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Light in the sky over Norway, see at 7:50 am local time. Photo: Jan Petter Jørgensen via Vaeret

What was the Norway Spiral?

9 Dec , 2009

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Just what created the big blue spiral in the sky over Norway in the early morning hours of Dec. 9, 2009? Time traveling Borgs? Psychedelic aliens? Most likely, it was something much more terrestrial and much more boring. Many reports say it was the failed launch of a Russian rocket, probably a Bulava ICBM, a problem-plagued Russian missile that reportedly had several test launches scheduled. Although Russian officials haven’t confirmed this (and in fact one official denied there was any rocket launch in the area) an anonymous Russian military source said it actually was failed launch from a submarine in the White Sea early Wednesday morning.

UPDATE (Dec. 10): Russia has finally admitted a missile accident with the Bulava ICBM. This rocket already has failed six of 13 previous tests, according to the BBC, so Russia might have been a little embarrassed about it.


In what seems to confirm a rocket launch, yesterday, a message from NAVTEX was issued message warning airplanes not to fly, and ships not to sail in that area:

ZCZC FA79
031230 UTC DEC 09
COASTAL WARNING ARKHANGELSK 94
SOUTHERN PART WHITE SEA
1.ROCKET LAUNCHING 2300 07 DEC TO 0600 08 DEC
09 DC 0200 TO 0900 10 DEC 0100 TO 0900
NAVIGATION PROHIBITED IN AREA

Additionally, a researcher at the Tromsø Geophysical Observatory (where they observe auroras) Truls Lynne Hansen is certain that the light was caused by a missile launch. “The missile has probably come out of control and exploded,” Hansen was quoted in the Barents Observer. “The peculiar spiral shaped light pattern comes from reflection of the sun in the leaking fuel.”
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Visible in the images and videos is the sunlight just beginning to peek over the horizon which would have back-lit the fuel.

Another launch on November 1 also caused strange light phenomenon in northern parts of Norway, although not as spectacular as the one today. It also caused speculation as to the cause, but it came from the launch of a Sineva missile from the nuclear submarine in the White Sea.

Doug Ellison from UnmannedSpaceflight.com has created a video (updated and improved from his earlier version we had in our previous article) showing the morphology of a tumbling rocket stage throwing out unspent fuel in two directions. “This is a set of rendered views using 3DS Max to produce a coarse simulation of what may have occurred to produce the beautiful formation in the sky over Norway earlier today,” he said. “It is not an ‘official’ answer, though. It looks beautiful, but there’s probably a fairly ordinary explanation.”

Other explanations?

Here are just a few that were emailed to me today:

Aurora: Not likely. No aurora has ever taken on this shape.

Birkeland Current: Again, not likely. A Birkeland Current a magnetic field aligned current in the Earth’s magnetosphere which flows from the magnetotail towards the Earth on the dawn side and in the other direction on the dusk side of the magnetosphere. Birkeland currents often show filamentary, or twisted “rope-like” magnetic structure, and they create the aurora Borealis and Australis when they reach the upper atmosphere.

Poisk module: This Russian module undocked from the International Space Station yesterday, and a employee at Boeing said the module would have had unspent fuel which would have been released on reentry. However, the timing doesn’t seem to be right as to when it would have burned up the in the atmosphere.

Projection: There has been some talk this was just a projection on the sky. However, the phenomenon was seen in a wide area, meaning such a projection would have to be huge. Again, not likely.

This Chinese video was posted to You Tube in in April 2009, and it shows the same spiral formation in the sky. Since it is in Chinese, it is hard to know what they are talking about, but it appears to be a television show talking about UFO’s, and something that happened 20 or more years ago. Just posted for reference:

Sources: Barents Observer, Navtex

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Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Aqua4U
Member
December 9, 2009 3:38 PM

SpaceWeather.com posted several videos and stills of this event. The accompanying storyline stated that the Russians are denying it was one of their rocket tests gone bad. Kind of typical that they’d prefer not to admit a boo-boo…?

Silver Thread
Member
Silver Thread
December 9, 2009 3:59 PM

Regardless of the cause, the outcome is pretty.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
December 9, 2009 4:11 PM

Now they have done it, they fired up the LHC and created the black hole. LOL

Olaf
Member
Olaf
December 9, 2009 4:17 PM

The most likely explanations in indeed a rocket rotating around itself.

Note: on the photo the spiral seems huge but this is because you zoomed in very much. The same effect is when you get when you have a person on a mountain very far and you zoom in so you get the Moon blown out of proportion so the an seems to be very small compared to the moon.

Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
December 9, 2009 4:30 PM

Possible explanations emailed to Nancy: “Birkeland Current: Again, not likely…..”

Wonder who sent that? Surprisingly, one commenter at one of the Norwegian papers seemed insistent the this was indeed a Birkeland Current and mentioned some z-pinch mechanism (this was via Google Translate)! Given Norway’s scientific history I can see why there may be some connection, but my first thought was “Norway’s got ’em too!” smile

Dr.X
Member
Dr.X
December 9, 2009 6:38 PM

– Cant be UFO,
– Russians denying the cause…thats a given,
– If man can create that same spiral (AKA Leaking Fuel) in the skies for even 1 sec: Not UFO,
– If man cant make a replica of that event: UFO.

[Remember]: Us humans cant do what UFO’s do

1234
Member
1234
December 9, 2009 11:53 PM

Hoax because the light started from the ground

hcvslayer
Member
hcvslayer
December 10, 2009 12:46 AM

Not too complicated, a dihedral ray sent through a newform tesla coil – energy through copper or other alloy compound pyramid, base at edge of tesla coil point, point of pyramid to your point of aim.. charged dihedral ray point of ignition in atmoshere..you guess charge and combustion or action phase. Make these smaller, more powerful ( right charge and right alloy) mount in back of ford f350, batteries and generator, solar rechargeable, mobile artillery for the poor…jez kidding…dihedral ray, it is obvious the f$&^% govt finally figgered it out only bigger. I can figger it out as can you, there really is nothing new under the sun…love rudy

Herbert44
Member
Herbert44
December 10, 2009 1:03 AM

How about an aurora?
“THEMIS ground-space observations during the development of auroral spirals.” http://www.ann-geophys.net/27/4317/2009/

ivar
Member
ivar
December 10, 2009 10:18 AM

I saw the spiral at 13.00(GTM) today over Astana(capital of Kazakhstan). The rocket still flies?

aspaceyguy
Member
aspaceyguy
December 10, 2009 10:21 AM

Well, at best one could make a guess of sorts. I don’t believe for a second it is a ‘missile’ in any way let alone one gone wrong.
My best guess, is it is a planetary defense test. Either for a CME’s or inbound ‘meteors etc’. Perhaps both. The HAARP effects(visual) we have seen for example are not unlike this in scope and intensity and beauty. This event just looks more ‘directed and focused’. Keep up the good work SpaceCommand! wink

Olaf
Member
Olaf
December 10, 2009 11:57 AM

@Jon Hanford,

Oh no!
The one that proposed the Birkeland Current will now be laughed at in Norway too!

cipater
Member
December 10, 2009 12:52 PM

How is testing ICBMs okay? I figured that some sort of arms agreement would prohibit that. Didn’t folks get all riled up when the US tested anti-missile stuff? But it’s okay to test ICBMs?

Or is there some other use for “ICBMs” other than delivering nuclear warheads? In that case, why call them ICBMs? razz

hcvslayer
Member
hcvslayer
December 10, 2009 2:08 PM

President Obama arrived in Norway last night or today…..

dketcheson
Member
dketcheson
December 10, 2009 2:21 PM

I don’t understand any Chinese, but from the tone of voice of the narrator behind the Chinese video, I would guess he’s saying something like “UFO or rocket gone out of control? You be the judge!”

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
December 10, 2009 2:37 PM

Oooh, pretty!

Us humans cant do what UFO’s do

The problem is that they do nothing. UFO ideas have been tested and falsified, no observations as these ideas predict.

How is testing ICBMs okay?

Wasn’t there an exception for submarine weapons? The loophole then, I guess, is that there are “international waters” to fuzzify the responsible nation question.

novadoba
Member
novadoba
December 10, 2009 4:01 PM

This is a “UFO-star ” that heralds the coming of Maitreya. Check out Share-international.org for many videos of the “star”.

robrecord
Member
robrecord
December 10, 2009 6:44 PM

ivar,

>> I saw the spiral at 13.00(GTM) today over Astana(capital of Kazakhstan). The rocket still flies?

I would be very interested to hear your account.

ivar
Member
ivar
December 11, 2009 8:17 AM

Many people in russian city Ufa,Perm,Tcheliabinsk saw it yesterday. ,,, I observed how the spiral moved to me from the sky,,,about 60-70 degrees over horisont from west side.This lasted several seconds, but was such- as in norway.

ivar
Member
ivar
December 11, 2009 8:31 AM

official version says that it was a second russian rocket which started from firing range Kapustin Yar in northern Astrachan area(Russia) and fell on the Sary Shagan firing range(Kazakhstan.near western shore of Balkhash like). But Sary Shagan situated southward from Astana on 600 km,, the flight path is very strange if you look on map.

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