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  1. #21
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE E40FDNYL35's Avatar
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    The physical possibilities of spontaneous human combustion are remote. Not only is the body mostly water, but aside from fat tissue and methane gas, there isn't much that burns readily in a human body. To cremate a human body requires a temperature of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit for about two hours. To get a chemical reaction in a human body which would lead to ignition would require some doing.
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  2. #22
    EuroFirefighter Batt18's Avatar
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    'The scientific explanation -- the 'wick effect' -- proposes that in certain rare circumstances the human being can burn like a candle.'

    In August 1999, BBC TV broadcast in prime time a film in its prestigious science series 'QED', entitled Spontaneous Human Combustion.

    The film was ambitious both as science and as reporting, for it set out to debunk once and for all the centuries-old belief that, under some mysterious circumstances, humans can catch fire and be almost entirely consumed, even in the security of their own homes.

    Why is this an example of pseudoscience?

    Almost incredibly, the reporters who made the film and the scientists who took part in it, chose to ignore completely the fact that there are a number of recent, well-documented cases of people who have experienced or witnessed spontaneous human combustion at first hand and who lived to tell what happened. And the first-hand experience of these witnesses completely contradicts the key features of the 'scientific explanation' in every detail.

    First, there is the case of Fire Brigade Commander John Stacey, called to a house fire in Lambeth in 1967, who discovered Robert Bailey in the early stages of combustion and burning from inside his abdomen 'like a blow torch' in a derelict house where gas and electricity had been turned off and where there were no other sources of ignition.

    LINK TO ARTICLE HERE

  3. #23
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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    Originally posted by E40FDNYL35
    The physical possibilities of spontaneous human combustion are remote. Not only is the body mostly water, but aside from fat tissue and methane gas, there isn't much that burns readily in a human body. To cremate a human body requires a temperature of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit for about two hours. To get a chemical reaction in a human body which would lead to ignition would require some doing.

    While the body does require EXTREME amounts of heat to burn down to almost nothing, it does not necessarily have to be 1600 degrees F, nor does it necessarily have to be burned for a 2 hour period. It depends on body mass, weight and gender. Larger bodies and those with a higher fat content are done first BEFORE the cremator is at it's highest temperature. This is because at a higher temp. the body may not burn properly if the heat is too high. The outside of the body can sear (when the fatty tissues burn), leaving other portions untouched. Some bodies can be done in just a little over an hour, while others can take over 2, it depends on the body make up. All bodies are put in the cremator inside a box, be it a casket or some other container; this is so the flames ignite the container before the body, causing a more even burn. It's a very interesting process to watch from start to finish, and I used to question why people would want to be burned upon dying, now I don't.

    Just a side note, if you think we have warped sense's of humor, go hang around a guy doing cremations all alone in the funeral home late at night We took someone in one night and we were having a coffee with the guy before we left to go do another pick up, he opened the cremator to check on the status of the body, and there was a small lump full of flame near the frontal portion of the cremator. He looked at me and said "See that lump right there?" I nodded; then he said "That's your brain ON fire
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  4. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    This is a constant problem for PFire23. She must be ever vigilant against this possiblity, because SHE'S SO DAMN HOT!!
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  5. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    From Batt18's link.

    The case of Jean Lucille Saffin

    In September 1982, a mentally handicapped London woman, Jeannie Saffin aged 61, burst into flames while sitting on a wooden Windsor chair in the kitchen of her home in Edmonton. Her father, who was seated at a nearby table, said he saw a flash of light out of the corner of his eye and turned to Jeannie to ask if she had seen it. He was astonished to find that she was enveloped in flames, mainly around her face and hands.


    "Psyhcos dont explode when sunlight hits them, I dont care how f'n crazy they are!"- George Cloony in the movie Dusk Till Dawn


    There is undeniably strange stuff that goes on in the world, but there has to a logical explanation, right?

    Maybe its funner to be left in the dark about such things.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    I've seen plenty of fire officers spontaneously combust and melt-down

    Not only does that explain some incidents that start off being run on pucker factor, it provides a convient excuse when you just sprayed the Captain...Damn Capt, I swear I saw you smoking...

  7. #27
    Forum Member ffexpCP's Avatar
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    Ironically, this was a topic my fire science professor lectured on this week. In theory, it is possible. If I remember correctly…

    The natural process which causes matter to heat is oxidation. Oxidation is a form of combustion. “Combustion is a self-sustaining chemical reaction yielding energy or products that cause further reactions of the same kind.” The energy is, of course, heat. Most self heating reactions are usually too slow to notice (such as rusting), however if the heat is not allowed to dissipate, such as in a grain bin, the built up heat can cause the matter’s fuel gasses to ignite, therefore causing further reactions of the same kind. So, for this to happen a human must oxidize so fast, the created heat cannot dissipate into their surroundings, the heat must decompose the flesh by pyrolysis, and there must be enough heat to ignite the fuel gas.

    It makes sense in my head. I hope I didn’t miss something.

    You may want to check out the fourth edition of Essentials of Fire fighting, pages 40-46

  8. #28
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    The body is 75% water!!!

  9. #29
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    Originally posted by ffexpCP
    Ironically, this was a topic my fire science professor lectured on this week. In theory, it is possible. If I remember correctly…

    The natural process which causes matter to heat is oxidation. Oxidation is a form of combustion. “Combustion is a self-sustaining chemical reaction yielding energy or products that cause further reactions of the same kind.” The energy is, of course, heat. Most self heating reactions are usually too slow to notice (such as rusting), however if the heat is not allowed to dissipate, such as in a grain bin, the built up heat can cause the matter’s fuel gasses to ignite, therefore causing further reactions of the same kind. So, for this to happen a human must oxidize so fast, the created heat cannot dissipate into their surroundings, the heat must decompose the flesh by pyrolysis, and there must be enough heat to ignite the fuel gas.

    It makes sense in my head. I hope I didn’t miss something.

    You may want to check out the fourth edition of Essentials of Fire fighting, pages 40-46
    Despite the fact that the body is mostly water, how and why would a human just begin to oxidize? Heay dissipation?....What about a person suffering from heatstroke? The body can't get rid of heat fast enough. Why don't these people burst into flames?

    And wait...maybe we should start to blame every "undetermined" wildland fire on spontaneously heating deer! Every house fire on a spontaneously combusting domestic pet! No pets? Mice!

    Maybe you can choose to ignore the science of this farce, but this has never, ever, ever been documented SCIENTIFICALLY.

  10. #30
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    There are plenty of documented cases of this happening. Proof of this is found in the movie Good Morning Vietnam. Were all of you born after 1968?

    Well, thank you, Roosevelt. What's the weather like out there?

    "It's hot! Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking."

    Well, tell me what it feels like.

    "Fool, it's hot! I told you again! Were you born on the sun? It's damn hot! It's so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It's that hot! Do you know what I'm talking about?"
    Stay Safe

  11. #31
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI


    And wait...maybe we should start to blame every "undetermined" wildland fire on spontaneously heating deer! Every house fire on a spontaneously combusting domestic pet! No pets? Mice!

    What?!? Then you'd have to remove "electrical" as a choice for cause of ignition!
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  12. #32
    Forum Member ffexpCP's Avatar
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    Hold it. While I do believe spontaneous human combustion is complete hooey, all I said is it is possible, in theory. Time travel, along with countless other ideas, are also possible, in theory.

    Oh, and you are oxidizing. Have you forgotten about the exothermic chemical reactions taking place inside you body?

    As for your heatstroke comment, they just aren’t hot enough to ignite. The same goes for deer, domestic pets, mice and whatever.

    Now, before you haul me away and shove me in a padded room, let me say I don’t believe in time travel either.

    *this is a friendly debate*

  13. #33
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    1. Not all exothermic reactions are "oxidation".

    2. If it is not hot enough during heatstroke to ignite, it is not hot enough during any time to ignite. Don't forget about the problem of the flammable limits for this off-gassing.

    3. I believe in time travel. I have experienced it when I walk into some fire departments around here. The calendar is still on 1978.

  14. #34
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    I believe in time travel. I have experienced it when I walk into some fire departments around here. The calendar is still on 1978.
    Oh...isn't that the sad truth! I travel back in time every trip I make to our Division office.
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  15. #35
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    Son of a gun, Gen. Wesley Clark has made time travel part of the sideshow called the Democratic Presidential campaign.
    ----------------------------------------------------

    02:00 AM Sep. 30, 2003 PT

    Wesley Clark: Rhodes scholar, four-star general, NATO commander, futurist?

    During a whirlwind campaign swing Saturday through New Hampshire, Clark, the newest Democratic presidential candidate, gave supporters one of the first glimpses into his views on technology.

    "We need a vision of how we're going to move humanity ahead, and then we need to harness science to do it," Clark told a group of about 50 people in Newcastle attending a house party -- a tradition in New Hampshire presidential politics that enables well-connected voters to get an up-close look at candidates.

    Then, the 58-year-old Arkansas native, who retired from the military three years ago, dropped something of a bombshell on the gathering.

    "I still believe in e=mc², but I can't believe that in all of human history, we'll never ever be able to go beyond the speed of light to reach where we want to go," said Clark. "I happen to believe that mankind can do it."

    "I've argued with physicists about it, I've argued with best friends about it. I just have to believe it. It's my only faith-based initiative." Clark's comment prompted laughter and applause from the gathering.

    Gary Melnick, a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said Clark's faith in the possibility of faster-than-light (FTL) travel was "probably based more on his imagination than on physics."

    While Clark's belief may stem from his knowledge of sophisticated military projects, there's no evidence to suggest that humans can exceed the speed of light, said Melnick. In fact, considerable evidence posits that FTL travel is impossible, he said.

    "Even if Clark becomes president, I doubt it would be within his powers to repeal the powers of physics," said Melnick, whose research has focused on interstellar clouds and the formation of stars and planets.

    Einstein's theory of special relativity says that time slows down as an object approaches the speed of light. Some scientists say that FTL travel therefore implies time travel, or being able to travel to the future or the past.

    Clark's comment about FTL travel came at the end of a long answer to a question about his views of NASA and the U.S. space program. Clark said he supports the agency and believes "America needs a dream and a space program."

    But Clark said the nation must prioritize its technological goals and take a pragmatic approach to focusing its scientific resources and talent.

    "Some goals may take a lifetime to reach," he said. "We need to set those goals now. We need to re-dedicate ourselves to science, engineering and technology in this country."

    Clark used his visit to New Hampshire -- which will hold the nation's first primary election in January -- to demonstrate that he hasn't forgotten the cyberspace activists who cajoled him into running in the first place, as well as to introduce voters to his views on a range of subjects.

    "You have changed American politics, with the power of the Internet, modern communications and committed people who care," Clark told a handful of supporters Saturday at the Draft Clark movement's New Hampshire headquarters in Dover.

    At the brief meeting prior to a noisy noontime rally on the steps of Dover's City Hall, Clark met some of the New England organizers of the Internet-based movement for the first time. Those are the supporters who had worked for the past six months to convince the former general to seek the Democratic nomination.

    Clark's visit to the humble office -- the first opened by the nationwide draft movement-- came just 10 days after his decision to enter the race, and amid reports that some members of the draft have felt cast aside as Clark's official campaign swings into full gear under the control of seasoned political organizers, many with connections to former President Clinton.

    But Dover resident Susan Putney, one of the four founders of the Draft Clark movement, said she had no hurt feelings. According to Putney, organizers of the draft have offered to stay on, or to turn over their infrastructure to Clark's official Little Rock, Arkansas-based campaign, whichever the campaign chooses.

    "They're the professionals," Putney said. "I'm just a business person, I'm not a politico. We got him to this point, and we'll let the best team possible field it to carry him through."

    At this early stage of his campaign, it was obvious that Clark sometimes still leans heavily on the Internet-savvy volunteers who convinced him to run.

    The rally in Dover, which was attended by around 300 people, was first publicized on the New Hampshire Draft Clark (now re-named New Hampshire for Clark/04) website and drew supporters from all over New England. The audio engineer who donated his services for the rally's public-address system said he heard about Clark's visit from the site. Even the placards waved by supporters were printed up by the movement and bore the words "Draft Clark 2004."

    During Clark's last visit to New Hampshire on May 12, Putney presented him with a stack of 1,000 letters collected through the Internet and urging him to run.

    But did the Internet draft really make Clark run, or would the ambitious former NATO commander have thrown his hat into the ring anyway?

    "No question this draft movement was what convinced him to get into the race," said George Bruno, a former Democratic National Committee member and personal friend of Clark's. "They persuaded him. We've never seen anything like this in politics before."

  16. #36
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    George-
    I saw one case of spont. human combustion. It was scientifically confirmed in the course of the investigation by such indicators as collapsed springs in the furniture, crazing of the nearby window glass, and the spalled concrete under the chair the person was in.
    Last edited by Steamer; 09-30-2003 at 03:54 PM.
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  17. #37
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    Originally posted by Steamer
    George-
    I saw one case of spont. human combustion. It was scientifically confirmed in the course of the investigation by such indicators as collapsed springs in the furniture, crazing of the nearby window glass, and the spalled concrete under the chair the person was in.
    Don't forget the abnormally fast spread of the fire.

  18. #38
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    It happens ALL the time. And spontaneously, I might add.

    Surely, you've heard of people "getting lit?"

    And then there are those who are "burned out?"

    Perhaps you know someone who is a "flaming so and so?"

    But right now....the Yankees need to "catch fire!"
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 10-01-2003 at 11:50 AM.
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  19. #39
    EuroFirefighter Batt18's Avatar
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    Ball lightning link to human combustion -

    Scientists studying ball lightning say it may be linked to spontaneous human combustion.




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