Richard S. Ehrlich, CNN • Published 6th October 2019
On the hunt for extraterrestrials: A forest reserve in central Thailand is attracting UFO seekers who believe Buddhist aliens are visiting the site and sending telepathic communiques. The home of Wassana Chuensamnaun, lead campaigner for the extraterrestrials, is filled with alien artwork, including this statue.Richard S. EhrlichNakhon Sawan (CNN) — A hilltop in central Thailand is attracting UFO seekers who believe extraterrestrials hover above a huge Buddha statue, send telepathic communiques, walk across nearby sugarcane fields and use a crocodile-infested lake as a portal from their planets — Pluto and Loku.Though it may sound like science fiction, a small group of individuals claims messages from aliens arriving in spaceships include plenty of traditional religious teachings too — leading them to believe they are actually Buddhist.It’s all happening three hours by road or rail north from Bangkok in Nakhon Sawan — which translates to “City of Heaven.”Without all the UFO hype, it’s just a laid-back small town. But followers believe that if you meditate on Khao Kala hill, outside of Nakhon Sawan, you could hear the talkative silver creatures as voices in your head, speaking whatever language your thoughts usually chatter.They do offer a disclaimer, saying there is no guarantee you will see UFOs or aliens, which are described as unpredictable, speaking or appearing spontaneously and disappearing after a few hours.UFO believers in Thailand come to Khao Kala hill to meditate.
The group’s activities have gotten them into trouble with Thai authorities in recent weeks.Government officials reportedly grew alarmed when UFO seekers began crowding onto Khao Kala hill to see and talk with aliens, possibly endangering the area’s official “protected forest area” status.Visitors are allowed to climb to the top of the hill and view the large Buddha statue and nearby “Buddha footprint,” which are places of public worship. But the law forbids anyone from living or staying overnight in such zones, including previous UFO seekers who pitched tents at the site.In August, about 40 officials, including members of the Forestry Department, disbanded a group of Thai enthusiasts at the top of Khao Kala, and petitioned a court to ban mass gatherings there.Related content There were (thankfully) fewer alien enthusiasts than authorities expected. There were arrests and a Naruto runner. On September 20, about 30 police and forestry officials confronted Wassana Chuensamnaun, lead campaigner for the extraterrestrials, and about 60 other UFO enthusiasts.The group, wearing white clothing, planned to have a video made while members “meditated” atop the hill after sunset in hopes of mind-melding with aliens, Wassana tells CNN Travel.Not wanting to be arrested, the UFO followers regrouped at the bottom of the hill on private property, meditated for a few hours and departed, she says.
As for the origins of the hill’s supposed attractiveness to extraterrestrials, believers say it all began in 1997, when retired Sergeant-Major Cherd Chuensamnaun, deep in Buddhist meditation at home, received mental messages from what he insisted were aliens.He told his family. They scoffed.”I asked my father to tell the aliens to show themselves,” says Wassana, his daughter.”The next day, the aliens sent energy to spin my brother and brother-in-law.”She says the two men were yanked up from the living room sofa and spun simultaneously, like whirling dervishes, out of the house and into the yard.”I felt like my legs and my arms had to spin,” adds Wassana’s brother-in-law Jaroen Raepeth.”I could not control myself for four or five minutes. I didn’t feel afraid. We both spun outside.”Jaroen Raepeth said that he was spun by the UFO.Richard S. EhrlichThrough an upstairs window, Wassana’s sister-in-law says she saw a UFO.”It was about 10 or 15 meters long, at treetop level,” adds Wassana.Asked to re-enact his spinning, Jaroen twirls slowly around the living room with his arms out, but soon falls down and stays on the floor, looking dazed.”I feel dizzy. But when the UFO spun me, I didn’t feel dizzy at all. Wassana, who quit her job as a nurse to champion the extraterrestrial, says her father continued to receive telepathic messages over the years.”Before my father died [in 2000], he taught us how to communicate with the aliens,” she adds.Today, she says more than 100 other Thais have this ability after practicing with her. Followers post updates and photos at the family’s-linked UFOKaoKala Facebook group and elsewhere, some insisting they too have seen aliens and spaceships in the area.One of the latest photos on the UFOKaoKala Facebook page.Manop Ampan
Most alien encounters are reported near the family’s home, on the outskirts of Nakhon Sawan at Khao Kala hill amid sugarcane fields and Bueng Boraphet Lake, which villagers warn is crocodile infested.The aliens are described as slender, little, silvery humanoids.Illustrations depict them standing upright on two legs with two arms and a bulbous bald head with a pointy face topped with a single antenna. Huge, glossy, almond-shaped black eyes gaze above a thin nose and miniature mouth. Believers say silvery spaceships appear festooned with colorful lights or resemble the domed, circular, retro-UFOs seen in low-budget 1950s movies.”There are two types of aliens,” Wassana says. “One group is from the planet Pluto. The others are from a planet named Loku.” Pluto aliens are made of energy, can appear in physical form and are able to teach humans. Loku aliens have a physical body and knowledge of high technology. They work together. “Pluto aliens worry about something so devastating happening on Earth, such as war or in the environment, that it might impact their planet. They also want to give some people the ability to communicate with them, so if humans destroy everything in a nuclear war, the aliens will be able to help survivors rebuild human civilization.”The planet Loku “is in the Milky Way, but they didn’t tell us where.The aliens’ purported choice of Khao Kala is unusual because it is the smallest among a cluster of loftier hills. Meditators say they are thankful they don’t have to climb very high to reach the top.Up there, a larger-than-life statue portrays Buddha protected by a mythical seven-headed “naga” snake, which has topped the hill for many years and was not associated with any UFOs before the family’s tales.A 360-degree view from the hill includes flat sugarcane fields below, where Wassana and other believers say they have seen aliens disembark a UFO, walk around and then vanish in an atomized puff.”I’ve lived 10,000 years,” Pluto’s alien leader revealed in communiqués purportedly channeled through Wassana during 1998 and 1999.”How long does it take for me to travel from Pluto to here? I travel through dimensions. It’s advanced physics. I travel with my mind.”
Wassana says Pluto’s alien leader also told her that Buddha was “the greatest human mind,” and “never spoke to humans about paying attention to extraterrestrials, or about trying to communicate with them,” but did tell followers “to embrace the cosmic laws.”Mind-melding communiqués from Pluto to Wassana include lots of advice about “karma,” “reincarnation,” “greed,” “fear” and other Buddhist concerns, she says, as well as the altruistic thought-bubble that you shouldn’t worry about Earth’s Apocalypse from nuclear war, climate change, mutant diseases or other “catastrophes.”Technologically superior, benevolent aliens promise to take care of selected “survivors.”The Buddha statue portrays a mythical seven-headed “naga” snake. That’s good news in this Southeast Asian country where 95% of the population is Buddhist.It may also give followers legal and social protection if their UFO group gets too popular. Thai authorities and society frown on anything they perceive as a cult that veers too far from traditional religious beliefs and becomes influential.Buddhism is open to the possibility of extraterrestrials, ghosts, spirits and other non-human life, but warns against being sucked into an invisible cul-de-sac of absurd illusions. When asked about Thais seeing UFOs and communicating with aliens, Buddhist scholar Veeranut Rojanaprapa, who has a PhD in philosophy and religion from St. John’s University in Bangkok, tells CNN Travel: “We don’t need to know if it is real or not, if it’s a fake story or it’s reality. Buddha taught us that maybe the one who says that he thinks he can directly speak with the alien, or he believes, he hears them.”But it is not useful. It doesn’t matter if he hears the alien or not. It does not help us for [experiencing] nirvana,” says Veeranut. “We do not say if it is right or wrong if the human can speak to the alien. But please listen carefully: most of the situations are only illusion.”Nevertheless, Bangkok-based Ploy Buranasiri has been visiting Khao Kala for nine years and says she’s seen aliens and UFOs there several times.Asked what she would like to say to the aliens, says: “I would like ask for a relocation to their planet.”Sukwasa Mukprom, 32, visited Khao Kala more than 10 times during the past year.”I want the aliens to send me the power to make me brave,” she says.