Reported Event of Mary Reeser
Reported events of spontaneous human combustion wherein a person tends to burst into flames with no obvious cause, dates back to the late 15th century. One of the most recent incidents which have been mentioned more often is that of Mary Reeser. A 67 year old, Reeser, a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida had spent the evening of July 1, 1951, in a most amazing way, receiving visits from her son as well as her neighbour.
At that point of time, Mary Reeser had been wearing a rayon nightgown, bedroom slippers and a robe and when they had left her, everything in the apartment seemed to be normal. The next morning, a telegram courier had arrived and receiving no answer to his knock at the door had summoned the same neighbour who had visited her earlier.
They had found the doorknob hot to the touch and they sought help from the nearby construction workers and according to other source, policemen for help in getting into the apartment. When they got into the apartment, they observed that the apartment was unusually warm inspite of the fact that some of the windows seemed to be open.
No Indication of Break-in/Burglary
In a corner of the room they noticed a pile of ashes, which were the burnt remains of a chair and lamp together with an electric clock with a melted plug that had stopped at 4.20 a.m. Other than the burnt remnants in this area, the apartment seemed to be completely undisturbed. On close inspection, in the ashes, they found a left foot of the women still wearing a slipper, while other sources stay that it was a shrunken human skull. It was all that was left of Mary Reeser.
There was no indication of a break-in or burglary or any kind of outside influence in the apartment and the authorities were confused, seeking the help of consultants. According to the experts, this seems to be no ordinary fire. They had estimated that a fire of 3,000 degrees burning for many hours would be required in order to consume a human being thoroughly. With the fire of such intensity, burning for that long, gave rise to queries as to why the rest of the apartment if not the complete building had not burned down.
Cause – Neglected Cigarette
St. Petersburg police sought the help of the F.B.I., but they could not shed any light on the incident. The F.B.I. had informed that there was no spontaneous human combustion nor was her death caused by lightning or chemicals. Wilton Krogman, physical anthropologist and a consultant on the case wrote that he found it hard to believe that a human body once ignited will literally consume itself, burn itself out as does a candle wick….never had he seen a body so completely consumed by heat.
This is contrary to normal experience and regards it as the most amazing thing ever seen and as he reviews it,he feels a vague fear. Possible explanations have come up ranging from ball lightning to explosives and after careful examination which went nowhere; the police eventually and lamely put the cause as a `neglected cigarette’.Just what could have occurred on that fateful night at St Petersburg seems to be a mystery which tends to remain unsolved.
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