Solve the mystery. The Italian authorities need your help.....!
FEATURE-Sicily's blazes put science to the test
By Shasta Darlington
CANNETO DI CARONIA, Sicily, April 2 (Reuters) - The gate at
the entrance to this tiny Sicilian village has come off its
hinges and swings in the wind as cats wander into homes
abandoned after a series of mystery fires.
This is not your average ghost town.
Canneto di Caronia has been taken over by an endless flow of
scientists, engineers, police and even a few self-styled
"ghostbusters" searching for clues to the recent spontaneous
combustion of everything from microwave ovens to a car.
The fires started in mid-January and have claimed home
appliances and fuse boxes in about half of the 20 odd houses.
The blazes originally blamed on the devil himself have not hurt
After a brief respite last month, the flames have flared up
again almost daily even though electricity to the village was
cut off long ago.
"We're working in the dark. We don't have a single lead so
far," said Pedro Spinnato, mayor of the trio of Caronia towns.
"Every time some new scientist comes to town they arrive
thinking the whole thing has been invented or that they're going
to solve the mystery in two minutes. They've all been wrong."
ELECTRICIANS AND EXORCISTS
The 39 inhabitants of the town halfway between Palermo and
Messina were evacuated after the regional government declared a
state of emergency in Canneto, which occupies a single street
nestled between a railway line and the sea.
But after weeks of sleeping in a nearby hotel and houses
rented for them by the government, they're getting desperate.
"I've seen an air conditioner burst into flames and burn
down in 30 seconds. These are not normal events, but I think
we're going to have to start looking for a different kind of
help," said Antonio Pezzino, whose house was first hit.
From the start, Gabriele Amorth, one of the Catholic
Church's top exorcists suspected the devil was at work.
"I've seen things like this before," he told Il Messaggero
daily. "Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods,"
he said urging the parish priest to take action.
The local priest, Don Antonio Cipriani, decided together
with residents to let scientists have a first go at the fires.
After a brief visit to Canneto di Caronia, the head of the
Committee for the Control of Paranormal Claims has also ruled
out demons or poltergeists -- at least for the time being.
"The fact that the phenomenon occurs only when there are
people present makes it hard to believe that it is a natural, or
even supernatural phenomenon," said Massimo Polidoro.
"But we don't exclude further investigation if things aren't
eventually explained," he added.
Nobody can say the experts aren't trying. Canneto looks
increasingly like a set for the TV hit "The X-Files."
Two fire trucks and a police jeep sit at the entrance of
Canneto on alert for the next blaze while a van with a large,
rotating antennae on top measures the radio waves.
A host of three-legged instruments to monitor geomagnetic,
meteorological, electromagnetic and electrostatic indicators sit
in apartments and next to lemon trees in the gardens. Coloured
markings on the street indicate the presence of volcano experts.
Police ruled out a possible prankster or pyromaniac after
they saw wires burst into flames.
The hypotheses now range from a build-up of electrical
energy caused by grounding wires running off the railway to a
rare "natural phenomenon" in which surges of electricity rise
from the earth's core.
The fires have even consumed unplugged lamps and an entire
apartment. Black scorch marks still scar the apartment walls.
Italy's big utility Enel cut off electricity to the town and
hooked it up to a generator -- but that caught fire as well.
More recently cellular phones and cars have also been acting
up, with lock and alarm systems being set off without any
The evacuated families of Canneto di Caronia who gather
almost every night in the three-star hotel perched above their
abandoned village are giving up hope.
"I just want to go home," said Rosi Cioffo, a shopkeeper and
mother of two. "I don't know what's causing it and I don't care
anymore -- even if it's the devil."
Her nine-year-old daughter, who is frightened every time a
TV or bathroom fan switches on, may not agree.
Spinnato, the mayor, sounds just as desperate.
"Someone wrote to us saying the solution was to sacrifice a
black goat and collect its blood. At some point, that's going to
start looking like a good idea."
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
04-02-2004, 03:57 AM #1
Post your theories HERE! (or go to blazes)Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones
*Gathering Crust Since 1968*
On the web at www.section2wildfire.com
04-02-2004, 04:48 AM #2
OOOOOO-WEEEEEEEE-OOOOOOOOOOO Man that's crazy. Maybe ticked off fleas?Never Forget 9-11-01!!!!!!
There wasn't just 343, the other 73 rescue workers deserve to be remembered too!!!!
04-02-2004, 08:25 AM #3
the lawn gnomes did it... i have seen this before, many times... i used to hunt lawn gnomes back in an undisclosed location in 1942... id have my cameras blowing up, sometimes a tv set, or even a casette tape would go up. toes darned gnomes got the best of me so i fled like a jack rabbit on speed...
shhh be quiet,
they are still after me
for real.I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.
- Thomas Edison
04-02-2004, 10:53 AM #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
- New York
WOW.......We sure do have a bunch of head cases around here....
I'm sure there is some logical explanation!!!!
04-02-2004, 12:27 PM #5
Mice with matches.
Sorry, had to say it!
04-02-2004, 03:04 PM #6Mice with matches.
firefiftyfive your right with that head case part...I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.
- Thomas Edison
04-02-2004, 03:25 PM #7
I am betting Stayback has the answer !IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
"but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
04-02-2004, 06:07 PM #8
I'm saying the Kiwi would know...........
04-02-2004, 11:17 PM #9
Any Bond fans in the room?
I think our old friend Ernst Blofeld if up to his old tricks with his diamond powered laser again. Somebody call Mr Connery on the Bond phone.
Now, who will we cast to play the modern-day Tiffany Case. I just don't think Jill St. John is as fresh as she was in 1971.
(James Bond to Tiffany Case) - "That's a nice little nothing you're almost wearing."Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
04-03-2004, 01:36 AM #10
I think the villagers might be trying to get some tourist dough!IACOJ Agitator
Fightin' Da Man Since '78!
04-03-2004, 01:53 AM #11
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- Points unknown
Maybe it was hot hay
04-05-2004, 08:49 AM #12
want to laugh more?
You want to laugh more?
I live in north of Italy, so it is very difficult for me to have real infos about the fact, but this is what I found:
1) no mention about fire investigators at work. Here we have not them as in USA, only 10 or 20 fire officials with little experience and less training.
2) worse, the lot of very paid "scientists" of CNR (National Research Council - the best of our scientists and "National Civil Protection" gone there to investigate the phenomenon and they introduced this explanation to our government:
the cause is the earth magnetic field, that sometimes produces a geomagnetic peak that can go up in surface and induce an electric field in metal objects: the field is very strong so it produces an electric arc that inflames things.
Medias and government were glad and tranquilized by these conclusions. Not me
Can you, friends, figure if such theory would be real, what could happen to the life on earth?
So, the hypothesis of a mad devil is very better!
Last edited by draco9; 04-05-2004 at 09:09 AM.arseverse
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)