“For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself” – Winston Churchill
Elisabeth Zollingers book “Crop Circles: An Open Case” has been doing a wonderful job attempting to re-write crop circle history. I have no beef with anyone wanting to write about crop circles and put forward their own perspective, but just producing a book which attempts to re-write history, attempts to pull apart people and their reputations without even interviewing them, I find outrageous. Elisabeth does interview people, but only people it seems who agree with her viewpoint. This book seems to be aimed at the cabal of researchers who are pro-paranormal origin and croppies with a similar philosophical viewpoint.
Colin Andrews is one of crop circles biggest, if not the biggest, names. Colin Andrews did much to promote what was happening in the fields of Wiltshire. In retrospect it is easy to forget those times as a heady mix of mystery and intrigue. The crop circle phenomena pulled many, many people into its circular journey (as it still continues to do so). For the most part, Colin Andrews was at the centre of this phenomena. Colin Andrews made one big mistake: he told the truth. Not only did he tell the truth, he told the truth that no-one wanted to hear. Namely, a large proportion of crop circles are man-made.
In his famous 80/20 proclamation: Colin states that in 1999 and 2000, 80% of the formations were man-made. A statement that sent shockwaves throughout the crop circle community. It is a well know fact that teams of people were making crop circles, and anyone with a half-open ear would have heard a lot of information being passed around in The Barge (a famous pub at the heart of crop circle country) to this fact. Why did it upset so many people? Was it due to the fact they worried the crop circle gravy train was about to be de-railed? They still had a healthy 20% of paranormal crop circles to play with!
What I personally find odious about Elisabeths analysis of this period of time is her continual whinge that people are expected to accept Colins opinion without him providing any evidence, yet the reader is expected to accept her contrary viewpoints and that of her co-conspirators without any evidence. Her selective ‘cut-n-paste’ research is pure confirmation bias.
One of the formations that Elisabeth highlights as not possibly a hoax (based on the cabals findings) is this formation from South Field, Alton Priors in 2006.
Now, if you look closely at this formation, you can see around the perimeter of the formation are the tell-tale construction lines. They appear as slightly lighter in colour. Also, you can see the straight lines between each of the segments, again being brighter in colour they are construction lines. Construction lines = man-made.
It is easy to brand all circle-makers as liars, agents of confusion, MI5 operatives, call it what you will, but just because a researchers claims its made by paranormal means doesn’t make it so. Just because someone studies crop circles for over a certain period of time doesn’t necessarily make them an authority or an expert. I agree that just because someone says that they made a crop circle also doesn’t make it so. But proper research dictates that to resolve the situation, you need to follow all lines of enquiry to get a satisfactory answer, not just ignore what doesn’t suit you.
Elisabeths parting shot regarding the 80/20 situation is that one would need to visit all the formations to make a true scientific assessment. Highly ironic, considering the sources she uses to criticise the 80/20 situation are Andy Thomas and Michael Glickman. Neither of whom have been in a crop circle for a good few years.
As an attempt to cut to the truth or mystery of the crop circle phenomena, Elisabeth has simply spoken to those who echo her own viewpoints and criticised those who do not. I have long believed that the further you are geographically from the heart of the crop circle phenomena the more you can ‘get away with’ in regards to your beliefs and claims about crop circles. There is no-one to challenge, you’ll end up preaching to the choir and no nearer any answers…