Contrail casting shadow on cloud over Sweden April 9th 2004.
Photo: Clas Svahn/UFO-Sweden
Compare with A Strange Streak Imaged in Australia

Meteor of great brilliancy over Sweden


Another bright meteor was sighted over the entire southern Sweden at 6:45 PM on 29 December. The meteor was sighted by Arne Lundberg, one of UFO-Sweden's field investigators, in the direction of the church in Dalby, east of Lund.
- The meteor was blue in color and traveled almost parallel to the horizon, Lundberg says. It was visible for more than a second. The same meteor could also be sighted from Misterhult outside of Oskarshamn, Älvängen outside of Kungälv, and Skavsta airport outside of Nyköping. Here is how the observer in Älvängen describes what he saw: "We sighted a large bright ball, sort of like a comet bur much brighter. It traveled quite fast in the sky and disappeared after a few seconds. It looked more or less like a comet but its tail was longer and the light much brighter, it traveled much faster than a comet but not quite as fast as an 'ordinary shooting star'", the observer writes in an e-mail to UFO-Sweden. Air-traffic controller Jonas Olsson of Skavsta airport outside of Nyköping was another witness to the fireball. He describes it as a fireball with smoke that for five seconds traveled from the south to the north.
- At first I thought it was another airplane coming in to land, but when I was unable to make anything out on the radar screen I realized it had to be something else.
The phenomenon could also be seen from Valbo, south of Gävle. A family living between Karlstad and Kristinehamn was able to see the meteor break into four pieces and explode in a white light.
- We could see the treetops light up and heard a rumbling. It felt as if the ground was shaking. I thought it was an airplane going down for a crash, the woman tells UFO-Sweden.

The woman contacted Karlstad airport and was herself later contacted by the emergency service.

The lighted object over Skövde July 10th 1999 Photo: Rolf Wallinder.

The Skövde case

From time to time video pictures of bright triangular objects are shown on TV and investigated by ufologists. Many times the objects are not identified but shown as a true unidentified flying object and even flying saucer. This article shows that these triangles have mundane explanations.

By Clas Svahn

A triangular object filmed over the city of Skövde in central Sweden July 10th 1999 has much to learn UFO investigators. After a lenghty investigation UFO-Sweden's investigators came up with an answer that at first seemed both far fatched and unlikely. Here is the full story of the strange looking craft that nearly defied an explanation.

It was just after ten on the evening of July 10th 1999 when Rolf Wallinder and Britt-Marie Gullberg observed a very bright object from Miss Gullbergs balcony in the western part of Skövde in central Sweden. The sun was still at the northwestern horizon setting in just a couple of minutes when Mr Wallinder first observed the bright object in the southeastern part of the sky. At first he didn't think much about it but soon he realised that this was something out of the ordinary and told Miss Gullberg, who was sitting with her back to the object, to take a look.

- It was very, very bright with sharp edges, says Rolf Wallinder when interviewed a couple of days after the observation. First we thought it to be the landing lights from an approaching aircraft, heading for Skövde airport not far away in the northeast. But after three or four minutes I realised that the object was stationary and hadn't moved a bit. Rolf Wallinder asked Britt-Marie Gullberg to get his video camera that was laying on the floor not far away. He took the camera, a Sony digital camera with 48X zoom lens, turned it to the bright object and started filming right away. Through the lens he could see that the object was more than a bright light; it was triangular with many lights on its rim and a mysterious black dot at the base of the triangle.

- I was lucky to get the triangle in the camera right away, as soon as I started filming, says Rolf Wallinder. After just 7-8 seconds it vanished. Britt-Marie thought she could see it fly to the south at a very high speed after I lost it in the view finder.

When the object was gone Mr Wallinder checked his wrist watch. The time was 10.20 PM. Six days after the observation Rolf Wallinders video was shown on a local TV station (TV4 Skaraborg). The video is eight seconds long and taken in daylight. The lighted triangle was filmed at high digital magnification, which the effect that the picture is divided into separate pixels. When shown on TV these pixels were interpreted as "lights" on a craft. A triangular "shadow" of light could also be seen hanging under the object. UFO-Sweden's investigation started July 19th with interviews with both of the observers. They were consistent in there tellings and there was no doubt that the observation was of a real object. But what kind of object? Through several articles in the local newspapers UFO-Sweden successfully located two additional observers to the event. Both of them made their observations from positions not far from Rolf Wallinder and Britt-Marie Gullberg. This was an important fact. If the object had been luminous or was carrying lights around its rim it should have been spotted from other parts of the city as well. The observers being situated in a narrow line going from the object, to the setting Sun indicated that we could very well be dealing with some kind of reflection on a metallic body.

Four main theories were investigated:
1. That it was a mirage caused by the Sun shining on a aluminium roof far away reflecting on layers of cold air. Data from the meteorological instutite of Sweden (SMHI) showed that this evening was indeed perfect for creating mirages and since a large body of water, Lake Vättern, over which cold air was trapped, was situated to the East of Skövde in line with the observed object, this could very well be the case.
2. A hang glider with a motor travelling over Skövde and reflecting the Sun from its triangular wings. This theory was investigated since at least one such hang glider was observed over Skövde some days before the observation. UFO Sweden investigators contacted more than 50 hang glider pilots in the area with no success in connecting their flights to the time of Rolf Wallinders film.
3. A model airplan reflecting tha Sun. Since Skövde had a club for model airplane flying and their air field was situated in the general direction of the observation we contacted the president who denied that there had been any activity on the 10th of July 1999.
4. A small airplane reflecting the Sun.
Theory number four seemed to be the most interesting.

On January 13th 2000 UFO-Sweden made a film of our own to see if we could recreate the effect seen on the original video sequence. With the help of Lars Hjärnered and Bertil Mattsson at Sony's service department in Spånga outside Stockholm, we tested a camera of exactly the same model as the one used in Skövde. When Lars Hjärnered pointed the camera towards a bright lamp on a building 300-400 metres away, something strange was seen for a fraction of a second. On the TV screen to which tha camera was connected a small perfectly formed triangle was formed from the light from lamp. We continued to film the lamp during out of foucs conditions and now all of us could see the triangle. The similarity to the film from Skövde was not only striking, but exact. To make sure, Lars Hjärnered zoomed in to the light a few more times, now with the camera slightly out of focus. The effect became even clearer. We also did a similar experiment with a different model of camera, with different results. The form of the "object" changed from model to model. And the effect lasted only during the time the camera was set out of focus. At this point we decieded to dismantle to camera. When the Sony technician took the camera apart, it showed that the triangular effect was produced by the shutter. The "ghost" picture - the triangle hanging under the main object - was caused by a transparent ND filter placed in the shutter.


- ND filters, or Neutral Density filters, are used when you are filming in bright light, and at the same time want to use as large aperture as you can, explains Bertil Mattsson. The filter takes away some of the light and allows the aperture to open up. To be certain, we also measured the angles of the triangle on the original film and compared them with the shutter opening. Both were approximately 35 degrees. From this it was clear that the shape of the object on the Skövde film had been caused by the camera, and not by an actual object.

It is important to note that the effect only shows itself when one films a light source without focusing. If in focus no triangle can be seen. When Rolf Wallinder grabbed his camera to film the shining light, his camera's autofocus didn't activate itself. Since he never had the time to adjust the focus manually and immediately saw the object in the lens he started filming right away. When you film directly out into the air, the camera cannot find anything to focus on, so leaves itself in the unfocused position, just as it was when Wallinder first picked it up. Now we had an explanation to why the object looked triangular. But what kind of object hade Rolf Wallinder filmed? With the help of new radar pictures obtained by UFO-Sweden from the Ministry of Defence, one can see a Cessna aircraft moving directly opposite the observers, which is also actually directly opposite the setting sun. The Sun set at 10.25 PM at 320 degrees, which means that for some minutes the observers and the aircraft were almost directly in line with the Sun. A solar reflection on the plane's window would therefore reflect directly at the observers. The pilot was traced thorugh the local air field and an interview with him confirming that the Cessna SE-IIN was flying on this course at this time. The aircraft was painted white which could have helped creating a reflection. Here we should for a moment return to the observers' descriptions of what they saw, and then compare them with the movements of the Cessna: Rolf Wallinder describes how he, for 3-4 minutes, saw a bright light which seemed to hang stationary in the sky in the East (bearing 121 degrees). After he had filmed for 7-8 seconds, the object swung to the right of the observers' position. At approximately 10.21 PM, a small aircraft emerges to the left of the observers and moves towards the area where the triangle was seen. This aircraft then makes a turn to the left towards Skövde airport.

Here follows a description of the private plane's movements:
A Cessna aircraft (SE-IIN) moves on a course 118 degrees towards Northwest at 10.07-10.09 PM (radar picture first begins at 10.07) directly towards the setting sun and directly opposite the observers.
At 10.09 PM the Cessna swings to the right as seen from the observers' position.
At 10.12 PM the Cessna is to the left of the observers and moves in towards the area where the object seemingly pauses.
The plane then swings to the left for some minutes, then lands at Skövde airport.

As we can see the time on Rolf Wallinder's statement does not correspond exactly with the Cessna. There is a time difference of 12 minutes. This makes Mr Wallinder himself reluctant to accept UFO-Sweden's explanation. But all data is pointing in the direction that the object filmed by him was the Cessna SE-IIN heading for Skövde airport. According to radar pictures no other aircraft was in that area during the specified time and SE-IIN was the last aircraft to land on Skövde airport on the evening of the observation. This indicates that the aircraft seen by Mr Wallinder at the end of his observation must have been SE-IIN. Since Mr Wallinder's video was shot a couple of minutes before observing this "unknown" aircraft it is clear after comparing with the radar pictures that the only object flying in the area at that time was SE-IIN. The radar pictures also confirms Mr Wallinders and Miss Gullbergs description of what they have seen. It is common that observeres are mistaken when asked about the exact time for their observation. The problem is often that they do not remember exactly when looking at their watch. In this case it is difficult to say if Rolf Wallinder checked the time after loosing the triangle in the camera, after seeing the air craft coming to his left or even some minutes later. That the bright light seemed to hang still in the air was due to the aircraft moving directly towards the observers, which made it difficult to see any actual movement. The distance of the aircraft during the initial phase of the observation was 8-15 kilometres. The likelyhood that the object on Rolf Wallinder's film is this particular aircraft is very high.

Translation: Eileen Fletcher and Clas Svahn

Several falls of ice

By Clas Svahn

During January and February several falls of ice have been reported from Spain, Germany, Italy and Holland. Also Sweden has been "the target" of these ice chunks.
On October 25th 1999 at 11.10 GMT Mr Bengt Persson in Eskilstuna west of Stockholm heard a loud bang and looked out of his window. Outside at the parking lot he saw that his cars front window was broken and that several large pieces of ice were lying on the ground. An investigation by the Swedish organisation for investigations of aerial phenomenon, UFO-Sweden, showed that several aircrafts flew over the area at the time. One of them was a long distance passanger liner coming from Tokyo passing at an altitude of 30.000 feet, which was the probable cause of the ice fall. The other incident happened at a golf course north of Trelleborg in the very South of Sweden on November 8th 1999. At 12.30 GMT a couple of golfers had just finished hole number 11 when they heard an airplane while walking towards the next. When the next golfers arrived at number 11 they found a large chunk of ice embedded into the golf green and several smaller parts scattered around it.
UFO-Sweden also has an earlier report from outside the town of Nyköping, South of Stockholm, from September 5th 1981. A man walking in the woods heard a strange noise from the sky and looked up. After a short time he saw an object coming down through the air crashing to the ground. When he approached the place of impact he saw that the debris was made of ice. Seconds later another object fell not far from him.

There are several other instances of ice falls in Sweden. As far as I know all of them can be attributed to aircraft. One man in Upplands-Väsby north of Stockholm wrote and told me about an incident where his roof tiles were damaged by falling ice. The Swedish aviation authority examined the ice and concluded it to come from an aircraft.

Swedish Military Search For Fallen Ufo In Lake

By Clas Svahn/UFO-Sweden
Translation from Swedish by Eileen Fletcher

What was it that crashed down into the 13-metre-deep Lake Backsjön north of Arvika in Värmland? An object with small wings, say the witnesses. Nothing at all, say the military who searched for many weeks. It was well after midday on the 27th of July 1999, at least four people around Lake Backsjön outside Gunnarskog saw how an oblong object plunged down from the sky. Some of the witnesses said they'd also seen small wings sticking out from the 5 metre long and 1,5 metre wide body. The object crashed down with a splash and water was thrown into the air. One of the witnesses contacted the rescue station in Arvika which in turn contacted the police, who sent a report to FO 52 - area defence in Kristinehamn - it finally reached operations command at milostaben in Strängnäs.

- We interviewed the witnesses who had all seen the object come down, said chief of staff Stellan Jansson, who was responsible for the search.

During late August many test dives were made in the lake, and the military worked with the security police and the rescue station, evaluating the reliability of the witnesses. The conclusion was that the witnesses were reliable and that a greater and more costly effort was needed. On the 13th of September they renewed the investigation around the 2 kilometre long and 800 metre wide lake under the code name "Operation Sea Find". There were 14 men, eight of whom were divers, along with Sweden's most sophisticated sonar equipment and an under-water camera. Personnel from operations command in Strängäs were also present. When the military began showing interest in the lake at the beginning of August, the public were presented with a completely different story. Arvika Nyheter's newsreporter Kjell Emanuelsson received the reply that it was a home defence practice, whilst Anne-Marie Gundahl who lives at Lake Backsjön heard that the divers were training to make bridges!

- We got to know that it could be something which was dangerous if it ended up in foreign hands, says Birgitta Jakobsson from the nearby community of Gunnarskog.

Confusion as to what the military were up to at the lake was great. According to Stellan Jansson, it was all due to a break-in at a mobilisation supply depot in the area some weeks earlier. Home guardsmen were responsible for guarding the area whilst repairs were carried out, at the same time as checks were made to see if anything had been stolen.

- Then we drove down and interviewed the witnesses who had all seen the same thing. At the same time there were also home guardsmen in the area. Then at the end of August, we began a three-man diving operation in the lake.
- With this very strong coalition we were able to make a thorough search from September 13th to September 16th. We gave it all we'd got.

How much time did you set aside for the search?
- Including the preparation time and reconnaissance, it was ten days. In the end we had searched through 75 per cent of the lake. We were methodical, so that we were sure that the object that had come down into the lake had not glided further away. We really tried to cover the whole area.

From the shore, the locals around Lake Backsjön could follow the activities of the military. From seven in the morning to seven in the evening, they could see divers working in the 13-metre-deep lake. Visibility was ten centimetres. But with the help of an underwater craft equipped with ultrasound and a camera capable of seeing an object only a couple of centimetres in size on the bottom of the lake, nothing was left to chance.
If the same area had been so thoroughly searched by divers, it would have taken a year with the poor visibility, according to Stellan Jansson.

- No matter how small the object had been, we would have found it, said Stellan. Were you surprised that nothing was found?
- I must admit that I was. With the powerful equipment and effort made this week, I really thought we'd find something. The search in Lake Backsjön gave the military food for thought. Here were good witnesses who related a plausible story. But after investigations, their claims could not be verified.
- We have to treat the reports as reliable, but the search has not found anything and we do not know exactly what we're looking for, says Colonel Yngve Johansson at FO 52.

The result after many weeks of searching was only a metal barrel and a plastic bag.
- It has been a bit difficult. The people are very reliable and have really put themselves forward to help us in any way imaginable, said Stellan Jansson.
- They were interested themselves to see us bring something up from the lake. But one knows how the sun can reflect when at a certain angle - perhaps a fish leaped or a bird dived down..... Certainly seven people could experience an optical illusion, it does happen. One cannot dismiss the possibility altogether.

After midday on the 16th of September, the search was discontinued. On October 1st, a report was finished for further distribution to the commanding officer, and the military intelligence and security at headquarters in Stockholm. Two pages were not classified but transcripts from the security police's interviews and a detailed description of the technics used during the search were classified. UFO-Sweden has filed a request to de-classify parts of the report. In all the search costed 150.000 Swedish crowns. When I asked the colonel of the first grade Yngve Johansson at FO 52, what people who see unidentified objects in the sky should do, he replied:

- I think that the public should report all the information and possibilities to us. We can then build up a picture of what happened. One incident does not give us the answer, but many could.