This story I'm about to tell you is so astonishing you are not going to believe it is true. Ludger Sylbaris was not a nice dude. Born in 1875 on Martinique, Ludger was a convicted felon who liked to drink and liked to fight. So it was no surprise when he was arrested for getting in yet another fight on May 7, 1902. Irritated with his antics, the police threw him into solitary confinement, a tiny, half-underground cell with no windows and only a very narrow slit in the door facing out to sea. The police didn’t realize it, but they had just saved Ludger’s life. Say what?
The next morning, apocalypse came to Martinique.
The Mt. Pelée volcano had been showing signs of erupting for over a week. Since modern vulcanology did not yet exist, no one knew what to expect. Mt. Pelée exploded and a cloud of smoke darkened the sky for fifty miles around. A cloud of superheated volcanic gas and dust rolled out of the volcano at hundreds of miles per hour, destroying everything in an eight mile radius. Within a single minute the 1,075 degree pressure wave had flattened every building in the city of St. Pierre. Nearly all 30,000 residents of the island were killed instantly, and the city burned for days afterward.
Ludger couldn’t have been more lucky. He was found four days after the eruption by a rescue team who heard his cries. Despite being in the safest place on the island, he was horribly burned as the air in his room had flash heated to over 1,000 degrees. Ludger described the experience of seeing the light coming through the slit grow dark, and then superheated ash flying in. He urinated on his clothes and stuffed them in the slit, but it didn’t stop the heat.
So Carol Ann isn't this lucky enough? He's alive! But the even luckier part is after surviving the volcano he was pardoned for his crimes and hired to tour with Barnum & Bailey and tell the story of the horrific events he’d experienced. He became a celebrity!
New Piece! I just got a load of Amethyst! Isn't it beautiful? Click Pic for more detail!