Text © Freddy Silva. Excerpts from the North American web sites, CCRN and CCN. My heartfelt thanks to the few people who continue to set aside politics and contribute their images to this site: Crop Circle Research.com, Jeffrey Wilson, Lucy Pringle, and Bert Janssen. et al.
Before I indulge in a review of this year's events I'd like to thank the thousands of you who supported my lectures and workshops. It means so much to me. This was by far the busiest, most strenuous year, in which I covered three continents, met new friends, learnt new things, and discovered that US Airways are the most unreliable airline in the world, and that driving in northern Maine through a blizzard in a 1992 Toyota Celica with no snow tires is enough to nearly reacquaint you with the afterlife! But then we must not forget that the dark is an essential component of the Light. Which conveniently brings me to the crop circle season that was 2007....
I was having a discussion with a friend on the origins of religion and how human nature degrades and diffracts very sacred concepts over the course of time. The debate went something like this: a phenomenon appears on Earth; it may be a light phenomenon, an apparition, an encounter with a holy person, or some related supernatural event. A core group of individuals make contact with this event, and they find it falls outside their boundaries of experience.
Enquiries are made, stories are shared, and shape is given to this mystical experience. Possible explanations are volunteered. They take their case to the wider public whereupon they encounter wonder, open-mindedness and the need to know more. They also attract scolding from skeptics and nay-sayers whose view of such matters clearly falls outside their narrow experience.
Then the phenomenon raises the stakes, perhaps to raise its validation or its benefit to human affairs and to society in general. And so the small group of enthusiasts return with this evidence to the public forum. Some time goes by. Then, an equally amusing phenomenon mushrooms around them: an innocent inquiry into the unknown has attracted a rogue group of attention-seeking soapbox politicians, a few punters imitating the phenomenon, and sociopaths claiming to have originated the phenomenon so as to attract attention to their otherwise meaningless lives.
More worryingly, a faction of zealots has created some kind of exclusive movement to account for the phenomenon, but this is later usurped by fanatics who turn it into a religion. Yet these people have had little or no contact with the original phenomenon. And since they are blinkered by their own personal judgment, they neither have an understanding of it nor do they allow others of a moderate point of view (and experience) to have a voice.
While all this takes place, a witch-hunt in the media denounces our original inquirers as self-deluded nutters.
The situation escalates. Now the ruling power of the day steps-in to inform the sheeple there was nothing of interest to begin with; their scientists and top minds are best equipped to tell them the real truth concerning all walks of life. And their answer is: the sheeple are to go back to sleep. Meanwhile the religious groups are arguing about the minutiae of the phenomenon and splinter into rival factions; one side wants to proceed with an open mind, the other issues a fatwa on those who will not accept every piece of evidence as the absolute truth. The moderates are carpet-bombed with negatives and they exit from the public light.
The skeptics are happy with this, and they multiply. Actually, they are not happy: one group starts to accept there is something about the phenomenon after all and wishes to make contact for socio-scientific reasons; the other issues a fatwa on the moderates because they believe the whole thing was all a joke which, they believe, they created all along (except no one knows who or how or why).
Death threats and insults are traded on all sides to all sides. Agent provocateurs infiltrate the various movements. Confusion and suspicion reign, everyone is divided, fighting and acrimonious exchanges rule the day. Caught in the crossfire are the moderates who watch their original inquiry taken over by a rampaging wagon of self-interest, closely followed by the double-trailer truck of commercial gain, fueled by the intoxicating liquid of mass media fed by stories from people who know little about the original phenomenon and whose testimonies bear no resemblance to reality. In time, no one will remember the roots of the original phenomenon and why it was here or what point it was trying to make.
But one thing is certain: a large swathe of the public either becomes distracted by the next big thing or upholds the new religion, deifying the phenomenon at the expense of understanding. And to make sure the movement continues to run year after year it is nurtured by iconography and trinkets which, just like the religion, are founded by a small group of misguided individuals whose motivation is not inquiry, but commerce and self-worth.
And thus runs the course of human affairs over the past few thousand years.
It is interesting to note how this so mirrors the world of crop circles, and vice versa. Because what I describe above is precisely the shape of the crop circles world in 2007. Like the appearance of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, orbs and, to a certain degree, UFOs the circles appeared in the first place to help raise human consciousness. And because they do so in a non-intrusive way, humanity is left free to create the change based on its free-will.
For the fourth year in a row, virtually all circles in England—the prime base for the phenomenon—show evidence of human origin (except one, which I shall come to later). And there is the rub, because this so neatly demonstrates their purpose: by not appearing, they are doing precisely what they came here to do: being the mirror of the complex world of human politics, its insatiable need to polarize, isolate and destroy a noble and original concept. And conversely to idolize, deify, politicize and commercialize, all at the expense of understanding.
What I read in magazines and on the internet about this phenomenon today bears little relationship to reality, and much of what is written is done by-and-large by people with little or no experience of the real phenomenon. Worse, they are duplicating the errors and misconceptions of some of their misguided predecessors, and perpetuated by editors who need to fill pages to satisfy commercial interests at the expense of accuracy. Sure, there are elements to the crop circles we still puzzle over, and even the best theory, until put into practice and with the right technology, is still an approximation of truth. And that includes my own work. Because until we humans create a real crop circle we can only approximate it to the best of our knowledge and experience.
But it is the socio-religious movement that has grown around the phenomenon that fascinates me. Having returned to America to spend all my time teaching around the world what I have learned has given me the opportunity to see all matters circular from a more detached point of view (of course I still care for it and I continue to be one of its proponents). In the process, the distance provides the opportunity to see why the circles have retreated from Britain and moved to other parts of the world during the 21st century
The last major year for crop circles I would say was 1999. And back then I said that should the Circlemakers choose to close communication they would do so with simple crop circles, in the manner in which they started. The story punctuated at each end. And it seems that is what now is taking place, for just as Colin Andrews and the few researchers of note have testified (and to incalculable venom from the fundamentalists who are controlling the information surrounding this phenomenon today) the majority of the real phenomenon is now taking form as simple designs or plain circles. I can confidently say that the last true formation was in Ogbourne St. George in 2003, and what an impressive event that was.
I recall a few weeks ago in August when I was reading this and, probably like you feeling both frustrated and annoyed, I asked for a sign of help— you know, "I am not doing this simply to talk about hoaxing, that's not why I gave up my life'. A few days later a simple, large circle with a ring appears on Etchilhampton Hill, with a 'herringbone' plant lay resembling the real phenomenon as it was back in the early 1980s. And it moved me, not because I took this as an answer, but because it was a simple, elegant expression, and it was designed in an unusual manner suggesting an intelligent plasma vortex at work.
For several weeks nobody bothered to record this event from the air. It was not huge, it was not complex, it was not some impressive geometric sign of Divinity or Revelation at work. It was not some reference to the much-touted (and wrongly so) Mayan crop circles of late. All of which, by the way, are made by hoaxers pulling the leg of a group in Wiltshire who'se leader has been linking 2012, the Mayan prophecies and crop circles for several years.
And that's when I realized what the circles were saying this year. As a society we are consumed with the major event, with the sensational. We are losing (lost?) track of our ability to look at the cause rather than the effect. Because, to understand crop circles, we must look beyond what lies on the surface, we must look beneath: practically as well as metaphorically. To do this is to engage in the timeless art of alchemy, it is to find that gold within— to delve into ourselves and find out who we are and what position and responsibility we hold here.
Every season we film, we photograph, we are in awe, we buy the T-shirt, and we can't wait for it to come back next year. For many, the crop circles are a yearly ritual, but so few realize that this ritual has lost touch with its roots, for the real circles are not seasonal, but cyclic. They do not appear to order. They obey natural laws. And just like Russell Crowe's character in Gladiator, they are not here to perform. But we have come to see them as a performance and as such we expect them to perform. As a society we expect the same from our idols because we are still besotted with the cult of the icon. The problem is, we have a tendency in modern culture to associate with the superficial meaning of a symbol rather than look behind the foundation of the ideology upon which it is built.
The crop circles have been turned either into a fundamental religion governed by zealots who will not accept any information that would undermine their self interest, or into an object of ridicule by people in the media whose heads are firmly buried in cement. And it is my belief that the polarization and trivialization has conspired to send away the crop circles from the shores where it first landed. And I dare say that until we regain the center and return to the original understanding of what actually caused the phenomenon (and it wasn't people) and why it appeared, then the status quo is likely to persist.
2007 saw repetitions of old—and previously fake—designs, and variations on one theme, demonstrating that its originators have also run out of ideas because there is no longer new published information they can copy—hoaxers are forgers, remember? Someone said to me in 2002 that the publication of my book would invariably help the hoaxers improve their work, because they'd know how to better resemble the real phenomenon. Geometrically, at least. They were not wrong, and now we see hoax designs constructed more and more accurately, using Gerald Hawkins’s Euclidean theorems, for example.
Large groups of gangs are making ever more bold designs thanks to collusion with greedy farmers, out-of-the-way locations, and smaller canvasses. But they still cannot replicate the features of the real phenomenon. And if you want to see one sure sign that something is man made, lift up the flattened crop and look under the surface: if you see eight-inch bands of crop running under the lay where you'd expect a construction line, 99% guaranteed it is hoaxed. And virtually all UK designs of 2007 had construction lines.
One story of interest amid all the hoaxing concerns the East Field in Wiltshire, by virtue of the events surrounding it. Three witnesses allegedly saw a 1033-foot crop formation comprising 150 circles 'manifested' within a 90-minute time period around 3.13 AM.
A gentleman named Gary King supposedly woke up at 3.30 AM Friday morning at his home in Wales, made coffee and toast and watched the Sun rise (quite a large cup and a lot of toast, since the Sun rose at 5.15 AM). Next day he drives with his girlfriend to Wiltshire to see crop circles, and they camp out on top of Knap Hill, which overlooks the East Field. They meet up with UFO researcher Winston Keech who has set up several cameras, including one image enhancing unit. So far so good.
At 3.13 AM they all claim to have witnessed a bright flash "that lasted for four milliseconds" and was picked up, allegedly, as an EMP pulse by the infrared camera. As a point of reference, as far as I am aware, four milliseconds is too short a time frame for the human eyeball to register a flash of light; and later, the 3.13 AM (Mayan enthusiasts note the cunning numbers) time frame is modified to 3.08 AM. Meanwhile all that the cameras had captured on light-sensitive video tape was black, due to the lack of light at that time of night. Furthermore, despite the amount invested in camera equipment and effort, the last pan of the East Field was made at 1.35 AM. So two hours pass without any monitoring of the field being monitored!
Curiously, the last two frames of infra-red video before the tape conveniently runs out shows what appear to be the trees atop nearby Woodborough Hill (although the evidence is far from conclusive) in an otherwise dark frame. At 3.20 AM the three witnesses look through the light sensitive camera and see a shadow in the East Field, supposedly a new formation but again the images are too indistinct as to be conclusive.
To put this in historical context, Keech had witnessed a crop circle created by a ball of light in 1991 but had not had the time to push the record button of his camera to capture the event. This is certainly consistent with other reports, notably the Japanese camera crew incident at Bratton in 1989, as well as a personal experience that I document in my own book. But what makes the above account very frustrating is— like the Oliver’s Castle video hoax of 1996— the lack of supporting ground evidence.
King and his girlfriend rushed down the hill and into the new formation at 4 AM, and the images they shot and posted start to give the game away because, like the Oliver’s Castle fraud, the photos clearly show a bundled mess of plants, as if a group of people had been in a hurry to make a large formation, especially on had been a very windy night. And what is claimed by King to be "plants suspended six inches above the ground" is actually the very poor effect from trampling semi-mature plants in a hurry. Such an effect in genuine formations comes from the stems being bent about four inches above the soil, then horizontally flattened with the heads hardly touching the soil. From the images provided it is very clear that the plants in the East Field were pushed over diagonally, they were not "hovering" horizontally.
A colleague of mine later visited the design on my behalf in order to look for that tell-tale sign of hoaxing, the outline paths, and all through the design and its circles these underlying paths are present. This raises serious questions about the eyewitnesses. Like the notorious Oliver’s Castle video hoax the witnesses are let down by the evidence on the ground, not to mention the inconsistencies in the stories. This implies a) collusion between those watching the field and those actively involved in a gross act of vandalism; or b) an innocent night-watch by honest people who let the culprits get away on account of being distracted and a night-time that afforded no light to see what was going on. Having been on Knap Hill on many occasions myself I know how, on some nights, there actually is enough light to be able to discern some detail, and there others when I can't see beyond my feet. Back in 1999 I caught a lookout at the said hill's car park signalling down into the field that someone was approaching. That someone was me, and yet the total absence of any light at 1 AM that evening prevented me from catching the criminals at it (and next morning there was a clumsy, yet, massive design, in that field, and incredibly, beside a genuine design).
Since this was written, I have received information that plant samples from this formation sent to the biologist William Levengood show some statistical abnormalities. This, of course, is at odds with my account: how can people generate effects similar to microwaves to created such anomalies? The answer is, they don't, unless like Harvard University students, they carry a microwave generator into the field and blast it (which may account for the witnesses' 'white flash'). This was done in the US for a television show, although the students set fire to the field! The second option is one I have come across before, but is very hard to prove: that the field was irradiated by satellite with a microwave beam. The last time I came across a similar possibility was at the 2001 Milk Hill design, which caught a lot of people's attention.
If you are a regular reader of this site you'll know that, although I was impressed with the scale of the design, I was—and remain—very skeptical, on account of the scores of tracing lines under the design, some of which show errors in measuring and subsequent adjustments. My second skepticism was based on the microwave energy discovered at the site, but not conforming to the design. This is not a feature of the genuine phenomenon, where the energy print matches the flattened design; secondly, microwaves make you ill and are fleeting: they dissipate within a matter of hours, unlike genuine crop circles energy which lasts up to five years. A few hours after Milk Hill there was no measurable energy. So, has the same situation occured this year? In which case, our eyewitnesses are vindicated, the hoax element is accepted, and the surrupticious use of microwaves accountable.
I should also remind readers of one other piece of evidence, and one which can confuse the issue. Although it is easy to be turned off in light of so much hoaxing, it must be stated that over the years much useful information has been extracted from man-made designs, and that sometimes hoaxers claim to have been 'guided' to make a design. When this occurs, when they make a complex design without planning and in a dark field, I can appreciate that some other explanation is likely for their behaviour. Having been privy to many trance channel sittings, I can confirm (and some of this is written in my book) that the true Circlemakers sometimes send suggestions to people who are pre-disposed to make crop circles. The reason is, they say, since they have to work with natural principles to create the genuine designs, "sometimes the conditions are not right, and so we use people to make designs as a short-cut." Case in point is the first 'mayan' glyph from 2002, which I am reliably told is a near-identical replica of a blueprint from an energy device currently being designed in secret (I am not in a position to report on this yet, so please do not contact me for more information). What is also astonishing is that, back in 1987 the trance channeler Isabelle Kingston described the making of such a device from the decoding of crop circles, and this would appear by 2007. I am reliably told that the plans are well on the way to seeing the light of day!
So the point I am making is that, despite much hoaxing, we must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water, nor for that matter to accept this as an excuse for hoaxers to make things. It is a fine line of acceptance, but as an open-minded researcher I must volunteer this angle.
Thankfully I leave the UK log with one piece of non-sensational good news, and that is the event at Etchilhampton which, according to my 'spy', appeared to be very genuine. A large circle with a rare herringbone-type lay surrounded by a wide ring, and placed atop a hill with an ancient well. Again, the crop circles' connection with water.
It is simple, understated and quiet, and because of this, hardly anyone took any notice. It did not make headlines, nor did it sell yearbooks, calendars, conferences or T-shirts. But with this sole event the Circlemakers demonstrate their uncanny ability to act as mirrors for the human race, and the crossroads where it stubbornly stands.
The reports across the world were double those of the UK. Over in North America, a few, interesting events began early. In December 2006 a vibrating beam of light was observed around 1:00 AM by a man returning home from work. Later, in the daylight, he drove by the river basin and saw a perfect ice circle and noted that it was turning in a clockwise rotation. Although ice circles can form naturally, this is a rare incident of a witness linking a beam of light—which is often seen in association with crop circles—and an ice circle.