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FT-IR, ICP-MS & XRD Analyses Prove White Powder in Dutch
Crop Circle is 99.99% Pure Hydromagnesite

Nancy Talbott
BLT Research Team Inc.

Small circle with white powder found on October 5, 2009, an addition to
previously-existing ring formation. Photo: Sjaak Damen

As has occurred repeatedly in crop circles found in the fields around Hoeven (and also in conjunction with other anomalous incidents which occur at the home of Robbert v/d Broeke), a very fine-grained white powder appeared again on October 5, 2009 -- this time in the center of a small new circle which had been added to a series of rings discovered previously on September 27th.

For a description of the first appearance of this white material, which involved the presence of a large rotating light-ball at Robbert's home, see: For a discussion and laboratory analysis of multiple other incidents involving the white powder in crop circles near Hoeven in 2007, see both Part 1 and Part 2:

Before presenting this current analysis which again utilized infra-red spectroscopy (IR) as well as an additional test to determined purity level of the material (called inductively-coupled plasma mass spectroscopy, or ICP-MS), an overview of many other events which took place in this same field in 2009 might be useful.


On September 6th, a month after I had returned to the States after being with Robbert in 2009 and watching him as he took dozens and dozens of anomalous photos in crop circle fields using many different people's cameras (, a small ring with three "squashed" areas around the outside of the ring was found in the grass in this same field where the white powder appeared a month later. As is often the case, Robbert had "seen" this ring appearing as an image in his "mind's eye" during the night.

Narrow ring with three flattened areas outside it occurred in
grasses during the early morning hours of Sept. 6-7, 2009.
Photos: Peter Vanlaerhovn.

On the night following it's discovery Robbert and his friends Ellen Gomis and Roy Boschman went to the field to take photographs, since they know that very often Robbert will obtain anomalous images in crop circle fields shortly after new formations appear. At first the photos were all perfectly normal. But then Roy handed his camera to Robbert and a few anomalies began to appear, followed by multiple "light-ball UFO" images which occurred when Robbert aimed the camera at himself.

One of the early & totally normal shots of Ellen and Roy in
the cropcircle field the night of September 7th.
Photo: Robbert v/d Broeke

A few shots later a white "fog" then appears near Roy's head
as he stands just outside the new ring.
Photo: Robbert v/d Broeke.

Two of many "light-ball UFO" photos which occurred
when Robbert aimed Roy's camera at himself.
Photos: Robbert v/d Broeke

Three weeks later -- during the night of September 27 -- another series of thin rings appeared, spread out across a large area of the field. And, again, Robbert could "feel" the new rings were occurring. Because Robbert no longer goes out into the fields at night by himself he called Roy and also Peter Vanlaerhoven of the Dutch crop circle association (DCCA), so they could document the new rings before the grasses recovered (which they often do fairly quickly).

One end of the new multi-ringed formation found in same field near Hoeven
on September 27, 2009. Photo: Peter Vanlaerhoven

Diagram of September 27, 2009 ring formation
found in grass field near Hoeven.
Diagram: Roy Boschman

For additonal photos of these various ring formations see the DCCA web-site (

On that first night Robbert and Roy Boschman went to the new formation and Robbert, using Roy's camera (set in "auto"), took many shots which contained what looks like the same strange square-light anomaly which had first appeared on my camera in 2007 and then reappeared in 2008 and again in 2009 (

First of many square-light anomalies which appeared when Robbert used
Roy's camera in the new ring formation of Sept. 27th.
Photo: Robbert v/d Broeke

Two more of the bright square-light anomalies which occurred while
Robbert was inside the rings using Roy's camera.
Photos: Robbert v/d Broeke

A week after these photos were taken Robbert again, while at home with his family on the night of October 5th, "saw" a small new circle appearing in the field with something "bright white" in it's center and again notified both Roy and the DCCA group immediately.

Small flattened circle with white powder appeared on October 5, 2009
inside the largest ring of the Sept. 27th formation.
Photo: Roy Boschman

Closer shot of new circle with white powder which appeared inside
largest (15.5m diameter) ring. Photo: Sjaak Damen

Because previous lab analyses (by BLT's analytical chemist Phyllis Budinger and materials scientist Dr. Jaap J. Boon of the FOM Institute in Amsterdam) of similar-looking white powders found in association with other events around Robbert had repeatedly revealed that the material was magnesium carbonate (see links provided at the beginning of this report), in a chemical formulation that is used as a fire-proofing agent or as a fire-retardant, members of the DCCA group decided to test for themselves to see whether the material would burn.

Some of the white powder from the small circle is wrapped in
newspaper by DCCA member to test flammability.
Photo: Sjaak Damen

Newspaper with white powder is ignited (top) and allowed to burn out
by itself. White material has not burned at all (bottom).
Photos: Sjaak Damen

Infra-red Spectroscopy and Inductively-Coupled Plasma
Mass Spectroscopy Analysis

17100 Wood Acre Trail
Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023
Phone/Fax: 440-708-2211


Addendum to UT069: Identification of a White Powder Found in a Crop Formation (Hoeven, Holland, October 5, 2009)
Date: June 22, 2010
Requested By: Nancy Talbott, BLT Research
Reported By: P. A. Budinger Analytical Scientist


A white powder found in a crop formation in Holland (October 5, 2009) was identified by this laboratory as a hydrated form of magnesium carbonate, specifically with formula (MgCO3)4 ·Mg(OH)2 ·5H2O. In the analytical report (Technical Service Report: UT069) a recommendation was made to do additional ICP-MS analysis to determine both the magnesium isotopic ratios1 and purity. More of the sample was submitted on February 24, 2010 from this event to do the recommended analysis.


·The white powder is confirmed by FT-IR2 to be the same hydrated form of magnesium carbonate (approximate formula of (MgCO3)4 ·Mg(OH)2 ·5H2O) as the previous sample received October 5, 2009.

·ICP/MS shows the isotopic ratios of this magnesium are normal for terrestrial magnesium.

·The ICP elemental results show the magnesium carbonate is 99.99% pure. This surprising result would suggest that the material is chemically made and/or refined from a natural source. Clearly, at this purity it is beyond agricultural use, which appears to be about 85% purity ( Magnesium carbonate at this 99.99% purity could be found in a laboratory storeroom. Alfa Aesar sells 99.996% pure magnesium carbonate at $717.00 per 100 grams ( This is rather expensive, and copious amounts of this material have been recovered from various formations and other bizarre events related to Robbert v/d Broeke.3

·What is also puzzling is that material recovered from an open field should show evidence of contamination by airborne dust particles. Of course one could argue that the dust would only be on the surface so, if the samples were taken from the center of the pile, one might avoid contamination. But if one just shoveled the material into a bucket while sampling, as was the case here, one would expect mixing.


More white powder from the October 5, 2009 crop formation in Holland was submitted on February 24, 2010. An infrared spectrum was obtained of the new sampling to confirm it was the same material as submitted on October 5, 2009. The spectrum was obtained of the sample on the Thermo Electron Avatar 360 spectrometer using the Smart Herrick diamond sampling accessory.

The sample was then sent for ICP-MS analysis to "ICP and ICP/MS Services". Magnesium isotopic analysis and a survey elemental analysis for purity were requested.


Infrared Analysis

Infrared analysis shows the new sample is magnesium carbonate, and it appears to be in the basic form, i.e. the chemical structure is (MgCO3)4 ·Mg(OH)2 ·5H2O (a close approximate). The spectrum matches that of the sampling received October 5, 2009. Following are spectra of the new sample, along with those of the older sample and a reference of the (basic) form of magnesium carbonate for comparison.

Infrared Spectrum of the New White Powder Sampling
Received February 24, 2010

Click to Enlarge

Infrared Spectrum of the White Powder
Received October 5, 2009 (TSR UT069)

Click to Enlarge

Infrared Reference Spectrum of Magnesium Carbonate
Click to Enlarge
Reference from: Prof. Dr. Dieter O. Hummel, Atlas of Polymer and Plastics
Analysis, "Inorganics Section", Verlag Chemie GmbH, Df-6940 Weinheim,
1984, Part a/II, Ref. 4380.

ICP-MS Analysis from ICP and ICP-MS Services

The isotopic ratios for magnesium are compatible with terrestrial values. Two runs of two aliquots of the sample were done. These values compare to those of two runs of a terrestrial magnesium standard. Note, the three isotopes of magnesium Mg-24, Mg-25 and Mg-26 were measured. The following table shows the results.


All results reported in percent abundance:

Table #1

The elemental analysis shows the sample is at least 99.99% pure. The only other element detected by ICP is calcium at 10-100ppm. These surprising results would suggest that the material is chemically made and/or refined from a natural source. Clearly, at this purity it is beyond agricultural use which is about 85% purity.4 Magnesium carbonate at this purity could be found in a laboratory storeroom (Alfa Aesar sells 99.996% pure magnesium carbonate at $717.00 per 100 grams).5 Following is a table showing the results.


Table #2

1Isotopic (measurements) ratios of the elements can be taken by ICP/MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry) to see if they differ from terrestrial values. An element is defined by the number of protons in its nucleus. Most elements have two or more isotopic forms. That is, the element may have more or less neutrons. Each neutron has a weight of one. So an isotope with more neutrons weighs more than an isotope with less. The ratios of isotopes for any given element on earth will always be the same, i.e. it's a constant. The theory is that these isotopic ratios might be a result of the elements formation in the earliest phase of our solar system, i.e. they are unique to this system. It is thought that these ratios might vary in other solar systems because the elemental formations may have been different. So, if we find the ratios are not normal as compared to terrestrial elements, then the sample may have an extraterrestrial origin.

2FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy): Infrared spectroscopy is used for the molecular structure identification and quantification of solids, liquids, and gases. An infrared spectrum is the result of light (in the 2 to 25 micron wavelength range) interacting with the vibrations of molecules. The particular set of vibrations of a molecule gives rise to specific spectral absorption bands, often referred to as the "fingerprint" spectrum.




File: UT071
Phyllis A. Budinger

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This laboratory appreciates and thanks Nick Reiter for his input on this analysis.


BLT's consulting analytical chemist has been fairly certain that the purity level of the many samples of white powder she has worked on related to events involving Robbert was highly refined, but FT-IR testing alone cannot establish this fact conclusively. We therefore decided to obtain the ICP-MS analysis in addition to FT-IR this time -- because it does establish the presence of elements other than those normally found in magnesium carbonate, determining purity of the sample down to the parts-per-million level.

The ICP-MS test was also used to establish the isotopic ratios of the magnesium carbonate sample to determine whether the material could possibly be of extra-terrestrial origin. The isotopic ratios were found to be normal for terrestrial magnesium.

As had been predicted by BLT's analytical chemist, the ICP elemental results show the magnesium carbonate is 99.99% pure, a result which indicates this material had been chemically produced or highly refined from a natural source. Professional laboratory supply houses (such as Alfa Aesar) sell 99.99% pure magnesium carbonate at $717.00 per 100 grams (100 gm = slightly more than 0.2 pounds; 500 gm = slightly more than 1 pound). Over the years and given the large amounts of this material which have been recovered at multiple incidents, we have collected somewhere in the range of 2 lbs. of this material so far, which would indicate a cost in the range of $7,000.00. (U.S.)

Magnesium carbonate recovered from 3 separate events
at the "Woodenhead" field in 2007.
Photo: N.Talbott

$1,400.00 - $2,000.00 worth of the 99.99% pure magnesium carbonate
collected from just the October 5, 2009 deposit.
Photo: DCCA

So how does one approach a reasonable interpretation of these facts? Neither Robbert nor any of his friends are financially able to afford this material and none of them are aware of a professional laboratory supply company anywhere in the area. If there is someone in the area wealthy enough to afford this material, how could they know (in multiple incidents now, for more than ten years) exactly when to arrive and at which field? How did they manage to avoid being seen in 2007 on the night when Robbert and most of his family and Mr. and Mrs. Gomis were present in the field at "Woodenhead" as a new crop circle actually formed with the white powder in its center?

More difficult to understand is how anyone could have deposited this same material on Robbert's 2nd-floor balcony in 1997 immediately following the rotating BOL incident, with Robbert's whole family home and awake, the entrance to their fenced-in back garden securely locked? (In that instance Mr. and Mrs. v/d Broeke were both watching television in the living room, a room that is directly beneath Robbert's balcony and fitted with tall floor-to-ceiling glass doors which provide an unobstructed view of the entire back garden.)

And then there are the multiple occasions upon which deposits of this same material have appeared in the family's living room, dining room and kitchen -- inside a house equpped with multiple locks on all the ground-floor doors and windows.

Unless one is willing to accuse the entire family and many of their friends and neighbors of duplicity in these events, the repeated presence of this 99.99% pure magnesium carbonate is simply a mystery. Anyone who actually knows the v/d Broeke family or any of the rest of us who have repeatedly witnessed these events is aware that such an accusation of collusion would be a bit pitiful -- and, in my personal opinion, indicative of a predetermined decision to avoid dealing with the facts.

Photo: Roy Boschman

"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of
convincing those who do not know it...but for
the sake of defending those that do."

--William Blake


Shortly after posting this report on the white powder with the FT-IR and ICP-MS analyses a prominent mineralogist, Dr. D.D. Eberl, contacted BLT and offered to conduct x-ray diffraction analysis of the white powder also.

Dr. Eberl analyzed the sample by x-ray diffraction on a Siemens D500 X-ray diffraction system using copper K-alpha radiation from 5-65 degrees two-theta, 0.02 degree steps, 5 sec count time per step, using a graphite monochromator. He was able to confirm both the chemistry and FTIR we had run previously, stating that the white powder is "pure hydromagnesite." He also expressed the opinion that "it must be synthetic, because it is so pure." Its chief use seems to be as a fire retardant; its formula is:

Mg5(CO3)4(OH)2 ·4(H2O)

When it is heated the CO3 decomposes to CO2 and water (4H2O) is given off. (OH)2 also releases water, thus smothering fire.

XRD pattern of white powder from October 5, 2009 crop circle
near Hoeven. Graph: Dr. Dennis D. Eberl.

It has another interesting property in that hydromagnesite is said to be fairly fluorescent and would, therefore, glow as long as it is exposed to UV light (Short UV = green, Long UV = bluish-white).

After an internet search Dr. Eberl discovered several recent scientific papers examining the possibility that hydromagnesite might be useful in "capturing and storing" or "sequestration" of excess CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere, thus helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions. And although I have wondered why this white powder continues to appear in conjunction with many of the strange events which occur around Robbert, I suspect its presence is more likely related to its fire-retardant properties.

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