at the Nexus Conference 2007, Brisbane, October 22 2007
the early 1990s, the crop circle phenomenon has become part and
parcel of the alternative scene, and specifically the science
fiction industry – and even the subject of a movie, “Signs”,
by M. Night Shyamalan. Equally, in the mini-series “Taken”,
crop circles are featured briefly, where they are “discovered”
to be a hoax. Both movies highlight the debate that has existed
for almost two decades, as to whether they are man-made creations
or the result of an otherworldly or extraterrestrial force.
– or crop circle science – was created by Colin Andrews,
whose book “Circular Evidence” (published in 1991)
was the first attempt to make crop circle research appear as a
scientific discipline. Eventually, Andrews would argue that 80
percent of crop circles were fake. Andrews arrived at this conclusion
in 2001, after having received funding from Laurence Rockefeller,
with which he conducted a two year investigation into crop circle
“hoaxing”. Andrews studied circles that had been commissioned
by various media outlets and worked with several groups known
to be creating man-made circles. With this information in hand,
Andrews concluded that 80 percent showed “unassailable”
signs of having been man-made. He argued that he could not account
for the remaining 20 percent, for which he was unable to find
signs of human interaction.
group of such crop circle artists is the UK based Circlemakers.org,
which have been asked to create numerous crop circles since the
mid 1990s for movies, TV shows, music videos, adverts and PR stunts.
Clients have included Greenpeace, Microsoft, Nike, Shredded Wheat,
Pepsi, BBC, The Sun, Mitsubishi and even Big Brother.
Its members include Rob Irving and John Lundberg, who have written
Field Guide: the art, history and philosophy of crop circle making”.
It contains a 54 page “beginner’s guide” to
crop circle making – which must be seen as the best guide
so far, until, perhaps, the arrival of a “Crop Circles for
own interest in crop circles began in 1995, when the month of
July involved, amongst others, a visit to Glastonbury and attending
the crop circle conference – in the presence of none other
than our esteemed host, Duncan Roads. Events were largely akin
to a “Church of Circle-ology”, most speakers affirming
their belief in the otherworldly nature of the phenomenon –
almost on par with scientists today unquestioningly pledging their
allegiance to the dogma of man-made global warming. But amongst
the delegates was the devil – not even in disguise –
in the form of a group of crop circle makers who largely remained
stoic throughout the proceedings, as well as the more vociferous
and high profile Rod Dickinson, at the time perhaps the most outspoken
crop circle “faker”.
Dickinson had earlier that month been invited as a speaker at
“The Incident” in the Swiss town of Fribourg, where
he explained his interest in the phenomenon. Dickinson was a “hoaxer”,
but approached the phenomenon as a new form of art, designed to
make “temporary temples”, in which people could wander
and ponder – as all “real art” is supposed to
Andrews’ 2001 conclusions, cerealogy has not moved with
his 80-20 conclusions. Hence, cerealogy today or in 1995 is very
much the same. The problem is that the “new science”
had not even had its breakfast before someone peed in its cereals
– and Andrews played a pivotal role in this episode.
In 1991, two somewhat elderly gentlemen, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley,
went to the national media (the since defunct Today newspaper)
and stated that they had largely been responsible for the crop
circle phenomenon, ever since in 1978 they had left the Percy
Hobs pub at Cheesefoot Head, near Winchester, to go out on Friday
nights and make one or more circles. For five years, their summer
exploits had gone unnoticed, until August 1980, when one of their
creations made it into a newspaper, the “Wiltshire Times”.
The headline ran “Mystery Circles – Return of The
‘Thing’?”, referring to the infamous “Warminster
thing”, a series of UFO sightings that had occurred in the
The newspaper report stated that the flattened crop circle was
believed to be not man-made, because there was an absence of tracks
– wrongfully assuming that someone walking through a crop
field will leave a distinct trail behind.
is hence seen by many as a marker in time, differentiating BDD
from ADD – Before and After Doug and Dave. Doug and Dave
have been labelled everything from liars to disinformation agents,
paid by the British government to discredit the entire phenomenon.
But probably the sanest account of the controversial episode is
that of John Macnish, a television producer, who in “Cropcircle
Apocalypse”, explains the antics of these two somewhat archetypal
First, it should be underlined that Doug and Dave only ever created
crop circles – and not any pictographs. Second, Doug also
had a life-long interest in UFOs. He had lived in Melbourne in
the mid 1960s and told Dave about the sighting of a UFO at Tully
and the nest it had left. He was also aware of Billy Meier’s
claims of how an extra-terrestrial spacecraft from the Pleiades
he was liaising with, had allegedly made indented circles near
Meier’s Swiss home. Over perhaps too many beers, the two
Ds aspired to reignite public interest in UFOs. In retrospect,
their goal was most certainly achieved.
their early efforts in the late 1970s, for five years, their efforts
went unnoticed. When their creations were finally receiving some
attention, the media largely reported them as anomalous, with
one Dr. Terence Meaden claiming they were due to natural causes.
Over the next decade – the 1980s – Doug and Dave tried
to create ever more elaborate circles, in the hope of forcing
Meaden to admit no natural phenomenon could achieve such damage
to a field. Unfortunately, as the circles grew in complexity,
so did Meaden’s theory. As such, a design that was obviously
meant to leave the impression that a four-legged UFO had landed
in one field, was explained as the result of a freak weather phenomenon.
By 1990, the pair decided to incorporate straight lines into their
design, in an effort to finally vanquish Meaden’s theories
about the phenomenon. But then, on July 12, 1990, when the pair
had already decided which formation to create, a “double
pictogram” of East Field at Alton Barnes was made –
not by Doug and Dave. It was a huge pictogram, possibly the most
famous crop circle of all, which would later feature on a Led
Zeppelin album cover. It consisted of a number of circles, rings,
paths and various appendages to the rings and signalled a new
age for the phenomenon: though the phenomenon would continue to
be labelled “crop circles”, for the next decade, the
most intricate designs were to be pictographs, rather than circles.
have made a series of claims about the impossibility of human
interference with these designs. Some of these are based on circular
reasoning. For example, that people would have a hard time making
these circles in the middle of the night works both ways: it is
rather bizarre that circles always appear at night; a truly otherworldly
force would unlikely distinguish between night and day for creating
such glyphs and would seriously be able to impress us if it could
form a circle by daytime, in mere seconds.
The stalks that have been bent, not broken, as well as certain
enlarged sections of stalks recovered in circles were all popular
anomalies in the 1990s, specifically with the articles written
by one Dr. William Levengood. This “proof” has since
been abandoned and negated by the vast majority of cerealogists.
We all know that things normally bend before breaking, and anyone
who has made crop circles, as I did in 1995 with a small group
of Dutch crop circle enthusiasts, will know that the natural tendency
of the crop is to first bend, rather than break. Any researcher
telling you otherwise should only create a crop circle himself
to disprove his own theory.
Still, each year, a series of anomalies have been pointed out
as an indication – or evidence – that the phenomenon
has an anomalous nature. At first, this was the statement that
some corn was left standing in the middle of the circle, and more
recently how certain insects seemed to be stuck to the stalks
affected by the circle’s formation. A popular theory is
that some form of microwave power “zaps” the field,
bending and expanding the affected crops, and killing or affecting
any life that is present inside the formation during its creation.
“best evidence” in many people’s book for an
otherworldly origin is the apparent complexity of the circles.
But to underline the human perfection that can go into circles,
four examples should suffice. Two examples were made by Circlemakers.org,
the first a design for a Wheatabix advert, the second a commission
for a BBC television documentary. Whereas the Wheatabix circle
is unusual, the perfection in creating what appear to be from
a distance uniform letters, including openings in the letters
e, a and b, underlines the expertise of some of the makers. The
BBC design is of a complexity on par with at least 80 to 90 percent
of the circles that appear today. The end result was a 300 feet
design in barley, which incorporated some level of sacred geometry.
The BBC commissioned this circle as part of its landmark art series
“A Picture of Britain”, presented by David Dimbleby.
The six part series explored how the British landscape had inspired
artists over the years. The last of the series reached an audience
of eight million and featured crop circle artists, alongside the
works of Constable and Turner.
The third example is probably a watershed event in the history
of crop circle making. It was a crop circle that broke the scientific
integrity of Colin Andrews, and was a circle made by artist-musician
Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty, of the acid-house band KLF (Kopyright
Liberation Front). Their anarchist tendencies are probably best
underlined by noting that previously, they were known as The Justified
Ancients of Mu Mu, but had to change the name when their debut
album contained samples of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”…
without asking the group’s permission. Later, they would
become famous for the song “Justified & Ancient”.
the height of the 1990 crop circle fever, Andrews seemed to have
a direct line to the BBC, and hence phoned in to BBC Breakfast
News, noting his team of crop circle watchers had just witnessed
– overnight – the creation of a crop circle in Bratton
Castle. The interviewer asked: “Are you quite sure you couldn’t
have been the victim of some elaborate hoax last night?”
Andrews’ reply: “No, not indeed. We have high quality
equipment here and we have indeed secured on high quality equipment
a major event… we do have something of great, great significance…
Yes, we have everything on film and we do have, as I say, a formed
object over a field… We are doing nothing more now until
we have helicopters over the top, to film in detail what we have,
before anyone enters the field.”
TV producer John Macnish, who was on site during the furore, stated
that just before, Pat Delgado had claimed that witnesses had seen
triangular shaped objects in the sky, which had come together
in a great light show before sending shafts of light down to the
Unfortunately, in their efforts to inform the world’s population
of this circle, Andrews and Delgado had ignored certain blue items
inside the circle, which turned out to be a board game called
Zodiac Spells, placed beneath crossed sticks in the centre of
each of the six circles. Furthermore, a more detailed study of
the circle also revealed a large number of footprints. Andrews
and Delgado realised they had to admit that this circle was a
hoax, and now stated: “As soon as I saw the edges of the
first circle, I could tell at once it was an obvious hoax […]
This affair has improved our credibility, as we were able to detect
a hoax within seconds… our equipment can tell within seconds
whether a ring is a hoax or not… It even detected the heat
of the bodies of the perpetrators!”
The media, however, were unimpressed with this 180 degrees turn.
ITN’s Vernon Mann, when interviewing Andrews, stated –
rather than asked – “Admit it you have been made to
look complete fools, you were premature when you came out with
the statements you gave this morning.” In an effort to further
the crop circle enigma – and some might argue their profile
– Andrews and Delgado had just committed the most serious
of errors, and had set both the enigmatic nature of the phenomenon
and their public profile back.
experience also gave the media the idea to seriously test the
scientific capability of the cerealogist. Hence, in 1991, Channel
4 would use a group of students, working under the name of “Wessex
Skeptics”, setting up crop circle enthusiast Busty Taylor
and Terence Meaden. In September 1991, the Today newspaper, when
scooping the Doug and Dave revelation, created yet another circle,
this time in Kent, this time in an effort to expose Pat Delgado
as a fool.
The KLF logo was also found in a Wiltshire wheat field a few days
after the Bratton Castle circle. This time, the cerealogists had
learned their lesson and immediately called it a hoax, if only
because the farmer straightforwardly confirmed he had received
£350 from KLF to allow access to his field.
To underline the rather eccentric nature of this group, at the
height of their fame, the KLF apparently also took a flight to
Scotland and burnt one million pounds in genuine bank notes, as
well as devising plans to knock down Stonehenge with JCBs –
a mission that was aborted.
examples clearly show that man-made crop circles are definitely
on par, if not superior, to any circle that cerealogists deem
to be “anomalous”. Furthermore, despite Andrews’
two year campaign to learn from the makers himself (which in retrospect
was too little, too late), as early as 1992, a crop circle competition
was organised. The idea came about by none other than scientist
Rupert Sheldrake, who also invited D&D to participate. The
pair turned down the offer if only, in my opinion, because they
knew their circles were by now far inferior to what others were
able to achieve. The contest involved the teams having to copy
a design given to them by the judges, and resulted in eleven almost
identical pictograms, each showing little or no sign of entry.
does this leave the crop circle phenomenon? At one level, the
theories proposed by some of the cerealogists have been totally
discredited, yet are at the same time not very far from a possible
Doug and Dave made it clear that they were specifically inspired
by UFOs in their crop circle efforts. Doug was specifically interested
in the subject, and hoped that by leaving anomalous circles in
fields, speculation about UFOs would be reignited. As mentioned,
his interest was derived from an Australian UFO case from the
1960s. On the morning of January 19, 1966, in Tully, Queensland,
a 28 year old farm work, George Pedley, was driving his tractor
across his banana farm when he heard a strange hissing sound.
At first, Pedley thought the hissing was from his tractor tyres,
but the sound was instead coming from a medium-sized, horseshoe-shaped
lagoon on a neighbouring property.
“Suddenly George saw this machine rise up from our lagoon.
It rose about 30 to 40 feet (10-12m) and then it turned on its
side and just shot away”, landowner Albert Pennisi said.
“It was gone, vanished into thin air.”
George went to the lagoon straight away and he saw the water still
swirling, still churning around. Floating on Pennisi’s normally
unremarkable lagoon was a UFO “nest”, a nine metres
circular mass of reeds, tightly woven in an intricate design swirling
clockwise and so strong, Pennisi said, that it could easily support
the weight of ten men.
Tully case is but one in several – if not hundreds –
in which reports referenced UFOs leaving certain marks on the
ground – and if that ground was a field – a circle
in grass or crop. Often, this “sign” took the form
of burning or flattening and was seen as a CE-II: a Close Encounter
of the Second Kind, in which physical evidence was deemed to be
CE-IIs are as old as the UFO phenomenon itself. For example, in
1952, a 16 ft ring was found in Lamont, Missouri, following multiple
UFO sightings. Two years later, a glowing object was observed
touching down at La Roche-Brenil, France, leaving a 12 ft ring
of “ash-like” appearance.
The famous astronomer Patrick Moore reports how in the summer
of 1963, he came to a site in the UK, to see a crater of what
appeared to be meteorite. But Moore noticed something different
nearby: “in the adjoining wheat fields were other features
taking the form of circular or elliptical areas in which the wheat
had been flattened. I saw these myself; they had not been much
visited, and were certainly peculiar. One, very well defined,
was an oval, 15 yards long by 4.5 broad. There was evidence of
‘spiral flattening’, and in one case there was a circular
area in the centre of which the wheat had not been flattened.
In no case was there any evidence of an actual depression in the
“Reports over the radio and in the press caused widespread
interest, and this was heightened by a statement from an Australian
who gave his name as Robert J. Randall, from the rocket proving
ground at Woomera. Dr. Randall maintained that the crater had
been produced by the blast-off of a saucer from the planet Uranus.”
Enquiries with authorities in Woomera later denied having a Dr.
Randall, but the incident is typical of the era before Doug and
Dave arrived on the scene.
Doug and Dave designed crop circles to be associated with UFOs,
and ever since, the extra-terrestrial hypothesis is the more popular
explanations for the phenomenon – though remarkably, many
of the cerealogists themselves, will argue for an otherworldly
– rather than an extraterrestrial – intelligence.
whereas Andrews accepts eighty percent to be man-made, are, in
fact, 100 percent of circles man-made?
In the aftermath of the two Ds’ revelation, the believers
have levelled some unfounded accusations against them. First of
all, Doug and Dave never claimed they were the sole people making
crop circles, nor that they were responsible for all crop circles.
What they did argue – and could prove – was that they
had been making circles since the late 1970s, and were responsible
– until the late 1980s – for the best-known circles,
many of whom were labelled as “genuine”, i.e. not
man-made, and made the careers of the likes of Andrews and Meaden.
“Hoaxers” – crop circle artists – are
furthermore the first to point out that the phenomenon predates
Doug & Dave – much more so than cerealogists. In fact,
cerealogists often imply the phenomenon began in the 1970s, picked
up pace in the 1980s and exploded in the 1990s. Though many make
some reference to it, in fact, the phenomenon – of the crop
circle, and not the pictogram – is much older. And this
is the rabbit hole cerealogy should perhaps explore more.
little-known account states that in the first half of the 20th
century, the existence and origins of crop circles was quite well-known.
Young lovers were said to have made such circles to “enjoy
themselves”, without being seen by family members. Apparently,
several such circles were made in different locations, so that
the young lovers had various places of close encounters of the
sexual kind (CE-X?), without parental oversight. One woman noted
that when some of the circles were discovered – though without
any sexual encounter apparently in progress – “the
disturbed corn was often put down to the deer.”
Historical evidence of crop circle reports can also be found in
the 17th century. The most famous example is found in a pamphlet,
dating from August 22, 1678, which shows a woodcut of a demonic
figure cutting oats with a scythe. The story is about a disagreement
over price between the landowner and the farmer, with the farmer
telling the landowner that the devil himself should mow the oats,
as he will not do so for the proposed price, leaving the man to
it. The following morning, somewhat mysteriously, a circle has
been cut into the oats field and the devil is blamed for it: “he
cut them in round circles, and placed every straw with that exactness
that it would have taken up above an Age for any Man to perform
what he that one night: And the man that owns them is as yet afraid
to remove them.” Despite the assumed superhuman exactness,
which would reappear almost exactly three centuries later, it
seems likely the farmer was responsible for the circle, trying
to underline – with a sense of humour – his point
of view to the landowner.
one thousand years earlier, in 815 AD, Agobard, the archbishop
of Lyon, wrote “Against the foolish opinion of the masses
about hail and thunder” and reported that people believed
in “Tempestarii”, which had conjured cloud ships from
Magonia, a far-off place in the skies. These resulted in fierce
storms, and a ransom was demanded on behalf of the Magonians in
the form of crops they had flattened. The account was made famous
by UFO researcher Jacques Vallee in his “Passport to Magonia”,
in which he underlined that the UFO phenomenon seemed to be a
modern variation of an ancient theme. Like crop circles, UFO researchers
have instead preferred to maintain 1947 as the birth of the phenomenon,
despite hundreds of reports and incidents that predate that year,
including the anomalous foo-fighters of the Second World War.
circles on the ground have always had a magical connotation. Take,
for example, the fairy rings, which are linked with tales of passers-by
that were lured away to the land of the fairies. As such, these
fairy rings were “doorways into other dimensions”,
which is another theory proposed about what crop circles might
In German-speaking Europe, fairy rings are known as Hexenringe,
or “witches rings”, stemming from an old medieval
belief that the rings represented places where witches would have
In English folklore, fairy rings were said to be caused by elves,
fairies or pixies dancing in a circle, wearing down the grass
beneath their feet. These mythical creatures, of course, are often
associated with mysterious balls of light.
medieval folklore has changed little from the earliest agrarian
civilisations, which were reliant on successful harvests, at the
time one of the greatest revolutions Mankind had witnessed. As
such, within the pantheon of gods, certain deities became corn
deities. It was the Roman earth goddess Ceres who would give her
name to cereals and cerealogy, the “science of the crop
Nearby, in Greece, it was Persephone who embodied the corn –
carrying a sheaf of grain in her hand. It was, of course, she
who was abducted by the King of the Underworld, Hades. Hence,
any hole in a crop field was said to mark the spot where this
happened, underlining the link between crop circles as a gateway
to another dimension yet again – and thousands of years
before the arrival of D&D – or UFOs in 1947.
legend also provides further detail to the modern phenomenon.
The name of Persephone was often seen as taboo, for the Greeks
knew another face of Persephone: her role as the queen of the
dead. She was also at the centre of the secret initiatory rites
at Eleusis, which promised immortality to their participants.
The nature of the rite has never been revealed, but some argue
that a hallucinogenic substance was administered to the initiates,
whereby their mind opened to other dimensions. Various substances
have been proposed, but perhaps the most logical one, in the context
of a corn deity, is ergot, a fungus that can be found in grain.
The resulting visions are often reported as being similar to LSD;
lysergic acid, a molecule used in the synthesis of LSD, can be
isolated from ergot.
Human poisoning due to ergotism was common in Europe during the
Middle Ages and was often known as St. Anthony’s Fire or
ignis sacer. It has also been posited by Linda Caporael in a “Science”
magazine article in 1976 that the Salem Witch Trials were initiated
by young women who had consumed ergot-tainted rye and some have
linked ergotism with the visions experienced by Joan of Arc.
British author John Grigsby claims that the presence of ergot
in the stomachs of some of the so called ‘bog-bodies’
reveals that ergot was once a ritual drink in a prehistoric fertility
cult akin to that at Eleusis in Greece. Finally, in “Beowulf
and Grendel”, Grigsby argues that Beowulf, meaning barley-wolf,
suggests a connection to ergot which in German was known as the
“tooth of the wolf”.
Van den Broeke
overview makes it clear that the phenomenon is much older than
most authors on the subject give credit for. This leaves us with
another, even more important question: is there a non-human intelligence
behind the phenomenon – and I would underline we are talking
about crop circles, not crop pictograms.
A famous case comes from Holland, where a young self-proclaimed
medium Robbert Van den Broeke made contact with Dutch cerealogists,
stating he spoke with alien beings (featuring a well-known, yet
faked photograph of an alien in his living room), but also interacted
with an intelligence, intelligent light bowls, who specifically
appeared and interacted with him during the night. He would wake
up, open the window and see a light show outside his home. When
he went out, he would find crop circles in the field nearby. Two
Dutch cerealogists, Bert Janssen and Eltjo Haselhoff, have worked
with Van den Broeke, but at one point decided to forego further
co-operation with the medium. Speculation has it that Van den
Broeke either engineered or was led to believe into some of his
“powers” and in 2003, the Dutch newspaper “De
Telegraaf” reported that his parents had been caught by
the neighbouring farmer vandalising his field.
most notorious example of an interaction between lights and circles
no doubt occurred in 1996, with the infamous Olivers Castle video
footage, filmed on August 11. The video was allegedly shot by
John Whaley (some sources write his name as Wheyleigh), who claimed
to have witnessed the lights in the early morning hours, whose
appearance and display was seen as being responsible for the creation
of a crop circle formation. If genuine, the footage would be seen
as the Holy Grail of cerealogy.
Unfortunately, in truth, John Whaley was John Wabe, who was co-partner
of First Cut studios, a post production studio located in Bristol,
which supplied video post services and animation to professional
media productions. In this instance, it were crop circle researchers
themselves, and Peter Sorensen in specific, who tracked down the
real story of what had happened.
In short, the circle had been created by a team of which Wabe
was a member; Wabe was the person responsible for filming the
creation. As soon as the work was done, the team left the circle
to be discovered, whereas he raced back to his studio, to add
the lights and the shaky effect – the latter part of a video
editing package the studio had just received. He then raced back,
to show his “amateur film” to an assembly of crop
circle researchers in one of their favourite hangouts. For months,
the video made audiences gasp in astonishment, before, as mentioned,
the truth was finally learned.
Castle 1996 Crop Circle
since this faked footage, a number of other videos have shown
anomalous lights circling over or near crop circles, such as the
Milk Hill footage of 1991, which nevertheless does not show any
causal relationship between the light and the formation. Other,
similar evidence includes the 1976 eyewitness statement of crop
circle researcher David Kingston, who at the time worked in British
military intelligence. He was part of a group investigating UFO
activity in Wiltshire. One night, they watched six or seven “spheres
of light” hover in the air, then merge into a long sphere.
The long sphere ascended to the height of the stars, then blinked
out. At daylight, they found a straightforward circle, thirty
feet in diameter, in wheat.
of the few scientific paper published on the crop circle phenomenon
is by Dutch biophysicist Eltjo Haselhoff in “Physiologi
Plantarum”, a scientific journal on plant physiology and
biophysics. In this paper and his more popular books, Haselhoff
proposes that crop circles are created by “single-point
sources of electromagnetic radiation” – thus arguing
that balls of light are responsible for the creation of some of
the crop formations. Though at present there is no evidence –
let alone hard evidence – for Haselhoff’s theory,
his theory is nevertheless very similar to medieval proposals
as to how “fairy lights” were responsible for flattening
In recent years, the subject of “fairy lights” has
been renamed “earthlights” by the likes of Paul Devereux,
as well as Michael Persinger, who both have argued that proximity
to such anomalous lights – who in their analysis may possess
some form of intelligence, or at least perceived intelligence
– also acts on the brain of those people nearby –
which may hence be linked with the notion of “abductions”
to the Underworld or other realms, by the likes of Hades or the
where are we in 2007? Remarkably, very much as if it was 1996.
No doubt the most sensational crop circle in 2007 occurred in
East Field in Pewsey Vale, in the early hours of July 7, 2007.
The story goes that three crop circle researchers were watching
East Field, which in the past had been the scene of known man-made
and some unclaimed circles.
According to Gary King, one of the three researchers, “on
a couple of occasions, I’ve had intuitions about crop circles
like you would have before a phone is going to ring. I’ve
had intuitions where I’ve gotten up in the morning and driven
down to Wiltshire from my home in Wales and been lucky enough
to walk into a fresh formation.”
On Friday, July 6, 2007, King thus woke up in his Wales home around
3.30 am, watched the sunrise and decided to go to Wiltshire with
his girlfriend, Paula, to see if any new formations had appeared.
King met up with UFO and crop circle researcher Winston Keech,
who had already set up surveillance cameras on Knap Hill, overlooking
East Field. Nothing happened during the day, but after the three
settled down for the night, shortly after 3.00 am, they saw a
sudden flash: “almost like lightning” says King that
“covered the whole land and was like a big camera flash
going off everywhere”. The flash was captured on camera.
Then at around 3.20 am, they saw the crop circle formation through
a viewfinder on a light sensitive camera. At 3.45 am, it was light
enough to see the formation with the naked eye and the three went
down to East Field for a closer inspection.
This new video and the circle’s reporters became a sensation
within cropworld, though the entire “amazing coincidence”
that three men just happened to be present and had “intuitions”
something would happen, has all the hallmarks of yet another staged
event. Cerealogist Andy Thomas has reported on these suspicions
in the October-November 2007 of Nexus. Furthermore, claiming intuition
and self promotion are described – based e.g. on the Olivers
Castle video – as key tactics crop circle makers should
employ, dixit The Field Guide manual.
from this notorious incident, England anno 2007 “only”
had 50-odd circles, with around one hundred circles – twice
as much – worldwide. Still, the British formations were
better and more complex than anything the rest of the world was
able to offer, with some notable exceptions. As in previous years,
pictograms that dominated the 1990s remain elusive (though are
more common outside the UK), the majority of formations being
where does this leave the phenomenon? Crop circles definitely
are a sign of our times – though unlikely of any end time.
Rather than continue to debate whether crop circles are man-made
or natural, crop circles are, in my opinion, perhaps the best
example of an archetype that is at work in our society. The involvement
of ancient deities like Ceres and Persephone are clear evidence
of an archetypal component to the phenomenon. Furthermore, archetypes
exist in a Jungian framework as “thought formats”
of another dimension. They are, like the ancient Egyptian gods,
“charged” by belief and devotion by human beings;
archetypes die without devotion and belief.
That too applies to crop circles. Specifically, it applies to
crop circle makers and cerealogists alike, and specifically to
Doug and Dave, who stated their intention was to specifically
“charge” – i.e. enforce belief – in UFOs
and “the beyond” by creating these circles. As such,
their magical experiment has succeeded.
crop circles have become a modern form of divination. In an age
where tealeaves, animal intestines or urine have become less favourite
mechanisms of interpreting the desires of the beyond and the gods,
and specifically the future they have in mind for us on an individual
and global level, crop circles have become a new form of divination
whereby Mankind is hoping to interpret the messages from the gods.
We seek meaning in the circles, from alchemy, as was the case
in Barbury Castle, to other topical notions, such as the Mayan
calendar. Gerard Hawkins and John Michell both followed this approach
for many years and today, enigmatically shaped designs continue
to function as a Rorschach test on the cerealogists.
Some circles, such as Barbury Castle, as well as the Stantonbury
Hill yin-yang inspired circle that was reported on July 7, 2007,
lend themselves easily to divination. The “art” is
somewhat discredited, in my opinion, when people try to apply
it to dissecting a stylised depiction of a dog. Hence, we read:
“I notice that the following crop circle […] seems
to resemble the periodic table of elements. It’s a connection
of rectangles, but if you look at the crop diagram, imagine seeing
it from a viewpoint down within the ground. There you see a similarity
to the basic structure of the periodic table, yet the diagram
has new islands of elemental structure, perhaps representing new
inter-relationships between elements and physics of a new sort.
The possible new extensions branch off from the alkaline metals
and the alkaline earth metals, and also form unusual islands stemming
from the trans-uranic elements (i.e. un-unpentium reported by
Bob Lazar and also UC Berkeley discoverers).” Still, the
history of divination is replete with well-meaning and charlatan-like
figures… and in this sense, cerealogy is no different either.
1993, Jim Schnabel’s “Round in Circles” underlined
how insular thinking in crop circle research meant that the field
had created experts of its own, which went around arguing in circular
logic, in efforts to try and convince the public of the scientific
nature of their research. More than a decade onwards, crop circle
research is still going round in the same framework, trying to
find “the evidence” that will convince the world of
the non-human nature of the phenomenon.
By almost exclusively focusing on this goal, a lot of information
and insights have fallen by the wayside. Hence, what are crop
circles in 2007 can scarcely be better answered today than in
1991 – or 1691.
If cerealogy decides to continue to fight the battle of The Barge
Inn, it will continue to practice circular reasoning to a new
art form of its own, as has already been in evidence in the theories
of Terence Meaden; in the second option, a genuine breakthrough
in our understanding may occur, at the very least in our understanding
of our relationship with archetypes, divination, and perhaps even
in the field of earthlights and the workings of our mind.
Meanwhile, cerealogy continues to be a science of our time, potentially
filling a mystical – not to be confused with religious –
void, yet drawn apart by those who believe and those who believe
not. Like the UFO phenomenon, it provides us with a mirror, providing
us with an opportunity to see our true selves, showing us and
society on deep psychological levels. In this framework, it does
not matter whether the artist is an alien or a human being. Any
good artist, like a psychiatrist, is able to externalise that
what Mankind misses, so that it heals and transforms itself. As
Stanislav Grof said: “The most frequent triggers of unitive
experiences are natural and human made creations of extraordinary
That may be the real challenge. And as any psychiatrist will tell
you, unless you face your problems, you will continue to go around