Saturday, August 06, 2005

Did you watch Armageddon (the Chinese show starring Andy Lau)? Or read Charles Dickens' Bleak House?

Both mentioned Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC), the human body going up in flames suddenly. There were more than 200 cases recorded since ancient time, proven or otherwise.

The most talked about case happened in 02 July 1951 (see photo). A 67 years old widow, Mary Reeser, was found dead by her landlord. Only a small corner of the living room was burnt. And less than 10% of her 170 pounds body mass was left. Her left foot remained intact and the walls were covered with greasy soot.

There are many similarities in most of the SHC cases. Firstly, most victims are female (female has more fats. Girls its true, you are fat!), overweight and alcoholics. Next, only portions of the head, legs and arms are intact. Some clothings may be intact. Also, most victims were alone and drank heavily prior to death. Finally, a yellow liquid is usually found near the body, while the walls and ceiling are found to be greasy.

What happened? Did they really burst into flame for no reason?

The most accepted theory is the Candle Effect. The combustion is not spontaneous, there is always a source of ignition (Mary Reeser was a smoker). Since the victims drank heavily, they are knocked out cold and are unable to seek help. Their clothes will act as a wick and the melted body fats become the fuel. Even though the body is cremated at 1300 deg C; 250 deg C will be sufficient to turn the body into ash under prolonged burning.

The last recorded case (I found while researching) happened on 24 Mar 1997 in Ireland.

Is it retribution? Supernatural? Or bull shit?

1 Sightings:

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10:14 PM  

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