A leaked Italian government report concludes “aliens testing secret weapons” are responsible for a series of strange, spontaneous fires that erupted from appliances and other home furnishings all over the village of Canneto di Caronia three years ago.

The community on Sicily’s northern coast was the center of international attention in 2004 when residents reported ordinary household items – electrical appliances, wedding presents and furniture – mysteriously began catching fire.

“We cannot risk a tragedy through these fires,” mayor Pedro Spinnato told the Scotsman in January of that year, “so I have no other option but to evacuate the village. We have had electrical engineers in to examine cables and wires but they can find no explanation. It is not just electrical items, furniture is also catching fire for no reason. Already people are blaming the events on evil spirits and I am being asked to get the local priest to perform an exorcism.”

In fact, as WND previously reported, a Catholic exorcist was consulted about the phenomenon. Gabriele Amorth, told the Italian newspaper Il Messagero, “I’ve seen things like this before.

“Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods,” he said. “… Let’s not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers.”

In cases of demon behavior, the Vatican expert said, “it is normal for domestic appliances to be involved and for demons [to] make their presence known via electricity.”

The fires continued through the spring, and the country’s electric company finally cut all power to the village while scientists tried to determine the cause.

Experts from around the world – scientists, electrical engineers and military experts – came to investigate the phenomenon. One amazed scientist, the Scotsman reported, claimed to have seen an unplugged electrical cable burst into flames.

WND reported the bizarre blazes appeared to cease after the village replaced and grounded its wiring, though investigators could not explain why.

Some villagers remained unconvinced the respite meant the fires would cease.

“It is not certain that the fires are finished forever,” Tullio Martella, the head of Sicily’s Civil Protection Agency told the New York Times. “They were episodic to begin with.”

Nino Pezzino, who was among the first to experience the “hellfire” when his television set suddenly burst into flames told the Times: “I’m Catholic. I believe in the devil. I don’t know why the devil is here. Maybe the problem we’re dealing with is technology, but it’s not Earth-bound technology.”

Now, a report of the $2 million investigation by the Civil Protection Department, ordered by the Italian government and prepared by a team of experts including a NASA scientist, seems to back up Pezzino’s laymen opinion that other-worldly forces are to blame.

Leaked copies say the bizarre fires were “caused by high-power electromagnetic emissions which were not man-made and reached a power of between 12 and 15 gigawatts.”

The report also references a possible UFO landing close to Caronia where “burned imprints which have not been explained were found in a field.”

The space-alien explanation is a departure from both the demonic and natural ones proposed earlier.

One natural hypothesis that had been considered was electrical energy related to volcanic activity beneath the land’s crust being released near the village. Supercharged ions, it was speculated, might then spark the fires once meeting up with electronic devices in the homes.

“The cause of the fires seems to have been static electric charges,” Tullio Martella, the head of Sicily’s Civil Protection Agency told the New York Times in 2004. “What we don’t understand is why there were these static electric charges.”

Now, investigators are saying the electric charges originated from “unnatural forces.”

“We are not saying little green men from Mars started the fires, but that unnatural forces capable of creating a large amount of electromagnetic energy were responsible,” Francesco Mantegna Venerando, Sicily’s Civil Protection chief who co-ordinated the report, said yesterday. “This is just one possibility. We are also looking at another one which involves the testing of top-secret weapons by an unknown power which are also capable of producing an enormous amount of energy.”

“This is not the final report. We are still working on our conclusions and this has been leaked,” he said.

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