The French. You gotta love them! They have a wonderful version of the magazine, Nexus. Really glossy, a good variety of articles. Anyway, they also put their hands in their pockets to pay for articles which is another good thing. But I digress. Nexus – France paid me to write an article on the human circle makers. My opinions and ideas have changed since then but I offer it up for what it is worth, here it is for your perusal:
I am standing on Knapp Hill, Wiltshire, looking over the legendary ‘East Field’. This field has played host to some of the most spectacular crop formations over the last thirty years. Usually a formation appears here at the end of every crop circle season, usually an astounding formation to mark the end of the season and leaving crop circle chasers wondering more questions about what is behind this phenomena. I am standing with several circle-makers of the human kind, their anonymity required for fear of legal action from farmers but also to protect themselves from the rest of the crop circle community who view their work as something akin to deception and fraud.
As we look across the landscape we can see the fields are being prepared by the farmers for the coming growing season. This also means they are being prepared for the forthcoming crop circle season. The fact that the majority of crop circles are man-made is still a shock to many who still cling to the belief that the majority are of a paranormal origin. It is a contentious issue and an issue that has been at the heart of the phenomena since its beginning. Now, the human circle-makers have decided to come out and speak…
Matthew Williams is perhaps the most infamous of the human circle makers due to being the only person convicted of damaging crops from making a crop circle. (It is worth noting however, that Matthew was not caught in the act of making a crop circle. It all stemmed from an experiment to see if researcher Michael Glickman could tell the difference between one of Matthews creations and the ‘real thing’. Photographs of Matthew making his design were sent to Whitley Streiber (author of ‘Communion’ and alleged abductee) who was to hold on to them until Glickman conducted his study and announced his findings, Streiber acting almost as a referee for the experiment. Streiber however forwarded the photos to Glickman who then alerted the Police, and the rest is history). Matthew Williams has become the most vocal of circlemakers through his youtube videos and now his weekly live ‘Circle Makers TV’ show which allows circle-makers (usually in disguise) to come forward and discuss what circles they have made, how they are made and many of the issues surrounding the crop circle phenomena.
It is very rare for circle-makers to get ‘caught in the act’. However, with more circle enthusiasts watching the fields at night it has forced the circle-makers to move out of their usual haunts. The fields around Avebury, Silbury Hill and East Kennet Long-Barrow have traditionally had many circles appear around them, but due to these fields being routinely watched, the circle-makers have started to do their designs further away. That coupled with the farming community around the Avebury area becoming increasingly annoyed at the intrusions into their fields by people wanting to look at the crop circles; the circle makers have begun to use fields where there is less chance of interruption. This decision was communicated to many crop circle researchers before the season began, so the fact that the circles began appearing in new locations as predicted by the human circle-makers should also highlight their human-created origin.
However, last year saw a formation being interrupted by the public. Crop circle researcher ’Cosmic Dave’ caught sight of the East Field formation being made through his camera from the camp of circle watchers that are always camped at Knapp Hill throughout the summer. By adjusting the exposure on his camera he could see several figures creating the formation in the field. Several people went down to the field and chatted to the circle-makers, who then carried on finishing the formation once the researchers departed (One of the golden rules of circle-making is never leave the design unfinished). What also occurred that night was several witnesses saw two football-sized orange orbs descend from the nearby hillside and disappear into the edges of East Field. This highlights that even around the man-made formations paranormal events occur. The circle-makers revisited the formation the following two nights to add extra elements to the formation irrespective of the fact that the field was being watched more intensively after the first nights events. Despite all this information being in the public domain there are many who still believe the formation was paranormal in origin and that the circle-makers later came by to claim it.
What is surprising to most is the relative ease with which crop circles are made. Despite the protestations of the die-hard believers, the equipment required to make a crop circle is very basic. There is no need for hand-held GPS devices, night vision or anything more technical than a stomping board (plank of wood), a piece of rope and a long tape measure. The reality is, that even the most complex of formations are made with the aforementioned equipment. Very few are ‘mapped out’ at the field in advance, and the majority are designed by hand, on a piece of paper and the team just turn up at night and make it. Many people will argue that the darkness would be an inhibiting factor, but in reality out in the countryside it is never fully ‘dark’. There is usually low level light from stars, the moon and it is worth remembering that the human eye can see quite a distance once the eye has adjusted to the low-light.
The vast majority of crop circles will, irrespective of the final design shape, start with a circle. All geometric shapes can be constructed from a circle. Even if the design is not circular in shape this circle will be enveloped into the flattened crop of the final design. This first circle is achieved by someone holding the end of the tape measure at the centre of what will be the circle, then another person will measure out the radius of the circle, and then start walking (or ‘scribing’ as it is called), the diameter of the circle. Depending on the overall design this circle will be flattened by someone with a ‘stomping board’. Once the initial circle has been created it is easy to then begin creating other design elements that connect to the original circle or starting point.
In ‘Episode 8’ (broadcast on March 9th 2011) on Circle Makers TV (www.livestream.com/circlemakerstv) a crop circle artist and maker showed how well known crop circles were designed using basic geometry and by substituting the ruler, compass and pen they used for a surveyors tape measure and stomping board, and it can be seen how easy it is to create stunning and complex formations. The initial ‘construction lines’ of any man-made circle are easy to spot from aerial photographs. These construction lines are usually the guide lines used to create the basic outline of the formation or will act as guides for other design elements to connect to. They will appear as lines or circles that are more golden in colour to the rest of the formation and are a potential indicator for a man-made formation.
The other aspect that crop circle believers will point to is how long it would take to create a formation, especially some of the larger formations. Again, it is surprisingly quick how a formation can be produced. Most human circles makers all agree that that most formations can be completed by teams of three or four in just a few hours. Larger teams are used to complete some of the larger formations in the same time period. Most researchers will point to the fact that there is little evidence to support this assertion and also highlight the fact that most footage of circle-makers creating formations is done in the daylight. However, most human circle-makers do not want their work documented for fear of repercussions. However with human circle-makers now coming forward via CircleMakers TV it is surely just a matter of time before human circle-makers are filmed at night making a formation. A fact hinted at on CircleMakers TV.
If you ask any of the circle-makers ‘why’ they do what they do, you will get a wide range of answers. Rarely is their motivation a desire to mislead people. It is worth remembering that the circle-makers never come forward and claim they were made by aliens or angels, these assumptions are usually from the researchers, so they cannot really be criticised for misleading people. They will claim they create their art for people to judge and make their own conclusions about what the symbolism means without their own input. Many circle-makers will highlight that they create their circles to inspire people and give them hope that there is something greater than themselves in this world. They use their circular art to remind people that the world of spirit, magic and wonderment is always around them. Circle-makers will point to the fact that many friendships, relationships, awe-inspiring conversations and insights were nurtured in a crop circle created by humans.
Of course there is a certain amount of mischief-making around the human circle-makers, but this they say is consistent of all spiritual traditions. They see themselves similar to the Coyote of Native-American tradition or the Norse god Loki, who would play tricks on humans, never with malice intended, but with the desire to teach someone a valuable lesson on their spiritual path. While this may seem pretentious to some it is worth remembering the spiritual insights many people have reported through crop circles, many of which were certainly created by humans.
Many circle-makers claim that their creations are an extension of their spiritual and artistic selves. That this is something they feel compelled to do. Many have also claimed that they have been influenced to perform the formations. This is something that the researchers are tending to ignore. It is understandable that there is a great deal of scepticism about this. Over the duration of the phenomena, from the early 1990’s onwards, ‘the story’ of why the human circle-makers do what they do has changed. Many originally claimed they were motivated to see if they could fool the researchers who were claiming they could tell the difference between genuine and hoaxed crop circles. Then the story changed to the circle-makers being motivated by art for art’s sake, but now many claim they are being influenced by an unseen consciousness to create their designs.
There is definitely an interactive element to the crop circle phenomena. Many people have claimed to have meditated on specific symbols or designs only to discover they soon appear as crop circles. Others have claimed to have dreamt certain crop circle designs, again, to find them appearing in the fields. With so many crop circles believed to be man-made, this raises difficult questions for researcher and crop circle-maker alike. Are people influencing some unseen intelligence to create certain designs or are they ‘picking-up’ on that intelligence’s design intentions? Are the human circle-makers being ‘used’ to make those designs but are unaware of it? Do they get inspiration from some consciousness they are unaware of. It is an area of research that is difficult to quantify. Colin Andrews has vocalised his belief that this is the case and that there is a consciousness dictating the direction the crop circle phenomena is going in and the message it is trying to give. However, most researchers will not bridge the divide between themselves and the human circle-makers so these theories are dismissed immediately.
A good example of the belief circle-makers might have been used to communicate a message has begun unfolding in connection to the events surrounding the Japanese Tsunami. On July 18th, 2010, a crop circle was reported at Wooloston Grange, Glouscestershire. There were a few unusual elements to this crop circle. Firstly it was quite a distance from the usual Wiltshire crop circle area. Secondly it’s close proximity to water, which is very unusual for crop circles. It appeared on the banks of the River Severn opposite the ageing nuclear reactor at Oldbury. Many people at the time expressed a view that the design was in some way a message related to the Oldbury nuclear power station and the fact there were concerns of the age and state of disrepair the power station was in. Many claimed the design accurately displayed the ‘proton-proton chain reaction’ common in most nuclear power processes (including our own Sun’s fission).
In the light of the nuclear problems at the Fukushima nuclear plant many people are claiming it was a message warning of such a disaster, also highlighting the fact that the crop circle was close to water intimated the role the Tsunami had to play in the disaster. However, what is not commonly known is that the formation was in fact man-made. The information came to light with the circle-maker coming forward on Circle Makers TV to admit to its creation several weeks before the Japanese disaster. The circle-maker claimed at the time that the design and location came as pure inspiration.
Was the circle-maker influenced to make this design? Is it a message? Or are crop circle believers trying to fit crop circle designs and their perceived message to world events retrospectively? Many crop circle believers think that if the design was in fact man made, then the circle-maker must have been influenced to make this design. If you look at the crop circle in question on the Crop Circle Connector website* you can also see that the formation lies in direct alignment with December 21st 2012 Solstice sunset and also has alignments to the Equinox sunset on September and March 21st. It is also believed that the Pleiades star constellation is represented in the design, as are several numerical oddities. Could the human circle-maker be aware of all that when producing the design, or was he indeed influenced beyond his knowing?
If an artist or musician claims a piece of work was influenced by God or some etheric force or consciousness it is generally more readily accepted (whether or not it is true). If a human circle-maker claims he has been influenced to create crop circles it is met with general derision. The human circle-makers have been so demonised by the research community that any claim of an authentic paranormal experience by the circle-makers is dismissed immediately.
What may surprise many is that the majority of circle-makers have firm beliefs in the paranormal and almost all have had paranormal experiences whilst creating their circles. Many of the circle-makers have explained how when making their circles they have become aware of strange orbs of light, have witnessed shadowy figures in the circles they have made and even witnessed a fog bank descend on a clear night to obscure their activities from nearby researchers. All the circle-makers I have spoke to all believe that crop circles appear to attract paranormal phenomena and have experienced this. Many people have reported similar paranormal phenomena in and around crop circles, and if that is occurring in man-made circles it raises a number of questions that need answering.
Is it the location of these circles that attracts the paranormal phenomena? It is the symbols involved in the design that attracts such phenomena? Or is it that people expect to experience strange things in crop circles that they effectively create the experience for themselves somehow. It is potentially a rich vein of research but it is something that the research community is not prepared to engage with. For the majority of the researchers the viewpoint is that anything the circle-makers are claiming needs to be viewed with extreme sceptism.
Conversely there is much the circle-makers themselves have to answer. Some of the evidence for an external force creating crop circles is harder to explain away. There have been several instances of dead flies being found attached to stalks of crop inside crop circles. Almost as if something caused them to die still attached to the crop whilst the circle was being created. This is not usually found with the use of pesticides, and no flies like this have been found in fields outside of the crop circle. It would also be impossible to replicate in a man-made circle. In one of his video postings Matthew Williams has expressed his belief it is a fungal infection which has killed these flies, but if this was to be the case evidence of this would be more prevalent and would appear outside of the crop circles rather than confined to within them.
Other difficult phenomena, such as the appearance of a very pure form of Hydromagnesite in some Dutch crop circles, is not so easy to explain away. The white powder appeared on October 5th, 2009 in crop circles in the area of Hoeven. It wasn’t the first time this white powder appeared within crop circles in this area, and to date, researcher Nancy Talbott has collected around 2lbs (32 oz) of this material from these crop circles. To purchase such a quantity of Hydromagnesite with such a degree of purity would cost around €5000. Now this seems a very high price to pay for some hoaxer to liberally spread the chemical around some crop circles.
The human circle-makers are not keen to take on such science, ultimately because they do not have any suitable answers, and many believe that the presence of such a substance points to a paranormal force at work at making these circles. Why else would Hydromagnesite of a 99.9% purity appear in a crop circle? As Nancy Talbott has shown the cost of such a chemical would be prohibitive for it to be part of an elaborate hoax, so something unusual is definitely taking place. The same could also be said of the discovery of iron oxides in some crop circles (also discovered by Nancy Talbott and the BLT research team). The human circle-makers are not so certain of the origins of the iron oxide compounds either and again avoid attempting to give some sort of reason for their presence in a crop circle.
Plant abnormalities such as bent nodes and blown nodes, are often found in crop circles and are often pointed to by the BLT research team and Dr. Eltjo Haselhoff as evidence of the paranormal origin of a crop circle. It is certainly something that cannot be manufactured by humans. The human circle-makers will claim that these phenomena do occur outside crop circles but provide no evidence to back this counter-argument. The practised approach of the human circle-makers is to generally question the scientists involved and their approach to the subject rather than offer an alternative viewpoint as to why such plant phenomena takes place.
We have something of a stand-off in the question of crop circles. On one hand it is evident there is a high number of man-made crop circles, yet there is still a lot of evidence that some paranormal force is involved in some of these man-made circles. It is also possible to come to the conclusion there is a small amount of circles that display signs of being part of a genuine non-man made paranormal phenomena. What further compounds this situation is the fact that very little credible scientific research is being undertaken. This leaves the human circle-makers in a position to monopolise the debate as very few researchers seem prepared to engage them in a serious discussion on the subject. Most researchers have become mere documentors of crop circle events, photographing them and assuming their origin from their own internal assumptions.
It is tempting to see the human circle-makers as nothing more than agents of disinformation but in a way they are seeking their own answers to this and associated phenomena. The circle-makers (especially Matthew Williams) have invited anyone to come forward and move the phenomena closer to the heart of what is truly happening in the fields. It will only take a serious-minded scientific approach to get more answers as to what is exactly happening. Until then human circle-makers will continue to be the cosmic jokers leading us all a merry dance.