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Old 06-19-2012, 04:51 AM   #1
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Default Mysterious Rocks Catch Fire in Womans Pocket?

Anyone Else hear about this? San Clemente CA Womans suffers 3rd degree burns after rocks found on the beach spontaniosly combust in her pocket.

The woman in question happens to be my wife's step sister and tells us the rocks were rather flat, about 4" diameter, and orange and green in color. I have a theory and and wondering in any former Naval Gunners or Artillery Men can back me up.

My theory is that these "rocks" are actually the phosphorus remains of Artillery Tracer Rounds fired into the pacific for training either from Naval Ships or from shore batteries during WWII. I'm thinking it's possible that tracer rounds hit the water before fully burning thier tracer charge extinguishing the charge. Some 70+ years later, unburnt tracer charges, having separated from the shell upon impact and settling to the sea floor are now finally washing ashore with enough of a saline coating to prevent ignition upon contacting air. However, bounce them around in a cargo pocket long enough you chip off enough saline crust to allow air to reach the phosphorus spontaneously igniting the poor Womans shorts...

Thoughts?

Tack

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_20645009/rocks-ignite-southern-california-womans-pocket-causing-third?refresh=no



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Old 06-19-2012, 05:21 AM   #2
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Very interesting. I hope the woman and her husband will be okay. Third degree burns are pretty darned serious.

Please keep us posted as to any follow up to this. I'm interested.



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Old 06-19-2012, 05:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by winds-of-change View Post
Very interesting. I hope the woman and her husband will be okay. Third degree burns are pretty darned serious.

Please keep us posted as to any follow up to this. I'm interested.
Quite serious, skin grafts and physical therapy for the foreseeable future. My wife is contemplating a trip south to check on her.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:39 PM   #4
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Shamless bump...there's got to be some artillery knowledgable guys here who can tell me if my theory is sound?

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Old 06-20-2012, 01:42 AM   #5
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Tack- dunno what that was, but tracers do not need air to burn- they have their own oxygen chemically combined.

There ARE flares used as infrared decoys for aircraft. Have been in the place in Texas that makes them. THOSE self ignite when exposed to air- and burn REALLY hot. (They are made and packaged in a zero oxygen atmosphere, BTW) Modern day, not WW 2.

Here is a C-130 punching off flares and chaff. Anti-aircraft missiles lock onto flares instead of plane (if ur lucky)

c-130-20flares1024.jpg

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Old 06-20-2012, 02:51 AM   #6
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Tack- dunno what that was, but tracers do not need air to burn- they have their own oxygen chemically combined.

There ARE flares used as infrared decoys for aircraft. Have been in the place in Texas that makes them. THOSE self ignite when exposed to air- and burn REALLY hot. (They are made and packaged in a zero oxygen atmosphere, BTW) Modern day, not WW 2.

Here is a C-130 punching off flares and chaff. Anti-aircraft missiles lock onto flares instead of plane (if ur lucky)

Attachment 49331
Ahh...good to know. We had an F15 from Pang Air Base at PDX hit the Pacific nose first a few years back. Pilot was doing a loop and apparently thought he had enough altitude...spatial disorientation, I think it's called. No pieces bigger than a few inches square were ever found.

I suppose they could be similar AA flares from a modern crash like this.

I know, I'm reaching but I'd like to figure this out.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:37 AM   #7
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Sounds like she picked up pure sodium (Na) possibly. I remember in science when I was in school and they put pure sodium in water and man it is a show it ignites and blows up a little. And no pure sodium isn't table salt

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:51 AM   #8
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Sounds like she picked up pure sodium (Na) possibly. I remember in science when I was in school and they put pure sodium in water and man it is a show it ignites and blows up a little. And no pure sodium isn't table salt
Hmm...these "rocks" were found on the beach...pretty sure they would have contacted water naturally and ignited long before they were found.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:07 AM   #9
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http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Investigation-Continues-Into-Rocks-That-Set-OC-Womans-Shorts-Ablaze-151962635.html

Well it was defiantly phosphorus on the rocks.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:12 AM   #10
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Could be the rocks were very hard Chert. They caused a spark that set off the contents of the pocket like lint. May be the pocket linner was a very flamable cloth of some kind. She may have had some tissue or alcohol based vapor rub.



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