Category Archives: 2008 Season

The Boycott That Never Was

You may well have heard talk of an alleged boycott of Wiltshire fields by circle makers this season – indeed we have touched on it in other posts. The following was posted by Andrew Edwards on the Report A Crop Circle Formation Exposed Facebook page. As we had suspected, a look at the figures clearly demonstrates that all boycott talk was hot air. A salutary lesson; ignore those who shout loudest and look at the actual data.

”In MWs latest rant he makes a statement that if you were to compare the number of circles in and out of Wiltshire then we would see the effect of his ‘ban’ especially early in the season. So I have done this for every day of the year and compared it with the yearly average for every year since 1980. I have plotted the percentage of UK circles in and out of Wiltshire as a percentage of the total number of UK crop circles that year. Obviously this year is not over yet so I have taken the total to be that as of today.
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The dashed lines are the averages, the solid lines is this year and the filled colours are the standard deviation (68% of years fall within this area). The red is the percentage of circles in Wiltshire and blue is the percentage elsewhere.As you can see that although the percentage of crop circles in Wiltshire is lower than the average (and outside is higher) they are both well within the population standard deviation indicating that there is nothing weird about this years distribution. An interesting observation is that since 2007 most of the years (2010 being the exception) have been way off the average, outside the standard deviation with a strong skewness towards circles within Wiltshire.
In fact removing the years later than 2007 from the average this year is almost exactly the same as it.
If anything this year has been a return to the norm.”
– Andrew Edwards

Now That’s What I Call Crop Circles 2008

Herewith, our pick of the best of the 2008 season in the UK.

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Barbury Castle, Wiltshire, 1st June 2008. Photo by Peter Sorensen.

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North Down, Wiltshire, 15th June 2008. Photo by Lucy Pringle.

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East Field, Wiltshire, 9th July 2008. Photo by Eva-Marie Brekkesto.

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Avebury, Wiltshire, 15th July 2008. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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West Woods, Wiltshire, 17th July 2008. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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West Woods, Wiltshire, 20th July 2008. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Weylands Smithy, Oxfordshire, 27th July 2008. Photo by Peter Sorensen.

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Shrivenham, Wiltshire, 1st August 2008. Photo by Frank Laumen.

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Cherhill, Wiltshire, 7th August 2008. Photo by Frank Laumen.

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Barton le Clay, Bedfordshire, 14th August 2008. Photo by Lucy Pringle.

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Etchilhampton, Wiltshire, 15th August 2008. Photo by Lucy Pringle.

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Liddington Castle, Wiltshire, 23rd August 2008. Photo by Russell Stannard.

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Oliver’s Castle, Wiltshire, 23rd August 2008. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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East Field, Alton Priors, Wiltshire, 25th August 2008. Photo by Russell Stannard.

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Etchilhampton, Wiltshire, 31st August 2008. Photo by Lucy Pringle.

2008 Season Update # 2

“…and still they come”!

We would have anticipated, this close to the Autumn equinox, to be at the end of another season and left with little but chaff and memories and another season’s madness to ponder.

Indeed we expected the 25th August 2008 Alton Priors formation, pictured above (photograph by Russell Stannard) – the fourth (!) in East Field this year and a circle which lasted but hours in the field before the combines moved in – to be the grand finale. But the poor weather in Southern England over the last few weeks has left many fields unharvested and formations still continue to fall. Some of them, it must be said, of exemplary quality. Late wheat formations do tend to have a slightly ragged look to them, due to the extreme ripeness of the crop, but their presence is more than welcome.

 Etchilhampton, Wiltshire, 31st August 2008. Photo by Lucy Pringle.

 
We’re also very pleased to see that Michael Glickman has a new website.  Even though we disagree with much of what Michael says his reverence and enthusiasm for the circles, tempered with his unique humour, never fails to envigorate. Long may he continue. In this respect, his blog at Temporary Temples is also highly recommended.

NB: Amendment, January 2012 – those Glickers links are no longer valid. Since the time of our writing the above, MG has left Temporary Temples, then set up a website and partnership with Gary King before parting company with him as well. We look forward to his next online home, and hope it a little more permanent this time.

2008 Season Update # 1

Well we weren’t wrong in thinking that the Waden Hill formation (see 26th April news below) boded well for the 2008 season; the crop circles have been coming thick and fast this year, some of them rather rubbish but most of them exemplary, all interesting in their own way, and providing what we think has been the best season for a good few years.

The overwhelming majority of this year’s formations have been in Wiltshire. We wonder how much this is to do with Wilts’ fecund fields, how much that a circle not in Wilts would not be made note of, how much any person / force making a circle knows both these things.

08WaylandSmithyPSOne formation which wasn’t in Wiltshire, and which we think is of particular note, is this one  (image by Peter Sorensen) which appeared very close to Weyland Smithy in late July. Why do we find this circle so notable, you ask?

Firstly, the curious way that it’s been largely neglected despite the fact that it’s big (Joe Croppie good formation denominator A) and complex (Joe Croppie good formation denominator B) and geometrically eloquent (Joe Croppie good formation denominator C) and suggestive of what is to come (Joe Croppie good formation denominator D) and probably references 2012 or eclipses or something (Joe Croppie good… okay, now we’re being flippant), and but a few seasons ago would have been a contender for formation of the year. We’re not sure how big it is overall; we’d guess c.350′ to c.400′ from tip to tip, the majority of which is flattened. Count the circles; there are 241 of them. Only Milk Hill 2001 – at 409 circles – beats it (it’s true, of course, that the Windmill Hill July 1999 formation – at 288 circles – also beats it on a strictly numeric level, but we’d class that as 288 grapeshot, which we don’t think is quite the same).

The other – and for us far more significant – thing about this formation is something that appears to have pretty much gone unnoticed. It effortlessly presents a total revolution in crop circle laying out. Formations of this style – myriad circles delineating a pattern – always have underlying pathways joining the circles. Whether you deem them construction lines or guider-paths put there by the circlemakers to point the way through the formation (a curious perspective that seems to be still held by few but Michael Glickman), both 1996 Julia Sets, the Milk Hill 2001 formation, and myriad other formations have them. This one doesn’t. This formation has no underlying pathways whatsoever. Every circle is free-standing, yet still they all lock together perfectly.

The 2008 season will continue, of course, and we expect more circles to be dropping into fields as you read this (unless you’re slack and reading this in September, in which case only stubble and best wishes remain). We’ve not had a finale yet by any means.

Meanwhile in CCN site news, we’re very pleased to have finally lured Poppy Amersham out of ‘Poppy Amersham is unwell’-style retirement to give us a substantial – more than twice the length of the original – revision of the article Ask Poppy. PA is promising us a similar “100% more genuineness!” revision of the infamous Hold On A Minute, which we’ll post as soon as we have it.

PA was last seen heading up the Kennett & Avon, shaven-headed and surrounded by a private army and mumbling something about snails and straight razors, so it may not be soon.

The 2008 Season Begins

The first UK circle of the 2008 season was reported in oilseed rape at Waden Hill, Avebury, Wiltshire, on 19th April (ground shot, below, by Peter Sorensen).

Though the first ground report (from Charles Mallett) stated it was messy, it seems to have been generally  well-received. We personally think it bodes well for the coming season.

It might also be worth pointing out that season-openers tend to be fairly sedate affairs, tucked away from sight; a 180′ design (which is big for oilseed rape) slap in the middle of crop circle ground zero couldn’t really be much more conspicuous if it tried. We’re looking forward to seeing what the fields have to offer up next.

Lucy Pringle’s aerial pictures of the Avebury formation can be found here.