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Spontaneous human combustion
Spontaneous human combustion is the mysterious phenomenon of a person bursting into flame for no apparent reason. The flames burn very hot and are very localized. They destroy most of the body but leave objects in close proximity to the person relatively unburned.
There are theories on this occurance but no one is sure how or why it happens. It does happen even without scientific explanation. One theory is ball lightning which would produce similar results, but many of these instances seem to rule out this possibility just by the location of the death. A majority of these deaths have the opposite characteristics that one would see if a person was burned to death, such as the shrinking of the skull.
Crematorium Specialist have viewed photos of combustion victims and say they cannot duplicate the complete destruction of bones in such a short period of time. They find it even harder to believe that this could happen so completely in ordinary rooms such as living rooms, bathrooms, etc. There are over 100 unexplained fire deaths a year just in England. If just ten of these deaths are spontaneous combustion, then the number world could be well over 100.
Does the body have chemical reactions that science has yet to discover ? It seems that an internal reaction of some kind is the most likely explanation for these deaths, but what triggers it ? Can it be detected ? Avoided ?
One compiled database states the following statistics on possible reported cases:
1950's - 11 cases
1960's - 7 cases
1970's - 13 cases
1980's - 22 cases
1932: Mrs. Charles Williamson suddenly burst into flames on a Janurary morning in 1932. She lived in Bladenboro, North Carolina. She had not been beside any kind of fire, and her dress had not been in contact with any cleaning fluid or other flammable substances. Her husband and daughter ripped the dress off her with their bare hands, but not any of them were burned by the flames. Not to soon after a pair of her husbands pants caught fire while hanging in the closet. The same thing happened to a bed, and curtains in an unoccupied room. Although the house was inspected by special investigators from gas and electric companies, arson experts, and police, there could be found no logical explanation for the sudden fires. The family described the flames as 'bluish, jetlike', and other adjacent objects were not affected. There was no smell, and no smoke and until the object was consumed the fire would not stop. -
Jan. 13, 1943: 52 year old Allen M. Small was found burned to death in his Deer Isle, Maine home. The carpet beneath his body was scorched, but there was no other sign of fire in the house. Small's pipe was unlit and on a shelf, and his stove lids were all still in place. -
March 1, 1953: Waymon Wood's body was discovered in the front seat of his closed car in Greenville, South Carolina. His car was stationed on the site of Bypass Route 291. Little remained of Wood, but his car was basically untouched, even though it contained half a tank of gas. The windshield was the only damaged area; it had bubbled and sagged inward, an affect from the intense heat.
October, 1964: Mrs. Olga Worth Stephens, 75 years and a former actress suddenly burst into flames while waiting in her parked car. The burns were fatal, and she was killed before anyone could come to her aid. Firemen later concluded that nothing in the car could have started the blaze, and her car was undamaged. -
When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey
Sep/14/2007, 5:08 pm
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Re: Spontaneous human combustion
On August 24 1998, Agnes Phillips mysteriously caught fire while unattended inside her daughter's car. Several people witnessed this event, and amazingly, the victim lived for a short time afterwards.
Agnes, who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease and lived in a nursing home, had been picked up that day by her daughter, Jackie Park, for a routine visitation. Jackie parked the car and left her sleeping mother inside while she quickly went into the store to pick up a few items. Shortly thereafter she noticed smoke billowing from the car, followed by an explosion of flames.
As the car became engulfed, a passerby managed to drag Agnes out of the car and extinguish the flames. Though she remained remarkably calm throughout the whole ordeal, Agnes did manage to utter the words "It's too hot... It's too hot!"
Agnes suffered severe burns to her chest, abdomen, arms, and legs, and died in the hospital a week later. Upon further investigation, Fire Inspector Donald Walsh claimed that he could not determine where the fire had originated, since the car had not been running. There was no trace of liquid accelerants, no faulty wiring, and neither Agnes or Jackie smoked. Inspector Walsh ruled out Spontaneous Human Combustion, and believed that this fire was the result of the "wick effect," totally disregarding the fact that this process takes a matter of hours to burn a human body.
The documentation in this case reveals that Agnes's body was severely burned within a matter of minutes, essentially eliminating any possibility of this event being caused by a "wick effect" type of fire, thereby making this a likely candidate for a true Spontaneous Combustion case in modern times.
In 1982, Jean Saffin, a 61 year old handicapped London woman, mysteriously burst into flames while resting on a wooden chair in the kitchen of her Edmonton home. Her father was nearby and witnessed this event.
Jean's father claims that he saw a flash of light out of the corner of his eye, turned to inquire, and was shocked to see that Jean was on fire. The flames engulfing Jean centered mainly around her face and hands, according to her father, who also reported that Jean never cried out or reacted, but rather remained calm while he frantically dragged her to a sink to try and stop the fire. With the help of a son-in-law, Jean was kept alive until the paramedics arrived.
Upon their arrival, the paramedics observed that despite the level of the fire and degree of the burns, the flames had done little damage other than to a relatively small area on Jean's red nylon cardigan. She was conscious and seemed to be aware of what was going on when first hospitalized, but she gradually deteriorated, and unfortunately never spoke again. Her burns were severe, and after 8 days, she lapsed into a coma and died.
The coroner held an inquiry into Jean's death, and no cause could be found for the fire. The officer in charge reportedly told Jean's family that he believed the cause to be Spontaneous Human Combustion due to the circumstances, i.e. the very rapid ignition and burning of human tissue, but that he would look ridiculous if he reported this as a matter of permanent record.
you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same
Sep/15/2007, 10:53 am
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