Something very, very odd happened beside the Devils Den dolmen. A 160 ft-wide hexagonal formation appeared beside the ancient cairn. Not that that is unusual, genuine crop circles have a tendency to reference such sites. But this one seemed just too conveniently near. An electromagnetic survey revealed nothing, in fact the only response was the energy line that ran from the dolmen and through the crop circle but without any reference to the physical design. Yet on inspection the crop was well laid, in fact too well laid, almost mechanical. When a pattern of similar origin later appeared at Barbury Castle something began to smell; then a third at Beckhampton. In all cases it was a question of 'great execution, shame about the anomalies'.

I don't know why but I began to sense the hand of military. So is this idle conjecture, or has the military finally developed a laser system which mimics crop circle patterns without leaving traces of energy? If so, it would be operating in the microwave range, whose energy range quickly dissipates. Coincidentally, the American military's HAARP project went on-line a few months ago; this beam technology uses similar techniques to send signals to the ionosphere, bouncing them back to Earth. Whether these designs are part of a test of HAARP or not, there is now a new factor involved in the circlemaking process that researchers should be aware of.

Being aware certainly was the case when residents of Avebury woke up to find a large set of circles in a triangular arrangement overlooking the drive-thru stone circle. Originally planned as a design to advertise a concert in the village, the idea appears to have been taken up by a local farmer who was reportedly paid by hoaxers Team Satan/circlemakers and the Daily Mail to make a crop circle for an expose┬┤. However, the claims of the newspaper later did not tally with eyewitness accounts.

The story claims that the team of eight people was at work from 11.30 PM to 5 AM, but at least four people who walked beside the prominent incline in the bright moolight say they saw no disturbance up to 4 AM; at 12.30 AM a couple were staring at the very spot and saw no pattern in progess. So what's the full story behing this hoax?

On the afternoon of July 29 American chaneller Jane Ross and I stared down from Roundway field, looking at a swirling mass of energy, with lights sparkling haphazardly over the fields below. Jane had predicted several of this season's formations and felt this was going to be the site of the next major formation. From a dowsing survey at an earlier formation at Silbury Hill I, too, had followed the line here; researcher Paul Vigay had had a hunch about Roundway early in July, as had other people in full confidence. Jane predicted the formation for the morning of July 30th. I booked my pilot ahead of time, without revealing the location.

When that morning came, my pilot protested that the field had been clean at 8 PM the night before. Yet at precisely 9 AM we were the first humans to fly over the incredible double heptagram at Roundway.

A week later, a livid farmer immediately cut down a second formation nearby. Some expressed no desire to approach this design and the word 'reptilian' has been associated with it on a number of occasions. Whether the farmer did the world a favour, therefore, will be anybody's guess, but the basket-weave style of plant lay is unprecedented.

When a following formation was cut down at All Cannings it seemed as if the season's final designs would be left to the imagination; the only surviving image shows a design similar to the international symbol for 'biohazard', so no guesses as to its origin.

August went by without any significant news. However, on September 1 a small formation appeared to the north of the Avebury complex in very mature and brittle wheat. The unexpected eightfold pattern contained very unusual aspects of crop lay: the entire pattern appears to have generated from the outside-in, but the central whorls overlaid the incoming wheat; several cases of overlapping and underlapping lay proved that the entire area collapsed simultaneously. Some of the spirals were unusual to say the least; one raised itself from the ground like a dorsal fin, and completed what looked like an Archemedian spiral into the centre, raised about six inches off the floor. Again, this was worked from the outside-in. At the edge of the formation lay the symbol for Pi.

A messy design due to the extreme age of the plants, but perhaps this is the prelude to new types of designs. Or perhaps there are new mathematics on the horizon.