DAGUA – You may know the Tok Pisin term, ‘lait toktok’. Well, if you don’t, it’s used in Madang to describe a phenomenon similar to the ‘foo fighters’ aerial phenomenon observed in Europe and the Pacific during the World War II.
‘Lait toktok’ describes moving lights over the water; luminous objects or lights dancing over the horizon and appearing to move back and forth or remain stationary while emitting their strange glow.
When observed from the coast, these moving orbs appear as if they are communicating or ‘talking’, hence, the Tok Pisin ‘lait toktok’.
Whether the light is of a source that can be explained, for example an aircraft, ship or submarine, is a matter of conjecture.
Certainly, people who have sighted this phenomenon attest that the lights they saw were not from a ship, submarine or aircraft.
So they continue to remain a mystery to observers, most often witnesses onshore looking out to the sea.
The ocean is so huge humans are yet to explore and map it all. Its depths are one of the last frontiers of human exploration and conquest.
The ocean is also full of danger, mystery and intrigue. Much is unknown about what lurks in its depths.
These mysteries are exemplified by tales like the strange lait toktok in and around Madang, there being also numerous accounts of strange and mystifying occurrences observed on dry land.
Despite many reports of such phenomena, information is distorted and discussions end up as conspiracy theories, paranormal studies or pseudoscience for researchers, skeptics and paranoids.
What then would be a plausible explanation of these strange moving lights or pulsating luminous orbs to someone unfamiliar with the phenomenon?
Apart from the bioluminescent planktons that light up the ocean which sailors call ‘The Burning of the Sea’, there are occasional observations of inexplicable and strange lights that appear and disappear over the ocean.
These observations are reported the world over and are supposedly identified with the UFO or ‘foo fighters’ phenomenon.
There are numerous real time video capturing these lights, as well as eyewitness accounts of these ocean peculiarities.
In a recent conversation, two colleagues of mine described their experiences of seeing and observing these lights over the sea.
They could not provide an educated explanation of what they saw. They remain mystified and baffled by what they had observed.
It was on an ordinary evening while on a return trip from Walis Island to Karasau Island near Wewak when my colleague, who was with someone, witnessed a sudden appearance of light some distance from where they were on their small dinghy.
He said this bright light just shot out of the sea and hovered some meters above the surface of the water.
It gave off a strong white light that lit up the sea. They could feel and see its glare. It looked like a street light just suddenly appeared in the middle of the ocean.
He noted no sound emitting from this light source, which remained stationary.
He and his companion, in fear, maintained their course for home, without speaking a word and not daring to turn and look back at this strange occurrence.
Another colleague related his story of an orb of white light that suddenly appeared and seemed to move back and forth over the horizon while he was fishing at a beach in Yabob, Madang.
These strange pulsating lights, he explained, were quite common around the waters of Madang. He said Madang people describe this phenomenon as lait toktok.
The incident also made my colleague abandon his fishing plans and return home in haste.
Both men, when recounting their tales, said the lights were strange, not natural or manmade. They said the experience of those fateful evenings remained etched in their memories.
These are just two of numerous incidents reported by many eyewitnesses of this strange phenomenon.
Whatever lait toktok is, it is certainly something to wonder about.
It would be too much to expect closure any time soon.