Norway – The Unexplained Hessdalen light

The Hessdalen Lights are a phenomenon usually 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 lights picked up 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, that 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 very successful in its endeavor.




Project Hessdalen uses the witness reports and photographic evidence to classify the lights into four different 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 a black objects with a 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.



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:

    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 phenomena 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 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 as 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