Crop Circle Phenomenon

The crop circles phenomenon is a mysterious strange patterns have actually been appearing in fields for over three hundred years. Sometimes occurring in sand, ice or even snow, five thousand of these beautiful geometric shapes have manifested themselves in over forty countries across the world. In the last third of the 20th century, twenty-six countries reported approximately 10,000 crop circles ; 90% of those were located in southern England. Many of the formations appearing in that area are positioned near ancient monuments, such as Stonehenge. According to one study, nearly half of all circles found in the UK in 2003 were located within a 15 km (9.3 miles) radius of Avebury. Archeological remains can cause cropmarks in the fields in the shapes of circles and squares, but they do not appear overnight, and they are always in the same places every year.

A more recent historical report of crop circles was republished (from Nature, volume 22, pp 290-291, 29 July 1880) in the January 2000 issue of the Journal of Meteorology. It describes the 1880 investigations by amateur scientist John Rand Capron:

"The storms about this part of Surrey have been lately local and violent, and the effects produced in some instances curious. Visiting a neighbour's farm on Wednesday evening (21st), we found a field of standing wheat considerably knocked about, not as an entirety, but in patches forming, as viewed from a distance, circular spots....I could not trace locally any circumstances accounting for the peculiar forms of the patches in the field, nor indicating whether it was wind or rain, or both combined, which had caused them, beyond the general evidence everywhere of heavy rainfall. They were suggestive to me of some cyclonic wind action,..."

In 1966 one of the most famous accounts of UFO traces happened in the small town of Tully, Queensland, Australia. A sugar cane farmer said he witnessed a saucer-shaped craft rise 30 or 40 feet up from a swamp and then fly away, and when he went to investigate the location where he thought the saucer had landed, he found the reeds intricately weaved in a clockwise fashion on top of the water. The woven reeds could hold the weight of 10 men.

Crop Circle with Swirl pattern (Milk Hill, England, 2001)

Crop circles shot into prominence in the late 1970s as many circles began appearing throughout the English countryside. The phenomenon of crop circles became widely known in the late 1980s, after the media started to report crop circles in Hampshire and Wiltshire. To date, approximately 12,000 crop circles have been discovered in sites across the world, from locations such as the former Soviet Union, the UK and Japan, as well as the U.S. and Canada. Skeptics note a correlation between crop circles, recent media coverage, and the absence of fencing and/or anti-trespassing legislation.

Although farmers have expressed concern at the damage caused to their crops, local response to the appearance of a crop circles can often be enthusiastic, with locals taking advantage of the tourist potential of circles. Past responses have included bus or helicopter tours of circle sites, walking tours, t-shirts and book sales. Potential markets include curious tourists, scientists and crop circle researchers, and individuals seeking a spiritual experience by praying to and communing with spirits.

In 1996 a circle appeared near Stonehenge, and the farmer set up a booth and charged a fee. He collected £30,000 in four weeks. The value of the crop had it been harvested was probably about £150.

Wheat pattern about 150 feet in diameter with crop laid down in counterclockwise circles discovered on May 14, 2007, by Monroe County, Tennessee Sheriff's Department Patrol Captain Bryan Graves while flying. Many crop circles now have fine intricate detail, regular symmetry and careful composition. Elements of three-dimensionality became more frequent, culminating in spectacular images of cube-shaped structures.

After the public admission by some of the creators, crop circle activity skyrocketed. Each new design sought to be more complex than earlier ones. Today, crop circle designs have increased in complexity to the point where they have become an art form in and of themselves.

Crop circle maker John Lundberg, in an interview with Mark Pilkington, spoke about this change in crop circle designs, "I am rather envious of circlemakers in other countries. Expectations about the size and complexity of formations that appear in the UK are now very high, whereas the rather shabby looking Russian formation made the national news. Even Vasily Belchenko, deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council, was on site gushing about its origin: 'There is no doubt that it was not man made... an unknown object definitely landed there.' If the same formation appeared in the UK it would undoubtedly be virtually ignored by researchers and the media alike."

A triple Julia set, widely considered at the time to be the pinnacle of the crop circle formations, was found on Windmill Hill near Yatesbury, Wiltshire on 7 July 1996. It measured 900 by 500 feet (150 m), with 151 circles.

In 1991, two men from Southampton, England announced that they had conceived the idea as a prank at a pub near Winchester, Hampshire during an evening in 1976. Inspired by the 1966 Tully Saucer Nests, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley made their crop circles using planks, rope, hats and wire as their only tools: using a four-foot-long plank attached to a rope, they easily created circles eight feet in diameter. The two men were able to make a 40-foot (12 m) circle in 15 minutes.

The pair became frustrated when their work did not receive significant publicity, so in 1981 they created a circle in Matterley Bowl, a natural amphitheatre just outside Winchester, Hampshire - an area surrounded by roads from which a clear view of the field is available to drivers passing by. Their designs were at first simple circles. When newspapers claimed that the circles could easily be explained by natural phenomena, Bower and Chorley made more complex patterns. A simple wire with a loop, hanging down from a cap - the loop positioned over one eye - could be used to focus on a landmark to aid in the creation of straight lines. Later designs of crop circles became increasingly complicated.

Bower's wife had become suspicious of him, noticing high levels of mileage in their car. Eventually, fearing that his wife suspected him of adultery, Bower confessed to her and subsequently he and Chorley informed a British national newspaper. Chorley died in 1996, and Doug Bower has made crop circles as recently as 2004. Bower has said that, had it not been for his wife's suspicions, he would have taken the secret to his deathbed, never revealing that it was a hoax.

Circlemakers.org, a group of crop circle makers founded by John Lundberg, have demonstrated that making what self-appointed cereologist experts state are "unfakeable" crop circles is possible. On more than one occasion such cereologists have claimed that a crop circle was genuine when the people making the circle had previously been filmed making the circle.

Scientific American published an article by Matt Ridley, who started making crop circles in northern England in 1991. He wrote about how easy it is to develop techniques using simple tools that can easily fool later observers. He reported on "expert" sources such as the Wall Street Journal who had been easily fooled, and mused about why people want to believe supernatural explanations for phenomena that are not yet explained. Methods to create a crop circle are now well-documented on the Internet.

On the night of July 11-12, 1992, a crop-circle making competition, for a prize of several thousand UK pounds (partly funded by the Arthur Koestler Foundation), was held in Berkshire. The winning entry was produced by three helicopter engineers, using rope, PVC pipe, a trestle and a ladder. Another competitor used a small garden roller, a plank and some rope.

Not everybody accepts that circles are man-made, believing instead that many designs are too perfect and that they lack signs of human interaction. Among these critics was British born astronomer Gerald Hawkins who, prior to his death, argued that some circles displayed a level of complexity and accuracy that would be difficult to recreate on paper, let alone in a field after dark. In response, circle creating groups and proponents of the man-made hypothesis state that it is possible to create a complex design by marking radii and angles with rope, and to enter and to move about a field using landscape features and tractor trails in order to avoid leaving other marks.

Researchers of crop circles have linked modern crop circles to old folkloric tales to support the claim that they are not artificially produced. Circle crops are culture-dependent: they appear mostly in Western countries and Japan. Perhaps the most popular explanation for the appearance of crop circles is connected with earth forces. The great majority of good, reputable patterns in England appear in Wiltshire, around historic areas of high natural energy. They also often occur close to ancient forts, burial mounds, standing stones and fertility symbols therefore suggesting an affiliation with Britain’s traditional heritage. Indeed, many people are convinced the ancient forces of Mother Earth have a hand in their creation.

Sources:
100 Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy;
http://www.thefullwiki.org/Crop_circle;



Written By Tripzibit on May 18, 2008 | 17:41

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