- From Edoardo
- The story has been widely circulating
in the last two weeks, telling of "Vatican theologist" Corrado
Balducci having been on Italian national TV as many as five times in the
last few months in order to openly claim and admit that ET's exist, have
souls and - most extraordinary of all - the Vatican knows it, studies them
and collect data via a secret commission.
- I have been asked to comment and have
done so publicly, telling nothing of that sort ever happened, but: - Corrado
Balducci is a known theologist but not a Vatican theologist, nor a spokesman
for the Vatican; - though a frequent guest at TV programs on a variety
of subjects, UFOs and ET's included, his own personal opinions about the
matter have been spread over several years, and there's nothing new now.
- Some of the people originally diffusing
the story, notably Richard Boylan, chose to attack me personally for having
said so, and challenged my claims.
- The most simple and logical thing to
do was to ask directly Corrado Balducci. This I did yesterday, Thursday
15 April, in a very long (40 minutes) phone call.
- He was at first surprised, then amused,
at learning of the story as it is circulating on the Internet. He asked
me to collect and send him copy of it all, for his own files, and offered
me his answers as of the many questions I asked him.
- Here is a synopsis, in order to close
and settle the matter once and for all.
- 1) He is no Vatican theologist
- Corrado Balducci explained me in detail
that he is just one of the thousands theologists in Italy (most younger
Catholic priests have got a degree in theology) and no special one. He
is not working at the Vatican and is retired now.
- Moreover, no such thing as a "Vatican
theologist" does exist: the nearest thing would be the "theologist
for the Holy Father" (an elderly archbishop theologist acting as a
consultant to the Pope).
- 2) He is not a member of any Vatican
commission on ET contacts, which does not exist
- He laughed a lot about the notion itself
of a secret Vatican commission on ET contacts, which he told me he felt
sure was non-existent, even if he is not working at the Vatican (but he's
got many many friends an colleagues therein and he told me he would have
- He authorized me to formally deny, in
his own name, that either he has ever been member of such commission or
that he ever heard of it.
- As of the rumour that Vatican Embassies
would collect ET contacts data and pass it on to the Vatican, he told me
they have better and more important things to do, and nothing of that sort
is even remotely believable.
- 3) He is not studying UFOs or ET contacts
- He insisted he is specialized just in
demonology, and his present concerns are about New Age beliefs and new
religions. UFOs and ET's are not his own subject, he never wrote or presented
the Vatican any document on that subject ("not even two lines").
- His own present opinion as of UFOs is
that we must trust testimonies, hence we cannot deny something is being
- His own present opinion as of ET intelligent
beings is that, IF THEY EXIST and IF WE EVER MAKE CONTACT with them, they
MIGHT well be beings superior to us as of spirituality. IF THAT IS TRUE,
a contact might even be desirable for us.
- 4) He has not been speaking about UFO/ET
on TV so frequently as claimed
- He does not recall having been a TV guest
on the UFO/ET subject as many as five times in a few months, though he
has probably be in a few years.
- 5) He never spoke in the name of the
- All that he has been saying about UFOs
or ET beings, on TV or elsewhere, has always been his own personal opinion
or even some wild hypotheses based upon logic and his own feelings. He
does not feel either qualified or authorized to speak on behalf of the
Vatican, which would do so in much more formal ways. Nor did he express
official or unofficial opinions of the Vatican hierarchy.
- 6) He never released any interview to
- He was flabbergasted at learning a whole
series of out-of-context quotations of his have been sold as an "interview"
in Giorgio Bongiovanni's "Nonsiamosoli" bulletin and website,
since he has always had a very bad opinion about Bongiovanni and his group
and even confronted him on TV (ironically: in one of those emissions quoted
by the ongoing story!) and told publically he did not believe Bongiovanni's
stygmates came from God.
- But he remembers having released a TV
interview to Michael Hesemann, last year, and telling the same opinions
of his, reported above. He wondered if that might be the original source,
though largely deformated in the subsequently circulated story.
- A lot of comments might be added about
the above points, but I feel it safe not to add anything to the naked,
first-hand statements of the elderly clergyman himself.
- Paranoids will surely go on alleging
some dark cover-up, and we'll leave 'em to their fantasies.
- What remains is the fact that the story
of the official Vatican statements on the ET's, as circulated on the Internet,
was definitely a hoax.
- Another fact is that the real truth was
not found by those rumour-mongers eager to promote just every wild story
without boring to check their sources, but by serious-minded ufologists.
- Please feel free to quote, post, distribute
the above where you like.
- Edoardo Russo Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici
CISU, Casella postale 82, 10100 Torino tel 011-3290279 - fax 011-545033
http://www.arpnet.it/~ufo e-mail: email@example.com
- Response To Dr. Richard Boylan's Statement
- Thanks for forwarding me Richard Boylan's
posting answering my own comments on the subject above.
- I found it odd that Boylan did not care
to send it to me, since he apparently knew of my e-mail address, but maybe
courtesy rules are different in your country, so I won't feel obliged to
send him the following reply of mine. Please feel free to do so yourself,
if you feel it appropriate, as well as to post or re-post it where you
- > So what we have here is "Doc-in-Phoenix"
violating his ban on >IUFO to post a slam by a debunker Italian "Ufologist"
- I've been called worse names in the past,
but I'm still wondering what Boylan may mean by "debunker" and
how he can feel entitled to call me such, since he also acknowledged to
have never heard of me before.
- >post a slam by a debunker Italian
"Ufologist" Edoardo Russo against >another Ufologist, Giorgio
Bongiovanni, whom Russo apparently feels >is a rival.
- Oh dear! Never in my life did I even
remotely thought of Giorgio Bongiovanni as a "ufologist" and
even less a "rival". When I was 16, Italian pioneer ufologist
Gianni Settimo made it clear to me that contactees are not ufologists.
His exact words were that between us (ufologists) and them (contactees)
there is the same difference as between the student of the Napoleon times
and the guy who says "I'm Napoleon". (To put it more gently,
since they are the phenomenon to be studied, they can't pose as researchers
at the same time.) But maybe Boylan has not yet figured out which category
he belongs to.
- >I've never heard of Russo. Bongiovanni
is famous, and has lectured in >the United States at the International
UFO Congress several times.
- Yes, Bongiovanni is famous. But Billi
Meier is, too, and George Adamski was yet more famous. So what? Fame is
not synonimous with reliability.
- As far as myself, I will resist to the
obvious joke that me too, I never heard of Boylan before (and still have
managed to live well). I don't either expect him to frequent the same UFO
circles or read/write in the same UFO literature as I've been doing in
the last 25 years, but my first article in the "Flying Saucer Review"
was published in 1979, and that same year I remember having presented a
paper at the First International UFO Congress held by BUFORA in London
and being appointed Italian delegate of the International Committee on
UFO Research (whose directors included J. Allen Hynek and Walt Andrus).
If Boylan ever happened to glance over the "MUFON UFO Journal"
(I've been MUFON Italian representative, too) and the "International
UFO Reporter" (not to pretend he ever heard of European UFO journals),
he might have found articles of mine therein, too. More details he will
find in Robert Boyd's "Who's who in Ufology Directory" (1988).
- > Mr. Russo's disrespectful attempt
to turn Monsignor Balducci >into "Mr." Balducci is a familiar
old disdainful trick used by >debunkers.
- Shades of paranoia? Since when "Mr."
is a sign of direspect or disdain, instead of an acronym for either "Mister"
or "Monsignor"? Mmmh! Maybe I should suspect something, given
"Mr." Boylan's insistance at calling me "Mr. Russo"
instead of the more proper "Dr. Russo" he should use, shouldn't
- > Mr. Russo's denial does not make
Monsignor Balducci any less >a Vatican theologian. Mr. Russo's denial
does not stop Monsignor >Balducci from continuing his membership on
the Vatican commission >studying extraterrestrial contacts.
- Indeed he is neither, by his own admission.
More about this later.
- >Mr. Russo apparently lives up in
- That's the only "apparently"
correct comment about me in Boylan's posting!
- >My informant, the ACCET clinician
interviewed Monsignor Balducci in >Rome.
- May I respectfully inform you, who live
beyond the Big Pond, that such an odd device as the telephone was invented
by an Italian? Do you really believe that 600 kilometers away means so
great a distance as to prevent me from Turin to talk with Corrado Balducci
- > Mr. Russo's denial does not make
him an expert on Vatican matters,
- I never claimed to be one: and before
stating what I did I did check and get information from competent people
(theologians). Did Boylan ever try to?
- >So Mr. Russo DOES acknowledge two
of the five times that >Monsignor Balducci has spoken about extraterrestrials
on Italian >television.
- Not quite so: I did give two precise
dates (wasn't I the first to do that?), but I had no need to "acknowledge"
them, since I never denied it. Indeed I also know of some more occasions,
if you extend the time span to the last ten years or so...
- > Mr. Russo betrays his debunker hand
here, labeling anyone who sees >extraterrestrials as having souls a
- True: but maybe the language difference
betrayed me: in Italian "spiritualist" means precisely the attitude
of those seeing a spirit or soul in living beings (as opposed to "materialist");
in English that meaning has only remained in the technical jargon of philosophy,
while the popular meaning of "spiritualism" has become a synonimous
of "spiritism", which is quite another matter, not relevant here.
- >and labeling ufo >investigators
who believe extraterrestrials have souls as "cultists".
- Seems Mr Boylan's got some unresolved
confusion in his mind as of the difference between "UFO investigator"
and "ET believer". Anyway he doen't need to make me say what
I did not: not every believer is a cultist, though the contrary is true
(never took courses in formal logic).
- > Gee, I thought we had enough debunkers
on U.S. UFO newsgroups >that we didn't need to import another one from
- Gee, I think we had enough true believers
and fanatics in Italian ET buff groups that we don't need to import another
one from California.
- Out of the "ad hominem" rhetoric,
why wouldn't he expect that Italian ufologists might be the better placed
ones to check the story?
- > Mr. Russo is in error. I never said
that Monsignor Balducci's >declarations were all recent. Indeed, I pointed
out that he has made >the declarations of extraterrestrial contact reality
on Italian >television five times, obviously over a period of time.
- Mr Boylan is in error (or should I say
he has been forced to acknowledge it was not recent?). I was not commenting
what he might have said or written (I didn't even know 'twas him the source
of the false news). I was asked to comment a news release which said exactly
that Balducci "has gone on national Italian television five times
in recent months to proclaim that extraterrestrial contact is a real phenomenon".
- >What is recent is the ACCET clinician's
interview with Monsignor > >Balducci in Rome
- Might we learn the name of that clinician,
the date of her interview with Balducci and a tape recording of it? Mr
Balducci asked me to get more details on that matter.
- > Mr. Russo has it wrong again. I
did not say Monsignor >Balducci talked about UFOs; he talked about extraterrestrials
as >CERTAINLY real, and that they POSITIVELY have souls, NOT "possibly".
- If so, Mr Boylan was in error, exactly
as of those all-capital words: certainly and positively, as we'll see.
- > As usual, the debunkers have problems
with the facts, because >they don't want to hear the facts.
- As usual, the true believers have problems
with the facts, because they don't want to hear the facts.
- The real difference between them and
real researchers (whom they prefer to call "debunkers", for some
reason) is that believers don't feel any need to check data and information,
since they already KNOW (well, they think they know) the Truth.
- While Mr Boylan chose to belong to the
first group, I feel honored to be part of those not having a belief to
defend, so I DID check that unfounded rumour and traced it back to its
primary source: Mr Corrado Balducci.
- Unfortunately for Richard Boylan and
the other rumour-mongers, Balducci DID deny all that was attributed to
him and confirmed all I stated. For sake of order and logic, the details
of his formal denial are contained in a separate message of mine, more
properly titled: "The Vatican and ETs: it WAS a hoax".
- "Don't care about them but look
and pass over", said the Poet. But I am not a poet, I am a researcher.
And I believe we should never let false claims circulated, if we want ufology
to be a scientific-oriented field of study, instead of the mess some well-identified
characters have made it to become.
- Edoardo Russo
- Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici
- CISU, Casella postale 82, 10100 Torino
- tel 011-3290279 - fax 011-545033
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org