A strange tale emerged from Vietnam recently, about a child who was almost killed by a pair of bizarre and unidentified blood-sucking parasites. On October 20th, 2007, a boy named Dinh Thanh Long, of northern Hai Duong City, suddenly coughed up a quantity of blood, as well as developing respiratory difficulties. His parents rushed him to the city's general hospital, where doctors were unable to locate the cause of his illness. Two days later, the boy was transferred to the Central Pediatrics Hospital. Despite extensive tests, doctors at that hospital were also unable to identify the source of the symptoms, with all common causes having been ruled out.
On October 25, Dr. Dao Minh Tuan, chief medic at the hospital's respiration department, performed a laparoscopy of the boy’s bronchial tubes. He found a transparent, parasitic creature, which had attached itself to a bronchus in order to gorge itself on the child's blood. A surgical team anaesthetized the child and removed the strange-looking parasite, which is 2.3cm long and 3.4mm wide. It has the appearance of an aquatic organism, with a distinct tail and head.
Dr. Tuan stated that the boy would have bled to death had the parasite not been immediately removed. But the baffled doctor was unable to identify the organism. “In my nearly 30 years working as a doctor, I have never seen any cases like this,” he said.
Three days later, the child coughed up more blood. Doctors located a second parasite in his lung, similar to the first one, but which proved much harder to eradicate. After more than six hours of trying to remove it, the doctors were eventually able to kill the organism and remove it. The boy remains under medical observation, because, as Dr. Tuan said, “nobody is sure that there are no other parasites in his body now".
The parasites have been sent to experts at Hanoi Medical University and the National Institute of Science, who have so far failed to identify the organisms. Doctors and scientists are also unable to explain how the creatures were able to attack the boy's lungs.
This has led to speculation that the unidentified parasites are of extraterrestrial origin. Apparently, numerous UFOs have been spotted in the area in recent months. Many witnesses, in a number of villages in the Hanoi region, have also described UFO crashes. The Vietnamese government has been quick to quell such rumours. However, video footage shot in Hanoi, appears to show some unusual aerial objects.
Of course, neither the mystery surrounding the identity of the parasites, nor the numerous UFO sightings, serves as any kind of proof that the parasites found in the boy's lungs came from anywhere other than our own planet. Unknown species are frequently discovered, and Vietnam itself has been the source of a number of such discoveries in recent years.
Although this is not strictly a paranormal tale, I decided to include it, just to show how easy it is for the human mind to create causal links between events which may or may not be connected, and to forge a new "truth". Often, when it comes to UFOs, aliens, ghosts, cryptozoology, or any other anomalous phenomenon, we see what we want to see. We allow our subjective perceptions to cloud our objective analyses. The fact that an unknown and life-threatening parasite has been discovered is newsworthy in itself, because doctors need to be aware of how to diagnose and eradicate it. The UFO sightings are also very newsworthy. But to link the two facts, without any causal proof, borders on alarmist speculation, an approach which damages public perceptions of paranormal subjects and their investigators. Of course, if these parasites are shown to have hitched a ride on a Zeta-Reticulan spaceship, I'll be made to eat my words. But I won't stock up on the antacids just yet...