By Freddy Silva

In 1991 Michael Chorost and Marshall Dudley, two American nuclear physicists, set out to perform various scientific tests on crop formations. A hardened scientist, Chorost was nevertheless impressed by the subtle details in the swirling of plants, "technical and artistic masterpieces," he commented.

After subjecting a number of seed and soil samples to rigorous lab analysis, their main discovery was that the soil in genuine formations contained no less than four, short-lived radioactive isotopes- vanadium, europium, tellurium, and ytterbium.

According to their report in MUFON Journal, October 1991, "these isotopes are not known to be produced in nature, nor are they known to be emissions from atomic tests, nuclear power plants or Chernobyl." Tests conducted on soil from the Beckhampton July 31 formation yielded alpha emissions 198% above control samples, beta emissions 48% above, both of which seemed "strikingly elevated", since they were two to three times as radioactive as soil from outside the formation. "We carefully considered a variety of other mundane causes: natural radionuclides, cosmogenetic radionuclides, sample jar contamination, airport X-ray detectors, thermal neutron activators, and contamination with hospital waste by hoaxers. None of them held up as valid sources.

"Many of these probable sources were ruled out by the fact that many of the isotopes had half-lives of about two weeks, which indicated that they had been formed when the crop circle itself was."

To further test their theory, they asked molecular biologist Kevin Folta, at the University of Illinois, to test soil homogeneity from samples around DeKalb, Ill. All twenty samples fell within a range of 50 to 78 counts per minute. When the same tests were applied to soil from a crop circle near Argonne , Ill (Sept 1991), the count was dramatically higher- 211, 397, 298, 470 and 415. Outside the crop circle the count measured just 45, 85, 59, 78 and 71.

Kevin also analyzed the DNA samples from plants in the Argonne circle and found it was considerably more degraded than that of surrounding plants. This suggested some exposure to radiation. Dr. Levengood has also found consistent anomalies in plants from crop circles around the world, including node swelling, cell wall pit enhancement, polyembryony, increased seed germination rates, and variations in oxidation and reduction characteristics. This suggests that the plants affected have been subjected to a short burst of rapid healing and cooling.

It is important to state here that this does not mean that crop circles pose a threat to health. Any recorded problems associated with these anomalies are often from people who feel nausea and dizziness after entering circles within two to three hours of their arrival (although the same effects can also be caused by infrasound; see section on sound). This also attests to the benevolent nature of the Circlemakers who tend to lay down their creations in the middle of the night when most people are safely away from the fields, tucked away in bed. To date, no long-term health risks have been reported by the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the fields.

This evidence presents hoax theorists with their most serious difficulty.

With extracts from MUFON Journal October 1991, and The Cereologist no. 6.

.Return to Altered States