Category Archives: 1992 Aug 1 Cranford St Andrew

Size Matters Not…

Wildly over-estimating the size of formations seems to be sadly common in crop circle research. We’ll avoid getting Freudian as to why this might be, but will say that it works in reverse as well – formations which croppies don’t like and / or consider man-made are sometimes claimed as being smaller than they actually are.

2001august12milkhillTake the Milk Hill formation from August 2001. Firstly we should say that we consider this formation a staggering achievement. It has rightly earned its place as one of the finest crop circles ever. It is, of course, also very large. We’ve often seen this formation listed as being 1,000′ across, and have even seen it listed as 1,500′.

So how big is the Milk Hill formation, exactly? Andreas Mueller surveyed this formation and put its overall diameter at 787′. Peter Sorensen didn’t measure the formation but did phone the farmer to ask how widely spaced the tramlines in the field were. From this figure – 24 meters – Peter counted the number of tramlines the formation spanned and estimated its overall size as 767′, which is only 20′ different to Andreas Mueller’s figure. Therefore the claims that this formation is 1,500′ are over 100% inacurate. Even claims that it is 1,000′ are out by more than 200′.

We don’t understand why croppies feel the need to do this, particularly in the case of the Milk Hill formation, which is more than impressive enough as it is without the need to lie about it.

Let’s take another example, the formation which appeared at Woodborough Hill, Wiltshire on 11th July 1997. Judging from the tramlines (aerial shot below) we’d guess this formation to be approximately 300′. 300′ seems to be the general concensus on this formation’s diameter, from what we’ve read, with one notable exception; in an interview with Linda Moulton Howe (in her book Mysterious Lights & Crop Circles, page 60) Charles Mallett says of this formation “it was huge, a quarter mile across”. A quarter of a mile? Charles, what on earth are you on? A quarter of a mile is 1,320′, which means your estimate is more than 1,000′ out. And you wonder why the general public don’t take crop circle researchers seriously, when they can’t even get basic stuff like that right?

1997july11altonpriorsWoodborough, July 1997. Not a quarter of a mile across… It’s amazing how far crop circle design has progressed over the years. When this formation appeared it was praised for its extreme complexity, but it’s really nothing more than twelve rings equally centred around the perimeter of a circle half the diameter.

1997july31eastfieldThat said, we do find it a very striking formation. We remember attending a lecture some years ago by Andy Thomas, in which he stated that since the famed East Field pictogram of 1990, there had been a formation of high quality in East Field every year (he appears to have forgotten 1995, in which East Field didn’t have any circles at all; the only year that hasn’t happened since 1990). When it came to 1997, however, Andy’s quality East Field formation was this one at Woodborough (which was in the field directly opposite East Field, Andy’s argument being that it was ‘pretty much East Field’). Which means that (a) Andy chose to ignore the actual East Field 1997 formation – which was, it has to be said, a horrific mess; see aerial shot – and that (b) he lied about the evidence to fit his theory. Both aerial shots by Lucy Pringle.

132477_137250659668277_4980914_oWe suspect that the croppie obsession with making formations out to be bigger than they actually are is in part due to the notion that the larger a formation is, the less likely it is that people made it. However, this ignores the fact that there are a number of known man-made circles in the 300′ range (for example the Avebury 29th July 1999 Daily Mail comission, or the Sorensen/Russell/Hein Hilmarton formation of July 2001), and even a few around 500′ (for example Cranford St Andrew, 1st August 1992 – see photo – which dwarfed every other formation that had appeared up to that point). Other croppies, amusingly (yes, Colin Andrews, we’re thinking of you specifically though you’re not alone in this) think quite the reverse; the larger and more complex a formation is, the more likely it is to be made by people. In part we suspect this is down to said researchers harking back to a hypothetical golden age when the bulk of the designs in the fields were small and simple and croppies could get on with their research without all those evil ‘hoaxers’ around to spoil the fun.

westovertonvalerieOne of our favourite small formations of recent years is this one, which appeared (in amongst a series of dumbbells) near West Overton, Wiltshire, in July 2006 and which measures approximately 15′. A thing of great beauty, in our opinion, looking delicately hand-sculpted (and we suspect it probably was in a literal sense). Note the way that the flattened crop seemed to curve up the sides of the perimeter. However it has all but been ignored by the majority of researchers purely – we suspect – due to its size. Perversely, the people we know who most like it are circlemakers. What does that say? Perhaps because they see beyond the ‘bigger is better’ mentality and can appreciate it for what it is.

Hold On A Minute

An occasional feature in which we showcase some of our favourite “you what, mate?” cerealogical moments.

Ed Sherwood’s BOLs

Ed Sherwood claims to have seen ‘approximately one hundred’ balls of light, and to see “‘etheric light forms’… almost daily” (The Cereologist 35, pgs 10 and 12). How could this be? Here are some non-exclusive and non-all-encompassing possibilities: i) Ed is, serendipitously, always in the areas where lights appear; ii) (corollary of i) Ed has a symbiotic relationship with the lights, whereby they frequently appear to him (which is implied in the article from which the quotes above are taken); iii) There are lights around us all the time, but few people other than Ed notice them; iv) Ed mistakes many other things for lights. Which is it? Ed, pray tell us!

Michael Glickman & Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams offered to take Michael Glickman out into a field one night and show him a formation being made. Yes, we know the degree of animosity between these two. Yes, we know of the black and insidious correspondence; how could Mr Glickman let us forget it? But we’re surprised Glickers turned down the offer. That he couldn’t put the antagonism aside, if only to see first-hand an aspect of the circles that we doubt he knows much about. He could even have used it as an opportunity to shop Williams to the police again. Here’s how; Michael, take up the offer. Take a mobile phone with you. When you’re in the field, and whilst Matt is busy measuring up angles and flattening crop, send a text message to a friend, telling them where you are and asking them to summon the local constabulary. Voila!

The First Pentagram

Pretty much every source we read cites the Bythorn, Cambridgeshire, September 1993 formation as the first pentagram design. There’s a lot of controversy about this formation, with claims it was made by Julian Richardson, counterclaims that the techniques he says he used wouldn’t have worked, but this isn’t the place to go into that aspect of the story. Much of this formation’s alleged importance, in the history of crop circles, lies in the fact that not only was it the first formation to feature a central design bounded by a circle, it was also the first formation to feature a pentagram.

132477_137250659668277_4980914_oHold on a minute… What about the August 1992 Cranford St Andrew formation (pictured), featured on the cover (and on page 211) of John Macnish’s Crop Circle Apocalypse book? This c.500′ formation features a pentagram within a ring, with rings overlapping the pentagram, and a much wider outer ring, with various circular components placed between inner and outer ring. So why has it been ignored? Because it’s known to have been man-made (see Macnish’s book, referenced above, for the details). Yet does it not chuck a spanner in the works of more than a few ‘evolution of crop circles’ theories? We suspect so.

Michael Hesseman & The Din-Gir

Michael Hesseman loved the July 1992 East Meon pictogram, describing it as “the most beautiful pictogram of the year… it not only shows two connected spheres, but also a symbol which resembles the Sumerian cuneiform script sign ‘Din-Gir’… [which] means ‘the fiery chariot of the gods’.” The only snag – that said pictogram was made by Doug Bower and Dave Chorley – didn’t seem to make much difference. “Doug and Dave claimed – without proof – to have drawn the ‘Din-Gir’ at East Meon – but where did the precise knowledge about the planet Nibiru come from, depicted correctly at East Meon with three moons and the remainder of the fourth moon which collided with Tiamat? Where did the depiction of the heavenly ship come from, with the Sumerian Din-Gir symbol? I asked Bower whether he had read any Zecharia Sitchin books. Answer: No.” (The Cosmic Connection, Michael Hesseman, pg 152).

Hold on, Michael… We’ll leave your (in our minds dubious) interpretation of this formation’s symbolism aside for now, but… ‘without proof’? They were filmed making it! The farmer consented! In John Macnish’s Crop Circle Apocalypse (which you’re probably familiar with, since you cite various Macnish videos in your book), there’s a lengthy write-up – with photographs – of the construction! Or is it that you’re prepared to ignore / disbelieve all this because it doesn’t fit into your pet theory of what the circles are and where they’re from?

The Dead Airman

First noted in Circular Evidence by Colin Andrews and Pat Delgado, and regurgitated without thought by other authors since then (“it’s appeared in other crop circle books, so we’ll stick it in ours too, since it must be true”), the gist of this story is that on Thursday 22nd October 1987, a military pilot took off from an airbase in Surrey for a routine test flight over Salisbury Plain. Somewhere over the Salisbury / Winterbourne Stoke area, where a crop circle had appeared two months previously, contact with the pilot was lost. The plane eventually ditched, pilotless, into the Atlantic, and the pilot’s body was recovered close to the treacherous Winterbourne Stoke circles field. To quote from Circular Evidence: “The following are the known facts. Four circular areas of flattened corn appeared in this field on Friday, 21st August 1987; most of our evidence tends to indicate a mysterious aerial component is responsible. On Thursday, 22 October… a Harrier jump jet mysteriously loses its pilot over the same spot… With the Ministry of Defence, we are left to ponder two inexplicable events over the same field within weeks. Their evidence lies below the Atlantic Ocean, ours is pressed firmly into the field concerned.”

Yeah, right. Mr Andrews, Mr Delgado, allow us to retort. We laugh in the face of your “known facts”. Firstly, we doubt the Ministry of Defence gave two hoots about a few circles in a wheat field when carrying out their investigation into this unfortunate and tragic event. Secondly, is there any evidence whatsoever – and let us repeat that for the sake of effect, is there any evidence whatsoever – that the two events, separated by two months and not ‘within weeks’ as you claim, were in any way connected? Do you have proof that the event occurred directly above the field concerned? And even if it did, how many other planes do you think flew in the vicinity in the same period? It’s a military training area. And thirdly, if we follow your line of thought to its obvious conclusion, one would expect planes to be falling like rain, considering the amount of crop circles there are all over the place. And does this happen? No.