Every once in a while I cover a really out-of-this-world story on this blog. Welp, this is one of those stories... literally.
UFO Kaokala, or Kaokala Coordination for Disasters Warning Group, is a cult in Thailand made up of members who believe they are communicating with aliens from two different planets. These aliens, members claim, want to save humans from World War III and the coming nuclear apocalypse. They also want to create a "new generation" of humans. The group is covered in a new article in Vice.
The origin of this insanity rests with group founder, Ajarn Wassana Chuensumnaun. Wassana, a 47-year-old resident of the city of Nakhon Sawan in Thailand, claims to have been communicating with aliens since 1998. Over the last 21 years she has managed to gain a core following of 50 or so members, plus thousands more who follow the group online.
The group believes that they communicate with aliens through meditation and an inter-dimensional portal on the mountain Khao Kala, which is where the group took inspiration for its name.
One alien race the group claims to be in contact with resembles the grey-skinned, large-headed aliens popular in science fiction. See below for group founder Ajarn Wassana Chuensumnaun in front of a depiction of one of these aliens, who according to Wassana, come from a planet called Lokukatapakadikong. Kind of a mouthful, if you ask me.
The other group of aliens Wassana and her group claim to be in contact with are from Pluto, and do not have solid bodies, but instead are "more like a gas." One member of the cult, 28-year-old restaurant worker Ann Thongcharoen, claims to have seen these gaseous aliens from Pluto walking around on Khao Kala mountain in "synthetic suits." ... Right. Sure thing, Ann.
Another member of the cult, Ploy Buranasiri, a 29-year-old graphic designer, said that the aliens chose their group because of the Buddhist presence in Thailand. Apparently the aliens can only communicate with people who regularly practice meditation. But Ploy also believes that she can "see people's karma," so I would not take anything she says too seriously.
This strange little cult is in the news after their site on Khao Kala mountain was raided by local authorities, including officials from the Forestry Department, in August. Authorities said that the group had illegally camped in the area, setting up a bathroom and storage buildings near the Buddha statues on the mountain. That site is important to the group because they believe an inter-dimensional portal there facilitates their communication with the two types of alien beings. They have been making regular trips there for the last six years to camp, meditate, and search for UFOs.
Authorities may end up charging the group a 150,000 baht fine ($4,900), which Wassana said the group members would pool money to pay. They have also removed most of the equipment and supplies that the group had placed on the mountain.
The only evidence of UFOs the group could offer to the Vice reporter, of course, were really blurry and grainy photographs. Ann Thongcharoen even told the reporter to take photographs of the sky as they scaled the mountain so they could zoom in later to check for spaceships.
I think Ann needs a better hobby.
So, despite setbacks from authorities, the group continues on, convinced that the aliens from Lokukatapakadikong and Pluto will save humanity from Armageddon. Meanwhile they face a lot of criticism from locals who claim they are disrespecting the Buddhist site on the mountain and from bloggers like me who think they are bat-shit crazy.
But hey, who knows, maybe somewhere down the line the aliens will land their ships on Khao Kala and I will have to apologize.
Yeah, pretty unlikely. More likely is this is just a Thai version of the Heaven's Gate cult.