News and Commentary

The Story Of When A UFO Stopped A Professional Soccer Match In Its Tracks

"We were astonished, we had never seen anything like it before."
Giovanni berta stadium, florence 30s. (Photo by: Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Photo by: Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It’s War of the Worlds all over again as folks across the country are buzzing over new government reports regarding UFOs and an upcoming Senate hearing on the topic. 

This past weekend, CBS News’s “60 Minutes” revealed an explosive report revealing that UFO sightings within the military are far more common than previously thought. 

As reported by The Daily Wire, former government officials and military personnel told CBS they’d encountered technology that defied logic — and physics — including craft traveling 13,000 miles per hour with “unlimited loiter time.”

While the recent news may be alarming to some, it certainly isn’t the first time the public has been made aware of the possibility of extraterrestrials (or foreign governments) hovering over us. People have claimed to encounter UFOs for generations, and with greater access to video cameras than ever before, sightings are bound to increase. 

According to BBC News, UFO sightings have been shocking the public since long before “60 Minutes” piqued our interest — even to the point of stopping a professional soccer match in its tracks. 

On October 27, 1954, the sports world came to a standstill in Tuscany, Italy. 

The powerful Fiorentina soccer club was playing its rival in Pistoiese. It was a normal autumn day with ten thousand fans packing Stadio Artemi Franchi, when out of the blue a roar rose from the crowd. Play came to a halt as the fans turned their attention to the sky above.

According to BBC News, Ardico Magnini — a member of the Italian team at the 1954 World Cup — remembers the moment vividly. 

“I remember everything from A to Z,” Magnini said. “It was something that looked like an egg that was moving slowly, slowly, slowly. Everyone was looking up and also there was some glitter coming down from the sky, silver glitter. We were astonished, we had never seen anything like it before. We were absolutely shocked.”

In the crowd that day was Gigi Boni, a lifetime Fiorentina fan, who remembered seeing the unexplainable object. 

“I remember clearly seeing this incredible sight,” Boni said. “They were moving very fast and then they just stopped. It all lasted a couple of minutes. I would like to describe them as being like Cuban cigars. They just reminded me of Cuban cigars, in the way they looked.”

“I think they were extra-terrestrial. That’s what I believe, and there’s no other explanation I can give myself.”

According to the referee’s report, play was suspended as the crowd and players stopped to witness the phenomenon. It wasn’t the only sighting in Tuscany that day, as there were reports of numerous UFO sightings in nearby towns the day of the match as well as in the days that followed. 

Making the story even more fascinating were the reports of a strange substance falling from the sky. In what was described as a “silver glitter,” residents of the city reported seeing the white fluff and described it as similar to cotton wool or cobwebs. 

The president of Italy’s National UFO Centre, Roberto Pinotti, was at the match in 1954 and recalls the material that fell from the sky. 

“It is a fact that at the same time the UFOs were seen over Florence there was a strange, sticky substance falling from above,” Pinotti said. “In English we call this ‘angel hair.'”

“The only problem is after a short period of time it disintegrates. I remember, in broad daylight, seeing the roofs of the houses in Florence covered in this white substance for one hour and, like snow, it just evaporated. No-one knows what this strange substance has to do with UFOs.”

Those that are more rationally inclined, tend to believe the mysterious material came from migrating spiders, who use their webs as sails during the months of September and October.

“You know the whole UFO phenomenon is nothing but myth, magic and superstition, wrapped up in this idea that somehow aliens are coming here either to save us or destroy us,” U.S. Air Force pilot-turned-astronomer James McGaha told BBC News. “When I looked at this case originally I thought perhaps it was a fireball, a very bright meteor breaking up in the atmosphere. They can be cigar-shaped with pieces breaking off. But it became fairly apparent that this was actually caused by young spiders spinning webs, very, very thin webs.”

It may be the more logical thought, but it’s far less intriguing, particularly for those Italian fans all those years ago. 

“Of course I know about the migrating spiders hypothesis — it’s pure nonsense. It’s an old story and also a stupid story,” Pinotti said, doubting the validity of the scientific explanation.

Much like Pinotti, those who have witnessed the unexplainable know what they saw, and won’t be swayed by logic. The upcoming Senate hearing could put a dent in their beliefs, or reinforce what they saw with their own eyes. Only time will tell.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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