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Hessdalen Lights in Norway have been reported since the 1800’s

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Introduction to the Hessdalen Light Phenomenon

The Hessdalen Lights are an earth anomaly (or according to some people, a UFO phenomenon – they’re tough to classify without knowing exactly what they are) commonly seen in the Hessdalen valley in the central part of Norway. The mysterious lights, typically large, bright white, blue, red, or yellow lights floating above the ground or shooting at amazing speeds through the air, have been witnessed since 1811 or earlier.

Interest in the Hessdalen Lights rose in 1981 when residents in the area began to see unknown lights in the valley and in the nearby districts.  The lights sometimes remain still and sometimes flash and can suddenly move at extreme speeds up into the atmosphere or down into the ground, or into one of the many lakes in the area.  In addition to lighted orbs, occasionally triangle, pyramid, cylindrical, or oval/disc-shaped objects are reported accompanying the glowing orbs of light. During the early 1980’s, the activity became particularly active with 15 to 20 reports a week.

Since 1983 there has been ongoing scientific research called “Project Hessdalen”, initiated by Dr. Erling Strand, which seeks to find the source of the mysterious lights. In 1998, the Hessdalen AMS automated scientific research station was built in the valley. Hessdalen AMS registers and records the appearance of lights – and it has been remarkably successful in its endeavor.

Project Hessdalen uses witness reports and photographic evidence to classify the lights into four distinct color patterns. White or blue-white lights flying high in the air are common. Yellow lights with a red light on top (sometimes the red light is flashing) are also commonly reported. Yellow or white lights are the most common form reported (and often stand motionless for more than an hour). Also reported are black objects with lights attached to their surface. Any of these objects have been reported to move around slowly down in the valley, stop sometimes for minutes, and then start moving again.

In addition to classifying the Hessdalen Lights by color, researchers also classify them into one of six different types: Doublet, fireball, plasma ray, dust cloud, flash, and invisible.

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Scientific results from 1984 study

Scientists are unsure what causes the lights. Theories range from combustible or ionized dust in the air, flammable crystals enclosed in plasma, to glowing alien extraterrestrial vehicles.  What is certain though, is that the phenomena is real. On January 21, 1984, an extensive field investigation was carried out in the valley by the Ostfold University College.  Forty people were included on the team and 53 sightings were reported during the five-week investigation.  Here are the results that they reported:

Anomalous light phenomenon taken in August 2001 and 2002 in Hessdalen
  1. A radar measured the distance and speed of the phenomena. The highest speed recorded was of a light travelling towards north at a speed of over 18,600 miles per hour (30,000 km/h). The radar also captured the phenomena when they were invisible to the human eye.
  2. A seismograph did not register any local seismic activity. All the recordings registered were from earthquakes from other places around the world. This seems to infer that the phenomenon is not related to local seismic activity.
  3. A magnetograph measured the changes in the magnetic field and noted that there were changes in the magnetic field when the phenomena showed up.
  4. A Geiger-counter, which measures nuclear radiation, did not show any change in the counting rate when the phenomena showed up.
  5. A spectrum-analyzer measured all the frequencies between 100 KHz and 1200 MHz and could distinguish between any disturbances in radio or TV frequencies. There was noise sometimes. The harmonics between noise signals was 80MHz, covering the whole band. The amplitude moved up and down every 2 seconds (a frequency of about 0,5 Hz).
  6. A camera, with a grating in front, showed the distribution of wavelengths of the lights. Three photographs which were good enough to be analyzed were captured.
  7. Their final result reported was the most baffling. Before their fieldwork, people had informed the researchers that the “lights” disappeared when a strong spotlight was directed onto the “light”. To test this, a He-Ne laser was directed at the glowing orbs. When they sighted a flashing light, they directed the laser beam onto it, and it became a double flashing light. As soon as they moved the beam away, the light returned to a regular flashing light again. When they directed the beam onto it again, it started double flashing once more.  These results were repeated multiple times.

What are the Hessdalen lights? The most prominent theories.

Despite the ongoing research, there is no convincing explanation for the Hessdalen light phenomenon. However, there are numerous working hypotheses and even more speculations. There have been some sightings positively identified as misperceptions of astronomical bodies, aircraft, car headlights and mirages. However, the majority remain unexplained.

One possible explanation attributes the phenomenon to an incompletely understood combustion involving hydrogen, oxygen and sodium. This theory proposes the phenomenon occurs in Hessdalen because of the large deposits of scandium there.

Another hypothesis suggests that the lights are formed by a cluster of macroscopic Coulomb crystals in a plasma produced by the ionization of air and dust by alpha particles during radon decay in the atmosphere. Several physical properties including oscillation, geometric structure, and light spectrum, observed in the Hessdalen lights (HL) can be explained through a dust plasma model. In fact, in 2004, Teodorani showed an occurrence where a higher level of radioactivity on rocks was detected near the area where a large light ball was reported.

Another hypothesis explains Hessdalen lights as a product of piezoelectricity generated under specific rock strains, because many crystal rocks in Hessdalen valley include quartz grains which produce an intense charge density.

Sample reports from Hessdalen sightings

In 1997, Hessdalen valley resident Harald Dale and his sons reported their sighting of the Hessdalen Lights:

“Harald and his family were camping at Bjarne Lillevold’s mountain farm in Finnsådalen, between Vårhuskjølen and Finnsåhøgda. Harald went out to brush his teeth at half past six in the evening. Han went out the door at the eastern part of the cottage. It was dark outside, and the weather was clear. Through the birch woods, he saw three lights towards the north, in the direction of the towns of Morkavollen and Haltdalen. The three lights are fixed in a triangular form, two light down and one up. The intensity of the lights changed from strong to weak, to strong, to weak, and so on, all the time. The three lights floated a little bit together each time the intensity became stronger. The color of the lights were red-yellow, and no contours could be seen. Hans went in to get the boys and went up on the roof with binoculars. Some minutes later the lights become fainter and disappeared”

Akhtar and Andreas Olsen reported seeing a pyramid shaped object:

“At 9.15 AM Andreas suddenly saw a strong light slightly to the left of the peak of Morkvollhogda. The light seemed to come from the point where “the mountain met the sky”. Both Akhtar and Andreas first assumed that it was the moon coming up over the mountaintop, but they soon realized that they had observed the moon much further to the east earlier in the evening, and this light was much more intense than the light reflected from the moon. Akhtar pointed a hand light with a red filter against the phenomenon, while Akhtar shot a series of pictures.  The light started to move up and down “like a yo-yo”. The light had the shape of a pyramid, emitting an intense light. Each time the “pyramid” went down under the horizon (the mountain top) they could see a beam of light coming up from behind the mountain, from the point where “the pyramid” had disappeared. This repeated itself several times before the light went down for the last time and “went out”. The observation lasted for 15 – 30 seconds.”

Bjarne Lillevold reported his sighting that took place in 2003.

“Bjarne was sitting in his sitting-room, watching TV. The TV is located close to a large window, which faces north. Suddenly he saw a big light outside the window, up the hillside. He went out into his yard, just north of his house. The light could not have been more than 200 meters away from him. It was located north of the measurement station (AMS). Bjarne said that the light was strong, red and as big as the moon. It was rolling around its middle, just like a wheel is rolling. It moved slowly south, towards the AMS. When Bjarne reached the main road, the light changed, from south to north. It was approximately 150 meters from the station when this happened. The rolling stopped and it moved towards north and disappeared behind some trees in the north.”

As stated earlier, sightings were frequent during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Today the activity has slowed but a couple of sightings each month is still common. The lights are mostly visible in the autumn, winter, and spring.

Project Hessdalen describes the area and where it is located:

“Project Hessdalen acquired its name from the small valley of Hessdalen, which is situated just north-north-west of the town of Roeros in Norway. If you travel 40 km north on Route 30, from Roeros towards the city of Trondheim, you come to the small village of Aalen. From there the road leads to Hessdalen. The valley is about 15 km long in a north-south direction. There are mountains in the east, Rognefjell in the northern part, then Stordalshogda and further south lies Ratvollfjellet. These mountains are between 917 and 995 meters above sea level. In the west, lies the mountain of Finnsaahoegda in the north, then Fjellbekkhogda, Baatjornhogda, and in the south is the mountain Rohovda. These mountains are between 1063 and 1088 meters above sea level. South of the valley there are two lakes, Herssjoen in the east and Oyungen in the west. Most of the 170 inhabitants live close to the road, about 700 meters above sea level.”

Hessdalen photos and videos

Below is a documentary about the Hessdalen Lights.

The following are videos of the Hessdalen Lights.

Image Credits

In-Article Image Credits

Anomalous light phenomenon taken in August 2001 and 2002 in Hessdalen via Research Gate by Massimo Teodorani with usage type - Editorial use (Fair Use). August 2001
The Hessdalen Light Phenomenon via Reddit with usage type - Editorial use (Fair Use)
Hessdalen light 2015 via YouTube by Jesper Brodersen. February 2015

Featured Image Credit

via with usage type -


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