Norway is a great place for witnessing celestial spectacles. There are aurorae, phosphorescent dancing sheets of Arctic light. A vast luminous spiral was witnessed transforming into a large “black hole” over much of Norway on December 9, 2009. This was caused by an experimental Russian missile misfiring high over the Arctic, NBC News reported. And there are sights closer to the ground, fairylike orbs flying below the tree line in a small valley around the rural village of Hessdalen. They’re called the Hessdalen lights.
Unidentified Aerial Phenomena
It’s generally accepted that there are mercurial atmospheric lights, such as ball lighting and earthquake lights. Some may recur in the same place–like the lights near Yakima, Washington investigated by David Akers, or the Brown Mountain lights. These phenomena are all poorly documented and usually lack scientific explanation. Researchers call them UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena). Among these, the Hessdalen lights are the best documented.
Project Hessdalen is an on-going investigation of the lights, spearheaded by researcher Erling Strand in the early 1980s. As research picked up attention and funding, the phenomena became better documented and studied. But they still remain unexplained.
What the photo, video, radar, and other evidence shows is remarkable, as seen in studies by Bjørn Hauge and Massimo Teodorani. The lights may reach speeds of 30,000 kilometers per hour. They appear in various sizes and colors, and in non-visible spectra. They may appear in a fixed group or “formation.” One light filmed by Project Hessdalen apparently drew something luminous into itself. Some lights were shown to contain common local elements, including traces of the metal Scandium.
What Are They?
Seismologists Takaki and Ikeya hypothesized that UAP are triggered by electrical discharges from quartz crystals placed under strain. Skeptical journalist Brian Dunning, though accepting the lights’ existence, rejected this explanation for Hessdalen phenomena because of the lack of local quartz crystals. Paiva and Taft, also throwing out the rock strain theory, hypothesized the lights are plasma balls triggered by radon decay and containing crystalline structures. Physicist Renato Fedele suggested the lights may have “quantum-like” properties.
Before his death, famous ufologist J. Allen Hynek visited Hessdalen, as shown in the documentary The Portal. Hynek coined the phrase Close Encounters of the Third Kind to describe a type of UFO report. Another of Hynek’s terms is Daylight Discs, meaning reports of apparently solid daytime objects. Such reports also occur in Hessdalen, though none are accompanied with photographs. In an interview with UAP researcher Philippe Ailleris, Strand himself claimed he saw “flying disc[s]” on two occasions.
The Hessdalen lights portray many qualities of UFOs. For this author, some UFO reports probably describe similar phenomena. But do some Hessdalen phenomena really look like solid objects? Even if so, they may not have a stable surface. Could they be tangible? One can only speculate what would result if a human literally touched a Hessdalen “light” or “object.” How would it feel?
In any case, the lights remain a mystery.