PREHISTORY 1984 - 2007
The Twannberg meteorite is by far the biggest of the eight Swiss meteorites. The first mass of 15.9 kilos was found in 1984 by Mrs. Margrit Christen while plowing a field. In 2000, Mr. Marc Jost found a second mass (2.2 kg) on an attic of an old house in Twann. In 2005, a mislabeled piece in the collection of the Schwab museum in Biel/Bienne was recognized as the third mass (2.5 kg). In 2007, three small additional pieces were found in the Twannbach River by two gold prospectors.
The Twannberg meteorite is the one and only European meteorite, classified as IIG iron!
Intensive searches revealed more than 500 additional pieces with a total mass of 73 kilos.
This mass just represents a cube of 22 cm side length!
DISCOVERIES 2010 - 2016
Investigations on the first three masses led to the fact, that there must be many more pieces of the Twannberg meteorite. Under the lead of Prof. Dr. Beda Hofmann, curator of the Natural History Museum in Bern, a search team investigated the Twannberg region over a period of almost four years.
PLEASE NOTE: Searches in this region are only permitted with an official concession!
Several members of the team were searching sometimes for weeks at a time under good and sometimes rather nasty weather conditions with strong winds, heavy rain and even snow! Many of these searches were successful and up to now, more than 500 additional pieces have been unearthed. Strangely, some of the meteorites were found just 10 to 15 cm deep in the ground, others up to 40 cm deep. Every found meteorite has to be documented and then tested and analyzed at the nat. hist. museum in Bern, where every meteorite is also listed and numbered. A part of every found meteorite belongs to the museum (10% or more, depending on the weight).
SEARCH FOR THE TWANNBERG-METEORITE
Two years ago I had the chance to search for the Twannberg meteorite the first time. But only in March this year I joined the search team officially. I dug hundreds of holes and found a lot of iron waste, but not until Friday, April 29, 2016, I found my first Twannberg meteorite, as a matter of fact, my very first meteorite find ever: a nice 15.4 gram piece (picture below)) I found a couple of more promising pieces, but unfortunately they turned out to be just iron waste.
AND A LOT OF IRON WASTE
It‘s hard to believe, how much iron waste is hidden in a agricultural field: the search team unearthed more than 500 kilos of iron waste: nails, barb wire, tools, cow bells, ox shoes, ...
An expert also noticed a few rare Roman and even Celtic artifacts!
THE TWANNBERG IIG IRON METEORITE
"Raiders of the lost treasure"
Below a few pictures of the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, 18 August, 2016, at the Natural History Museum in Bern. It was a really exciting and successful event. Many of the members of the search team and special guests met for the official opening.
More information about the exhibition you find here:
TWANNBERG METEORITE WINE
After a short series of lectures at the opening event, the exclusive Meteorite Wine was served (for several month, the barrel with the wine from Twann contained the meteorite mass TW89!). Here the link to the wine cellar:
After a hard day searching for the Twannberg meteorite, the team members from Switzerland, Germany, Morocco, Czech Republic, Russia, USA, Sweden, Poland and Uruguay had a lot of fun, as usual in the meteorite community, a friendly, cosmopolitan event!
The Twannberg mountain and Mount Sujet are located in the Bernese Jura region. Completely surrounded by nature, it offers a breathtaking view of Le Pays des Trois-Lacs (the three-lake region), against the backdrop of the Alps.
Just 20 minutes from the centre of Biel, this region offers you a whole range of activities: culture, nature, gastronomy and much more.
Visit the official tourism website for more information:
(Introduction in English)
The incredible search for the Twannberg Meteorite is documented in this generously illustrated book (108 pages). It also contains GPS coordinates plus a list of all the so far found masses. It is available NOW!
Price: CHF 18.00 or $20.00 plus shipping costs.
Order it here:
TWANNBERG-METEORIT MUSEUM POSTER
USD 42.-- (plus shipping fees)
and the search goes on ...
All photos are published with kind authorization of the mentioned persons and institutions