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Still Waters

Man spontaneously combusts and lives

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Frank Baker faced death while earning two Purple Hearts in Vietnam, but the scariest moment of his life came in June 1995.

Baker was in his home in Vermont, when he suddenly burst into flames, an experience he discusses for the first time on "The Unexplained Files,"airing Oct. 2 on the Science Channel.

http://www.huffingto..._ref=weird-news

Video -

http://science.disco...explained-files

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Posted (edited)

Alcohol :)

he said me and my buddy were having a "hell of a good time" the first time it happened, then they were fishing the second. Traditional drinking time :).

They both have characteristics of alcoholics.

Its my thought that he probably did something while drunk, or if human combustion is real, it's the only highly flammable substance that I know of that can permeate someone's blood stream.

Edited by White Crane Feather
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Spontaneous Human Combustion is, in my opinion, a legitimate phenomenon. I speculate that it has something to do with phospherous in the diet, that becomes oxygenated somehow. There are a couple other testimonies of people who have experienced preliminaries to the phenomenon.

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No.

There is absolutely no evidence that spontaneous human combustion is possible.

And several reasons why it can't.

And sever explanations and repeatable experiments that mimic the results of "spontaneous" combustion.

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No.

There is absolutely no evidence that spontaneous human combustion is possible.

And several reasons why it can't.

And sever explanations and repeatable experiments that mimic the results of "spontaneous" combustion.

Any evidence God is possible?

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I speculate that it has something to do with phospherous in the diet, that becomes oxygenated somehow. There are a couple other testimonies of people who have experienced preliminaries to the phenomenon.

And I´m sure that the other people are exercising the same kind of diet as the 2 trustable guys in the vid. Means, 1-2 liter of schnapps

per day.

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544217f5c3b52cd1a961da43c9df809ab93f8dc67a6dc0693782b916cb1c74df.jpg

Unless it was all you can eat at the burrito shack.

Edited by XenoFish
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Any evidence God is possible?

No.

That is why I BELIEVE in GOD and that BELIEF requires FAITH.

I have lots of FAITH in God, but no evidence.

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No.

That is why I BELIEVE in GOD and that BELIEF requires FAITH.

I have lots of FAITH in God, but no evidence.

Exactly!

My husband's from Ra-Cha. Nice to see someone from my neck of the woods.

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Any evidence God is possible?

What does the supernatural have to do with this topic? Nothing.

There is no evidence that spontaneous human combustion occurs. It is possible for a body to be burned in a manner consistent with what is mislabeled as SHC. It involves an externally initiated burn.

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It's called the wick effect

wick effect: the name given to the partial destruction of a human body by fire, when the clothing of the victim soaks up melted human fat and acts like the wick of a candle.

Shounds nice dosen't it?

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No.

That is why I BELIEVE in GOD and that BELIEF requires FAITH.

I have lots of FAITH in God, but no evidence.

Belief requires faith? I thought you said belief requires evidence.

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It's called the wick effect

wick effect: the name given to the partial destruction of a human body by fire, when the clothing of the victim soaks up melted human fat and acts like the wick of a candle.

Shounds nice dosen't it?

"Wick effect" does not (according to Fire professionals, or the doctor's examining this patient) account for the kind of burning seen.

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What does the supernatural have to do with this topic? Nothing.

There is no evidence that spontaneous human combustion occurs. It is possible for a body to be burned in a manner consistent with what is mislabeled as SHC. It involves an externally initiated burn.

Yet the doctor is quoted as saying, "the burning came from the inside, out".

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There are several well documented cases of SOMETHING happening to those we call victims of Spontaneous Human Combustion. The evidence is inexplicable to all serious investigators. For human bones to be reduced to ashes requires a very high temperature. Yet in the presence of this extreme heat, nearby curtains and/or papers are not even singed. Perfectly normal, yes?

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Belief requires faith? I thought you said belief requires evidence.

Belief doesn't require any evidence at all.

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"Wick effect" does not (according to Fire professionals, or the doctor's examining this patient) account for the kind of burning seen.

That is false. It does.

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There are several well documented cases of SOMETHING happening to those we call victims of Spontaneous Human Combustion. The evidence is inexplicable to all serious investigators. For human bones to be reduced to ashes requires a very high temperature. Yet in the presence of this extreme heat, nearby curtains and/or papers are not even singed. Perfectly normal, yes?

Experimentation and the observation of a body on fire has shown that the wick effect is the cause. There are pretend investigators that claim all sorts of odd things. They are seen on any of a number of mockumentaries to beguile the gullible. It has been shown that bones can be reduced to ashes without a high temperature. Mockumentarians deny this, but they do not perform experiments since they are not serious investigators.

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Brian Dunning did a review of SHC in a past episode of Skeptoid. Podcast and transcript at the link:

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4258

Spontaneous Human Combustion

People can catch on fire... but can it really happen when there is no external source of ignition?

Mr. Dunning breaks down SHC into two "kinds". The first is what most people think of when they think of SHC - remains burned to ashes, generally little fire damage to surrounding areas, etc. - and this has been pretty thoroughly explained through the wick effect. The second is where a human being just suddenly bursts into flames. What most people don't realize is that there are only TWO recorded instances of this happening. If what Mr. Baker is saying is accurate, then he would be the third. Here is Mr. Duning's take on the second kind of SHC:

Spontaneous Human Combustion of the Second Kind is when the event is witnessed and we have accounts of what took place. These accounts are quite different than those of the First Kind. Slow, smoldering fires are never the case; they are always a large sudden ignition with active flames. When the victims survive, the burns (which can be serious) are on the skin, never the deep, complete reduction to ashes seen in the First Kind.

  • In London in 1982, Jeannie Saffin, a severely mentally handicapped elderly woman, was sitting at a table with family when her upper torso suddenly caught on fire. They extinguished the flames and paramedics took her to a burn unit, where she died eight days later of lung damage from inhaling the fire.
  • In 1938, also in London, 22-year-old Phyllis Newcombe's dress suddenly caught on fire as she was going downstairs at a dance. Other revelers extinguished the flames but she, too, died at the hospital from her burns.

People catching on fire is not especially uncommon. It happens all the time. The only thing differentiating the cases classified as SHC is that no source of ignition was found; the fires are said to have been spontaneous. Other than that, there's nothing especially remarkable about them. The fires burned in a familiar manner, and the injuries are what would be expected. But these cases of the Second Kind are also rare; probably more rare than the First Kind. The reason is that these are unsolved, whereas the First Kind cases are generally solved, at least to the satisfaction of the investigators. These two cases of the Second Kind are famous only because there was no source of ignition found. No cigarettes, open flames, or sparks were found near either Jeannie Saffin or Phyllis Newcombe; but it's not scientifically permissible to conclude that their combustions were spontaneous. Maybe they were; but just because we didn't find the cause hardly means that there wasn't one.

I don't for a minute buy the doctor's statement that Mr. Baker burned from the inside out. I think this episode is much better explained by two guys were drinking and one didn't realize he set himself on fire.

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From Wikipedia-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_human_combustion

"The "wick effect" hypothesis suggests that a small external flame source, such as a burning cigarette, chars the clothing of the victim at a location, splitting the skin and releasing subcutaneous fat, which is in turn absorbed into the burned clothing, acting as a wick. This combustion can continue for as long as the fuel is available. This hypothesis has been successfully tested with animal tissue (pig) and is consistent with evidence recovered from cases of human combustion.[14][15] The human body typically has enough stored energy in fat and other chemical stores to fully combust the body; even lean people have several pounds of fat in their tissues. This fat, once heated by the burning clothing, wicks into the clothing much as candle wax (which typically was originally made of animal fat) wicks into a lit candle wick to provide the fuel needed to keep the wick burning.[16] The protein in the body also burns, but provides less energy than fat, with the water in the body being the main impediment to combustion. However, slow combustion, lasting hours, gives the water time to evaporate slowly, which require less energy than boiling the water off quickly would. In an enclosed area, such as a house, this moisture will recondense nearby, such as on windows.[citation needed] Note that feet often have the least fat, so don't typically burn."

The article also mentions that ketosis is considered a suspect in spontaneous combustion. I may have to reconsider my low-carb diet.

Edited by simplybill
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The Jeannie Saffin case is especially interesting. What are we to make of the eyewitness report that fire was extruding from her mouth to a distance of 2 feet? In the Paul Haggerty case, items in his refrigerator, in another room, were affected by the extreme heat, yet inflammable materials right next to him didn't ignite. Of course, for timid souls, there's always a way to "explain away" these factors. The vaunted "wick effect" doesn't explain much. We don't see this happening in average fire fatalities, why? Spontaneous Human Combustion? Fact!

http://youtu.be/8RESUDoOArI

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I always thought there was a great deal with SHC.

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The Jeannie Saffin case is especially interesting. What are we to make of the eyewitness report that fire was extruding from her mouth to a distance of 2 feet? In the Paul Haggerty case, items in his refrigerator, in another room, were affected by the extreme heat, yet inflammable materials right next to him didn't ignite. Of course, for timid souls, there's always a way to "explain away" these factors. The vaunted "wick effect" doesn't explain much. We don't see this happening in average fire fatalities, why? Spontaneous Human Combustion? Fact!

Your hand waving here is of little use. For those without the ability to consider the evidence there is always a need to invoke something magical such as you've done here.

Why don't we see this happening in "average fire fatalities"? See post #19.

Edited by stereologist

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Brian Dunning did a review of SHC in a past episode of Skeptoid. Podcast and transcript at the link:

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4258

Spontaneous Human Combustion

People can catch on fire... but can it really happen when there is no external source of ignition?

Mr. Dunning breaks down SHC into two "kinds". The first is what most people think of when they think of SHC - remains burned to ashes, generally little fire damage to surrounding areas, etc. - and this has been pretty thoroughly explained through the wick effect. The second is where a human being just suddenly bursts into flames. What most people don't realize is that there are only TWO recorded instances of this happening. If what Mr. Baker is saying is accurate, then he would be the third. Here is Mr. Duning's take on the second kind of SHC:

Spontaneous Human Combustion of the Second Kind is when the event is witnessed and we have accounts of what took place. These accounts are quite different than those of the First Kind. Slow, smoldering fires are never the case; they are always a large sudden ignition with active flames. When the victims survive, the burns (which can be serious) are on the skin, never the deep, complete reduction to ashes seen in the First Kind.

  • In London in 1982, Jeannie Saffin, a severely mentally handicapped elderly woman, was sitting at a table with family when her upper torso suddenly caught on fire. They extinguished the flames and paramedics took her to a burn unit, where she died eight days later of lung damage from inhaling the fire.
  • In 1938, also in London, 22-year-old Phyllis Newcombe's dress suddenly caught on fire as she was going downstairs at a dance. Other revelers extinguished the flames but she, too, died at the hospital from her burns.

People catching on fire is not especially uncommon. It happens all the time. The only thing differentiating the cases classified as SHC is that no source of ignition was found; the fires are said to have been spontaneous. Other than that, there's nothing especially remarkable about them. The fires burned in a familiar manner, and the injuries are what would be expected. But these cases of the Second Kind are also rare; probably more rare than the First Kind. The reason is that these are unsolved, whereas the First Kind cases are generally solved, at least to the satisfaction of the investigators. These two cases of the Second Kind are famous only because there was no source of ignition found. No cigarettes, open flames, or sparks were found near either Jeannie Saffin or Phyllis Newcombe; but it's not scientifically permissible to conclude that their combustions were spontaneous. Maybe they were; but just because we didn't find the cause hardly means that there wasn't one.

I don't for a minute buy the doctor's statement that Mr. Baker burned from the inside out. I think this episode is much better explained by two guys were drinking and one didn't realize he set himself on fire.

"Maybe they WERE"... righto!

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Your hand waving here is of little use. For those without the ability to consider the evidence there is always a need to invoke something magical such as you've done here.

Why don't we see this happening in "average fire fatalities"? See post #19.

Not "magical"... just something we don't understand. Unexplained.

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