October 27, 1954 was a perfectly normal autumn day in Florence-until about 2.20 in the afternoon, that is. Looking skywards in the area around the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, people where astonished to see a squadron of 20 or more luminous objects of different shapes passing at high speed over the church's dome. Eyewitnesses variously described the unidentified flying objects (UFOs) as long and cigar-shaped, white and shaped like seagull wings, round and ‘like a Chinese mandarin's hat.' Some, eyewitnesses said, flew in pairs, others alone. Cruising in at high speed from the direction of the Cascine, they hovered in the area for about 15 minutes until zigzagging off to the southeast.