A few years ago, as I became more interested in serious, sober UFO research, I quickly learned that there were very few public attempts to utilize the scientific method to study the unknown. Even worse, it became clear that there was apparently a vested interest in steering the narrative and stifling attempts to garner the funding needed for genuine research. There was, however, a shining light in the dismal world of pushing boundaries. That beacon of light emanated from a small, blue shipping container perched atop a hill in the Hessdalen Valley in central Norway. That light also emanated from the brave and committed researchers involved in Project Hessdalen, the world's most advanced and progressive attempt to study anomalous light phenomena.
As I studied previous research and fostered relationships with other like-minded individuals, I was shocked to learn that virtually no one in the U.S. understood the importance of Project Hessdalen. At this point that I made it my mission to travel to Hessdalen to document the study and to learn from not only Professor Erling Strand (one of the researchers instrumental in the founding of this scientific project 35 years ago) but also the witnesses and students at Otsfold College, who man the station and assist in the research. In October of 2017, I made the journey to Hessdalen, packing my video cameras and other recording equipment. I am now sharing this work with you in the hope that you will learn that science can and must be utilized to study the unknown and to introduce you to witnesses and researchers who have worked together to change the way that the world looks at anomalous phenomena.
In October of 2017, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jon Arvid with the help of Erling Strand.
Mr. Arvid has lived in the Hessdalen Valley his entire life and graciously shared his experiences with the Hessdalen Phenomena.
Special thank to Tomas Dahl for translating this interview
"Hmm, now I have to start counting. It was February 82. I'm born in 36 so you can start counting haha. 46 years, that's right."
"Haha, yes. That's a long story because that's when we saw 4 of them with Åge (Moe) and Bjarne (LIllevold). We saw 4 of them at the same time. We were on these mountains further in (points towards west). There we saw 3 which were on the ground or looked to be on the ground. Completely calm. not moving. Then the one in the middle started to move and switched place with one of them. After they stood there for a while, one of them went straight up and stood up there for a while, about 100 meters up in the air. All of sudden the light became very strong and shot right up. Then another light came down and took it's place. The light that went straight up, flattened out and came right above us where we stood. We were 3 persons who drove snowmobiles in the mountains. And when it was right over us, the Moon was about to come up. Then the moonlight reflected the object which took off."
Question 3:03 (Where you frightened? )
"No no, I wasn't scared. But I didn't sleep too well when I got back home. Not because I was scared but I was wondering what in the world had we seen!
Because the 3 lights we saw on the ground, we watched them for almost 45 minutes. One of them had luminous particles around it, similar to headlights that people wear today. We were on a distance about 4 kilometers and the lights were in the next valley from us. But we had binoculars we used to watch it."
Question 4:03 (Did you tell anyone?)
"Oh yes. Of course we did. Because at that time it wasn't a "secret" anymore as many other people had seen something too. So that was ok. The reason for us to go further into the mountains was because there was a lot of people that were gathered on this field up here (...refers to the field "Aspåskjølen" AKA "the plateau" where many many people gathered every night. They even set up a hot-dog stand up there) at night to see if they could see anything. But everytime we arrived up there, we were either too late or we went home too early so that the others saw it after we had gone home. That was the reason why we went further into the mountains to see if we could see anything there."
Question 04:58 (How soon after did you have another sighting?)
"It happened pretty quickly after the first one. Maybe no more than 2-3 days. I was up at the field "the plateau" and watched it. There I saw the "classic" sighting, it came from the south and headed north. Slowly passed us. It was usually what happened whenever you were at "the plateau", it coming from the south and headed north. But many times...when it came, it stopped in mid air...then an airplane showed up...the light turned off/disappeared...when the airplane had passed the light came back on. So it looks like it is being controlled in some sorts..."
Question 6:18 (How did that affect you? )
"No...I wasn't really affected by it. Can't say I was affected by it. But since we saw it in front of the mountains and things like like that, every now and then I went alone on skis and it would be nice to try and get close to it...and watch it from a close distance. So a lot of nights I went alone on skis to see if I could see it but I was never that lucky.
Question 07:06 (Were you ever criticised)
"Oh yes!!! Many times! (laughing) At that time I was working in Røros, in a factory that made car windows. There was an engineer who worked there...now this had reached the media and he made fun of us almost every day for a period of time. But one time I talked to him, he asked "those lights you are seeing, are you sure it's not somebody who is staying in a snow cave, who have lights in the snow cave? " That could very well be I replied, unless you have seen a snow cave going straight up in the air (laughing). So...yes there was a lot of that. It wasn't easy in the beginning... (you can see reacting to it)
Question 09:11 (Different sightings/what did they look like)
"Well yes...there were different sightings but not that many. Some of them had the shape of an egg with almost a flat bottom. But there were some that looked like a cigar...they looked longer. And with that one I had an experience together with another person, who has written a book about it (probably reffering to Arne Wisth or Leif Havik). We noticed a cigar that was flying/moving, then it stopped and lowered the back end and went very close to the ground where there was snow. After a while it went back up and when it reached a certain height, it flattened out and "pppttthh" and went away (smiles and laughs)
Question 10:35 (What was your first thought, did you ever feel threatened)
"No no no, I never felt that. Never. Because if they were up too no good, they would have done it a long time ago because there were so much of it. (Erling responds "yes)
Question 11:08 (Did you ever feel it was a good thing)
"No...but I have to say after everything I have seen I have to believe that there is some kind of intelligence in it. I'm sure of it because there were so many things that seemed to have intelligence behind it, maybe they had some kind of communication with each other. Another experience people have had is that it turned a light on towards the ground...really big spotlights that lit up the ground...I have seen it. And that was...it was absolutely amazing (shaking his head) It was.
Question 12:30 (Spotlight/what did you feel they were looking for)
(shaking his head) "No...I have absolutely no idea. If I knew we'd come a far way. I have to say that in the beginning after we saw it (probably reffering to sighting in the mountains with 4 lights) I thought it had some kind of military connection. Absolutely something to do with the military. Because at the same time that this was starting to happen, when it happened a lot, they opened up the "Hove Senter" in Haltdalen. (some kind of military base/camp) That opened up the same month. That's why I thought it could have something to do with spy equipment or such.
Question 14:22 (About other sightings)
Well...I have seen it many times, I sure have. But there was one special sighting when I got pretty close to it. It was me and son. We got really close.
But that was down in Ålen. We could see it coming right above our heads in the forest where we were and we could see the structure detalis and everything on it.
I have heard of others that have seen things very similar to this. But it was a solid structure with four feet and the llight we saw came from underneath it.
And the light had a structure that looked similar to a car radiator. Full of small pipes.
Erling: That was like an object?
Yes, that was an object at around 8-9 in the evening, so it was dark and in the winter. We were waiting on snow mobiles up in the hillside near Reitan Stasjon
(train station near Ålen)
Question 16:23 (Did you ever see anything coming out of the object)
"No no no, it just moved very slowly in the air. Maybe 20 km/h or something like that. Not much faster. Maybe about 30-40 meters above our heads."
Question 16:43 (Did you talk to your sister)
(sister is Ruth Mary)
"Yes, she has had a lot of sightings. But no, I'm not sure if I talked to hear about this one. But the last observations I have had is 4 years ago, I must admit I haven't seen anything since then. I was on my way from Røros, late at night. I had been at a Christmas party followed by a concert in the church. So it must have in around 11 at night we drove past Ålen and towards Hessdalen. At the bottom of Hessdalslia (meaning the steep road up to Hessdalen). You know the phone tower (pointing, which is located a bit further north to "the plateau") was lit up. But we didn't see the light source until one of the last turns at the top of Hessdalslia, there we saw a light gliding over the ridge and toward north. It was extremely close to the ground. That is why I didn't see the light source at first because it was so low. There was a little bit of snow but not that bad so we drove up there (this is the road up to "the plateau") to see if we could see anything. But we couldn't see any traces at all in snow or nothing. But it kept moving towards north to Haltdalen.
Question 19:11 (Did you ever find any tracks in other sightings)
"No not really, but there was the sighting up there (pointing towards Rogne mountain) it is said that something landed up there. That lady saw something up there. (Her name is Eli Bendos and she lived at the bottom of Hessdalslia. So she could look up at the north side of Rogne mountain. I believe I have something from the newspapers about this. But she hardly spoke about it afterwards, she didn't want to speak out in the public about it)
We used walkie-talkies and she guided us in the mountainside, there we found tracks. Looked like something had slipped into the soil.
Erling: "And this was right after she had seen this?"
(A bit unclear but I think he is saying that it hadn't been a week since she saw it)
Erling: "Didn't she see something coming out it?"
"Yes, something came out of it and this "creature/alien" was moving similar to them who were on the Moon."
Erling: "And then you went up there to see if there were some traces/tracks left?"
"Yes, we did in fact see traces up there."
Question 21:19 (Did you take any photos of it?)
"No, I didn't . I didn't even have a camera myself back then (smiling) But speaking of cameras, even though a lot of people had cameras they got so fascinated of what they saw that they forgot to use the camera until it was too late.
(I know there were taken pictures of the tracks, because I have seen them. There were also supposedly pictures of a foot print with three toes)
Question 22:00 (Problems with electricity / personal after sighting)
"No no, never had..."
Erling: "You had an observation where the light came right outside your window"
"Yes, yes...I was in my bed sleeping."
Erling: "Can you tell a little about it?"
"Of course, I was in my bedroom sleeping. Then I woke up because I felt it became brighter...and when I saw this light I thought it was the car lights from the neighbour because their road is straight towards my house. But then I noticed the light came from above and lighting up inside and not from the road below.
And then the object came gliding, not far away at all, heading towards north in the valley. It was very bright and had these spotlights on. Very bright light. That woke me up. I watched it as long as possible and it was somewhere here (pointing) that last I saw of it.
Erling: "Did you manage to fall asleep after that?"
"Yes, that was not a problem (laughing)
Erling: "How long did it last? "
"It went really slowly, about 20-30 km/h."
Question 24:43: (How it affected your life in some ways since you started to see this?)
"No, I can't say it has. It has been ok. But it was really exciting in the beginning because we had a an apartment available so everyone borrowed that, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) and many other people. And I spent a lot of time with one of the photographers , I cannot remember the name (here he probably reffers to Jon Gisle Børseth from NRK who took film/photos of the phenomenon). He was really interested in it. He wanted to go into the mountains and look for it. And he got some really nice pictures of it from Finsåhøgda (the beautiful mountain northwest in the valley).
Erling: "NRK was up here and filmed"
"Yes, many times. But the next summer his whole family, wife and kids died in a car accident. (Unclear but he says something about him not being in the valley anymore and he hasn't had any contact with him since.)
Question 27:10 (Has this been a positive thing for you overall?)
"Well, not only positive but it has been both things, more or less. There was a period of time where there was a lot of stress with journalists, movie makers and all that you know. You never had free time...to put it like that. And when you never said "no" in the beginning, then you had it going for a while.
But have you heard about the sheriff that saw this boat burning on Lake Hessjøen? (the lake far south in the valley, very beautiful place)
Erling: "No, you have to tell it"
"Hahaha, well the old sheriff was really interested in this you see. He was the one who got the military up here to see if they could find it and so on.
And he spent a lot of here observing ("the plateau"). But then he told about a cabin at the north side of Hessjøen. When you come down the road towards Hessjøen. They were at this cabin, then they suddenly noticed that a boat was on fire, on a islet. And on the westside of that islet, there was a boat the was on fire. And he thought he should try to do something and get there and help out. But it sank and kept sinking more and more until it was gone, down in the lake.
But no one was missing and no boat was missing or anything. And you know, many years went by and two years ago we got a new hunting-buddy on the moose-hunting team. And me and this person stayed at the same cabin...and his family has a cabin on the opposite side, to the south. And in the evening we started chat about different things and we started talking about UFOs and such. "I have been wondering" he said, "when I was young and stayed at Hessjøen in the eighties. What was it that I saw out there on the lake, it was like a boat was on fire" And he told the exact same story as the sheriff told, only that he saw it from the opposite side of the lake. But they had a boat and they rowed towards it. But they didn't get to it in time, but the water was "boiling" when they got there. It was "bubbles" and they really wondered what that could have been. He is actually in the valley now.
Erling: "He has a cabin at Hessjøen?"
"Yes, it's his grandfather that put up the cabin. That was amazing! And the funny thing is that one person saw it from the north side and the other from the south side. So they had it in between them and they saw the same thing.
Erling: "Didn't you have a daytime observation east of Ålen at one time? Or do I mix it with another observation?
Jon Arvid: "Cannot say I remember that..."
Question 32:35 (What year was that?)
"I'm not sure about that, but I believe it was sometime from the mid to late eighties.
Question 32.49 (How old were you when you had your last sighting?)
"Well, it 4 years ago so I would have been 77 years old."
Question 33:07 (Do you wanna see it again?)
"Yes, I would like to see again. I wouldn't mind seeing it again. I would like to see it and I would like to get even closer to see it. I hope. I'm still out in the evening and night time when the weather is good, to see if I can see something. But you can never make an appointment with it! That's how it is."
Question 34:02 (What has PH meant to you?)
"It means a lot, that's for sure. A lot. I assume the whole thing would have been forgotten without it."
Question 34:46 (What would you tell people that has never seen it?)
"Haha, I'll tell you. This cabin, has been used a lot as a part of a rehab-center in Røros. There are a lot of patients that have been out on a trip and visiting Hessdalen. And they wanted to hear some stories about it. And of course I was the one who ended up with doing it. But what I was planning to tell them, I waited it out until they believed me. Otherwise they would think I was lying...because that's what usually happens. 14 days ago this person was renting my cabin, he was here to hunt. He was a part of a scientist team in Trondheim and we started to talk about the phenomenon. He asked if I had see anything and I started to talk about different observations. And after I had told him different things, he said "now I have to sit down and think about this again before I make up my mind because of what you have told me". Because he had read and heard about it, but never believed in any of it. And I think that it's the same for many others as well. But we just have to accept that it's more between heaven and Earth than we know of.
Question 37:59 (Any other sighting you wanna share?)
"Well, I guess I have covered most of what I have seen. But you know, I have so many observations and I don't always remember all of them at once. But that's how it is."
In the end they talk about that he wish he could speak English better. But he has worked with a lot of people from Scotland and so on.