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Town Battles 'Demonic' Mystery Blazes

  1. Feb 11, 2004 #1


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  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2004 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    First guess: The report is bogus.

    If this is true and not just a series of unlikely coincidences then obviously it would be quite amazing! The skeptical argument seems to be that the furniture was ignited by appliances or cigarettes, a few or many people are exaggerating, and we have some sort of mass hysteria setting in. I almost expect to hear that some single source or event ignited this whole episode…so to speak. Perhaps a local legend comes into play.

    This all sounds like the making of a some future Sociology PhD’s.
  4. Feb 11, 2004 #3
    Well, I prefer to speculate along the lines of some exceptionally peculiar, but natural phenomena. That part of the world is quite volcanic. I propose that piezo-electric spikes created by volcanic stresses in the bedrock are inducing current in various metal conductors around the house in the range of frequencies you would need to get sparks to jump. The sparks then start the fires. I wouldn't be surprised if a new volcano suddenly forms in that town tomorrow.
  5. Feb 13, 2004 #4


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  6. Feb 13, 2004 #5
    Or this:

    Volcano webcams, Mount Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano in Sicily 2003

    These pictures look pretty hellish:

    Ring of Fire Volcanos: Travel photos, diaries & quotes (Reizen foto's reisverslagen vulkaan)

    Click on the pics to see that they are of Mt. Etna, Sicily, erupting in 2001, except for one of Stroboli erupting (Island near Sicily.)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2004
  7. Feb 14, 2004 #6
    First guess: The report is bogus.

    I thought you were a true skeptic!

    I believe the 'report' is at least 95% accurate-
    And again, the explanation will be found among
    the "conspiracy" files.

    1. local policeman who did not want to be named

    This is preposterous--as is his 'story'--seeing " unplugged electrical cables burst into flames with my own eyes...."

    conclusion: not a policeman--and obviously part of the 'story'--one of the 'main characters' in fact!!

    2."I've seen things like this before," the exorcist reports. "Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods.....

    fact: Exorcists are having a hard time these days finding anything to do-good chance this guy will be shifted to another 'department' if something doesn't 'come up' soon.....may even be transferred to another country!.....he's got a gravy job and getting anxious.

    3. Get a description of this 'policeman' and compare with exorcist==wahla!==case solved!
    ((and that's how a 'real skeptic' solves a case-you gotta investigate---you gotta 'put things together'--simply scouffing at these 'reports' and dismissing the "panic" of the locals will never 'solve' anything!

    Any Pelicans reported in the area-that'd be another story.

    i'm about to report on a fasinating "UFO" case in India-trying to find time to 'put it together'
    wish i coulda been there in person-but i'm tied to this rockin chair--darn difficult situation--
    tongued typed..... m x c v b n z
  8. Feb 15, 2004 #7
    this isn't entirely a debunk, but yahoo news [from what i know] is known for the amount of garbage it posts on its website, so its usually an unreliable source. hehe that smiley rules
  9. Feb 15, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Welcome Vodka.

    I am looking forward to your UFO report. I have been really buried with work lately and I have had little time for the important subjects.
  10. Feb 17, 2004 #9
    blurb from italian news agency

    blurb provided by the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA), a well respected italian news service. not very technical i'm afraid, but dismisses demonic theories. fyi, the Protezione Civile is also a nationwide civil protection agency service, involved in studying natural phenomena as well as assisting victims in the case of natural disasters.

    from http://www.ansa.it/regionali/sicilia/2004-02-17_927978.html:
    Edited translation for accuracy at GMT 17:10 on Feb 17.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2004
  11. Feb 17, 2004 #10
    Re: blurb from italian news agency

    Thanks for the blurb and translation, firefly.

    It's interesting to see the Sicilian authorities are taking it seriously, and to find out it continued to happen after the town had been disconnected from the electrical grid. Just makes me curious to know exactly what "electrotechnical" phenomenon they are ascribing it to.

  12. Feb 17, 2004 #11
    italian interview with Protezione Civile tech

    from article in ADNKRONOS (Italian paper) http://www.adnkronos.com/RegioniAdn...a08da16-02a22-02/02incendi_canneto_170204.php. Giuseppe Maschio, a member of the Protezione Civile involved in the technical measurements, states
    so it seems like so far it's a working hypothesis... guess those demon lovers are probably still hanging garlic about the place... heh heh. Anyway, Maschio basically continues to say(sorry if i don't go on translating but...) that they will continue taking measurements, and that it would be a very rare occurrence and one scarcely studied.
  13. Feb 17, 2004 #12
    looks like you were on the right track... perhaps one step ahead of the Italian Protezione Civile! ;-)
  14. Feb 17, 2004 #13
    Thanks for digging that more detailed one up, firefly, and for the translation work.

    I don't find that Maschio's explanation makes any particular sense, at least not the way he put it, but perhaps someone with some real physics knowledge will get interested, go there, and figure it out. I still suspect the local vulcanism to be the cause somehow.

  15. Feb 17, 2004 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    I am very interested in the explanations suggested but this one does appear to have big problems. The accumulation of charge is a function of geometry and the EMF driving the charges. For example, a switch has a limited capacitance that is not going to change just because more free charge is available. Also, I don't see how enough current could flow to create any significant heat. I will read and say more when I have more time; maybe later tonight.
  16. Feb 17, 2004 #15
    seriously-after the power was cut off to the entire town...

    In effect, there would be a continuous flow of negatively charged particles, which collects and condenses in electrically charged areas, such as the main switches. The excessive heating of this equipment could be the cause of the fires."

    .... and that it would be a very rare occurrence and one scarcely studied.

    indeed!....i think i'd be headin to the store to get garlic right about now myself!

    Good call Zooby!
    I definetly need some 'grounding' on this one
  17. Feb 17, 2004 #16
    well, this would found in bountiful and regular supply in any Sicilian household, indeed more reliably so than power, even during the best of times.
    LOL. but seriously, so might some of the homes in that area. Sicily, and the south in general, are much less developed areas of Italy. I would not place any bets on the quality of the buildings, wiring, or the authenticity of "inspections." Even my parents' condo outside Milan, the industrial capital, has NO grounding.

    I'm afraid that interview was the best i could find at the time, with the time I had. Maschio's statement clearly targets an Italian non-technical audience, which I realize you are not. But basically, the exorcists here are now looking elsewhere for employment.

    I since saw another article which would take me a bit more effort. When I can I'll translate this or perhaps a more updated one as more precise info comes available. It does seem a bit silly for me to translate more partial detail at this point. Perhaps soon there will be something in international news too.

    In any event, I leave the physics critique to others. :smile:


  18. Feb 18, 2004 #17
    Here's a more fleshed out telling of the original story from England's Daily Mirror Feb 11, 2004:

    It was just little things at first... a TV would smoulder, a mobile phone would catch fire.
    But then it got worse - a whole lot worse.
    Over three weeks fridges, washing machines, cookers, and furniture all began bursting into flames for no reason. Twelve houses were badly damaged by blazes in the quiet village.
    Now, with panic stricken locals blaming evil spirits and calling for an exorcism, the mayor has ordered a full scale evacuation.
    Last night Italian TV showed people fleeing in tears while firemen rushed to fight yet another spontaneous blaze.
    Engineers called to Canneto di Caronia, near Messina, Sicily, were baffled because the fires continued even when the power was cut off.
    Mayor Pedro Spinnato said 'This all began three weeks ago and we can discover no explanation. We cannot risk a tragedy through these fires so I have no other option than to evacuate.'
    'We have had engineers in to examine cables and wires but they can find nothing wrong. Twelve houses have been severely damaged after various domestic appliances burst into flames.
    'But it is not just electrical items. Furniture is also catching fire for no reason.
    'For the time being we have asked families to leave and stay with friends and relatives so a thorough examination can take place.
    'People are blaming evil spirits and I am being asked to get the priest to perform an exorcism.
    Civil protection chief Tullio Martella said: 'What is going on here is like a scene from some paranormal film
    'The fires continued even when we cut the power to the village to see if that was a possible cause
    'For the time being there is no scientific explanation and I have never heard of anything like this before.'
    Last night more than 100 engineers were in the village and geologists were also due to carry out underground surveys.
  19. Feb 19, 2004 #18
    Last night I googled "standing waves" looking for acoustic phenomena when this extremely interesting paper came up:

    The Physics of Resonance

    It is a project you can build to demonstrate standing electrical waves. This was news to me. I didn't know there was such a thing.

    It involves the use of a small radio transmitter. Basically a radio frequency is fed directly into the ends of two parallel thin copper tubes held in a mount. Since they are not grounded or connected to anything else the radio signal bounces off the free ends and doubles back on itself creating a standing electrical wave which can be seen by placing a fluorescent bulb between the copper tubes: areas of light and dark will appear corrresponding to the standing waves nodes and antinodes.

    What caught my eye was the warning that appears if you go to the site and scroll down a bit:
    1. Radio frequency power can cause burns.
    It's best to limit radio transmitter output to no more than 5 watts and avoid holding fingers or other body parts between the transmission lines.

    If you recall the very first post in this thread one of the witnesses claims to have seen an electrical power cord that wasn't even plugged into the wall burst into flames right in front of his eyes.

    That seems absurd at first. But if a radio signal of the proper frequency in the radio range of sufficient wattage were to be transmitted to the electrical cord a standing electrical wave might be set up in the parallel insulated wires such that the insulation between them (plastic probably) would be heated to the point of combustion.

    So, the question now becomes, could volcanic stress and heat down in the earth beneath the village actually generate an oscillating electric field, or EM field, that was in the range of radio frequency and of sufficient wattage to induce enough of a standing wave in a power cord to have this heating effect?
  20. Feb 19, 2004 #19

    Are Angels playing with their HAARPS?

    No. 1 Forte mentions over and over again reports of
    "light balls" seen around volcanoes, especially before they
    blast off.....

    No. 2 since then, the world has been 'hooked up' , and 'filled'
    with 'radio' transmissions, micro -waves, etc.....

    So, wild speculation......some 'natural' earth formation
    just happens to become a 'receiver' of sorts.....what's the geology
    of the area--caves lined with layers of copper deposits---i don't know-
    suddenly becomes a 'cystal radio' zone.

    i'm wondering if somehow there may be natural earth formations that may in effect become 'transmitters' or function as 'amplifiers' ....whatever
    --that earth changes due to volcanic or earth-quake or even slight shifts may suddenly produce heat/electrical phenomena that ....
    (links welcomed)



    Selections from interview with
    Dr. Dennis Papadopoulos
    Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
    Senior Science Advisor, H.A.A.R.P
    (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program)

    It's nothing more than a radio station, which sends power at 10 megahertz — television, for example PBS, is at 100 megahertz. HAARP sends power at between 3 and 10 megahertz, and sends it up in the ionosphere. What happens is it operates like a microwave oven. As soon as it finds ionized particles, charged particles which start existing at 70 kilometers, this electric field shakes them up and down. When they shake up and down they collide with a lot of neutral particles and it makes them hotter. So, the region where you are focusing your energy
    becomes hotter than the rest of the region. That changes the property of the medium.....

    This guy knows 'radio waves'---and Tesla ( in April this PBS special will be re-broadcast-the web-site PBS has is great! check it out--Colorado Springs experiment, all of it!--really cool
    it's not just about the ionosphere though,
    we know HAARP is being used to search for 'caverns'.......

    yep-add a little conspiracy to the mix--this is a great X-Files case!!

    Zooby-couldn't find the article in the Daily Mirror
    haven't been able to get anything but Italian news with google?

    edit link
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2004
  21. Feb 19, 2004 #20
    I actually stole that article from a British paranormal sight where someone had posted it. I didn't take it directly from the Mirror myself. Unfortunately that person didn't post a link, just the text of the article. I couldn't find it searching, either. Here is a similar report from a Scots paper:
    Scotsman.com News - International - Italian villagers call for exorcist to end 'demon' fires

    It seems to me that natural cavities in the earth could act as resonators for radio waves, but I don't suspect that in this case because the phenomenon started so suddenly. Haarp has been operating for a long time now.

    It could be, though, that the cavities were filled with water or mud that suddenly drained after a minor earthquake opened a blocked channel or something like that.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2004
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