Eerie experience interrupts rite
Ghostly encounters at Suvarnabhumi
By Amornrat Mahitthirook
Airports of Thailand (AoT) organised its largest religious rite at the new Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday to ward off evil spirits, only to experience an encounter with the unexplained. Rumours of occasional ''ghostly sightings'' have gone around since the first foundation brick was laid at the airport many years ago. The AoT is determined to correct the growing perception that the airport is possibly harbouring some ''uninvited inhabitants'' and to put its staff members' minds at ease.
Yesterday's rite was presided over by 99 monks who chanted en masse to improve the luck of the new airport, set to open commercially on Thursday.
However, halfway through the rite, a man appeared, quivering, and began to speak in a commanding voice claiming to be ''Poo Ming'', a guardian spirit of the land partially developed into the airport.
He ordered that a proper spirit house be built at the airport to allow for its smooth operation. The man, who was unidentified, later passed out and woke up to find the spirit had left him.
AoT president Chotisak Asapaviriya said the ceremony helped to boost the morale of airport staff, some of whom were unnerved after learning of frequent car crashes on the road running parallel to the airport's eastern runway.
Some veiled figures have sometimes been spotted on the 6km-long road.
Somchai Sawasdeepon, the airport general manager, said he had heard ghost stories from staff who came across a woman dressed in a Thai-style costume at the airport construction site in the evening.
He said the airport land formerly belonged to some local communities encompassing the centuries-old Wat Nhong Prue and its cemetery. It was reported that the bodies had not been exhumed for proper religious cremation.
Sqn Ldr Panupong Nualthongyai, head of Suvarnabhumi airport security, was also a witness to some strange, unexplained episodes.
''Whatever you make of it, it is the belief associated with the Thai way of life. For the non-believer, it is best not to act disrespectfully [towards the supernatural],'' he said.
Has there ever been cases endangering aviation safety on the ground caused by unexplained phenomenons.
The car crashes are not directly affecting the planes, but if it can happen to cars, then what about planes? It could be that the cars and not the planes are at the wrong place (like e.g. a cemetery).
When it comes to accidents a report is normally being made. Such a report is to my knowledge a legal document, so it cannot contain uncertain or undocumented speculations on why an accident happened. Such reports try to use logic and evidence in understanding an accident, not superstition.
Things could also happen at technical installtion at the airport, like fuel storage, ATC or airline kitchens for that matter.
I know that several ghosts and phenomenons has been noticed in airports, but that's not mean that the safety has been in danger. Only that someone has been scared or surprised.
When it comes to getting scared, humans normally looks for a reason outside of them selves. Sometimes fear is coming from inside, due to things in your mind (e.g. bad nerves, mental illness, simple misunderstandings, superstition or manipulation by other people).
NB. When focusing on the situation on the ground I am deliberately excluding the situations where planes are flying! Other postings have addressed this topic.
Please keep the debate at a decent level - thanks.
Yours in realtime