Mysterylights Group Message 0252

Subject: Fwd = Thai scientists to launch probe into fireball phenomenon
From: Frits Westra <fwestra@...>
Date: 17 Apr 2003 12:16

Forwarded by:     fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
Original Date:    Wed, 16 Apr 2003 15:29:51 +0200

========================== Forwarded message begins ======================

   Great balls of fire mystery

   April 14 2003

   Thai  scientists  are  to  launch  a  probe  into  a  famous  fireball
   phenomenon  occurring in the Mekong River once a year in the country's
   north, local media reported today.

   Every  year  on  the  first  full  moon of the 11th lunar month, which
   coincides  with  the  end  of Buddhist Lent, hundreds of red, pink and
   orange  fireballs soar up into the sky from the Mekong, drawing crowds
   of spectators.

   The event known as Naga's Fireballs, which has been reported by locals
   for generations, has long mystified scientists.

   Now  nine  experts are to start collecting soil and water samples from
   the  areas  where  the fireballs appear to originate, deputy permanent
   secretary  of  the Ministry of Science and Technology, Saksit Tridech,
   told the Bangkok Post.

   "We  are  quite  sure  the  fireballs  are  a  natural  phenomena," he
   reportedly  said,  adding  that the team's initial assumption was that
   the fireballs were caused by methane and nitrogen.

   Decomposition of accumulated plant and animal remains on the bottom of
   the  Mekong  could lead to the release of the gases, which rise to the
   surface  of  the  water  when  the  sun  heats  the water to a certain
   temperature, Saksit said.

   Legend,  however,  says  the  flames  come  from  a  mythical Naga, or
   serpent, living in the Mekong river.

   "Society  needs an explanation for this phenomenon," Saksit was quoted
   as saying.

   Claims  by  a  television  program  last  year that the fireballs were
   actually caused by tracer bullets fired by Laotian soldiers across the
   border  caused  uproar  among  locals,  who  labelled  the  suggestion


   Copyright    © 2003.   The  Sydney  Morning  Herald.  

========================== Forwarded message ends ========================

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