Burnt from within

Horror-striking incidents of spontaneous ignition are not unique or seldom in history

The first officially registered incident of spontaneous ignition of a human being happened February 19, 1725 in a small hotel in Paris. Hotel owner’s wife was an alcoholic. She descended to the cellar of he hotel, having taken a bottle of wine along. Her husband fell asleep without her. He was awaken with the smell of burning. The man rushed downstairs. He was horrified with what he saw: his wife’s remains were smoldering on the armchair.

The court tried to charge the owner of the hotel with premeditated murder. The innocent man was saved with one remarkable detail. His wife burnt from within. The woman’s clothes were not burnt. Experts proved that there was no ordinary mortal that could burn a human being without flaming the clothes or other objects nearby.

Similar horror-striking incidents are not unique or seldom in history. Spontaneous ignition most often happened to fat women that were not indifferent to alcohol. It was generally believed 300 years ago that it was a punishment of God. However, fire punished innocent people sometimes.

American man Jack Angel, a totally sober man, went to sleep in his trailer on November 12, 1974. He woke up only four days later. He shuddered with horror, when he saw that his right arm had been completely burnt. The skin of his back was burnt as well. The poor man could not say anything reasonable, when he was questioned by police. He only managed to recall something like an explosion inside his chest. When camping neighbors came running to his screams, they were shocked to see that Jacks’ pajamas were absolutely safe. Medical experts were astounded: Jacks’ arm burnt from within. Bones and skin turned to ashes. Specialists were studying Jacks’ trailer for two years, trying to find out the reasons of such a strange thing, but there was no luck.

Several incidents of spontaneous ignition happened in 1985 in England. A young female student flared up all of a sudden, when she entered the hall of her college in Cheshire. Another victim of ignition was elderly widow Mary Carter. She was found dead in the corridor of her apartment in Ivor Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham. No matches were found near the body. Nobody could understand, where the fire came from. Another incident happened a month later, on May 25. Paul Haze’s stomach started burning, when he was strolling down a London street. Nineteen-year-old guy managed to get to a hospital. His life was saved.

A woman of 71 years old survived spontaneous ignition in 1988 in England. However, her husband seriously suffered, when he was saving his wife from fire. A 14-year-old boy from the Chinese province of Hunan suffered from several spontaneous ignition occasions in April of 1990. Small flames of fire were coming out of the widened pores of his face skin. Patient Angela Ernandes flared up on an operation table in Los Angeles on May 29, the same year.

Such incidents happened in Russia as well. One of them took place in November of 1990 in the Saratov region. Two shepherds went to a slope of the hill, which had ill reputation amid people. One of the shepherds sat down on a big stone, and the other one went to see the sheep. He came back five minutes ago and found the burnt body of his friend. Eyewitnesses said that the shepherd’s clothes were not damaged from fire. The file was closed due to the absence of any evidence.

Can all those things be explained? Professor Jackie van Stroila from South Africa said that there could be several hypotheses. The most plausible one of them is the following. A human organism contains chemical substances, phosphorus, for instance, that might blaze up if they come into contact with each other. Phosphorus might come into reaction with oxygen and “explode” in an unknown way, under certain conditions.

Another supposition is based on the fact that other substances in a human body can get ignited. For example, flammable gases and fat. In theory, a spark that can set those substances on fire can appear as a result of different electric potentials of certain internal organs. In the 19th century there was a popular hypothesis, which explained spontaneous ignition of drunk people. It was believed that their bodies were all filled with spirit, so they could be set on fire even with a cigarette. Yet, none of those hypotheses can explain why other objects do not burn, even victims’ clothes.

&to=http://anomalia.narod.ru/' target=_blank>Anomalia.Ru Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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