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  Spontanious Human Combustion (SHC)
Posted by: Angel - 01-29-2008, 07:02 PM - Forum: Misc. Paranormal - Replies (14)

hought i would give this subject a go,as it has been classed as a unexplainable phenomenon in the past..(please delete if its not within the site subject catagory)

what are peoples views on this...
there seems to be little documentation on shc...

the known cases all seem to have similarities of events.

do you think a human can combust,do you believe its a genuine phenomenon,or the result of carlessness with flammable sources.

Spontaneous Human Combustion is a phenomenon in which a human body purportedly catches fire as a result of heat generated internally by some type of chemical reaction. This phenomena has been reported for hundreds of years. Indeed, belief in the past was that if a person possessed too much anger or drank too much brandy, he or she might burn to death internally - literally combusting into ash within a matter of minutes!

And what about the images of a burned body with feet or hands left intact? The answer to that question may have something to do with the temperature gradient -- the idea that the top of a seated person is hotter than the bottom. This is basically the same phenomenon that occurs when you hold a match with the flame at the bottom. The flame will often go out without provocation because the bottom of the match is cooler than the top.

Finally, how does science account for the greasy stains left on walls and ceilings after a "spontaneous combustion"? They could simply be the residue that was produced when the victims' fatty tissue burned.

No one has ever conclusively proven or disproven the truth of spontaneous human combustion, but most scientists say that there are more likely explanations for the charred remains. Many of the so-called victims of spontaneous human combustion were smokers who were later discovered to have died by falling asleep with a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe. A number of them were believed to have been under the influence of alcohol or to have suffered from a movement-restricting disease that prevented them from moving quickly enough to escape the fire. Another possibility is that some of the fires and strange states of the victims' bodies were the result of a criminal act and subsequent cover-up.

but who knows so lets see what other beliefs are on this matter and maybe look into the evidence.

- The body is normally more severely burned than one that has been caught in a normal fire.

- The burns are not distributed evenly over the body; the extremities are usually untouched by fire, whereas the torso usually suffers severe burning.

- In some cases the torso is completely destroyed, the bones being reduced completely to ash.

- Small portions of the body (an arm, a foot, maybe the head) remain unburned.

- Only objects immediately associated with the body have burned; the fire never spread away from the body. SHC victims have burnt up in bed without the sheets catching fire, clothing worn is often barely singed, and flammable materials only inches away remain untouched.

- A greasy soot deposit covers the ceiling and walls, usually stopping three to four feet above the floor.

- Objects above this three to four foot line show signs of heat damage (melted candles, cracked mirrors, etc.)

- Although temperatures of about 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit are normally required to char a body so thoroughly (crematoria, which usually operate in the neighborhood of 2,000 degrees, leave bone fragments which must be ground up by hand), frequently little or nothing around the victim is damaged, except perhaps the exact spot where the deceased ignited.

In 1938, a 22-year-old woman named Phyllis Newcombe was leaving a dance at the Shire Hall in Chelmsford, England. As she descended the staircase of the hall, her dress suddenly caught fire with no apparent cause. She ran back into the ballroom, where she collapsed. Several people rushed to her aid, but she later died in the hospital. Although the theory was that Newcombe's dress had been ignited by a cigarette or a lit match thrown from the stairwell, no evidence of either was ever found. Coroner L.F. Beccles commented on the incident, "From all my experience I have never come across a case so very mysterious as this."

In 1982, a mentally handicapped woman named Jean Lucille "Jeannie" Saffin was sitting with her 82-year-old father at their home in Edmonton, in northern London. According to her father, a flash of light caught his eye. When he turned to his daughter, he saw that her upper body was enveloped in flames. Mr. Saffin and his son-in-law, Donald Carroll, managed to put out the blaze, but Jeannie died of her third-degree burns about a week after entering the hospital. According to Carroll, "the flames were coming from her mouth like a dragon and they were making a roaring noise." There was no smoke or fire damage in the room. Some have wondered if an ember from her father's pipe ignited Jeannie's clothing.


Alchoholism - many Spontaneous Human Combustion vicitms have been alcoholics. But experiments in the 19th century demonstrated that flesh impregnated with alcohol will not burn with the intense heat associated with Spontaneous Human Combustion.

Deposits of flammable body fat - Many victims have been overweight - yet others have been skinny.

Devine Intervention - Centuries ago people felt that the explosion was a sign from God of devine punishment.

An explosive combination of chemicals can form in the digestive system - due to poor diet.

Electrical fields that exist within the human body might be capable of 'short circuiting' somehow, that some sort of atomic chain reaction could generate tremendous internal heat.

Explanations for this strange but intriguing phenomena are varied and wide ranging. Some experts suggest that bacteria production in the gut of either internally combustible or external combustible gases may be to blame. Gases produced in the gut which might be externally ignited include: methane (Ch4), hydrogen (H2) and phosphane (Ph3), a.k.a. "phosphoretted hydrogen." A gas which in theory might be produced in the gut and combust internally on contact with oxygen is diphosphane (P2H4). Many victims of SHC are found with their stomachs as the seat of the fire which does add some weight to this theory.
the wick effect

Other theories include the "candle effect" whereby the victim’s clothing serves as the wick and the victim’s body fat the candle. The candle effect was eloquently demonstrated in August 1998 on the BBC science programme ‘QED’. Dr. John de Haan, a forensic expert at the California Criminalistics Institute constructed a replica living room. In this room he placed a dead pig, wrapped in a blanket. He wanted to demonstrate that once the pig was set on fire using an accelerant, a prolonged, but low intensity blaze might indeed cause similar effects to those observed in cases of SHC. For example he managed to replicate a localised fire where the pigs extremities remained intact yet the bones crumbled when poked. Even though enough localised heat was produced to make the pigs bones "friable", surrounding objects in the replica room remained surprisingly untouched; except a lightly scorched table and partially melted plastic radio.

While the documentary produced a convincing explanation for SHC, it was still necessary to use an accelerant to ignite the pig. This is in conflict with many SHC cases where there is no such evidence of an ignition source. It also failed to explain the accounts of SHC survivors who claim that the fire originates from within the body and burns outwards. There is still some room for further investigation.

No satisfactory explanation of Spontaneous Human Combustion has ever been given. It is still an unsolved mystery

look forward to your replies

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  A friends experience
Posted by: Angel - 01-29-2008, 06:56 PM - Forum: Shadow Creatures - Replies (5)

just last week a friend had a very odd and frightening experience.

during the day she had decided to have a little nap on her bed,
she hadnt fell asleep yet,and she became aware of a pressense,she heard "something" in one of her ears (i cant recall what),she then felt "something" climb onto her bed,now she has a 10 stone rottweiler,but kknew it was him as he was locked up downstairs,as she was un-nerved she managed to not look,but turn over onto her side (away from whatever it was) she did for some reason she happened to look in front of her for a split second,and she caught glimpse of the reflection of her tv...she described whatever this "thing" was,appeared to be a darkened mass/shadow looming over her bed,she popped herself,(not literally) and didnt turn around or take another look for quite some time untill she sensed it was no longer there.

She asked me what i thought it could have been,it sounds very similar to another friends experience she had years ago,It was what we call a Angel of death,a modern day grim reaper of which forewarns of a death to someone known to the person (not themselves)

Has anyone else experienced something similar,or have any thoughts on what this may have been.

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