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When relatives stay too long…

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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When relatives stay too long… | The Thaiger
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AYUDHAYA: Every family has its own unique customs, but a family in Phak Hai District recently caught national attention when it was discovered keeping the corpse of a long-dead relative in the front room of the family home.

­Current guardian of the coffin, 36-year-old Samreng Yingyong, told reporters the body was that of his great-great uncle Phuangthong Lidkaho, who died almost 70 years ago.

Mr Phuangthong’s open coffin is kept in the front room of the hundred-year-old wooden Thai house, where Mr Phuanthong once lived.

Every day after he gets home from his construction job, Mr Samreng lights incense sticks in front of the coffin and makes offerings of food and drink. Every night he sleeps in front of the coffin to keep it company.

On many nights he hears the sound of footsteps in the house and someone sweeping the floor, Mr Samreng said.

This in no reason to feel afraid, however. Mr Samreng’s granny told him it was just Mr Phuangthong’s spirit wandering about.

Older brother Prasit Lidkaho, 75, said that he was the fourth child of seven in his family. Mr Phuangthong was the youngest. His family were practitioners of traditional medicine, with the family speciality being the meed mor (witchdoctor’s magic knife), Mr Prasit explained.

Mr Phuangthong was born without a right hand and missing a number of toes. Despite this handicap, by the age of nine he was already a master healer who could treat any illness, Mr Prasit said.

His short career came to a tragic halt when he fell down the front steps of the home and landed on a large mortar.

As he lay dying, the child called his parents and siblings to his side.

In the exact spot where his body still lies, he told them that he didn’t want to be cremated.

The family must keep his body until they were sure he had been reborn. If they did not, the family would split apart and come to ruin, the dying child said.

That said, the young Mr Phuangthong bade farewell to his relatives, assumed a meditative position and quietly passed away, Mr Prasit said.

“It’s strange,” Mr Prasit said, “I bought a teak coffin, but the body didn’t rot or smell so we never had to put the lid on it. The body just dried out by itself.”

The family tradition of healing is now being continued by his son, a monk in Kanchanaburi and still uses Mr Phuangthong’s magic knife, Mr Prasit said.

The family would keep watch over Mr Phunagthong’s body for as long as they lived, he added.

Neighbor Chanuan Thanuthon, 78, confirmed that Mr Phuangthong was a powerful healer loved by all the villagers.

After his death, no one was afraid when his spirit appeared to people or possessed mediums. It was just the spirit’s way of letting people know he had not yet been reborn, she explained.

A relative of Mr Phaungthong, 66-year-old police captain Thongthai Bancha, said that since word of the story was published in the national press, many visitors had come to the house asking to see the body.

Capt Thongthai said that since the visitors started coming he began sleeping in the house to help out.

Most visitors ask for good luck or seek proof that Mr Phunagthong’s spirit still occupies the house.

One night Mr Phunathong’s elder sister, 76-year-old Yuphin Ahthon, suddenly began shaking and fainted at the house. She then began to speak with the voice of a young boy, giving everyone a right old shock, Capt Thongthai said.

Unfortunately, reports that Mr Phuangthong’s spirit can convey to visitors winning numbers in upcoming lottery draws have yet to be independently verified.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket

The Thaiger

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Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | The Thaiger

Divers in the Strait of Malacca have reportedly found what they believe to be a 77 year old US Navy wrecked submarine in what is seemingly the concluding piece in a tale from World War II. The divers are currently awaiting confirmation of the finding from the United States Naval History and Heritage Command for verification after sending photos and other evidence to be reviewed. Over a five month time period, the divers gathered evidence over six separate dives to substantiate their claims that the shipwrecked submarine is that of the USS Grenadier, one of the 52 American submarines lost during the conflict.

The Grenadier, weighing 1,475 tonnes and measuring 307 feet long, was found about 150 km south of Phuket, Thailand in the Strait of Malacca. Singapore-based Jean Luc Rivoire, Frenchman Benoit Laborie, Australian Lance Horowitz, and Belgian Ben Reymenants-all who live in Phuket made the discovery. Reymenants was also one of the divers who helped in the dangerous rescue mission of the 12 Thai young football players who became trapped in a cave with their coach 2 years ago.

The Belgian has made a habit out of searching for sunken vessels over the years and would enlist Rivoire’s help in underwater searches as he had a suitable boat.

History of the submarine’s sinking details the story of the boat’s crew abandoning ship after Japanese bombs nearly killed them undersea. However, the sailors were lucky as all 76 of its personnel reportedly survived the bombing and subsequent sinking, but their luck soon took a dark turn. After Japan took the crew as prisoners, they were allegedly tortured, beaten and nearly starved for more than 2 years with 4 reportedly succumbing to the ordeal.

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | News by The Thaiger

In this image taken from video, the top hatch of a conning tower can be seen from a submarine wreck somewhere in the Strait of Malacca on March 4, 2020. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of a U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. (Jean Luc Rivoire via AP)

The Belgian says he has been researching possible locations of shipwrecks for many years. When they dived to look at one captivating object, they found it was much larger than they had originally expected. Horowitz says once confirming the object’s size, they searched archives to find out which vessel it could be.

“And in the end, we took very precise measurements of the submarine and compared those with the naval records. And they’re exactly, as per the drawings, the exact same size. So we’re pretty confident that it is the USS Grenadier.”

However, the confirmation could take anywhere from 2 months to up to 1 year to complete. But its 77 year old history may make it well worth the wait.

The Grenadier set sail from Pearl Harbor on Feb 4, 1942 embarking on multiple missions while sinking 6 ships and damaging 2. Then, it took to the waters again on March 20, 1943 from Australia, on its 6th patrole to the Malacca Straight and Andaman Sea. One month later, a plane was sighted causing the ship to be ordered to crash dive. But it was too late. Blasts from 2 bombs attacked the sub, leaving important parts of the ship damaged.

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | News by The Thaiger

This Dec. 27, 1941, photo released by U.S. Navy shows USS Grenadier (SS-210) off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of the U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. Photo: United States Navy via AP

The next morning, the crew made plans to scuttle the submarine but was captured by an armed merchant ship and hauled off to Penang, a major port town in Malaysia. Fitzgerald says the crew landed in a Catholic school turned Japanese prison where they then began to become the recipients of alleged abuse.

“The rough treatment started the first afternoon, particularly with the (enlisted) men. They were forced to sit or stand in silence in an attention attitude. Any divergence resulted in a gun butt, kick, slug in the face or a bayonet prick. In the questioning room, persuasive measures, such as clubs, about the size of indoor ball bats, pencils between the fingers and pushing of the blade of a pen knife under the finger nails, trying to get us to talk about our submarine and the location of other submarines.”

He says after a few months, the sailors were transferred to camps in Japan where they saw 4 of their compatriots die from a lack of medical attention. Such a tale that has spurned from the Grenadier has Horowitz enthralled in its history and significance.

“This was an important ship during the war and it was very important to all the crew that served on her. When you read the book of the survivors, that was, you know, quite an ordeal they went through and to know where she finally lies and rests, I’m sure it’s very satisfying for them and their families to be able to have some closure.”

 

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Mother, daughter run over by pickup truck in Pathum Thani

Jack Burton

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Mother, daughter run over by pickup truck in Pathum Thani | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

A mother and daughter were run over today by a pickup truck carrying furniture reversing down a busy road in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok. The shocking incident was caught on surveillance footage. The pair had stepped into the road and didn’t notice the truck creeping up on them from behind.

Fortunately, both mother and child survived. Poh Teck Tung Rescue Foundation told the Daily News they were taken to hospital with leg and rib injuries.

Comments, criticisms and shares have been many on Thai social media. Most blame the pickup driver, but others say the mother and daughter shouldn’t have been standing in the road and should have looked to their left. Still, others say they appeared to have been waiting for a bus and shouldn’t have stepped off the sidewalk at all.

Local police say that the driver clearly could not see behind him properly and was negligent.

They suggested he should fit his truck an additional mirror, or better yet not reverse down a busy road but go to a U-turn to get back to where he wanted.

They say they plan on inviting the driver in for a “chat” with the victims when possible.

SOURCE: thaivisa | Daily News

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Other News

Huge monitor lizard pulled from Si Racha car

Jack Burton

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Huge monitor lizard pulled from Si Racha car | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

A woman in Chon Buri’s Si Racha district got a big surprise when she found a huge water monitor lizard in her home and called rescue workers in a panic. The lizard, over 2 metres long and coloured gold and silver, had wedged itself behind a refrigerator in the home of the woman, who was not named. Workers from a local rescue association arrived at the home in Village 6 in the Bowin Subdistrict, but the lizard managed to evade them and hid in the engine space of a nearby vehicle.

Rescue workers and local residents had to remove some parts from the car to safely get the animal out. They say it will be relocated to a forested area nearby. They stated the lizard was in good health and unharmed, although anxious due to the commotion caused by the capture. The house’s owner was also shaken up by the incident.

In Thailand, water monitors are seen by some as bad luck and the name of the lizard in Thai, “Tua Hea”, is also often used as a curse word or strong insult.

Huge monitor lizard pulled from Si Racha car | News by The ThaigerHuge monitor lizard pulled from Si Racha car | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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