Larry Arnold is the author of Ablaze! The Mysterious Fires of Spontaneous Human
Combustion and the worlds foremost expert on exploding people. Here he gives us a
summary of why SHC is so difficult to explain through science, as well as his best
estimations of what might cause it.
Spontaneous human combustion has always been, if youll excuse the pun, a hotly
debated subject. The usual outcome is that the victims body is almost entirely
consumed to powder. SHC is frightful, horrific, and xenophobicit challenges what
experts understand about the effect fire has on the human body. Due to its bizarre nature,
it is easier for academics to deny cases of SHC and invoke more comfortable scenarios,
such as the Human Wick Theory (in which a persons clothing plays wick to the fuel of
human fat), or simply refuse to accept the evidence altogether.
While I havent been able to come up with a single mechanism that is applicable
across the hundreds of cases Ive studied, I have developed a few theories concerning
what I believe could cause a human being to spontaneously combust.
One of my favorite explanations is the Subatomic Pyrotron Theory, which is based on
quantum physics. The theory states that there is an extremely small but high-powered
particlelike a neutrinothat zips through the spaces between the quarks that
make up the atoms, which compose the molecules of the human body. On rare occasions a
rogue particle scores a direct hit with a quark and sets off an internal chain reaction.
Ive dubbed this occurrence the Internal Hiroshima Effect, which may result in SHC.
Another theory concerns kundalinian energy that flows up and down the spinal column
of every living human being. Although kundalini is well known to Eastern physicians and
metaphysicians, its less so in the Western world. Kundalini is a very powerful
bio-energy that, among other psychokinetic phenomena, can produce intense
internal-temperature spikes when out of balance. While Im not entirely sure what
causes kundalini to become unbalanced, in some cases factors such as ones state of
consciousness and emotional distress seem to affect it. Some people can increase their
kundalini energy through meditation, while others have reported spontaneous movement of
energies throughout the body without attempting to accelerate the flow.
You can picture the out-of-balance energy as a quasi-plasma-like ball that seems to
originate in the abdominal region. Strangely, whatever lies anatomically beyond the radius
of that ball of energy usually escapes incineration. From what I have observed, the radius
of the sphere is normally about a foot to a foot and a half, which means that the
victims extremities are often left unburned but their torso is reduced to ash.
The third theory Im working on is called the Cartography of Combustion. Ive
plotted the many instances of abnormal fire phenomena relating to people and property in
the United Kingdom. Ive noticed that most can be connected by straight alignments.
Some lines link five, six, or sometimes as many as a dozen anomalous fires. Our findings
are somewhat similar to the idea of ley lines, which are based on the supposed geographic
alignments of things like ancient monuments and other places of interest that are
traditionally associated with earth energy mysteries. I believe these connections follow
lines of energy that flow around the planet and that heretofore unknown and unidentified
geophysical energy, under the correct circumstances, can cause spontaneous combustion in
property, buildings, and people.
Although I am constantly speculating about what could cause those patterns to manifest, at
this point I have nothing I can take into a scientific laboratory and reproduce under
controlled conditions. This is essentially why its so easy for the experts and the
scientific orthodoxy to dismiss spontaneous human combustion. It is truly spontaneous.