In 2011 and 2012, two young girls, one in the Philippines and the other in Vietnam, came to the attention of the media for their pyrokinetic abilities. Their fascinating stories are told below.
Pyrokinesis is defined as the ability to excite or speed up an object’s atoms thereby increasing its thermal energy until it ignites. The term is derived from the Greek pûr “fire” and kinesis “motion.” Stephen King coined the term in his 1980 novel, “The Firestarter.” In the novel, protagonist Charlie McGee had the ability to create or control fire by thought. Pyrokinesis is often confused with Pyromancy, which is the art of divination using fire, similar to crystal ball gazing.
Philippines: In March 2011, news of a three-year-old child with super psychic abilities drew hundreds of curious people and media to her home in Antique Province in central Philippines, She can predict and mysteriously produce fire. Those witnessing her abilities swear to seeing clothes, sleeping mats, pillows, and paper ignite immediately after she predicted they would burn.
Mayor Molina of San Jose was one of hundreds who witnessed the phenomenon. He says he saw a pillow burst into flames immediately after the child said “fire . . . pillow.” Once when Molina was in the child’s home, she blurted out “something about to burn,” and a shirt on an outdoor clothesline inexplicably burst into flames.
“Nobody touched it or was even close to it. It just started in seconds. The shirt was on fire,” Molina said.
Police officer Gorero saw five objects burn or smolder and the edges on a biscuit burn without anyone touching them.
“I did not believe it at first. Why would I? But we came to investigate after many people came to the girl’s house,” Gorero said.
Molina has stationed police and watchers, as well as a fire truck at the home. He says authorities will assist with testing for the child and counseling for her anxious parents.
He was quoted in an interview with The Daily Guardian, a community newspaper in Iloilo City, as saying “I can’t explain it. I’m a town mayor, and I don’t easily believe in this kind of thing, but I saw it. I am at a loss,”
Vietnam: In Vietnam in the spring of 2012, news spread of an 11-year-old “fire girl” in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Bin District whose supernatural abilities have scientists puzzled. She has the ability to start fires with her mind.
According to the girl’s father, fires appear whenever she goes. The electricity in their home short-circuited, and many electrical sockets in the house burned when the girl approached them. Mattresses, fans, and other items in their home mysteriously burst into flame. Sometimes, even her clothes caught fire. The same phenomenon happened when the family visited the homes of others. A fire even started in their hotel room when they were on vacation, and she recently burned a corner of the toilet seat.
Doctors at Cho Ray Hospital and Children’s Hospital No. 2 have examined the girl. Blood samples, skin tissue, and urine, as well as objects from her home have been analyzed. Doctors found nothing physically unusual about the girl, though scientists believe she is in fact unusual.
A group of scientists from various fields, led by Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Director of Ho Chi Min City International University of Hong Bang, visited the girl’s home. They collected soil, water, and objects from the girl’s home for analysis. The scientists rejected environment as the element causing the girl’s special ability because fires happened everywhere she goes.
Scientists theorize that the girl’s biological energy is not stable and fluctuates from time to time. Brain scans uncovered an unusual line on the right side of her brain, which according to Hung, is a phenomenon that occurs only in the brains of priests, philosophers, or painters. He also said there is a red mark on her forehead that disappears when she puts on a black quartz bracelet and reappears when the bracelet is removed. However, whenever the girl wears the bracelet, she not only feels uncomfortable, but also feels electric current running through her body.
Hung says she can “turn things around her,” and is able to burn objects both near and distant from her with no apparent distance limit.
The family took the girl to a scientist, named Du Quang Chau, at Hong Bang International University for treatment. After several tests, the scientist said he noticed variations from the norm in her cerebral hemisphere.
On May 12, 2012, the third floor of the family’s house burned down. They now have her monitored around the clock to prevent similar incidents. Water buckets and a wet towel are placed next to her bed in case a fire breaks out.
Scientists at the Viet Nam Physics Institute are also studying the case. In the meantime, the girl will be escorted to school and other places. Her home and school have been equipped with fire extinguishers.
Hung says, “This is a very strange case not only for Vietnam but for the world.”
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