By Richard C. Hoagland
The spectacular aerial display appearing in the skies of northern Norway a few days ago -- still receiving incredulous reactions from around the world -- has generated a tidal wave of speculation:
"Was it a failed Russian missile?"
"Or ... another clandestine test of HAARP (the High Altitude Auroral Research Project which, it turns out, has several not-so-well-known facilities scattered across northern Scandinavia -- a Project steeped in its own multi-layered technology, mysteries and speculations ...)?"
The curiously delayed Russian admission that it had, indeed, conducted another routine missile test on Wednesday morning (when the mysterious "light spiral from Heaven," as papers in Norway are now referring to it, appeared), did nothing to quell this "speculation explosion"; in fact, it only added fuel ....
As we reported in Part I, when initially queried by Norwegian media, the Russian Navy, and the Russian Embassy in Norway, denied all knowledge of the phenomenon -- as well as any rumored "missile tests" they may have been conducting in the same time frame and area.
Only a day later did an AP story finally appear -- quoting the Russian Defense Ministry's eventual, official statement that, indeed "a Bulava missile was launched Wednesday by a nuclear submarine submerged in the White Sea ... and its third stage suffered an unspecified failure ...." (below). The story underscored, however, that this "limited offical Ministry acknowledgement" did NOT directly link that missile failure with the growing "Norwegian Spiral" story.
"... the ministry did not confirm the lights were the result of the failed launch ... but [independent] military analysts said they clearly came from the Bulava explosion [emphasis added] ...."
This very carefully-worded official Defense Ministry admission (which has been misinterpretated by America media as "confirming that the Spiral was caused by their errant missile" ...), also accurately reported by Norwegian Television, raises serious new questions about the underlying facts and context surrounding this entire, extraordinary display ....
But -- perhaps not quite as many as the sudden appearance of this even more obvious "anomalous aerial phenomenon" (below) ....
The same night ....
* * *
The simultaneous appearance of two "UFOs" ... the still mysterious "spiral light over Norway" -- and that same day/night -- a "massive flying triangle," floating serenely over the heart of downtown Moscow--
Both obviously linked to Mother Russia--
Can hardly be treated as "a mere coincidence" ....
However, in the meantime, back in Norway ....
Below are the official parameters of the Bulava (Russian for "Mace") ICBM (also known as the "SS-NX-30" in NATO parlance); as can be seen, it is a three-stage, solid propellant launcher, carrying as many as ten independently targetable nuclear warheads (MIRVS). The latter are housed in a "maneuverable liquid-fueled canister" (or "bus") attached to the third stage -- which separates after burnout and, by maneuvering with small thrusters, positions each warhead during coast for its own reentry ... to its own designated target.
It is the liquid fuel carried in this MIRV "bus" (atop the three-stage solid fueled missile underneath) which is the focus of attention for those now totally believing that the amazing Norway display was simply caused by "this liquid fuel ... being sprayed out in a dramatic spiral into space, as the out-of-control third stage of the Bulava missile spun out of control across the Norwgian skies" ....
Apart from whether this Russian rocket caused the amazing Norwegian light show, given these parameters of the Bulava ICBM, the timing of its latest test raises some extremely serious political questions re the real relationship between the leadership of the Russian Federation ... and the Obama Administration.
A quick look at a polar projection of this nominal "Russian arctic missile range" reveals exactly why these are distinctly "non-trivial" questions ....
As can be seen, if the first and second solid-rocket stages of this three-stage, sea-launched ballistic missile each fired successfully (as the Russians staunchly now maintain ...), the thrust from the first two stages would have taken the rising 38-ton Bulava several hundred miles to the northeast ... and to an altitude in those first 2 minutes of flight (check the burn times for stages 1 & 2) approaching 100 miles -- more than high enough to be seen by anyone (weather permitting) over an area of literally millions of square miles ... covering northern Norway, Sweden, Finland ... AND Russia!
Why then -- if the "spiral" was simply the product of nothing more exotic than "a spectacular failure of the Bulava's third stage bus ..." -- wasn't it reported and photographed by literally tens of thousands of folks scattered across these northern nations ... home to potentially millions of curious on lookers ...?
Most (these days) equipped with inexpensive, ubiquitous cell phone cameras ..?!
A better to way to see this profound contradiction -- between the official military "explanation" (Russian and Norwegian ... with Sweden and Finland's military being deafeningly quiet ...) is to refer to a helpful 3-D visualization (below).
This is the northern hemisphere, as seen from a point in space located roughly over the latitude of Tromso, Norway (site of many of the original reports) -- at ~70 degrees N.
As can easily be seen in this projection, any Russian intercontinental ballistic missile fired from a submerged submarine located at the coordinates provided by the Russians would be visible at second stage burnout (~100 miles altitude) over a HUGE surface area underneath its trajectory (the yellowish circle) ... which would have then shifted ... northeast ... following the intended flight path toward Kamchatka ... an instaneous viewing area spanning over 1000 miles in radius!
This simple geometric reality can be confirmed by anyone equipped with a small calculator and a basic knowledge of the openly published Bulava flight parameters.
Or, if you're too lazy for that ... simply refer to this handy graphic (below) on Wikipedia:
And, for those who have trouble believing that a rocket launch several hundred miles away could be seen at all, here's an actual photograph (below) -- taken of a White Sand's "pre-dawn, solid-rocket missile test" ... from over 300 miles!
And here's another (below) -- a post-sunset launch from Vandenberg AFB, seen from San Diego, CA (about 250 miles away). The rocket here is a Boeing Delta 4 (with 4 strap-on solids for extra thrust, that burn for the first 78 seconds before dropping away).
Note how the contrail is initially dark (below the shadowed clouds), before the upwardly accelerating rocket bursts into sunlight ... still shining several thousand feet above the darkened launch pad ... and the contrail suddenly turns bright.
Note further how narrow the contrail appears, compared to the visible width of the crescent Moon (approximate 0.5 degrees across); a little trig, and one can easily calculate the contrail's own physical width ... even though it's also ~250 miles away.
The key, of course, is having that critical angular comparison ... and knowing the distance and direction to the launch -- three key parameters missing in all the early Norwegian reports ....
A closer comparison of the same launch (below) ....
After a few minutes, this initially thin contrail expands ... twisting itself into exotic and highly colorful geometries (caused by light-refracting ice crystals at high altitude - below) -- as it is also blown around by strong upper atmospheric winds.
One of the first solid (sorry ...) scientific confirmations that the "missile theory" for Norway might, in fact, be correct ... is contained in the series of published Norway images taken after the Spiral itself had disappeared--
Leaving only a strange "blue mist" hanging in the sky ... "aimed" at a brilliant white, twisted linear formation ... hovering just over the pre-dawn Norwegian horizon--
Looking exactly like the expected contrail of a solid-fueled rocket launch (closer view, circled - below)!
Here's a striking ultra-close-up (below) ....
Sure looks like the aftermath of a missile launch ....
The next test of "the missile theory" would be to determine the actual azimuth of this tell-tale contrail ... and compare that against the known azimuth of the White Sea launch site (according to the Russians) as seen from northern Norway, for the Wednesday "Bulava problem" ....
After countless hours of searching the Internet, finally ... a breakthrough--
An anonymous poster on one of the (many) Internet chat rooms that erupted after the Spiral's appearance -- someone actually doing some real science -- had managed to track down the geographical location of perhaps the most spectacular published image of this early morning apparition (below)--
Using Google Earth, this anonymous individual had then gone on to locate several daytime, matching surface shots of the unique "sawtooth range" seen prominently directly under the Spiral in the photograph ... obviously, taken from very near the Spiral photographer's location (below).
And, a Sawtooth Range close-up:
When composited together (below), the evidence was compelling:
This spectacular, time-lapse "Norway Spiral" image was NOT (as the original press reports led everyone to believe ...) taken from Tromso. Instead, the widely-circulated "Spiral Photograph" had actually, it turns out, been photographed from a location even farther north ... from a tiny fishing camp called "Skjervoy" -- located about 55 miles ("as the crow flies ...") northeast of Tromso (below).
Armed with this vital additional information, it was then a simple matter to go to back Google Maps, and plot the precise azimuth to the top of this suspicious contrail -- peaking over the "sawtooth range" of mountains seen across the fiord ... to Skjervoy's southeast (below).
The next step was to compare this result -- which read "about 21.5 degrees south of east ..."-- with the azimuth direction (~23 degrees ...) of the Russian's claimed launch-site for the Bulava ... "in the southern end of the White Sea, near Arkhangel" (below) ....
Allowing for the fact that the photographer was watching the Spiral over the top of the spectacular and jagged "sawtooth range" -- about 6 miles away from his camera -- and thus physically couldn't see the base of the inclined 1st-stage contrail on the horizon ... the ~1.5 degree northerly "error" from the actual pre-announced Russian submarine location is perfectly within the inclined ("depressed trajectory" is the technical term for the) geometry of a previous Bulava undersea launch (below)!
Here, from another anonymous post, is a 3-D recreation of this approximate launch geometry as seen from orbit (below):
While not super accurate, the general geometry is "close enough for folk music"; if his launch point is moved closer to Arkhangel (as the Russian pre-launch warnings indicated ...), the launch trajectory would also take it further east -- over the isthmus ... moving it even farther away from Skjervoy.
Which is where the observed altitude comes in ....
Because of the known geometry to those unmistakable mountains SE of Skjervoy, we can now measure all the critical angular and scale parameters in the Skjervoy Spiral image -- discovering that the 0.5-degree center of the Spiral (yes, it was about as big as a Full Moon, as witnesses also reported ...) hung almost 6 degrees above the mountains ... and was therefore about 12 degrees above the true horizon.
Which meant -- if the Bulava launch trajectory was ~600 miles east of Skjervoy -- and the Spiral was (somehow ...) caused by the malfunctioning third-stage of the rocket, the Spiral would have been about ~125 miles above the Earth when visible in that striking image taken from Skjervoy.
Again -- all totally consistent with the Russian's pre-launch announcement ....
Against all this mounting evidence, however -- that it was, indeed, the Russian missile that had caused the Spiral -- was one really major flat-out contradiction:
Repeated eyewitnesses testimony that "the moving light came up over the mountain ... and then came to a dead stop ... as it began to spin out this astonishing blue-white spiral ...."
How can a "rising rocket," coasting upward on its enormous momentum (imparted by the burning of literally tons of incredibly explosive fuel)--
Suddenly ... just come to a dead stop!
Answer: it couldn't.
If that behavior, indeed, happened ... it alone would automatically rule out anything as mundane as "a failing Russian rocket."
* * *
To test this "impossibility," Enterprise had to locate at least one good video from Norway (preferably more ...); by measuring the spiral's drift -- frame to frame -- across the sky on this video, we could determine geometrically if the eyewitness reports were true ....
That ... it didn't move.
We finally located the right video -- shot by a young Norwegian military serviceman, Christopher Rakoczy, posted to one of Norway's premiere military bases, at Skjold, Troms -- which, when analyzed frame by frame, revealed the unmistakeable motion of the Spiral across Norway's pre-dawn northern skies--
In complete contradiction to the witnesses!
Here (below) are two sequential frames -- grabbed a few seconds apart--
Notice the motion of the stovepipe exhaust between frames (image left - above); the motion of the center of the Spiral is also very obvious (image - center)--
Totally undercutting -- in a stroke -- the misimpressions of multiple eyewitnesses ... with regards to the most siginificant detail of this entire amazing apparition ....
That "it stood still."
Here (below) is the overlay composite of these two revealing frames.
This elemental video frame comparison -- by unquestionably establishing that the Spiral continued to move slowly across the sky ... even as it rotated -- adds serious additional weight to the idea that, indeed--
The Spiral had been created by the out-of-control Bulava rocket ....
* * *
Case closed, right?
Of course not.
While we at Enterprise have independently proven to our satisfication that the Russians did, indeed, launch a missile from the White Sea that Wednesday morning ... and, that the tell-tale signs of that event were unquestionable captured on both Norwegian images and videos of the Spiral and its aftermath--
What we have not established by this analysis is any physical evidence that the Bulava was, in fact, directly involved in the generation of the Spiral.
The only case that we ... that anyone ... is capable of making at this point -- based only on analysis of the trajectory of the Bulava -- is completely--
While the Russians, stubbornly -- despite all their [inevitable] test telemetry -- for some reason ... continue to refuse to officially link the failed Bulava with the appearance of the Spiral ....
Could they know something we should know ...?
Which, again, appeared the same night as the Spiral ... but over downtown Moscow--
Stay tuned ....