Article Report on Spontaneous Human Combustion

(This article had no title)
by Vincent Gaddis, Michael Harrison
Mysteries of the Unexplained, ©1982, 2 pgs

This article that I read dealt with spontaneous human combustion, specifically, partial human combustion.

The article starts by telling that on January 5, 1835, James Hamilton, a mathematics professor at the University of Nashville, Tennessee, was walking home from the university. When he got home, he saw that the thermometer outside his house read 8 degrees. All of the sudden, he felt a sharp pain with a sensation of heat on his left thigh. Looking down, he saw a bright flame, several inches high, about the diameter of a dime, rising from the spot. He tried to slap the flame out with his hand, but to no avail. He then realized that if he cut off the oxygen supply, the flame should go out. He cupped his hands over the flame, and, since he kept cool (no pun intended) during the incident, he was able to save himself.

Although the flame was out, there was a deep pain in his thigh. He went in the house to examine his wound. He found it to resemble an abrasion, about 3 inches long and almost an inch wide. The flame had burned a hole in his long underwear, but the area around the hole was not singed or scorched in any way. What surprised him most, however, was the fact that his pants were not burned at all. This was especially surprising because he had seen the flame outside his pants. On the inside of his pants, over the area where the flame had been, there was a fuzzy yellow substance. The physician who treated his wound treated it as he would any wound, although it took an unusually long time to heal, and his muscles remained sore for even longer. Hamilton was otherwise in excellent health.

I found this article interesting because it shows that there are still many things that cannot be understood or explained . . . yet.

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