Friday, April 09, 2004

Italian Mystery Fires

Canneto di Caronia [Italy] 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 anyone.

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." [CNN]


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 fireman rushed to fight yet another spontaneous blaze. [The Mirror]

Further links and details can be found here. Thanks to Neil Gaiman for the links. For more Forteana, visit Fortean Times. Or go strait to the source and read Charles Fort's books, all of which are great collections of strange phenomenon like SHC, rains of fish and frogs and various unconventional goings on that remind me why I like living in this universe, as opposed to some other one.


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