Chilbolton History and Crop Formations

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. (1)

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.

Several bowl barrows dating from 1,800 - 800 B.C have also 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. Winchester Museum also holds many flints and other ancient artefacts from this area.

This area is also rich in ancient hill forts, Danebury and Woolbury ring Forts being close by.

The early history of Chilbolton and its environs is by no means peaceful; the Romans, under General Vespasian (9-79 AD) entered Winchester, changing its name to Caer Gwent. Indeed over the years Winchester was known by several names and it was not until later that it bore the name by which we now know it. Around 514 the area around Southampton and Winchester came under Saxon rule. In 608 a large area around Winchester, including Chilbolton was given the name of The Hundred Hides of Chilcomb.

It was King Egbert in about 829 who made Winchester his capital city and reputedly built a hunting lodge in Chilbolton. Not long after King Egbert, Chilbolton was raided and pillaged every springtime by the Vikings, who would sail down the river Test to Chilbolton, lay waste to the land, terrorising the people as they went.

The remains of a Roman settlement have been found at Chilbolton adjoining the Radio Telescope. Coins dating to the time of Allectus (293 A.D) were unearthed. Indeed numerous coins of Valerian 1, Claudius 11, Crispus and Constantinius 11 from the times of 256 - 378 have been found over the years spread over the now disused Chilbolton airfield.

It is thought that Ceobold, the Saxon gave his name to Chilbolton. Indeed over the years just as Winchester was known by various names, so the name by which Chilbolton was known altered.

In Saxon times: Ceolbaldinctura

A.D. 909: Ceolboldingtun

Domesday: Cilboldentune

1284: Cilboldentune

Richard 1: Chilbondinton

In the time of King Athelstan (925 - 934) legend has it that a great battle was fought between the Chilbolton giant who was laying waste to the land, and Sir Guy Warwick. So great was the terror instilled by the giant that King Athelstan fled, locking himself safely in Chilbolton. A fearsome battle ensued in which eventually Sir Guy was victorious, slaying the giant with his mighty sword.

Stories of giants abound wherever you find long barrows for our ancestors believed them to be the resting places of these enormous men.

In 1986 before drilling started, the oil companies Amoco and Ultramar

agreed to an examination by archaeologists of the proposed drilling site situated on an old airfield (now the site of the Radio Telescope) near the village of Chilbolton.

This was led by Dr Russell Taylor of the Test Valley Archaeological Committee.

Two skeletons along with other valuable artefacts were found in an undisturbed burial mound. Amongst the most notable finds were two pairs of gold earrings and two bowls dating back to the early "Beaker " period of the Bronze Age some 4000 years ago. The discovery of the 2 pairs of earrings was particularly important "as only four or five gold earrings have previously been found in such sites separately in England."

To find two pairs together in the same place is so exceptional and could possibly be the only such example found in north west Europe. The other artefacts, a copper dagger, a bronze spatula and a flint knife, found on the site are on display at Andover Museum together with the earrings and decorated bowls.(2)

The Markway, still in existence, was one of the most ancient roads in England running southwards from Fullerton Bridge, forming the boundary west of Chilbolton. Our ancestors from times immemorial used this prehistory track as they travelled with their flocks and it is thought to have been the route taken by the early travellers to Stonehenge.

Our Neolithic forebears even before 3,000 B.C were active, travelling great distances selling their beautifully made hand axes and they too would have trod the Markway.

The site of the Markway now passes close to the Radio Telescope at Chilbolton.

Over recent years several crop formations have appeared near this ancient area of Chilbolton, one in 1990 resting on the age-old Mark Way.

Another beautiful formation (see picture) was found in 1992 on the edge of Chilbolton in Stragglers field, close to a tumulus. I remember visiting it and its small adjacent circle within days of its arrival. Strange things happened the night it formed, some said there was a blanket of mist, others spoke of seeing a strange off white and very bright light very high up, travelling from horizon to horizon at great speed. A few days later a small aircraft and a micro-light both crashed in the same barley field as the crop circles. Some put it down to the turbulent air conditions but we cannot rule out the possibility of residual electromagnetic fields interfering with the aircraft. A similar catastrophic event happened when an aircraft crashed on Pewley Down, Guildford, Surrey on 15 August 1993 (3) The conclusion after a year's intensive investigation by the Air Accident Control Board was an Open Verdict. They could find no explanation.

In 2000 a large and elaborate formation, resembling a piece of jewellery, appeared in the field north of and adjacent to the Radio Telescope.

On the 14 August 2001, yet another formation was discovered, once more in the field north of the Radio Telescope. Someone riding her horse along the public footpath bordering onto the field kindly notified me. 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 ( 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 noted that there were 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 Silicon had been added.

It has been suggested that if there are other intelligences, they could well be silicon based as opposed to us on earth who are carbon based.

In addition there were discrepancies in the DNA, notably 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 high lighting only the third planet from the sun, Earth, the fourth and fifth planets Mars and Jupiter, are also highlighted.

So what are we to make of it? IF it is genuine it is of global significance.

The `Face` discovered on 14 August, would appear to be male and possibly generic. Many people have found this formation disturbing; certainly we have had nothing like the two formations before; in terms of construction and meaning, they are a completely new development.

I visited the formations with the Meridian TV team and buried my 25 ml plastic bottles of water plus control samples outside. These remain to be tested.

The lay of the Arecibo message is in a grid like form, the standing crop revealing the message. The lay in the `Face` was one I had not seen before; it seemed as though the flattened, swirled crop around each standing tuft had been laid individually. A task that would surely be beyond the ability of man during the short hours of darkness at this time of year? None of the stalks were broken in either formation; they were bent at the base. In the `Face` I found a stalk with a blown node.

Researchers Charles and Frances Mallett, visited the formation after it had been harvested and whereas there were no underlying lines in the Arecibo message there were grid lines in the `Face` some measuring 2 inches wide, others were wider but not more than 3 1/2 inches. These were not visible prior to harvesting. I have very narrow feet and if I stand with both my feet together the total width is 7 inches, so 2-3 inches would be less than the width of my one of my feet. How were these lines made?

Whether the origin of the formations is of man or of a complex, discarnate energy as yet unknown to man, they are most impressive in every respect.

In the photographs both formations appear in the positive, whereas previously the large majority of events have been in the negative (ie in this instance, the standing crop has determined the pattern rather than the fallen crop).

I gave the Daily Mail the `scoop` on the events and for about 72 hours there was a flurry of excitement in all areas of the media and then it went dead, almost as though it was too hot to be handled. However there was prolonged interest in America. The rest of the world ignored the story.

The land is owned by the Leckford estate, part of the John Lewis Group.

I spoke to Ben Gibbons the Leckford Estate manager and he assured me that no-one had been given permission to enter the field to conduct entomological research as had been suggested. In fact he was adamant that any trespassers would have been evicted promptly. He was extremely interested in the two crop formations and could offer no explanation.

I also spoke to Darcy Ladd, manager of the Radio Telescope and Jan Lass. Indeed when I spoke to the latter she had no idea that the smaller formation was a face and it was not until they looked at my web site ( that they recognised it as such! She also told me that nothing had shown up on their radar screens during the two nights prior to the discovery of the formations and the meaning of the formations could not be seen from the radio telescope.

The radio telescope (not open to the public) is no longer engaged in any deep space work. It is used for weather research, using pulsed signals. It is owned by the Government but does not come under the auspices of the MOD. In an interview with Linda Moulton-Howe, renowned author, researcher, and radio interviewer (, Darcy Ladd mentioned that the radio telescope was built in 1965 for the purpose of radio wave propagation studies. "The interest was in the interaction of the radio frequency energy passing through the layers of the atmosphere. The principle aim was to study the effects that communication satellites would undergo, communications with satellites in space. It could look at both celestial or terrestrial sources.

"It is a receiving station, so it does actually transmit. It has never been used for communication. When it was listening to radio stars, it was just looking at the magnitude of the signal and seeing how that changed through the interaction of rain and clouds and the ionosphere. And now it's used as a radar, so we are beaming pulses of energy out and listening for the return echo." Chilbolton Telescope is engaged in commercial research, it is a Government laboratory, their parent Agency is Rurtherford- Appleton Laboratory which is a government laboratory ( to be found under the Research Council of Britain's Office of Science and Technology.

Darcy Ladd went on to say that their status would be similar to the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

He also mentioned that the military were major users of their technology (radio spectrum)in regard to obtaining weather information. (

I am greatly indebted to Eleanor Lockyer for her impressive knowledge of the history of Chilbolton on which I have drawn extensively, and to Linda Moulton-Howe for permission to reproduce part of her interview with Chilbolton Observatory manager, Darcy Ladd.

1. Lockyer, Eleanor M. Chilbolton Fragments. Story of a Test Valley Village. IBSN 0 9509333

2. Arena. Issue No 3. Spring 1986

3. Pringle, Lucy. Crop circles, the Greatest Mystery of Modern Times, Thorsons. London 1999. (p 94, chapter seven.)