This article was published in the daily newspaper Aftenposten, Norway, on March 25, 2004.
Italian conference to study Hessdalen
The small Italian town of Cecina is establishing ties with the Norwegian village of Hessdalen. Hessdalen is world-renowned for its inexplicable light phenomena. A flurry of sightings in the early 1980's was skeptically received, but Hessdalen is now the focus of serious researchers who are willing to risk the taint of the unknown.
[Picture:] Erling Strand, engineer and lecturer at ěstfold College and the founder of Project Hessdalen, in the 'control room'.
Cecina is hosting the most comprehensive conference on the Hessdalen phenomena, assembling of most of the scientists studying the phenomena.
The web magazine LoScrittoio.it, which often reports on scientific developments and theories regarding Hessdalen, is organizing the event, which includes cultural exhibits from both Tuscany and the Norwegian valley region.
Besides examining local observations and the progress of international scientists, the conference will also feature a discussion of how international media report on scientific and anomalous information.
The Hessdalen lights have waned recently, but a range of high-tech equipment constantly monitors the skies in the valley.
The municipality of Holtalen, north of nearby Roeros, backed the building of a UFO center in 2000 but the attempt to combine study of the region's notorious lights with tourism did not catch on.
Italian authorities have long funded study of the Hessdalen lights at Italy's Institute for Radio Astronomy.
The Hessdalen Project's web site displays live observation of the valley skies around the clock.