Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Crop Circles - no little green men please

Can someone please tell me why there are still people out there who are convinced that crop circles are the work of little green men or some other paranormal influence. Only today, a friend of mine working at a college near Devizes, a college currently running a “crop circle” course, whatever that entails, telephoned to tell me she had overheard one of the tutors discussing the most recent of Wiltshire‘s crop circles with one of the attendees. He was referring to the figure-of-eight circle, which appeared on 16th June between the villages of Chirton Bottom and Urchfont. The tutor was heard to say, “they are just too perfect to be man made - there's no doubt about it“.

I’m at a loss to understand why these individuals, who I’m sure are making a fast buck from lectures, the odd book (the very odd book) videos and suchlike off the backs of the gullible, can’t, or wont accept what is screamingly obvious to most of us. Is it really so difficult to accept that we mere mortals have the ability to produce a pattern in a cornfield? Consider some of mankind's achievements, in what is a relatively short period of time. Against all the odds we have managed to put men on the moon (no conspiracy theories please) and bring them safely back home, no small feat when you consider NASA was utilizing less technology in the Luna Lander than you would find inside a Playstation 3. We developed technology which allows us to communicate from the four corners of the globe in the blink of an eye. We have the microchip, which can perform millions of calculations per second. We have learnt to fly and are now capable of travelling several times faster than the speed of sound. We have harnessed the power of the elements to enable us to produce power. These are just a few examples - not bad huh! But still, after all our achievements, these deluded fools are not prepared to accept we are capable of producing a pattern in a cornfield. If these people would just stop and look at what Neolithic man has achieved at Avebury and Stonehenge with the crudest of tools, then surely creating a pattern in a cornfield must be considered childsplay.

Is it by sheer coincidence that many of the circles appear in Wiltshire around the time of the summer solstice, when Avebury and Stonehenge are besieged by pagans and witches and druids and folk dressed up like wizards merrily waving staffs and wands about. I suggest such a gathering would be a golden opportunity for the circle makers to delight the gullible with their latest artistic creation. For it is certain that amidst the strange and the weird who make the pilgrimage year after year and patiently wait in anticipation of something profoundly mystical to occur from just another sunrise on just another day, there will be teams of artistic techno types who have meticulously planned their assault on Wiltshire's cornfields.

“Crop Art” as I prefer to call it, would seem to be on the decline, there are fewer designs appearing today than there were in the 70's, 80's and 90‘s. This is due in part to local farmers fighting back, especially in the coming season of 2012 when any circles found will be immediately removed. It is also due to the ‘novelty factor’ wearing off. It’s like any mystery, when it’s been exposed it looses its appeal. Today crop circles are seen as an art form, often stunning, often beautiful, too often awful, but to local farmers who’s livelihoods they directly effect, their creators are regarded as nothing more than trespassing vandals, they have a point me thinks.

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