Norway’s Hessdalen Lights. Project Hessdalen The Scientific UFO Study

In this world of advancing science and technology there are still many mysteries humanity has yet to decipher. The most controversial mysteries are solved in just the same way as any new discovery, the scientific study.

While UFO’s may be one of the most controversial mysteries that we are attempting to understand there is one UFO hotspot that has been studied for 30 years, The Hessdalen Lights.

The Hessdalen Valley is an isolated valley in central Norway that has a long history of strange lights being witnessed traveling through the valley. The valley itself is 18 km long and sparsely populated. Upon entering the  Valley you get the impression that it is normally a quiet place, an uneventful picturesque post-card valley.

Locals have often reported seeing strange lights in the sky but very little attention had been paid to these sporadic reports. That was until 1981 when the Hessdalen Lights put on a most remarkable show for all those willing to watch. During this period reported sightings peaked at 30 reported sightings a week, 4 or 5 a day often. By 1983 the number of reports had dropped off, almost to zero., until the end of 1983 when they returned. Project Hessdalen in 1984 took the opportunity to gather information about the lights during this second spike in activity. the start of serious scientific examination of the phenomenon after the original UFO flap that established Hessdalen as one of the pre-eminent UFO hot spots.

Regular appearances of the Hessdalen lights is only one aspect that makes Hessdalen special, the sightings also seem to cover the full gamut of UFO types as well. All of the well-known UFO shapes have been observed in the Hessdalen Valley, all exhibiting unusual unnatural behavior.

The Hessdalen Lights was one of the great UFO flaps of modern times What makes the Hessdalen Lights so exception though isn’t just the unexplained lights themselves but the investigations that followed. The Hessdalen Lights can lay claim to being one of the most studied UFO hotspots in the world. Under consistent observation for nearly 20 years there is an abundance of evidence collected. Currently there are two major teams of scientists collecting information and eliminating hypothesis one at a time.

The Phenomenon
What also makes Hessdalen exceptional even amongst UFO hotspots, is the range of sightings made in the valley. UFO sightings cover the full gamut, from stationary lights in the sky to triangular groups of lights that disperse other lights and then zip off at extremely high speed. Some objects are visible only on the radar while other objects are optically visible but don’t show up on radar.

The locals of Hessdalen have consistently made reports of lights since the 40’s. Prior to that date reports had been made but no records were kept of what had been seen, many locals describing them as strange wispy lights that made no noise.

Late night sightings are the basis of the most spectacular reports. With flying objects projecting search lights that lit up the night, demonstrating search like patterns along the ground.

All of the observed lights move silently, with the ability to hover indefinitely and then move off at great speed with radar recordings indicating objects moving at speed of up to 30,000 kph. Even at these extreme speeds objects are photographed changing direction in impossible ways, changes in direction that defy the laws of physics let alone the pancake that would be a human pilot inside. Objects are often observed splitting up and later recombining, with some of the ejected objects emitting strange blue spiral lights. Recent studies of the objects have estimated the lights are outputting more than megawatt of power and often are as large as a house.

There also seems to be a common set of shapes that the lights take; bullet or cigar shaped craft with a red light at the front and two vertical lights at the back surrounded by light, a round transparent ball of light, a triangular collection of numerous lights and the classic bowler hat shaped domed object. Sightings also often include reported spot lights coming from the mystery lights, focusing on the ground. One of the original observation team was surprised when pointing a laser at the mystery light the object shone a spotlight back at him. It quickly moved on to its almost search like pattern along the ground.

Other strange phenomenon have been observed by locals in Hessdalen. One such phenomenon seems to be a cross between cattle mutilations and crop circles, except performed on the top layers of peat bogs. This very strange phenomenon was first discovered during the initial study. Hunters were on the trail of Deer in a inaccessible part of the valley when they came across a large section that had been sliced and removed from the bog. The top layer of the bog, approximately half a meter deep 5 meters x 1.5 meters across had been precision cut and shifted 10 meters away, perfectly intact. Seemingly with laser precision had the bog been cut. The slab that had been removed weighed an estimated 2 tons but there was no evidence of human trails or machinery of any kind. The ability to extract and move a single section of bog weighing 2 tons without using machine might suggest advanced technology. It was later discovered that this phenomenon had happened before further north in Norway. Exactly the same sized block of earth had been extracted and deposited meters away with great precision and zero trace of human activity. Not even foot prints were found.

The First Study The Initial Study
December 1981 saw the start of an original unprecedented UFO flap – large number of sightings or UFO wave -, this was the beginning of the modern legend that is the Hessdalen Lights. Even though this initial UFO flap eventually died down Dr Strand continued to organize a research group to take on this most unusual phenomenon.

As no official institute with governmental support in Norway seemed to be interested in these strange lights the original researchers established Project Hessdalen on the 3rd of June 1983. Their aim was simple, to discover what the lights in Hessdalen were. The project consisted of a working committee which had the responsibility of running the project, and an advisory committee to help the working committee in the theoretical part of the project. By the 27th of August the outline for Project Hessdalen was presented to the BUFORA’s 3 conference, an international UFO-congress in England, with much anticipation the Project was initiated.

In the build-up to the first study Project Hessdalen managed to obtain good contacts in a number of institutions in Norway including the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, The University of Oslo, the University of Bergen and also the University of Trondheim. Some of the Project’s team had made contact with these establishments in the past in the course of other research. Much of the equipment used for the Project had been generously loaned to the project by these organizations.

In preparation for the first field study of the phenomenon in late November 1983 Project Hessdalen was presented to the people in the valley. During the first part of January 1984, an information bulletin explaining the project was sent out to the 3,300 residents of the valley. The information pack also included a simple report form which people should return if they have a sighting to report. With great earnest the project began to collect data on the 21st of January 1984 and continued until the 26th of February. Even Project Bluebook’s Dr J Allen Hynic made a trip to Norway during the 1984 study.

A wide variety of sophisticated instrumentation were installed in the valley during the initial study. The Project had wired the valley with cameras with gratings, seismographs, radar, magnetometer, spectrum analyzers, Geiger counters and lasers. During this short initial study 53 sightings were captured and documented. See Project Hessdalen for full details.

Radar data was collected of the lights with many traveling at high speed. The radar images were strong enough to suggest either a solid object or an intensely ionized gas ball which is actually the least likely possibility as highly ionized gas would have a very short life, would burn itself out very quickly.

No sooner had the field study began in snow-bound Hessdalen valley than the project began to obtain some positive results. On January 27, l984, the lights were seen by project members and on radar. At 5:32 pm an, oblong-shaped light was observed. The light was observed moving away over the mountains and out of sight. The light had a white and red color to it which blinked at uneven intervals. On January 28th, at 3:49 pm, something was detected on radar but nothing was seen with the naked eye. On January 29th, there was again an echo on the radar but again nothing was seen by the eyes of the gathered observers.

On February 1st, numerous radar returns were made but again the lights remained elusive to the ground observers. Later that night an oblong-shaped light was observed by 11 people and it was also photographed. Throughout the remainder of the project numerous observations of the lights were made and they were photographed on many occasions.

A laser was also used to signal the lights, trying to get a reaction. Normally when the mystery lights were seen they would produce a constant slow blipping Morse code like light. When the laser was pointed at the lights a change in pattern was observed, switching to a double flash sequence while the laser was pointed at the lights. 9 tests were carried out in this way and 8 times the same double flashing was the result.

The Geiger-counter never produced any readings when lights were present, although all sightings made when the Geiger-counter was present saw the lights being over 1km away.

The initial study found no connection between earthquake activity and the lights, with no correlation found. While there was known to be seismic activity in the valley all observations of the lights occurred when there were no seismic events, dispelling the Earth lights theory.

Since the initial 1984 study the number of lights has dropped once again to 15-20 sightings a year. Not to say that the studying of the lights finished with the conclusion of the project, scientists now have a permanent recording station in the valley which is still capturing data and observations.

The latest study and permanent observation posts
In 1998 the permanent research station Hessdalen AMS was built in the valley. Established by Dr. Erling Strand the station had been built to register and record the appearance of lights 24/7. Supported by Orstfold University, it was at the time a world first, the first 24/7 automated observation post designed to observe unusual light phenomenon.

Although it may appear from the outside to simply be a shipping container unceremoniously dumped on the side of a mountain it is far more than that. The many antenna and instruments projecting out of the top of the container are the first clues. Initially equipped with a magnetometer, two black and white TV cameras, and one colour TV camera the observation post has continued to advance.

The permanent facility has now also been joined by an Italian – SETI – team of researches. With their own permanent station including VLF and Radar equipment. The data is shared with the current Hessdalen AMS team, aiding the integrity of the data. Allowing confirmations that the two teams are observing the same object. With many unusual radar sources being confirmed with the visual data from the Norwegian team and vice versa. The Italian team also plans to continue to add instruments to the station.

2004 also saw two teams of researchers camp out to collect evidence. The team was made up of students from Ostfold university and Italian members of SETI. As usual Hessdalen put a show on for the visitors. After watching one of the large balls of light drop two smaller orbs the smaller orbs descended as they reached the tree tops they emitted a blue spiral light and then crashed into the ground.

A number of conclusion were made at the end of this second study. The phenomenon is a real physical phenomenon that can regularly be studied, this is not a case of mass hypnosis or hysteria. The phenomenon is identified as a bright flying object with special characteristics that make it unique to science. It is far more complex and diverse than expected, indicating more than one single kind of phenomenon is involved. The luminous objects are often made up of separate units that may depart and fly away. The speed can vary between standing still and 8km per second and changes of course at a speed indicates no mass or alternatively not operating by normal physical means. The phenomenon appears to be able to take on matter or energy from the ground in the form of plasma energy. The phenomenon seems to radiate energy, due to the light and frequent change of color and interesting spectra in the optical and radio-frequency range have been detected. More data is required to draw proper conclusions.

Possible explanations
In 2007 another conference was held by the US Society for Scientific Exploration to discuss the Hessdalen Lights. Many claims were made that this meeting would answer all of the questions and solve the mystery once and for all. They didn’t. Their explanation tried to roll the entire phenomenon into ball lighting – one of the Earth Lights phenomenon – which actually doesn’t explain any of the phenomenon. Some parts of the phenomenon do appear to resemble ball lighting or Earth Lights but there is no explanation of how ball lightning can perform what is seen in the valley.

What the lights are doing there is often associated with the fact that the Hessdalen Valley is extremely rich in mineral deposits, Norway’s largest Iron ore mine is located just 30 kilometers away. Zink, Copper and Sulfur are also found in large quantities in the area. A number of sightings have been made close to or above the sulfur mines, as well as people often reporting the rotten egg gas smell of sulfur during sightings.

What are the lights ? It has to be plainly obvious that the lights are not a known natural phenomenon. They may be a new type of natural phenomenon, super natural but they definitely don’t fit with any currently known phenomenon. Here at Highpants if we were forced to speculate we would have to say the lights appear to be intelligently controlled. This is the most interesting aspect of the information gathered by the research groups is the reactive behavior that is often exhibited by the lights. This combined with the mineral rich nature of the valley would tend to make us think this is a mining operation, of extremely large proportions. Who’s in charge of the mining operation is a speculation too far for even Highpants.

Many people have also raised the theory that Hessdalen itself is an interstellar gateway, a wormhole. An interesting theory but probably a little too complicated. Also there are no real signs of any kind of high energy gateways or worm holes. If UFO’s do exist the chances are they’re each a gateway, not traveling in a linear fashion by definition would make them each their own gateway.

For a phenomenon to transition from super natural to natural involves a level of understanding being gained about these super natural phenomenon. The Aurora Borealis seemed like a kind of magic until we understood the Suns behavior and interaction with our atmosphere. Before these understandings were gained the Aurora was super natural, after understanding is gained they are just another natural phenomenon.

Hot spots like the Hessdalen Lights are right up at the edge of super natural phenomenon and we have a lot to learn from them, as long as scientists don’t just right it off as mass hypnosis or misidentified known natural phenomenon. Also on the other side we can’t just explain it away as an intergalactic gateway if there isn’t evidence to support that hypothesis, both are a form of easy answer when what is needed is the desire to fully understand these phenomenon, a desire shown by Dr. Erling Strand who was willing to put his entire academic carrier on the line in order to understand one of the great mysteries of the modern world.

After nearly 30 years of study there is no concrete answer to what the Hessdalen Lights are, they remain a glorious mystery waiting to be solved. To this day the lights still put on their show for the residents of the valley. Tours are still being operated through the valley for those wanting to see it for themselves. In this world of fast paced advancement of science and technology phenomenon such as the Hessdalen Lights remind us that there is still much to learn, many mysteries yet to solve.

The Portal – The Hessdalen Lights Phenomenon

Source and Photos: Project Hessdalen