In the Norwegian countryside, there is a valley known as Hessdalen, and it is known as “a former mining center that has slipped into depression and depopulation.” People around the area say that “it is unremarkable – except for the strange and unexplained Hessdalen lights.” These mysterious lights have been located in Hessdalen since the 1940s, but the valley had been quiet, empty, and unlively for decades until the lights began to appear more often in December of 1981. What’s interesting about these unexplained lights is how different they seem to appear each time they’re noticed; “sometimes these balls were standing still for more than one hour, sometimes they were slowly floating around.” However, despite the inconsistencies discovered in their appearances, these lights have a number of specific features that are found time and time again: they look like small balls floating in the air, they consist of spike-like structures on the exterior, they have intense luminosity, and their duration of existence may range from seconds to hours. These lights are mostly seen at a large distance from the ground, far away, and up in the treetops; one light is usually the source of illumination, but sometimes there can be more than one light, which is the result of one light splitting up into two smaller ones.

It is only recently that a number of trusted scientists and researchers have been looking into the Hessdalen Lights; before this, only a small amount of researchers had been traveling back to the valley to continue their investigations. Prior to December of 1981, the community of Hessdalen remained silent about the news of these mysterious lights. In the late 1900s, there were conspiracies that the Hessdalen Lights were produced from UFOs, and scientists were not given the permission to study them; yet, since the scientific method has been created, these lights have been increasingly receiving more attention from the scientists who once longed to study them. Through this research, there have been some interesting findings, such as scientists noticing how these mysterious lights might also be getting confused with objects that we encounter every day, such as cars and airplanes.

For a phenomenon that had been silenced years ago, it is definitely noteworthy that these strange illuminations have become interesting enough to increase tourism in the valley; even though the activity of these lights has diminished, they continue to appear more often than not. In addition to these unusual lights, there have also been reports of a black flying object that produces light, which might be the accurate explanation for why people believe these lights originate from UFOs. Ivar Kaal, a Norwegian photographer, believes that “some of the villagers have hopes of making some money from UFO tourism.” Kaal says that these villagers attempted to open a small gift shop, but it had to close, which led the souvenirs to be available at local pubs. While these lights have the ability to capture many people’s attention, Kvaal is more interested in understanding how these lights have affected the community members of Hessdalen.

Multiple research projects and technologies have been created with the goal of obtaining more information about the Hessdalen Lights, the first of them being “Project Hessdalen” by Dr. Erling Strand, which began in 1985. Next, the first scientific congress was held to discuss the Hessdalen Lights, and the pictures and sightings which were provided as evidence allowed the phenomenon to receive the attention and recognition it deserved. Finally, the EMBLA program was started with the hopes of bringing scientists and students together to research more about the unexplained phenomena of the Hessdalen Lights. As of today, there are still a large number of scientists, both local and international, that continue to devote their time to researching the Hessdalen Lights. Hopefully, as technology evolves, we will become more knowledgeable about this phenomenon.


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