In my last letter, I promised to send you the results of our Scientific Research Day.
As I described in my previous letter, I will just run through the basic arrangements. The date decided upon was Sunday 23rd July; the weather forecast was unsettled, a mixture of rain and sun. The date is planned some months ahead in order for our plans to fall into place. Undaunted by the forecast (we have conducted tests in rain before now), we met at the Avebury Sports and Social Club. It is a wonderfully convenient venue with good private parking and ample electrical outlets for computers etc. This is where we conduct the first control tests.
Advanced Clinical Physiologist Paul Gerry from the Devon and Exeter Hospital kindly joined us in order to conduct the tests. Our participants were Parkinson’s Disease sufferer Heidrun Warton. There are several types of Parkinson’s syndrome including one with no tremor such as happens in Heidrun’ case. Amongst the many other problems, sufferers are prone to mood disturbances such depression (sadness, loss of energy, decreased interest in activities) and anxiety (uncontrollable worry).
Other participants were long-time Essential Tremor sufferers Linda Daubney and Tina Martin. Aurele O’Malley acted as guinea pig.
Right from the start I knew it was going to be an unusual day. There were no circles. However, there was a field of barley in which the first circle of 2023 had appeared on the 28th May. By the 23rd July, over eight weeks later, the field had been harvested, leaving it in stubble. The remains of the circle were lying flat to the ground where the crop had been flattened. It was a very large field and wet underfoot after so much rain. This made walking more difficult, especially carrying all our equipment. We had been given the approximate site of the circle, which otherwise we would never have found except by a stroke of extraordinary good luck. Just imagine standing at the edge of a large field of stubble, a field so large that we could not see the far edge looking towards the distant horizon.
It was like searching for a needle in a haystack; trying to locate a flattened circle somewhere. It was below the height of the stubble, so impossible to see except from close to. All you could see would be the short stalks of the crop.
Aurele nimbly went ahead across the stubble and found the tramline that would take us straight into the flattened circle.
This is not completely new territory as in 2014 and 2018, we conducted our tests in circles that the farmer had mown out. Admittedly they were only a few days old and not like the one at Broad Hinton which was over eight weeks old. My hopes were not high. The results we had had from the tests conducted in 2014 https://cropcirclephotographs.
Geometer Michael Glickman (sadly no longer with us) sent me an email which reads as follows: ‘I have been drawing the circles now for nearly thirty years and I was astonished by the skill and precision embodied in Martinsell Hill. It is, in my view, one of the top ten (maybe five!) formations we have received. But perhaps I am prejudiced!
It contains 28 pentagrams and 140 precisely formed isosceles triangles, each with a prime angle of 36 degrees which automatically generates the golden section.
Any suggestion that this meticulous and majestic crop formation might be man-made is bizarre to the point of lunacy.’
Sadly the 2023 results apart from the dramatic improvement in Tina Martin’s handwriting were not remarkable. Maybe it was too old?
Our research is centred around conducting tests relating to the temporary relief of Parkinson’s disease. It has been found that in Parkinsons sufferers, if the level of brain activity is raised to the gamma level of brain activity 30-100Hz it can inhibit dyskinesia (stop or reduce the tremor). The gamma wave originates in the thalamus and moves from the back of the brain to the front and back again 40 times per second in a rapid “full sweep” action. This makes the gamma state one of peak mental and physical performance. Gamma is the brainwave state of being ‘in the zone.' Gamma brain waves are associated with the “feeling of blessings” reported by experienced meditators.
Paul Gerry wrote: ‘Just a short note to show you a few graphs showing brain waves over time (attached). The left column is the beforehand, middle in the circle and right afterwards. Top graphs are the alpha frequencies (related to relaxed mind) and lower the gamma.
'I think you can see the steady increase in gamma during the time inside the circle which reduces afterwards.’
This initial possible interpretation of the brain activity tests showing the increase in gamma were on reflection not important.
Paul Gerry writes ‘I have spent several hours analysing the brain waves, heart beat, eye movements and the tremor recordings.
So far I can’t find any significant changes in the three recordings I took of each person.
The initial gamma frequency change I am afraid to say is likely to be just muscle tension.
I have been in touch with the MD of the company who makes the equipment and he says he will join the before/in/after recordings together so I can view them continuously to look for variations.’
I am attaching Paul’s full report herewith. It is quite lengthy, so you may want to skip it.
CROP CIRCLE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DAY 2023
It has been reported that being in a crop circle can -
To record the various physiological signals and compare before and after being in the circle.
The equipment produced by Vilistus (www.vilistus.com) is ideal for recording suitable parameters. (Illustrated in graph below)
EEG (brainwave frequencies from right and left hemispheres) – looking at the various frequency
EOG (eye movements) Measurement of Ocular motility i.e. hypometric saccades in PD.
HRV (Heart Rate Variability) – Using a BVP sensor, HRV is a key indicator of physiological resiliency and ability to adapt effectively to stress and environmental demands.
Recording in the crop circle
Although the corn had been harvested it was felt there was a certain warmth and welcoming in the circle.
Electrodes were applied to the two sides of the head in specific places called T3, O2 and T3, O1 (according to the “10-20 system” with a conducting paste after the scalp was rubbed with a skin prep to reduce the electrical impedances.
Below: The raw traces being viewed and stored on the equipment
above: top two traces are the EEG from right and left hemisphere
third trace EOG
bottom pulse (heart rate)
There were two subjects, one with a diagnosis of PD and a “control”.
Recordings of the EEG and BVP along with EOG on the PD subject while she performed lateral eye movements to command were obtained, before in a study room, inside the crop circle and afterward outside the field.
EOG (Lateral eye movements) in the Parkinson’s subject
The lateral eye movements were very similar apart from more facial muscle interference inside the circle. There was no sign of PSP so it could not be used to monitor any improvement.
Brain activity (EEG)
The EEG is an accurate measurement of the physiological state of the brain.
The alpha frequencies (8 – 13 waves or cycles a second), relates to level of relaxation while theta (5 – 7 c/s) is closer to mindfulness and a meditative state. Gamma oscillations are thought to be related to deep brain structures and even self-healing mechanisms.
The following graphs are the three recording sessions (length approx. 10 minutes before, five minutes inside and five minutes after).
A slight increase of amplitude in the centre of this graph is seen during the time in the circle, suggesting deep relaxation, almost a meditative state.
The frequency fluctuates more during and after time in the circle relating to an altered mental state, alternating perhaps between reality and inner awareness of thoughts?
Along with the fluctuations of the frequency the alpha amplitude slowly increases during the time in the circle, possibly due to being at peace.
It would certainly appear that there is an increase in Gamma frequencies inside and after being in the circle. Could this be evidence of the circle having a healing effect?
Similar to the frequency graph, Gamma increases in amplitude once the subject is in the circle.
Interestingly the Gamma frequencies in the Parkinson’s subject show increase after she was in the circle.
The Gamma amplitude decreases during time in the circle but increases again afterwards. This needs further investigation.
Tremor readings from Essential tremor sufferer
The interesting feature of the tremor measurements is that the frequency distribution alters showing that the tremor movements become less complex, however the method of measurement needs refining as simply extending the hand is not comparable to a complex task such as writing.
This is perhaps the most striking graph showing significant variation in the heart rate inside the circle and also continuing afterwards.
High HRV is showing proper emotional regulation, decision making and attention. High HRV is illustrating increased parasympathetic activity.
However, with the Parkinson’s subject, the HRV decreases.
This could be showing a sympathovagal imbalance – illustrating both sympathetic and vagal activities are decreased. Definitely more research is required.
Tremor measurements using smartphone sensors were not suitable for recording a tremor that alters with intension.
Eye movements (EOG) are not always appropriate for assessing PD changes.
EEG amplitude is a sensitive index of the state of the mind, especially the theta, alpha and gamma bands.
Interbeat variability in the heart rate is the best way to monitor both physiological and mental changes.
Further studies of EEG and HRV are recommended.
My great thanks to neuroscientist Paul Gerry for continuing to conduct and devote his valuable time to record these important tests.
I find it interesting that both Heidron and Tina showed a marked difference after being in the circle.
It is a little time since I last wrote to you; Time is such a very difficult thing to quantify. I have a feeling that I may well have sent you the Mayan system of Time already? I hope not? The Mayans have an interesting belief that there is no such time as the present. It just does not exist. They recognise the past which is in front of them because they know about it and can thus 'see' it. The future is behind them because they cannot 'see' it. It is still to come and they don't know anything about what it will bring. Once the future arrives they know about it and then they can 'see' it, it is before them and it immediately becomes the past.
It may seem quite hard to comprehend initially but on consideration I can see that it is the philosophy of living in the present, something so many of us are encouraged to do and learning from the past as you can ‘see it’. Is planning the ‘unseen’ future part of the present? We have many such conundrums in our lives but few as serious and enormous as the world is facing today. It seems that in whichever direction we turn, the problems are there to a greater or lesser degree. There was a time when astrology was given the same scientific status as astronomy. Then the movements and positioning of the planets were as important and relevant to the lives and well-being or otherwise of a nation, just as they are today.
I was struck by the remarkable gesture made by an elderly woman, Yocheved Lifshitz (85) by her shaking the hand of the gun carrying Hamas fighter, one of many holding the kidnapped Israelis captive. It was in itself a simple gesture but it brought to mind the Moon landing in December 2012 when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and when walking on the surface of the lunar landscape, made his famous announcement and was quoted as saying ‘That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’
That quotation is now engrained in stone, ever to be remembered. A small step it may have been but the consequences were enormous. The outstretched hand of friendship to her captor by Yocheved Lifshitz is of no less importance, in courage, her love for peace and humanity. A simple gesture maybe, but the meaning behind it was also enormous, hopefully far reaching. We are all human beings, why don’t we wake up to that fact and realise that far more can be achieved through love, compassion and understanding of humanity as a whole, than war, wreaking destruction, bloodshed and suffering. She saw her captor as a man, a fellow human being. She showed us how to FORGIVE. Is it too much to hope that her instinctive action may have a ‘ripple’ effect.
As we finally bid farewell to Summer, we welcome autumn and its abundance. We are enjoying a wonderful kaleidoscope of colours as the leaves of the trees change colours; the brilliant reds of the acers brightening up the landscape; the subtle yellow/oranges of the beeches and the purples of the copper beeches and many others. As we walk through the woods we are walking on a carpet of many hues. We hear the rustling of the squirrels busy collecting their store of nuts to hide away in preparation for the long winter months ahead; other small animals are also busy as are the birds. This a time of gathering; with an innate knowledge deep within them of scarce times to come.
Halloween is also here; googlies, ghosties, witches and creepy sounds and things that make one jump.
So what is the history behind this strange event? Wikipedia tells us that ‘The Halloween holiday has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”), a pagan religious celebration to welcome the harvest at the end of summer, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.’ ‘To ward off evil spirits from their households, the Celts were known to set carved pumpkins (or turnips) in front of their doors. If they went out at night they wore costumes so that if they encountered an evil spirit they would be mistaken for an evil spirit themselves and thus be protected from evil and trouble.’ There was a more modern Christian history to this event called 'Souling`. Religious souls would visit houses to pray for the souls of the people. Small gifts would be given in return.
Sonya Julia, one of the lovely people who joined me on my Crop Circle and Stonehenge tour this summer, sent me and allowed me to share with you, some glorious photographs taken when she and her sister Sue and family were walking along the Ridgeway past the Uffington White Horse and on to Great Coxwell Medieval Tithe Barn in Oxfordshire. Some of the pictures show the Giants Footsteps rolling away in the distance. The famous Ridgeway runs from Avebury,Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Hertfordshire, and a distance of 87 miles (139km)
In my next letter, I will tell you about my annual Crop Circle Scientific Research day and its unexpected results.
And a message from Pam Gregory - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DLwQcYzBd8
Life is hotting up in the barley and wheat fields so I am going to write a short letter just to keep you up to date. The barley fields were the first to grace the circles; it is a 100 day crop from the time it is sown to the time it is harvested as a general rule. Wheat overlaps the barley around the beginning of July and continues until harvest time which is dependent on the weather between now and reaping.
Since last writing I have an interesting observation from mathematician Nick Kollerstrom in relation to the beautiful circle at Potterne Hill, Nr Devizes, Wiltshire on the 7th June 2023. It was in barley and measured 245 feet (45m) in diameter.
7th June 2023 ~ near Devizes
A 36-fold division of a perfect circle with no centre has appeared, i.e. it is divided at equal ten-degree intervals. That involves dividing a circle by nine to start with, and I doubt if any of us could manage that – even with access to the centre!
I suggest that this is what we’ve all been looking for all these years – firm, concrete proof that a formation is not man-made. In the past such arguments have depended upon a formation being huge, very complex etc., which was fair enough. However this is different. This time it’s a logical impossibility. If any croppie group had some money they could safely offer a substantial reward – to be paid to anyone who could duplicate this formation, either on a sheet of paper or in a field at night! Just make an exact circle and divide it into 36 without touching the centre – simple, isn’t it …?
We see petals around the outside, each made from two arcs, one per ten degrees, in other words there are 72 arcs forming the petals around the perimeter. Now 72 is quite a cosmic number, the number of precession: the stars move one degree every 72 years. So maybe this.`
This being once in a lifetime event, the others mathematically pale into less significance but were of interest nevertheless.
Next in line came on the 11th and 18th June were:
Top: Roundway Down, near Devizes, Wiltshire. 11th June
Bottom: Eastleigh Court, near Bishopstrow, Wiltshire. 18th June
© Stonehenge Dronescapes Photography
I would like to tell you about a new crop circle book that has taken twenty four years to complete.
The Great Turning , Crop Circles and their Message to Humanity, is the work of Michael Green 1931-2018 ( RIBA, FSA) He was an archaeologist, architectural historian, former Inspector of Ancient Monuments with English Heritage. Also oversaw the Summer Solstice events at Stonehenge. He excavated the Roman site of Godmanchester and Whitehall Palace London. He listed parts of London as well as contributing to the saving of Covent Garden.
Yet in this was his professional life, but he was psychic and a dowser, with a deep intuitive knowledge of the Ancient Timeless Wisdom.
I have known Michael since before the Centre for Crop Circle Studies (CCCS) was set up by Michael Green and Ralph Noyes in Cambridgeshire, at Easter 1990. I was honoured to be one of the Founder members. It was a time of wild speculation and bogus stories relating to the crop circles, and an academic body of various minds and specialties was needed. It was a fascinating, mixed and wonderful assembly and scientific research and investigation was started in earnest.
Over the years scientists from all over the world worked with the Society conducting interesting and exciting results.
The Great Turning is a long awaited book, illustrated throughout. It is a learned masterpiece and will go among the great if not the greatest body of work on the subject. Without a doubt it is the most superb reference book ever produced. With Green’s background he explored all the diverse connections, some obvious and some more obscure connections that link the crop circles with such subjects as theosophy, geometry, archaeology, anthropology, music and number. I am sure it will stand the test of time and people will recognise its importance to this elusive subject.
Distributor: Central Books RM8 1RX and available on Amazon
With my love and best wishes,
Circle Tours (https://cropcirclephotographs.co.uk/crop-circle-tours-2023/)
There have been a few unavoidable crop circle cancellations on the 27 July and 2nd August crop circle tours, so if anyone would like to jump in, please get in touch (https://cropcirclephotographs.co.uk/contact-lucy-pringle/) .
Sadly helicopter flights are exorbitantly expensive and in order to keep in the air and continue with my important research I ask if you could give as generously as possible. Donations can be made here I would be so grateful for your help.
Many have suggested using drones or radio controlled aircraft to reduce the expenses and challenges of flying for crop circle photography. After thorough investigation and consultation with an expert, I discovered the following.
Suggestions included purchasing a DJI Phantom with a GoPro Hero 3 camera (£1000 - £1500) and joining an RC club for flying tuition. A basic understanding of electronics is necessary for maintenance, which involves visual inspections, part removal, fatigue checks, and safety assessments. A drone's batteries also require specialised care and maintenance.
Contrary to popular belief, flying drones is not easy, as handling difficulties and equipment failures can occur. Commercial licensing and the risk of accidents with planes also pose concerns.
A two-person team is recommended, with one acting as the pilot and the other as a spotter for safety. Additionally, access to inaccessible areas and equipment transportation would be challenging, perhaps requiring a 4x4 vehicle. Despite considering all the information and associated problems, I must accept that this method is beyond my technical expertise and logistical capabilities.
This is a very short letter to bring you up to date with the latest circles and to let you know about the latest date for booking tickets for entry into Stonehenge
On the 4th June an old style pictogram was found at Barn Field, near Winterbourne Bassett, Wiltshire.
Field Barn, near Winterbourne Bassett, Wiltshire.
Reported 4th June
Barley. c.50 feet (15M) wide x 100 feet (30M) long.
Image © 2023 Lucy Pringle
And on Monday 7th June the following large circle arrived at Potterne Hill just south of Devizes, Wiltshire. It was a glorious day when I flew over it. It measured over 245 feet diameter (74.5m)
Potterne Hill, Nr Devizes, Wiltshire.
Reported 7th June 2023
Barley 245 feet ( 74.5m) diameter.
Image © 2023 Lucy Pringle
Potterne Hill, Nr Devizes, Wiltshire.
Reported 7th June 2023
Barley 245 feet ( 74.5m) diameter.
Image © 2023 Lucy Pringle
Potterne Hill, Nr Devizes, Wiltshire.
Reported 7th June 2023
Barley 245 feet ( 74.5m) diameter.
In addition to showing you the latest circles, I just wanted to stress that the very latest date for booking for the magical private evening entry is the 20th June
Sadly helicopter flights are exorbitantly expensive and in order to keep in the air and continue with my important research I ask if you could give as generously as possible. Donations can be made here I would be so grateful for your help.
I’d been holding my breath, hoping the circles had not deserted us, so I write in haste to tell you about the first crop circle of 2023. It appeared on Sunday 28th May at Broad Hinton, near Winterbourne Bassett. It consists of a circular ‘ring’ containing a propeller-like formation with six scimitar shaped 'blades'.
It lies amidst a sacred landscape, with the famous Hackpen White Horse and Ridgeway to the north (on the horizon) and Winterbourne Bassett marginally to the west.
Many times, in previous letters, I have written about the legend and history of the chalk white horse. We are told that ‘The Hackpen Horse was cut to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. Although little is known about the origins of the horse it is believed to have been cut by Henry Eatwell, parish clerk of Broad Hinton and local publican.
The horse measures 90ft by 90ft and is best viewed from the A361 between Avebury and Swindon at Broad Hinton.’
Moving on to Winterbourne Bassett, many are the times that I have turned left off the A361 and noticed the standing stone close by on my left.
Once part of a stone circle, only six stones remain, the stone in the photograph being half-standing while the others lie half-covered.
The following link provides a more fascinating history relating to this ancient stone circle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winterbourne_Bassett_Stone_Circle
Sadly helicopter flights are exorbitantly expensive and in order to keep in the air and continue with my important research I ask if you could give as generously as possible. Donations can be made here
Very many thanks to everyone who has contributed to date. I am enormously grateful to you.
With my love and best wishes,
The coronation of King Charles will stay ingrained in my mind for many years to come. Also the crowning of Queen Camilla.
The Coronation was a triumph - what a spectacle! The pomp, pageantry and everything that goes with it was just magnificent. It all worked like clockwork, having taken months of preparation and practice. Not a single thing out of order, right down to the finest and smallest detail. The nine thousand servicemen from the Army, Navy, Air Force and many other service contingents all marching in step. It was a veritable sight to behold.
Most impressive after the service, was when the Colonel in Command of the Blues and Royal regiment gave the word to move. This was passed down the line, and the whole mass of service men and women moved forward as one.
It gladdened me that Charles kept the Coronation Service largely traditional, after all it has been going for over a thousand years right back to William the Conqueror. The Coronation throne on which Charles sat to be anointed and crowned was first used by Edward III, who reigned from 1307-1327. Charles is the 40th monarch to be crowned in Westminster Abbey, which was built during the reign of Henry III.
Charles as King, seems to act as the stepping stone between the ancient and modern. He is forward thinking and doesn't have a racist bone in his body. He is knowledgeable about many religions and respects their followers. He helps the young and deprived through the Prince's Trust, and is a source of encouragement and care for all. This was illustrated by the diverse selection of people who were invited to his Coronation. Splendid beyond words.
There were several special and really important parts of the service. The Oath, the Anointing, and the Enthronement.
The oil was made from olives harvested from two groves - one on the Mount of Olives at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene, and from the Monastery of the Ascension. The Monastery of Mary Magdalene is the burial place of His Majesty’s grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece.
'The Coronation oil is based on the oil used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the formula of which has been used for hundreds of years. It will also be used for the anointing of Her Majesty The Queen Consort.'
'The Chrism oil - as it is called - has been consecrated in Jerusalem in a special ceremony at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
'It was made using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives, at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene - the burial place of Charles' grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece - and the Monastery of the Ascension.
`The olives were pressed just outside Bethlehem and perfumed with sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin and amber, according to the Royal Family's website.
`The Archbishop of Canterbury said the oil "reflects The King’s personal family connection" with Jerusalem and "demonstrates the deep historic link between the coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land."
I found it particularly moving when Prince William knelt, swore allegiance, and kissed his father, the King.
Prince William, the Duke of Wales and the Duchess of Wales must have been thinking and watching the cathedral service with huge interest, knowing the time will come, when they too will go through the same procedure.
I believe that Charles hit just the right note by continuing with tradition yet introducing the language of the time in which we live. So very different to when his mother, our beloved Queen Elizabeth II, went through a really punishingly long and traditional enthronement and coronation ceremony.
The fact that it rained did not diminish the occasion, and the thousands of people congregating from all corners of the globe, were not going anywhere. Many had camped out, arriving several days previously, in order to secure the prime positions along the Mall or Whitehall, bringing celebratory provisions and sitting and sleeping arrangements with them!
I remember it was raining the day Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, and her reign was one of the most successful and wonderful in history, so I have every hope and indeed confidence that Charles’ will also be great also.
The coronation of King Charles III and his wife Camilla as queen on Saturday, May 6, was the centrepiece of a weekend of events to mark the occasion.
I am now taking you to the 2023 crop circle season as we lie in wait wondering what wonders we will be given to behold and enjoy. As the years have progressed it appears that the circles are now reluctant to appear and do not reveal themselves until late May or even June. We have had an unseasonably wet and cold spring and the crops are only just beginning to reach the height necessary to receive a crop circle. If the crop is too short the circle will disappear quickly as it would not have the weight of the fallen crop to keep it down; thus we are ever mindful of the weather’s influence, not just for the start of the season but also for when the ripened wheat or barley (barley is reaped earlier that wheat) crop is ready for the farmers to cut and harvest their fields.
The early ones have nearly been in oil seed rape (canola) and I am going to show you some we have had in years gone by taken from one of my April 2022 letters.
It has arrived - the first crop circle of 2022 at Enmill Barn, near Crabwood, Winchester, Hampshire. Reported 24th April 2022
Oil Seed Rape (Canola) 85 feet (25.9m) overall.
At this time of year the circle presents itself in the startlingly vibrant yellow flowered crop, oil seed rape (canola), much used for cooking and in health products.
Enmill Barn, Nr Crabwood, Winchester, Hampshire. Reported 24th April 2022. Oil Seed Rape (Canola) 85 feet (25.9m) overall.
Images copyright © StonehengeDronescapesPhotography
The term "rape" derives from the Latin word for turnip, rapa or rapum, cognate with the Greek word rhapys. Wikipedia tells us that 'Crops from the genus Brassica, including rapeseed, were among the earliest plants to be widely cultivated by mankind as early as 10,000 years ago. Rapeseed was being cultivated in India as early as 4000 B.C. and it spread to China and Japan 2000 years ago.'
'One of the most versatile of all plants, oil seed rape is also used as diesel fuel, either as biodiesel in heated fuel systems, or blended with petroleum distillates for powering motor vehicles. Biodiesel may be used in pure form in newer engines without engine damage and is frequently combined with fossil-fuels. Historically it was used in limited quantities due to high levels of erucic acid. Processing of rapeseed for oil production produces rapeseed meal as a by-product. This by-product is a high-protein animal feed - competitive with soybean. The feed is employed mostly for cattle feeding, but is also used for pigs and poultry. However, natural rapeseed oil contains 50% erucic acid and high levels of glucosinolates that significantly lowers the nutritional value of rapeseed press cakes for animal feed.'
Oil seed rape flower
The flowers have a pungent smell and if you walk through it, you will find it is hard to get the pollen off your hair or clothes. As regards detective work, it is the easiest crop for sussing out the Goodies or Baddies.
In 2010 a most glorious formation arrived during a week-end just below Winton windmill in Wiltshire. It contained the most complex geometry, almost exactly bearing a likeness to Russian born physicist Leonard Euler's equation said to be one of the most complex, and indeed, possibly not fully understood by Euler himself. See diagram below.
Winton Windmill ~ Wiltshire
Top: Base of undamaged stalk.
Bottom: Root of undamaged stalk twisted by the `force`
'Having woken at 4am one morning and unable to get back to sleep I decided to drive down to Wiltshire and see the formation for myself. It had been raining heavily overnight and despite having stopped by the time I arrived, I had forgotten how much water the yellow petals retain. The crop stood about 5 ft tall and in no time at all I was drenched from head to toe and my Wellington boots were full of water that had trickled relentlessly downwards. In addition I had forgotten to bring my aerial photograph and as the formation could not be seen from the ground - only from the air or the windmill and this had been closed the week-end the formation appeared - I simply could not find it and was getting wetter and wetter. Not surprisingly not many people were happy to answer my early morning mobile telephone calls until Julian Gibsone nobly answered his and gave me the necessary directions. The outer ring was much trampled and did not provide me with the information I needed. However, the lay of the crop was remarkable, lying in a criss-crossing herringbone manner. I made my way inwards to areas that had been untouched and found what I was looking for; an unbroken stem without any cracks above or below. In order to ascertain this properly, it is necessary to dig away the soil from some way down around the stem. Holding my camera with soil covered, wet and slippery hands, I managed to get a photograph. Now soaked to the skin, and hoping that no-one was around, I did a quick strip, discarding first my sweater, replacing it with a jacket that came down to my knees and hid the fact that I had also discarded my jeans. Luckily I did not have to stop for anything on my way home so modesty was preserved! Definitely worth the effort!'
The whole article can be found on my website under Articles Worth The Effort (2010)
As always I am sending you Pam Gregory’s latest report herewith.
New Moon in Taurus May 19th 2023
Please remember to book your places on my wonderfully exciting crop circle tours. I have to close the booking on the 20th June for the special and magical private evening entry to Stonehenge on the 27th July tour. I fear only those already booked for the Stonehenge visit will be allowed to join me and enter the inner circle of the stones, go right up to them and feel their extraordinary energy radiating out towards you.
The Clocks Go Forward
At one am, on the morning of Sunday 26th March, clocks in the UK go forward to give us an extra hour of sunlight. Mentally, this is a major turning point as I feel that summer is waiting on my doorstep and about to ring the bell.
As I drive along, the hedges are full of the white blossomed blackthorn, another messenger of warmer weather and longer days.
Blackthorn hedge plants, also known by their Latin name Prunus spinosa, produce pure white flowers against dark stems in early spring, followed by attractive mid-green foliage, and finally, sloes appearing in the autumn. Often devoured by birds, these sloes can be collected and used to make Sloe Gin, or when left to adorn the branches, they provide wonderful seasonal interest. Prunus spinosa hedge plants are covered in thorns.
We are told that in English tradition, it was thought to have been the main component of Christ's crown of thorns. Blackthorn is much prized for walking sticks. Only blackthorn or oak wood may be used to make an authentic sail eille (shillelagh in English), the stick of Irish folklore. It is also said that Parliament's Usher of the Black Rod's knocking stick is made of it. It is steeped in folklore related to witches, used both in their wands used to curse pregnant women, and as fuel for their execution pyres.
I woke up this morning and felt a bit of a ‘rant’ coming on. I am perfectly aware that I live in this world but on the other hand sometimes I simply do not feel a part of it anymore.
I wonder if I am the only person who feels like a stranger in the modern world of ‘speak’. It seems I am just a ‘person’ although I know perfectly well what and who I am. As an example, it seems that suddenly the first person singular has become the first person plural etc. I know my wonderful English mistress would be in frenzy and foaming at the mouth. Where have all the commonly listed English parts of speech gone? Wikipedia comes to the rescue and tells us there are twelve (I could only find eleven) -- noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjection, numeral, article, and determiner. I wasn’t too sure what a ‘determiner’ might be and on looking it up, this is what it is. ‘In the English language, determiners are used before a noun to introduce it or to provide more information on the noun, such as how many there are. If there are any adjectives before the noun to describe it then the determiner will also come before them.’ Well, there we are. I wonder how many are in general use today?
In case you are uncertain of how you should converse with anyone, I have a very helpful link for you given out by the reputable Oxfam. Surely they must be right? But please don’t try it out as I might not understand you.
My second rant was regarding the censorship of any language/word that might be considered offensive in any book with or without their authors’ permission - such as Roald Dahl’s wonderful children’s books. The little darlings might be scared - that reminds me of Noel Coward's song ‘What's Going to Happen to the Tots’. Salman Rushdie, who has had problems himself reacted fiercely: ‘Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.’ Roll on the debate. No more controversies!
I am delighted that the world famous Gobekli Tepe temple still remains unscathed after the devastating earthquake in Turkey.
I have long been intrigued by this amazing temple and its craftsmanship, created by unknown people of that time who were involved in its construction, architecture and intricate stone carvings etc. Historian Tom Cox tells us:
Gobekli Tepe Temple (Xerabreshkê/Girê Navokê) “Called the Gobekli Tepe Temple, located six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in south-eastern Turkey, it had previously been surveyed by the University of Chicago in 1963, and it was not until 1994 that German Klaus Schmidt made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: Having seen the first report by the University of Chicago, he decided to do a further excavation and recognized the possibility that the rocks and slabs were prehistoric. The following year, he began excavating there in collaboration with the Şanlıurfa Museum, and soon unearthed the first of the huge T-shaped pillars.
“The massive carved stones, about 11,000 years old, were crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.”
The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. It is considered to be the site of the world's oldest temple and contains the same geometry as is found in crop circles!
Rather like Avebury, many of the stones were taken away by the locals for building material. It was an agricultural area.
“For the old Kurdish shepherd, it was just another burning hot day in the rolling plains of eastern Turkey. Following his flock over the arid hillsides, he passed the single mulberry tree, which the locals regarded as 'sacred'. The bells on his sheep tinkled in the stillness. Then he spotted something. Crouching down, he brushed away the dust, and exposed a strange, large, oblong stone.
“The man looked left and right: there were similar stone rectangles, peeping from the sands. Calling his dog to heel, the shepherd resolved to inform someone of his finds when he got back to the village. Maybe the stones were important.
“They certainly were important. The solitary Kurdish man, on that summer's day in 1994, had made the greatest archaeological discovery in 50 years. Others would say he'd made the greatest archaeological discovery ever: a site that has revolutionised the way we look at human history, the origin of religion - and perhaps even the truth behind the Garden of Eden.
“The site has been described as 'extraordinary' and 'the most important' site in the world.”
“A few weeks after his discovery, news of the shepherd's find reached museum curators in the ancient city of Sanliurfa, ten miles south-west of the stones”.
“The age of the temple predates the Pyramids, Avebury, Stonehenge and other early sacred sites by many thousand years, taking us back to a time before man became settlers.
Tom Cox also suggests that “…at the date in history when the temple was constructed, that the surrounding area was a verdant place with trees, shrubs and rivers.”
Who were these immensely skilled people and when and to where did they disappear? Could there have been an earlier as yet unidentified civilisation?
Herdman Healing Sanctuary
I am going to tell you about a wonderful healing centre not far from where I live. It is run by two people who have long had a dream. For Martin and Libby Herdman (old friends of mine) who had moved out of London to the country and after settling in, started to work on their dream. Not knowing quite how it would turn out, it seemed as though their dream was developing of its own accord. Last summer Martin and his brother set about building an octagon structure to be used for healing work, but somehow the powers that be decided that their original plans should grow into a magnificent 16 sided (hexadecagon) building. Between the two of them the building gradually came into being. An electrician, to install the necessary electric power, was their only outside help.
I visited the now completed sanctuary a few weeks ago. Sadly Libby was in London. I was aware they had been working on a building, but I could not believe my eyes when I saw the amazing construction and learnt of all the hard work involved. It is on a slight upward slope and Martin took me up and opened the door. Stepping inside was like stepping into another world. A world of serenity. I was enveloped in a warm feeling of awe, well-being, peace and security, rather like entering a church. ‘It is a Temple’ I said. ‘O, we didn’t quite know what to call it’, said Martin.
They are both fully trained, and together with Shamanic Healing and Reiki, they offer yoga and healing, yoga, Meditation Sound Healing, and gong baths etc.
I can strongly recommend you visit the Herdman Healing Sanctuary. It is run by two special people.
May the dreams you hold dearest
Be those which come true
May the kindness you spread
Keep returning to you.
I send you my love and best wishes
Despite cold frosty and sometimes foggy mornings, spring seems to have been knocking at the door. For the last ten days, the sun has been shining for a few hours almost every day. Snowdrops and crocuses have arrived.
Early one morning, I got up to see the most spectacular sunrise. There is an old saying “Red Sky in the morning, shepherds’ warning.” This time it was wrong, as within a few minutes it had faded, and we had a gloriously sunny, but freezingly cold, day!
Sunrise in Hampshire
The birds have also recognised the change and are singing different songs, as they dust off their vocal chords in preparation for their full orchestral chorus in the months to come.
I have two bird feeders containing sunflower hearts, and from my kitchen window I have a grandstand seat. I have my camera at the ready, but as most of them - apart from the gold finches who love to pose - dart in and out so fast, it is really difficult to capture one in focus. They all have their own personalities and it is surprising how fierce some of the robins and blue tits can be. They are the bossiest birds scaring away the finches, nuthatches and blackcaps. There is a definite pecking order between the species and indeed between the very members of each species.
I send you a selection of pictures I have taken, including an out of focus image of a bullfinch. I am determined to get a picture of one in focus eventually! I have a pair of them; the female is very dowdy in comparison to the male. Robins find it hard to purchase on the feeder, but are training themselves to cling on. I also have a pair of nuthatches and a family of eight goldfinches made up of several different generations.
I came across a fascinating story just recently about the unlikely alliance between two totally different species. The wildlife film shows the plover (cyknie bird) protecting her nest of eggs when a monitor lizard - famous for its love of eggs - appears and starts creeping towards the little bird’s nest of eggs. Raising an alarm call, the bird dances around wildly trying to divert the lizard, then suddenly the crocodile, having heard the bird’s distress calls, comes to her rescue, driving the monitor lizard away. Is there a reason for this strange friendship between two of the most unlikely creatures? It appears there is - it seems that the little plover performs an invaluable service to the crocodile by giving the crocodile a thorough tooth flossing. The crocodile opens its mouth and the plover diligently picks the bits of meat from between the crocodile's teeth and generally cleans all its teeth on a regular basis.
The bird is sometimes referred to as the ‘crocodile bird’ for its symbiotic relationship with crocodiles. According to Herodotus, the crocodiles lie on the shore with their mouths open and a bird called 'trochilus' flies into the crocodiles' mouths so as to feed on decaying meat lodged between the crocodiles' teeth.
On the other hand, even stranger and more amazing is the way the bird reciprocates, and there is a film of first one and then two birds defending a nest of crocodile eggs. This film shows a nest of crocodile eggs and a monitor lizard - one of the fiercest and ruthless of all the lizard family - coming out of the bushes and creeping stealthily towards the nest, when all of a sudden the Egyptian plover (cyknie bird) appears and darts forward with outstretched wings, to attack the monitor lizard. So fierce is her attack and so determined is it that the lizard is stopped in its tracks. However, he clearly weighs up the situation, and size of the plover, and creeps forward once again, when suddenly a backup in the form of another cyknie appears and between the two of the them - not even afraid of tweaking the monitor’s tail - they drive the fierce monitor away, thereby protecting and saving the crocodiles eggs. They are enormously courageous little birds.
The Cambridge English dictionary tells us the Symbiosis is:
- A relationship between two types of animal or plant in which each provides for the other.
- The conditions necessary for its continued existence.
A relationship between people or organizations that depend on each other. Siamese twins would be an obvious example.
On searching the Internet, I found many similar instances of symbiosis among the natural world including the plant world.
As I write to you, it is impossible to ignore the devastating news about the huge earthquake in Turkey that has already killed over 20,000 people and is growing, with many more injured - leaving children as orphans, families, missing loved ones, and many more, homeless. And at this time of year, people are digging with their bare hands in freezing weather trying to locate survivors. A gigantic and indescribable disaster of huge proportions. Lying on one of the most seismically active areas of the world - the Anatolian fault system - its vulnerability is ever present.
Major fault lines
Turkey’s two main fault zones - the East Anatolian and the North Anatolian - is one of the world’s most seismically active areas.
With these and other happenings in different parts of the world, I am reminded how incredibly fortunate we are living away from these areas; living in countries with temperate climes; including free speech and freedom of movement.
Climate change is here for good and we should pay attention and play our part in a positive, constructive manner. Sometimes we take our good fortune for granted, and we are reminded that this is something we should never do.
Please remember to check your diaries as crop circle tour bookings are already coming in. The days and evenings are getting lighter and my heart fills with joy and optimism.
As always I have great pleasure sending you Pam Gregory’s latest reading.
I wish you a wonderfully happy, peaceful, healthy and fulfilling New Year 2023.
This past year, 2022, has really been largely dominated and overshadowed by the Russian dictator Putin’s attack on Ukraine in a 'military exercise' that was to only last a few days! Little did he expect the valiant resistance that followed his invasion. The ensuing result of this conflict has had a worldwide effect, with trade links cut, food and other shortages, and astronomical price rises. This part of the world - Central and Eastern Europe - has been in constant turmoil going back centuries. So I decided to investigate more fully to try and make sense of what has happened and found myself exploring an ever changing and troubled region of the world.
We are told that 'The history of Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, officially begins with its founding in 482, but the city may date back at least 2,000 years. Archaeology dates the site of the oldest known settlement in the area to 25,000 years BC. Kyiv was the historical capital of medieval Kievan Rus' from 879 to 1240, and is now the largest city and the capital of Ukraine.'
I also came across an excellent article in the Spectator written by Norman Davies who has helped clear up many of the questions I have been asking regarding present day Ukrainian’s determination to retain their own individuality and identity as a country, as opposed to being engulfed by their eastern neighbour Russia. In order to remain separate, the spirit and determination they have displayed, has been truly remarkable. Despite superior numbers of manpower - and watching their homes crumbling around them as they fall beneath the intense shelling of Russian missiles - their spirit remains unbroken. Classical, elegant, ancient buildings, once standing proud over city squares and elsewhere, now lie in rubble and dust. A cultured civilisation shattered on the surface but belying a steely inner fighting spirit. An enactment of the David and Goliath story.
He tells us that: “Since the outbreak of war in February 2022 there has been an overwhelming focus on the historical links between Russia and Ukraine, partly to counter Putin’s grand assertions that Kyiv belongs to Moscow. But this spotlight on Russia has meant the important history of Poland and Ukraine has been fatally overlooked.
Ukraine was part of the Polish state for longer than it was inside Russia – and this is key to understanding why Ukrainians are different from Russians. In other words, it is impossible to comprehend Ukraine’s history without examining the impact of both Poland and Russia.”
So what is the history behind all this? Far from being 'an upstart' country, Ukraine had a long and important role to play in this arena. I urge you to read the above article.
So what is my feeling about this? In a way I believe that, quite remarkably and unexpectedly, sometimes amazingly wonderful happenings or results may come out of what may seem a hopeless situation, rather like the legend of the phoenix rising from the ashes; symbolising immortality, resurrection and life after death, and in ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology it is associated with the sun god. According to the Greeks, the bird lives in Arabia, near a cool well.
Thinking of birds, my elder son who lives in Sydney told me a lovely story this morning. Sloane has an extraordinary wonderful affinity, understanding and love of birds and one time when he was very small, he was on a river bank and on spotting a pen with her cygnets, went straight up to them, sat down beside her and one by one put her cygnets on to his lap. And there sat Sloane, the pen and her cygnets all quite happily together for some considerable time.
The story he told me this morning:
“Lockdown took us all by surprise. Our concept of freedom and space changed, and we all had to make the best of the new limitations imposed on us.
I live in Sydney very close to both the ocean and inner harbour. Coastal walks and the water itself are a significant part of my day-to-day life, so when we went into lockdown, I had to find other things to do.
I have always had a keen love of nature, and Australian animals are inherently wild, very wild, and for those that have reared a Kookaburra, Magpie (the Australian Magpie is very different from the European and American variety, and more like the crow) or Rainbow Lorikeet will know the immense joy and wonder that comes with it. They are all very playful and rather naughty!
The tables were turned and now nature was free from our interference, and we were restricted to the spaces within our own homes.
The birds in particular realised this too and came in for a closer look at the humans within!
Living on my own, I was thrilled to have any company available, and after a little Google research, established what was best to feed the birds, and like us, not everything they like is good for them!
I dug up bugs and ordered in mealworms for the Magpies and sunflower seeds and apples for the Rainbow Lorikeets.
My flat has mosquito nets on all the windows, and not all accessible, so my kitchen window seemed the best option, especially as it is often where I sit and eat, and so we could all eat together.
I soon realised that birds have no etiquette or table manners and my kitchen soon filled up with escaping Mealworms, and the fine shelled skins from the sunflower seeds, and with regularity, everything getting scattered everywhere when there was a punch up between the birds, something I later managed by creating dividers for the birds.
I decided to build a makeshift bird table for my windowsill in order to contain the food and limit how far the birds came into the kitchen, with some success.
The latter didn’t always work, and I would often find birds of all descriptions in my kitchen looking outside of the box so to speak!
There is a special feeling when a wild animal shows trust. It takes patience and time.
Since lockdown has finished, the birds still visit, and at this time of year they are well into their 2nd batch of fledglings, so the bird table is busy.
Amongst many, I currently have one family of Lorikeets who introduced me to their two youngsters, and feed from time to time at my kitchen window.
Along with the more glamorous parrots, we have two breeding pairs of pigeons, generally not the most popular of birds and I’m somewhat frowned upon for feeding them, but they hoover up all that’s left behind by the other birds so serve me well and illustrate that there is balance in nature.
I had one of my regular pigeons arrive on my windowsill the other day with both his feet tangled in the fine cotton thread. She found it hard to walk, and I could see it was very tight on several of her toes. I knew it could only get worse and possibly lose her toes.
I caught her with ease and albeit she struggled initially, after a while I think she realised what was going on and calmed down. I noticed how soft and pink her feet were, and clean too and I guess this comes from living a rural life.
After about 20 minutes with only one hand to do the snipping, cutting and untangling, it was done and I let her go, and she flew a full circle in the sky and came back through my window into my kitchen landing on my hand.
As I write this, I’m looking out of my other window where I have my office (the same side as my kitchen window) and there is a large Gum tree, and I can see the birds preening and winding down for the day.
Soon the Magpie will sing and lastly the Kookaburra will say goodnight, I have a family of nine.”
As usual, I attach Pam Gregory’s latest findings. I think you will find them encouraging.