Project Titan - San Marino, UFOs and the UN

The story behind a Project which could deeply affect the whole UAP subject

Questo articolo ha una versione italiana    

Paolo Guizzardifoto di Paolo

Project Titan's logo

The Guaita tower in San Marino city, the NYC UN building and a UFO appear together with the flag of San Marino and the logos of ICER and CUN in Project Titan’s logo. (Author’s document)


The date of September 13, 2021 could represent a moment of great importance for world history and the world of UAP/UFO phenomenology study and research.

On that date, a delegation composed by Roberto Pinotti, President of CUN and ICER, Gary Heseltine, Vice President of ICER and this writer, responsible for international contacts of CUN and ICER’s National Representative for Italy, were received at Palazzo Pubblico by San Marino’s Secretary of State for Education and Culture, Andrea Belluzzi.

The purpose of this visit was to illustrate and officially submit to the government of San Marino the proposal for an initiative called ‘Project Titan’ (in Italian ‘Progetto Titano’). The Project envisages that in its capacity as a United Nations (UN) member state, the Republic of San Marino submits a proposal to the UN for the creation of an Office tasked with the organization of a periodical world conference. The purpose of the proposed conference is to assess the state of research on the UAP/UFO phenomenon and is meant to be held in the Republic of San Marino.

La delegazione CUN-ICER

The CUN-ICER delegation in the Public Palace of San Marino, with accompanying escort, waiting to be received by the Minister of Culture and University of RSM.
From left, the author, the ‘Guardia di Rocca’ Sergeant Mr. Ronald Cardinali, Gary Heseltine and Roberto Pinotti. (Author's Photo)

Historical Precedents - It All Started With A Small Caribbean Island

In order to understand how this all came about, it is necessary to go back to the day when "at the UN they talked about UFOs", that is to say, the New York of December 18, 1978. On that date, the UN General Assembly approved Decision 33/426, where the UN General Assembly "...invites interested member states to take appropriate measures to coordinate at the national level scientific research and investigations into extraterrestrial life, including unidentified flying objects, and to inform the Secretary General of observations, research and evaluation of such activities."

Decision 33/426 of 1978 was the result of precise action undertaken by the Republic of Grenada, a small island in the Caribbean Sea that had recently become independent of Great Britain. Its leader, Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy, had a particular interest in the issue of UFOs, as they were called at that time, and he took the initiative to have the subject addressed at the international level by the UN.

Sir Gairy's action, already foreshadowed during the 30th UN General Assembly of 1975, would then gain momentum during the General Assemblies of the following two years with initiatives of increasing tone, culminating with the 33rd General Assembly of 1978, the one in which Decision 426 was approved.

Official portrait of Sir Eric Matthew Gairy

Official portrait of Sir Eric Matthew Gairy, Feb. 18, 1922 - Aug. 23, 1997 (from

At this point, it is necessary to make a procedural clarification. Perhaps a tedious one, but one that is necessary in order to correctly frame the entire situation. It is widely believed that the Grenada proposal’s examination by the UN had been suspended due to the coup that ousted Gairy’s government in March 1979. The Grenada proposal would have thus since then remained "dormant". Any interested member state could have it ‘resurrected’ in order to resubmit it on its own initiative.

This is not at all correct because the United Nations official documents, available online, show that in 1978 the Grenada proposal had procedurally completed the cycle of presentation, discussion and vote. In fact, the proposal was submitted through diplomatic channels to the Office of the UN Secretary-General. The Special Political Committee was chosen for discussion. It was taken into consideration by the Committee during three different sessions. During this process, Grenada modified several times the text of its proposal on the basis of the discussions held in the Committee (and of the related, strong downward pressure). The Committee finally recommended the modified proposal to the General Assembly for a vote. Then, on December 18th 1978, the Assembly proceeded to vote on it by consensus, transforming the proposal into the 426th Decision of that General Assembly.

With this last act the complete cycle of presentation, discussion and vote was concluded. From a formal point of view nothing was left unfinished..

Sir Eric Gairy giving a speech at the UN General Assembly

Sir Eric Gairy giving a speech at the UN General Assembly (from

But let us now leave the formal aspect to deal with the merits of the Grenadine proposal. The text of the original proposal submitted by Sir Gairy's Grenada (which is also the title of the Decision) reads "Establishment of an agency or department of the United Nations to undertake, coordinate and disseminate the results of research on unidentified flying objects and related phenomena", while the text of the resulting Decision reads "The Secretary-General invites interested member states to take appropriate steps to coordinate nationally the scientific research and investigation of extraterrestrial life, including unidentified flying objects, and to inform the Secretary-General of the observations, research and evaluation of such activities.”

The comparative examination of the texts shows that in Decision 33/426 the spirit of the original 1978 Grenada proposal to the United Nations has been entirely reversed.

In simple terms, Grenada had proposed the creation of a UN agency responsible for the study of the UFO phenomenon, while the resulting decision invited interested member states to organize themselves and proceed on their own to study the phenomenon.

To make a paradoxical comparison, but which gives a good idea, one could say that it is a bit like asking for a four-engine transport plane, but ending up with a baby stroller.

Testo della Decisione 33/426

The official text of Decision 33/426 adopted by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 18, 1978 (from

In any case, as we know from historical documents, Sir Gairy's action towards the UN would not have remained limited to Decision 33/426. As such, the decision was somehow accepted by Gairy as a temporary stopgap. He was nonetheless happy with ‘keeping the attention alive on the subject’ for the moment. Sir Gairy's government was then overthrown in March 1979 while he was in New York to develop the next steps of his pro-UFO initiative. Bishop's coup put an end, not only to Sir Gairy's government, but also to his pro-UFO UN initiative, which came to a standstill, as no other UN member country showed any interest in the matter.

Therefore, if there has been anything left unfinished in Grenada's general action towards the UN, something that has remained "hanging", unrealized, that is the original spirit of the proposal: to elevate the UFO/UAP discourse to its proper level, i.e., the international public level. It is therefore from the original spirit of the initiative where we must start if one wants to revive it in the appropriate way. As for Decision 33/426, in itself, it is factually useless and can be held as a historical reference.

The Distant Genesis Of Project Titan

It was the current President of the Centro Ufologico Nazionale (CUN) and of ICER, Dr. Roberto Pinotti, a fine connoisseur of the Grenada initiative, who seriously intends to revive its spirit, that realised a couple of decades ago that the Republic of San Marino had the right characteristics to host a world-class conference on the UAP/UFO phenomenon. He knew this small republic very well due to personal reasons. However, in addition to the general characteristics, he knew that the most relevant factor was that San Marino is a full UN member state. This allowed the Republic to submit proposals to the United Nations.

But as it was for the Republic of Grenada in 1978, in the 90s the time was not ripe for San Marino to engage the UN on this issue. That was despite several attempts by Pinotti; however the idea never went beyond the stage of a verbal proposal.

Il Palazzo Pubblico di San Marino

Palazzo Pubblico in San Marino city, seat of government (Author's photo)

Many years have passed since then. Years in which from time to time the idea resurfaced only to be soon submerged into oblivion again, with the general situation remaining unchanged.

The Near Genesis Of Project Titan

Then came that fateful date of December 16, 2017, when the New York Times and Politico made known to the public the existence of the AATIP program, starting the process of disclosure, i.e., the removal of the UFO secret, which is still ongoing.

Thus, in the spring of 2019, when the process had already demonstrated that it was not a fatuous fire, and well aware of the historical precedents at the UN and of the previous attempts of Dr. Pinotti, this writer realized that the time was finally ripe to engage with San Marino again.

The need to start off on the right foot immediately became apparent.
It was necessary to have a clear objective right from the start, that of putting on paper an organic and well-structured proposal that constituted a precise plan of action, a precise business plan to propose to the government of the Republic of San Marino. It was also evident that such an undertaking would imply for the CUN the need to provide support to the authorities of San Marino in terms of ufological, procedural and media issues. It was not a simple task, as this would require the deployment of quite a considerable range of resources. Very soon, it became clear that a collaboration with another body was essential. Something easier said than done, as this other body had to be very qualified. Fortunately, at that time there was an idea that was consolidating, and that (after a long gestation) would have led to the formation of ICER, the International Coalition for Extraterrestrial Research. But ICER had to become an established reality first and in the spring of 2021, although this was already decided, it was not yet known when this would happen.

As if that were not enough, another problem introduced a further factor of uncertainty. It had already been decided that the presentation of Project Titan to the San Marino government would coincide with the 30th edition of the International UFO Symposium organized by the CUN in San Marino, an unmissable and highly symbolic occasion. But the volatility of the situation caused by Covid-19 had made it very difficult to set any firm date for the Symposium in 2021.
Moreover, news from the San Marino side was not good: it seemed that the government was no longer willing to sponsor the CUN Symposium.

After many months spent in uncertainty, at a certain point, the wind returned to swell the Project's sails. In a short time around middle 2021, it was possible to find a local sponsorship in San Marino, a useful date for the Symposium and a suitable, international ufological partner with which to join forces to support San Marino: the ICER became a reality towards the end of May 2021.

So it was that in a few years, after patient examinations of official documents, version after version, successive refinements, long periods of uncertainty, setbacks and restarts, in the early days of September 2021, this writer succeeded in finalizing the final version of that Project, which bears the name of the mount that is the very symbol of the most serene Republic of San Marino.

And so it was that finally on September 13 2021, the day after the conclusion of the 30th International Symposium on UFOs organized by CUN on Mount Titano, the proposal to participate in the Project bearing its name was finally submitted by a joint ICER-CUN delegation to the San Marino government.

It is important to note here that this Project emanates directly from the original spirit of the Grenada proposal. Credit for this fully goes to Dr Roberto Pinotti, who more than twenty years ago was clear about the important role that the Republic of San Marino could play in the process of bringing the UAP/UFO phenomenon to the attention of the highest forum of mankind. A process for which this writer has only looked for ways to make it practically feasible.

The Documents That Compose The Project

The Project consists of three documents: the Project itself, the Presentation for the San Marino government authorities and the Memorandum of Understanding between the parties for its concrete implementation.

        Project Titan's cover           Project Titan's Presentation           Project Titan's MoU          

The three documents that compose Project Titan: Project, Presentation and Memorandum of Understanding (Author's documents)

The Project

The qualifying point of the Project envisages that the government of San Marino submits to the UN Secretary-General a proposal for the creation within the UN structure of an office in charge of the organization of a periodical international conference to review studies and research on the UAP/UFO phenomenon, to be held in San Marino.

The Project explicitly would mean that the new office should weigh as little as possible on the structure of the United Nations, proposing that it be constituted within a pre-existing structure.

The conference to be organized by this office is conceived to allow the participation of any kind of actor in the UAP/UFO study and research process, such as
  • UN specialized agencies
  • Governmental research bodies of member states
  • International organizations
  • Private organizations.
The purpose of the conference is to serve as a stage, strategically located in a neutral state, where information, knowledge and new ideas about UAP/UFOs can be openly presented, exchanged, discussed and openly disseminated. This would end the secrecy and fragmentation at the national level that has been the rule until now, thus finally initiating a genuine and open international collaboration on the subject.

An important point of the Project is where the synergic collaboration between the CUN and ICER is foreseen in order to support the San Marino government in ufological and procedural matters and to elevate media awareness of the initiative. Thanks to the joint wealth of knowledge and experience in the field as well as media contacts that the two organizations will make available to the San Marino government, the latter will benefit from valuable support throughout the practical implementation of the Project.

Logo dell'ICER             Logo del CUN

The logos of the International Coalition for Extraterrestrial Research (ICER) and of the Centro Ufologico Nazionale of Italy,
the two driving forces behind the Project Titan initiative

The practical implementation of the Project, should San Marino accept to participate in it, will start with the official submission of the proposal to the Secretary-General of the UN through San Marino’s diplomatic representation within the organisation. According to UN practice, the Office of the Secretary-General will then schedule the proposal for discussion at the committee it deems appropriate (the Special Political Committee was the chosen place of examination for the Grenada proposal, but today it is different). There the proposal will be discussed – a stage in which changes may be made. Once agreement is reached by the examining committee, it will recommend the agreed text of the proposal for a vote at the General Assembly. In case of approval by the General Assembly, the proposal will become an official UN Resolution, or Decision, which will be implemented according to its provisions.

The Presentation

In the presentation for the San Marino Authorities, the advantages that the Republic of San Marino could draw from this initiative are highlighted, those are: notoriety in the world with a positive influence on tourism and their desired diversification, as well as a positive image for the country, all whilst increasing its international stature.

In the presentation are also mentioned the great importance for scientific progress in general and for the specific knowledge on the UFO/UAP phenomenon, still essentially mysterious, as well as the high potential of important scientific and technological fallouts that a genuine international collaboration can bring.

The presentation also takes into due consideration the financial aspect, underlining the fact that commitment of the proposed initiative for the Republic would be extremely limited, if not virtually null.

The presentation also highlights that the choice of the Republic of San Marino is definitely appropriate for this initiative. The tiny and ancient Republic is in fact not unfamiliar with the subject of UAP, as it has been hosting for some decades now the International Symposium on UFOs and related phenomena organized by the CUN, now in its thirtieth edition. The initiative of Project Titan for a world-class conference under the aegis of the UN, therefore, represents a natural evolution of this long-standing, successful and consolidated activity.

CUN's 30th Symposium poster

Poster for the 30th San Marino International Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects/UAP
and Related Phenomena, held September 11 and 12, 2021 (Author's photo)

In addition to this, in 1997 and 2013 the Republic dedicated two philatelic issues to the theme of UFOs, celebrating respectively the fifth and twentieth World Symposium on UAP organized by the CUN in San Marino under the aegis of its government.

Francobollo ufologico del 1997           Francobollo ufologico del 2013

The two philatelic issues with a ufological theme of San Marino,
respectively of 1997 and 2013 (from

Last but not least, the presentation underlines the fact that the Republic's centuries-old neutrality, a well-deserved source of national pride, makes it the ideal location to host a world-class forum such as the one proposed.
The neutrality of San Marino can indeed facilitate the meeting of geographically and geopolitically diversified cultures, knowledge and experiences. This would greatly help promote the exchange and discussion of experiences on the UAP/UFO phenomenon hitherto confined within national borders, which once publicly shared could significantly enrich the knowledge on UAP/UFO phenomenology for the benefit of science and humanity.

The Memorandum Of Understanding

Finally, the Memorandum of Understanding is the document whereby the parties, i.e. the Government of San Marino, ICER and CUN, express their joint will to practically implement the Project according to what is contained in its text.

The signing of the protocol sanctions the will of the parties to concretely implement the Project and formally starts its practical implementation.


We have seen the historical background of the most important attempt to have the United Nations deal with UAP/UFOs and we have seen how efforts are being made to revive its genuine spirit.

Now that Project Titan has been submitted to the government authorities, it only remains to be hoped that the farsightedness of the San Marino government will finally allow the worthy crowning to the original spirit of Sir Gairy's initiative, revived after more than forty years by the efforts of Roberto Pinotti and put on paper by this writer.

The enchanting, neutral setting of San Marino City and its Mount Titano, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, could truly become the new "Geneva of UFOs".

Veduta di Torra Guaita

A view of the Guaita Tower in San Marino City, one of the symbols of San Marino
(Photo by Matteo Panara on Unsplash)