1967 (pre): A.F. Smith’s Fiery Death

The following account appears in Emille Schurmacher's 1967 book Strange Unsolved Mysteries:

        A.F. Smith of Birkenhead, England, was incinerated in the vehicle he was driving at Upton-by-Chester. Police investigators stated the car's tank was full of fuel and unharmed by fire, and the doors opened easily; yet the interior was "a veritable furnace." The coroner's jury could not determine how the accident occurred.

Not Enough 

        Schurmacher claims he found this story in a newspaper called the 'London Telegraph'  -- which would mean The Daily Telegraph of London -- but doesn't give a date for the article; and since the newspaper has been in publiscation since 1855, all I can set for a date for this event is 'previous to 1967,' because that's the year Schurmacher's book was published.

        I have not yet been able to confirm this previous source’s existence, or find any other source for this account... so for now it is marked as 'Unreliable' as evidence of anything paranormal.

        As a further note of warning, however, Schurmacher opens his section on spontaneous human combustion in his book by recounting the death of Maybelle Andrews as she burst into flames while dancing... an account that has since been proven to be completely false and the creation of Schurmacher himself. The likely implication is that all other short accounts that Schurmacher presents in the same book are also False Leads... stories that simply never happened. I'm being nice, though, and not marking the stories as False Leads until I can directly check the sources he quotes.

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