From the deep south of Sicily, an obituary from the future: “Today, June 24, 2027, the last inhabitant passed away under the radiation of the Muos and its Ultra High Frequency”.
To celebrate the “sad departed”, a funeral procession with a symbolic coffin, wreaths of flowers and accompanying musicians. Final destination: the town cemetery of Acate, near Ragusa, a few kilometres from the Nature Reserve Sughereta Niscemi, where the Mobile User Objective System is emerging.
PROTESTS - A few days ago, the citizens of Acate with a provocative mock funeral wanted to say “no” to yet another aerial of the well known Muos. Three powerful antennas directly managed by the United States Department of Defence, that will ease linking of American military forces scattered all over Europe, Africa and Asia.
There are only three other ground stations like the Muos in the world, producing very high electromagnetic fields. And they’re all built in some desert areas of Virginia, Hawaii and Australia. In Sicily, for some mysterious reasons, it looked OK to place the Muos five kilometres from the town of Niscemi, in a unique nature reserve and way too close to the civil population.
THE FACTS - The story has been going on since 2001, when an agreement was signed between the U.S. and the Italian government, at that time led by Silvio Berlusconi. In 2006, the next prime minister, Romano Prodi, ratified the agreement, but requiring compliance with the anti-pollution and electromagnetic standards, and passing the issue to the Sicilian regional government.
In 2007, the Italian Department of Environment and Territory, with a decree, transfered to local administrations all environmental impact assessment process. At that point, the U.S. presented a technical study to the City of Niscemi, which showed that the environmental impact in respect of protected species in the Reserve Sughereta was minimal and, in September 2008, Superintendent of Caltanissetta, the Regional Environment and Territory department, together with the managing body of the Reserve, gave favourable opinion to the U.S. study.
What has not been clarified by the American technicians – the mayor of Niscemi highlighted – is the effect that Muos will have on the Sicilian population.
Meanwhile, in June 2011, works for the realization of the Muos began, authorized by the Regional Environment and Territory department, despite the constraints of the landscape plan of Niscemi nature reserve, approved by the Sicilian regional parliament in May 2008.
Now the territory of Sughereta appears gutted, filled with potholes, steel trusses and reinforced concrete, with bulldozers and trucks everywhere and the first signs of land subsidence. There were also some anomalies in the conduct of the bulk excavation reported by the No-Muos Committee. “In the original project, the antennas are arranged along a north-south axis, but now they’re building platforms on a east-west axis – the representatives of the movement explains – This has resulted in a greater environmental impact with the disappearance of the typical Mediterranean vegetation”.
RISKS - It goes from bad to worse when it comes to the risks to man. According to a study conducted by physicists Massimo Zucchetti and Massimo Coraddu of the The Polytechnic University of Turin, the electromagnetic waves emanating from Muos will spread out over 135 kilometres, with serious risk of causing, in the short and long term, severe degenerative disease in the population, such as cancer and leukemia.
Already some time ago, ARPA Sicily (the Regional Environmental Protection Agency), during a campaign analysis near the military base of Niscemi, noted that, although the limits were within the legal average, the radiations levels exceeded in some cases. And, with only only 27 antennas running out of the 41 scheduled, the radiation level will certainly increase. Moreover, an activist from the Anti-Muos association explains, “the ARPA is not even equipped with control units capable of recording the emissions of very low frequency waves, those able to communicate with submarines.”
THE STUDY - Furthermore, the study of Coraddu and Zucchetti speaks clearly. “To safeguard the principle of population health and the environment – it says – it should not be allowed to install any additional sources of electromagnetic fields at the station NRTF Niscemi. Existing emissions need further study indeed”.
There’s even more. “The main beam of microwaves emitted by the Muos antennas – researchers explain – is associated with the risk of accidental irradiation of aircrafts and can cause, during normal operation, accidents tens of kilometers away”. The U.S. antennas emission may potentially affect all air traffic in the surrounding area (there are 3 airports within 70 km of the Muos).
WAR IS WAR – All considered – risk of cancer, environmental destruction and possible aircraft accidents – the provocative funeral imagined by the citizens of Acate may not be so far from reality. The Muos system may already be operational by 2017. Will protests stop the destruction of trucks and concrete mixers in the middle of a nature reserve? Unfortunately, we doubt it. The Sicilian administration should have not authorized a project that goes against all logic and common sense, allowing, in fact, the looting of Sicily. But, you know, war is war.