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...The case discussed here concerns James Angel, age 62, a successful, healthy clothing salesman who happened to be on the road making a sales trip when it happened. On November 12th, 1979, James pulled his motor-home into a Ramada Inn parking lot in Savannah, Georgia and prepared himself for a good nights sleep. However, James didn't wake up until four days later, on November 16th. He was severely burned.
As James explained it "It was just burned, blistered [his hand], and I had this big explosion in my chest. It left a hell of a hole. I was burned down here on my legs and between my groin, down on my ankle and up and down my back. In spots. I could see the muscle." But he felt no pain, only a tingling where the burns were. He showered and changed his clothes [none of which were touched by the burn] and went to find help. He made it into the hotel lobby, before being overcome with a sudden, intense case of vertigo and summarily collapsed. The next thing he recalled was waking up in the hospital.
His right hand had been charred almost to the bone and the hole in his chest was 3/4 of an inch deep. The doctors told him he had been burned internally. His hand was eventually amputated and he suffered permanent nerve damage in all the afflicted areas. Tissue samples were taken, but local lab results proved inconclusive. The doctors ruled out fire and radiation, but in the end were at a total loss.
At his doctor's insistence, he contacted local police to see if any clues could be found as to what had happened to him and if there had indeed been some criminal act committed against his person. They canvased the area, interviewing most of the hotel employees and a number of guests. No one seemed to have seen much of anything, although one of the hotel cooks related a peculiar story.
On the night of 12th, he claimed to have seen three strange men standing a dozen feet or so away from Mr. Angel's motor-home as he took his evening smoke break. He watched them talk amongst themselves for a few minutes before one walked over to him and asked, in a robotic like tone, if he had the time. The cook, a Mr. Alden, would go on to describe them:
"They all had on real nice suits, all black except the shirt, which was white. Skin was white too. Not white like you and me, like china white, doll white. The one who came over to me had bright red lips, like he had lipstick or something on. Thought they might be fruits or something until the one spoke. He sounded like a [expletive] robot! Asked me for the time, which I found strange, since he had one of them big Rolexs. I told him and suddenly I wanted to be as far away from this [expletive] as possible. Everything about him seemed off; creeped me out. He never blinked, I remember that. Just stared with those big, blank eyes. I remember just flicking my butt and walking away pretty fast. I heard him over my shoulder say something to the others about 'this Hot Job is almost complete" and something like 'batch consignment for Delta'. I dunno, the whole thing left me pretty shook up."
The police could never identify these men and with no corroborating witnesses, wrote Mr. Alden's story off. Nothing more of interest was found and the case was shelved. Mr. Angel returned home to Akron, Ohio where he now lives on permanent Disability. To this day, James Angel has no idea what happened to him and how he became so badly burned.
Follow up to August 23rd, '81 article concerning Mr. Angel and the possible criminal acts perpetrated on him. Published in May 14th, 1984 edition.
...SPIRAF has recently received a letter from Mr. Angel's attorney informing us that he has passed away. Unfortunately the circumstances were not discussed at length, since an on-going murder investigation is in progress.
What we were told in the letter was that Mr. Angel was found dead almost five years to the day of the incident mentioned in our earlier article. His body was found missing limbs and a number of organs had also been removed. There was no sign of forced entry and none of his fellow tenants in his apartment building saw or heard anything. His attorney hinted at other, more unsettling details that were not elaborated upon.
The letter went on to say he had willed that, in case of his demise under anything but natural causes, we would receive as much information as possible about his death as any current investigations would allow. We will follow this case with much interest.