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Written by Last modified: Sunday 12-Aug-2012 03:52:48 EEST        

Crop circles / agro-glyphs / pictograms

Crop Circle at Milk Hill in Wiltshire above the White Horse on 17 August 2001

Above: Crop Circle at Milk Hill [larger pic] in Wiltshire above the White Horse, Britain on 17-Aug-2001. There were 409 circles incorporated into the design, which was more than 800 feet (243 meters) across (the average crop-circle is ~200ft wide).

Doug & Dave controversy and Media spin: In 1991, two retired gentlemen came forward: Doug Bower and David Chorley, who are residents of Wilshire, England, where more crop circles appeared than anywhere else in the world. And took credit for creating some 300 crop circles over the previous 20 years.
What is suspicious about the two older men "confession" is that it appeared simultaneously on the front pages of international papers and on CNN the same day. Any published author familiar with the difficulty of getting media attention will know that it takes a very powerful public relations firm to get a story to the front page of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, Le Figaro, and many other papers the same day. Where did the two pensioners get the kind of clout that would spin their claim around the planet? The result was instantaneous: The press and, more importantly, most scientists lost all interest in the story for 10 years. -- Vallee
Below: Sticks and ropes creating a crop-formation.

Human-made crop circles

Summary: This page covers "crop circles", a term that is currently used to describe the large-scale "graffitti" agroglyphs / crop formations, i.e. landscape artwork of geometric patterns, often very intricate and complex (e.g. fractals), appearing in fields, usually corn and wheat fields (the design is viewable from the air). Frequency of appearance has increased dramatically since mid-1970s, databases list over 5.000 cases. The sentiment in the UFO research community seems to be that all of the "fancy" patterns are man-made, and the "basic" patterns are created by some sort of meteorological phenomenon (wind vortices). However crop-circle researchers claim to have uncovered enough anomalous characteristics of crop inside crop-formations (e.g. Haselhoff's report that plant node lengthening was proportional to the distance of the plant from the center of the circle - correlation= 0.988, also see XRD X-ray diffraction study below), to rule out the idea that all crop circles are "mechanically flattened crops" (a/k/a "pranks with planks"). According to these crop-circle researchers, work by laboratories on circle-affected crop has shown biological changes taking place at a cellular level, which could be attributable to some kind of microwaves, but other physical tests have shown anomalies not yet replicated by man-made experiments. Finally, others have suggested that cropcircles could be the product of satellite-based particle-beam weapons (a hypothesis which seems untenable when one examines the physics involved) or black-project military microwave (HPM) devices mounted on stealth drones.

My opinion: To the best of my knowledge, there still is no good evidence to link UFOs with the modern deluge of agroglyphs i.e. there are no testimonies by people asserting to have watched a UFO create a crop-circle. It also seems odd to me that agroglyph complexity -e.g. drawing fractals on crops- apparently parallels human technological development (computers, GPS, laser rangefinders, night-vision goggles etc). However, I have been most intrigued by the eyewitness accounts of people who claim to have personally experienced the formation of a crop-circle in real-time (unfortunately few, and only a handful of them are on-camera interviews). Such accounts date as far back as the 1930s. Eyewitnesses describe that the crops are bent down forcefully in a clock-wise direction and the circle is formed in a very short time, no more than a minute. None reported a UFO in the vicinity. (Video examples [from my library]: Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious Universe video interview w/ Mrs Kath Skin, Little Eversden England UK in the 1930s p2/3; "Central Weekend Live" British television show, episode on crop-circles and UFOs in 1990, eyewitness Sandy Reid [note: Reid was later accused by crop-circle researchers to be CIA plant !?!], Paul Fuller of BUFORA "people describe rotating columns of air"; Warminster England; John Keel mentions an experience related several times by Bryce Bond [spelling?] "a radio-announcer from New York, who was standing in a middle of a field in England in the 1980s, while a crop circle was being formed: he felt a heavy pressure on him, he was unable to move, not paralyzed but felt very weak" @ Dark Matters Radio with Don Ecker [37min]; to-check: is Keel referring to the same story reported in the book "Messages: The Mystery of Crop Circles" by Michael Hesemann p.13/14 of an event witnessed by Bryce Bond and british UFO researcher Arthur Shuttlewood saw a triangular UFO on 15-Aug-1972. UK MoD UFO Files 3rd batch of Mar-2009: In November 1989 a "completely terrified" woman contacted RAF Wattisham in Suffolk to report her close encounter with a man claiming to be an alien. She said she met the fair-haired man with a Scandinavian-type accent as she walked her dog on a sports field. He told her crop circles were caused by others like him who had travelled to Earth and that the purpose of his visit was friendly. He then said he had spoken to her because he felt it was important to have contact with humans even though he was told not to. As the unidentified woman ran home she heard a loud buzzing noise and turned to see a large, spherical object, glowing orange-white, rise steadily until out of sight. A letter from RAF Wattisham to the MoD and Norfolk police described it as "one of our more unusual UFO reports". bbc )

Note: The "crop-circle" / agro-glyph term as used today refers to something DIFFERENT than UFO landing traces i.e. "UFO burn rings" of scorched soil and flora (soil dehydration / burn evidence and often depressions, weight related evidence or landing pad marks) and "saucer nests" of flattened and swirled crops where UFO hovered low over ground. The subject of UFO physical trace cases, where UFOs are seen to hover or land (over 3300 cases documented by Ted Phillips of CPTR - Center for Physical Trace Research), is covered in my "UFO resources" and "UFO technical overview" pages. Unlike with graffitti agro-glyphs / crop-circles, plants won't grow for years in spots where UFOs have actually landed (chemical analysis of trace cases, by research chemist Phyllis Budinger, found fulvic acid and oxalic acid which made the soil hydrophobic).

Some crop circles have evidently been created by men on the ground with "wooden boards and ropes" (or garden-rollers) a.k.a. "mechanical" crop-circles. Such was claimed by the well-known "Doug and Dave" duo (the two retired English gentlemen) and demonstrated by commercial groups doing such "artwork" under contract.

But, there is a variety of agroglyphs where the combination of design sophistication, time constraints involved and effects to the crop suggest something beyond "wooden boards and ropes" (a/k/a "pranks with planks").

Still crop-circles are not necessarily "otherworldly", i.e. made by non-human intelligence: some theorize that crop-circles may be some sort of testing of airborne military Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) wiki (microwave / maser / laser / particle-beam / HAARP apparatus etc). Some note that the progress in sophistication (e.g. intrincate fractal designs etc) of the crop-circles since the 1970s parallels the development of human technology (computers, High Power Microwave HPM etc) and in particular the SDI "Star Wars" programme by Reagan/Bush Sr/Thatcher (there is speculation that projects had started in the 1970s). This theory is put forth at ufos: the military unmasked page (note: the rest of the site is wrong IMO). Some even suggested space-based apparatus, which sounds rather improbable, read Rudiak on Space-based Microwaves & Crop Circles.

[...]
To seek information on these topics they established a protocol to gather vegetation samples and sent them to a number of laboratories for microscopic studies. The results, which have been discussed at meetings of the Society for Scientific Exploration and other public events, have never seemed of sufficient interest for the media (or, indeed, the ufological mainstream) to take notice, perhaps because they conflicted with the sensational nature of other hypotheses.
The answers are as follows:
  1. The early formations were simple circles, then circles with satellites. In later years more and more sophisticated and precisely-drawn geometric figures appeared.
  2. Vegetation is bent because the nodes are exploded. The stalks are not broken and indeed the plants are often reported to start growing again.
  3. All the significant formations were observed in an area in close proximity to major research facilities of the British defense establishment, often in controlled airspace.
[...]
-- Vallee on crop-circles (.PDF), more

Crop circles have been reported in mostly in wheat and corn. But, they also appear in barley, oats, oilseed rape (canola), grass, ricefields, trees, sand, and even snow and trees. Where do they appear? They have appeared on almost every continent and in over 30 countries worldwide: Britain (where most crop-circles appear), US, Canada, Australia, Brasil, Russia, India, Germany, and South Africa.

Sites specialising in crop-circles:

Crop circle Crop circle Crop circle Crop circle


FWIW there is a video of orbs "creating" a crop circle, filmed in 1996, which is of questionable authenticity. Supposedly taped by Mr John Wabe at Oliver's Castle, Wiltshire, UK, Sunday 11th August 5.15 am, 1996. Later he reportedly confessed it was a hoax, made at "First Cut Studios":

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Written by Last modified: Sunday 12-Aug-2012 03:52:48 EEST

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