Spontaneous Human Combustion
The remains of Dr. John Bentley

Spontaneous Human Combustion

These are the remains of Dr. John Bentley who died of spontaneous combustion in Pennsylvania in 1966. The spot where the body lay is burnt, but the rest of the room, including the toilet, was not even scorched. This shows a quick, hot flame that devoured the body in seconds. Only the bottom of one leg remained to identify this as a person.

On the morning of December 5th 1966 a gas meter reader by the name of Donald Gosnell headed for the basement of the Bentley home to read the gas meter.

While performing his work duties he glanced to the corner of the basement and was surprised to see a pile of ashes. On further investigation he discovered a burn hole through the floor above and it was still smoldering around the edges.

He was very alarmed by this and quickly went upstairs to check on the good doctor. Upon entering the residence he was assaulted by a strange sickly sweet odor that permeated the upstairs of the home.

Cautiously, he called the Doctor's name but there was no answer. He peered around the corner into the bathroom. What he saw when he looked was horrifying.

A hole about 4 x 4 feet round was burned into the floor exposing the bathroom pipes. Gosnell kept looking and there was more, a browned leg from the knee down.

At first he thought it was a mannequin's leg but on closer inspection realized it was a human leg. Scared out of his mind he went to fetch the police.

When the police arrived they were startled to discover a pile of ashes, a skull and part of a leg. The man was reduced to cinders yet the tub next to him showed no signs of being burnt.

The walker that was close to the combustion had rubber legs that did not melt when exposed to the intense heat there must have been.

Even the ceiling above the fearsome heat was untouched. Fire inspectors will tell you fire burns up and not down so it was totally unexplainable.

However, the local fire inspector, a man named Dec, concluded that the good doctor had dropped his pipe in his lap, walked to the bathroom and then his clothes ignited and he was burned to ash, as unbelievable as it sounds.

Two of the major issues with that assumption is that the pipe was placed in its holder and it would have taken the very old man 5 full minutes to walk to the bathroom, as attested to by his housekeeper and caretaker.

Unfortunately, the sequence of events claimed by Dec are too unbelievable to be considered. So we are left with the conclusion that Dr.Bentley WAS a victim of spontaneous human combustion.

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