Cucchiarelli: “Here is the Truth about Ustica. DC9 Shot Down by the Flames of a Fighter”


Special for Africa Express, Senza Bavaglio (Gagless) and Critica Liberale
Monica Mistretta
Milan, 29 September 2020

Forty years after the terrorist attack of Ustica and Bologna, the truth can wait. The official version of the events concerning the cursed evening of 1980 in which the DC9 Itavia fell with 81 people on board, sledding unhurriedly, decade after decade, making its way among the most disparate hypotheses, often glissing even on the investigations of the judiciary, on the indictments, on NATO documents, on the testimonies of those who had the courage to speak. Even the massacre of Bologna does not find a fixed point and takes a new track: the explosion of not one bomb, but two. It is useless to follow everything, it is useless: nobody believes it anymore. And maybe that’s what we wanted to achieve from the beginning.

Paolo Cucchiarelli, however, does not give up. His battle is an impeccable one: on the one hand the State Reason (or States), on the other hand the unavoidable objective truth of every good and honest journalist. So he takes back the documents, the deeds, the requisitions, he looks for direct witnesses, he manages to put the marasmus in order. And since he is a good and honest journalist, he does it with a book that cost eight years of work, including two years of writing: ‘Ustica & Bologna’. The collected evidence, published in over 400 pages, nails the reader to an unprecedented truth. No bomb, no missile: it is the flaming of a fighter plane on the cockpit of the DC9 that dealt the first fatal blow to the plane, immediately taking the lives of the two pilots. The photographs of the cabin windows, dissolved and crumpled by the burns, are there, even if nobody ever wanted to see them: Cucchiarelli publishes them. And he is already under attack: “The state idiots are at work,” he says smiling.

Let’s start from the airplane tracks on the skies of Ustica: why after 40 years we are not able to clarify an element that should be immediately verifiable? How many planes were in flight that night?

I simply followed the charts of the Prior investigation. The longest and most demanding judicial investigation in the history of the Italian judiciary. The problem is that some people lied.  And in the investigation the data are fragmented, recorded and piled up and often not “chosen”, immersed, almost “drowned” in an immense amount of data. NATO delivered aircraft tracks that were not identified. There are documents sent by NATO to the Italian government and judiciary: just consult them. The data are all there in the judicial investigation, in the sentences. We distinguish, however, between narrative fiction, often dominant, and judicial investigation. In the journalistic investigation the certain data useful to explain have only been “linked”, the significant data and able to explain what happened have been enucleated. It is enough to read. All the data cited on the attack on the DC9 as for Bologna are all in the two investigations or closed or in progress. New is the reading of the available elements.

In the 2 images the wreck of the DC 9 Itavia after recovery at the bottom of the sea

A secret has recently been put by the government on this matter. What do you think about it?

A month ago the government extended the secret on the communications between Colonel Stefano Giovannone, head of the Sismi in Beirut, and the Centrale, a material that concerns a period chronologically between Ustica and Bologna. The secret document had been asked on the input of Senator Carlo Giovanardi who claims that in those papers there would be proof that the PLO has shot down the DC9. This is simply absurd. Before speaking, we should read the official documents of the judiciary: I do not only mean the Prior inquiry, but also the sentences and the indictment of the magistrate. Evidently, the state idiots are at work. And, of course, I am not referring to the former Senator but to all those who comment, judge, ironize, reject a priori, without having read the over 600 pages of the investigation, seen the photos, the testimonies of those who, like Marco Affatigato, was the first to be sued for Ustica and Bologna; his completely new explanations of who moved and with what logic.

That evening next to the DC9 Itavia there were other planes… three Mig and a plane that passed itself off as an innocent Air Malta scheduled flight.

I identify them as ‘aggressors’, I cannot prove that they were Mig, there are, if anything, elements that authorize me to assume that they are Mig engaged in an unorthodox attack that has never been used before in peacetime. The role of the fake Air Malta is instead for me certain, marked all along the way. Enough reading. These aircrafts belonged to reserved structures that that night put in place an action of terrorism or, better, an unorthodox attack in unusual ways, of which there should be no trace. Modalities that leave one dismayed. Certainly, a Mig is seen by witnesses observing an airplane with a severed tip and a sting. So, unequivocally a Mig 21. There are hypotheses, traces and witnesses: everything is already in the Prior investigation. Everyone is talking about the fake Air Malta after the massacre. The amount of documentation available, certain, found, official, judicial is very large. It was only necessary to understand what Air Malta had done, or rather the Aggressor who passes himself off as an innocent Maltese airliner while the real civil Air Malta is more than 100 miles away, on the Tuscan islands: and this is a very certain fact.  The problem at least for Ustica is the nuclear traffic, in Bologna we must hit the freedom no longer allowed by the new American circles that will express the Reagan Presidency that belonged to the Lodo Moro, the pro-Arab and pro-Palestinian choice of at least a large part of the political world and our secret services at the time. Two slaps pulled by flat hand on the face of Italy.

Another magistrate who was investigating nuclear materials, this time by ship, gets in touch – by chance – with Prior: it is Francesco Neri who, at the beginning of the 90s, gets his hands on a colossal nuclear traffic between European and Middle Eastern countries. Have you found links?

The two magistrates were heard together in the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on waste: the hearing was secret, of course. I know that Prior that day said: “Nuclear power. Now I understand why Ustica”.

Let’s talk about the Secret Team, the structure linked to the CIA that, according to your book, leads the terrorist operation in the skies of Ustica. This structure operated in Gaddafi’s Libya, in turn an ally of Palestinian organizations. How is this possible?

The Secret Team operated in Libya to control Gaddafi: they were former Green Berets, CIA undercover and under protection. It was the extremist section of the CIA that had “sank” after the Watergate and the consequent control rules on clandestine operatives. Everything is available and readable in the investigations conducted by the U.S. Senate and in those of the U.S. judiciary as well as in qualified international publicity The Americans have always done business with Gaddafi, even during the period of so-called export restrictions from the North African country. The Americans, or rather, some lobbies, have always operated freely, even in spite of or against the American government, because money is stronger than law and politics. I do not invent anything. Evidently, this structure operated very well in Italy, since it also appears in the Moro case. I find the operational presence of at least three parallel structures: American, French and Israeli and the presence, in Ustica and Bologna, of mercenaries who are connected with Bob Denard, one of the most controversial soldiers of fortune of the last century. Marco Affatigato and the repentant of Ordine Nuovo, credible for the Italian magistrates, Carlo Digilio, talk about it. Let’s go back to the Secret Team , a structure that conducts business, carries out intelligence operations covered and not authorized by the U.S. government and has its own foreign policy and a network that intervenes in many key countries. This is well known in the documents.

Gaddafi from ’77 onwards, to strengthen his military structure, hires two businessmen based in Switzerland and South American countries, both are real experts in weapons: one is Edwin Wilson, the other is Frank Terpil, both are part of the Secret Team. The two operated under the cover of the American clandestine secret service, led by Ted Shackley. I was lucky enough to speak on the phone with Wilson, before he died: he told me that he had operated a lot in Italy, but never against us. This means that he had the coverage of at least part of the Italian secret services. After all, who operates in Libya, depends on the head of the CIA in Rome: obviously, Italy is decisive. These gentlemen do not reason with the parameter ‘either with me or against me’: this is not the way to proceed of the secret services. It is a world full of nuances, of apparent contradictions, of ambiguities, of things that stand together even if they shouldn’t. The story of the Americans, undercover CIA agents who train international terrorists in Libyan camps and rearm (and control) Gaddafi is told for the first time in Italy by this investigation but in the world it is well known. Yet Italy is the nation most involved and interested in understanding: only in theory however.

At this point I open a parenthesis: on these topics I refuse to answer to idiots who have not read the book. And I am referring to the ‘state idiots’, who do more damage than state secrets. It is the same Wilson who, under trial, defended himself by saying that he was working undercover for the Americans…. He had two assignments: one to control the terrorist Carlos the Jackal, linked to the Palestinians, and the other to control a possible atomic rearmament of Libya. For the rest, Wilson and his network has carte blanche to do all the business he wants: terrorist operations, targeted assassinations, all the things that the American government officially could not do. Always gaining, of course: I call it ‘Secret Team’, but not for nothing do American newspapers call it ‘The Enterprise’.

Let’s talk about the uranium rods that the magistrate Prior discovers in the course of the investigation.

The problem is that the report made on the DC9 excludes that the plane transported them. But there is a thousand evidences that they were on board: obviously the material was shielded… or not? It is told by the person who followed that operation. Instead we have a solid, diffused, non-scratchable but awaited silence.

How much does the life of 81 people on board a plane matter to a facility like the Secret Team?

Nothing. Less than nothing. That uranium was crucial for the start-up of the centrifuges of the Pakistani nuclear center that was supposed to supply the atomic bomb to all Muslim countries: it is Gaddafi who is financing this program himself. The Islamic bomb will be realized. But there will also be talk of dirty bombs with enriched uranium in the nosepiece: at that time in Libya there is a German company that is able to supply Gaddafi with a multi-stage missile, perhaps crude but effective, capable of hitting Israel with dirty warheads.  It’s all told in my book for the first time in detail.

What is the strongest link between the massacre of Ustica and that of Bologna?

The presence of Bob Denard’s mercenaries, part of the French structures, the other constant of these two massacres, together with the Secret Team and the presence of Israelis. Inside the Ustica affair I discover that one of Bob Denard’s men keeps uranium rods in a basement in Paris. The same material of which the Prior then finds the presence on board the DC9. But Bob Denard is sued for Bologna by Carlo Digilio, the most credible repentant of Ordine Nuovo, the one who allowed the investigation on Piazza Fontana.  And then one last question: why is Digilio credible on Piazza Fontana, but not on Bologna?

In your opinion, what possibility is there, on a scale from 0 to 100, that in the next ten years in Italy the truth about the massacres of Ustica and Bologna will finally come out, after it has already been procrastinated for 40 years?

Zero. We cannot afford it. Even the presidents of the associations of the families of the victims of the two massacres have been silent in front of this investigation that also says something new about why and “who”. Doesn’t that interest you? I took the silence of the State for granted, the silence of those who represent the pain of the victims does not.

Monica Mistretta


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