Summary: 'So it's all done with planks and bits of string, is it?' A crash course on crop circles for beginners.
Crop circles are not a modern phenomenon.
They are mentioned in academic texts of the late 17th Century, and almost 200 cases- some with eyewitness accounts- have been reported prior to 1970. Since then, some eighty eyewitnesses as far flung as British Columbia and Australia have reported crop circles forming in under twenty seconds; cases are often accompanied by sightings of incandescent or brightly-coloured balls of light, shafts of light or structured flying craft.
Serious attention was given to the simple circles in 1980 in southern England. The designs appeared primarily as simple circles, circles with rings, and variations on the Celtic cross up into the mid-1980s. Then they developed straight lines, creating pictograms, not unlike petroglyphs found at sacred sites thoughout the world. After 1990 the designs developed exponentially in complexity, and today it is not unusual to come across crop glyphs mimicking computer fractals and elements that relate to fourth dimensional processes in quantum physics. Their sizes have also increased, some occupying areas as large as 200,000 sq ft. To date there have been over 10,000 reported and documented crop circles throughout the world, with some 90% emerging from southern England. While many still go unreported each year, the emegence of the phenomenon in the world media and the internet has allowed more information to be lodged.
If you happen to buy the story that all crop circles were originated by two sexagenarians armed with planks of wood, garden rollers and string, you are not in the minority. Once in a while, governments like to control public interest in unexplained phenomena by generating a disinformation method called 'debunking', a technique invented during the Cold War for the sad purpose of controlling mass opinion (this was the prime motive of the 1953 Robertson Panel, details of which are obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act). The method is very effective, particularly when the media provides little or no scientific or factual data with which the public can form an educated opinion on the subject. This absence of evidence is then replaced by ridiculing the subject through association with other 'fringe' topics; so-called experts are brought-in to explain away all the events as freak weather conditions or as the work of general pranksters, even sexually excited animals!
According to TV documentaries, all crop circles up to 1992 were made by two simple, elderly men called Doug and Dave. It has since been discovered by researchers such as George Wingfield and Armen Victorian that the D&D story may have originated at the British Ministry of Defense- in collusion with the CIA, among others. Evidence supplied by a high-ranking informant in the British Ministry of Defence suggested that the government had every intent to discredit the phenomenon by putting forward two hoaxers in an effort to quell growing public interest in crop circles (the full story appears in my book, Secrets In The Fields). When confronted to provide evidence on certain claimed formations, Doug and Dave changed their story, even reversing previous claims; or they simply could not explain unusual features found in the genuine phenomenon. When they claimed making all the formations around the English county of Hampshire, for example, it was pointed out that half the known formations had actually occured in another county- "Er, no, we didn't do those either," they replied. In the end, not even Doug and Dave knew which ones they had made. And although they claim to have made hoaxes since 1978- at the time the published date of the first design- unpublished evidence confirmed crop circles dating back into the 1890s. The public has never heard these retractions, nor been given the opportunity to compare the mess created by D&D with the mathematical elegance of the real phenomenon.
In 1998, however, the surviving member of the deceptive duo did make an incredible admission to British newspapers that he'd been guided by an unknown force.
Since Doug and Dave's inauguration, many copycat hoaxers have appeared on the scene. Some do it to disprove or derail researchers, some for profit, some because they are sociopaths, some because they genuinely believe they can communicate back to the phenomenon (with very interesting results, I may add). Prior to 1989 the hoaxing problem was virtually unheard of. After 1990 designs of man-made origin vary by year- in 1992 and 1998 it was as high as 90%, in 1996 as low as 20%.
That people with a good amount of training can go into a field and eventually create a coherent pattern has never been the issue- recently, a group of known hoaxers called Team Satan/circlemakers was paid to go to conveniently out-of-the-way New Zealand to make an elaborate formation for The Discovery Channel. The deceptive tactics used to trick a viewing public into accepting the hoax theory are dealt with here.
The real issue is that no man-made crop circle has satisfactorily replicated the features associated with the real phenomenon, and this has baffled scientists and researchers. Crop circles are created by a force seemingly at odds with modern science. Central to the hoax argument is that a physical object is required to flatten the crop to the ground, resulting in the breaking of the plant stems. In genuine formations the stems are not broken but bent (left), normally about an inch off the ground and near the plant's first node. The plants appear to be subjected to a short and intense burst of heat which softens the stems to drop just above the ground at 90ª, where they reharden into their new and very permanent position without damage. Plant biologists are baffled by this phenomenon, and farmers, who know how the land ticks, have no explanation either. It is the singlemost method of identifying the real phenomenon. Research and laboratory tests suggest that microwaves or infrasound may be the only method capable of producing such an effect.
Crop circles are sometimes accompanied by trilling sounds, since captured on tape and analysed by NASA as being artificial in origin, with a harmonic component of 5.2 kHz.
The detection of electromagnetism also differentiates genuine formations from fakes. This naturally-occuring energy is known to exist at ancient sites such as stone circles, long barrows, tumuli, dolmens and menhirs, and in churches and cathedrals which were built upon these sites. Crop circles, sacred sites and other places of worship are also found upon intersecting points along the Earth's invisible energy grid, and the size and shape of a crop circle is typically determined by the area of these 'node' points on the Earth's surface. The frequencies of this energy are associated with changes in brainwave patterns; they also affect the body's biophysical rhythm, so it is not unusual to find reports of people experiencing heightened states of awareness and healings in crop circlesa situation also common to sacred sites. People may also experience dizziness, disorientation and nausea. All these effects can be caused by prolonged exposure to both infrasound or microwaves.
Biophysical evidence includes plants' expanded epidermal walls, and drastically extended node bends in fresh formations (normalright, crop circle far right); also observed are distortions of seed embryos, and the creation of expulsion cavities in the plants as if they have been heated from the inside. In genuine formations there is also a disruption of the plant's crystalline structure, as these microscope photos demonstrate (left). Yet in all cases, the plants are not damaged and will continue to grow and ripen if left untouched. This would not be possible had they been trampled by force.
Genuine crop circles are areas of gently laid and swirled plants which create a floor in mathematical proportions similar to the Golden Mean, the vortex used by nature to create precision organisms such as shells, sunflowers, the spatial relationship of the bones in the human hand, even galaxies. The floor of crop circles can have up to five layers of weaving, all in counterflow to each other, with every seed head intact and placed beside each other as if arranged in a museum case; the centres can contain nested, woven, crested, or wreathed swatches of plants; sometimes the center will consist of a single standing plant.
Genuine crop circles are not perfectly round but slightly elliptical (a hoax, requiring a fixed central rope, cannot achieve this adequately). Their edges are crisply defined from the flattened crop as if drawn with a compass and incised with surgical precision. Hoaxes, by comparison, bear a stylistic resemblance to tuffs of greasy, uncombed hair- and, of course, all their plants have been trampled, bruised and crushed.
Other anomalies indicate an increase infrared output within and around a new formation, indicating that both the heat content of the plants and the underlying watershed have been affected. Evidence even exists of four non-naturally occuring, short-life radioactive isotopes in the soil inside genuine crop circles (these dissipate after three or four hours); the soil in around them appears to have been baked.
Mathematically, genuine crop circles encode obscure theorems based on Euclidian geometry as well as the unalterable principles of sacred geometry. They have the capacity to alter the local electromagnetic field so that compasses cannot locate north; cameras, cellular phones and batteries fail to operate, and aircraft equipment fails whilst flying above them. Then there are levels of background radiation up to 300% above normal, radio frequencies falling dramatically or rising sharply within their perimeters, animals in local farms avoiding that particular area or simply acting agitated hours before one materializes, and car batteries in entire villages failling to operate the morning after one is found nearby. In some of the major events, entire towns have been left without power.
Since genuine crop circles materialize at crossing points along the Earth's electromagnetic energy currents, they are influencing the energy pattern of local phehistoric sites. They reference local Neolithic sites in size/shape/direction, and are dowsable upon entry, with as many as 150 concentric rings of energy outside their physical perimeter, like ripples in a pond. In fact, a year after they have been harvested and the field ploughed and re-sown, the energy imprint of the formations will still be dowsed, long after their physical traces have vanished.
This area of research has allowed for the possibility of crop circles as a healing force, and they are already being successfully employed in radionics, flower essences and resonance therapy around the world, both for people and environments in distress.
Crop circles are generally formed at night between the hours of 2-4 AM, traditionally during the shortest evenings of the English year when darkness lasts but four hours, in fields eagerly watched by farmers, military, laser alarms, scientists or hundreds of enthusiasts in their sleeping bags hoping to be the lucky ones to witness a crop circle forming. Some of those lucky few have witnessed large balls of brilliant colour project a beam of golden light into a field which next morning displays a new crop circle.Yet despite many stakeouts and fields rigged with top surveylance equipment, crop circles have appeared out of the mist right under the noses of those looking for them.
At Stonehenge in 1996 (left), a pilot reported seeing nothing unusual while flying above the monument, yet 15 minutes later this huge 900 ft formation resembling the Julia Set computer fractal, and comprising 149 meticulously layed circles, lay beside the well-patrolled monument. It took a team of 11including myselfno less than five hours just to survey the formation.
Still not convinced? This web site contains a sampling of the on-going research dedicated to enlightening the public. Look at the pictures, study the research or better still, visit a genuine crop circle. You'll get the message pretty quickly.
And when you do, tell this story to a friend.