Farmer Werner Harenberg woke up early in the morning of July 23, 1991 to discover Germany's first spectacular crop circle near the village of Grasdorf, Lower Saxony in the historic Teutoburger Wald Area, not far from Hannover. This location is not far from the prehistoric site of Externsteine, part natural rock, part carvings, caves and bearing various signs of what seems like long and varied religious practices. After noticing that the straws were unbroken, merely bent, Harenberg stated that it could not have been made by amateurs such as had recently allegedly been at play further north in Schleswig-Holstein.
A visitor to the farm, a man wearing a house painter's outfit and a hanging moustache, turned up nine days later bringing along his metal detector. He searched all nine parts of the pictogram dropping a handkerchief in three spots as mark...all of them had a spherical symbol, less than a semi-circle attached to it. Then he went to his car to pick up a digging tool and a bucket unearthing a bronze, silver and gold plates at the three areas he marked.
The visitor's whereabouts and identity have not been disclosed. After cleaning the plates, on impulse or with selling in mind, he split the gold plate in half. At least that's what he told the man who bought the two and a half plates, a man who prefers anonymity. The buyer is described as a man of considerable wealth and of high position, as an industrialist; nevertheless he had two of the plates, the bronze and the silver ones. The plates were analyzed on a number of occasions, first at a private jeweler's, then at the German Technical Institute's department for research in metallurgy in Berlin.
The silver plate consisted of almost 100% pure silver, which is highly unusual. Artifacts from Roman times, about 2.000 years old, may contain as much. The bronze plate did contain bronze and tin in the usual nine to one relation.
Where are the plates currently? Probably in the possession of this industrialist, one must assume. Photos do exist...something he did not object to, especially of the bronze and silver pieces. The gold plate remains the biggest mystery of the three; it has not been analyzed and a photo shows only half of it.
The mystery being that all three plates, including the gold plate, as far as photos show, bear engravings...elevations representing miniatures of the actual crop circle. The bronze and silver plates are both 23 cm in circumference weighing three and half and five kilos respectively.
The bronze plate furthermore has several hollows placed in distances clearly suggesting a heaven of fixed stars.
The gold plate is 18 cm and weighs seven or eight kilos, according to Markus Schlottig, who has written a book dealing largely with the Grasdorf crop circle "Der Schlüssel zum Garten Eden" on a speculative-mythological basis.
The industrialist is quoted as saying he would pay any price, and, it is said, he has paid more than the estimated value. If the plates are a fraud, it's an expensive one. If the plates were made by artisans before, during and after the nine days between the formation of the crop circle and the seemingly accidental finding of the plates, it could be an ambitious project to verify extraterrestrial origin of crop circles while at the same time creating a long-missing link from a glorious but largely unknown German prehistory to the present day.
"22nd July, Grasdorf, near Hildesheim, Lower Saxony:
The largest and most complicated German pictogram was discovered by early-morning joggers on 23rd July 1991. The roughly 110yds (100m) long and 55 yds (50m) wide formation at Grasdorf near Hildesheim, Lower Saxony - it covered an area of 5,000m2 (6,000 sq yds)! - consisted of seven symbols and thirteen circles - with a cross within the circle in the middle, suggesting the ancient sun symbol. In general it reminds us of a Scandinavian rock painting, the object in the middle being the ‘sun chariot’, an ancient sacred symbol of the Scandinavians and North Teutons."
"Actually, the location of the pictogram is archaeologically significant: it lies at the foot of the Thieberg, a Thing or ancient Teutonic tribal parliament site, possibly on top of a prehistoric processional path. In the immediate vicinity is the Wuldenberg, an ancient Germanic Wotan sacred site on which a church was erected under Charlemagne, and the Holy Grove (Heilige Holz) of the Teutons, which was fought over right into the Middle Ages. When a feudal lord gave the order to fell this sacred wood in 1273, he was murdered by the people of Grasdorf: a small civil war was the result, and the wood stayed untouched until the 19th century. So this very ancient Saxon heartland, christianed no earlier than the 9th century as a result of the victory of Charlemagne over the Saxons, had been sacred for at least 4,000 years. Dr Nowothnig, an archaeologist from Hannover, described the neighbourhood as "one of the most significant prehistoric cult areas of Europe"..."
"So was this a real pictogram? Much speaks for it. When a person going for a walk passed the field around 11:00pm, nothing unusual was visible, so its creation must have happened later. There are signs of quite unusual causes of this pictogram: that night Christian Fiedler from Grasdorf had seen an orange-coloured, pulsing light, which moved to and from at great speed in the area in question. Thousands came to visit the formation, and farmer Harenberg started collecting entrance fees at the field’s edge, following the example of his British colleagues"... - "The Cosmic Connection", by Michael Hesemann
"Plate one (silver color) consisted mainly of quite pure silver (what an understatement!), with an additional ingredient accounting for less than 0.1%. The weight of the plate was 4.98kg (11lbs). Plate two (bronze color) consisted of a copper-tin alloy (of which the tin content amounted to 10%-15%), nickel and traces of iron amounting to less than 0.1%".
This meant that the silver plate consisted of 99.9% pure silver, purer than sterling-silver. Furthermore, a spectrographic analysis of both plates proved that they had not been made from a cast but from some kind of conglomerate of silver nuggets and natural copper and tin pieces of the type found in Germany’s Harz forest, not far from Grasdorf. They had been produced, either by heating up to a degree that partially melted the metals - or in a low-gravity environment. We are left with the question of what hoaxer would go to such expensive lengths, in terms of cost and effort, simply to pull the wool over the eyes of the press and a few crop circle enthusiasts?" - an evaluation presented at the German Federal Institute for Material Research (Bundesanstalt fur Materialpufung) in Berlin - 1994
Click for video
'Dialogue with the Universe' Conference at Dusseldorf, Germany - 1992
Markus Schlottig: Der Schlüssel zum Garten Eden, Argo Verlag - 1998
Hesemann, Michael - "The Cosmic Connection"