Suzanne Taylor’s film ‘What on Earth?’ has become one of the best selling documentaries on crop circles in recent times. It’s a film that Suzanne has been dining out on for many, many years, culminating with her appearance on the Rosie O’Donnell show in the US. Not that I rate Rosie O’Donnell as some sort of journalistically savvy media type, but that is some serious coverage for what is ostensibly a film for croppies (the term used for crop circle enthusiasts) that is designed to confirm their beliefs, irrespective of what the truth actually is. PBS in the US is also screening ‘What on Earth?’ Now, I always thought that PBS was a media organisation with a huge amount of journalistic integrity, usually showing hard-hitting documentaries. But evidently, they’ll screen any old nonsense.
Nonsense is what Suzanne’s film is all about. The thrust of the film being that these wonderous pieces of art that appear in the fields of Wiltshire and beyond are created by non-human intelligences. Suzanne wants to say aliens, but doesn’t want to take that step that may alienate (no-pun intended) certain viewers. I first saw this film a few years back and marveled that someone could, in a straight-faced manner, produce a film that was so biased, un-objective, totally slanted (are you getting my drift) as this. Now the copy of the film that I saw had a tag-line super-imposed at the bottom of the screen: “Bullshit Alert! This film was produced by cultists who want you to believe that crop circles are made by ETs’. Now that is a bit strong, although I do get where this person was coming from. Suzanne is not a cultist (at least to my knowledge), but does have a touch of someone looking for guru-like status. It is curious that many of the people on this film who allude to the belief that crop circles are made by some paranormal means for the camera, have also stated that they know they are man-made. In fact this strange duplicity is quite rife within the world of crop circles.
What annoys me hugely about the film is the horrendously un-objective approach that the film takes, skillfully ignoring anything that may dilute the overal message that Suzanne is trying to make. The ‘science’ that Suzanne puts forward has been called into question by some very solid evidence to the contrary. That is ignored. No-one other than pro-paranormal researchers are interviewed. Spurious stories are presented as solid facts. Now I appreciate this is Suzanne’s film, and she can pretty much say what she choses to and it is up to people to believe it or not. But for a community that appear to prize ‘truth’ as one of it’s guiding principles, it seems to play fast-and-loose as to what version of truth is being served up.
The sad fact is that in her zeal to convert the world to the reality of paranormal crop circles she overlooks some of the real mysteries that occur in and around crop circles, which ultimately are more profound that the message Suzanne is trying to convey. With that in mind, I have decided to produce my own film that directly challenges ‘What on Earth?’ and give a more accurate insight as to what the world of crop circles is truly about.
What on earth? What on earth, indeed…