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Are fireballs from Naga a natural phenomenon or a human play?

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One Facebook post asked whether the annual “Bung Fai Phaya Nak” (Naga fireballs) in Nong Khai is a natural phenomenon or a man-made phenomenon

The administrator of the Facebook page “PhisucnBangfiPhyanakh” (Proving Naga fireball) posted images of flares being fired into the sky in Bueng Kan’s Muang district on Thursday and in Nong Khai’s Rattana Wapee district on Friday.

The page’s administrator, Somphob Khasawat, said he has been observing the event for a decade now and believes the fireballs are in fact rockets being fired from the Lao side of the Mekong River.

He submitted evidence, including the list of 10 Laotian villages opposite Nong Khai and Bueng Kan districts, photos and video clips, to the Laos embassy for further investigation.

Somphob said he had no intention of destroying the legend of the mythical Naga, which is worshipped by people who live along the banks of the Mekong River.

As for the people who live in the riverside village of Ban Tha Muang in the Rattana Wapee district of Nong Khai, the Naga fireballs are truly a wonder of nature.

Lamduan Senanikorn, 50, said she has seen these pink and red fireballs rising from the Mekong River every year since childhood. However, she admitted that the number of fireballs has dropped recently.

She also said those investigating the phenomenon should only make comments if they can provide accurate results.

Other local residents, Kularb Intharaksa, 65, and Pud Thongdaeng, 58, said the images of so-called fireballs posted on the Facebook page did not resemble the images they have seen before.

They said people who claimed the Naga fireballs were caused by tracer rounds fired into the sky were not themselves present with the natural phenomenon.

Naga fireballs, also known as Bung Fai Phaya Nak or “Mekong lights” and even “ghost lights” are a phenomenon seen annually on the Mekong River during the end of the Buddhist fast day in late October.

Glowing balls, some the size of a basketball, apparently rise from the water high into the air. The number of fireballs reported varies from tens to thousands per night.

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