Italy: The Ustica Massacre, Did NATO Down an Italian Airliner?


The italian plane crash down in wich died 81 persons

remains a mistery after 39 years of investigations
misleading by aeronautics general about the missile
and the lethal accidents for many witnesses

___di Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio per VT Italia

Almost four decades later, the reconstruction of what happened in Italy’s most serious civil aviation disaster is still partly mysterious and controversial. For the death of 81 people, including 11 children, on the DC9 Itavia precipitated on June 27th 1980 in the waters nearby the island of Ustica the truth has not yet come to light completely and justice is still suspended, entangled between past misleadings and the silences of the present for a massacre on which the secrets of NATO weigh a lot.

The mystery remains such due to the fault of the generals and the other officers who have covered up reports and destroyed radar tracks, due to the numerous suicides and disturbing accidents that occurred to eyewitnesses of the Air Force. That’s for international political interests that made the Italians governments shy on demanding answers from other nations suspected of involvement in the tragedy: in particular the US and France for the alleged presence of their fighter-bombing military aircraft in the skies during the disaster.

That’s due to the conflicting sentences between criminal justice and civil. But finally it is also because journalists, partly due to opinionistic arrogance and a little bit of hatred towards some occult potentate, have saddened in the murky instead of trying to bring the truth to the surface.


The remains of the cockpit of the DC9 Itavia shot down by a missile and crashed near the island of Ustica killing all 81 people on board on June 27, 1980

Just some mainstream media, repeatedly denying the thesis of the missile, the only plausible explanation, motivated and proven by dozens of expert opinions and a sentence, have tarnished the truth with almost serious ideological misdirections like those devised by the generals of the Italian Armed Forces.

Mistakes worse than those that an informant, a self-styled deserter of the French Foreign Legion, ambiguous ambassador of unidentified secret services, built with a fog of lies around multiple burning truths to create an even more cumbersome vision in the investigation: I interviewed thi person and from which I received authentic documents, with reliable and verified information, which allowed me to sign on the front page of Il Giornale in 1996. Even his dossier half true and half false had no doubt about the rocket theory …

To make a little light on the truth, the 2017 ruling was taken into consideration. It certified that the DC9 of the Itavia which sank in the Ustica sea was shot down by a missile. And then there were various misdirections. For this reason the Italian State was condemned to pay over 17 million euros to 29 family members of the victims of the massacre of June 27, 1980 (81 people died in total). This established the sentence pronounced by the first civil section of the Court of Appeal of Palermo. According to the judges, the red hering of the investigations carried out in the aftermath of the plane crash remains ascertained.

The aircraft, which went from Bologna to Palermo, was probably knocked down by a missile, still unidentified today, and in the opinion of the civil judges the ministries of Defense and Transport did not ensure adequate safety conditions. For the court the alternative hypothesis of the bomb placed on board or of a structural collapse is excluded, therefore, in line with the scenario of the air battle and the intrusion of unidentified aircraft in the route of the DC9 already traced by the investigation concluded in 1999 by the investigating judge Rosario Priore.


The remains of the MIG-23MS of the Libyan Air Force were found in the Sila mountains in the Timpa delle Magare area, in the current municipality of Castelsilano Crotonese

This would have happened during a real battle in the skies between Libyan MIGs and French Mirages or, as emerged more recently, F14 – Tomcat of the US Navy, In the most accredited reconstruction a Libyan fighter would in fact used the DC9 as a cover from a missile while another MIG-23MS of the Libyan Air Force was found in Castelsilano Crotonese, in the Sila mountains, on 18 July 1980.

Subsequent investigation legitimized the doubt that this plane had fallen on June 27th, but its discovery was subsequently reported: even keeping the pilot’s head in the fridge frozen. Even Giovanni Spadolini, then defense minister from 1983 to 1987, said that anyone who solved the mystery of the MIG could understand the Ustica massacre.

Two MIG 23 of the Libyan Air Force such as the one crashed on the Sila

In this reflection, I do not intend to dwell beyond probing all the innumerable judicial episodes of this story dripping with blood and injustice. I would first like to try to give a brief answer to two important reasons.

Why after so many years there are still those who do not believe in the version of the plane shooted down as mistake by a missile? A thesis that has always been supported by the most meticulous journalist who followed the inquiry or Andrea Purgatori, screenwriter of the magnificent film by Marco Risi The rubber wall, repeatedly censored at the request of the Italian Air Force.

Why so many cover-ups? Simply for money. Those of the billionaire reparations that France or the USA would have had to recognize to the relatives of the victims of Itavia if they had admitted their responsibilities in a war action around a civil flight.

Because may be different to be compensated for a generic massacre of which the contours have not been clarified, as established by the sentence of the Italian Civil Justice, or for the explosion of a missile fired from a fighter during a fight: it is undisputed that the the extent of the compensation could change considerably.

Add to this the fact that such a very serious air accident would have undermined the credibility of the Nato defense system. It was born at a time when the same US bases in Italy were often the object of disputes by pacifists as in the gigantic demonstration of 4 July 1982 in Comiso led by Pio La Torre against the installation of new missiles, to name one of the many. A protest that was probably successful precisely because of the previous DC9 Itavia plane crash.


Why, on the other hand, after so many years has he not yet asserted whether it was a missile, as claimed by the sentence of the Civil Justice, or a bomb as suggested by the sentence of the Criminal Justice? For a quibble. Just for a quibble …

Many years ago I writed an editorial, published in the newspaper Notizia Oggi Vercelli, which I was director. The title of the article was: USTICA, THE WORD THAT CHANGES THE STORY. If today we and the relatives of the victims do not yet know an indisputable and consolidated truth it is precisely and exclusively for a word.

Two italian Military Aeonautics generals was on trial for high treason and attack on the constitutional autority for the evident, repeated and aggravated cover-ups committed abusing their powers during the investigation of the magistracy on Ustica, and in particular the final one of the investigating judge Rosario Priore who reached the highest degree of proximity to the truth. They were then were acquitted by prescription of the crime as it was disputed to them the UPSET in the investigations (prescription in 15 years) and not the IMPEDIMENT or the total obstacle, crime for which the prescription is much longer.

If this case had been challenged, as requested by the public prosecution and by the civil parties, not only two generals would have been convicted, not only the civil action for compensation could have been started against the Ministry of Defense and not generically towards the State for compensation for a generic massacre, but it would have been clearly written that the investigation had been totally PREVENTED, probably giving new impetus to further investigations.


The journalist Andrea Purgatori who was the first to find evidence of the missile and misleading investigations in the Corriede della Sera and made new discoveries for the Atlantide transmission italian tv LA7

The exoneration of the generals for disturbing the investigation only by prescription of the crime sanctioned a single truth: on Ustica the cover-ups disturbed the investigations to such an extent that they prevented an objective complete confirmation of the facts. However, in light of this criminal sentence, and in the absence of a trial on the massacre because the open file has always been against unknown persons, with what courage there are still journalists who depict the missile hypothesis as visionary and is accented to support that of bomb?

An F14 Tomcat fighter from the 103 combat squadron of the Saratoga Us Navy aircraft carrier

In 2018 the journalist Andrea Purgatori in his transmission Atlantide for LA7 brought to light new disturbing evidence to try to knock down the “rubber wall” erected to cover the massacre. The documentary «Ustica, the last mile» contains an exclusive interview with Brian Sandlin, a sailor on the US aircraft carrier Saratoga: «We shot down two Libyan Mig» (La7 now on Rivedila7). Sandlin claims to have seen two fighter fighters “Fighting 103” take off from the aircraft carrier during the night of the incident for a combat mission against two Libyan Mig. However, according to the former sailor, when they returned, the planes no longer had weapons under their wings “.

These would be the F-14 Tomcat attack aircraft supplied in the 1980s to the American aeronautics that in Mediterranean Sea is based on the US Navy VI fleet in Naples and can also count on the contingent Naval Air Force (NAS) of Sigonella.


The sequence of the collision of the Frecce Tricolore plane during the performance in the Ramstein base which precipitated caused a massacre

Among the numerous incidents that occurred to people in some way implicated as potential witnesses in the Ustica disaster, the massacre of August 29, 1988 at the NATO military base in Ramstein in Germany, headquarters of the Usaf aviation (and Africom from 2008) in Europe, in which 70 people died due to the collision between three Frecce Tricolori planes that caused the fall of the one piloted by two presumed witnesses of the Ustica massacre.

The investigations of two German daily newspapers: Tageszeitung and Der Spiegel in April 1991 hypothesized that the accident was not due to a maneuvering error, but to a sabotage carried out to eliminate them.

In the sentence-order of the judge Rosario Priore on the massacre of Ustica, on p. 4667, where the magistrate talks about the colonels Mario Naldini and Ivo Nutarelli, officers of the AM and members of the acrobatic team, we can read: «[…] The two pilots officers of the interceptor group, in service at the Grosseto airport, on the evening of June 27, 1980, were flying on F104, up to about 10 minutes before the disappearance of the Itavia DC9 – their landing at Grosseto airport is recorded at 8.45pm and 8.45pm locals; that this aircraft, together with another likely that of the cadet, had flown for a long stretch of preserves to the civil aircraft; that during this route and at the time of landing he had unlocked the emergency codes “.


One of the victims of the DC9 massacre found in the Ustica sea a few hours after the disaster

But besides the damage now there is also the mockery. In fact, a legal dispute about repayments broke out as reported in February 2019 the newpaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. «Carlo Parrinello is one of the 81 victims of the Ustica aerial massacre. When on June 27, 1980 the DC9 Itavia was shot down by a missile and sank in the Tyrrhenian Sea, he was 44 years old and kept his family. On 7 July 2017, the Civil Appeal Court of Palermo ruled that the Italian State should compensate his wife and three daughters with one million and 908 thousand euros: of this sum they received only slightly more than 431 thousand euros and for this reason Parrinello’s family members have notified an attachment deed to third parties against the ministries of Transport and Defense. The credit subject of foreclosure is € 1,477,107» writes the newspaper.

«The State advocate claims that the families of the victims receive an allowance of around 1,600 euros a month, so all future sums that the family members will receive up to the age of 75 must be deducted from the compensation – according by Il Fatto Quotidiano – the family lawyers of Parrinello, lawyers Vanessa and Fabrizio Fallica, argue instead that the sentence does not speak at all about this future deduction and indicates with precision the compensation that the State must pay».

«It is an embarrassing situation – the lawyers say – This position of the lawyer only serves to aggravate even more the State of expenses for the executive procedures». In the appeal ruling that involved 42 family members of the victims, the judges condemned the ministries to pay the lawyers 378,484 euros in addition to the flat-rate reimbursement for general expenses, Cpa and Iva. The Phallic lawyers have notified an act of precept to the two ministries also from the eight relatives of other three victims that they must have, after the definitive sentence, around two million euros having also received them only a partial payment.


Daria Bonfietti, president of the Association of Relatives of the Victims of Ustica, near the remains of the DC9 Itavia

While Rai News today dedicates yet another documentary to the story to give vent to the requests of the Association Relatives of Victims of the Ustica Massacre, established and chaired by Daria Bonfietti, the case remains an open wound that will never heal in the tormented heart of Italian justice.

Unfortunately we only remember it on this recurrence day. But out of respect for the dead, at least on this day no other lies are being spread denying the missile’s only certainty as some journalists have recently done.

Meanwhile, a dossier is still open on the disaster, managed by the prosecutors of Rome, Maria Monteleone and Erminio Amelio, who in recent years have obtained partial responses only from France on air traffic on the night of 27 June 1980.

Just like the UN investigation into the mysterious plane crash in which the former UN secretary Dag Hammarskjöld died along with 14 people including diplomatic officials and crew members on 18 September 1961. The note with which the United Kingdom refused to answer the United Nation Association Westminster Branch, a NGO recognized by the Palace of Glass that is conducting investigations into the Hammarskjöld case (which we will discuss in a forthcoming report), dates back to last month.

After 58 years the silence for security reasons is equivalent to a clear admission of guilt. Exactly like that do the USA and France, 39 years after the Ustica massacre, to defend the image of NATO at the price of Italy’s truth and credibility.

Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio


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  1. We are sure that was a missile, and today the full story is a long show of Marco Paolini, where almost all the details are presente, but really all the story is ridiculous and the authority talking about it appear like a stupid donkey repeating “I don’t know, I don’t know, we don’t see anything” (who believe you stupid moron!).
    After years and years of “we don’t know”, at the end “all the people know!”.
    Was better say the truth! But was so a shame that was better stay mute, because USA ever say that we have some rougue state, forgiving when is the usa behave like a rogue state.
    So enjoy the full stori at:

    So we can put this plane hit for error, with the disaster of Cavalese where a Grumman intruder with two killers fly so low to cut the wire of the cableway.
    The two heroes was Joseph Schweitzer and captain Richard J. Ashby, they confess to have destroyed registration that allow to rebuild the fact in details. WE REMEMBER!

    Magically when the was back from the disater all the evidence disappear, and the two killers so quickly disappear from the stage.

    USA is losing friends day by day, you know how do that at best!

  2. The Italians shouldn’t feel alone. Aren’t we still trying to figure out if TWA800 was an accident or a deliberate shoot down to kill one of the passengers? Killing an entire planeload of people has been considered “acceptable” for quite some time now.

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