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This is a roughly smoothed version of a google.com translation of a webpage
titled "Canneto di Caronia (ME). Underlined portions are known rough spots.
Reader recommendations for translation improvements are welcome.

A Canneto di Caronia (ME)

No devil, no pyromaniac. For the experts the cause
is found in the trembling underground of Sicily.

The URL to the original page is:

Installed 14 March 2004. Latest update 26 April 2004.

In the Forum regarding Sicily's Guidebook on the facts regarding the Canneto di Caronia (ME) phenomena, the user Marzio Mangialajo, on 16 February at 18:49 wrote giving possible explanations:
We exclude the devil and fraud because we do not have time to lose.
The phenomena of Canneto are no doubt of underground electrical origin, most probably of impulsive character; I cannot exclude concomitant electromagnetic fields.
That there are electric fields on the land that cause short circuits in cables and electronic equipment there is no doubt.
The origin is, probably, due to the piezoelectricity phenomena (a property of some crystals to generate electrical charges when they are deformed mechanically), that they can have two distintive origins:
1) Sliding or compressing of two underground rock layers to provoke the creation of electric fields that also may be found at the surface.
2) Water infiltrations in deep layers provoking compression of the layers and therefore producing electric fields that may also be found at the surface.
The phenomenon seems to have stopped, but it could reoccur at any time. They are a pain in the neck to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Catania, because they can be, I repeat can be, a serious matter.
Salutes and omens.

On the day following participation in the forum, the regional Civil Protection thought (that even if in this field, what the technicians explained were not absolute certainties) that the mystery of the inexplicable fires in the village of Canneto of Caronia had been explained scientifically.

According to the engineer Tullio Martella, head of Civil Protection of the Sicilian Region, "there is a treatise about a famous electrotechnical phenomenon". "Between two conductors - he explains - there is a potential difference that creates an intermediate electric field. When the potential difference between them is very strong the dielectric field becomes perforated and produces sparks and also combustion. This phenomenon has happened in Canneto where there were electrical conductors. What we did not succeed in understanding is why it happened just in that zone ". "We have had - he continues - encounters with investigators of the CNR [National Research Council] who illustrated to us a theory that would explain all that that has happened at Canneto. According to this theory the terrestrial core is modeled as if it had the shape of a sea urchin with many sharp spines. The spines are formed along the preferential lines through which geothermal energy rises towards the surface. At the surface a decomposition(*) occurs, and an electron cloud is created that is freed to the atmosphere. Subsequently the electrons meet the conductors and load them with energy, and sparks are produced. Evidently in that zone it dulls one of those spines".

According to Martella: "the generated electronic clouds, enjoying remarkable mobility, go back into the surface, generating distributions of charges of elevated density and with such a high energy content that, they move freely in space, [and] in the proximity of metallic materials create condensers of elevated capacity, and such phenomenon mainly happen in the presence of electrical conductors".
"Between the plates of these condensers - Martella concludes - a potential difference is localized by them such to create an electric field which, by exceeding the dielectric rigidity of the insulator, perforates it, originating the destructive discharges which are the cause of the prominent combustions. The phenomenon is famous and is a basic concept of electrical engineering ". "This - concludes the engineer Martella - is the only explanation of the genesis and the effects of the phenomenon of the discharges that happen also without electrical current ".

The officials of Civil Protection in the Sicilian Region also indicate that some solutions [have been] made in order to avoid spontaneous combustions from taking place in the future: "to make the new grounding lines and lightning rods sufficient, so that they eventually unload the electron cloud energy".
From the national Department of Civil Protection the comments to the affirmations, Martella, specifies that, however we are "in expectation of further news." At the moment, in fact, "there are no technical-scientific elements in order to confirm one or the other of the hypotheses" on the causes of the fires in Canneto di Caronia.
The national Department renews its confidence in all the administrations and agencies that are working in order to characterize the causes, and before closing the speech "further details are expected after the appraisals of the last hours".

Governor Salvatore Cuffaro, as soon as he learned [about] the communication, expressed satisfaction for the job done by the regional Civil Protection and he has said [that] he himself is convinced that it turns out caught up will be able to contribute to you to calm the minds of the population of Caronia. "one train of episodes is isolated to you, therefore there is no more danger".

So that these are not "famous last words," also we wait for, without singing Victory, those technical-scientific elements that truly can clear the minds of the population of Caronia

18 February 2004

(*)The surface decomposition process is not identified. The electron cloud may actually be produced, sub-surface, at a molten (red hot) magma boundary by thermionic emission (Shade Tree Physics 22 April 2004.)

Robert Fritzius: fritzius@bellsouth.net