A sixth encrypted bottle post has been found in the river Alster in Hamburg. Still, nobody seems to have a clue what these strange messages mean.

The Alster bottle post mystery is one of the strangest crypto mysteries I have ever encountered. Here’s what has happened so far:

Yesterday I received another mail from Katrin Reischert. She has recently found another bottle post. Again, the finding place was the Isebekkanal, next to the Kaiser-Friedrich-Ufer.

This means that we now know about six encrypted Alster bottle posts. The finding places can be seen on the following map:


Bootle post 6

Here’s picture of the latest bottle post Katrin Reischert sent me:


As can be seen, this post was contained in a Coca Cola Light (known as “Diet Coke” in some countries) plastic bottle. This is unusual, as all other bottle post known so far came in a small glass bottle, which is usually used for spirits. The label of the Coca Cola bottle is still present, while the labels of the glass bottles apparently got washed away in the water. Here’s a closer shot of the bottle post message:


Bottle post 1

Here’s a picture (taken by Dominique Eggerstedt) of the first Alster bottle post:


This is the message contained in the bottle:


Many words can be read, while other parts of the text seem to have no meaning.


Bottle post 2

The second bottle post looks like this (source: Facebook):



Bottle post 3

Here’s the third message (picture taken by Tuncel Biyikli):



Again, the message contains a number of German cleartext words, e.g., MÄDCHEN, STURMBEFEHL, and HÖCHSTGEFAHR.


Bottle post 4

Here’s the picture Hans von Jagow provided me:


Here’s the text part (for an even higher resolution check here):


Like the other three Alster bottle post messages this one consists of letter sequences, the purpose of which is unclear. A number of German words can be spotted, e.g., UBOOTE and DIEGRÖßTEN.


Bootle post 5

Here’s picture of the first bottle post Katrin Reischert sent me:


Like the four other bottleposts, this one contains an encrypted (?) text with many German cleartext fragments. Among other words, I can read SCHNELLBOOT, POSTFINANZ, and MÄDCHEN. All in all, this cryptogram looks pretty similar as the ones already known.


What is it all about?

I still have absolutley no idea what all these messages are about. Here are a few hypotheses:

  • Alternate Reality Game (ARG): ARGs usually start with messages (e.g. letters) being sent to selected people. These messages typically contain a call to action (e.g., “we need your help to save the world, call 123-456-7890”). While it seems well possible that the organizers of an ARG use bottle posts to start their game, none of the messages found so far contains a call to action. Perhaps, the bottle post messages played a role in a later stage of an ARG, when some instructions about how they had to be interpreted were already known.
  • Geocaching: Many crypto puzzles created today have a relationship to Geocaching. Is this the case here, too? To be honest, I can’t see how these messages fit into a Geocaching scenario (locating a bottle post using a GPS doesn’t make much sense).
  • Performance art: A few years ago some 20 encrypted notes were found at a university in London, Canada. In 2014 it became known that these messages all were created by a local artist. So, the crypto mystery turned out to be a performance art project. It is, of course, possible that the Alster bottle post mystery has a similar origin.
  • Hoax: Somebody might have created theses messages just to create a mystery – and to make himself laugh about the people trying to solve it.

Can a reader say more about the Alster bottle post messages? Any hint is welcome.

Further reading: Kaliningrad’s second mystery: Who can break this encrypted bottle post?

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Kommentare (2)

  1. #1 Breaker
    20. Juli 2018

    Trump and Pence recently signaled in a meeting by drinking the “Fabled Water Of Life”. Pence was hesitant, but copied the movement to lower his to the floor as well.

    They were both deciding something together by signalling & sipping a water bottle, setting them off to the sides of the table.

    The two water bottles are a coded message to initiate the plans encoded in these same bottled ciphers. They are given to US Military and UK Military through the old drop and run game….published in the news, they provide a source for the observation of them in Germany, where a powerful network of tellecommuncations are set up there in a base.

    Of course they are looking for the “Russian Transmissions”

    Last time he called it a “Big Nothingburger”, “Calm Before The Storm” and then afterwards the “UBOOTEN” and “BOMBERININ” codes were used to detonate a bomb on the ARA San Juan.

    Now this same scenario is being played out to make use of this for the attack planned to both “Scuttle” the Puna Geothermal Plant with an UNDERWATER DELIVERY SYSTEM……

    Where did we JUST SEE that in the news? Elon Musk’s bigtime “blowup” during the Thailand Cave Adventure. He plans to use this “Elon-gated” Silver Tube to carry a device to the base of the tectonic break in the Island’s Southern most sections.

    Someone laid the plans for this ahead of time with a map to coordinate the look of the target…..it was posted by a man calling himself “Karl Villenueve” on FB’s Oak Island RAW…..a discussion group about the Curse of Oak Island, the research, and also more recently, a discussion group of numerous hand drawn maps that just appear out of nowhere by new members that dump them for “conversation”

    I seeing this as a very lame attempt at creating a real code to work about a “Treasure Map” that has been crafted from a “War Room” atmosphere, have looked deeper.

    The targets are shown in the map. Hope you can catch the bad guy Klaus….


    Overlays are shown as reference points on the map and matching the sites on the Island, near the Puna Plant when zooming in for a closer look.


    Device is being set on the lower left hand side in the water with the tube Elon designed…..noting the direction was cut off by the lava for the delivery of the other location’s device, they tried to move a device in through HILO….the overall shape of the map being that of a Truck Stick Shift Handle, with a High/Low Switch…..

    Who do you call when you find out something like this?

  2. #2 Breaker
    20. Juli 2018

    Correction : the name of the person adding the map was “John Hardesty”, not “Karl Villeneuve”