italian count and ransacking his house, the number of inhabitants dwindled to just over 100. But exiles have never abandoned hope of claiming back buildings they once called home; the door of each house is still tightly closed with a rusting padlock and chain. "I would buy back my house immediately. It would cost nothing to restore as a weekend retreat," said Luciano Parovel of Trieste, whose old house lies in ruins, weeds growing out of the roof and trees taking root in the kitchen.

Mussolini annexed Istria, Dalmatia and Fiume during the Second World War but they reverted to communist Yugoslavia after 1945. Yet, when 350,000 exiles fled Tito's "ethnic cleansing", the Italian government failed to intervene. At least 20,000 ethnic Italians were pulled out of their beds in the middle of the night, tied together and hurled to their deaths into deep crevasses in the Istrian limestone, known as foibes.

"Everyone talks about Bosnia and Kosovo as if ethnic cleansing was invented in the Nineties. But we were the first victims," said Mr De' Vidovich. Anita Derin, 65, was born into one of Capodistria's wealthiest families with a house in the town and a summer villa in the rolling hills overlooking the Adriatic. At the age of 12, communists expropriated her house. "I remember a partisan walking straight in and telling us that he wanted to choose a room," she recalled. "He went into my bedroom and said 'the bed's for me and the couch for my dog'." Within days of watching her pony slaughtered to help to feed Yugoslav soldiers, Anita and her family fled Trieste, and her parents both soon died of heart attacks.

Most Italians know little of the atrocities suffered by the Istrian exiles because for half a century the national curriculum has whitewashed the subject. The croatian authorithies have created a huge organization that aims to erase evidences of italian presence in Istria and Dalmatia, through propaganda on books and news articles mainly in english.

Now finally the negotiations between the exiles' federation and the government have agreed on taking the foibes into the classroom. Indeed the Croatian authorities in Istria and Dalmatia have created a huge propaganda organization that aims to erase evidences of italian presence in the croatian coast from Pola (now called Pula) to Ragusa (actual Dubrovnik). All maps, for example, in english books are promoted by this organization (with direct contact of the publishers) to show only names and borders from the croatian point of view. Other actions of this organization are done through the internet with forums, where groups of croatian writers influence the other forumers to believe that Dalmatia was always croatian in History.

The exiles however maintained their own groups advocating for their lost properties. On compensation, the italian treasury has admitted that in 1954 the Italian state used Yugoslav cash intended for the exiles to pay its own war debts."Italy owes compensation to the exiles," a report said. Sen Todt has described the Treasury's offer of 24 billion lire (£8 million) over three years as "laughable". The exiles say the government had originally promised 5,000 billion lire (£1.6 billion).

Even foreign ministry sources admit that the offer is "simply not good enough". But the government remains committed to finding a solution. "We badly want Slovenia to enter the European Union," said Andrea Romano, the diplomatic counsellor to the government on Istria, "so we cannot drag this problem into the future. Remember Europe solved the Alsace-Lorraine question between Germany and France. We want Europe to do the same for Istria."


Additionally we need to pinpoint that -according to Edwin Veggian- after the ethnic cleansing of the autochtonous Italian population in Dalmatia, Quarnero region and Istria, Croatian nationalist historians are "cleaning" (meaning: falsifying) also the Istria/Dalmatia History (as is happening actually with Bosnia's History). They are publishing books in English language and using Internet sites to spread a false History of the above mentioned regions.

So, all Italian patrician families that governed for more than a thousand of years the "Repubblica di Ragusa" (actual Dubrovnik) are being given "a corresponding Croatian name". For example: the bishop of Capodistria (1500's) Pier Paolo Vergerio is being presented as "Petar Pavao Vergerije" without telling readers that he was not a Slav; Natale Bonifacio, a cartographer, and Martino Rota, a portraitist, both born in Sebenico (Sibenik) are called respectively Bozo Bonifacic and Martin Rota Kolunic.

But what is most shocking is the Croatian tentative to present Marco Polo as a "Croat".

Indeed on 22 April, 2011, most of the media outlets in Croatia began reporting the response of the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera" to the news that the former Croatian president, Stjepan Mesić, had publicly proclaimed the Dalmatian (and therefore Croatian) origin of the “world’s first tourist” during the opening ceremonies of the Marco Polo Museum in Yangzou, China. Journalist Stella entitled his article, ‘Ecco Marko Polo, esploratore croato’ (Here is Marko Polo, the Croatian explorer) and appended the following subheading: ‘Se Zagabria ci scippa l’eroe del Milione. L’ex presidente Mesic va in Cina e celebra “il viaggiatore di Curzola” che ha avvicinato i due mondi’ (‘Is Zagreb kidnapping the hero of Il Millione’ (Travels of Marco Polo) Ex president Mesic had travelled to China and praised “the traveller from Curzola” (Italian name for Korčula Island) who had connected two worlds). Most of the media simply informed the public of the condemning tone of the Italian article and did not enter the debate.

Croatian journalist Bešker commented that the Croatian claims to Marco Polo’s origin were nonsense and lacked historical validation, introducing a tone of mockery. And Scotti, a journalist for "La Voce del Popolo" -the daily newspaper of the Italians in Istria and Fiume (actual Rijeka)- in an article entitled "E dopo le amebe vennero i Croati (And after the amoebae the Croats came)" classified the Croatian claims to Marco Polo’s origin as a “theft of heritage” and even lambasted it as “the usual Croatian practice of stealing the Italian heritage”.

These Croatian historians are shamelessly "cheating" (and they don't care about History's truth)

The ridiculous level in this falsification process was reached in 2007 when the Italian government issued a simple post-stamp showing "Fiume" (actual Croatian Rijeka) with the writing "Fiume-Terra orientale gia' italiana" ("Fiume - eastern territory that was Italian"): the Croatian authorities created a diplomatic mess and ridiculously demanded the elimination of this stamp, because they did not want to admit that this city was an italian town that has been part of Italy.

But this is a complete falsification of History, because Fiume was officially a city of the Kingdom of Italy from 1924 to 1943, as has been recognized by the same Yugoslavian authorities in Treaties.

So, the stamp was remembering a truth....but the Croatian government of Mesic (the same who did the falsification about Marco Polo) could not accept it: they cheat and cheat and cheat without any shame!

Anyway, the following is a comical image of how ridiculous is this "croatization" process, promoted by the Tito-supporters and other fanatical croats like Mesic:



The discovery of Amerika by the Croats

(An image showing "Kolumbuc" -a croatized Columbus with a red star hat- discovering Amerika with the caravel "Sv. Marija" (his sailing ship under Croatian flag and decorated with a huge image of Josiph Tito) and saying in Croatian language: "We Croats made Amerika; Amerika made us. Long life Tito")

If interested on further information, go "http://www.leganazionale.it/index.php/esodo-istria-dalmazia/77-pagine-dellesodo?start=60".

Read there the article of the "Lega Nazionale" written some years ago by Fausto Biloslavo about the famous italo-american chef Lidia Bastianich Matticchio, who was born in Istria.

Her family is Italian, but with some croatian roots.

Monday, June 12, 2017

BORDERS OF ITALY (WITH DETAILED MAPS)

THE CHANGING BORDERS OF ITALY

The borders of Italy were created for the first time by Roman emperor Augustus, when he established the roman province of ''Italia''.

The unification of this "Italia Romana" started when Cisalpine Gaul, which had received Roman citizenship in stages, was incorporated into Italy in 42 BC: since then the Alps are the northern border of Italy.

For administrative purposes the emperor Augustus divided Italy into 11 regions (that are similar to the actual "Regioni d'Italia"):

(1) Latium and Campania, including the Volsci, Hernici, Aurunci, and Picentini, from the mouth of the Tiber to that of the Silarus (Sele) River, (2) Apulia and Calabria, including the Hirpini (the “heel” of Italy), (3) Lucania and Bruttium, bounded on the west coast by the Silarus, on the east by the Bradanus (Bradano) River (the “toe” of Italy), (4) Samnium, including the Samnites, Frentani, Marrucini, Marsi, Paeligni, Aequiculi, Vestini, and Sabini, bounded on the south by the Tifernus (Biferno), on the north probably by the Matrinus (Piomba) River, (5) Picenum, between the Aesis (Esino) and Matrinus rivers, (6) Umbria, including the ager Gallicus, bounded by the upper Tiber, Crustumius (Conca), and Aesis rivers, (7) Etruria, bounded by the Macra (Magra) and Tiber rivers, (8) Gallia Cispadana, limited by the Po River, from Placentia (Piacenza) to its mouth, and by the Crustumius, which was substituted for the Rubicon, (9) Liguria, bounded by the Varus (Var), Po, and Macra, (10) Venetia and Istria, including the Cenomani around Lake Garda in the west, and (11) Gallia Transpadana, bounded by the Alps, the Po River, and the Addua (Adda) River.

Under Augustus, the peoples of today's Aosta Valley and of the western and northern Alps were united to "Italia romana" (so the western border of Roman Italy was moved to the river Varus near Nizza), while the Italian eastern border was brought to the river Arsia in Istria near Fiume.

The city of Emona (modern Lubiana in Slovenia) was the easternmost town of roman Italy, while Bolzano was the northernmost.

This arrangement was retained almost unchanged until the emperor Diocletian’s reorganization in 293 AD, when the "Diocese of Italy" included the islands of Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia. Successively, in the early fourth century, Italy came to include not only the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicilia, but also areas of Raetia (Switzerland & Austria) to the north until the Danube river. But this enlargement was only administrative (in the so called "Italia Annonaria") , because the Alps always remained politically the northern limit of roman Italy (see http://notitiadignitatum.org/613-map.htm).

The following are maps from the famous "Atlante Storico Vallardi", showing the changing borders of Italy since Roman times (the red line shows the northern "hydrographical" border in the Alps):


After the Longobard invasion in the eight century, Italy started to be divided until the Risorgimento in 1861, as can be seen in the above maps.

Italian irredentism and the borders of Italy

Under Augustus Italy had a population of nearly 5 million inhabitants with Rome as the first and only city in the world to have one million citizens. But when Longobards settled in Italy after the massacres of the war between Gots and Byzantines, in what remained of "Italia romana" there were less than one million people and Rome was reduced to a small village of 5000 inhabitants only full of glorious ruins.

As a consequence in the depopulated former "Italia romana" started a process of arrival of other people mainly to the borders of Italy and successively -initially after the year 1000 AD but mostly after the Renaissance- a process of conquest/assimilation of border areas of Italy by other countries. The reaction to these processes originated the "Italian irredentism".

So, as can be seen in the map to the left, in the "Settecento" (XVIII century) and before the arrival in 1798 of Napoleon and his ideals of "nationality" based on common language and ethnicity, Italy was mainly in the hands of Spanish rulers (southern Italy) and Austrian rulers (Duchy of Milan, Tuscany, County of Tyrol, etc..) while only the Republic of Venice and the Papal States were fully independent. Tuscany -for example- was nominally a state of the German/Austrian "Holy Roman Empire" until the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. Additionally, the dominions of Venice were stretched along the Adriatic sea reaching the Dalmatian shores and the Ionian islands; Malta was nominally under the Kingdom of Sicily, but was ruled by the French controlled "Knights of Malta Hospitallers"; and the Kingdom of Sardinia was linked to France, but only in a limited way.

But in Corsica since 1768 started a process of conquest/assimilation of Italian territories by France. Napoleon in his First French empire united most of central and northwestern Italy to France (from Piedmont to Tuscany and Rome). Of course we must remember that Napoleon (born in an Italian family of Corsica) created the first "Kingdom of Italy" since the Middle Ages (that in 1808 included not only all former "Venetian Dalmatia" and the gulf of "Cattaro" in actual coastal Montenegro, but also the historical "Repubblica di Ragusa")

However the biggest process of (often forced) assimilation happened in the alpine northern region of Alto Adige. Here it is a map of the ethnicity in the Alto Adige in 1900:
It is noteworthy to pinpoint that, in the following enlarged version of the same map, it is possible to see that there were areas of Alto adige with a majority of Italians/Ladins (in red) that now have disappeared, like around Salorno, Merano and near Switzerland

(read: Archivio Alto Adige; Italiani a Merano e dintorni nell'Ottocento
)
In order to understand the assimilation intensity of the "Germanisation" in Alto Adige I am adding the following map where it is possible to see a violet line just south of Bressanone (actual Brixen), that indicates the northern border of the original area populated mainly by neolatin people in Alto Adige around the year 1100 AD:
Additionally, I have explained in detail the ethnic problems -related to the Alpine penetration of Germans, French & Slavs populations inside the northern borders of Italy- in my former issue of August 2016 (http://researchomnia.blogspot.com/2016/08/etnography-of-northern-italy-regions-of.html ).

It is noteworthy that the "Slavisation" of Venezia Giulia (and Dalmatia) was different from the one that happened in Alto Adige. The main reason was that during the barbarian invasions the area remained in Byzantine control (mainly Dalmatia & Istria): the presence of the Eastern Roman empire was fundamental in the survival of the neolatin populations in the eastern borders of northern Italy.

So, some autochthonous inhabitants continued to live there, and did not happen the nearly full depopulation that there was in Alto Adige (and further north, in what is actual Austria).



However -inside the natural borders of Italy defined by the "hydrographical" division in the Alps- there was some penetration of Slavs in "Venezia Giulia", but it was stopped -according to the famous "Placito del Risano"- in 804 AD.

However the areas around Postumia & Idria were "assimilated" by Slovene populations, mainly during the Renaissance centuries, even if small communities of Ladins still lived there until Napoleon times.

After WW1 Italy's borders included the Venezia Giulia mountains and Fascism favored the immigration of Italians in the area of upper Isonzo & Postumia/Idria, creating (or better: recreating) a minority of Italians in an area that has been mostly Slovenian populated for the last centuries.

Only the area of monte Nevoso just north of Fiume (see map on the left) was practically without Italians in 1940.

The area of venetian Dalmatia (with the "Repubblica di Ragusa") was initially included in the Kingdom of Italy by Napoleon, but only after WW1 inside the borders of Italy were united the northern Dalmatian islands of Cherso & Lussino with the small enclave of Zara & the southern Dalmatian island of Lagosta (and also the little Albanian isle of Saseno).

Most of Dalmatia (with a small community of "surviving" Dalmatian Italians) remained not Italian, until WW2 - when the "Governorato di Dalmazia" was created for a few years.

Another "assimilation" happened in the French border of the Alps, when the Nizzardo region (seen in the map to the left in light brown) was given to France in 1860 and after ten years, in 1870, happened the "Vespri Nizzardi" with the expulsion of more than 10000 autochthonous Italian speaking inhabitants of Nizza.

In this map can be seen in territorial detail the process of "deitalianisation" of the Nizzardo region, that was always part of northern Italy in the Savoia Piedmont-kingdom since the Middle Ages: in red is the area annexed during Napoleon times, in light brown the area united to France with a "very discussed" referendum in 1861, and finally in yellow the mountain area around Tenda that was part of Italy until WW2 and was lost to France in the peace Treaty of 1947

Indeed, immediately after 1861, the French government closed all the Italian language newspapers (and the few Italian schools) in order to promote a complete "Frenchification" of the Nizzardo, while more than 11,000 Nizzardi Italians were forced to move to the Kingdom of Italy. The dimension of this exodus can be deducted by the fact that in the Savoy census of 1858, Nice had only 44,000 inhabitants.

In 1881, The New York Times wrote, "Before the French annexation, the Niçois were quite as much Italian as the Genoese and their dialect was if anything, nearer the Tuscan, than is the harsh dialect of Genoa".

With WW1 all the borders of Italy wanted by the Italian irredentism were nearly fully achieved (as can be seen in the above map) and in 1920 only the islands of Malta and Corsica with the area of Nizza and Ticino were not united to the Kingdom of Italy. Also the northern islands of Dalmatia -Cherso & Lussino- were "redented" (meaning "returned to Italy"), together with the small enclave of Zara.

Italian irredentism had the characteristic of being originally moderate, requesting only the return to Italy of the areas with Italian majority of population, but after World War I it became aggressive - under fascist influence - and claimed to the Kingdom of Italy even areas where Italians were minority or had been present only in the past. In the first case there were the Risorgimento claims on Trento, for example, while in the second there were the fascist claims on Corfu, Savoy and Malta.

To the left there it is a map of the regions claimed as "irredente" in the 1930s. In green: Nice, Ticino and Dalmatia; in red: Malta; in violet: Corsica (in the late 1930s Mussolini added also Savoia and Corfu, not shown in the map)

In 1922 Mussolini started a new era in Italian politics: he created in 1936 the "Impero italiano" and also promoted a new Italian irredentism. This fascist irredentism was promoting also the union to Italy of territories that were (or had been) only historically populated by Italian people and that were outside of the natural borders of Italy (as established since the "Italian Romana" of Augustus).

Mussolini (as can be seen in the map to the left) was able to enlarge in 1941 the borders of the Kingdom of Italy with the union of territories in Dalmatia and around the ancient-roman "Emona" (now called Lubiana).

He also -after the initial Italian military occupation during WW2- proposed the creation of the provinces of Corsica, Nizza and Ragusa di Dalmazia (and the provinces of Malta and Ticino, if conquered).

Additionally it is noteworthy to remember that Mussolini in 1939 created in Italian Libya the provinces of Tripoli, Misurata, Bengazi and Derna as part of the metropolitan territories of the Kingdom of Italy. In April of the same year he also occupied & united Albania to Italy under the crown of the King of Italy, creating some local Italo-albanian provinces (read: http://researchomnia.blogspot.com/2016/11/albanias-unification-to-italy-in-1939.html).

All these provinces were planned to be united with the possible Italian future provinces in Corfu & Ionian islands and in Rodi & Dodecanese islands, after his "dreamed" victory in the war.

Indeed Mussolini wished to create the "Grande Italia" (Great Italy) from the Alps to the Libyan Sahara and to the Dodecanese islands), as shown in the left map with an orange line.

Furthermore the historian Gilberto Oneto wrote that Mussolini wanted to unite Minorca -the easternmost of the Balearic islands- to this 'Grande Italia plan' and in early 1939 he made a request to Spanish dictator Franco about an Italian air base in Minorca (as compensation for the Italian help in the Spanish civil war), but he received a denial.

However the defeat of Italy reduced in 1947 the Italian borders at the Peace Conference in Paris, with the loss of territories to Yugoslavia & France.

This loss is precisely shown in the next map related to the relatively huge "perdite territoriali italiane" (Italy's territorial losses) in the western Alps & in Venezia Giulia/Istria/Dalmatia:



In the change of Istria borders were discussed at the 1947 Peace conference many options, as can be seen in the following map, but the decision to use the "French line" cut out of Italy many Istrian Italians.
They were forced to do the sad "esodo istriano" (Istrian exodus): nearly 350000 Italians left in a few years the border areas assigned to communist Jugoslava, while depopulating areas of western Istria where the Istrian Italians always were more than 90 % of the population since Roman times.

The last change in the borders of Italy happened during the Trieste return to Italy in 1954. Furthermore the "Territorio Libero di Trieste" (or TLT, created just after WW2) was officially dismembered with the "Osimo Treaty" in 1975.

This highly criticized treaty gave to Italy the part "A" of the TLT with the city of Trieste (while the part "B" -with minor modifications- went to Jugoslavia, following the agreement of the "London Memorandum" of 1954). The following map shows in detail the TLT:

Actually the borders of Italy are similar -but not identical- to those of the "Italia" in Roman times (shown in the first map of this article): in the northern Alps the addition of Alto Adige balances the loss of Ticino, but still there it is no Corsica, Nizzardo, Istria and Malta.

However it is remarkably the fact that after two thousand years all the borders -and regions- of Italy actually seems to be nearly the same (as can be seen in the following map)


Finally we must pinpoint that Italy is no more only a geographical entity (as said Metternich in the 1800s), but also an historical & political reality.

Last but not least, it is noteworthy that Italy is one of the few countries in the world with precise identity, because has:
1) clearly defined borders (all Italy is between the Alps and the Italian peninsula+islands)
2) ethnically homogeneus population (the typical Italian is white with dark-brown hair)
3) same religion (nearly all are catholics)
4) historical capital (Rome, with common Roman civilization & laws)
5) same autochthonous customs & traditions, from Italian cuisine to passion for art and for sports like "calcio" (soccer)
6) same language (the Italian language: read http://researchomnia.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-growing-use-of-italian-language-in.html )

Monday, May 8, 2017

GENETIC HISTORY OF ETHNIC ITALIANS

In the recent decades there has been a huge increase in the study of human genetics. Practically it has substituted the banned (after WW2) studies on human races. Now we don't divide world populations because of their eyes and/or hair color, but because of their so called genetic "haplogroup".

That's why an old map of blondism in Italy (see map) is not considered very important in the study of the Italian people, but recent studies on the genetic history of the Italians are attracting the academic attention of many scholars.

Blondism percentages in Italy, from the most (yellow) in the Alps to the less (black) in Sardinia


Indeed, now we have a lot of related studies that go from pinpointing the possible origin of Azhkenazi Jews from Italian women who married Jews during the Roman empire (read Ashkenazi jewish women descended mostly from Italian converts
) to the genetic history of the Italians. So, here it is an interesting research done by M. Hay in 2012:

HISTORY OF THE PEOPLES AND TRIBES WHO MADE ITALY

Paleolithic to Neolithic

Europe has been inhabited by modern humans for over 40,000 years. Three thirds of this time corresponds to the Ice Age, a period when humans lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers in small tribes. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which lasted approximately from 26,500 to 19,000 years ago, most of northern and central Europe was covered by ice sheets and was virtually uninhabitable for humans. Italy was one of the European temperate places that were possible to be used to survive as refugium for "Cro-Magnons".

It is thought that Cro-Magnons belonged chiefly to Y-DNA haplogroups F and I. There are few surviving paternal lineages of Cro-Magnons in modern Italy. Pockets of haplogroup I2* and I2c (L596) have been observed at very low frequency in Northwest Italy, between the Alps and Tuscany. It is not certain, however, that these lineages remained in Italy since the Ice Age. They could have come from other parts of Europe later on, notably with the Celts, who also brought I2a2b (L38). Germanic tribes are brought haplogroup I1 and I2a2a (M223). Some or all of these lineages might be descended from Cro-Magnons from the Italian peninsula who migrated north when the climate warmed up 10,000 years ago.

The most common variety of haplogroup I in Italy is I2a1a (M26), which is found mostly in Sardinia (36% of the male lineages) and to a lower extent in Iberia and coastal areas of the Western Mediterranean. It is still unclear where I2a1 (P214) developed. It could have been in Italy, in the Balkans, or even further east in the Carpathians and north of the Black Sea.

According to current estimates, I2a1 appeared about 20,000 years ago, close to the end of the LGM, and split almost immediately into western branch (M26) and an eastern one (M423). In all likelihood, the territory of the nomadic I2a1 people must have included Northeast Italy and the Dinaric Alps within the refugium. The tribe grew and split, with some branches going west to Italy and the Western Mediterranean, and the other going east to the Balkans and the Pontic Steppe.

By the time the first Neolithic farmers and herders arrived in Italy from the Near East 8,000 years ago most of the peninsula could well have been inhabited by I2a1a hunter-gatherers. Agriculture had appeared in the Levant at least 11,500 years ago. In the ensuing two and a half millennia it spread slowly to Anatolia and Greece. From Greece, it took another millennium for Neolithic farmers to cross the sea to Apulia, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia, and from there move inland and colonised the rest of the peninsula for yet another millennium. Around 7,000 years ago all Italy bar the remotest corners of the Alps had adopted agriculture.

The Near-Eastern newcomers belonged essentially to haplogroup G2a, and seem to have carried a minority of E1b1b, J*, J1, J2 and T lineages. The majority of modern Italian E1b1b and J2 came later though, with the Etruscans, the Greeks, and the various Near Eastern people who settled in Italy during the Roman Empire, particularly the Jews and the Syrians.

Hunter-gatherers (related to Cro Magnons) appear yo have mostly fled the peninsula after the arrival of Neolithic farmers, except in Sardinia, where they blended with them, perhaps trapped by the sea and unable to do otherwise. Nowadays, Sardinians are the population resembling most closely Neolithic Europeans. This was already known from archeological and anthropoligical studies, but was confirmed by the testing of Ötzi's genome, a 5,300 year-old man mummified in the ice of the Italian Alps, and whose DNA was found to be very close to that of modern Sardinians.

The geographic isolation of Sardinia has left its inhabitants to a large degree unaffected by outside influences, apart from a minority of Phoenician, Roman and Vandal colonisers. For example, the combined 3% of hapogroups I1, I2a2a and R1a could be attributed to the Vandals, a Germanic tribe who ruled over Sardinia from 435 to 534. The Romans left some 10% of R1b-U152, and probably some additional E1b1b, G2a and J2 lineages.

Percentages of R1b lineage in the Italian population, from highest (dark color) in northern Italy. Nearly 3000 years ago Italic (Indo-arian) tribes conquered the whole peninsula, but settled most heavily in northern and central-west Italy, especially in the Po Valley and Tuscany, and also in Umbria and the Latium, who both owe their names to Italic tribes (the Umbrians and the Latins).



Bronze Age to Iron Age

ITALICS & ROMANS

The Bronze Age was brought to Europe by the Proto-Indo-Europeans, who migrated from the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe to the Balkans (from circa 6,000 years ago), then went up the Danube and invaded Central and Western Europe (from 4,500 years ago).

Italic-speakers, an Indo-European branch, are thought to have crossed the Alps and invaded the Italian peninsula around 3,200 years ago, establishing the Villanova culture and bringing with them primarily R1b lineages and replacing or displacing a large part of the indigenous people. The Neolithic inhabitants of Italy sought refuge in the Apeninne mountains and in Sardinia. Nowadays, the highest concentration of haplogroup G2a and J1 outside the Middle East are found in the Apeninnes, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia.

Italic tribes conquered the whole peninsula, but settled most heavily in northern and central-west Italy, especially in the Po Valley and Tuscany, but also in Umbria and the Latium, who both owe their names to Italic tribes (the Umbrians and the Latins). In all logic, the ancient Romans, from the original founders of Rome to the patricians of the Roman Republic, should have been essentially R1b-U152 people.

Intermarriages with their Etruscan and Greek neighbours would have gradually brought other lineages too to the Roman gene pool. An additional clue that the inhabitants of the Roman Republic still belonged predominantly to R1b-U152 comes from the modern population in the cities they founded. It is remarkable that most of the cities founded during the Roman Republic by Roman colonists in northern Italy (Alba, Aosta, Asti, Bologna, Brescia, Casale Monferrato, Cremona, Ferrara, Forlì, Ivrea, Lodi, Massa, Milan, Modena, Monza, Parma, Pavia, Piacenza, Pistoia, Pollenzo, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Sarzana, Torino, Tortona) are located in the areas with the highest incidence of R1b-U152 (and lowest incidence of E1b1b and J2) today.

Only a handful of Roman colonies were set up in north-east Italy (Aquileia, Belluno, Pordenone, Vicenza), four in the Marches (Ancona, Macerata, Pesaro and Senigallia), and not a single one in the modern region of Liguria. Naturally U152 was already present in northern Italy before the Roman period. But if the Roman colonists had not been predominantly U152, its frequency would have been diluted by the newcomers. What we observe is the reverse; the frequency of U152 has been amplified around Roman colonies.

R1b-U152 has also been found a low frequencies (1 to 10%) almost everywhere within the boundaries of the Roman Empire, even in regions where no other R1b-U152 people (e.g. Hallstatt/La Tène Celts) ever settled, such as Sardinia and North Africa. On the other hand, not all U152 in southern Italy may be of Italic or direct Roman origin. Some of it may be attributed to the Normans (those of Gallo-Roman rather than Viking descent) and Swabian Germans during the Middle Ages, especially in Sicily.

During the Late Bronze Age and in the Early Iron Age other Indo-European tribes also settled in northern Italy, like the Ligures in Liguria, the Lepontic and Gaulish Celts in Piedmont, and the Adriatic Veneti in Veneto.

According to the founding myth of Rome, Romulus and Remus descended from the Latin kings of Alba Longa, themselves descended from Trojan prince Aeneas, who fled to the Latium after the destruction of Troy by the Greeks. Troy may well have been founded by the early M269 and/or L23 branches of R1b, representing the first expansion of R1b from the Pontic Steppe to the Balkans.If there is any truth in the myth (as there usually is), the Trojans might have brought M269 or L23 (probably with other haplogroups, notably J2) to central Italy circa 1200 BCE, around the same time as U152 invaded from the north.

The Etruscans, who are thought to have originated in western Anatolia, not far from Troy, might also have brought R1b-L23 to Italy, also blended with other haplogroups. Nowadays R1b-L23 is the second most common subclade of R1b in Italy, although well behind R1b-U152. L23 has a remarkably uniform distribution over all the Italian peninsula, making between 5% and 10% of the male lineages. It is found at a slightly higher frequency in Campania and Calabria due to the Greek colonies, and decreases under 5% of the population only around the Alps.

The study of Sardinian Y-DNA by Francalacci et al. (2013) allowed to have a look at the subclades of R1b on this island that has not been settled by the Celts or the Etruscans, nor by an Italic tribe besides the Romans. The Greeks only had a brief a foothold at Olbia and would not have influence the genetics of the island. In other words, all the Indo-European R1b in Sardinia (bar a tiny percentage of Germanic R1b brought by the Vandals) can be attributed to the Romans.

The results are unequivocal, R1b-U152 makes up 10.5% of all Sardinian lineages, while R1b-M269 and R1b-L23 together amount to a mere 1.5%. This is yet more evidence that U152 was probably the dominant Roman lineages. The Sardinian U152 samples can be used to distinguish Roman subclades of U152 from other Italic and Alpine Celtic subclades. All four top level subclades of U152 were found in Sardinia, but in very different proportions from the continent, especially north of the Alps where L2 makes up over two thirds of the lineages.

In contrast, Z192 is the main subclade in Sardinia (58.5% of all U152), followed by Z56 (10%, half of being Z144+), L2 (7.8%, exclusively Z49+ and Z347+) and Z36 (5.5%, half of it Z54+). The analysis of Sardinian lineages hint that the ancient Latins/Romans did not carry a lot of E1b1b lineages, if any. Out of 9.5% of E1b1b in Sardinia, some 6% belongs to the North African M81 subclade, almost certainly dating from the time when Sardinia was a Phoenician/Carthaginian colony with intensive links with North Africa. The remaining 3.5% ought to be mostly of Neolithic and Phoenician origin, meaning that the Romans probably didn't bring E1b1b lineages.

The percentage of haplogroup J2 in Sardinia that could be Roman is comprised between 2% and 6%, so probably less than half, and perhaps as little as a fifth of the percentage of R1b-U152. Haplogroup G2a in Sardinia is widely believed to be chiefly of Neolithic origin, although a few percents could be Phoenician or Roman. The Roman form of G2a is almost certainly G2a3b1a and its two main subclades U1 and L497, whose distribution in Europe mirrors that of R1b-U152. These subclades make up 1.5% of Sardinian lineages, a proportion of 1/7 compared to R1b-U152.

ETRUSCANS, PHOENICIANS & GREEKS

Between 1200 and 539 BCE the Phoenicians built a vast commercial empire from their Levantine homeland along the southern Mediterranean as far as Iberia. In Italy they had colonies in western Sicily and southern and western Sardinia. Based on the haplogroups found in modern Lebanon and in their former colonies, the Phoenicians seem to have carried a mixture of haplogroup J2, J1, E1b1b, G, R1b-M269/L23, T, L, R1b-V88, R2 and Q, roughly in that order of frequency. By comparing Sardinian and Lebanese DNA, it can be estimated that the Sardinians have inherited between 16% and 24% of their Y-DNA from the Phoenicians.,br/>
Another key player in the make-up of Iron Age Italy were the Etruscans, who appeared circa 750 BCE apparently out of nowhere.

Some have postulated that they came from Anatolia, but their origins remain uncertain to this day. Although their territory matches closely the extent of the Italic haplogroup R1b-U152, the Etruscans were non-Indo-European speakers, and their language is unrelated to any other known ancient languages apart from the Raetic language of the Alps and the Lemnian language of the Aegean Sea. It is likely that the Etruscans came from somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean and imposed their language on the Italic tribes living in Tuscany, then to the Po Valley, thus splitting Indo-European-speaking tribes in two. Based on the non-Indo-European halogroups found in central and southern Tuscany today, the original Etruscans probably belonged to an compound of haplogroups J2, E1b1b, G2a, and R1b-M269 (or R1b-L23) in that order of frequency. This would appear to support of Greek or West Anatolian origin. The high frequency of R1b-U152 found in Tuscany today can be attributed to Italic tribes absorbed by the Etruscans, and to the Romans who resettled part of Etruria.

It is the ancient Greeks who had the biggest impact on the genetic make-up of southern Italy.

From the 8th century BCE the Greeks set up colonies all along the coasts of Campania, Calabria, Basilicata, southern Apulia, and Sicily (except the western tip) in what would become known as Magna Graecia. Their genetic signature are essentially haplogroups J2 (18-30%) and E1b1b (15-25%), but the ancient Greeks also carried some R1b-M269/L23 (5-10%), G2a (3-8%), T (1-6%), I2a1b (1-5%), R1a (1-3%), and J1 (1-2%). It is very clear on the haplogroup maps that the areas in central and southern Italy furthest from the coast and from ancient Greek colonies, such as Abruzzo, Molise and the southern Apennines correspond to the highest percentages of haplogroups G2a, J1 and T in Italy, but also the lowest frequency of E1b1b and J2 in the southern half of Italy. There is no better way to contrast the Neolithic population of Italy with the ancient Greek colonists.

The Greeks also colonised Liguria and the French Riviera, where they founded Genoa, Nice (which was an Italian city until 1860) and Marseille. The Phoenicians and Cartaginians also kept bases in Liguria at some point. Modern Ligurians have the highest percentage of haplogroup E1b1b outside southern Italy (almost entirely the Greek E-V13), but also the highest level of G2a and J1 outside the Apennines, which probably means that this mountainous region also served as a shelter to Neolithic populations during the Italic invasions. R1b makes up about half of Ligurian lineages, among which 22% belong to the U152 subclade, 20% to P312 (the highest level in Italy), 6% to L23, and 2% to L21. The ancient Ligures spoke a language intermediary between Celtic (P312, L21) and Italic (U152) families, and their Y-DNA is split exactly in half between Italic and Celtic. The 6% of L23 are probably of Greek origin. Overall about one third of the modern Ligurian lineages could be of Greek origin.

Percentages of R1b-U152 lineage in the Italian population in relation to some of the main roman colonies (yellow circles). Ancient Romans, from the original founders of Rome to the patricians of the Roman Republic, should have been essentially R1b-U152 people
Roman Empire & Middle Ages

ROMAN ITALY

In the first century Rome became the capital of a vast, cosmopolitan empire. Immigration to Rome made the city grow from a population of approximately 400,000 in the third century BCE, before Rome started expanding outside the Italian peninsula, to at least 1 million under the reign of Emperor Augustus (27 BCE to 14 CE).

As those migrants came from every part of the empire it is very hard to estimate how much impact they had on the demographics of Rome and the Italian peninsula, but it was surely considerable in the Latium region.

GOTHS, LOMBARDS & BYZANTINES

In the 4th and 5th centuries the cooling of the climate prompted Germanic and Slavic tribes to migrate south and west and to invade the Roman Empire in search of more fertile lands. Germanic people brought haplogroups I1, I2a2a (M223, formerly known as I2b1), R1b U106 and R1a (L664, Z282 and Z283 subclades) to Italy.

The Vandals were the first to reach the Italian peninsula. They had migrated to Iberia, then crossed over the North Africa in 429, where they founded a kingdom that also comprised Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Sardinia is the best place to look for traces of their DNA because on the one hand it is the best studied region of Italy, and on the other hand no other Germanic peoples settled there (apart from a very brief Gothic reign), which means that the presence of Germanic lineages on the island would incontestably be of Vandalic origin. Based on the detailed Y-chromosomal study of 1200 Sardinians by Francalacci (2013) the Vandals appeared to have carried 35% of R1a, 29% of I2a2a, 24% of R1b, 6% of I2a1b and a mere 6% of I1. The subclades identified were I1a3a2 (L1237+), I2a2a (L699+ and CTS616+), I2a1b (M423+), R1a-Z282 (incl. some Z280+), R1a-M458 (L1029+), R1b-U106 (Z381+), R1b-L21 (DF13>L513+), R1b-DF27 (Z196>Z209+). The probable the reason for the elevated (Proto-)Slavic R1a and the presence of the Eastern European I2-M423 is that the Vandals stayed in Poland before migrating to the Roman Empire. Over a third of Vandalic male lineages were therefore of Proto-Slavic origin.

In 475, various East Germanic tribes (Herulians, Rugians, and Scirians) were refused federated status by Roman emperor. Under  the leadership of Odoacer, a former secretary of Attila, they deposed the last emperor and created the first Kingdom of Italy (476- 493), bringing to an end the Western Roman Empire. The kingdom was taken over by the Ostrogoths, who ruled the whole of Italy except Sardinia until 553. The Ostrogoths's capital was Ravenna.
>br/> They were succeeded by the Lombards (568-774), who had to contend for the political control of Italy with the Byzantines. Like the Ostrogoths, the Lombards had invaded Italy from Pannonia and settled more densely in north-east Italy and in Lombardy, which was named after them. The Lombard capital was in Pavia, Lombardy. They set up many duchies, notably those of Friuli (based in Cividale), Trento, Tuscany (based in Lucca), Spoleto,Benevento, as well as in the major cities of Lombardy and Venetia.

The genes of the Goths and the Lombards became quickly diluted into the Italian population owing to their relatively small number  and their geographic dispersal in order to rule and administer their kingdom. Both the Goths and the Lombards originated in southern Sweden. Their migration path differed considerably though. The Goths descended through modern Poland as far as the Black Sea, where they surely intermingled with the local populations, then moved into the Balkans in the middle of the 3rd century, where they remained until the 5th century. Considering the high percentage of R1a identified in Vandalic settlements in Sardinia, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that the over half of the Gothic lineages had become Proto-Slavic (R1a and I2a1b) by the time they reached the Balkans. It was common practice at the time for Eastern European tribes to converge and retain the name of the dominant tribe.

Around the same period the Huns had also been a compound of several ethnicities brought together under Hunnic leadership. The Goths would have subsequently blended to some extent with the native inhabitants of the Balkans in the twocenturies preceding their invasion of Italy, assimilating mostly J2, E1b1b and more I2a1b lineages. In the 5th century the Goths would have become such a melting pot that their original Germanic Y-DNA might have only represented a small percentage of their lineages. This explains why there is apparently so little Germanic Y-DNA in south-western France and Spain (location of the former Visigothic kingdom) compared to other regions conquered by Germanic tribes in Western Europe, including Italy.

In contrast with the Goths and the Vandals, the Lombards left Scandinavia and descended due south through Germany, Austria and Slovenia, only leaving Germanic territory a few decades before reaching Italy. The Lombards would have consequently remained a predominantly Germanic tribe by the time they invaded Italy.

The DNA samples from Campobasso in Molise and Benevento in Campania can give a good idea of what proportion of each Germanic haplogroup the Lombards carried. Campobasso was founded by the Lombards are lost its importance after Lombard rule. Benevento was the seat of a powerful Lombard duchy. Among the Germanic haplogroups identified in Campobasso by Boattini et al. (2013) there were 16% of I1, 10.5% of R1b-U106 and 3.5% of I2a2a. No R1a was found. The same study reported 5.5% of R1a, 2.5% of I1, and 2.5% of R1b-U106 in Benevento. If we make the average, the Lombards seem to have had roughly 40% of I1, 30% of R1b, 25% of R1a and 5% of I2a2a, a frequency comparable to that of modern Sweden.

Some regions were never under Lombard domination, including Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria, southern Apulia, Naples and the Latium. In all these regions the Byzantines brought more Greco-Anatolian lineages (especially E1b1b and J2), which were already the dominant lineages from the Magna Graecia period. The Byzantines may have changed slightly the balance of haplogroups in southern Italy, but their impact might have been more contrasting in the parts of northern Italy that belonged to the Exarchate of Ravenna, namely Romagna, Marche, coastal Veneto and Liguria. It may be a coincidence, but these regions happen to be exactly the ones where haplogroups J2 and E1b1b reach frequencies comparable to Greece and western Anatolia.

J2 was not a major Neolithic lineage, and the Greeks did not colonise northern Italy (apart from Liguria) in ancient times. The Etruscans could have spread E1b1b and J2 to Emilia-Romagna, but were not present in the other regions. The establishment of a Byzantine population is therefore the best explanation for the high frequency of E1b1b and J2 in Veneto and the Marches. The region of Constantinople hasone of the highest percentage of haplogroup J2 anywhere.

FRANKS, ARABS & NORMANS

The Franks conquered the Lombard kingdom of Italy in 774. Contrarily to other Germanic tribes before them, the aim of the Franks was not to find a new homeland. Consequently, they did not migrate en masse to Italy. They only brought soldiers and administrators (not necessarily of Frankish descent, but also former Gallo-Romans), like the Romans had done when they expanded their empire. Their genetic print is therefore more elusive, although they surely increased a bit the proportion of I1 and R1b-U106.

Soon after the arrival of the Franks, the Saracens invaded Sicily, where they established an emirate (831-1072). Most Muslims left after the Normans reconquered the island in the 11th century. Sicily has nevertheless slightly higher percentages of Southwest  Asian haplogroup J1 and North African haplogroup E-M81 than the rest of southern Italy. The Arabs are known to have spread the J1 lineage during the spread of Islam. However the Phoenician colonies in Sicily could just as well be the cause of the higher J1 in Sicily. Likewise, E-M81 is the Berber haplogroup, but its presence in Sicily could date back to Phoenician, Roman or Vandal times, when exchanges were frequent between Sicily and Tunisia.

The Normans left a much clearer print on Sicily and southern Italy. Originally Vikings from Denmark, the Normans were granted a duchy by the King of France in 911. From 999, invited by the Prince of Salerno, Norman knights started serving as mercenaries for  the Lombards against the Byzantines. They quickly acquired counties and duchies of their own and set about to unify all southern Italy under their rule. In 1061 they invaded Sicily, which was completely conquered in 1091.

The Norman Kingdom of Sicily was created in 1130, with Palermo as capital, and would last until the 19th century. Nowadays it is in north-west Sicily, around Palermo and Trapani, that Norman Y-DNA is the most common, with 8 to 15% of the lineages belonging to haplogroup I1

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE UFO IN 1933 ITALY

In the last years there has been a lot of discussions about the UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) that possibly crashed in northern Italy in 1933. To understand the truth -because this is a highly controversial topic- about this UFO story, I am going to research data & information about this case in the following article:

WHAT HAS HAPPENED?

June 13, 1933. A circular craft -resembling a pair of saucers joined at their outer rims- crashes near the town of Maderno, in Lombardy, northern Italy. The object, made of thin, silvery-grey metal, was about fifty feet in diameter and less than seven feet thick…. No occupants in the object were found (but some researchers think that there were recovered two bodies inside). This crash happened 14 years before the worldwide famous Roswell, New Mexico crash. Successively a spaceship was allegedly stored in the hangars of the SIAI Marchetti in Vergiate near Milan, a building destroyed by a fire in 1940.

Photo showing Benito Mussolini (to the left), who appointed Guglielmo Marconi (to the right) as head of the Gabinetto RS/33 to study the possible UFO that crashed in 1933 in Lombardy.



Indeed there were many UFO-sightings between 1933 and 1940 in Italy and a special secret Commission, during fascism, studied it. It was founded by Mussolini (with pilot Italo Balbo and Galeazzo Ciano; headed by Guglielmo Marconi and senator Luigi Cozza and astronomer Gino Cecchini). The first UFO-case was in 1931 near Venice; the second is this famous case, when on June 13, 1933 there was a UFO-landing in Lombardy, with UFO-recovery.

After this episode, Mussolini created the secret UFO-commission 'Gabinetto RS/33' (Cabinet Research and Espionage/33); he believed UFOs were Allied (or German) secret weapons, but Marconi was for the Extra Terrestral-hypothesis. We have three telegrams (there are four) about the UFO recovery near Milan in 1933, and a 'protocol' to the Prefect, for the Italian secret services and for newspapers, to cover this news. 'Gabinetto RS' investigated, between 1933 and 1940, many different Italian UFO sightings: in a case, an Italian fighter plane intercepted an UFO between Ravenna and Rome; in August 1936 there was a multiple UFO sighting (ad Adamskyan-cygar and two UFOs like Saturn) over Mestre and Venice. It is also possible that the German V-7 (a revolutionary discoidal aircraft) was initially developed after this Italian research about UFOs.

More detailed information can be read at Mussolini's 1933 UFO, by Rob Arndt


FIRST OPINION (by Antonio Huneeus)

First of all we have to remember that Roberto Pinotti, Italy's leading UFO expert and director of CUN (National Ufological Center, now the world's largest civilian UFO research organization), and Alfredo Lissoni, another CUN researcher and writer, gave a lecture, during the annual International UFO Symposium in San Marino in 2000, on the sensational discovery of alleged files going back to the 1930s, when Italy was ruled by the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.

Copies of 18 secret documents from the Fascist era (handwritten notes and telegrams), as well as a forensic report authenticating one of the the papers (with a drawing of an UFO), were released by CUN to the Italian media. It received considerable coverage in Italy, including the national TV network RAI Uno and leading newspapers like Il Resto del Carlino, La Nazione and La Repubblica. Although these articles were posted in Italian on the web, the Mussolini UFO documents were hardly noticed by the American UFO community, so this is the first time the full story is told in any detail outside Italy.

It all began in early 1996 when Roberto Pinotti received a handful of handwritten notes on stationery bearing the seal of the "Kingdom's Senate". (Mussolini ruled Italy with an iron grip, nominally under the king). The year is 1936 and the secret agent uses simply a first name "Andrea" (Andrew in Italian) and also includes a sketch of the "mysterious airship". "It was sighted in the morning (and not in the evening) of Monday - he writes - it was a metallic disc, polished and reflecting light, with a length of ten or twelve meters. Two fighters from a near base took off, but were not able to reach it even at 130 km/h. It didn't emit sound, which would lead one to consider an aerostat. But nobody knows of balloons that can fly faster than the wind. I know for sure that it was seen by other aviation pilots ... it [report] has arrived to the hands of Ciano."

Count Ciano was Mussolini's son-in-law and Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs; he was later executed after participating in the cabal to overthrow the Duce and surrender to the Allies in 1943. Andrea's report continues: "Then, after approximately at least an hour and after passing over Mestre, it was seen as a sort of metallic tube, gray or slate." A drawing by a confidential informant was redrawn by Andrea, who explained that "A was described like a kind of aerial torpedo, with very clear windows ... and alternating, white and red lights.'B' were two 'hats, two hats like those used by priests: wide, round, with a dome in the center, metallic and following the torpedo without changing their relative positions."

The document mentions that "the Prefecture has opened an inquiry, but you can imagine that it will make little inroad and will have a similar outcome to that of '31. The Duce has expressed his worries, because he says that if it were a matter of real English or French aircraft, his foreign policy would have to start all over again."

Although Andrea's report is only one of several received since 1996, you can see that its contents are sensational - they describe a classic flying saucer report with aircraft scramble and multiple witnesses in 1936! It also, discloses that Mussolini and Ciano, Italy's number one and two leaders at the time, were intimately appraised of the situation. Indeed, other caches of documents received, always anonymously, by CUN and the newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, mention a mysterious department known as "Cabinet RS/33." It was charged with both investigating and covering up what the documents call "unconventional aircraft" or "aeromobiles."

'Cabinet RS/33' had links with the Fascist secret police OVRA and with "Agenzia Stefani," the regime's news agency in charge of disseminating Fascist propaganda. Italys most famous scientist and inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, was the director of the Cabinet, which also included several other prominent Italian astronomers, scientists and aeronautical engineers.

When WW2 began the Cabinet's secrets were shared with and literally shipped to Nazi Germany. As Lissoni points out, rumors of Nazi discs have plagued the UFO literature for decades, and one Italian scientist, Giuseppe Belluzzo, is always mentioned in conjunction with the Germans Miethe, Schriever and Habermohl. Much nonsense has been written about the so-called Nazi flying saucers - some of it unabashed neo-Nazi propaganda - yet undoubtedly there is at least some truth to the matter. The names of Miethe, et al., are confìrmed by FBI and other U.S. and German documents.

Are the "Fascist UFO Files" authentic? To Lissoni (who made principal search), Pinotti,and the CUN, they appear so. To the investigators'credit, however, the whole affair was kept strictly confidential under Antonio Garavaglia's forensic analysis was completed. Only then were the documents released to the Italian press and published in a series of articles beginning with the March issue of UFO Notiziario (and now, in a book). Garavaglia conduced a series of chemical tests of the paper and ink - remember he had originals and not copies - and he concluded they seemed authentic handwritten documents from the Fascist era. The color of the paper and ink aging process led him to believe they were genuine and not modern forgeries.

Lissoni also consulted with Andrea Bedetti, a historian and expert on Italy's Fascist period. "I cannot exclude the real existence of a Cabinet RS/33," said Bedetti. He also examined the documents vis-à-vis "the lexicon and the bureaucratic style of the period", as well as the stationery ("Kingdoms Senate" and Stefani agency telegrams) and aeronautical terminology utilized. Bedetti found that all of it was consistent with genuine Fascist-era documents. This didn't rule out a skilled forger, but it would have to be someone deeply knowledgeable of Fascist style, vocabulary and terminology. Bedetti also pointed out that in the period 1933-40 - coinciding with the alleged Cabinet RS/33- Mussolini's power was at his peak and Italy was one of the world's leading nations in aviation and military aeronautics.

SECOND OPINION (by Alfredo Lissoni)

My hypothesis is in fact that the saucer recovered in 1933 had been hidden in one of the nearest and most discrete hangars in that region - namely the hangars of the aeronautical establishments of the Siai Marchetti at Vergiate or of the Sesto Calende in the Varese region of Ticino, which at that date were under the control of General Italo Balbo (indicated by a member of the RS/33 CABINET).

The "Varese trail" had been suggested to me through several clues: namely that the messages about recovery of the UFO came from the nearby Telegraphic Office of Milano; that in those very days Blackshirts were suddenly dispatched to that region; that indeed a Varese newspaper, the *Cronaca Prealpina*, of June 20, 1933, gave the first report, emphasising that forms of life on Mars were in contact with men of Earth - almost as it were a matter of official revelation; that at the Marchetti at Sesto there was a Director with the name of Moretti; and that at the time of the Italian Social Republic, it was precisely a man named Moretti who having gone over to the Resistance, had set fire to the hangars at Vergiate (which maybe were guarding some unmentionable Space secret). And, finally, that, when the War was over, the U.S. Air Force and members of the Nazi Secret Service were infiltrated precisely into Sesto Calende, simultaneously with "voices" regarding the presence of terrestrial flying saucers kept at Vergiate, and that the entire region, from time immemorial, was at the centre of a most intense ufological activity - to such a degree that it gained the nickname of being "The Ticino Triangle".

Indeed the 'RS/33 CABINET' had continued to work right up to the time of the Italian Social Republic, the period in which a part of the documentation on UFOs, in several sealed boxes, had been sent to Berlin, while a part - "a not irrelevant part" - remained in Italy.

And, in this latest consignment of material, there were included copies of new documents which possibly demonstrated the existence of agreements between Hitler and Mussolini for the study of alien technology, agreements that had been made in 1938.

These documents were: an Agency Stefani message from Florence containing an interview with the Fuhrer Hitler when he was visiting Italy; a banknote of the nominal value of a million Lire (maybe "black funds of the RS/33 CABINET); minutes regarding the oath of secrecy given by the professors who collaborated with the Fascist Government; an invitation (registered) to Benito and Rachele Mussolini to Villa Torlonia (said to be for a "riunione riservatissima dedicada al Gabinetto RS/33" - "*an extremely private meeting dedicated to the RS/33 CABINET*").

THIRD OPINION (by George Filer)

On June 13, 1933, a bell shaped UFO crashed near Magenta, Italy just west of Milano. The occupants were tall blond Nordics with oriental like features on their light blue eyes. The Italians called the UFO la Campania; the Germans called it Die Locked.

Benito Mussolini -the Prime Minister of Italy- informed Pope Pius 11 of the crash and placed Guglielmo Marconi in charge of the special "RS-33" Study Group, which later served as a model for the US "MJ-12" group. The Japanese told the Italians and Germans that those tall blonde-haired people were in their legends; this led to the Axis Alliance. Pope Pius 11 was furious and informed President Roosevelt about the UFO crash in 1938. Winston Churchill and Mussolini also carried on secret correspondence about the 1933 crash.

In April of 1945, the 1st Armored Division captured the Marchetti Aviation Facility where the 1933 Magenta UFO was kept and it was brought to the United States.

President Eisenhower met with the tall blonde-haired people involved with the 1933 Italy crash at Edwards AFB on February 20, 1954.  Eisenhower invited Cardinal John McIntyre to the meeting since Pope Pius 11 had told Roosevelt about the Nordic 1933 Magenta, Italy crash. Two of the early model F-102 jets were being tested at Edwards AFB on the flight line, when the tall blonds met with Eisenhower and Cardinal McIntyre.

MY PERSONAL CONCLUSIONS

Sincerely I don't think that are fully true all these opinions about a fascist UFO in 1933.

We don't even know -as stated by researcher Francesco Dioniso- if REALLY existed the so called ''Gabinetto RS/33' (that in Italian would be: Gabinetto Ricerca spionaggio/33)! And the hypothesis that Guglielmo Marconi was working as head of this Gabinetto -for the development of Italian aircrafts similar to UFO or something similar - seems totally fantasy to me. Furthermore, there are no photos (or videos) of the alleged UFO and not even one single photo of the place where happened the crash, showing the inevitable damage in the area

The first jet airplane (the "Campini Caproni 1") in History was created just a few years after the supposed 1933 UFO crash in Lombardy.



But I have some questions in my mind related to this 1933 UFO

1) The first question that I get in my mind is: why Mussolini concealed all this? He could have done the same that was done 14 years later with the famous Roswell case, when the media was informed (even if superficially): and no damage would have hit his fascism regime in Italy. On the contrary, he could have used the 1933 case to show how fascism was dealing with this problem and studying successfully the UFO.

And this is the most intriguing area where I have to admit that may be it is true something of all these facts......Indeed, we know that the Italians were able to create a few years later the first jet airplane (the "Campini Caproni 1") in History, but we also know that the aviation industry of Italy was the last in western Europe at the end of WW1.

2) So, my second question is: Can it be that the study of the UFO stored in hangars near Milano gave the Italians the needed technology? We have to remember that Italian engineer Secondo Campini submitted a report on the potential of jet propulsion to the Regia Aeronautica, and demonstrated a jet-powered boat in Venice: in 1934, the Regia Aeronautica granted approval for the development of a jet aircraft to demonstrate the principle used by Campini and made a contract with him in order to receive 2 aircrafts with "propulsione a reazione" (jet propulsion) in the second half of the 1930s

It strikes me the coincidence that all this "jet" development started to happen exactly one year after the 1933 Fascist UFO crash.

3) Another question is related to the original idea of the disc called "Turboproietti", created during WW2 by Giuseppe Belluzzo (read for further information GIUSEPPE BELLUZZO TURBO PROIETTI (TURBINA PROIETTILE), by Rob Arndt


Working with the SS after 1943, Belluzzo designed a three motor jet pipe system that would rotate an annular wing. Belluzo had been inspired by Hermann Oberth’s orbital platform concepts since the 1930’s so he put his own engineering skill to work with this design. Here is a brief description of the design, made by Rob Arndt:

  "Jet pipes on the edge of the disc had a variable diameter. A turbine drove the pipes initially until air accelerated through the pipes. At the widest section of each pipe oil was injected and ignited. The temperature was raised quickly and at the end of each underside pipe the air reached a speed of  700 meters/second, able to allow the circular craft to spin at a rotation speed of 400 meters/second. When the fuel ran out , the explosive-laden "Turboproietti" simply dropped to the ground in similar fashion to the German V-1 missile. Hopefully, the target would receive a direct hit."

While the SS entertained the idea of this operation, an unmanned aerial "Flakmine" version was considered more important and that was what Giuseppe Belluzzo was working on in 1945 when the war ended. No prototypes were ever constructed.

And so a third question arises in my mind and it is: Is it possible that the size and form of the Belluzzo's Turboproietti can be related to the 1933 UFO, allegedly stored in the hangars of the SIAI Marchetti in Vergiate near Milan after 1933?

4) Finally a fourth question makes me indirectly think that there it is a nearly 100% probability that the 1933 UFO crash happened really and was not a simple crash of an experimental aircraft created by Germans or English scientists:

If some news of this accident appeared on local Italian newspapers and magazines (the copies are easily found in local public libraries and this fact confirms that "something" happened), why all this story about an UFO has been created in a decade when practically nobody knew about this phenomenon and nobody was going to be interested in?

According to researcher Phil H. Clark, news of the downed craft reached Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini who issued three directives: one to recover the downed UFO, the second to remove it to a secure location away from people and the third to hide all information, while creating the Gabinetto RS with Marconi to study it. But why all this mess if nobody cared about this topic, in all the countries of the 1933 world? The UFO problem was created after WW2, mainly after the famous Roswell crash....but in 1933 nobody was informed about UFOs! And not even existed the word UFO (or "flying saucers"), that appeared for the first time in 1947!

Mussolini and his Fascism was not going to get anything from all this UFO crash...So, why to invent all this? Why if there was no reason? Why -if it is fake- it was created all this UFO story, full of so many detailed & discussed events lasting until the hangar fire of 1940?