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ViestiLähetetty: 07 Joulu 2011, 16:08 
Published in Open Minds magazine 11/2011


UFO-phenomenon is quite common in Finland. There are sightings and encounters of strange beings starting from the medieval history. In modern ufology Finnish enthusiasts are active gathering and analyzing the information from the sightings. People are coming more and more interested on UFOs, despite the occasional ridicule of the subject.

The first UFO related phenomena in Finland is connected to an event, called the explosion of Viipuri on Nov. the 30 th. 1495. The bishop of Turku writes on this occasion; “-There appeared a bright cross in the sky that frightened the horrified Russian troops away.” In written history, on that day, a primitive bomb was exploded by the Finnish defenders in the town of Viipuri, and that drove the Russian attackers away. Was it the bright cross in the sky, or the bomb on the town behind the defeat of the Russian attackers, the final truth on this matter is not known. But on the folklore, there is a tale of a celestial event.

In the 19 Th. Century tales of the UFO related sightings start to appear relatively often among people. In the 1820`es in Vehkalahti, a bigger crowd of people did witness a “ship of light” landed on the ground. In the 1840 ‘es a similar object was witnessed by different people and location, and this time human figures were seen inside the spaceship. A hired man from Kuhmalahti had an experience resembling an alien abduction in the 1850´es. In August 1887 in Loppe Village a “flying brick” shaped object was witnessed by many. And in Miehekkälä a flying ball was observed by a crowd of tens. Strange music was heard emanating from the mysterious ball.

As an example of a Finnish close encounter Mrs. Annie E. Sundqvist told to the Ultra magazine in 1992 a story of her grandmother's. In 1880´es she, a mother of three boys went to collect berries to a close forest in Kemiö, Brante village. After a stroll of few hours, she had observed “a giant boiler deck”, on top of a rock in the forest. Between her and the object there was standing “a troll” with something that resembled a hatchet. It was on “trolls” right shoulder. The young woman got very scared, and ran fast away to home. She went back to the place few hours later, to check, if the creature was still there. It and the ship had vanished. Mrs. Sundquist commented; “I have wondered all my life, what my grandmother did see on that day. I am now 71 years old, and I am her son’s daughter.”


In the 1930´es, before the Second World War, many people saw across the country the so called “haunted airplanes”. On those days nobody talked about UFO's or flying saucers. The army made an official inquiry into this phenomena, and in 1937 the chief of staff of the army had a press conference, where “haunted airplanes” where labeled, more or less, as products of vivid imagination. No solid proof was found about their existence in the studies of the Army, and no proof or sign, that any of them had landed anywhere in Finland. In any case, especially in the north of the country, there where thousands of witnesses on these events. Some people had encounters, that were like in the UFO phenomena, and very hard to explain on any conventional means. There were some stories of this in the newspapers at the time, and many wondered, might the phenomena be explained by reconnaissance plains from the Soviet Union. Finland has a long common border with Russia. The political climate of the time was such that public speculation on that matter was forbidden by the government. The “haunted airplanes” remain unexplained to this day.

After the Second World War the military officials had a new problem: Ghost rockets. Although the most of these observations were made in the whole of Scandinavia, and mostly on the Swedish side, Finnish sightings were left unstudied. In total over 2000 rockets were seen, 997 in Finland. 200 of the “rockets” were dropped to the ground, and a number of 30 were found by the officials, who claimed they where pieces of meteors.

The phenomena caused a small panic in the armed forces across the Scandinavia, at the time. Newspapers were told not to tell the exact locations of the sightings. Scared public called to the army, police and the newspapers so much, that the telephone exchanges got stuck. The phenomenon was quite versatile: Shapes, colors and speed of the objects varied a lot. There were fireballs, rocket shaped objects and even saucers. Some of the UFOs flew even under the clouds. The phenomena died away before the end of 1946, although there were similar sightings in the year 1948.


Like as a sign of a new era, Prime Minister Urho Kekkonen wrote a column on UFOs, to a major magazine Suomen Kuvalehti in 1950 using an alias. The general tone of the story was skeptical and humorous. During the 50´es the Finnish press was the only source of information for people on UFOs. International cases were written actively by the press. Some interesting UFO sightings were seen, like a saucer shaped disk, during the opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics in Helsinki in 1952.

The newspaper stories and mainly American literature started to wake up interest, and prepare ground to start local investigations on UFO sightings. Many UFO related societies were established all over Finland in the 1960´es. First translated books to Finnish came out from the print houses in 1962. Some surveys were made with the public, where people were asked to report of their sightings or encounters with the space people. First UFO investigator courses were held in 1968 by the local enthusiasts.
Large local studies were made, like in Pello village Lapland in 1968, where local activist interviewed over 200 people in conjunction with a UFO case.

In 1971 there was a UFO wave all over Finland. There were tens of credible UFO sightings, and over 20 UFO contacts were interviewed, from which nine were psychologically tested. Only conclusive find was that the UFO phenomenon was real. Finally, in the early seventies, first national UFO association was formed in Finland.

All in all, the birth process of FUFORA, or Finnish UFO association was a complex one. There were many interests involved, and all of the local associations didn’t at the start want to join to FUFORA. But finally all things did fall to their places. In 1974, FURORA started the publications of quarterly year UFO reports, which continued to the year 1987. They were replaced by annual books of UFO encounters in 1988.

In the seventies there were many interesting cases, like the lake Kallavesi piece of a presumed UFO. This case was largely noted by the national news. 1976 in the city of Oulu six witnesses saw a ball of light going through a young curious man, who did lose his consciousness, for a while. The books by Erich von Daneken were best sellers in Finland, reaching to a sell of over 150000 between the years 1968-77.

Contact of the Third Kind was one of the most popular movie in 1978 with 400000 views. The new Zealand UFOs in 1979 were largely in the national news too. In Suonenjoki, Jarmo Nykänen filmed on a camera 12 shots of a UFO that was investigated also by the local police. Some came into the conclusion, that on the film the object is a lampshade, and thus the case was a fake.

Mrs. Aino Ivanoff experienced a classic alien abduction during a car drive 1980 in Pudasjärvi. This case was well studied, using hypnosis and by scientific means. The case remained unexplained, but received no national publicity. Later in the 90´es abductions came into national news mainly because of Whitley Strieber’s book The Communion, and John Mack’s book on abductions. In the eighties the movie E.T in 1983 was very popular. In 1987 Mr. Tapani Koivula published a groundbreaking book about Finnish UFO contacts, called “The Cosmic Message of UFOs”.

In the nineties there grew a big interest, among the people on UFOs in Finland. For example, Johan AF Grann made a documentary series on UFOs, which received a very wide audience of 1, 5 million, in a country of 5 million. Thousands of articles were written in the newspapers on the UFO subject. New age stuff started to emerge; channelled books on space aliens, weird religious beliefs and cults of extraterrestrials. Mr. Jaakko Närvä did a doctoral thesis on UFO experiences in 2008 claiming, that the majority of all encounters can be explained as religious phenomena. He stated, that 20 to 50 percent of all people in western courtiers believe in UFOs. Dr. Närvä is an experiencer himself; He saw an unknown pink round object from a bus in 1997 that he couldn’t explain. Närvä´s study was highly debated, and used by debunkers and UFO-skeptics to undermine the whole phenomena, as a product of human imagination.


Finnish UFO association's chairman Mr. Björn Borg researches with his team approximately 200 sightings a year. He says, that about 95 per cent of the cases can be conventionally explained. The rest of the cases remain as UFOs. - “This ratio is the same all the world. We are well aware, that pictures and videos can be tampered with, even forged. Every photo is first considered as a fake, until proven otherwise. We interview the observer, and study his/hers background in order to close out the forgeries.”

Mr. Borg has once witnessed an UFO at the center of the city Helsinki himself: -”A few years ago I was waiting a water bus sitting on a bench. There was a strong northern wind. Suddenly, I observed a black ball in the air flying north, against the wind. The ball didn't have wings or propellers. I can’t say what it was, even to this day, but an UFO.”

When observing the FUFORA sightings database in the past few years, one can see that most of the observations have been of strange lights, balls of light and odd unexplained objects in the sky. Sometimes the sightings make it to the newspapers. Like a case in Kiuruvesi in May 2011, where an odd triangle shaped areal phenomena was observed, filmed and published in one of the most sold newspapers of Finland Ilta-Sanomat. The sightings was later identified as a mundane atmospheric phenomenon.

This year the newspapers have picked up a story of a Hudö village, a seaside location near a local nuclear plant. It has been a UFO hotspot for several years. Strange lights have been seen in the air, and submerged under the waves at the sea, as USOs. Many of the local residents have witnessed this. Nothing conclusive, for an explanation has been found yet.

Vice-chairman of the UFO-Finland research association, Mr. Lasse Ahonen suspects, that the Finnish military hides their UFO sightings. Mr. Atso Haapanen has authored a book on this, called UFO sightings by the Finnish military in 1933-1979. The book includes declassified cases between those years. The cases include observations of UFOs, even one landing case of an unidentified object. Mr. Ahonen sees it very likely, that there are classified new cases of UFOs among the Finnish military. “- All options have to be kept in mind on the origin of these observations.” Mr. Borg of FUFORA sees all this on a different way: “- I do not think, there are secret UFO-files under wraps deep down somewhere in the Finnish military archives.” Officially the Finnish Air Force denies that they have any undisclosed information of UFOs.

FUFORA has some hundred active researchers all over Finland. The UFO-cases are distributed to those members, who live in the close proximity of the witnesses. Their work is voluntary, and FUFORA has no paid staff. FUFORA has a weekend seminar once a year, where UFO enthusiasts gather to meet and discuss the topics of ufology. FUFORA has a discussion forum, and an informal leaflet distributed few times a year.

At the end of the last century, FUFORA was divided into two organizations, and the other one is called UFO-Finland. It is slightly more skeptical with the UFO-phenomenon as a whole. The organizations tend to co-operate, and some are members in both organizations. Contacts to neighbor countries’ UFO-organizations are kept tight, like UFO-Sverige, and Russian UFO organizations. Foreign lecturers have visited Finland frequently, lastly Mr. Nick Pope and Mr. Steve Basset.

Many kind of people are associated with UFOs in Finland, varying from contactees to hard skeptics. This has caused some friction; even fierce arguing over, to what way certain issues should be handled. Channeled information is not accepted by most Finnish UFO researchers, or at least, they have grave doubts over it. Some ufologists tend only to accept hard solid data as a proof and to some almost anything seem to go. The diversity of UFO experiences baffles the most Finnish ufologists.

FUFORA chairman Mr. Borg continues; “ -Internationally, what it comes to the amount of UFO sightings, we are a good average country. In 2009 a public database was introduced, where people can share their experiences. This has been a success. Most UFOs are seen either dawn or dusk. The landing lights of airplanes cause a major part of the sightings. Another as common thing are the planets. Once an older lady had followed a bright light for three hours, and I checked the star maps, verifying it as Jupiter. Then are the satellites. Iridium satellites are bright, and the flashes they emit are sometimes interpreted as UFOs. The NOSS-satellites fly as in formation of twos or threes, and they do switch places in the sky. What we try to do is to exclude the possibility of all normal phenomena, and if we can't do that, then the sighting is by definition an UFO.”

Mr. Borg speaks of internet-ufologists, referring to a group of people, who are in contact with space aliens. This group has a reality of UFOs different from the main stream; they may have a constant contact with the ET's, like they would be the next door neighbors. These kinds of testimonies are quite common in Finnish UFO community. People having a 24/7 contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence.

“- Nowadays in Finland, we have a lot of light balls, and less the classic saucer shaped objects in the sky. And more sightings of triangle shaped objects.” Mr. Borg explains. International sightings like the Phoenix black triangle in 1997 did cause a lot of stir, and interest in Finland. Most Finnish ufologists follow what is going on in the world on the UFO-field, and many have contacts to foreign researchers, for example, via Facebook.

“Personally I am a bit disturbed, what it comes to abductions, since I am a bit of a skeptic. There are hundreds of classic cases like this in Finland. For example, two years ago a middle-aged, well dressed, and apparently completely sane gentleman, came to me, and gave an accurate description of his abduction experiences in writing. So I don't know who to believe on this.” says Mr. Borg.

“- Professor Thomas Bullard wanted to know, are abduction stories folktales. He did find out, that the storyline of abductions is similar, and in different cultures the experiences are the same. One common feature is, that all suffer from so called door amnesia, and can't remember how they did enter the UFO. Having studied the subject of UFOs now forty years I am convinced, that there are flying machines beyond our technology. But what they are, and where they come from, I do not have the answer.”

Mr. Tapani Koivula, a many time chairman of FUFORA, has a less skeptic view on UFOs. He has largely studied contact cases in Finland: “- I am convinced that some of the UFOs are vehicles of alien civilizations. My take is, that around us, beside the space aliens, there are so called second level entities, like dead people's souls, spirit guides, angels and nature spirits.”

“- The so called “iron UFO-researchers” dislike, and avoid contactee cases, and parapsychology. We as UFO researchers have to have the courage to face the truth as it is. Prejudices can prevent the truthful interpretation of the UFO-phenomenon. On the other hand UFO-mysticism can become a trap, if there is a lack of needed self-criticism.” Mr Koivula concludes.

“- Having researched Finnish contacts, many integral details are common to almost all cases. There are lapses in memory; people do not remember all what has happened to them with the space aliens. Most people are paralyzed during the contact. Many times the aliens are concerned about the state of the world, for example, they worry about the pollution of the world.” says. Mr. Koivula.

Mr. Visa Kaliva is a retired cook, and a civic activist on the green movement. He has had a contact with the “star people”, a benevolent alien race since the early 70'es. He was visiting England at the time, when he met a stranger on a boat, who revealed himself as one of the “star people”. This encounter led to other encounters later in life, and now Visa was contacted some time ago, after a long pause of 40 years. Visa says that the times are changing, and a full contact is closer, and will happen gradually during the next decades, with the alien beings. He says, we should all get prepared for the big change that will follow the contacts in the near future.

A scientifically oriented approach on the UFO phenomenon is what Mr. Olli Pajula has. He is a now retired from teaching biology, and is an active on the exopolitics movement in Finland. He has over 40 years of experience on things of the paranormal in Finland, and has always tried to find a solid scientific explanation on this field. Mr. Pajula is frustrated on the state of ufology in general:
“- Unknown balls of light in the sky do not interest me at all. I doubt, do contact cases in general have any real scientific proof for the scientific community at all. I would like to see a statistical investigation of some sort on the topic. There are people like Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Jacobs, who have investigated, for example, the abduction phenomenon. I am suspicious of all fear mongering, instead of rational approach. There is a lot of disinformation, with the UFO community, that one must be careful of. I would like to have here in Finland a organization to study contacts and abductions in a scientific way. ” Mr. Pajula concludes.

“- The modern science does not explain the UFOs at all. There is a wide gap, between the realities of UFOs and the scientific world. What can we do, to make this go away? Interest on UFOs is mocked and ridiculed by the scientific community. No money is granted for serious research. On the other hand, the phenomenon of UFOs is very real. There are physics involved with the aliens that show, how tiny our understanding on the universe really is. I believe, that the human consciousness in general is changing, to see all that is, in a much wider view. I hope we will find the missing answers on this phenomenon. And when that happens, the world will change for good, in a very big way.”

Usko Ahonen

Tapani Kuningas: 100 UFOs in Finland ; a book (1993).
Tapani Kuningas,: Stages of UFOs studies in Finland: an essay. FUFORA website (2001).
Marko Kananen: Ancient Astronaut theories in Finland: a university study (1996)
http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaveraketit ( Ghost rockets in wikipedia)
http://suomenkuvalehti.fi/jutut/kulttuu ... onnollisia (Dr. Jaakko Närvä's interview in Suomen Kuvalehti)
http://yle.fi/uutiset/teksti/news/2011/ ... 79030.html (Mr. Björn Borg's interview)
http://www.iltasanomat.fi/kotimaa/eriko ... 31003.html (UFO in Kiuruvesi 9.5.2011 on Ilta-sanomat)
http://www.loviisansanomat.net/lue.php?id=4991 ( Story in Loviisan sanomat on Hudö UFO activity 23.6.2011)
http://yle.fi/uutiset/teksti/kotimaa/20 ... 67201.html (Story in the YLE news 9.5.2011; Finnish people see more and more UFOs every year).
Mr. Tapani Koivula's interview on Paranormaaliblogi 15.6.2009
Interview of Mr.Visa Kaliva in Pöytäniemi estate by Usko Ahonen 23.6.2011
Interview of Mr.Olli Pajula via telephone 25.6.2011

ViestiLähetetty: 15 Loka 2012, 21:01 

Liittynyt: 16 Syys 2012, 19:37
Viestit: 6
a very interesting and educating post! Thanks Rense! So Finland seems not to be so quiet with the UFO phenomenon as I thought! :D

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