Cocktails and Conspiracies

Epi 10: Spontaneous Human Combustion

September 30, 2018 Tessy & McDub Episode 10
Cocktails and Conspiracies
Epi 10: Spontaneous Human Combustion
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00:02:49
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Cocktails and Conspiracies
Epi 10: Spontaneous Human Combustion
Sep 30, 2018 Episode 10
Tessy & McDub

For well over a century, some have claimed that people can suddenly and inexplicably explode into a ball of fire...

 WTF Moments: 

  • There have been over 200 deaths caused by spontaneous combustion in the past 300 years- Like cause of death was listed as spontaneous combustion...
  • Under regular circumstances, the human body, which is made up of 60-70 percent water, simply does not possess the elements needed to combust — high heat and flammable material. 
  • Experts can attest that fires burning so hot as to turn human bone to ash don’t leave surrounding areas untouched, yet SHC occurs without the rest of the room or surroundings going up in flames. 
  • One of the most famous cases involved Mary Reeser, an elderly woman found by her landlady when she saw smoke and noticed the door handle was hot. When the police entered her apartment, Mary's body was completely burnt except for one leg. 
  • The most recent case was reported in 2010 to Michael Faherty in Galway, Ireland. The coroner declared his death to be due to spontaneous combustion considering that there was no other apparent cause. 



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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

For well over a century, some have claimed that people can suddenly and inexplicably explode into a ball of fire...

 WTF Moments: 

  • There have been over 200 deaths caused by spontaneous combustion in the past 300 years- Like cause of death was listed as spontaneous combustion...
  • Under regular circumstances, the human body, which is made up of 60-70 percent water, simply does not possess the elements needed to combust — high heat and flammable material. 
  • Experts can attest that fires burning so hot as to turn human bone to ash don’t leave surrounding areas untouched, yet SHC occurs without the rest of the room or surroundings going up in flames. 
  • One of the most famous cases involved Mary Reeser, an elderly woman found by her landlady when she saw smoke and noticed the door handle was hot. When the police entered her apartment, Mary's body was completely burnt except for one leg. 
  • The most recent case was reported in 2010 to Michael Faherty in Galway, Ireland. The coroner declared his death to be due to spontaneous combustion considering that there was no other apparent cause. 



Check out our website!

Contact us!

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/join/cocktailsandconspiracies?)

Speaker 1:

Hi, how are you today? How are you? Good. Happy Sunday. Happy Sunday. Are you scared? I'm so scared. Me Too. Sunday. Scaries. I know. No, I actually have the Sunday scaries like last night. I did too. Why? Because I would watch this is us the entire day. I don't know. Yeah, like my eyes are so swollen. Oh sure. Because, you know, so that's, I like I said, I've heard about it. I haven't watched it. And um, because I would 100 percent correct. I straight up started crying, like watching. I think it was like an eye, not a savvy person, but I was watching like a commercial the other day. Commercials are so intense now. Hi. No. Okay. Was it a uh, Spca or Sarah Mclaughlin? Oh my God. Um, no. Uh, this weekend I um, I was in Austin and we were at this bar watching and waiting for the anim game and as I was just like looking up at one of the TV screens, obviously like you can't hear us now on because it's super loud in there. But I saw one of the most disgusting commercials I've seen in a long time. Really? Yes. At the beginning of it had like this house and people were having like a house party or like a game day party and they in the camera zooms in on this bowl of pho. I like people, you know, you always see those towards like Tostito's commercials. Like you're dipping the chips. Well instead of like, you know, people like standing around dipping chips, they dip their fingers in it. And I know like I'm just at a bar, like I have no context. They can't hear what they're saying. So they start like, you know how they like aggressively dip chips in like yeah, they're doing this with their first two fingers and eating it. And then this one lady does it and then feeds another guy. Her fingers. I wanted to Barf. That's disgusting. I'm like, what the fuck is this commercial? And it was for like this freaking a financial app. I was like, what? I brought up. But you remembered it in. Yeah. But it doesn't make me want to have anything to do with that. For sure. For sure. Well guys, welcome to cocktails and conspiracy to our cocktails and conspiracies podcast. We are going to drink a few cocktails and talk about weird shit is. So this is our 10th episode. Yeah, we're devil devil dishes. Well one, we're going to get excited because people are actually listening to us. Really surprising like it's pleasure. It's delightful that people are listening to us now. But um, so today we're talking about spontaneous human combustion. Weird. Basically blowing up from the inside out. And so data we have to drink something with fireball of course. But I wanted to make like a cinnamon toast crunch, shotty drink type. So the easy shot way is one part Chada one part fireball. But we made ours to make a drink. So we did three cups of milk, one cup, simple syrup, Dasha, cinnamon, a little bit of Vanilla, a pinch of nutmeg. And then we did like a cup of fireball and half a cup of vanilla vodka. So many ingredients. All right, let's, let's cheers and try. So let's taste it. And all of our, um, drink recipes are on our website, cocktails and conspiracies.org because there is no way you're gonna. Remember that right? Cheers. Cheers. This is damn good. It almost tastes like eggnog.

Speaker 2:

Hmm.

Speaker 1:

Maybe it is acknowledged. I can taste the fireball in there too. Oh, you can? Yeah. Because it tasted so good. I just took a really big gulp of careful because there's a lot of faribault no, that's really good. Well, and also, I mean, hopefully we won't spontaneously combust or us. I know, you know, alcohol does not help you. If it doesn't, we'll all find out. So yeah, if you guys have rum, Chata and fireball at home, you can whip up a quick shot or you can look on our website and get the shot chowder recipe and make it readily that. So we're drinking. Great job. Okay. So what is it? Tell us what is spontaneous, spontaneous confession that's going to be really fun for me to do today to spontaneous. Okay. So spontaneous human combustion. It's a term encompassing reported cases of the combustion of a living or recently deceased human body without an apparent external source of ignition. So literally it's when someone lights on fire the inside out and like they just die. They just spontaneously out of nowhere. Yeah. There's no accelerant. There's no like, oh hey, somebody put a match to their arm or something. No, there's. And the really weird thing is with, there's been a lot of these cases reported and with all of them, like there's a Lemma or like some part of their body left that's left totally on damaged. Everything else is set, like their bones are set, but their shoe is still on the right foot. That is there. And that sounds weird, weird, crazy, good. EBG busulfan. Yeah. So an awful way to die. So there's been, I see is stat right here, 200 real cases in the past 300 years, which is the actual cause of death like Aba, the coroner's report like cause of death, spontaneous human combustion. Wow, that's crazy. I know. So. Okay. So what we're going to do is like tell a few of the stories and then kind of talk about possible scientific theories behind them. If you want to listen to another, a storytelling of this. There's this podcast called Lore. It's amazing if I'm, uh, you know, I don't know if our listeners are anybody who has heard of this, but this Guy Aaron Mankey, he produces and writes all of these and it's actually now a show on Amazon and it, what it does is it just talks about like all, like folklore from all over the world and the way he puts it together, it's really nice. So he did one, it's called the fire within or firing like something like that. And it's about like spontaneous combustion. So it's like his, like his episode, I forgot what episode, we'll put it on the show notes, but he talks about this and he tells him different stories, but his is really good to help get to know Laura is awesome. Um, okay. So you go with the first lady. Okay. So like you're sad. There are 200 real cases of spontaneous human combustion in the past 300 years. The very first story is with Polonius vortices and that's an old ass sounding name added is he drank two bottles of wine and started vomiting, fire like a fucking dragon, and then gradually got burned to death. So I guess he was screaming and every time he screamed fire would come out of his mouth and then it slowly like burned his body to death and he just died in front of everyone. But you know, people are really dramatic and I know like to tell stories in the 15th century. So no, that is one thing that a drama queen family therapy just for now, but yeah, you can't believe those little sneaky snakes. But that was the very first for British story. Okay. Spontaneous human combustion. 14 that they probably thought it was witchcraft. Who knows? Probably. Yeah. So, um, so this next one, let's fast forward about a little under 300 years. So this lady, Countess Cornelia Bandy, um, contests. I wonder if this countless Luanne back incarnated. They're related. They're both and they're both drinkers. So for shout out, yeah. So here's how this one goes. On the evening of June 20th, 17, 45 counts as Cornelia is in Gary d bandy of Cistina c e s e n a, a Verona burned to death. She's 62 years old. She went to bed at a normal hour, but when the maid came in the following morning, she found the Countess in. Here's the quotes corpse on the floor and the most dreadful condition at the distance of four feet from the bed, there was a heap of ashes, her legs with the stockings on remained untouched like you said. Um, we're going to put all of these pictures on instagram so you can actually see crazy froze like well. Uh, so the stocky legs with the stockings on remained untouched and the head half burned lay between them, nearly all the rest of the body was reduced to ashes unquote. The bed was disturbed as if she had risen from the bed, but neither it nor any other item in the room showed any trace of fire. This was noteworthy because the scene in the mini details of it defies conventional understanding of pyrotechnics, so a small oil lamp on the floor was covered with ashes that had no oil in it and in and in two candlesticks, which stood upright upon a table. The cotton wick of both candles was left and the tallow have both had disappeared. Crazy. The bed was disturbed if she had just resin from it, but nothing showed any other types of fire. Just her crazy. I mean, you feel like that's kind of a tangent, but I feel like there's just been so much fire in my life lately because of last night. This is that. It was the episode where Jack Died. It was horrible because you told that story so well and I was like, oh my God. I went back to last night. Just that. Did you see girl? She left her body. I don't know where she went. Why are in your life? Because that's how jack dies. Fire her. Their house catches on fire. And um, he like rescues his daughter. He gets everyone out and then he goes back in to get the dog and makes it out, but then he dies at the hospital. He has a heart attack because if you don't laugh, you'll cry. Yeah. Which is why my eyes are so puffy today. I cried all night long. I watched 10 episodes. No, when you told me that earlier, I was like, that is an intense day. I walked in Mcdonald's department and I was like, hi, Hailey. Affected me as soon as. So should we call the strength like fire in your life, Jack? So it was perfect that we're doing today. Fire my life. Weird Drake Day. We'll work on that too. Okay. So that was a, that was old old corn corn and Cornelia. Corny Cornelia. Wow. And the weird thing is the candle. Yeah, that freaks me out because that happened to my too. Yeah. So that's really like the point of these. It's just, there's all these stores. Would, they all have very similar, same outcomes. Crazy. Next person. We're highlighting Harry reasoner. This was in 1951. This is actually a very well known case. Um, so it's July first 19, 51 67 year old widow, Mary reasoner, she's from St Petersburg, Florida and she is a victim of this. So the last time Mary had been seen alive was at 9:00 PM, the night of the fire, her son, Dr Richard reasoner and her landlady, Mrs Carpenter had visited her and said their firewalls at about 9:00. And then when they left, Mary was just there sitting in our chair, like being old. Sure. Yeah. Um, later that night she fell asleep sitting in that chair. And then the next morning, Mrs Carpenter, that's the land lady she was going to go deliver a telegram for. This was definitely a day telegram. Sound so weird. So she wanted to deliver a telegram. A telegram? Yes. And then she noticed that she smelled smoke and then went, you go open, try to open the door and she knows that the door handle was really hot to the touch. So she called the police and then um, when they finally got into her apartment, they found this crazy scene. So her remain the remains of Mary or on a burned out chair with only the chart coiled springs remaining. Not Sad. Wait back up real quick. So the lady, she couldn't get in, so she immediately called. Oh, but the handle, the door handle was hot. She smelled smoke triggered. I'm the only parts left of Mary or her left foot, which still had a slipper on. Yeah. So a left foot with a slipper on, did a little tiny piece of spine and then mysteriously strunk and skulls. So scientifically when you're burned alive, your skull swells or actually explodes. Um, so it's really weird that her skull had shrunk to the size a 10th of what it was like the size of a cup. So, um, according to the coroner, in order for a body to be cremated, it has to burn it 3000 degrees Fahrenheit for three to four hours. Right? That's fucking hot as hell. Yeah. The surrounding area was unaffected, though the upper walls and the ceiling were blackened with sec, but the lower half was untouched, completely untouched. So like halfway up. So the ceiling, the light switches were all melted because those are at like arm level or whatever level. So those were all melted. But the outlets right below it were perfect. Not Weird. Yeah. And um, again, candles that were on a nearby window seal, they were completely melted with the wicks just standing straight up. The wicks weren't affected at all. That's the thing that lights on fire. So what did that, that light on fire. Okay. And the weirdest thing, a stack of newspapers were right next to Mary and they remained undamaged. Newspapers, which are like, that doesn't make any sense. Like that's an accelerant. Like that's what you literally use. Like a campfire is like newspaper. So neighbors had no idea there was even a fire. And then when the firefighters got to the scene, the heat was so intense, they quote on quote, could not stand it. We firefighters couldn't stand the heat, but. So there were flames. I guess what we'll then why aren't things burning if there was like the intense heat because I don't know. That's the thing. The. Okay. So this is the last kind of example we're going to cover is the most recent story. This Guy Michael Fairity in 2010, so not that long ago. So he was a 76 year old man who was found burned to death in the living room of his home at clearview Park Valley Bain Galway on December 22nd 2010. His body, his body was partly consumed by fire that was driven by the wick effect, which I think you're going to cover later. Right? Okay. Which commonly occurs near and aided by an open fireplace. His death was recorded as spontaneous combustion by the coroner in 2010. So this was 2010. So this isn't some like old, you know. Oh, he died of the consumption. She has hysteria like we talked about last time. Um, so in the early hours of December, 22nd, a verities neighbor, Mr Aminian was awakened by the sound of his smoke alarm, like. So I guess of fairity smoke alarm me and went outside to find heavy smoke coming from charities house, getting no answer from him. He roused local residents and the guard I and the fire service fairly spotty had been founding fab lying on his back with his head closest to an open fireplace. The fire had been entirely confined to the sitting room and the only damage found was to the totally burnt body. Again, only damage is that because the body is so hot that the fire can't spread like that. That's to me, that is the most confusing because after last night watching, this is us fire spread. Fire is known to spread. Spread. Yeah. I don't know. Are you saying like the body is so full of water that kind of puts the fire out as it's burning it? Is that what you're saying? Or like or, or the body is so hot that the fire's not spreading because the body so flammable, like because it's burning off all the fat and stuff and I don't know, I'm just, I'm just trying to think like, why it's so weird to me that this fire is not spreading. It's just. No, I know. I can't answer that either. Um, let's see. Uh, only damage was found to the totally burnt body, the ceiling above and the floor, and. Okay, so here's the only damage was the burglary, the ceiling above and the floor beneath him. No trace of any accelerants was found and there was nothing to suggest. Foul play had taken place. Assistant chief fire officer, Jerry O'malley told the inquest into the death that after a thorough investigation, fire officer or officers were satisfied that the open fire was not the cause of the blaze which led to his death. So what the fuck? I'm here. I have some more so noodle on that while I read this. I'm a post mortem carried out by pathologist grace Kelly Mcgee. Notice that it had suffered from type two diabetes and hypertension, but had not died from heart failure. Carnegie concluded and like Blah, Blah Blah from a search that's going back to the surge monist from turtle. Why? For Project Blue? Beam Jack Jack, because he died from heart failure, right? Yeah. Fairity did not take some time to get through. This is Jack's episode. Love you, Jack. He's such a great guy. It sounds like it. They don't know people that watch this is us. They know, they're like test. Everyone's nodding their head like, Oh yeah, we'd love to have got you sister. Um, okay. So, and that died from heart failure. Carragee concluded that the extensive nature of the burn sustained precludes determining the precise cause of death in September 2011, the West gallway corner, Dr. Crn mcglothlin. So obviously like they have like a shit ton of people, you know, investigating this different fire, like off like departments or like not fire departments but like, you know, government or bodies or whatever. And then two corners a pathologist. And so this, the second corner, um, mcglothlin informed the inquiry into the death that he searched medical literature to determine the cause. The coroner referred to Professor Bernard Knight's book on Forensic Pathology, which states that a high number of alleged incidents of spontaneous human combustion had taken place near and open fireplace or chimney. The coroners have subsequently made a statement to an inquiry. This fire was thoroughly investigated and I'm left with the conclusion that this fits into the category of spontaneous human combustion for which there is no adequate explanation. What the fuck? Crazy. Uh, yeah. And this was seven years ago, so it's not like, yeah, you know, people in the 1400 singing like the devil going to happen in 2010. So I'm the only thing I could find like, and um, and you'll, you'll probably, uh, you know, you people speculating on like another cause. So this guy, his name is Benjamin Radford, he's a science writer and a deputy editor of the skeptical inquirer. It's a science magazine. I don't know how much clout this guys has been like, this is the only other like thing I could find talking about, like what it could be if not spontaneous, spontaneous human confession. He said, so fair. Dee's case may not be as mysterious as it looks. There was after all, an open fire, closest burn body. It seems like lightly a spark or amber might have popped from the fire onto his clothing and cars, clothing on fire. It's not clear whether the coroner conclusively ruled this explanation out. He also Qa this guy also cast out on the possibility of spontaneous human combustion if she is a real phenomenon and not the result of an elderly or infirmed person being too close to the flame. What doesn't happen more often? Well, I mean 200 times, 300 years. It's like that's a lot. Is it? Isn't it? I don't think so, but maybe it doesn't happen more often. All the world that could happen more often. But what did I get that guy's point to? Yeah. But yeah, and that's the only thing if, if that corner, all of those people investigated it and if somebody was like, here's why it's just like a floating emergent like caused this, then I would be like, oh yeah, to use humans. Confession is a real thing. But then I had a good point, but like I said, I don't know who the hell this guy is. Fine. It's funny. So I already had put a list together that I found um, on, like what the likely, like characteristics were. And then I saw in the outline you had said, Hey, talk about the causes of like, he already did it. So this is like things in common, like the carrot. Yeah. Like what? All the recurring patristics. Okay. So victims were older. Usually over 60 victims were overweight. Oh my God. Could you imagine how sad if it was like a little kid. Oh God, thank God it's just for the elderly. Nothing's the alcoholics. Yeah. Nine victims lead inactive lives. Women were more prone to spontaneously combust than men. Um, 80 percent of the victims were female at the scene there were, there was often an external flame such as a candle or fireplace. Confession was extremely rapid. And I wonder why, like, I don't know why that, you know, like I read one theory, like there's methane in the stomach and like, you know, our enzymes and then with all the alcohol, but that's an, that's not scientifically proven. Like actually there's, I'm Steph, you should know, um, is an awesome podcast to you. And they have one lab stuff now. Yes. Or they have one on spontaneous human combustion. So they talked about that, like the more sciency stuff a little there. So check that one out too. But they were like, yeah, that hasn't been scientifically proven about like the pain in your stomach and stuff like that. So, um, the flames. Okay. So this number eight, the flames were difficult to extinguish. The flames produced a strong felt odor. The surrounding room was coated with a thick yellow, greasy film, which is fucking gross because that just like for me, like, and I don't know if this is the actual color, but like you know, if like you look in the doctor's office or like you look at graphs of the human body online, like they always color fat as yellow xylene. So that's what I was thinking about. Okay. Number 11. The first usually consumed the trunk of the body but left the head and extremities in tact. So it's mainly like the torso where all not that fatty, fat, bad fat that accidents occurred during fairweather and more off. Oh, what accidents occurred during fairweather and more often in winter than summer. So like fair, like not stormy weather but like kind of cooler. Not Super Hot, weird. One last one is more damaged as cause on the outside of the body from the inside, which doesn't make sense. What do you mean that out? This is one of the things. So I guess because they have found they couldn't find an accelerate like they can find like how it started on the inside, right? Yeah. Ugh. So ash, it like your body turns into ashes, this old kind of like, it's called love farms quarterly. It said they ranked various spirits in term of their likely contribution to spontaneous combustion. This is kind of back like a couple of hundred years ago. A gin is the first was the one to contribute the most followed by brandy whiskey and finally rum. So five [inaudible] not on there. So I think we're saying we're, we're not going to spontaneously combust. It has to take God at any time seemingly. So. Okay. So that characteristic. So as long as you don't take too many of those boxes, I think you're fine. Yeah. Okay. So what's the uh wick effect? So I guess this is the most plausible, like alternate theory. So this maintains that the body's high fat content explains most cases of spontaneous human combustion. There is an external ignition source that burns through the victim's close and scan very quickly releasing the fat, which is then reabsorbed into the surrounding clothing, creating a source of continual combustion that continues until the fuel is burned at. So since there's never been a case of a naked victim ever, this is really unattractive theory.

Speaker 2:

Hmm.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. Like I was just looking at. It says, so the clothing soaks up the melted human fat. Yeah. And acts like the wick of a kindle. Isn't that crazy? So growth. But to me I just want her to know like how does it start? And it says that, you know, there is an external ignition so it starts from somewhere externally. But since you're a fat content and so high and like most of them have a high alcohol content to it doesn't spread. It just goes immediately to the body, to the internal fat Joe says, that makes me like not want to eat ever again. I not have any fat on me. Maybe that's what we should call a strength because the whipped cream looks kind of like fatty and courteous. Does I don't like it? I don't like it. I don't want to announce that we've talked about this and done. Yeah. Don't. So don't put weight. Create on your industry. We did because it was cute at first. It looks nice. It looked nice. Yeah. This should be called like fat fire or something or firefighters. How about fire fatty. So yeah, hope. Hopefully you guys got a little grossed out with us today. So, um, as we're getting better at this podcast thing, we wrote ourselves a list of reminders just to be totally transparent. So one of the first one is please continue, continue to follow. And Ray, this random subscribe rate and subscribe. I know that's the, that's the podcast mantra, but it's totally true. Would love for. We'd love to know who you are and what you think. You want to hear your ideas and opinions. Oh, totally. We want to hear all the theories, the theories, not just the ones we come up with. Their heads with our heads was very unhappy with his ahead. Love that. Yes. No seriously. But like um, so our, our email address if you want to do that or is a tessie and [email protected] Direct messages on instagram. We both are constantly on Instagram, like 11 staff also. So like Jesse said, recipes are online directories. Yes. And for the, what was this called? The fire fratty fire fatty. The firefighting. If you want the full effect, whipped cream on it and put ice in this streak. But if you don't and you just want like a really sweet, nice stacey one, don't, don't put the whip cream shot recipe onto. Yeah, for sure. I have both versions. Cool. Okay. What's what, what's coming up next? What can people look forward to? Our next episode. Okay. We got this idea from our Pharma Pharma fucking villa episode. We're going to look at old ads like old advertisements, maybe even a commercial or two. And they are hilarious. We went on a tangent, we cut it out, but we went on a good like 10 minute tangent just reading some of the most misogynistic shaming vintage advertisements we've ever heard. So funny though. But then yeah, we've come a long way. Let's just say that, you know, so I said everything I think. I think that's, that's everything. Yeah. We're not to the point where people are saying like or correcting what we're saying yet, so we don't have to make any apologies on my guide, but I have a lot of corrections to make, but I'm just not even going to make them. Yeah. Not yet. Not yet. Too much. Too much to what we put each other. We put ourselves under so much pressure, so we'll wait until somebody actually calls us out and then we'll totally apologize. And now if you call us out, we'll correct it. Totally. Cool. All right, well we love you. God bless and trust. Now, one of the great league.

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