Category Archives: Circular Evidence

…Must Be Funny [MC]

Money, money, money. Regular readers of RACCF, CCPMT and their ilk will know the stance these pages take on this aspect of the crop circle subject, though it’s less a stance and more an obsession. To them, croppiedom is brimming with sinister shysters who are only in it for the dosh, who will lie and distort to fleece you of every penny. Steve Alexander, flying and photographing circles, producing photo-books and running conferences? He’s only doing it to make money. Monique Klinkenbergh and her Crop Circle Access scheme? Your Wallet Access scheme, more like. Charles Mallett and Silent Circle? He’s just after your hard-earned, too. Circlemakers.org? The greatest sinners of all; they make crop circles for profit!

MoneyCropCircle

Part of the problem here is that RAPMT (as I will now collectively call them) cannot comprehend that others view the subject differently to them, and find it difficult to understand why people would want anything to do with it if there wasn’t a profit motive. Therefore it can only be the case that these people are hiding the truth from you in order to rob you blind. This says a lot more about RAPMT than it does about those it criticises. Whether it was RAPMT’s intention to profit from the subject themselves at one point or another in the past is also worth bearing in mind, though not the subject of this article.

Let’s look at this calmly, taking each of the criticised individuals named above in turn.

Steve Alexander does what he does because he loves crop circles and wants to document them. He has a passion for the subject, and wants to share that passion with others. Why does he use helicopters and not drones or microlights? Because the quality of the images acquired is far superior to images obtained using the latter. He’s a very skilled photographer who knows what he’s doing. And with all respect to the drone flyers (or droners, as I sometimes like to call them), Steve’s photos are far better than yours. Do the yearbooks and conferences make money? Perhaps a little, once all the costs are taken into account, not to mention the expenditure of time, but I’d imagine any profit goes into funding helicopter hire, which is far from cheap.

Regular readers of my posts will know that Monique Klinkenbergh has been criticised in some quarters since the very inception of her Crop Circle Access Pass scheme, which has degenerated to the level of bullying and harassment on the part of CCPMT. So why does she do it? Monique’s intentions are right, in my opinion. The situation in Wiltshire was a dire mess, with angry farmers cutting circles as soon as they appeared or were reported. Monique was not the reason circles were being cut. I’ve also covered this before. But to RAPMT, it’s always somebody else’s fault. Blame Monique. Blame Steve Alexander. Blame Team K Hole. Blame Charles Mallett. No. Blame yourself. Take some responsibility for once.

I applaud Monique’s efforts at building bridges with farmers. The Access Scheme, however, is unworkable in practice and doomed to fail in my opinion. Is she doing it for the money? No, she’s doing it because the situation in Wiltshire is in dire straits and somebody needs to save it. Does she make any money? I’d expect that once you take out her time and expenses any profit is non-existent. In fact I’d be very surprised if the access scheme hasn’t cost her far more personally than she’s made or is likely to make.

Charles Mallett and Silent Circle? Money-making scam? In what universe has that ever been remotely true? With apologies to Mr Mallett, let’s look at the Silent Circle’s history. Those of us who’ve been on the scene a long time remember when the Silent Circle began as a cafe along the side of the A4. We remember its constant closing, reopening, relocating from venue to venue. How could it ever be a profitable venture? Its target clientèle are only around for a few months of the year, and there aren’t exactly a great deal of them. It always functioned more as an information service and ‘drop-in centre’ anyway. Does anybody honestly imagine selling cups of tea and slices of cake and the occasional book or postcard could be a profit-making business? Try taking that one on Dragon’s Den; you’d be laughed out of the building. And each year Silent Circle got smaller, from dedicated venue to pub room to Yatesbury Village Hall to Barge Inn portacabin to Yatesbury Airfield. It wouldn’t surprise me if this year Charles is running it out of a deckchair in his front garden. So why do it? Because Charles is fascinated with crop circles. An information centre showing locations and images of the season’s circles is something Wiltshire has had for two decades, and a good thing for visitors, not all of whom check the internet every five minutes for the latest circular arrivals. Silent Circle and Monique, along with the Henge Shop in Avebury, are the only people currently providing this. Note also that Charles is often very critical of UK crop circles, especially those in Wiltshire, dismissing them as man-made. He’d hardly say that if he was trying to make money from the gullible, would he?

Circlemakers.org? These guys have been making circles commercially since the 1990s. And what of it? Anybody could have done what they’ve done. Anybody can present themselves as a commercial circle maker for hire. If you have the skill. That’s the thing. These gentlemen have formidable circle making ability. It’s too easy to sit on the sidelines grumbling, rather like musicians whose band never got anywhere while a similarly styled outfit had great success. If you can do it, do it. If you can’t, shut up.

Having written all that, I can’t help but feel a resounding “so what?”

Two reasons – first off, if someone makes a profit from the subject, good luck to them. There are many others who have done so, past and present, who I notice are not the subject of RAPMT’s ire. Colin Andrews, for example, oft boasts of how many copies Circular Evidence sold, which no doubt netted him a decent sum. The Crop Circle Connector charge a fee to access their archives, sell DVDs, and are one of the most advert-heavy websites I’ve ever visited. That’s how things go. Some farmers have profited from circles on their land, too, and nobody has a quibble with that. I especially applaud those farmers who donate profits recieved from circles visitors to charitable causes.

Second reason – this is crop circles we’re talking about. A rather minor interest subject, with far fewer dedicated followers than most and certainly compared to 20 or 25 years ago. There simply isn’t a large enough audience there for somebody to make stacks of wonga.

“The circle makers aren’t making any money”, Matt Williams has previously carped (with the exception of the .org chaps, of course). Well why the hell should they? What they do is illegal. They choose to do it, for their own reasons, and once they leave the field at the end of a night’s work that circle doesn’t belong to them any more. It’s out in the world, for all to see and visit and do as they wish with and have their own opinions on. “It’s yours because it’s free”, the Diggers famously said. And that is how it should be with crop circles.

So there you go. Money doesn’t come in to it, except in the case of a handful of individuals who are obsessed with the subject. More to the point, are disgruntled that they never made any. Whether they lacked the ideas, or the nous, or the skills, it never happened. And that makes them bitter. They see profit everywhere. Especially where there isn’t any.

Miles Challett

Two More Sad Losses

Two more sad losses to the croppie community. Pat Delgado died on 23rd May 2009. John Michell died on 24th April 2009.

Delgado was one of the very first crop circle researchers, drawn in by a pattern in a Hampshire field in 1981 and enraptured and promoting the circles every which way he could. Author of Circular Evidence and Crop Circles: The latest Evidence and Crop Circles: Conclusive Evidence(the former two with Colin Andrews).

Michell… What can we say? Visionary, mythologist, gentleman.In purely cerealogical terms he was integral in the founding of the Centre For Crop Circle Studies, and the first editor of The Cerealogist, and his impact on crop circle study cannot be underestimated. Hell, his impact full stop cannot be underestimated. Readers seeking a suitable epigraph could do a lot worse than read his book The New View Over Atlantis. Therein will you find him, and will find his resonance.

Michell also penned our favourite circular quote, in Crooked Soley: A Crop Circle Revelation (a book co-authored with Allan Brown), which sums up the wonder of the circles and their appeal far more eloquently than we’d attempt to:

“We cannot conscientiously advise anyone to enter the murky world of crop circle research. If you choose to do so – at your own risk – you enter a world of magic. No one has ever spent a summer in the ancient, sacred heart of England, from Avebury to the Vale of Pewsey, where the light and atmosphere are intense and crop circles proliferate, without being changed by the experience. You meet the most remarkable people, and you partake in a process whereby the light of divine knowledge enters minds, and hearts are stirred by the beauty of crop circles in their chosen setting. If you need an addiction, this is the best one you could find.”

Best of addictions indeed.

Erik Beckjord, Jonathan Sherwood, David Kingston, and Paul Vigay, John Michell, Pat Delgado… that’s six major croppies gone in less than a year. We sincerely hope that “ambulance chaser” croppies and conspiracy kooks don’t seek a pattern in this (the first whiff of which seemed to follow the deaths of Vigay and Kingston, but we’re very glad that line of enquiry has since been discarded).

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

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.