Is it possible for someone to spontaneously burst into flames?
For Kay and Mike Fletcher, February 11, 1996, was a morning they’ll never forget.
Michael Fletcher claimed the source of the smoke was Amy’s body itself:
For the Fletchers, the entire episode was hard to comprehend. Had Kay survived the bizarre phenomenon known as spontaneous human combustion? If so, she was one of the lucky ones. Most cases end in death.
On March 26, 1986, Kendall Mott hadn’t heard from his father George, all day. A retired fireman, George had serious lung problems and needed an air pump and face mask just to help him breathe. Even before he went inside George’s home, Kendall knew something was wrong:
According to Kendall, when he found his father, all that was left was a scattering of ashes, a few splinters of bone, and a fragment of skull:
Larry Arnold is the author of a book about spontaneous human combustion entitled Ablaze:
The Mott burn area had all the weird inconsistencies of a classic combustion case. The TV had melted, but much of the bedding was undamaged. Nearby, a box of wooden matches was still intact. And air was still pumping through George’s face mask.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that non-believers, like Joe Nickell of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine, say there’s a rational explanation:
But even a confirmed skeptic would not use the word mundane to describe the next incident. In December of 1966, gas company meter man Don Gosnell made an unpleasant discovery at the home of Irving Bentley, a 92-year old retired physician. As he always did, Gosnell had let himself into Irving’s basement:
Gosnell rushed upstairs, but nothing could have prepared him for the gruesome scene in the bathroom:
Such scenes are nothing new to Larry Arnold:
Where Larry Arnold sees a paranormal mystery, skeptic Joe Nickell sees an unusual, yet possible, solution:
Larry Arnold says that debunkers could perform a very simple experiment:
Arnold theorizes that some cases of spontaneous human combustion may be an explosive aberration of the electrical current flows naturally present in the body:
Not in the world Joe Nickell lives in:
Is spontaneous human combustion real or can every case be explained away? The jury is still out. Unless, of course, it happens to you.