The history of the discovery

Since 2000, a German research group discovered pieces of metal (ferrosilicides Fe3Si, mineral gupeiite, and Fe5Si3, mineral xifengite), hitherto unknown in the region between the rural districts of Altötting and Traunstein near Lake Chiemsee (Chiemgau, southeastern Bavaria) (Beer et. al. 2003). The team of amateurs (leader Werner Mayer, Bergen) that had an official instruction to look for archaeological relevant relics in the area, noticed that the material was regularly associated with striking craters and found in places practically excluding a human contamination. The craters mostly showed a clear rim, though some of them had been leveled by plowing. The distribution of these peculiar finds clearly corresponding with anomalies of a biomonitoring with honey bees (Raeymaekers (2006): A PROSPECTIVE BIOMONITORING CAMPAIGN WITH HONEY BEES IN A DISTRICT OF UPPER-BAVARIA (GERMANY) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (2005), 11 pp. in press), raised interest among researchers of the Munich and Tübingen universities. This interest, on the other hand, initiated an extraordinary field work by the amateur researchers over three years till 2004, and they became more and more convinced to have detected the impact of an extraterrestrial body in historical times. After certain controversies with scientists of the mentioned universities, the amateur researchers decided to ask Dr. Michael A. Rappenglück, astronomer and archaeoastronomer, Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Bavaria, Prof. Dr. Kord Ernstson, geologist, geophysicist and impact researcher, University of Würzburg, Bavaria, and assistant professor Dr. U. Schüssler, mineralogist and petrologist, University of Würzburg, Bavaria, for further support with the investigation of the phenomenon. The amalgamation of the amateur researchers with the mentioned scientists resulted in the foundation of the Chiemgau Impact Research Team (CIRT) that was joined by the historian Barbara Rappenglück, M.A., when the historical importance of the phenomenon became more and more evident.

Furthermore, scientists from the University of Tübingen (Dr. V. Hoffmann, Dr. W. Rösler) as well as Prof. Dr. D. Schryvers (University of Antwerp, Belgium) and Dr. B. Raeymaekers (INFRASERV, Gendorf) worked on the phenomenon. Studies and first analyses of the peculiar material establishing the ferrosilicides gupeiite and xifengite, the nanodiamonds, and other unusual and rare components are due to them (see References).

In October 2004 the American journal ASTRONOMY published an online article on the “Chiemgau comet”, and at the same time an extensive scientific report written by the CIRT (Rappenglück et al. 2004) on all aspects of the discovery was published in the Internet. Within shortest time, both articles were spread worldwide as the “Big Bang of Bavaria” (the SPIEGEL magazine in a report on the discovery) thanks to the scientific Internet Cambridge Conference CCNet (Dr. Benny Peiser).

On the internet pages on hand we present a complete compilation of current results and insights including hints to results of other researchers working on special aspects of the phenomenon. Conflicts and scientific and non-scientific controversies will be addressed as well.