Peter Kolosimo

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Peter Kolosimo with his wife Caterina in their house in Turin, Italy, about 1972.

Peter Kolosimo, pseudonym of Pier Domenico Colosimo (15 December 1922 – 23 March 1984), was an Italian journalist and writer. He is ranked amongst the founders of pseudoarchaeology (in Italian: fantarcheologia), a controversial topic where interpretations of the past are made that are not accepted the archaeological science community, which reject the accepted datagathering and analytical methods of the discipline. He also popularised ancient astronaut theories of contact between extraterrestrial beings and ancient human civilizations.[1]

Life[edit]

Of Italian-American origins, he was born in Modena, and lived in Bolzano, Turin and Milan. In 1969 he won the Premio Bancarella, one of Italy's most prestigious literary prizes, for Non è terrestre ("Not of this World"). His books were translated in 60 countries, including Russia, Japan and China.

In WWII he fought with Italy as a wagoner but deserted and fled to join the resistance in Bohemia. During this time he becomes a communist, pro-Soviet, and Stalinist, directing a radio program for a while before being forced underground during the Cold War and publishing science-fiction novels under the pseudonym Omega Jim [2]. He published many more books, all widely popular and translated in 60 countries, including Russia, Japan, and China. In the 70s and early 80s until his death, he was the editor of many magazines, including Pi Kappa, a "fantarchaeologia" magazine covering the same topics that Kolosimo did in his books. He wrote a few books in his later life with his wife, Caterina.

Kolosimo also founded and coordinated the Italian Association for Prehistoric Studies (ASP).[3]

He died in Milan in 1984.

Reception[edit]

Kolosimo's claims about ancient astronauts influencing human civilizations are considered to be pseudohistory.[4]

In a review of Kolosimo's Not of This World, Jason Colavito has alleged that the book fabricates evidence, mistranslates sources and conflates science fiction and fact.[5]

Kolosimo became famous in Italy during his life, and received the Premio Bancarella in 1969, one of Italy's most prestigious literary prizes for "Non e terrestre". He was interviewed by Playboy in November of 1974, and his obituary was published in the Italian version of GQ magazine. Many communist organizations still in existence today remember him as a pioneer, a warrior, and a dreamer.

Wu Ming, an Italy-based collective of writers, considered Kolosimo a "fellow novelist" and wrote about him in several occasions, including a story published in GQ (Italian edition), where they state, “we like to think he just left the planet, and is still travelling across the universe”[6]. He is remembered lovingly as well by Fantascienza, an Italian “alternative science” magazine, as a dreamer who was writing for the people, and encouraging the Soviet alternative to regular, conservative science, and did so successfully[7]. Pagine 70, another Italian magazine, describes Non e terrestre as his “first official revenge on the academic world” that tended to reject his ideas. The author goes on to describe Kolosimo as “an affable man, perhaps a great conversationalist, certainly an uncommon man. He describes Kolosimo’s work as undeterred against the repeated “snobbery of the academic world. The most compelling line of this almost ballad to Kolosimo is “imagination is a social weapon, which can break down regimes, give birth to states, and think… even manage to land on the moon.”[8] These lovers of Kolosimo seem to see him as using pseudohistory as a tool to shake people from their belief that capitalist society is natural and transhistorical, opening minds to other possibilities for how humans can live.

Selected bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Il pianeta sconosciuto (1957) ISBN 9788842539803
  • Terra senza tempo (1964; translated into English as Timeless Earth) ISBN 9788842533177
  • Ombre sulle stelle (1966) ISBN 9788842534235
  • Psicologia dell'eros (1967)
  • Non è terrestre (1968; translated as Not of this World) ISBN 9788842534129
  • Guida al mondo dei sogni (1968)
  • Il comportamento erotico degli europei (1970)
  • Cittadini delle tenebre (1971)
  • Astronavi sulla preistoria (1972; translated as Spaceships in Prehistory) ISBN 9788842532149
  • Odissea stellare (1974) ISBN 9788842542414
  • Fratelli dell'infinito (1975)
  • Polvere d'inferno (1975)
  • Italia mistero cosmico (1977) ISBN 9788842547013
  • Civiltà del silenzio (1978)
  • Fiori di luna (1979)
  • Io e l'indiano (1979)
  • Viaggiatori del tempo (1981)
  • I misteri dell'universo (1982, with Caterina Kolosimo)

Novels[edit]

  • Fronte del sole or I cavalieri delle stelle (From Outer Space), De Vecchi, Milano 1979 (with Caterina Kolosimo)
  • Missione uomo, Dizionari dell'Avventura n.9, Bruno Boggero e Giunti-Marzocco, 1982 (with Oscar Warner)

Editor[edit]

  • Pi Kappa, rivista di mistero, archeologia ed esobiologia (director), I-II, Sugar, Milano 1972-1973
  • Dimensione X, enciclopedia del mistero (coordinator), 1-10, Milano 1982
  • Italia misteriosa (editor), Edipem, Milano 1984
  • Scrutando nel futuro (editor), Edipem, Novara 1984

References[edit]

External links[edit]