During an event that is similar, but the precursor to Burning Man, a man killed himself by jumping into a giant, three-story-tall effigy that had been burning for half an hour.
Above is a Saturday July 12, 2014, photo, showing the upper portion of a giant wooden effigy of a character from the classic children's book, Where the Wild Things Are. This was before it was burnt Saturday night, during the Element 11 festival.
Update: The suicide victim's full name is apparently John Christopher Wallace, a copyeditor, living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Source.
See also: Utah's Burning Man Suicide: John Christopher Wallace Photos
"He was very fast; he was very motivated," J.P. Bernier, a spokesman for Element 11, told the Deseret News. "It wasn't an accident or any act of negligence on anybody's part. He had a very deliberate objective to get past our volunteers, past our safety perimeter."
Firefighters immediately tried to douse the flames, but were unable to save the man. Crews had measured the fire temperature at 2,000 degrees just prior to the apparent suicide, noted the Boston Globe.
Human sacrifices and the Wicker Man are tied together in ancient history. Caesar reports that some of the Gauls built the effigies out of sticks and placed living men inside, then set them on fire to pay tribute to the gods. Caesar writes that though the Druids generally used those found guilty of crimes deserving death, as they pleased the gods more, they sometimes used slaves and innocent men when no delinquents could be found.
One medieval commentary, the 10th-century Commenta Bernensia, states that men were burned in a wooden mannequin in sacrifice to Taranis. Read more on the Wicker Man, here.
WHAT IS ELEMENT 11?
el·e·ment 11 (ˈeləmənt/) noun
1. The eleventh element on the periodic table, sodium. The sixth most abundant element on earth. An identifying characteristic of Utah, given the Bonneville Salt Flats and the Great Salt Lake.
2. A volunteer-based non-profit organization with the mission to ignite a culture of creativity & self-expression! We provide a canvas for our community to play, dance, evolve, create & ignite.
3. A sanctioned regional Burning Man festival event dedicated to the Ten Principles and ethos of Burning Man. The Element 11 Arts Festival (UT Regional Burn) is held the second weekend of July each year.
4. A community of radically self-expressive artists, creators, innovators, do-ers, & participants who see art in all forms, in all ways, and in all people.