Go Back Report # 685


Swedish Military Search for Fallen UFO in Lake

By Clas Svahn/UFO-Sweden
Translation from Swedish by Eileen Fletcher   

What was it that crashed down into the 13-metre-deep Lake Backsjön north of Arvika in Värmland? An object with small wings, say the witnesses. Nothing at all, say the military who searched for many weeks. It was well after midday on the 27th of July 1999, at least four people around Lake Backsjön outside Gunnarskog saw how an oblong object plunged down from the sky. Some of the witnesses said they'd also seen small wings sticking out from the 5 metre long and 1,5 metre wide body. The object crashed down with a splash and water was thrown into the air. One of the witnesses contacted the rescue station in Arvika which in turn contacted the police, who sent a report to FO 52 - area defence in Kristinehamn - it finally reached operations command at milostaben in Strängnäs.    

We interviewed the witnesses who had all seen the object come down, said chief of staff Stellan Jansson, who was responsible for the search.           

During late August many test dives were made in the lake, and the military worked with the security police and the rescue station, evaluating the reliability of the witnesses. The conclusion was that the witnesses were reliable and that a greater and more costly effort was needed. On the 13th of September they renewed the investigation around the 2 kilometre long and 800 metre wide lake under the code name "Operation Sea Find". There were 14 men, eight of whom were divers, along with Sweden's most sophisticated sonar equipment and an under-water camera. Personnel from operations command in StrÉngÉs were also present. When the military began showing interest in the lake at the beginning of August, the public were presented with a completely different story. Arvika Nyheter's newsreporter Kjell Emanuelsson received the reply that it was a home defence practice, whilst Anne-Marie Gundahl who lives at Lake Backsjön heard that the divers were training to make bridges!            

We got to know that it could be something which was dangerous if it ended up in foreign hands, says Birgitta Jakobsson from the nearby community of Gunnarskog.

Confusion as to what the military were up to at the lake was great. According to Stellan Jansson, it was all due to a break-in at a mobilisation supply depot in the area some weeks earlier. Home guardsmen were responsible for guarding the area whilst repairs were carried out, at the same time as checks were made to see if anything had been stolen.      

Then we drove down and interviewed the witnesses who had all seen the same thing. At the same time there were also home guardsmen in the area. Then at the end of August, we began a three-man diving operation in the lake.

With this very strong coalition we were able to make a thorough search from September 13th to September 16th. We gave it all we'd got.  

How much time did you set aside for the search?

Including the preparation time and reconnaissance, it was ten days. In the end we had searched through 75 per cent of the lake. We were methodical, so that we were sure that the object that had come down into the lake had not glided further away. We really tried to cover the whole area.          

From the shore, the locals around Lake Backsjön could follow the activities of the military. From seven in the morning to seven in the evening, they could see divers working in the 13-metre-deep lake. Visibility was ten centimetres. But with the help of an underwater craft equipped with ultrasound and a camera capable of seeing an object only a couple of centimetres in size on the bottom of the lake, nothing was left to chance. If the same area had been so thoroughly searched by divers, it would have taken a year with the poor visibility, according to Stellan Jansson.         

No matter how small the object had been, we would have found it, said Stellan. Were you surprised that nothing was found?

I must admit that I was. With the powerful equipment and effort made this week, I really thought we'd find something. The search in Lake Backsjön gave the military food for thought. Here were good witnesses who related a plausible story. But after investigations, their claims could not be verified.

We have to treat the reports as reliable, but the search has not found anything and we do not know exactly what we're looking for, says Colonel Yngve Johansson at FO 52.         

The result after many weeks of searching was only a metal barrel and a plastic bag.
It has been a bit difficult. The people are very reliable and have really put themselves forward to help us in any way imaginable, said Stellan Jansson.

They were interested themselves to see us bring something up from the lake. But one knows how the sun can reflect when at a certain angle - perhaps a fish leaped or a bird dived down..... Certainly seven people could experience an optical illusion, it does happen. One cannot dismiss the possibility altogether.       

After midday on the 16th of September, the search was discontinued. On October 1st, a report was finished for further distribution to the commanding officer, and the military intelligence and security at headquarters in Stockholm. Two pages were not classified but transcripts from the security police's interviews and a detailed description of the technics used during the search were classified. UFO-Sweden has filed a request to de-classify parts of the report. In all the search costed 150.000 Swedish crowns. When I asked the colonel of the first grade Yngve Johansson at FO 52, what people who see unidentified objects in the sky should do, he replied:            

I think that the public should report all the information and possibilities to us. We can then build up a picture of what happened. One incident does not give us the answer, but many could.

This reference: http://www.ufo.se/english/news/index.html  With thanks to Clas Svahn of UFO-Sweden for permission to post his text to this website.-CF-  

UFOCAT PRN – 143903

UFOCAT URN – 143903 UFO Magazine (United Kingdom), May 2000, p. 72    

Europe – Sweden, Varmland

Lake Backsjön  Latitude 59-48-00 N, Longitude 12-32-00 E (D-M-S)

Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic.

Arvika               Latitude 59-40-00 N, Longitude 12-34-00 E (D-M-S)

Gunnarskog    Latitude 59-49-60 N, Longitude 12-33-00 E

Kristinehamn    Latitude 59-19-60 N, Longitude 14-07-00 E

Reference: http://www.fallingrain.com/world/            

Europe – Sweden, Sodermanlands

Milostaben       Unable to locate –CF-

Strängnäs        Latitude 59-22-60 N, Longitude 17-01-60 E (D-M-S)

Reference: http://www.fallingrain.com/world/            


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