The picture from Mora

By Clas Svahn

Look carefully at the picture above. It looks like a big moon above the tree tops, but it is something quite different. The moon itself wasn't even up when the picture was taken. Many experts have examined the picture without finding any explanation. They have only been able to tell what it cannot be.

There are many photos of unknown flying objects. The flying hubcap near Skillingaryd in 1971, the glowing cone over Gällivare in 1972 and the black hat over Värnamo in 1974 are good examples. They created excitement and interest in the subject of UFOs in Sweden in the beginning of the seventies. But eventually most of them have been exposed as hoaxes or explained as natural phenomena.

The film strip that UFO Sweden used in the middle of the seventies cannot be used to day. Most observations, around 90 percent, are explained sooner or later. That goes for the photos as well. The Research institute of the Swedish MoD FOA has over the years received several pictures of UFOs. But to this day only one series of photos has survived all explanation attempts. The two pictures taken by Nils Frost in Mora on 15 September 1952 are still unexplained and the motifs are classified as genuine UFOs.

One of the pictures shows two objects against the dark night sky somewhat above the tree tops. One object seems closer to the photographer than the other. A laboratory analysis has shown that a perfectly round object like a miniature sun is hidden at the centre of the bright light.

- When I arrived home at 11.30 pm I noticed a bright light above the horizon to the north, says Nils Frost. It was yellow and moved slowly across the sky. Not a sound could be heard. It looked so peculiar that I rushed in and woke up mother and father though it was late at night. While he woke his parents, Nils also fetched his camera. In the yard he took two pictures of the strange object while the whole family stood watching. The father soon went back to bed, but Nils and his mother stayed in the yard. For at least ten minutes they could see the glowing objects very slowly glide across the sky before they faded in the east.

After some time the pictures were thoroughly analysed by captain Per Sundh and major Bror von Vegesack at the Air defence division of the General staff. They were both experienced UFO investigators and they took the observation of Nils Frost very seriously. Quite soon the investigators established that there had been no aircraft in the air above Mora on the night in question. The photo expert von Vegesack concluded that the light from the large object had been strong enough to illuminate the few surrounding clouds and even to damage the film in the camera. The Stockholm observatory also analysed the pictures and came to the conclusion that the object definitely could not have been an astronomical phenomenon, that is the moon, a planet, star, meteor or comet. The picture was also sent to Hannes Alfvén, Noble prize winner and expert on plasma physics, but he failed to identify the source of light. He concluded in his report, that "the light phenomenon does not resemble anything that we have seen or experienced before".

Since there were no satellites in orbit yet, only a few explanations remained to the investigators. Maybe Nils Frost had caught some kind of ball lightning or other electrical phenomenon on film. But this theory didn't hold either. Professor Harald Norinder from the High tension research institute in Uppsala was convinced that it "could not be any kind of electric light phenomenon".

Major von Vegesack also considered the possibility that the whole thing was a fake but concluded that such a hoax would be extremely difficult to pull off. And Nils Frost has never backed an inch from his story. If you study the pictures closely you can notice some interesting details. On the large photo the smaller object is behind the edge of the forest (the tree tops hide the lower part of the light aura) and much further away than the larger object. It is difficult to discern any details within the small light.

The larger object is easier to handle. I had the core of the large light phenomenon overexposed (I was able to borrow the original negatives) in a photo laboratory. The result showed an oblong, clearly defined and strongly shining object. Though probably the object is round. Due to the long exposure time (1/5 of a second) Frost could not keep the camera quite still. This has led to some kind of double exposure. This presumption is corroborated by picture number two, where the camera apparently has been held in a more fixed position. There we can see a round object, but no details. The light is quite simply too strong.

In a memo written on 19 July 1954 captain Kurt Johansson of the General staff describes a number of explained UFO cases, but he also mentions two unsolved observations. One of them is Nils Frost's photos. Nothing has changed since that day. They say that a picture tells more than a thousand words. It is too bad that Nils Frost's pictures cannot talk...

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