Category Archives: 2016 Season

Now That’s What I Call Crop Circles 2016 [HJ]

Our annual pick of the best of the season in the UK.

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Mere, Wiltshire 8 June 2016. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Ovington, Hampshire, 24 June 2016. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Hackpen Hill, Wiltshire, 16 July 2016. Photo by Eva-Marie Brekkestø.

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Callstone Wellington, Wiltshire, 25 July 2016. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Mattterley Basin, Hampshire, 25 July 2016. Photo by Frank Laumen

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Cley Hill, Wiltshire, 30 July 2016. Photo by Tom Keegan.

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Ansty, Wiltshire, 12 August 2016. Though I can’t say I ‘like’ this formation, I can appreciate its technical brilliance. Photo by Frank Laumen.

Hugh Janus

Downton, Wiltshire, August 2016

Famed circlemaker Julian Richardson has made a crop circle for Audi of their logo at Wick Farm, Downton, Wiltshire. We rather like it. From this shot, it looks very accurate, but then, Julian always did know what he was doing.

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Here’s a shot of Julian mid-construction. According to Julian, the formation took three hours to make, at night. Circlemakers don’t usually wear headtorches in the fields, of course, but when the farmer is being paid and one doesn’t have to worry about being spotted, we can imagine it’s a great help when trying to read tape measurements. Why not just make it during the day?

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The Audi website features an article with more information and images and video of the construction. Screen captures below.

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UK Crop Circles August 2016 [HJ]

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Chilcomb, Hampshire, 3 August 2016. Wheat. c.140′. A Circle containing a 10 x 10 standing grid, with each box diagonally divided. I am not quite sure why everybody got as excited as they did by this one, since it clearly looks unfinished. Perhaps the makers were disturbed mid-construction? Photo by Steve Alexander.

2016.08.05_19.10.34_-_CropcircleconnectorSparticles Wood, near Chaldon, Surrey, 3 August 2016. Wheat. c.100′. Photo by The Crop Circle Connector.

DSC4876-Bratton-Camp-Wilts-04-08-16-OHBratton, Wiltshire, 4 August 2016. Wheat. c.200′. This circle was in the field below the Westbury white horse which hosted the famed 1980 “Return of The Thing?” circles and could be said to have sparked the entire crop circle phenomenon as we know it today. Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, these fields were prime circles real estate. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Etchilhampton, Wiltshire, 7 August 2016. Wheat. c.180′. Note the unicursal hexagram flattened into the lay of the central circle. This was in the same field as two circles from 2015 (the “ghosts” of which are still visible in some aerial photos), one of which had a similar lay. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Ansty, Wiltshire, 12 August 2016. Wheat. c.300′. It is fair to say that this formation caused more controversy than any other this season. Temporary Temples provide a good introduction, with links to some articles worth reading for further background, as does The Croppie. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Nursteed Farm, Wiltshire, 17 August 2016. Wheat. c.200′. Photo by Steve Alexander.

DSC5156-All-Cannings-Wilts-24-08-2016-OHAll Cannings, Wiltshire, 24 August 2016. Wheat. c.150′. Note the ‘splayed’ lay in the top-most circle. Photo by Steve Alexander.

DSC5218-Cooks-Plantation-nr-Beckhampton-Wilts-27-08-16-OHCooks Plantation, Beckhampton, Wiltshire, 27 August 2016. Wheat. c.150′. Farmers Ben and Robin Butler were outraged at the appearance of this circle, their fields having been circles-free until so late in the season, and there was some controversy at its depiction of a swastika, however it is clearly a Hindu swastika and not a Nazi one. That did not stop The Silent Circle proclaiming “predictable disrespect” shown by “hoaxers” (see screenshot below). My friends at The Croppie picked up the story.  Photo by Steve Alexander.

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DSC5225-Overton-Hill-nr-East-Kennett-Wilts-27-08-16-OHThe Sanctuary, Overton Hill, Wiltshire, 27 August 2016. Wheat. c.150′. Another simple ringed circle, of which there have been several this season. Photo by Steve Alexander.

PT sutton 1Sutton Hall, near Rochford, Essex, 29 August 2016. Wheat. Small, somewhat ‘old school’, and rather scruffy looking, though that may in part be due to the extreme ripeness of the crop. Photo by Prashant Trivedi.

Hugh Janus

The Trashing Of Cley Hill

We were very saddened to see this photo of the 30 July Cley Hill circle. It’s been in the field barely a week and has already been utterly wrecked by visitors.

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Here’s how it looked in its original, pristine state.

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Please, people, if you’re going to visit circles have some respect for the farmer. Have some respect for the formation itself. Stick to the tramlines or the flattened crop at all times. We need to keep farmers happy, especially in light of the ‘cut everything’ policy of some farmers in recent seasons. Stay out of the standing crop.

UK Crop Circles July 2016 [HJ]

13613363_10210118060608434_Barrows Green, near Widnes, Lancashire, 7 July 2016. Oats. Double ring with satellite circles. The Crop Circle Connector featured a rather comical “lights and strange noises the night it appeared” account, which is worth repeating (see below) and reads to me at least rather like a psedonymous report by its maker in an attempt to big it up (see The Field Guide by Rob Irving and John Lunberg, pages 206-209). Photo by “Steven Samosa”.

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West Kennett, Wiltshire, 8 July 2016. Wheat. A tiny and very retro formation right next to the long barrow, consisting of three circles joined by pathways. Photo by The Crop Circle Connector.

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Stonehenge, Wiltshire, 7 July 2016. Wheat. c.210′. Seven-pointed star and crescent, surrounded by ring. In the same field as, and exacty 20 years on from, the famed Stonehenge Julia Set. From looking at this latest effort, one might be forgiven for thinking “they don’t make crop circles like they used to”. Another formation teased by the Clandestine Esoterical [sic.] Mysterious Universe page, and thus killed stone dead before anybody had a chance to properly assess it. Which is perhaps just as well, since it is rather a wonky mess, the centre in particular. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Stanton Bridge, Wiltshire, 8 July 2016. Wheat. c.80′. Ring with pathway leading to smaller circle, with pathway leading to fork. Small, wonky, amateur. Photo by The Crop Circle Connector.

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Twyford, Hampshire, 11 July 2016. Wheat. c.240′. A large single ring with much smaller, free-standing satellite circle. Very stylish and understated. Photo by Steve Alexander.

DSC4603-Wilton-Windmill-Wilts-15-07-2016-OHWilton, Wiltshire, 15 July 2016. Wheat. c.50′. A heart (or perhaps buttocks or cleavage….). Photo by Steve Alexander.

DSC4605-Hackpen-Hill-nr-Broad-Hinton-16-07-2016-OHHackpen Hill, Wiltshire, 16 July 2016. Wheat. c.150′. A unique and difficult to describe design, based upon three-and six-fold geometry. Photo by Steve Alexander.

DSC4633-Wessex-Ridgeway-Devizes-Wilts-16-07-2016-OHDevizes, Wiltshire, 16 July 2016. c.100′. Another of this season’s numerous simple rings and ringed circles. Barley. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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New Hall, near Sutton, Essex, 18 July 2016. Wheat. c.80′. More wonky crap in Essex. What on earth is going on in that place? Photo by Phantom 3 Quad-Copter.

DSC4647-Reigate-Hill-nr-Reigate-Surrey-19-07-2016-OHReigate Hill, Surrey, 19 July 2016. Wheat. c.140′. Grey with feathered ‘head-dress’. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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Burderop Down, Wiltshire, 21 July 2016. Wheat. c.120′. Central circle with five concentric rings, with characters scribed between the rings. Something of a haphazard mess. I note what look like the initials ‘DH’ – these are of course the initials of one particular circle maker but I hazard he’d hesitate to have his name attached to this cerealogical disaster. Photo by The Crop Circle Connector.

G0016087bbbSeven Acre Wood, near Newton St Loe, Somerset, 22 July 2016. Wheat. Back just before the turn of the century, Newton St Loe was something of a hot spot for crop circles. Sadly I cannot say that this latest effort is a return to past glories. Photo by The Crop Circle Connector.

G0035545bbbEast Field, Alton Barnes, Wiltshire, 22 July 2016. Wheat. c.150′ length. Unsurprisingly, given its location, this formation lasted barely a day before being cut by the farmer. Photo by The Crop Circle Connector.

DSC4763-Figsbury-Ring-Firsdown-Wilts-22-07-16-OHFigsbury Ring, Wiltshire, 22 July 2016. Wheat. c.220′. Another Clandestine Esoterical [sic.] Mysterious Universe circle, and probably their neatest of the season. I do not quite know why everybody described this circle as depicting a cat – albeit the face is rather cat-like – as to me it very clearly depicts a bat. Photo by Steve Alexander.

DSC4701-Ranscomb-Bottom-nr-Calstone-Wellington-Wilts-23-07-16-OHCallstone Wellington, Wiltshire, 25 July 2016. Wheat. c.280′. A beautiful play on pentagonal geometry, and perhaps the best – or at least the best-constructed – circle of the 2016 season. Photo by Steve Alexander.

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The Forests Way, near Roydon, Essex, 24 July 2016. Wheat. This formation occured in two stages (right section first). Photo by Prashant Trivedi.

DSC4805-Matterley-Basin-Winchester-25-07-2016-OHMatterley Basin, near Cheesefoot Head, Hampshire, 25 July 2016. Wheat. c.200′. It is good to see Hampshire ‘reactivated’ as a circles location again this season. Photo by Steve Alexander.

20160728westkennett-04West Kennett, Wiltshire, 28 July 2016. Wheat. c.150′. This was in the field to the northeast of the long barrow, a field which sees a circle most seasons. Unfortunately it was cut by the farmer the day it appeared, his having earlier chased a tour group out of it. Photo by Frank Laumen.

allcanningsaaa.fw_-1280x640All Cannings, Wiltshire, 28 July 2016. Wheat. This was defaced by the farmer before anybody could get photographs. I am not sure what it is supposed to represent. Photo by Gordon Burns.

DSC4780-Cley-Hill-Wilts-30-07-2016-OHCley Hill, near Warminster, Wiltshire, 30 July 2016. Wheat. c.150′. Another former circles ‘hot spot’ to be reactivated this season. Perhaps my personal favourite of the year. Note the standing centre. Cley Hill was a popular skywatching location back in the 1960s and 1970s, during the days of the Warminster “Thing”. Photo by Steve Alexander.

Hugh Janus

UK Crop Circles June 2016 [hj]

The first formation of June 2016 was a ‘stage two’ of a circle from May, in a big sloping barley field opposite Silbury Hill in Wiltshire, reported on 5 June (this and other photos in this article by Steve Alexander except where indicated).

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The same weekend saw two formations in the same corner of Wiltshire, near the town of Mere, both reported on 6 June. The first (and the first of the season in wheat) was a little scrappy though not without its supporters, in particular the Facebook page Clendestine Esoterical Mysterious Universe. This was the first of three circles this month to be announced to the world via this page and I wish they would not do it. As Miles Challett has explained in another post on this blog, it kills any mystery and ambiguity the circle might have had and in the process kills the circle itself. Whatever happened to circles just appearing in a field somewhere and waiting for someone to discover them?

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The second Mere circle was a much more pleasing affair, a play of five and ten fold geometry rendered very precisely in barley.

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This was followed by the second Clandestine Esoterical Mysterious Universe circle of the month, at Wylye, Wiltshire on 16 June (photo by Lucy Pringle). This was the first circle CEMU withheld the location to, giving clues as to its location and opening up a guessing game.

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The summer solstice always sees at least one circle. This year, rather than it being in the traditional seat of Wiltshire, it was the turn of Hampshire, more specifically a huge sloping wheat field opposite the Science Centre on Chilcomb Down. The delicate floral design was most pleasing.

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Things took a downturn, with the daft ‘sharks’ circle in wheat above Hackpen Hill on 23 June. Some people seemed to like this design. I am not one of them.

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Things swiftly improved however with this beautiful wheat design on Gander Down near Ovington, Hampshire on 24 June, which calls to mind the ‘time tunnel’ and ‘vortex’ designs of 2006. It is definitely my favourite circle of the year so far.

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This lovely floral design appeared at Popham, Hampshire, on 27 June in wheat.

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Unfortunately the month was to end on a sour note, with another ‘location withheld’ CEMU circle at White Sheet Hill, Wiltshire, on 29 June. At least this one was a lot more precisely constructed than their other efforts.

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This next circle appeared at Andover on 30 June (photo credit not known). Though it looks intriguing from this ground shot, aerials later revealed a horrendously wonky construction.

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I have also had reports of two other circles not mentioned above and which to my knowledge have not been photographed. First, at Winterbourne Whitechurch, near Blandford, Dorset. The farmer was apparently furious and cut the circle not long after it appeared. Second, at Eton Wick near Slough, Surrey. No further details. I will update this post in future if any additional information come to light.