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Article: Crop Circles... What is Really Going On?

By: Adriane Laws

Hoax, Harbinger, or Hermetic Device?

If you are interested at all in strange phenomena, you have certainly heard a thing or two about crop circles. You may have even written it all off as a “hoax” being pulled off by two guys with a board and a couple of ropes. Many people came to this conclusion because of a claim made in 1991 by Dave Chorley and Doug Bower that they were responsible for all the circles that had appeared in Britain prior to 1987, and more than 200 circles between 1978 and 1991. (Incidentally, more than 1,000 other circles had appeared during that time frame that they were not claiming responsibility for). They were never filmed or observed producing a formation with the level of precision of the circles we will discuss here.

Greg Jeffries, an archaeologist and crop circle researcher who studied google earth's 1945 overlay for more than 300 hours, had this to say:

"Using aerial photographs primarily from the Google Earth 1945 overlay, that the number of crop circles appearing each summer has been relatively constant for at least the last 70 years and that these crop circles cannot be explained by the ‘hoax theory’. This removal of the validity of the hoaxer’s claims means that crop circles remain an unexplained natural phenomenon deserving of serious investigation by academic institutions and other research organisations." 1

So, first let's examine a few of the most intriguing crop circle anomalies. Then I'll introduce you to a human who has actually created crop circles and some of the surprising discoveries he and other crop-circle makers have made in the creation process. 

I'll begin with some historical data:

  • The first crop circle was reported in 1686 by a professor of Chemistry from Oxford University who thought it had occurred as a result of some unexplained meteorological phenomenon.
  • Crop circles have gained increasingly more notoriety since the 1980s, when they began appearing more often.
  • Since the 1990s, crop circles of more elaborate and complex design have begun to appear.
  • To date, more than 6000 crop circles have been documented.

While many of the crop circles that have occurred over the past four decades are stunningly beautiful and artistic, and it is worth a browse around the internet to observe, there are a few notable examples that stand out for various reasons.

The Catherine Wheel

Perhaps the first truly mind-blowing formation that occurred has come to be known as the Catherine Wheel, which appeared in 2001. It was 800 feet in diameter, and was comprised of 409 circles that formed a 6-armed wheel. And, to take it to another level, some of the circles were actually highly elliptical, even though they all appear to be perfectly round from above. This is because the design was formed on a dramatically sloping piece of land. I mention this because it shows how precisely executed the formation was. It would have required extensive mathematical calculations to determine the necessary shape and size of each ellipse in order to make them all appear uniformly circular from above.

This is the case for many of the crop circles that have appeared to date. The intricate patterns involve very precise and elaborate mathematical equations, and yet they are formed seemingly spontaneously overnight with flawless execution.

The Chiboltan Formation

Later in 2001, a formation appeared in Hampshire, England on the grounds near the Chiboltan radio telescope. It really just looked like a random erratic pattern. But it was eventually recognized as a possible response to a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) radio message that had been transmitted into space from a radio telescope in Aricebo, Puerto Rico in 1974. The original Aricebo message contained information about earth-based life forms in binary code, including pertinent chemical elements, and information about our solar system. The five elements included were hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorous, because these are the most important elements for life on our planet. The apparent “return” message in the Chiboltan crop formation also contained encoded information for these five elements, with one addition: silicon. Silicon was inserted between oxygen and phosphorous… exactly where it would occur chronologically in the list based on its atomic number (oxygen=8, silicon=14, phosphorous=15). This is notable because it had been discovered around the time of the Aricebo transmission that silicon is a critical component of terrestrial life. Other components of the formation seemed to address the original message and offer responses to each subject. Differences included a disparity in DNA structure, population and species size, and emphasis on different planets in the solar system. A camera on the premises had recorded “nothing out of the ordinary” on the night the formation was created.2

Alien with a Message

In August of 2002, an eerie crop formation appeared in a field in Winchester, UK. It portrayed an image of what most of us would define as the face of an alien. The "alien" was holding up a circular object that depicted a seemingly random pattern of dots and dashes. It was later determined that this was actually a 1368-digit string of zeros and ones that formed an intelligible message in the 8-bit ASCII computer coding system. The decoded message read as follows:

Beware the bearers of false gifts and their broken promises. Much pain but still time. Believe. There is good out there. We oppose deception. Conduit closing.3

What does this mean? Who sent this message, and who was it meant for?

Oliver’s Castle

One of the most compelling bits of data surrounding the crop circle phenomenon is a video that was created by a man named John Wheyleigh on August 11, 1996. The video shows two balls of light flying around in the air as a formation appears on the ground. This formation has simply come to be known as the “Oliver’s Castle Formation” as it appeared on the grounds of Oliver’s Castle in Wiltshire, England. While this video footage has been reported as fake by some sources, there are also many experienced videographers who have weighed in to state their belief in its authenticity. Take a look here and decide for yourself.

This is a perfect segue into some of the perplexing scientific matters regarding crop circle formation.

Orbs of Light

There have been numerous sightings of mysterious light orbs in and around crop circles. Some of these have been captured on video (as the one linked above), and others have appeared in photographs. It has been hypothesized that these mysterious balls are a rare form of electromagnetic energy called an "ionized plasma vortex." It brings up some questions: Do these balls of light play some role in the creation of crop circles? What are they? Where do they come from? Who or what creates and operates them?

Blown Stalks

Another fascinating bit of evidence that crop circles may not be man made is the occurrence of blown out nodes on stalks of grass that are bent over in the formations. Richard Taylor is a scientist who did extensive research around this phenomenon. He was able to replicate the effect with highly localized microwave heating, which caused the air and water within the interior of the stalks to expand rapidly and blow a hole through the node, thus bending the stalk over and causing it to cool in a horizontal position. This is a much more sophisticated mechanism for the bending of the stalks than a wooden board with ropes attached could produce. Taylor hypothesized that the crop circle makers must be using GPS, lasers, and microwaves to create their designs.4

Meteoric Particles

In a 1995 article in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, biophysicist and crop circle researcher, W.C. Levengood, reported another rather inexplicable crop circle anomaly. Levengood discovered the presence of what he called a "magnetic glaze" in both soil and plant samples from a 1993 wheat crop formation in Wiltshire, England. He hypothesized that this material was of "meteoric origin and apparently impacted the ground while in the semi-molten state." And he stated:

"Presence of meteoric material adhering to both soil and plant tissues, casts considerable doubt on this being an artificially prepared or 'hoaxed' formation."5

Enter Matthew Williams, Ron Russell and Dr. Simeon Hein...

This discussion would be incomplete without mentioning these three individuals. Matthew Williams grew up in the UK. He became well known for his role on the crop circle scene when he was arrested in 2000 for creating a crop circle. His original interest in crop circles came about as a tangent to his long-time interest and research into government conspiracies and the UFO phenomenon. When he heard the creation of some crop circles was being attributed to aliens, he turned his attention and research efforts to the crop fields. His research brought him to the realization that a great majority of crop circles were being created by human teams of circle makers. Eventually, he joined the crop circle makers and began creating crop circle designs of his own... And there were some interesting discoveries to be made.

It's important to note here that Mr. Williams has been ostracized by the "croppie" community in the UK. (Croppie is the name that has been ascribed to crop circle enthusiasts). He has been called a "hoaxer" and has been accused of being a secret government agent sent out to discredit and debunk the alien theory of crop circle creation.

Nonetheless, Williams' experience in creating crop circles turned out to be a mystical adventure in itself, and is, in my opinion, worthy of the croppies' attention. He and other crop circle makers have experienced numerous strange occurrences while creating and being inside crop circles. This includes the presence of orbs of light, missing time, channeling and contactee-like experieces, as well as telepathic communication among teams and individuals during the crop circle creation process. He, along with others, feels that the inspiration and creation of crop circles is "manipulated by some external, perhaps supernatural, intelligence."6

Interestingly, these phenomena are eerily similar to what crop circle experiencers have reported over the years. It may be why croppies are so reluctant to concede that humans could possibly be responsible for their creation. Could it be that crop circles, through some undefined mechanism, may actually create a field with these strange and unusual qualities, regardless of how they are formed or who is responsible?

Ron Russell and Dr. Simeon Hein, two serious researchers in the field (no pun intended) joined Matthew Williams for an opportunity to observe his creation of a crop circle. These two brought along their EMF (electromagnetic frequency) testing equipment. The equipment registered nothing significant beforehand, but they observed the highest effect they had ever seen after the circle was created... even though it was created by humans!

Ron Russell, as a result of his own unusual experiences, has referred to crop circles as "tools for transcendence, spiritual machines, hermetic devices, and alchemical resonators."7

The New Frontier

I have to admit, when my research into this topic brought me to the part where I had to accept the great likelihood that human artists are the ones responsible for crop circles, I was a little disappointed. Like the croppies, I was excited to imagine these beautiful formations were communications from beyond. However, when I delved deeper into the findings of Williams, Russell and Hein, an even more intriguing possibility emerged! Maybe crop circles are a spiritual portal of sorts, summoning us to act in harmony and resonance with one another and the planet we live on. Maybe they aren't simply messages from beyond, but messages from beyond that require (or at least invite) human cooperation and participation.

Dr. Simeon Hein, in his book, Opening Minds: A Journey of Extraordinary Encounters, Crop Circles and Resonance, has stated, “We live in a time of great transformation and planetary change and need new tools for our continued evolution and integration into the universe.”8 It seems crop circles could be one of those tools, inviting humans to become co-creators of our experience, and connecting us with higher forces of nature, connection, communication, creation and existence.

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