March 17-18, 2001

Sponsored by the Republic of San Marino


Dr. Richard Boylan

It is perhaps one of those cosmic ironies that one of the tiniest independent States in the world, the Republic of San Marino, should be the first national government to not only recognize UFOs, but devote a considerable sum of its treasury to hosting an annual international Symposium on UFOs and Related Phenomena, open to all the world. And it is a further irony that this lovely little fairy-tale country, its mountainous crags adorned with numerous medieval castles, is the most progressive state in the world on the subject of UFO reality. There is no UFO Cover-Up in the Republic of San Marino! Having been assaulted by both Church and State (Italy) in repeated attempts over the centuries to acquire and annex San Marino, the citizens of this brave Republic have learned to regard ideology with caution, and to stick to plain-truth facts. And their facts include both the reality and the importance of understanding the UFO/ET phenomenon.

This was the ninth consecutive World Symposium on UFOs. Next year, being the Tenth Anniversary of this UFO Symposium, San Marino is considering issuing commemorative postage stamps honoring a decade of putting out to the world the UFO Symposia. Those should be quite collector items for UFOlogists and philatelists alike.

The Ninth Symposium was held at the State Theater for touristic and cultural events, just down the crenellated parapets from the five-star Grand Hotel of San Marino, where speakers were hosted by the Republic under the gracious hand of Madame Licini of the State Office of Tourism and Culture. The Symposium was organized by Sociology Professor Roberto Pinotti of Florence, also president of CUN, one of Italy's largest UFO organizations.

Among those participating were: Nick Pope, former point-man on UFO affairs for Britain's Ministry of Defence, Antonio Huneeus, journalist and ufologist from Chile, Boris Shurinov, President of the largest UFOs organization, Moscow, Gildas Bourdais, perhaps the best known ufologist in France since Jacques Vallee left for the U.S., A.J. Gevaerd, ufological journalist from Brazil, Eltjo Hasselhoff, President of the Dutch Center for Crop Circles Studies (and shirttail relative of Bay Watch star, David Haselhoff and perhaps handsomer), Italian-American ufological journalist Paola Leopizzi Harris, Haktan Akdogan, President of Turkey's largest UFO organization, and of course, this writer, in addition to numerous distinguished Italian ufologists.

Notably absent, though invited, was Monsignor Corrado Balducci, noted cleric and proponent of Star Visitor reality on Italian national television. This writer has learned that Monsignor Balducci has been requested by the Vatican to keep quiet now on the UFO matter, since his earlier pronouncements on Star Visitors' contacts and benign and spiritually-advanced nature have gotten too global attention, thanks to publicity from Whitley Strieber's book and this writer's dispatches.

On the Friday before the weekend UFO/Star Visitor Symposium, a parallel scientific Symposium was hosted by San Marino on "Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Frontier of Bio-Astronomy and SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence]". Among the notables presenting were: American uber-astronomer Frank Drake, deviser of the formula calculating the probability of abundant ET high civilizations, Giorgio Buonvoni, astronomer with the Vatican Observatory, Cesare Falessi, President of the Union of Italian Aerospace Journalists, and Claudio Maccone, aerospace engineer and Italian member of the SETI Institute.

The presentations I was able to attend were high-quality, as befits an international Symposium. I did not hear startling new revelations, (although the Italians seem to think that what I, among others, had to report was remarkable.) The key significance of this Symposium is that the ice has been broken on government secrecy about UFOs. True, back several decades ago the Prime Minister of Grenada asked the UN to open discussion on the UFO Question. But to my knowledge, the minuscule but brave Repubblica di San Marino is the first national government to openly espouse the UFO/Star Visitors matter as serious and worthy of careful erudite attention.

When will the next government come on line? Will it be perhaps Chile, whom journalist Antonio Huneeus reported had its Air Force officers go on national television to talk about their aerial encounters with UFOs? Will the Vatican State reconsider, and unmuzzle the brave priest Balducci to share his research into Star Visitor encounters and experiencers? Or will France follow up on its not-too-sly "civilianized" COMETA report on UFO reality with a more forthright official-government report? Quelle marvilleux!

The long journey to official global acknowledgment of UFO/Star Visitor reality begins with a single step. It is to the credit of the tiny Republic of San Marino that they have taken that first step.


Richard Boylan, Ph.D., Councillor

Richard Boylan, Ph.D., LLC
Diamond Springs, CA 95619-1009