Everyone has heard of crop circles but what are they? The most striking features of these depressions in the crop are the neat swirling and flattening of the crop, and the sharp cut-off point between the flattened crop and the standing crop. Not only have these events appeared in arable crops but in fields of potatoes and sugar cane, also in heather, sunflowers, rice paddies, snow, ice and sand.
Are they a recent phenomenon?
There are reports going back to 800 AD and the famous woodcut depicting the `Mowing Devil` dated 1687 tells the story of a Hertfordshire farmer who had a field of oats. When they were ready to be reaped he approached a mower who clearly charged such an exorbitant price that the farmer was heard to say that he `would rather the Devil took his oats` and with that he stomped away. We are told that during the night strange sounds were heard and strange lights were seen (this is particularly relevant as it coincides with the numerous reports of `luminosities` and reports of animals being disturbed by noises on the nights formations appear), and the following morning when the farmer went into his field, he found part of the crop lying in round circles. He was very frightened and took to his heels and fled.
Clearly it was considered such a strange and unusual happening that it was recorded and that record has been passed down to us through the ages.
In more recent times I have come across numerous cases of people still living who played in crop circles as children in the 1920's and 1930's.
The circles were often looked upon with suspicion by farmers who either feared that they might not get the full price for their crop if the grain merchants heard about it or in other cases they were thought to appear only `when bad times were about`. To-day many farmers are concerned by the damage inflicted by thoughtless visitors who instead of walking down the tramlines, march straight across the field.
Could these events have with us forever?
Our Neolithic ancestors some 2/3000 years BC lived very close to nature and understood the sequential fall of the seasons and its implications. If anything strange or unusual had happened would they not also have recorded it, not only for their own survival but also for the survival of future generations? How would they have done this? They would have used whatever means or tools they had to hand such as stones or wood. Is it not possible that the complex stone structures such as Stonehenge could have been constructed as markers of commemoration?
Indeed not only are there complex stone structures all over the world, not just in Great Britain alone, nor is this phenomenon based in the British Isles alone; it is now a universal occurrence.
How widespread is this phenomenon?
We have eye witness reports of crop formations from over 40 different countries including Russia, Japan, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Norway, Finland, South Africa and Israel. It is a worldwide enigma with Britain playing the leading role. .
How many have been recorded
Since serious records began in the late 1970's, it is estimated that between 4/5000 have been noted. However many escape notice as farmers are reluctant to report them.
Over the years not only have the numbers increased but also the complexity. Scholars of the arcane liken the shapes to Celtic, astrological and astronomical symbols, whilst others see pure examples of medical, musical, engineering or biological forms. Each year has produced its own masterpieces.
There is no doubt the mathematical and geometric precision is huge and awesome. The shapes have progressed from five, six and sevenfold geometry to elevenfold in 2000 and thirteenfold in 2001; we have now moved from elementary to university standard maths. Latterly the completely unambiguous "Face" and the "Arecibo message" formations at Chilbolton, Hampshire were a totally new departure, having no mathematical basis and the images depicted in standing instead of fallen crop.
How are they made?
Are they miracles or works of the Devil? Are they all man made or is there an unknown intelligence working behind the scenes? Could they be made by atmospheric conditions such as plasma vortices or could the spinning blades of hovering helicopters be held responsible? Could they be the result of whirling dervishes, rutting hedgehogs or imprints left by UFO's?
The fact that these forms simultaneously represent perfect aspects of many disciplines could lend credence to the participation of an external intelligence. Alternatively could they be manifestations of our own subconscious?
Where is research leading us?
Whereas we have no definitive answer to this enigma as yet, there is increasing scientific evidence that when the `force` hits the target there is a huge electrical discharge measuring hundreds of thousands of volts per metre lasting a nanosecond, which in the case of crops, softens the plants at the base allowing them to fall: this `force` then traveling upwards breaks down the molecular structure inside the stems. When the `force` is too great it escapes through expulsion cavities in the nodes along the stems. The effect is similar to a baked potato exploding in a microwave oven when the energy is excessive.
It has also been found repeatedly that the seeds collected from inside a formation germinate faster and need less water than those gathered from outside the formation.
From my findings to date it would appear that research should be based in the infrared, microwave area of the electromagnetic spectrum and the latest results indicate that the endocrine system and the pineal gland are being affected whilst tests on brain activity have consistently shown Alpha blocking whilst inside the formations. More research is needed to evaluate the link between these subtle energies and living systems.
Close to 600 personal reports have been amassed from people, describing the effects of electromagnetic fields on living matter, i.e.: humans and animals, also the malfunction of electrical and mechanical instruments, after visiting crop formations or being in their vicinity.
What happened in 2001? Biblical Times?
2001 was an interesting year. Charles Dickens might have found that it contained the both the best of times and the worst of times.
We started off with the worst of times. Floods, pestilence and fire! Had we returned to the biblical age or were we reaping the devastating rewards of our mismanagement of the planet?
There was no doubting that the effects on people whose lives were caught up in these events, were terrible beyond belief. The floods across almost the whole country left people without homes and many of those in the worst hit areas who had mopped up after the first deluge were often flooded out again within weeks, bringing renewed untold misery and despair.
This was a dire reminder that despite all warnings, Councils throughout Britain were recklessly granting permission for houses to be built on known and existing flood plains.
But worse was to come. In February 2001 the first case of the dreaded Foot and Mouth virus was discovered in Northumberland. Before long the disease had spread like an invasive tentacle across the land, striking without warning and leaving farmers, many with herds of irreplaceable stock, facing ruin. Granted they were paid compensation but that was the monetary aspect, nothing could compensate them for the human desolation and the terrible slaughter of their animals. I dread to think of the gigantic karmic debt we owe the animal world. Farms remained eerily silent, even the birds had lost their song; no animals sounds were to be heard and the farmers now had no reason to get up in the morning to continue routines that had been in place since they could ever remember. Everything was still and empty.
The countryside was closed off and heavy fines ranging up to £5000 could be levied on people going onto banned land..
Many questions need to asked and answered regarding the handing of this whole affair and how we control the importation of meat into this country. An enquiry behind closed doors will not suffice. It seems to me that the `townies` know little about the country and its husbandry.
There were a few counties that escaped the holocaust, Hampshire fortunately being one of them.
Can we think of anything positive behind this terrible human and animal suffering, repercussions of which are still felt today some nine months on? I like to try and think of these shocking events acting as a catharsis. A cleansing if you like. Surely some good must result, even if it means we have only leant some valuable lessons?
So how did it affect the crop circle phenomenon?
Despite the mutterings of the Doom and Gloom merchants who suggested that since all circles were man made, we would not see any events until the ban was lifted, we had a greater number of circles during the closed period than is previous years! The best of times
2001 was indeed a good year for crop circles. The events in 2001 were varied and complex, without any particular theme running through the diverse shapes, yet as always captivating the beholders with their beauty and at times, quixotic humour.
As in so many previous years, the `Wessex triangle` was the predominant nesting ground, Wiltshire proudly boasting the greatest numbers. Hampshire was not to be outdone: it had been the cradle for this phenomenon when it came to the public notice in the late 1980's and just as it seemed appropriate that the first formation of 2001 should appear in Hampshire under the ancient iron age hill fort of Winchester Hill, so it was equally appropriate that Hampshire should produce two of the final most evocative and elaborate masterpieces of the season, namely the remarkable Chilbolton Face and Arecibo Message. They appeared respectively on the 14th and 20th August.
The village of Chilbolton in Hampshire lies in the Test Valley situated between the A3057 Stockbridge - Andover road and the B3420 road from Winchester to Andover. It is about 15 miles north of Winchester and 5 miles south of Andover.
Like so many English villages, Chilbolton is rich in history ranging throughout the ages. Axe heads and flints left by Stone Age man (250,000 - 8,000 B.C.) tell us that this part of England was active in prehistory. A long barrow dating back to our Neolithic ancestors, some 4,000 - 1,800 B.C was discovered in 1924 on the Chilbolton - Leckford boundary.
In addition several bowl barrows dating from 1,800 - 800 B.C have been found indicating that Bronze Age man also settled in and worked this area. Exhibits of the earliest dated flints from Chilbolton can be seen in the British Museum.
This area is also rich in ancient hill forts, Danebury and Woolbury ring Forts being close by.
How they brought the Good News (with apologies to Robert Browning. "How they brought the good news from Ghent to Aix". 1848)
A woman riding her horse along the public footpath bordering onto the field kindly notified me of a single formation. When I flew over the field I was surprised to see two formations not one. One was a large rectangle (90 x 265 ft) and my first impression was that it was some kind of communication, probably a computer chip?
The second formation, a smaller rectangle measuring 145 x 165 ft was completely indecipherable from the air; I could see no meaning to it.
It was not until I was at the photographic lab later that day that my printer said `Oh, there's a face!` The picture has to be viewed at a particular angle for the 3D face to become startlingly apparent.
I immediately scanned the pictures and emailed them to computer expert Paul Vigay (http://www.cropcircleresearch.com) requesting his identification of the `computer chip`. Within minutes he telephoned to say that it was not a computer chip; he had instantly recognised the `chip` as having a striking resemblance to the Arecibo message sent to globular star cluster M13 in 1974 by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).
The message was pulsed by the radio telescope in binary form, consisting of 1679 pulses. 1679 in a unique combination of two prime numbers, 23 and 73. Binary being the universal language used when attempting to communicate with other intelligences. This message, found on the 20 August, contained a large amount of encoded information about life on planet earth and its inhabitants.
Paul identified several discrepancies, notably in addition to the five atomic numbers that consisted of the necessary elements for life on this planet of Phosphorus, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon and Hydrogen, a sixth atomic number, namely no 14, depicting Silicone had been added.
It has been suggested that if there are other intelligences, they could well be silicone based as opposed to us earthlings who are carbon based.
Furthermore there were discrepancies in the DNA, in particular an additional strand on the left of the double helix. The height of the humanoid was not only considerably smaller (approx: 5ft 9ins in the original message, now approx 3ft 4ins) but had a larger head. The population figure had increased quite markedly and the solar system instead of highlighting only the third planet from the sun, Earth, also highlighted Mars and Jupiter, the fourth and fifth planets.
Are you receiving? Over and Out
These unique rectangles were a totally new departure from anything we had seen before. Firstly the images were in the positive, the image being depicted in standing rather than flattened crop; secondly there was no mathematical basis to either and thirdly they were completely unambiguous in their interpretation.
Both events lay within feet of the Government owned radio and field station, close to where the spectacular 2000 `Indian Necklace` formation had lain. - the Observatory was unmanned at the time; no trace of any happening during the times they appeared, was found on their radar screens.
Had communication been established?
These formations met with a mixed reception; whereas the media attention given to these formations in the US was intelligent and long lasting, the interest in the UK was intense for 48 hours, then everything went dead. Why was this? My belief is that they were too disturbing and close to home for comfort. What if there was no other explanation than extraterrestrial communication? It is one thing to read about other intelligences and see films on the subject but--to have confirmation of outside intelligences arriving on your doorstep is quite another matter. Did they have a physical body or were they disembodied intelligences consisting of unknown electromagnetic particles? Did they resemble us in any way? Where did they live? Clearly they knew what WE looked like as portrayed by the Face in the field, but what did THEY look like? Were they material or immaterial? If they are material, are already amongst us? Are they able to change from the material to immaterial forms by rearranging the electrons in their bodies?
From whence were they transmitting and how?
All these questions and more must have raced through the minds of the media.
Certainly they were both disquieting and alarming and this was brought home to me by the reaction of an unusually intelligent friend of mine who is taking a university degree in theology. Over the years he had been trying to persuade himself that, although unlikely, it was just within the realms of possibility that the hoaxers were becoming more and more adept each year, and that all the formations were therefore man-made.
However when I confronted him with the Face lying in the field with the Arecibo message alongside and the Chilbolton Radio telescope close by, he noticeably blanched and became quite distressed. In order to try and preserve his sanity and theological beliefs, he had to persuade himself that I had never shown him the photograph at all; he had to persuade himself he had never seen it. There was no rational explanation of any kind; I could not have faked the photograph to any degree of satisfaction and the complexity of the lay of the formation was such that human involvement had to be excluded. No, there was no remedy to his confusion. Help!
Maybe he could not accept that this phenomenon is within the Mind of God? God is beyond all religion, and theology is like a library of religious beliefs and dogmas placed there for the comfort and security of its readers.
I believe this troubled reaction is a more common than we realize. Clearly there are certain `no go` areas in deeply rooted beliefs systems and if these are threatened, they endanger the whole core of the person's fundamentals ?
However we cannot attempt to limit the Mind of God? As the Creator of all things His Mind encompasses this phenomenon.
Whatever the answer, it is evident we are entering new and previously unexplored areas of research and learning due to these beautiful and enigmatic creations in the landscape.
It is also evident that there is a progression taking us into advanced areas of physics, mathematics, and medicine. These majestic shapes touch the heart as well as the mind as they lead us into new realms of mystery, along paths of fresh understanding, engrossing and delighting us.
That the crop circles have acted a catalyst in bringing together people of all disciplines, races and creeds, could be deemed testament enough of their purpose. In this alone they have brought happiness to many.
Not everything can be explained within the existing tried and tested laws and parameters of science. As Einstein so aptly puts it `There comes a time when the mind touches a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there`.