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Episode 119 - The Norway Spiral

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Recap: On December 9, 2009, a strange spiral anomaly appeared in the skies over Trøndelag, Norway, and Northern Norway, a day before President Barack Obama arrived to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. As with other weird, unexplained events, this gigantic blue- and yellow/or/white-glowing spiral has become a pet example of many different fill-in-the-blank paranormal phenomena.

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Claim: On December 9, 2009, a strange spiral anomaly appeared in the skies over Trøndelag, Norway, and Northern Norway, a day before President Barack Obama arrived to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. As with other weird, unexplained events, this gigantic blue- and yellow/or/white-glowing spiral has become a pet example of many different fill-in-the-blank paranormal phenomena.

The Vanilla Claim

At least a day before December 9, 2009, the Russian government gave an official warning of a rocket test, prohibiting navigation in a large area of their far northeastern territory until December 15. This region is near the north of the peninsula shared by Norway, Sweden, and Finland, but also Russia.

On December 9, the spiral was observed in the night sky for about 2 to 3 minutes. Being what we can consider the “modern era,” many people had at the very least cell phones with cameras and a lot of photographs were taken. They hit the internet quickly, and I remember seeing e-mail from my astronomy department faculty, saying that the students the next day would almost certainly be talking about it and wanting to know what happened.

While speculation was quick and crazy on many internet sites, already as soon as it happened, many people not only linked the event with the Russian warning about a missile test, but also to previous missile tests that had failed and produced similar phenomena.

The official Russian press initially denied the relationship, but about 26 hours later, they gave in and admitted that it was yet another failed ICBM, the fourth in a row for the Bulava missile program.

At least, that’s what we’re told to believe by the military industrial complex and Big Media.


The most basic non-official claim is that this was a UFO, an unidentified flying object. And I agree that it certainly was a UFO, at least for several hours, until the Russians admitted it was theirs.

Where I differ from the “UFO” crowd is that they assume UFO in this case means aliens. It was an alien-created phenomenon. For some purpose. That purpose is as varied as there are varied UFO groups.

Black Hole, HAARP, LHC

Unrelated to that is another idea that it was a black hole. Somehow, a black hole opened up in our atmosphere and produced light and stuff and then shut down a few minutes later.

How this happened is attributed to just random quirks of the universe, aliens, that peninsula’s version of HAARP (the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program), or even the Large Hadron Collider which had begun operations a year earlier.

Project Blue Beam

Another cause given by other people is that it was done as part of Project Blue Beam. This isn’t Project Blue Book, which was a US Air Force study into UFOs from 1952 to 1970. Nay, Project Blue Beam is, to quote RationalWiki, “a conspiracy theory that claims that NASA is attempting to implement a New Age religion with the Antichrist at its head and start a New World Order, via a technologically-simulated Second Coming.”

While that might be a teeny bit of hyperbole, and there are slight variations to what different people claim Project Blue Beam is, that’s the jist of it: Some governmental or pan-governmental or super-governmental agency is planning to take over the world by creating holograms in the sky of something - be it Jesus or aliens or something else - that would as a consequence of seeing those things in the sky suddenly cause everyone to cede all their authority and freedoms in return for safety from this governmental or pan-governmental or super-governmental agency. Another component of this is that the hologram will apparently be person-specific, such that it will appear as each person’s version of god or space alien or some such thing.

The conspiracy theory of Project Blue Beam has its origins in two people who wrote a book in 1994, and it’s spread out since then. There is no actual evidence for Project Blue Beam, but that’s never stopped conspiracists. And, given that the Norway Spiral hasn’t changed how the governments work in the last 5 years since it happened, as an implementation of Project Blue Beam, it was a pretty big failure.

Richard C. Hoagland: Torsion Physics

Saving the best for last is Richard C. Hoagland’s ideas. Well, idea. Very lengthy and elaborate idea. When I searched through my Coast to Coast AM archives for “Norway,” I came across six nights when the Norway Spiral was discussed. Of those, one was Charles Ostman who thought it was either a Russian experiment to jam communications or a climate change experiment; one was Nassim Haramein who thought HAARP opened a black hole; and four were Richard Hoagland.

As a way of introducing his thoughts on the phenomenon, I enjoy books, television, movies, and other media that are able to take disparate kinds of phenomena and tie them together under one very broad explanatory framework. L. Frank Baum did this with many of his books, tying different kinds of world folklore into different manifestations of fairies. J.K. Rowling did something similar with the Harry Potter series, bringing together lots of different myths and legends - as well as a few things of her own - into a broad explanatory framework of the way magic works in her world. One of the important parts of any good framework - in my opinion - is that it allow for why we don’t see it in our every-day lives. This is, for example, where I think Doctor Who fails but a series like Stargate succeeds.

Where I’m going with this is that Richard Hoagland does the same thing: He ties together many disparate phenomena into one or two overarching frameworks. In his case, the basis for that framework is hyperdimensional, or torsion physics.

I’ve already done two podcast episodes on this framework: 19.5° (Episode 26) and How to Design a Hyperdimensional Physics Experiment (Episode 82). To recap for those who don’t remember, the basic tenet or overriding belief here is that there are hidden dimensions that manifest at certain energy locations on spinning bodies, and that you can enhance those energy manifestations by doing certain things. I can’t get any more specific because Richard has used this moniker for too many things to be more specific.

One of the basic problems with it is that every piece of evidence that he has presented is either fundamentally flawed (like his accutron watch experiments), fundamentally wrong (like his claims of highest energy manifestations on solar system bodies being at 19.5° latitude), or have much more mundane, well understood explanations (like the Norway Spiral).

As to what exactly Richard thinks the Norway Spiral was, I’ll let him explain it in his own words. This is an agglomeration of several quotes in an attempt to get it down to just a few minutes and somewhat in order. If you think by doing this that I’m misrepresenting Richard, then I have documentation of all the quotes as well as links to Richard’s 3-part VERY LONG essay in the show notes for this episode, and you are welcome to look through them:

[Coast to Coast AM, February 02, 2010, Hour 3, starting 03:00] “I-it’s so simple I can tell it to you in one word. … One word, and then we spend two hours with me documenting. Blackmail. Them, out there, the secret space program"

[Coast to Coast AM, January 02, 2011, Hour 3, starting 36:35] “It would be against the ritual to have a full-court disclosure, and for all my friends listening out there who are so desperate for an official nod, that there is another reality that would make this one pale in comparison, it is not going to happen that way. Now, there is one caveat to that kind of firm prediction. If somebody who is not being invited to the party suddenly shows up. As may in fact have happened on the morning and evening of December 9, 2009.”

[Coast to Coast AM, February 02, 2010, Hour 3, starting 13:08] “And then what we prove is that yes, it was a Russian Bulava launch, and then something grabbed it, George, like a tractor beam, torsion weapons technology - which we describe in great length in this piece, with links, and documents, and papers, and peer-reviewed-- this is where it all meets the road. Because something reached in that pre-dawn, interrupted the Russian missile test, made a mockery of the most sophisticated weapons system that Putin is testing - again, just before Obama arrives in Norway - as a double-whammy message to Putin, Medvedev, and Obama - 'this you need to pay attention to.'"

[Coast to Coast AM, January 02, 2011, Hour 4, starting 00:27] “It appears to have been some kind of torsion physics, torsion technology, which involves vortices in the œther, spiral waves, and it literally … I-it took the Russian missile, a-and it basically mangled it, it spiraled it out of control, stopped it almost dead in the air from moving at over 12,000 miles an hour — that requires enormous, humongous energies, George — and it created this incredible vortex of light, which appeared to be the spiraling fuel as this thing was shaken. Think of like-like a rat, shaken by a dog, except the dog’s invisible, and then you have this corkscrew blue beam which was seen emanating from the center, aimed down towards the ground, almost as if it had been projected— You can look at this two ways, that it was projected from orbit from space, down toward the ground, or it was a technology that was based either in uh, Northern Norway, or even in the old Soviet Union. The lines of sight line up to an ancient facility … that was being used by the Russians to test some of this kind of physics in uh, in uh this old Soviet Union. One of those two locations you can plot this cork– spiral, this blue incredible blue beam spiral, which made everybody of course think instantly of so-called Project Blue Beam. Except when this appeared, and you know George as well as I when this remarkable thing appeared over Northern Norway, which was one day before the President of the United States is supposed to arrive and accept his Nobel Peace Prize.

[Coast to Coast AM, December 11, 2009, Hour 4, starting 30:01] "The bottom-line, George, in this meta-model, is that I believe that we are being carefully prepared for the announcement of (a) we're not alone, and (b) there must be a united global effort to find out who is out there, and, the most important person as part of that global effort, is going to be the one man that everyone can kind of agree on, ... that guy is Barack Obama."

Get all that? I’ll try to summarize and explain based on his other statements: (1) It really was a failed Russian missile test, but (2) it failed because the secret space program stopped it by (3) slowing it down in (4) an extraordinary show of force so that (5) everyone would pay attention to (6) Obama, and that (7) it was stopped using torsion technology. Never mind that only two days after the event, Richard claimed: [Coast to Coast AM, December 11, 2009, Hour 4, starting about 27:30]

“This was not a missile test at all. Furthermore, it could not have been a Russian missile test.”

Though I don’t think anyone has ever accused Richard of being consistent. At the VERY least, it shows that you can never ever work in absolutes with claims like this. Ever.


This episode is a bit unusual in that my intent is not to show positive proof of what the event was. Instead, my intent is to relate the official story, and to explain the context. Then to discuss some of the so-called “alternative” ideas.

In the end, I honestly don’t care what you believe. I know based on feedback that some of you are going to think that this is an obvious example of how I tow the party line and how could I possibly be so stupid as to believe the official story.

The response really boils down to Occam’s Razor and what’s more likely to be real. On the one hand, you have a Russian military missile program that had been disaster-ridden for years. The Bulava was a submarine-launched ICBM program that had had 11 test flights since 2005, and up to the one on December 9, the previous 3 had all failed, and the majority of the others had also failed. You have no official acknowledgement of it until 26 hours later, which seriously DOES make sense given the way Russia controls their media especially given the fact that the program already was a scandal for the Putin/Medvedev government.

Russian military industry experts had been speculating about systemic weaknesses in the program for weeks before December, 2009, and two weeks before it, Sergey Kovalev, a designer of missile submarines at the Rubin Design Bureau in Saint Petersburg, told a reporter that many of the components of the system had been ripped out and replaced with more modern components, but ones that had never been tested.

Then, you have the spiral itself, which looks exactly like what you would get if you have a spinning craft with two nozzles, one near the axis of spin, and one off to the side due to malfunction.

Put that into context with the official explanation, and I think that the story is pretty consistent and makes sense in light of the available data.

In contrast, you have a bunch of disparate ideas, most laced with unevidenced conspiracy, that tend to conflict with each other.

It’s not my job to convince you which story to believe. But for me, the preponderance of the evidence, and the ability for this to be explained by known and established phenomena that introduce the least amount of new information, clearly tips the scales to the side of the official story. If your standards of evidence are different, and if you still believe one of the alternative explanations after hearing or reading this episode, feel free to politely let me know in the comments, and explain your reasoning.

Provide Your Comments:

Comments to date: 2. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:

Stuart R   Lyons, CO, USA

10:51am on Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Thanks, Paul. That's sorta how I've been doing it for the last ~20 episodes, just doing the extra segments if I happen to have them.

As for NH episodes, I've been trying to think about how to do that. I agree that I think they would be useful. But, they don't have anything to do with pseudoastronomy, at least that I can even remotely figure out how to work in. Is it worth abandoning that theme, though, for a once-in-a-lifetime mission?

Paul   Los Angeles

2:32pm on Friday, November 7th, 2014 

In response to your question about the news, feedback, q&a, and puzzler segments, I would say that I very much enjoy them.

However, given your recent increase in non-podcast related commitments, I would be fine with having them cut out if it were to ensure you would be able to continue producing the main segments.

Perhaps you could leave them as more on-the-fly additions that you could add in if and only if they are available at your fingertips while recording. This would mean most episodes would not contain them, but wouldn't shut the door completely on the idea.

Best of luck with the New Horizon planning, that sounds INCREDIBLY cool. You should do an astronomy cast type episode on it as a mission--just informative and fascinating stuff. You are probably in a unique position where you could actually do a better job of it than Pamela Gaye could--on account of your professional experience with the mission recently.

You rock man,

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