Crop Circles
Plant Mysteries: Crop Circles
Created 6/12/2001 - Updated 7/12/2006 

In addition to being a song by the band Xenophilia, crop circles are mysterious patterns that appear in fields. As with other articles in the Reasonable Person's Guide to Strange Ideas, we summarize possibilities and let you decide.


INDEX

 


Summary

According to many web sites thousands of crop circles have been observed in corn, wheat, barley, oats, rapeseed (canola), grass, flowers, trees and even snow. They have appeared on almost every continent and have been reported in over 70 countries worldwide with the exception of mainland China and South Africa.Many have appeared in the former Czech Republic and over 2,000 have appeared in India alone. Colin Andrews in an interview with Popular Science stated that 15 new ones arrive every day and about 10,500 have been reported worldwide since 1975.
 

A Local Circle

Farmer Larry Balestra found a 140-foot circle in his 80-acre wheat field near Fairfield, California on the corner of Rockville and Suisun Valley roads. The 2.5-foot-high wheat grass was pressed late Friday night (June 27th) or early Saturday morning (June 28th).

Unlike the situation in the splendid Xenophilia song where the farmer profits from selling tickets to the circle, Balestra figures the stunt cost him about $500, the value of the crushed wheat.

My observation is that unlike some other circles these seem to have several "flaws". The circles aren't perfectly round and the lines aren't straight.

The neighbors across the road when asked by the farmer if they saw or heard anything said "not a peep." However, another source (12-year-old Pat Kavanagh) said his older brother Charles Kavanagh who lives with his family in a two-story house directly across Suisun Valley Road "was driving home from work late Friday night, and the next morning, he told me that he had seen a large spotlight, like a motorcycle light, in the middle of the field. No flying saucers or spaceships."

 

UFOs Seen

The pics below were taken on the 4th of July, 2003 by myself. Click to enlarge. On Saturday morning, June 28th at 4 a.m., Lacilia Langlais, 18, ( the woman in red with the video camera ) and three friends stood in a driveway on East Tennessee Court in Fairfield.

According to Lacilia three red and orange "bomb shaped" UFOs floated down like leaves toward the road. The UFOs were only about 10 to 15 degrees above the horizon and at arms length they were about the size of a stick of chewing gum.

"We thought we were being bombed, or maybe Travis Air Force Base was doing something," she said. The Air Base is only a few miles away. They were on alert condition Bravo ( the second-lowest on a scale of five threat levels ) on the 4th of July when we visited.

The three oval shapes were in the direction of Rockville Road and when the shapes came down, the three ran inside, a bit freaked out.

cc10 cc30 cc29 cc28 cc14 cc15
cc16 cc17 cc18 cc19 cc20 cc21
cc22 cc23 cc24 cc25 cc26 cc27


Observations from the Fairfield Circle

cc11 Radiation from the circle (alpha, beta, gamma & x-rays) was normal at 5 to 20 counts per minute with a RadAlert 50.
(click photo to enlarge)

A few people were certain that wheat could not be flattened so perfectly by humans. I demonstrated, then had them try it. In fact, wheat flattened with your foot will stay perfectly level to the ground. It is very easy to flatten wheat. It stays bent flat when pressed by feet.

cc12Some claim nodes (thick parts) of wheat are bent or "blown out" inside crop circles. I found some wheat bent at the node, but nearly all of the stalks in this circle had the same type of bend that occurred when I flattened nearby wheat with my foot.

(In photos: The top photo shows typical bend inside largest cc13circle. Nothing unusual about this type of bend. Two left facing bends are from inside the formation. The one right facing bend is the result of my own flattening. ) I was impressed with finding wheat bent at the node inside the crop circle ... until my science background forced me to spend an equal time searching OUTSIDE of the circle for wheat bent at the node. About 15 feet from the circle I also found wheat bent at the node -- but with a different appearance. It seems possible that even in fields with no crop circles whatsoever, there is a percentage of wheat that has grown this way due to insects, weather, etc.
(click photos to enlarge)

There were cracks in the earth in the center of each circle. In most there was a board shaped rectangle about 8" x 1", as if the field was muddy or damp the night the formation was created, and someone pressed something into the earth. Some visitors who noticed this feature believed that this was from the landing gear of the craft.

Possibilities

Our crop circle story has been on this site for some time, but after visiting our first crop circle, we now have added first hand observations. Here are some ideas we overheard on the 4th of July, 2003 from many different visitors we questioned. ( If you have an idea that is not here yet, email Xeno. ) Mix and match these different ideas.

Creators Method Purpose

Human Pranksters


Boards and string


As a joke

Space aliens


Microwave lasers


To navigate UFOs
Beings from other dimensions
By hand
To annoy farmers
The earth itself
Indentations left by landing craft.
To bring business to an area
Our secret military government
Some unknown force
To make friendly contact with humans
Secret human societies or clubs.
Psychic energy.
Non purposeful result of other activity
Inner earth dwellers
Dust devils or wind
To warn that the earth is in trouble
Time Travelers
Remotely controlled arial platforms
To scare people into believing a later alien hoax.
Ghosts (there is a graveyard nearby)
Whisper mode helicopters To make people smarter by giving them puzzles.
Scientists    

Hoax Confession

Small local papers are often the best for getting details. The Vacaville Reporter from Saturday July 12, 2003 stated four Fairfield teenagers went public with claims that they made the circles. Could these be the UFO spotters Xeno interviewed? Odds are good.

1. The woman in red with the video camera claimed to be the first to see the crop circle.

2. In the confession story we read, a mother said the four teens came home early in the morning on June 28th, showed her the tools and told her how they made the cirlces by the light of the moon. The woman we interviewed, before the confession story came out, said that she and three friends had seen UFOs at this time.

3. The hoaxing tools, according to the paper, included a 75 foot ski rope folded into a 30-foot length for smaller cirlces, some boards with more rope attached, blue tape and bits of masking tape. Before reading this story, we had noted what seemed to be the imprint of boards in the centers of the larger circles.

Hoaxes? Perhaps Not All

The best reasons I've found so far to believe that all crop circles are not hoaxed with boards and string: The stalks of some plants in the circles are like celery, they normally break if bent past 45 degrees. Yet in the formations, it is claimed, they are bent and unbroken at 90 degrees and they keep growing. I'd like to see that first hand.

Crop Circle Pictures

Thousands of circles have been documented. Here are some examples. Can you crack the code?

 

Coded Message and 3-D Alien Head

For more, try this site: google.com image search.

I found the crop circle to the left on cropcircles.net using the google image search engine. According to Daily Mail, UK, it appeared near Sparsholt, Hampshire in England, UK on August 15, 2002. The picture seems to be of an alien holding a disk which looks like a compact disk CD with some data on it.

Paul Vigay of cropcircleresearch.com and Eltjo Haselhoff determined that the circular dish contains a binary code. Using the ASC11 character set which consist of 128 characters, they translated the binary digits and sequences into decimal equivalents and looked up the ASC11 character to see corresponding letters decoded as:

"Beware the bearers of FALSE gifts & their BROKEN PROMISES. Much PAIN but still time. EELRIJUE. There is GOOD out there. We OPpose DECEPTION. Conduit CLOSING (BELL SOUND)"

This word EELRIJUE is damaged and may be "Believe". This cryptic coded message in English sounds political. Is one alien ( or human ) group warning us about another? Who are the bearers? Is this a comment on current world events?

For more fun pictures, take a look at the sites below!

Formation Witnesses

Colin Andrews has reportedly interviewed about 30 people who have seen crop circles form. He claims they agree on several features: "The plants initially oscillate, then collapse with force and rotate within a vortex until they are lying completely flat on the ground. The process takes less than 10 seconds." popularscience .

This author has been in contact with one other person who claims that someone he trusts was in the Netherlands when she "witnessed three separate columns of light that came down from a clear sky (in front of other witnesses) to make a crop circle in a field of string beans." (Private email). Very interesting!

The Truth is Out There ... Under the Trash?

With over 6 billion people currently on this planet and millions on the Internet it is not unreasonable to assume that someone has already found and posted the answer to the crop circle mystery.

As of this writing, the google.com search engine allows you to search 2,073,418,204 web pages. A search for the phrase "Crop Circles" returns 105,000 hits. Google catalogs only a fraction of pages on the web, so there are actually many more crop circle sites than this.

As of 2-9-03 the number of Google hits for "Crop Circles" has dropped to 86,100 pages. Keep in mind that these are not all pages about crop circles! Some may be pages that contain the phrases like, "the farmer who grows a crop circles around it often to check for damage" and so on.

The sentence may just be saying that some farmers walk in circles around their crops each day. The page gets counted as a "hit" in google just because it has the key words "crop circle" but as you can see, you need to be skeptical about google hits as a useful statistic, especially when common words are involved.

What Counts as Evidence?

Spend some time with the sites below. Collect facts. Organize the facts. Analyze. Collecting people's impressions is interesting for a psychologist, but if you are looking for answers about the circles, try to stick to objective measurable facts.

NOT MUCH HELP: "Well known psychics have determined that circles are physical manifestations of archetypes in the collective consciousness."

USEFUL: "There was a dead bird in the circle that smelled like it had been freshly cooked in a microwave oven." ( Reported in some circles. Nothing like this was found in the Fairfield circle. )

Did you figure out the crop circle mystery? If so, you can join Xeno's Genius Club by submitting your answer here: email us. Club members will be taught the secret handshake and (because you solved the puzzle) you will already know the coordinates, time and date of our next meeting. Still not sure you have the answer? Read on!

A Review of 44 Crop Circle Web Sites

As with UFO sites, crop circle sites fall into one of a few general categories:

Debunking, New age, Scientific, Information Vacuum, Advertisement, Pictures, Video , Links.

Sites with my 'S' stamp seem to be objective and to really present and consider real evidence. The D sites debunk without reasons. The New age sites seem more concerned with spiritualism or other zero-information wordage. I've also included what seem to me to be pseudo science sites in this category. IV sites are about the topic, but give no real information. Includes possible disinformation sites & sources and no systematic attack of the evidence. Fourty-three of the original 70 sites reviewed are still active on 2-9-03.

  Checked Rating Crop Circle Web Site
1
2/9/03
S Arguments Against the Hoax Theory by Joseph E. Mason
http://www.greatdreams.com/crop/hoax/hoax.htm
2
2/9/03
S Anatomy of Deception Debunking of Circle Makers
http://home.clara.net/lovely/circlemakers.html
3
2/9/03
P AJ's Wiltshire Weirdness Gallery
www.dolomite.ndirect.co.uk/weirdwilts/mainmenu.html
4
2/9/03
S Andy Thomas of SWIRLED refutes Colin Andrews Claims of Hoax
http://www.swirlednews.com/article.asp?artID=59
5
2/9/03
S BBC News | UK | Mysterious circles keep cropping up
news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_347000/347644.stm
6
2/9/03
S BBC News | UK | US billionaire funds crop circle research
news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_347000/347439.stm
7
2/9/03
L P Brainstrain
http://www.brainstrain.cropcircle.iwarp.com/
8
2/9/03
IV P C i r c l e m a k e r s
http://www.circlemakers.org/
9
2/9/03
A CIRCLES PHENOMENON RESEARCH INT'L (Colin Andrews)
http://cropcircleconnector.com/CPRI/cpri96.html
10
2/9/03
L P Crop Circle Articles and Links
http://www.greatdreams.com/crpcirc.htm
11
2/9/03
S CROP CIRCLE CENTRAL
http://www.paradigmshift.com/
12
2/9/03
N P crop circle language
http://home.earthlink.net/~ilyes/LangOfLight.html
13
2/9/03
L Crop Circle Megasite 1- 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
www.mysteries-megasite.com/main/bigsearch/crop-1.html
14
2/9/03
A CROP CIRCLE ORG
http://www.cropcircles.org/
15
2/9/03
S V CROP CIRCLE PAGE - UFO Video
http://www.patrickwilson.com/Cropcir.html
16
6/15/01
S CROP CIRCLE PECULIARITIES. Sound at 5KHz frequency
http://www.paradigmshift.com/pecs.html
17
6/15/01
P S CROP CIRCLE RADIUS
http://www.cropcircleradius.com/
18
6/15/01
S Crop Circle Reports
http://www.visi.com/~jhenry//cropc.htm
19
6/15/01
N P Crop Circle -The Magnetic field, July, 2000
http://www.greatdreams.com/biomag.htm
20
6/15/01
S Crop Circles - Real or Hoax? - Donna Higbee
http://users1.ee.net/pmason/crop_circles.html
21
6/16/01
S CROP CIRCLES - 9 different Theories
http://www.paradigmshift.com/theories.html
22
6/16/01
SN crop.tree.txt at www.concentric.net - By Joseph E. Mason
http://www.concentric.net/~asciiexp/chill/crop.tree.txt
23
6/16/01
P L Crystalinks Crop Circles
http://www.crystalinks.com/crop.html
24
6/16/01
S P V

Finland's Center of Crop Circle Information Excellent!
http://www.ioon.net/cropcircles/

25
6/16/01
P German Crops Circle Association FGK In German
http://www.fgk.org/
26
6/16/01
A IV Global Circles
http://www.abel.co.uk/~sayer/cereol.htm
27
6/16/01
S P Ilyes - Sri Yantra Pattern  Oregon
http://cropcircleconnector.com/ilyes/ilyes9.html
28
6/16/01
P

Lucy Pringle
http://home.clara.net/lucypringle/

29
6/16/01
P Minnesota MUFON Crop Circle Web Page
http://www.wavefront.com/~jhenry/cropc.htm
30
6/16/01
P Peter Sorensen
31
6/16/01
S Suzanne Taylor's Crop Circle Site
http://www.mightycompanions.com/cropcircles
32
6/16/01
P THE EIGHT-FOLD CROP GLYPHS - 2000
http://www.greatdreams.com/southfld.htm
33
6/16/01
N The Menorah Formation
http://www.greatdreams.com/menorah.htm
34
6/16/01
N P THE OPENING EYES - THE APERTURE - CROP CIRCLES OF JULY, 2000 - Dee Finney and Joe Mason
http://www.greatdreams.com/openeye.htm
35
6/16/01
N

Tree of Life Formation
http://www.greatdreams.com/treeol.htm

36
6/16/01
IV US researcher Ilyes News
37
6/16/01
S

UFOs: The Military Unmasqued
http://www.ovnis.atfreeweb.com/5_crop_circles.htm

38
6/16/01
IV Crop Circles and Aliens: What's The Evidence?" by Carl Sagan
http://www.2think.org/sagcrop.shtml
39
6/16/01
N

U.F.Os, EARTH GRIDS AND CROP CIRCLES. - W. B. Howard Christian
http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Transcripts/ufo_1.htm

40
1/27/02
S

The Crop Circular - Fredy Silva
http://www.lovely.clara.net/education.html

41
1/27/02
S

The Crop Circle Phenomenon - Dennis Eklund
www.geocities.com/cropcirclecanada/phenomenon.html

42
1/27/02
S

Peculiarities of Crop Circles - Brian Hussey
http://www.qtm.net/~geibdan/newse/croppic/huh.html

43
1/27/02
S Crop Circles Anomolies
http://www.diagnosis2012.co.uk/anom.htm
44
5/12/03
S P Zef Damen Crop Circle Reconstructions
home.wanadoo.nl/zefdamen/..Reconstructions_en.htm

 

 

Conclusion

The circles are an undeniably real physical phenomena. Exactly who is responsible for each circle and why is unknown. There are valid reasons to believe that in some cases circles could not have been made by low tech hoaxers with boards and string.

 

You may now encourage further research on this topic by tipping the webmaster. If you have information on this topic, let me know by email. Thanks for visiting! Enjoy! - Xeno

 

 

Return to Archive Index

 

CLICK THESE BANNERS TO SEE THE TOP DUGEROUS FIPS: