Tags: burning man | festival | death | ritualism

Death at Burning Man: Tragic Ritualism as Festival Ends?

Image: Death at Burning Man: Tragic Ritualism as Festival Ends?
People watch as the man burns in 2014. (Terry Schmitt/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 September 2017 12:23 PM

The death of Aaron Joel Mitchell at Burning Man was tragic symbolism the night before the annual festival ended on Monday, and it may have been part of a cleansing ritual some festival-goers try to go through. 

The next night for the pentulimate Temple fire, more than 600 volunteers and staff ringed the perimeter, backed up back a hastily installed metal security fence.

The fence and additional security were new, last-night conditions sought by federal land managers, said Burning Man co-founder Crimson Rose. 

Event organizers confirmed Mitchell's death in a Burning Man statement released over the weekend, explaining how the 41-year-old festival-goer sustained fatal injuries after he stormed into a fire at the annual Burning Man held in Northern Nevada on Saturday.

He lived in Switzerland and had come to Burning Man with friends from an Eclipse festival in Oregon, his mother said.

“After being pulled from the fire by Black Rock City fire personnel, [Aaron] Mitchell was treated on scene, transported to the on-site medical facility, and airlifted to UC Davis Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center,” the statement read.

“He succumbed after arriving at the burn center.”

Burning Man reaches its pinnacle when the 40-foot wooden Temple is set alight and it is not uncommon for attendees to run into the flames then, or on other nights.

“People try to run into the fire as part of their spiritual portion of Burning Man,” Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen told The Guardian, explaining that “the significance of the man burning, it’s just kind of a rebirth, they burn the man to the ground, a new chapter has started.”

Allen added that, in Aaron Mitchell’s case, it has not yet been established whether he ran into the fire intentionally, as part of this ritual, or whether he was under the influence of drugs.

Mitchell’s mother spoke to USA Today about the death of her son.

"We are just in shock, total shock," Johnnye Mitchell said. "We can't believe this happened."

She last saw her son on Aug. 1 before he headed off to Oregon.

"He was in great spirits when we saw him," Johnnye Mitchell said.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
The death of Aaron Joel Mitchell at Burning Man was tragic symbolism the night before the annual festival ended on Monday, and it may have been part of a cleansing ritual some festival-goers try to go through. 
burning man, festival, death, ritualism
379
2017-23-05
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 12:23 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved