Like other anomalous phenomena, cases of spontaneous human combustion have been known since ancient times.
During the excavations in Thebes, a papyrus was found describing the "transformation of a priest into a flaming torch." There is evidence of such emergencies from ancient Greek authors and medieval monks. From the beginning of the 18th century, they were entered into police records, so we consider them reliable.
Spontaneous Human Combustion Of Countess Cornelia Bundy
In 1731, the whole of Italy was shaken by the case of Countess Cornelia Bundy of the Casino. In the morning, the servant entered her mistress's bedroom. She found a pile of ashes beside her bed, along with the countess's head, three toes, and both feet.
She had been alive the night before, and no strangers had entered her house the night before. This mysterious death was never explained because there were no traces of fire in the bedroom.
Possible Spontaneous Human Combustion Of George Temple Johnson
Nearly 200 years later, on April 7, 1919, the English newspaper Dartford Chronicle published a controversial article about the mysterious death of writer George Temple Johnson. At half-past two in the morning, he was found dead in his room. His lower body was completely burned. Yet, there were no fire signs on his clothes or in the room, and there was a large bundle of paper money in his trouser pocket.
The journalist asked:
"At the time of his death, the deceased was not asleep - he was dressed. Then why didn't he try to run away, call for help from a neighbor? Finally, why aren't clothes, banknotes, and furniture damaged in the fire? "
The journalist never got a scientific explanation.
The Mary Carpenter Case
In the summer of 1938, a certain Mrs. Mary Carpenter, accompanied by her family, went sailing on a yacht near Norfolk.
Suddenly the woman blazed like a torch, and in a few minutes, before the eyes of her husband and children, petrified with terror, she turned to ashes. They themselves and the yacht were not damaged in the fire.
Life After Spontaneous Human Combustion
The most intriguing stories come from surviving victims of spontaneous human combustion.
The first was American Professor James Hamilton, who taught mathematics at the University of Nashville. In the morning, he was still sitting on the bed when he suddenly felt a burning pain in his left leg. Hamilton looked down and saw an intense flame about 10 inches high. It flew out of his leg like a light from a lighter.
He tried to turn it off by slapping his ankle several times but to no avail. Then the professor made the only right decision: it was necessary to block access to oxygen to the fire. He gripped the place firmly with his palms, and the flames disappeared.
This incident occurred in 1835 and was received with great skepticism. But in December 1916, another person was a victim of a similar phenomenon.
Thomas Morphy, the owner of a hotel in the American city of Dover, New Jersey, found housewife Lillian Greene lying on the floor in her living room. She was conscious, but her body was smoldering under her clothes, and there was an unpleasant odor in the room.
Fortunately for the victim, the fire stopped almost immediately. The same unfortunate woman, who suffered severe burns, could not explain what had happened to her.
American Jack Angel survived spontaneous human combustion during sleep. In November 1974, while in a parking lot in a suburb of Savannah, Georgia, he went to sleep in his trailer home. Angel fell asleep on November 12 and woke up four days later with charred right arms and minor burns to his chest, legs, and back. He had been unconscious all this time. According to him, he did not feel any pain when his body was burning. Moreover, there were no traces of fire in the van.
No One Is Immune To Spontaneous Human Combustion
So, spontaneous human combustion is not a fantasy story but a fact.
In the past, cases of spontaneous human combustion were labeled as "devil's fire." The victim was believed to have sold their soul to the Prince of Darkness. They then violated a secret deal, for which they paid. In the 18th century, spontaneous human combustion was evidenced in drunks that were believed to have fallen victim to ignition from spark, such as a smoking pipe. But this theory did not stand up to criticism, as many victims did not drink or smoke at all.
Until the end of the 19th century, scientists did not want to hear about the phenomenon of spontaneous human combustion, considering reports of such cases fiction. These horrific stories' leading "suppliers" were journalists and writers who collected witnesses' accounts of weird situations.
Among those who have described this strange phenomenon in their books are the American writer Herman Melville, the French classic Emile Zola, the English writers Thomas De Quincey, and Frederic Mariette. Charles Dickens killed a character by spontaneous human combustion in Bleak House.
In the second half of the twentieth century, paranormal researchers began to study the spontaneous human combustion phenomenon. They collected and systematized more than two hundred cases of self-immolation. Their analysis made it possible to determine the characteristic features of this process. It works very intensely and quickly - in minutes or even seconds, not longer than normal combustion. In most cases, the clothes on the corpses and the surrounding flammable objects are not affected by the fire.
This suggests that temperature rise and inflammation are happening inside the body, not outside.
Otherwise, the clothes would burn first. Moreover, even some parts of the body remain intact: fingers, hands, feet, head as if they had fallen out of the hearth. In addition, two types of combustion are recorded: the transformation of the victim's body into ash or sintering into a charred mass without losing its original shape.
Paranormal researchers have proposed several hypotheses about the causes of this terrible phenomenon. According to one of them, spontaneous human combustion is, like a poltergeist, a manifestation of cosmic energy controlled by one's will. Like kundalini, or "sleeping force" that accumulates at the base of the spine, deadly fire sleeps in the human body until there is a "short circuit" between its normal bioenergy and cosmic.
This causes intense heat that burns body tissues. Only one thing can be objected to: the "dormant cosmic energy" controlled by the unknown is not different from the "devil's fire" of the Prince of Darkness. It, therefore, does not explain the physical nature of the "mighty thermal flash," which leads to spontaneous human combustion.
Classical physics, despite the facts, still completely rejects the spontaneous human combustion phenomenon. Its central argument is simple. The human body is not a flammable material because it consists of two-thirds water. Cremation of the deceased in the crematorium requires a temperature of 1300 degrees and at least four hours. This requires a considerable amount of energy, which is not present in the living organism.
But even if we assume that high-temperature combustion still occurs, why does that temperature not affect flammable objects, for example, the clothing near the fire?
The Mystery Of Spontaneous Human Combustion
Biophysicists have recently found an explanation for the seemingly inexplicable mystery. Here is what V. Kaznacheev, a well-known Russian academic and director of the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, says about spontaneous human combustion:
"Thermonuclear reactions are the basis of cellular energy, and the cell itself is a real nuclear reactor. This means that our body is able to create the necessary chemical elements on its own. But what if this mechanism fails? Then the cellular reactor "goes wild", an uncontrolled nuclear reaction begins. If it becomes a chain, then it is accompanied by a colossal release of energy that can burn, turn cells, tissues, and bones of our body to ash. But again, the question is: why is nothing going on with the clothes? "
As for the reasons for "micro-Chernobyl," according to Kaznacheev, they can be caused by geomagnetic disturbances of the Earth. Experts from the American National Institute of Meteorology and Oceanography in Boulder, where information on changes in magnetic fields is transmitted worldwide, found a characteristic pattern.
In nine out of ten cases of spontaneous human combustion, the time coincided with a sharp increase in geomagnetic field intensity.
Based on this thermonuclear version of spontaneous human combustion, it can be explained why the clothes of the victims do not burn in such cases. The distances between particles, atoms, and molecules are as great as the distances between planets, star systems, and galaxies at the planetary level. Therefore, this "Chernobyl" may occur only within living cells. It is a kind of star system in the galaxy organism and does not affect other "galaxies" - clothing, footwear, surrounding objects.
Of course, there is still a lot that is unclear in this hypothesis. It is not clear, for example, why the chain reaction in living cells does not always cover the whole organism but leaves its individual parts intact. It is also unknown how to protect oneself from the "devil's fire."
We can only take comfort in the fact that spontaneous human combustion is an extremely rare phenomenon and that the likelihood of being its victim is negligible.