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1979, December 13: Bakersfield Couple’s Strange Burns

The Legend:

On December 13, 1979, in Bakersfield, California, USA, a married couple awoke in their trailer paralyzed and with serious burns on their heads, heels, waists, and hips. They had lost 48 hours which they could not account for; not surprisingly, this account has also been rumored to be connected with UFO activity, implying that speculators feel the couple were abducted.


        This is the first listing of this incident in Anomalies, and therefore will require more research to confirm it. This is especially true because the above comes from Jenny Randles and Peter Hough's 1992 book, Spontaneous Human Combustion; this book gives almost no sources for the accounts it relates, most often attributing them to "Author's own investigation" and "Historical archives traced and researched"... which essentially means "Just trust us." In this case, the above is attributed to Larry Arnold, but we are not told what book or article; and it's odd that a quick search doesn't bring anything up, as Arnold goes out of his way to advertise himself as an expert on spontaneous human combustion. For this reason, this account is marked as both "Unreliable" and "Investigate;" I will add new information as I get a chance to dig further.

        In addition, it's hard to see why this incident, if true, would be considered a case of spontaneous human combustion. The couple had 48 missing hours in which to get burned, and the burns sound to be on the outside of their bodies, not the insides... so the first suspician, which goes with the abduction theory, is that they were burned by something other than their own bodies. I'll dig further.