Bojan Gorjanc on July 28th, 2009
Crop circle
Crop circle

In October 2008 the What Do Crop Circles Mean? website has been set up specifically to promote new and legitimate scientific research into the meaning and intent of modern crop pictures. It is authored by “Charles Reed”, a well known crop picture analyst from the seasons 2004 to 2008, and also a professional scientist: trained in applied physics, but specializing in coding.

The modern crop-circle phenomenon has been strongly ongoing from 1990. Fifty or more complex and apparently authentic pictures appear every summer in southern England near Wiltshire, or sometimes in other places. Since 2002, there has been reasonable and undeniable evidence that most large or complex crop pictures might be non-human made, at least in the sense of local human fakers with rope and boards (see for example Crop Circles The Best Evidence – Part 2).

During the summer of 2008, there was even more rigorous evidence for their authenticity, concerning a “pi to ten digits” crop picture that appeared on June 1 near Barbary Castle, and which was later publicized worldwide in mainstream newspapers (see Easy as pi: Astrophysicist solves riddle of Britain’s most complex crop circle). Despite its amazing mathematical form, there was no trace whatsoever of possible human involvement in its construction, as evidenced by detailed inspection of the field where it appeared, before large crowds of interested people had arrived.

A persistent debunking of crop circles by the international media has successfully influenced group opinion, so that most people have no idea about the true phenomenon as it may been seen visibly in Wiltshire each summer. Now that is one good reason, at least, why most otherwise intelligent people on Earth today do not believe in the paranormal reality of modern crop pictures! The international media have persistently refused to inform the public truthfully about this important phenomenon, although good reports are sometimes written in local newspapers from Wiltshire, or other regions of England or Italy where new crop pictures sometimes appear.

Few if any of our world’s scientists are paying attention to it either, perhaps due in part to a continual debunking of the phenomenon by large media organizations such as Wikipedia, National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. Some unknown contributors to Wikipedia write for example:

“The main criticism concerning a non-human creation of crop circles is that evidence for their origins, besides eyewitness testimonies, is scant. Crop circles are usually easily explicable as the result of human pranksters.” (see Crop circle)

Of course, that is not true at all. No honest, intelligent or informed researcher of the subject has ever reached such aberrant conclusions. Nor could they, since one very large crop picture was photographed during its formation two years ago in East Field at 3 AM, in the presence of multiple witnesses (see The crop circle mystery).

It has seemed clear for many years now that modern crop pictures are made by small robotic probes, and not by any visiting extra-terrestrials who are located here in person. If NASA were to send small robotic probes to some other planet under a distant star, and then try to bring about a preliminary form of open contact with the natives there, without having any access to their formal systems of communication, or leaders in government, what would they do?

Would they perhaps instruct those probes to carve out easily visible messages in the fields or deserts, so that everyone on that world could see such messages, and come to terms with the idea of open contact while not being afraid? Then when millions of people on that distant world saw such messages, and began to consider their implications, what would their governments do? Confirm the authenticity of such pictures, and advise everyone to pay close attention? Or simply debunk them out of an irrational fear of what the future might bring? Apparently our local governments on Earth have chosen the latter.

General aspects of the phenomenon

Beginning in the late 1980’s, or especially during the summer of 1990, modern crop pictures began to appear mainly in five European countries: England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland or the Netherlands, although sometimes in other places. By the year 2008, a spectacular crop picture had even been reported in South Korea. Still, most of the large, complex crop pictures tend to appear in southern England near the ancient megalithic sites of Avebury Ring or Silbury Hill, between April and September of any year when field crops (oilseed rape, barley or wheat) are most suitable for patterning.

Thus in every past year from 1990, with only a few exceptions, fifty or more authentic crop pictures have appeared during the summer months all across Europe, or sometimes elsewhere. It would require a literal army of local human fakers with rope and boards in many different countries, to produce such a prodigious output of crop pictures! Furthermore, the vast majority of those pictures never show any kind of errors in patterning.

If you have watched some entertainment program on TV about crop circles, or read some frivolous story in the international newspapers, to the effect that teams of fakers with rope and boards are going out late at night into the fields of England, and making complex pictures when no one is looking, then please take the time to realize that you have been lied to! In very important matters such as these, involving possible or even likely extra-terrestrial contacts with Earth, we simply cannot expect our governments or international media to be telling the truth. That would require a governmental policy decision at the highest level, which apparently has not yet been made.

Those mysterious crop pictures appear mainly during the four to six-hour darkness of a northern-hemisphere summer night, in England or other European countries. Sometimes however they appear in late afternoon or early morning during broad daylight: as was the case for a famous late-afternoon “fractal” picture which appeared quickly and silently near Stonehenge in July of 1996 (see Crop circles history 1996). Nor does good weather seems to be a requirement: they appear equally well under a clear sky or during pouring rain.

Furthermore, the typical appearance of any crop picture tends to be incredibly silent and stealthy. Usually no one sees or hears anything, even if some large picture appears directly next to a crowded housing complex or public road. Many of those Wiltshire fields are literally filled all night during summer with young people from Europe, all equipped with modern cameras, and keen to get a good picture of a new crop circle forming. Yet fifty or more silent pictograms still appear each year in the fields, while only a few have been caught while forming on film.

In one case, a well-known daylight video from Oliver’s Castle on August 10, 1996 seems convincing at first glance, but remains controversial (see Crop Circles Secrets: Olivers Castle crop circles video hoax). Yet in another more recent case, a series of night-time videos that were taken at East Field on July 7, 2007, in the presence of several reliable witnesses, seem conclusive beyond any reasonable doubt (see Enormous crop circle formed in max. 1h and 45 min).

Physical evidence

What kinds of physical evidence might we have collected so far, to suggest some kind of paranormal, non-human origin for crop pictures?

Only a few scientific laboratories have devoted any real effort to studying this phenomenon as of 2008 (see BLT Scientific Analysis or Swirled News.) Yet there are a large number of competent and experienced field investigators (see for example Lucy Pringle’s Website or www.kornkreise-forschung.de or Silent Circle or Bert Janssen or Circular Site or Crop Circles Secrets or Crop Circle Research).

The collective results from all those laboratory or field investigations seem rather interesting, even if little known to a mainstream academic audience, say the readers of Nature, Science or Cell.

The general consensus seems to be that a few simple crop pictures could perhaps be made by small teams of local human fakers without detection, using rope and boards in isolated fields, so long as those patterns remain fairly simple and require only a few hours to produce. But most recently-formed crop pictures (especially from the years 2001 to 2008) have become so large and complex with respect to the images they encode, that any “human faker hypothesis” has become completely untenable for the subject as a whole. Not one competent or honest researcher seems to believe in it anymore, to our current knowledge. Nor has any known team of skilled human fakers been able to construct a large, complex crop picture, even in daylight over two full days, without making occasional errors of flattening under the best of circumstances.

These comments are not intended in any way to disparage such excellent efforts to create “authentic but man made” crop pictures. Every kind of hypothesis should be tested logically and objectively, to see whether it can stand up to critical scrutiny? The current consensus however, among practically all honest and knowledgeable researchers of the subject, is that local humans with rope and boards cannot do such a thing: especially fifty or more times late at night in England every summer, and also in other European countries.

The next question to ask is this: if most complex crop pictures are not made by local humans, then what physical evidence have serious researchers collected so far, that could indicate a highly unusual, paranormal means of construction?

First, as you can see on this slide (photo credits to Janet Ossebaard), most authentic crop pictures show “bent nodes” or “expulsion cavities” in their patterned plants, not consistent with a mechanical means of flattening (see Plant Abnormalities or What is the scientific opinion about crop circles? or Arguments Against the Hoax Theory of Crop Circles).

In other words, those plants have been subjected to highly localized, microwave-type heating that makes the water inside their stems either expand or explode, through neighbouring plant tissues nearby. By analogy, those plants have been patterned into some particular shape just as for heating a stiff iron bar until it melts locally, then bending it while hot and pliable into a sharp curve, and letting it cool again.

The silent and stealthy nature of this process is in some way its own worst enemy. For example, if a large disc-shaped flying saucer were to appear every time a new crop picture appears, then most people would be immediately convinced. Instead, even the most careful observers usually see no more than strangely moving lights above a newly forming crop picture, or sometimes small metallic probes, or at other times small coherent balls of light (see Crop Circles Quest for Truth: Balls of Light or UFO – U.S. Military helicopter intercepting ball of light at crop circle or ufo over crop circle southfield alton barns england 14.8.08).

Yet those witnesses are not imagining anything, because military helicopters can sometimes see them too (see UFO – U.S. Military helicopter intercepting ball of light at crop circle)! In addition to occasional photographic records of those objects, we also have many reliable eyewitness testimonies. There have been many independent reports of that kind, too many to list here. Perhaps that is not much to go on after 18 years of studying crop pictures, but then large, mainstream scientific laboratories have refused so far to study this phenomenon with any kind of sensitive, sophisticated camera equipment such as they use in their other endeavours.

Nevertheless, using standard commercial cameras, a few dedicated investigators have captured on film what appear to be spacetime portals or wormholes opening up in the sky next to a newly forming crop picture (see “Crossovers from another dimension” by Terje Toftenes).

Others such as Winston Keech, Gary King and Paula Presdee-Jones have photographed a brief flash of “sheet lightning” at 3 AM, followed quickly by a new 300-meter crop formation in the field below, when no human fakers were visibly present (see New East Field Crop Circle Video Report, July 2008). As you can see from this slide (photo credits to Lucy Pringle, Winston Keech and Gary King), the sudden and mysterious appearance of that large, 300-meter East Field formation appears to have required no more than 10 minutes, and was not accompanied by any detectable human presence in the field below.

Those are the experimental facts, not the wild speculations of hoaxers or debunkers which you hear commonly on TV. Do they have any detailed facts to report? No, none at all. Over the next few years, the placement of improved cameras with greater night-time sensitivities in those fields, where crop pictures commonly appear, may reveal more of the detailed processes by which they are made.

Only one plausible hypothesis

Based on the general facts presented so far, which are accepted by practically all knowledgeable researchers in the field, one might conclude that the unknown creators of this strange crop-based messaging system possess a level of advanced technology, which is far beyond anything that ordinary humans on Earth today possess. For example, they seem to have no need for large flying saucers or UFOs, since their technology has evidently advanced beyond that point. Instead, they seem to be sending small, gravity-insensitive robotic probes across large distances of space and/or time, in order to create such amazing pictures. Those devices have been evidenced numerous times by the sighting of a small metallic orb or ball of light near a newly-formed crop picture, whether by eyewitness account or on camera (see above).

Where exactly might such probes be coming from? Another star? Another planet in our solar system? Our future or maybe even our past? Three overall classes of hypothesis have been proposed to account for these strange data, but only one seems to remain plausible as of 2008:

(i) The “human faker hypothesis”. No one is seriously promoting that anymore, even the BBC who are well known for their debunking efforts. In the light of many complex crop pictures that have appeared during the years 2001 to 2008, the human-faker hypothesis now seems far beyond the possibility of honest belief.

(ii) The “natural forces hypothesis”. The idea that wind or other natural geomagnetic energies could create crop pictures seems completely untenable today in the light of many complex crop pictures from 2001 to 2008.

(iii) The “extra-terrestrial hypothesis”. This last hypothesis now seems highly favoured, in the light of many highly coded, astronomical or mathematical crop pictures which have appeared in recent years: for example the Chilbolton “Arecibo” formation of 2001 (see The Chilbolton ‘Arecibo message’ Formation), the Crabwood “alien face” formation of 2002 (see The 2002 ‘Alien Face’ Formation), or the Barbary Castle “pi to ten digits” formation of 2008 (see below).

Such new pictures are just what one might expect from highly intelligent starfarers, who might be trying to communicate with the current inhabitants of Earth using universal symbols taken from astronomy or mathematics. For example at Barbary Castle on June 1, 2008, we saw the now-famous image of a rotary encoder that expressed a value of the universal mathematical constant pi to ten digits of accuracy as 3.141592654 (see this slide – photo credits to John Montgomery).

That amazing picture appeared during poor weather in fresh green barley. Upon early inspection of the wet field before anyone else arrived, experienced investigators such as Charles Mallett or Lucy Pringle found no footsteps or board marks anywhere, to suggest a local human means of construction. Furthermore, many of its patterned plants showed “bent nodes”, meaning that they were seemingly exposed from the air to some kind of microwave energy, that produced local heating in the plants as a means of careful and precise patterning.

For a week or so after it appeared, detailed images of that formation went out around the world via the Internet (not the mainstream news), and were seen by thousands of interested people. Yet no one could figure out what the new picture was trying to tell us. Finally on June 5, a skilled physicist-engineer from North Carolina by the name of Mike Reed realized by simple inspection that it encoded the fundamental constant pi.

As you can see from this slide (photo credits to John Montgomery), each individual digit from pi = 3.14….. was drawn in the field with 36 degrees of rotation, in order to specify a full ten-digit number over four spiral turns. For example, its first digit “3” was drawn with 3 x 36 = 108 degrees of rotation, while its second digit “1” was drawn with 1 x 36 = 36 degrees of rotation, then its third digit “4” was drawn with 4 x 36 = 144 degrees of rotation, and so on. There was even a small decimal point placed close to the center between digits “3” and “1”, to tell where the fractional part of pi began.

Really, could anyone in their right mind imagine that some invisible team of local human fakers, armed with microwave patterning devices, and not leaving traceable footprints, went out late at night in poor weather near Barbary Castle: to lay down the value of pi to ten digits, without making a tiny mistake anywhere; and thereby setting out a great intellectual puzzle that took everyone in the world a whole week to solve?

So we have made some progress at addressing this difficult problem, by eliminating the “human faker” and “natural force” hypotheses. We are left therefore with some kind of “friendly extra-terrestrial” hypothesis, especially in light of the remarkable pi-to-ten-digits crop picture that appeared at Barbary Castle in 2008.

Unfortunately, a definitive answer does not come that easy. Most humans on Earth today imagine that they are completely alone in the universe, and are just waiting for some friendly group of extra-terrestrials to invite us to join an interplanetary federation. Others perhaps are fearful that unfriendly extra-terrestrials will wish to take over or invade.

Given a more thorough study of the crop circle phenomenon, neither of those two commonly-held human attitudes toward extra-terrestrial life seems accurate. We just saw that one particular crop circle from Barbary Castle on June 1, 2008 supported some kind of friendly extra-terrestrial hypothesis which could lead to open contact in the near future.

(Source: What do modern crop circles mean? Part I: a scientific overview for the end of 2008)

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