The Norway Spiral Story... Becomes a Bit More
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
(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...)?"
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
As we reported in Part I above, 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 official Ministry acknowledgement" did NOT
directly link that missile failure with the growing "Norwegian
"... the ministry did not confirm
the lights were the result of the failed launch... but
[independent] military analysts said they clearly came from the
This very carefully-worded official
Defense Ministry admission (which has been misinterpreted by America
media as "confirming that the Spiral was caused by their errant
missile"...), also accurately reported by
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
even more obvious "anomalous aerial phenomenon" (below)...
click above image
It's a bird? It's
a plane? Media reports indicate that hundreds of people spotted
what appeared to be a triangular-shaped UFO flying in the skies
above the Red Square in Moscow.
The Daily Mail reports that two separate amateur videos were
shot, one during the day and one at night, that show the same
object in the sky. The UFO made its appearance on Dec. 9, the
same night mysterious lights were spotted in Norwegian skies...
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...
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).
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
Success Rate: 55.56%.
First Launch Date: 2004-09-23.
Last Launch Date: 2007-11-10.
Launch data is: continuing.
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
Liftoff Thrust: 0 N ( lbf).
Total Mass: 36,800 kg (81,100
Core Diameter: 2.00 m (6.50 ft).
Total Length: 12.10 m (39.60
Maximum range: 10,500 km (6,500
Number Standard Warheads: 10.
Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket.
Cruise Propulsion: Solid rocket.
Stage 3 Propellants: Solid
Guidance: Inertial + Stellar.
Stage1: 1 x Topol'-M-1.
Gross Mass: 26,000 kg
Empty Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600
Motor: 1 x 15Zh58A.
Thrust (vac): 980.000 kN
Burn time: 60 sec.
Length: 8.50 m (27.80 ft).
Diameter: 1.80 m (5.90 ft).
Stage2: 1 x Topol'-M-2.
Gross Mass: 13,000 kg
Empty Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300
Motor: 1 x 15Zh58B.
Thrust (vac): 490.000 kN
Burn time: 64 sec.
Length: 6.00 m (19.60 ft).
Diameter: 1.55 m (5.08 ft).
Stage3: 1 x Topol'-M-3.
Gross Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200
Empty Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200
Motor: 1 x 15Zh58V.
Thrust (vac): 245.000 kN
Burn time: 56 sec.
Length: 3.10 m (10.10 ft).
Diameter: 1.34 m (4.39 ft).
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
"Why would the Russian government
conduct another launch of a new, offensive missile system - and
in the immediate vicinity of Norway - on the literal eve of the
President of the United States arriving in Oslo to accept his
Nobel Peace Prize?"
"How would that Russian missile...
from a submarine supposedly located some 600 miles away from
northern Norway (in the White Sea region - see below)... even be
visible (according to all reports...) from only the
comparatively tiny geographical region in western, northern
If a missile caused the Spiral, why wasn't it also
seen in Sweden... Finland... even in some western sections of
northern Russia itself - in those, also-beautifully-dark,
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
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
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 instantaneous 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
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
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
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 -
Here's a striking ultra-close-up
Sure looks like the aftermath of a
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
After countless hours of searching the Internet, finally... a
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
While not super accurate (the poster -
now we know why he's anonymous - has just triggered WWIII... because
he's launched his offensive, first-strike missile OVER the northeast
corner of an independent NATO nation - Finland!), 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
between Finland and Russia... moving it even farther away from
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
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 unmistakable 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
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 significant 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 satisfaction
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
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...
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