I’m from a small town in Northern Finland surrounded by a vast wilderness. Most pass through the town on their way elsewhere without ever knowing it was a hotspot for UFO sightings in the 1960’s.

It wasn’t until I read my grandfather’s book that I learnt of the incredible stories of supernatural events and struggle against hardship in what is largely a barren land. Suffering from dementia, he was unable to answer any of the questions I had so I went looking for the answers. I turned to the people who had seen the mysterious lights, to archives and my family’s photo albums.

The UFO sightings coincided with a time of great struggle for Northern Finland. People flooded from the countryside to the cities in search of jobs leaving abandoned houses scattered across the landscape. The UFO sightings embodied a fear of the future, the unknown and the inexorable shift in lifestyles and livelihoods. Some reacted to the mysterious lights with fear, some took them as a sign they were not alone.