• Home Page
  • UFO Topics
  • UFO Photos
  • UFO Cases
  • Sighting Reports
  • Report a Sighting


The Physical Study of Atmospheric Luminous Anomalies and the SETV Hypothesis

Massimo Teodorani, Ph.D., 3rd World Symposium on Space Exploration and Life in Cosmos (2002)

original source |  fair use notice

Summary: The work-hypothesis named SETV predicts that exogenous vehicles and/or probes may have reached the Solar System too, including Earth. The possible presence of probes of possible extraterrestrial origin on our planet may be ascertained by using a network of sensing stations which are placed in critical areas. One of them is the norwegian area of Hessdalen, where the two scientific explorative missions of “Project EMBLA” have carried out measurements which demonstrate the existence of all the anomalies of the luminous phenomenon which is present there.

Massimo Teodorani, Ph.D.
CNR - Istituto di Radioastronomia / Radiotelescopi di Medicina
Via Gobetti 101 - 40129 Bologna (Italia) / E-mail : mteo@linenet.it

Contribution presented at the:
3° World Symposium on Space Exploration and Life in Cosmos
on the theme:
EuroSETI: Extraterrestrial Intelligences from SETI to SETV
San Marino 8-9 March 2002

ABSTRACT. On the basis of statistical calculations on galactic migration which bring the necessity of insertion of a new parameter inside the Drake formula, the work-hypothesis named SETV predicts that exogenous vehicles and/or probes may have reached the Solar System too, including Earth. The technology which is now available is able to allow sensing operations both in the extreme borders of the solar system and on our own planet. The possible presence of probes of possible extraterrestrial origin on our planet may be ascertained by using a network of sensing stations which are placed in critical areas. One of them is the norwegian area of Hessdalen, where the two scientific explorative missions of “Project EMBLA” have carried out measurements which demonstrate the existence of all the anomalies of the luminous phenomenon which is present there. At present nothing proves scientifically that our planet is being visited by alien intelligences, nevertheless the remarkable peculiarity which was learnt in some areas of recurrence demonstrate that the verified phenomenology, of extreme importance for fundamental physics, presents characteristics which deserve a further investigation with highly sophisticated instrumentation.


In the general context of the SETI project a new branch named SETV (Search for Extraterrestrial Visitation) was born and recently developed. This research is aimed at studying, by using the well-experimented methods of official physical science, the possible evidence of the visitation of probes, probably of robotic type, of exogenous origin inside our solar system [1, 15, 17, 19, 20, 24]. The SETV strategy is devoted to the monitoring of the entire solar system inside a sphere with a radius of 50 astronomical units with Earth in its center [17]. The use of space satellites equipped with specific detectors such as high-sensitivity infrared CCD cameras, coupled with ground-based stations such as radars and radiotelescopes connected with multichannel spectrum analyzers, wide-field and low-aperture optical telescopes (for search) and high-aperture optical telescopes (for analysis), may allow researchers to establish the possible evidence of anomalies associated with low-luminosity exogenous probes, possibly of the “Dyson sphere” type too, which are presumably located, according to predictions, in energetically favourables zones such as the Earth-Moon libration points, the asteroidal belt, the Moon and the circumlunar and circumterrestrial orbits [2, 3, 5, 10, 12]. This specific aspect of the research, already known as SETA (Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts) is justified by statistical calculations of “galactic migration” which, based on the addition of a new parameter to the Drake formula, predict that our galaxy may have been colonized in a time lapse of the order of one million years and that the Earth itself may have been visited numerous times since the arrival of homo sapiens [11, 25]. On the basis of physical theories derived from general relativity it is also possible that ET civilizations of superior level may be able to use space-time tunnels such as “wormholes” [9]: this would shorten a lot the time of travel.

Even if it is generally aknowledged that at present no scientific proofs exist that Earth has been visited de facto, the SETV project considers also the possibility to monitor Earth with proper instrumentation [17, 20]. The possible presence on Earth of explorative devices of possible exogenous origin, would appear necessarily like anomalies in our atmosphere, which might be characterized by luminous phenomena in case, in the skies of some areas of Earth. On the basis of this work-hypothesis a network of instrumented sensing stations (both automatic and not) is planned to be implemented in the next future to be placed in specific areas of Earth where anomalous atmospheric events are reported very often. Instruments such as small telescopes of both photometric and spectroscopic type coupled with high quantum-efficiency CCD detectors, sensors operating in the near infrared and near ultraviolet wavelength windows, detectors of high-energy events (X and Gamma), radio spectrum analyzers operating both in the ultra-low frequencies (ELF-ULF) and in the microwaves (UHF), magnetometers and radars for searching and tracking any target, are intended to be used as a basic instrumentation. About 30 of the areas of Earth where such kind of anomalies are present in a recurrent way, have been identified indeed. The norwegian area of Hessdalen is the most important of them [16, 22], where since 1984 visual, magnetometric, radar and radiometric recordings have been carried out, and where an automatic sensing station is operational since 1998, being it equipped with several types of wide-field and zoom CCD cameras and a radar, able to record in real time the apparition of anomalous luminous phenomena. Such phenomena behave in a multiform way, show to have a long duration (up to 2 hours) and produce sometimes an enormous emission of energy (up to 1 MW).


The huge amount of data which were acquired in 15 years by the norwegian group known as “Project Hessdalen”, has justified the execution of two italian scientific explorative missions (EMBLA 2000 and 2001) ) [4, 8, 21, 23], in the ambit of an italian-norwegian academic collaboration which is working since 1994. These expeditions, such as the ones which are planned for the next future, are aimed at obtaining the physical parameters of the phenomenon, or on the other hand at trying to understand the physics on which the phenomenon is based and the causes which trigger it. The main goal of the expeditions consists in testing experimentally the highest number as possible of the well-grounded physical theories of natural kind which are known so far (such as: piezoelectricity, solar activity, magnetic monopoles, mini black holes), which are able to explain the phenomenon [6, 13, 14, 18, 26], but the “SETV hypothesis” is taken into account as well as a possible corollary of the involved problem. Apart from the fanciful constructions of current popular diffusion, on which however sound mythopoietic researches of academic level have been carried out [7], no clear evidences that the Hessdalen phenomenon is due to extraterrestrial visitation exist at present. Nevertheless, even if the causes which produce the luminous phenomen are still unknown, after the EMBLA 2000 and 2001 missions a very circumstantial phenomenological scenario has come out, expecially if one considers that such a phenomenon has been continuously monitored for two months, with a strict link with the norwegian automatic station, by obtaining results mainly with VLF spectrometers, video images, photographs, and low-dispersion spectra.

The obtained results [8, 21, 23] show that the considered phenomenon presents sometimes prominent physical anomalies and a high degree of self-sustentation from the energetic point of view. All this appears from the following surveys: 1) a high level of atmospheric electrification has been recorded in the entire Hessdalen valley, in form of kind of globular lightnings which are reported everywhere, both in the sky and on the ground; 2) a phenomenology exists which is able to produce doppler-type signals in the very low frequencies (VLF) with velocity up to 100.000 km/sec, an evidence which, on the basis of an ad-hoc model, might be interpreted as the presence of high-energy particles which are accelerated and collimated by a magnetic field with cylindrical symmetry whose axis is misaligned in comparison with the rotation axis of a strongly rotating body; 3) the luminous phenomenon itself is openly constituted of many subordinate spheroids which seem to vibrate around a common barycenter, some of which are clearly ejected from the central body; 4) the phenomenon is able to change shape and color in a very short time (of the order of seconds), by showing irregular pulsations continuously and for a long time lapse (up to 30 minutes). In particular, the phenomenon, even if it maintans a non-solid feature, is sometimes able to show sharply geometric shapes too (rectangular, mostly); 5) from a physical point of view, it has been possible to demonstrate both spectroscopically and photometrically that the luminous phenomenon behaves like a thermal plasma with a temperature around 6500 °K, with a Planck-type spectrum and a consistent overlap of emission lines of nebular type; 6) it has been ascertained that the photometric variability is due to an approximately isothermal plasma but with drastic variations of the radiating surface; 7) low-luminosity events showing clear structural features (such as triangles and ellipsoids, in particular) have been sometimes recorded, just as an apparent overlap with the phenomenology which is more typically characterized by light-spheroids without any solid structure.

Two main physical peculiarities have triggered our attention. A) The phenomenon’s luminosity increases only because of the increase of the radiating surface and not because of any changes of the temperature, which remains approximately constant without any observed cooling effect. All this has suggested that the involved plasma may be confined inside a very strong magnetic field and that the approximately globular shape of the plasmoids is due to a sort of “central force” which simulates gravity and which gives the plasmoids the shape of a “mini-star”. The existence of magnetic perturbations which are associated to the luminous phenomenon has been demonstrated indeed [16, 22]. There is no doubt from the recorded data, that the phenomenon possesses characteristics of self-regulation from an energetic point of view, and so far it is not possible to identify a mechanism of natural origin which is able to act spontaneously with such a surprising efficiency. B) A slight (about 5%) but significant part of the recorded objects does not show any plasma signature, in this case a clear signature which is typical of uniformly illuminated solids has been diagnosed. This is immediately ascertainable by studying the light distribution by using simple PSF (Point Spread Function) software techniques. The PSF of a plasma shows a typical exponential or gaussian trend, while the one of uniformly illuminated solids shows a sharply linear trend.

A fundamental result which was ascertained directly on the field during two intensive scientific missions, is just that the Hessdalen phenomenology is characterized by two well-distinguished aspects: I) the very most part of luminous apparently immaterial orbs for which an external plasma appearance has been ascertained, but with highly anomalous characteristics both thermodynamically and morphologically, II) a slender but significant minority of objects which possess sharp characteristics of solidity. This double way in which the learnt phenomenology appears can be interpreted only in two alternative ways: or like an overlap of two phenomena with sharply different characteristics, or like two sharply different behaviours of the same phenomenon. Anyway it must be reminded that, by assuming that the second option is taken into account, well-known laws of radiation physics say very clearly that the instrumental verification of the plasma nature of a given phenomenon, is not sufficient to demonstrate that the phenomenon is a plasma entirely, but only that his external surface (or: photosphere) behaves like a plasma which, by its nature, is able to hide all what exists inside it, as any photon coming from the interior should be immediately absorbed or scattered by the cloud of ions and electrons which are located in the external region, which in its turn is the only one which can be monitored instrumentally. In order to try to penetrate inside the plasma cloud, during the next missions, an “imaging radar” is planned for use, together with a high-resolution spectrograph [1] able to furnish a much more precise quantitative description of the plasma photosphere of the phenomenon


Since the first field-observation in Hessdalen (EMBLA 2000) it has been possible to learn that, together with a big majority of lights of the “plasmoid type”, structured objects were present too: at first a triangle of lights, then a low-luminosity egg-like translucid object [21]. During the second field-observation (EMBLA 2001) something similar to a flattened ellipsoid was recorded [23]. All these specific evidences of “structured targets” do not demonstrate at all, of course, that Hessdalen is subject to ET visitation. On the contrary it is even more reasonable to suspect that the governments which are at present possibly experimenting flying devices working with “exotic tecnology”, would choose locations just like Hessdalen in order to work with no disturb by putting into practice the best of the camouflages. The co-existence of anomalous lights of possible natural origin linked to the territory and of flying machines born from some mind of the “Skunk Works” might permit to some government to operate in total secret by letting the public opinion believe that Hessdalen is a alien basis. Therefore, the fact that some “structured events” in Hessdalen were recorded by EMBLA, is not a proof that Earth is visited by exogenous probes. Nevertheless this possibility in itself, as a pure work-hypothesis, is not at all excluded by official science, and it is included inside the plans (introduced before) of the SETV project. As it has been said, Earth may be reached in several ways which are canonically accepted. In order that this possibility may be proved or confuted, it is necessary to expand of at least an order of magnitude, both the sophistication and the completenesse of the sensing instrumentation.


The author wants to thank the Italian Committee for Project Hessdalen [4] for the sound support which was given to the EMBLA 2000 and EMBLA 2001 missions.


[1] Ansbro E. & Overhauser C. (2001) ’SETV: Opportunity for european initiative in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence’, Conf. Proc. on “First European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology”, 21-23 May 2001, ESRIN, Frascati (Rome), Italy, ESA SP-496, pp. 285-288.

[2] Arkhipov A. V. (1998) ‘Earth-Moon System as a Collector of Alien Artifacts’, JBIS, 51, p. 181.

[3] Cameron W. S. (1991) ‘Lunar Transient Phenomena’, Sky & Telescope, March 1991, p. 265.

[4] Comitato Italiano Per Il Progetto Hessdalen (CIPH), http://www.itacomm.net/PH/

[5] Freitas R.A. & Valdes F. (1980) ‘A Search for Natural or Artificial Objects Located at the Earth-Moon Libration Points’, Icarus, 42, p. 442.

[6] Fryberger D. (1997), ‘A Model for Ball Lightning’, ØIH Rapport, n. 5, Høgskolen i Østfold (Norway), pp. 1-82.

[7] Genovese S. (2001), UFO: Complessità ed Anomalie di un Mito (UFO: Complexities and Anomalies of a Myth), Edizioni Segno.

[8] Gori F. (2001) ‘Hessdalen EMBLA 2001: VLF Radio Report and some further proposals for the next Missions’, CIPH, Articoli, http://www.itacomm.net/PH/

[9] Maccone C. (1995) ‘Interstellar Travel Through Magnetic Wormholes’, JBIS, 48, p. 453.

[10] Matloff G. L. (1994) ‘On the Detectability of Several Varieties of Low-Energy Starships’, JBIS, 47, p. 17.

[11] Newman W. I. & Sagan C. (1981), ‘Galactic Civilizations: Population Dynamics and Interstellar Diffusion’, Icarus, 46, p. 293.

[12] Papagiannis M. D. (1983) ‘The Importance of Exploring the Asteroid Belt’, Acta Astronautica, Vol. 10, n. 10, p. 709.

[13] Persinger M. A., The Tectonic Strain Theory as an Explanation of UFO, http://laurentian.ca/NEUROSCI/TECTONIC.HTM

[14] Rabinowitz M. (2001), ‘n-Dimensional Gravity: Little Black Holes, Dark Matter, and Ball Lightning’, Int. J. Theor. Phys., 40, p. 875.

[15] SETV (A Scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Visitation), http://www.setv.org/

[16] Strand E.P., “Project Hessdalen”, http://hessdalen.hiof.no/

[17] Stride S. L. (2001) ‘An Instrument-Based Method to Search for Extraterrestrial Interstellar Robotic Probes’, JBIS, 54, No. 1/2, p. 2.

[18] Teodorani M. & Strand E.P. (1998), ‘Experimental methods for studying the Hessdalen phenomenon in the light of the proposed theories: a comparative overview’, ØIH Rapport, n. 5, Høgskolen i Østfold (Norway), pp. 1-93.

[19] Teodorani M. (2000) ‘Physical Data Acquisition and Analysis of Possible Flying Extraterrestrial Probes by using Opto-Electronic Devices’, Extraterrestrial Physics Review, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 32-37.

[20] Teodorani M. (2001), ‘Instrumented Search for Exogenous Robotic Probes on Earth’, Conf. Proc. on “First European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology”, 21-23 May 2001, ESRIN, Frascati (Rome), Italy, ESA SP-496, pp. 379-381.

[21] Teodorani M., Montebugnoli S. & Monari J. (2000) ‘The EMBLA 2000 Mission in Hessdalen’, NIDS, Articles, http://www.nidsci.org/articles/articles1.html#teodorani

[22] Teodorani M. & Strand E.P. (2001) ‘Data Analysis of Anomalous Luminous Phenomena in Hessdalen’, ICPH, Articles, http://www.itacomm.net/PH

[23] Teodorani M., Strand E.P. & Hauge B.G. (2001), ‘EMBLA 2001: The Optical Mission’, ICPH, Articles, http://www.itacomm.net/PH

[24] Teodorani M. (2002) ‘Le Strategie per il SETV e la Ricerca di Vita Intelligente Esogena sul Pianeta Terra’, in Appendice di libro “Intelligenze Extraterrestri” (Pinotti R.). In stampa.

[25] Walters et al. (1980) ‘Interstellar Colonization: A New Parameter for the Drake Equation?’, Icarus, 41, p. 193.

[26] Zou You-Suo (1995) ‘Some Physical Considerations for Unusual Atmospheric Lights Observed in Norway’, Physica Scripta, Vol. 52, 1995, p. 726.

Contribution presented at the:
3° World Symposium on Space Exploration and Life in Cosmos
on the theme: EuroSETI: Extraterrestrial Intelligences from SETI to SETV
San Marino 8-9 March 2002

Read more articles on this topic:

Project Hessdalen (Hessdalen Lights)