Saturday, 28 February 2009

Crop Circles

There have been many beautiful circles over the years, but this one near Silbury hill in 2004, rates as one of my favourites. It is said to resemble an Aztec Sun Stone.

409 circles go to make up this stunning design at Milk Hill on 17th August 2001. Image credit Frank Luamen

Crop circles; just what is going on in England's cornfields, or more specifically, Wiltshire’s cornfields and what‘s more who is responsible for them?

Let’s pass on the lunatic fringe (sorry guys) for a moment who still firmly believe corn circles are constructed by little green men, or helicopters from the military hovering over cornfields and wasting tax payers money, or vortices, or little flying orbs, or ley lines (hypothetical veins of invisible energy beneath the earth) or even one theory put forward about randy hedgehogs making whoopee, in fact let's pass on any explanation that doesn’t involve the possibility that they could have been made by…well - us

Wiltshire has been a magnet for ‘circles makers’ for three decades or more. Not entirely surprising when you bear in mind the counties history, its ancient landscape, its mysterious megaliths, its Neolithic long barrows, and its plethora of legends, folklore and ghosts. It must surely be a golden opportunity for the circle makers to display latest creation, adding, hopefully, to the counties enigmas, especially when part of their audience is likely to comprises of a few who think that what they are seeing in the corn is a ’sign’ from some greater intelligence.

Back in the early 90s, two characters from Southampton, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley (sounds like a double act, as it turned out it was) stepped forward and claimed that they were responsible for all the crop circles throughout the late seventies, eighties and early nineties. They gave a demonstration on the BBC regional news (see link below) at the height of ‘crop circle mania‘. Gripping two ropes attached to planks of wood, they proceeded to walk around in circles trampling the crop as they went. Now I could see how they managed the smaller more basic designs but if Doug and Dave later confessed to producing one of the more elaborate pictograms, like the one that appeared at Alton Barnes in 1990, and later adorned the cover of Led Zepplin’s Best of album, then I would have to say that even they would had problems with just planks of wood, sorry chaps.

Of all the theories put forward for how the circle makers construct the more elaborate designs, and I’ve heard a few believe me, especially in my local pub set in deepest rural Wiltshire. I tend to favour the robot-roller theory, programmable robot rollers to be more precise, similar to the tasks performed by robots used in manufacturing (albeit considerably smaller) to accurately and precisely carry out functions to exacting specifications and designs. Robotic rollers, programmed to execute an exact design in a cornfield is not science fiction me thinks. Many people have asked how can it be possible to create such elaborate designs in the dead of night without lights, as there are never any reports of seeing anything unusual. Would you need lights when a pre-programmed machine is doing all the work for you?

Finally, please allow Doug and Dave to explain all, bless 'em.

What, they didn't convince you! okay, try this site, it's one of the better ones.


Lost Sheep said...

Wow! They're stunning, especially the one on Silbury Hill. I don't think I've ever seen a horrid crop circle yet.

Willow said...

I quite agree Lost Sheep, there are some talented folk out there for sure.

laura said...

try and draw one of these and see how hard it is to do so,
then look into the mathematical sums involved in the codes etc, it took people weeks and weeks to solve......
if humans made these massive impressive circles then why has know one ever ever been caught making one of them? and I'm not talking the rubbish man made ones here!)
and also surely they would have given up by now, gotten bored or one of them leaked out their secret to the public ? so so so many arguments to say they are not man made and so little to say they are!

Willow said...

Thanks for your comment Laura.

Crop circles have been appearing all over the world, in fact as far back as the 16th century. Today there are still those who are convinced that the more elaborate designs are the work of extraterrestrials or the paranormal; some even claiming the circles are created by spirit entities.

Your point about the mathematics involved in producing some of the more elaborate designs shouldn’t, in my opinion, be too difficult accept. When you consider man’s achievements and technological advancements in recent years, I think it astonishing that some people are still convinced that man does not possess the technical know-how and the ability to produce a pattern in a cornfield.

Let’s assume that some circles are made by extraterrestrial visitors, who for argument sake have travelled many light years to get here. On arrival they discover sentient, “intelligent” beings - us! And are looking for ways to communicate. A meeting is held as they orbit the planet in their fabulously, sophisticated spacecraft. How best to communicate is the primary subject of debate. “I know!” Exclaims one communications officer - “let’s flatten some corn and make some pictures…” I make no apology, when I say I can not accept this.

Some of the circle makers have been named and shamed; shamed by angry farmers who’s (one of which I know very well) crops have been damaged as a result of these night time excursions on to their property.

Your point about the circle makers giving up due to boredom. I don’t think it’s boredom that is causing less and less circles to be produced since the frenzy of the 70s and 80s, rather I feel it has more to do with the demystifying of how the circles are being constructed. The internet is now littered with examples of circles being made using time lapse photography - see “crop circles revealed” on You Tube for a few examples.

Your final statement about ’so many arguments to say they are not man made and so little to say they are’. With respect, I thing opposite is more accepted nowadays.