Monthly Archives: February 2008

News Round-Up

Herewith a round-up of some of the cerealogical news that has come our way in the last month or so.

It would seem that Swirled News has closed shop for the foreseeable future; their latest update (1st February 2008) reads in part “Due to work, life and all sorts of other amazing and concerning things in the world that need attention, Swirled News isn’t currently active as a news service. However, it is a very valuable source of archive information.” We hope that doesn’t mean that the SCR team – and in particular Andy Thomas – have retired from crop circle research. We’ve always enjoyed their contributions and think cerealogy will be a poorer place without them. If it’s time for them to move on to other things, of course, then we wish them well in their future endeavours.

Things are looking up for Colin Andrews, though, with the apparent forthcoming release of the Circular Evidence “widescreen movie”. ¬†You can view what is described as a ‘promo trailer’ here, though it looks more like a pre-production reel to us, and the film’s official website appears to still be seeking investors. We look forward to seeing the finished film, if indeed there ever is a finished film.

The Canadian Crop Circle Research Network have revamped and relaunched their site. We have a certain respect for these guys; they just get on with their research and, in general, don’t bang on about it. Which makes a change.

Bert Janssen has also launched a new website, called Crop Circles and More, described as “a quantum leap forward in crop circle research. CCaM adds new dimensions to the mysterious crop cirlce [sic.] phenomenon. It opens the doorway to the ‘bigger picture’ of crop circles by displaying the interconnectiveness of space (location, shape, geometry) and time (years and dates) of crop circles and much, much more. This website will in the end bring us much closer to, or possibly give us, the final answer to the crop circle mystery. Every one of you is needed to find this answer.” What doesn’t get mentioned in this blurb, however, is that being part of “this answer” will cost you 30 euros a year. Which doesn’t mean that in effect Janssen is asking you to pay for the privilege of doing his research for him, of course; that’s just being cynical.

While we’re on the subject of Bert Janssen, in our net-rovings we recently came across a report from 2001 of him and (then partner) Janet Ossebaard, amongst others, scaling Silbury Hill and climbing down the hole caused by the then-recent collapse to examine the interior (read about it here). This may be old news but we’ve never seen it before and have to say we agree entirely with the writers of that article and consider it a very stupid thing to have done. So what do they find? Secret chambers (which had already been examined and catalgued by archaeologists), apparently significant measurements and compass bearings (though exactly why these are significant isn’t explained) and the inevitable photographs of orbs (though considering the combination of dust, damp, poor lighting conditions and flash photography, we’d be far more surprised if they didn’t get orbs on their photos). It’s also possible that their entry into the hill caused the second, much larger collapse. Yes, we know this was a while ago but it was a terrible and irresponsible thing to have done and they should be thoroughly ashamed. Outside of its archaeological significance Silbury Hill is a site of great awe and beauty and should be left well alone. Never mind Matthew Williams and his crop circle prosecution; why weren’t these imbeciles also prosecuted for criminal damage?

Hold On A Minute # 2

An occasional feature in which we present some of our favourite ‘You what, mate?’ cerealogical moments.

Let’s Play Master & Servant

We spotted an article from Share International magazine (volume 22, number 9, November 2003) pinned to the wall in the Barge Inn. The article was titled ‘Crop Circles: A Unique View’, with accompanying photos of formations from Adam’s Grave, Wilts (4th August 2003), Litchfield, Hants (4th July 2003), Beckhampton, Wilts (10th August 2003), and Avebury Trusloe, Wilts (13th July 2003). The caption at the end of the article read:

“All photographs show formations authenticated by Benjamin Creme’s Master as being created by Martian spacecraft, except the ‘Swallows’ formation [Adam’s Grave, 4th August] which was made by a Venusian spacecraft.”

Crop circle research is, sadly, riddled with nonsense like this. Where do we start?

“Authenticated”? Authenticated how? For more than 25 years croppies have been arguing about a method of quantifying ‘genuine’ from ‘hoax’, if indeed there is a difference. What method was used here, and how do we know it was any more credible than anybody else’s?

“Benjamin Creme’s Master”? Who is Benjamin Creme? Who is his Master? Indeed, why does Mr Creme even have a Master? Is he an S&M practitioner? Is he a dog?

“Created by”? Created how? See “authenticated” comments above.

“Martian spacecraft”? “Venusian spacecraft”? In the face of abundant astronomical evidence that there are no advanced lifeforms – let alone ones capable of producing “spacecraft” – on either of those planets, please provide any and all evidence. I’m sure NASA would love to hear it. We’d love to hear it, too.

Lucy Rocks

“Many people mistakenly believe that crop circles are a recent phenomenon. Yet ancient images carved into stone reveal evidence of them dating back to AD800.”

Hold on… The ‘ancient images’ referred to here show rings and circles. They don’t show crop circles. There’s a fundamental difference. Are we the only people who can see that?

Mind you,the book from which the above quote was taken (Crop Circles by Lucy Pringle, published by Pitkin in 2004) – indeed, the same page from which this quote was taken (page 2) – also states that the Mowing Devil dates from 1687 (at first we thought this was a typo,though Pringle makes the same mistake on page xii of her 1999 book Crop Circles: The Greatest Mystery of Modern Times) and that ‘often on the nights that crop circles appear, strange lights are seen hovering over the field’ (no they aren’t; very occasionally they might be, but ‘often’? Nope) and that ‘In the Yemen in 2002, a formation was found in sand “which the wind could not blow away”‘. No sources are given for the Yemen case, but ‘that the wind could not blow away’ is, we suspect, hyperbole (and sounds an awful lot like ‘the owner has not power to spirit them away’ from the Mowing Devil account).

The notion that crop circle designs were echoed in ancient rock carvings is one that was much-explored by Michael Green amongst others in the 1990s (see The Crop Circle Enigma and Crop Circles: Harbingers Of World Change, together with numerous articles in The Circular and The Cerealogist). We’d merely add that rings and circles on rocks are just that; rings and circles on rocks. Their carvers were likely inspired by geometry and mathematics and shape and not by patterns that appeared in fields. It’s possible, of course, but – in the face of no, ahem, concrete evidence – unlikely.

Indian Summer

In 1996 Colin Andrews excitedly reported that he had details of 2,000 (yes, two thousand) formations that had been reported in India over the years. Full details were promised shortly, though the few line drawings that were presented were most pleasing. Ahem, twelve years on, Colin, are you any closer to getting the information out?