People solved the mystery of spontaneous combustion

September 4, 2012 21:36

Scientists seem to have understood from what is in itself breaks the so-called devil's fire, in moments of devouring human [photos, video]

Mary no one burned

An experimental biologist Brian J. Ford says that finally found the cause of spontaneous combustion of people. What he and his colleagues first reported in a specialized journal The Microscope, and then — in the popular science New Sientist.
The first time that people can catch fire by themselves and burn for a few minutes, I learned 30 years ago. The eye then read an article about it in a foreign magazine. And forever etched in the memory of a terrible picture of it — the foot in a black shoe. This is all that remains of the old 79-pound American Mary Reeser, which burned down July 1, 1951 in St. Petersburg (Florida). Leg and a pile of ashes in the morning found the son, who had come to visit. Door handle, his mother's room, which he tried to open, was still hot …

Stop the clock showed the time in which there was inflammation — 4 hours and 20 minutes in the morning. Mary was dozing in a chair. It also burned — up springs. And nothing the fire did not touch — even the newspapers lying around. The walls and ceiling have not found traces of soot, the smell of smoke barely felt.

— This is the most amazing sight of the ones that I have seen — then admitted Dr. Wilton Krogman, a forensic expert, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, who participated in the investigation. — It is impossible to understand how intense burning of the body has not caused extensive fire. Fire such power was bound to destroy the room and all the furniture in it.

Scientists have found important: a woman nobody burned.

Leg in black shoes and a handful of ashes — all that remains of Mary Reeser

Police inspect the room that caught fire

Burnt in hellfire small, but they have
Now the case of Mary Reeser is a classic appearance dreadful phenomenon, known as spontaneous human combust (Spontaneous Human Combustion — SHC).
In what is it — a phenomenon — there is most scientists believe. Back in 1870 at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) was a brochure. Its authors analyzed the attitude of colleagues to the mysterious phenomenon — of those who have tried to understand it. Only eight of the 35 considered it a hoax, and in documented cases of suspected arson. The rest had no doubt that people can catch fire by themselves.

Account deaths from SHC is not large — about 120 cases worldwide of all time documented records. Which is extremely small. And this, incidentally, gave reason to believe that the phenomenon is guilty of at least a rare phenomenon — a fireball. Like, it's the people burn out, somehow penetrating the body. But no serious evidence of this hypothesis has not yet received.

It is known that in Russia "famous" just one person — a shepherd Biesen Mamaev. November 11, 1990 it burned down in a field on the border of the Saratov and Volgograd regions. His remains were found a brother. Fire had burned organs shepherd slightly charred skin and charred underwear. And outerwear remained almost untouched. About this mysterious incident told me Vadim Chernobrov, leader of the research group "Kosmopoisk", who visited the site of the tragedy.

Vadim Chernobrov in place Autoignition shepherd

Alcoholics rehabilitated
So from what ignites people? What burns in them?
For a long time, quite serious researchers believed that only spontaneous combustion alcoholics. And the raging spirit, overflowing their bodies. However, the first scholar who undertook to test this hypothesis experimentally verified its insolvency. German Yastus background Leybig found: even well preserved in alcohol tissues do not flash. Moreover, he directly worked hard the 70 percent alcohol, dead rats — they do not burn.
Up to now, popular and not completely rejected the "hypothesis of a match." Or "live candles." It was first proposed in 1961 London physician Gavin Thurston in the journal Medico-Legal Journal. He believed that the wick is a person in the clothes. Man burns. And this time, melt the fat in the flame. While the rest will not burn out.
As raging "wicks" twice on TV in the popular science programs Air Force — in 1986 and 1998. Demonstrated on a cloth pig carcasses. Carcasses burned. But for a long time — up to 12 hours. And "clothes" they are not maintained. A carcass themselves and not be turned into piles of ash, as was the case with burns in the hellfire people.

"Dressed" pig burned well, but for a long time. And flared hard

Beware, ketosis
— No, the "hypothesis of a match" does not work — says Brian Ford. — It does not explain all the features of the phenomenon. And alcohol, which have sinned before, to the point. Not least because it does not accumulate. Conversely, cleaved from the metabolism.
Yet, as explained by Ford, the body can appear very flammable. Which also can accumulate. This acetone.
Production of acetone in the metabolism begins when the blood glucose level drops — the main source of energy in the human body. Deficiency leads to the fact that include alternative mechanisms. Begins to break down fat cells. A chain of biochemical reactions, which are the responsibility liver, leading eventually to the fact that in the blood to specific substances — so-called ketones. They are power sources and carriers of energy instead of glucose.
Acetone — a type of ketones. Its accumulation contribute some diets that cause the so-called ketosis. Lead and diseases like diabetes.
Excess of flammable material in the body and cause spontaneous combustion, scientists say. He checked it out, "marinated" in acetone pieces of pork.
Ford of pieces produced scale models of human bodies. Clothed them. And set on fire. Burned to the ground in less than half an hour. Clothing places remained intact. Preserved and limbs. Just as in the photo of victims of spontaneous combustion.
— We believe: the legs and arms remain, as they have very little fat, and acetone stored in short supply, "- said the experimenter.

Professor Ford believes that ignited accumulated in the body of acetone — a very flammable liquid

Of course, the question remains, where did the spark is taken from which ignited the flames of hell? Here at Ford's no clear opinion. He just believes that a person can participate arson static electricity. Therefore, the scientist does not advise wearing synthetic clothing, which often sparks showering. It is especially dangerous for people who are ketosis.

More than 500 years on the firing line

The first documented evidence relates to 1470. Described as an Italian knight Polonius Worth, drinking plenty of wine, was, in front of relatives, spewing flames, then flared and burned to the ground in minutes. Because of this and other cases have come to believe that the person burns devilish fire, sizzling Satan.
In 1763, a Frenchman, Jean Dupont published a book with a collection of cases of human spontaneous combustion under the name «De Incendiis Corporis Humani Spontaneis». And he told about Nicolas Millet, from which the court dismissed the charge of murdering his wife, when the court was convinced that she died as a result of spontaneous self-ignition.
From his wife Mille heavy drinkers Parisians, there was only a pile of ashes, a skull and legs. Straw mattress on which she lay, was unharmed.
In 1850, a German chemist Yastus background Leybig conducted the first scientific study of spontaneous human spontaneous combustion. And proved that prevailed at that time, the hypothesis is not true. Then no doubt that the cause of the phenomenon — alcohol, which "impregnated" alcoholics. Supposedly from him, and they break out.
The last documented evidence relates to the 22 December 2010 — in Ireland burned a lonely old man — 76-year-old Michael Fogarty. Experts, tormented with the investigation for a year, eventually recorded the cause of death of the pensioner spontaneous combustion.

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