Huay Nam Rak, Thailand. August 31st, 2005. A tiny, unassuming and traditional village. Between 8 and 8:30 on that Wednesday morning, 51-year-old Sawaeng Bunratchasak was out riding his bicycle when he spied a strange and mysterious creature in a rice field owned by 69-year-old Ti Kitkangbon. From a distance, he was convinced it was a scarecrow, but there was something off. Something wasn’t right. He decided to take a closer look. As he edged nearer and nearer, he soon realised what he saw was no scarecrow but a living creature, not a scarecrow, something else, something clearly breathing. Staring off into the distance. Suddenly, the creature’s head jolted into life and slowly moved toward Bunratchasak, its blood red eyes staring right at him. The silence of the morning was broken by Bunratchasak’s screams, as he ran with haste back to the village…
He described what he saw to the other villagers. An armless humanoid creature with two small legs, tapered to pointed feet. It had yellow coloured skin and was around 30 inches in height. Its head was large, as were its ears. Its body small and, most bizzarely, it hovered above the ground like a ghost. He named it the Ghostly Scarecrow, and said that, when its head moved, it seemed as if it was ‘asking for help.’ Some thought he was drunk, but there was no alcohol on his breath.
Along with several of the villagers, Bunratchasak dashed to Kitkangbon’s field where Bunratchasak had sighted the mysterious ghost. The villagers wanted to see it for themselves, before they would believe Bunratchasak. One of the villagers was 35-year-old Sawaeng Boonyalak, a close friend of Bunratchasak. Later he would describe to reporters what he and the other villagers had seen. ‘The alien is about seventy centimetres high and has yellow skin and (a) flat chest. Its mouth is very tiny. It has (a) a bald big head with big eyes and big ears…’
Bunratchasak was the first to report the strange encounter, but Buapan Lawichai would later claim that she was the first to have seen it, a being floating aimlessly above the field of Kitkangbon, at around 6:30 in the morning. Boonyalak would go on to say that most of the villagers had seen it, always in the same field, apparently showing little concern for the humans gazing at the mysterious being.
Soon, eyewitnesses started to speculate about what they had seen. Buakaew Intaweng said that he believed the creature to be an ‘animated doll,’ suggesting that such explained its jerky, robot-like movements. Others would insist that it was a ghost or some kind of apparition. Kamma Pinsaimoon, another of the villagers, said that what he saw appeared to be like a ‘child floating,’ until around 10:30 in the morning when it ‘stretched,’ turned jet black and disappeared into the sky ‘like a soaring rocket.’ Whereas others insisted that it disappeared into a bright, glowing orb, which hovered above the field high in the sky.
Kittikasem Ratanakosa, an investigator, headed to the remote village not long after the sightings to interview the eyewitnesses. He also examined the field and took samples, all in an attempt to uncover the truth. Many people told Ratanakosa of a ‘floating fire’ they had seen falling from the sky near the field the night before the sightings of the Ghostly Scarecrow. Some even thought what they saw was an alien craft and the ghost was a survivor. Of course, there was never any debris found and, as Ratanakosa believes, what they saw was probably just some aircraft or maybe a truck of some kind or another.
Seekers of the curiosity, at one point, over a hundred a day, soon were flocking to the field from all around, desperate to catch a glimpse of the ghost. Hysteria reached fever pitch one day when many of the villagers raided the Mae Jan District Office wanting confirmation of a rumour that had began to circulate that an alien visitor had been caught, something that was not true. The police got involved and the colonel, Kittisin Kongtaweepan, sent in a small group of extra officers to deal with the crowds swelling by the second. Kongtaweepan even released a statement in a desperate attempt to discourage visitors from coming and stated that there was no evidence that the creature even existed and certainly no evidence an alien craft had crashed into the wilderness of Thailand.
Kongtaweepan said that, after extensive searches, there was no evidence of damage to the field, despite the fact the eyewitnesses had all said what they saw was floating above it. The attention this got grew so large that Banjong Yang-yuen, the Mayor, ordered a camera to be set up in the field in a hope of catching a glimpse of the ghost. Just when the story had appeared to reach its peak, up stepped Tongmuan Pochailoet, from the nearby village of Doi Kam, with a possible explanation.
One day, whilst tending his own field, he found a helium-filled rubber doll tangled up in the braches of a tree. Pochailoet then tethered the doll, coloured green and orange, to his home, convinced it would make for an ideal scarecrow for his vegetable garden, one that was constantly raided by stray ducks and chickens. He said the doll was around three feet in height with a large head, upon which were a distinct nose, eyes and mouth, with tiny arms and legs. He also said, rather interestingly, that it had no ears.
On August 29th, a huge storm ploughed its way through the village of Doi Kam, taking the scarecrow of Pochailoet with it. Two days later, strange tales of alien encounters were reported in the neighbouring village of Huay Nam Rak. Pochailoet would later tell the Ruam Duay Chuay Kan community radio station that, whilst he did suspect his scarecrow was behind the reports, he did not come forward out of fear of being branded a liar.
It is easy to assume this is a case of mistaken identity. The remote villagers would never have seen anything like it before so it’s not too hard to make the leap and suggest they were mistaken. But there is much about what they saw that does not add up with this theory. What they saw was animated. It had large ears and no arms. They claim it was not an inflatable doll but something different. Something much different. When the villagers were shown a photo of Pochailoet’s doll, they said it was not that. They were sure of that much.
They said what they saw was intelligent. It wasn’t floating randomly like a balloon, but had thought and consciousness. What they saw is said to have affected them deeply. It’s easy for the cynic inside to believe that what they saw was the inflatable doll and that they didn’t want to be embarrassed by confusing that with an alien. It’s also easy to assume that they knew what it was and wanted the attention and tourism for their village, a poor village, and the money such would bring. Such has happened before. But it’s also easy to draw comparisons between this and countless other sightings of similar creatures across the world. Perhaps we’ll never know. Perhaps it was something logical. Something we can explain. Or perhaps it was something much, much more unearthly…
So I’ll give this cryptid an 80 on my patented Cryptid-o-Meter, putting it 48th in the list of 56, with Gef the Talking Mongoose still bottom and Beast of Gévauden still holding top spot.
The Ghostly Scarecrow. A fascinating cryptid indeed.
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