Text © Freddy Silva 1998 & 2000. Extracts from the book Secrets In The Fields.
Reproduction strictly prohibited without written permission. Images © Freddy Silva, SygnalasisLaboratories, BLT Research
If an artificial or electromagnetic energy source is interacting with the natural cycle of plants, it is perfectly natural to assume the effect is verifiable at the microscopic level.
In 1988 Andrews and Delgado sent plant samples from crop circles, together with controls, to Signalysis laboratory in Stroud, England. The samples were processed by Kenneth and Rosemary Spelman in accordance with a procedure approved in the German Government's "Pharmacopoeia for Homeopathy" for spagyric preparations- a process normally used in the diagnosis of human blood samples. The method allows for the crystalline structure of fluid to be examined under a microscope.
Their results revealed how the irregular pattern in control samples had taken on a strict structuring pattern inside crop circles - energy of some type had changed the plants' crystalline structure. A separate barrage of tests on samples from a crop circle in Argonne, Illinois, by molecular biologist Kevin Folta, even showed that the plant DNA was considerably more degraded than the controls.
After the Spelmans' tantalizing report was published, Pat Delgado was contacted by another interested party, this time from Michigan, hoping to follow up on what the initial UK experiments had started.
Dr. W. C. Levengood is a respected biophysicist. Over the course of his multi-disciplinary career he has conducted investigations into such areas as the effects of solar and cosmic rays on the reproduction of living organisms, and the relationship between ion transport and vigour selection in seeds. In addition to his worldwide reputation he holds six patents and has written fifty peer-reviewed papers.
Levengood's curiosity led him to investigate the possibility of molecular changes in crop circle plants. After thousands of hours of field work and laboratory studies on hundreds of crop circles, as well as controlled man-made scientific experiments and tests on control samples, a series of statistically significant anomalies were detected.
One of the first puzzles Levengood came across concerned the seeds. Seed heads collected from the 1991 Barbury Castle formation appeared normal, until they were compared to control samples and found to be considerably stunted. Contrary to nature, they were also totally devoid of seeds. Yet control samples taken at various distances away from the formation contained seeds as normal. But true to crop circle fashion this was not to be the rule: in other cases where the seeds were present, they were often severely stunted, malformed, lower in weight and/or reduced in size. Levengood attributed this to a premature dehydration of the seeds, their development arrested at the time the crop circle was created.
The critical time for alterations appears to occur early on in the seed's development, the effect becoming less visible relative to the seeds' maturity; when mature, an increase in seed growth occurs.
To see how the seeds reacted when germinated, closely-monitored 14-day laboratory trials were conducted to compare their growth cycle with controls. Levengood noted that the crop circle seeds reacted variably, depending upon the intensity of the crop circle energy as well as the age of the plants when affected.
The results show an inconsistency with natural plant development: in some of the immature plants the seeds failed to germinate; in young plants they did germinate but with grossly depressed development in roots and shoots; plants affected in the late life-cycle by crop circle energy developed in a manner inconsistent with seeds of that species, revealing accelerated germination and increased vigour in the more mature plants, the latter exhibiting a growth rate 40% faster than normal, with a healthier root structure to boot.
But what kind of energy was capable of altering the plants' natural cycle? To find out, Levengood tested a sample of plants in a commercial microwave oven. The results revealed that the closest similarities to crop circle samples- even at the microscopic level- occurred when the plants were subjected to 30 seconds of microwave, not a far cry from the range described by eyewitnesses; evidence of this rapid heating was corroborated by a superficial charring of the plant tissue which left deeper layers unaffected, thereby indicating the brevity of the action.
In his first peer-reviewed paper on crop circles, Anatomical Anomalies in Crop Formation Plants , Dr. Levengood states that "the affected plants have components which suggest the involvement of rapid air movement, ionization, electric fields and transient high temperatures combined with an oxidizing atmosphere. One naturally occurring and organized force incorporating each of these features is an ion plasma vortex, one very high energy example being a lightning charge."
Another conundrum revolved around the plant's nodes. These fibrous protuberances are the hardest portions of the stem, allowing a plant to support its weight and maintain its upright posture. Levengood found the nodes in crop circle plants grossly enlarged and expanded, much more than could be accounted for by trauma, exposure to chemicals or infestation. And although both phototropism and gravitropism both play a role in the bending of nodes, these natural processes take time to develop and do not account for the massive node bending observed in new crop circles; incidentally, slight node length extensions in man-made formations proved statistically insignificant.
But by far the most important discovery in his research centres around the nodes' bract tissue- the thin membrane supporting the seed head that enables nutrients to be supplied to the developing embryo. What Levengood found here was an abnormal enlargement of the tissues' cell wall pits- the minuscule holes that allow the movement of nutrients. Here, a series of expulsion cavities, or 'blow holes', were discovered, as if internal liquid had been forced out from inside the plants. Again, this is not found in normal crop under any circumstances.
In a dramatic comparison to the control samples, the elongated scars clearly show how a rapid expansion has taken place inside crop circle plants, a result of the water in the cell walls being suddenly heated. With nowhere to escape, the water forces its way out by exploiting the weaker sections of the tissue thereby creating the scars.
Levengood concluded that "the energy mechanism producing quantitative alterations in the plant stem nodes falls within the framework of a straight-forward and widely applied principal of physics [Beer's Law] dealing with the absorption of electromagnetic energy by matter," strongly suggesting that an energy source "originating in the microwave region" had boiled the water inside the plants' nodes, effectively transforming it into steam.
Michael Chorost reached similar conclusions in his published report for Project Argus: the phenomenon induces radiation anomalies, heats plants rapidly and briefly through a rapid pulse of unknown energy, sometimes scorching them; it swells their cell wall pits and interacts with the development of the seeds, and leaves radioactive traces in the soil.
One experiment carried out in June 1995 put Levengood's research to the test. Without knowledge of its creators, Levengood's team took home samples from a crop circle which had been deliberately man made. Yet despite the usual tests, no discrepancies were found between the formation' samples and the controls.
After constant delays (mostly due to financial constraints) the X-ray diffraction study of clay minerals in crop circle soils, which was begun in 1999 and completed in late 2001, is now available on the BLT Research Team Inc.'s web-site at: http:://www.bltresearch.com/xrd.html. BLT is most grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Lyman D. Rogers of Newtown, Connecticut, whose financial support made this possible, and to web-site personnel Kim McDonald Gazecki, William Bombardier, and Abby Lewis who did the actual work of transferring the study to the web.
This study, funded by Laurance Rockefeller, examined specific clay minerals (those which are called "expandable" clays and which are most sensitive to heat) in crop circle soils, in an attempt to gather further data which might inform us regarding the hypothesized presence of microwave radiation at crop circle sites. Multiple scientists were involved (see "Study Personnel"), most of whom were totally unacquainted with the crop circle phenomenon at the time they carried out their individual work on the project. These scientists were carefully chosen, not only for their specific expertise, but because they were unaware of the phenomenon, thus ruling out any potential assertions by skeptics of "experimenter bias."
The results are startling. Specific clay minerals (illite/smectites) are shown to exhibit a subtle, but statistically significant, increase in degree of crystallization....a change heretofore seen only in sedimentary rock, which has been exposed to the massive pressure (called "geologic" pressure) of tons of overlying rock and to heat from the earth's core over hundreds, or thousands of years. To our knowledge this increase in degree of crystallization has never been reported previously in surface soils (as is the case here).
If "geologic" pressure had been present, obviously the plants would have been obliterated. And, of course, they were not. Further, if the intense heat required (a minimum of 6-800 degrees C, over a period of many hours) to produce the crystalline change (in the absence of such geologic pressure) had been present, the plants would have been incinerated. And, again, they were not. The plants did show the well-documented changes (elongated apical nodes, presence of expulsion cavities) regularly found in crop circles which are not created by mechanical flattening (i.e., with planks and boards). What is MOST interesting is the fact that both the documented plant changes and the increases in clay-mineral crystallization occurred at the SAME sampling locations. A regression analysis found that the node-length increases in the plants were correlated with the increase in crystallization of the clay minerals in the soils at the 99.2% level of confidence, a truly extraordinary result.
So the data appear to indicate that whatever caused the plant changes, also caused the soil changes at the same sampling locations. And yet we realize that the intense energy situation required to produce the soil effects would have destroyed the plants altogether. As Dr. Reynolds, the Dartmouth mineralogist and recognized authority on clay minerals and the XRD technique whom we asked to review our study stated, we are apparently dealing with an energy currently unknown to science.
As is often the case in science, new and intriguing questions have been raised. The notion of mechanical flattening, however, is without question ruled out.
We hope that all interested members of the crop circle community will take the time to examine the new study. All of the data and personnel involved have been included on the web-site. BLT welcomes comments and/or questions. Please note, also, that many other changes and additions have been made to other pages on the site, including the following pages: "Home," "Plant Abnormalities," "Clay-Mineral XRD Study," "Other Facts," "Professional Consultants," "Lab Reports," and "Contact."
by Nancy Talbott, BLT Research Team Inc. http://www.bltresearch.com
The long-awaited XRD study focusing on the seven-circle barley formation at Edmonton, Alberta in 1999 is now available at http://www.bltresearch.com/xrd.html
by Leslie Kean, THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, San Francisco, 16 September 2002
SINCE THE RECENT release of the movie Signs, crop circles have been thrust into the limelight. Such major publications as Scientific American and U.S. News and World Report have echoed the common belief that all crop circles are made by stealthy humans flattening plants with boards. This assumption would be fair enough if we had no information suggesting otherwise.
However, intriguing data published in peer-reviewed scientific journals clearly establishes that some of these geometric designs, found in dozens of countries, are not made by "pranks with planks." In fact, a study about to be published by a team of scientists and funded by Laurance Rockefeller concludes "it is possible that we are observing the effects of a new or as yet undiscovered energy source."
In the early 1990s, biophysicist William C. Levengood, of the Pinelandia Biophysical Laboratory, in Michigan, examined plants and soils from 250 crop formations, randomly selected from seven countries. Samples and controls were provided by the Massachusetts-based BLT Research Team, directed by Nancy Talbott.
Levengood, who has published over 50 papers in scientific journals, documented numerous changes in the plants from the formations. Most dramatic were grossly elongated plant nodes (the "knuckles" along the stem) and "expulsion cavities" -- holes literally blown open at the nodes -- caused by the heating of internal moisture from exposure to intense bursts of radiation. The steam inside the stems escaped by either stretching the nodes or, in less elastic tissue, exploding out like a potato bursting open in a microwave oven.
Seeds taken from the plants and germinated in the lab showed significant alterations in growth, as compared with controls. Effects varied from an inability to develop seeds to a massive increase in growth rate -- depending on the species, the age of the plants when the circle was created and the intensity of the energy system involved.
These anomalies were also found in tufts of standing plants inside crop circles -- clearly not a result of mechanical flattening -- and in patches of randomly downed crops found near the geometric designs. These facts suggested some kind of natural, but unknown, force at work.
Published in Physiologia Plantarum (1994), the international journal of the European Societies of Plant Physiology, Levengood's data showed that "plants from crop circles display anatomical alterations which cannot be explained by assuming the formations are hoaxes." He defined a "genuine" formation as one "produced by external energy forces independent of human influence."
A strange brown "glaze" covering plants within a British formation was the subject of Levengood and John A. Burke's 1995 paper in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. The material was a pure iron that had been embedded in the plants while the iron was still molten. Tiny iron spheres were also found in the soil.
In 1999, British investigator Ronald Ashby examined the glaze through optical and scanning electron microscopes. He determined that intense heat had been involved -- iron melts at about 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit -- administered in millisecond bursts. "After exhaustive inquiry, there is no mundane explanation for the glaze" he concluded.
In another paper for Physiologia Plantarum (1999), Levengood and Talbott suggested that the energy causing crop circles could be an atmospheric plasma vortex -- multiple interacting electrified air masses that emit microwaves as they spiral around the earth's magnetic-field lines.
Some formations, however, contain cubes and straight lines. Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch, of the California Institute for Physics and Astrophysics, says that such "highly organized, intelligent patterns are not something that could be created by a force of nature."
But Haisch points out that since not all formations are tested, it is unknown how many are genuine. Nor is it likely that such complex designs could evolve so quickly in nature. "Natural phenomena make mountain ranges and form continents -- they don't learn geometry in ten years," says Haisch, who is the science editor for the Astrophysical Journal.
In 1999, philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller made possible the most definitive -- and most revealing -- study to date. The BLT Research Team collected hundreds of plant and soil samples from a seven-circle barley formation in Edmonton, Canada. The plants had both elongated nodes and expulsion cavities, and the soils contained the peculiar iron spheres, indicating a genuine formation. The controls showed none of these changes.
Mineralogist Sampath Iyengar, of the Technology of Materials Laboratory, in California, examined specific heat-sensitive clay minerals in these soils, using X-ray diffraction and a scanning electron microscope. He discovered an increase in the degree of crystallinity (the ordering of atoms) in the circle minerals, which statistician Ravi Raghavan determined was statistically significant at the 95 percent level of confidence.
"I was shocked," says Iyengar, a 30-year specialist in clay mineralogy. "These changes are normally found in sediments buried for thousands and thousands of years under rocks, affected by heat and pressure, and not in surface soils."
Also astounding was the direct correlation between the node-length increases in the plants and the increased crystallization in the soil minerals -- indicating a common energy source for both effects. Yet the scientists could not explain how this would be possible. The temperature required to alter soil crystallinity would be between 1,500 and 1,800 degrees F. This would destroy the plants.
Understanding the possible ramifications of these findings, Talbott sought the expertise of an emeritus professor of geology and mineralogy at Dartmouth College, Robert C. Reynolds Jr., who is former president of the Clay Minerals Society. He is regarded by his colleagues as the "best-known expert in the world" on X-ray diffraction analysis of clay minerals.
Reynolds determined that the BLT Team's data had been "obtained by competent personnel, using current equipment."
The intense heat required for the observed changes in crystallinity "would have incinerated any plant material present," he confirms in a statement for the Rockefeller report. "In short, I believe that our present knowledge provides no explanation."
Meteorologist James W. Deardorff, professor emeritus at the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, and previously a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, states in a 2001 Physiologia Plantarum commentary that the variety, complexity and artistry of crop circles "represent the work of intelligence," and not a plasma vortex. "That is why the hoax hypothesis has been popularly advocated," he says.
However, he points out, the anomalous properties in plant stems thoroughly documented by Levengood and Talbott could not possibly have been implemented by hoaxers. Deardorff describes one 1986 British formation in which upper and lower layers of crop were intricately swirled and bent perpendicular to each other, in a fashion that "defies any explanation."
"People don't want to face up to this, and scientists have to deal with the ridicule factor," he said in a recent interview.
Adding to the puzzle, professional filmmakers have documented bizarre daytime "balls of light" at crop-circle sites. Light phenomena were observed by multiple witnesses at the site of the Canadian circle so meticulously examined under the Rockefeller grant.
Eltjo Hasselhoff, a Dutch experimental physicist, has taken on the study of what he describes as "bright, fluorescent flying light objects,sized somewhere between an egg and a football."
Scientists face real and serious questions in confronting this mystery. Could this be secret laser technology beamed down from satellites? Is it a natural phenomenon? Is there a consciousness or intelligence directing an energy form yet unknown to us?
"To look at the evidence and go away unconvinced is one thing," says astrophysicist Haisch. "To not look at the evidence and be convinced against it . . . is another. That is not science." It's not good journalism, either.
Leslie Kean is an investigative reporter and producer with Pacifica Radio based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.