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.
“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.
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?