Along with Croppies, perhaps our favourite circles documentary. Its subtitle, “A Journey Into The Heart Of Crop Circle Country”, says it all. Featuring one of the biggest cast lists of any circles doc, including Steve Alexander, Charles Mallett, Michael Glickman, Colin Andrews, Matthew Williams, Lucy Pringle, Terence Meaden, Pat Delgado, Busty Taylor, Peter Sorensen, Doug Bower, John Lundberg, George Wingfield, Francine Blake, Karen Alexander, Freddy Silva, Andy Thomas, William Levengood, Ed Sherwood, Kris Sherwood, Ron Russell, Simeon Hein, Suzanne Taylor, Polly Carson, Tim Carson, Isabelle Kingston, John Wabe, Dan Darby, Geoff Stray, amongst others. Recommended viewing.
An interesting article from the ABC site which argues that serious study of crop circles is being held back by its association with ufology (though no doubt there are some ufologists out there who would argue the opposite). Article here; screen captures below.
A series of historic videos from 1990, covering Andrews and Delgado’s Operation Blackbird.
The first three are from the BBC’s People Today programme, and feature some background along with an interview with Pat and Colin.
This next video is a short interview with Delgado after the first night.
A news piece after night one.
Some BBC news pieces from the Blackbird operation.
Following the Operation Blackbird hoax.
Andrews getting very excited on live TV before the nature of the Blackbird hoax is discovered.
Historic news footage from 9 September 1991, the day Doug Bower and Dave Chorley came out as circlemakers. Interesting to note is the scepticism at their claims, which isn’t how the story is presented today.
Also worth watching is this short piece from South Today, featuring Doug and Dave’s demonstration formation, an interview with them, an interview with Robin Allen of the Wessex Sceptics, and an unhappy Pat Delgado.
Here’s a further video from Coast to Coast, featuring another Doug and Dave interview, their demonstration formation, and more unhappy Mr Delgado, joined this time by Colin Andrews.
It’s difficult to imagine now, how much of a quantum leap pictograms were. Up until 1990 croppies were acustomed to only seeing circular arrangements in fields. The advent of lines in crop circles took the phenomenon in an entirely new direction (and – intentionally, according to Doug Bower – utterly wrecked Meaden’s plasma vortex theory). Here are a couple of BBC news clips documenting it as it happened, the first covering the very first pictogram to appear at Chilcomb Down, Hampshire, in May 1990, and the second covering the first double pictogram at East Field, Alton Barnes in July 1990. Richard Andrews, Pat Delgado, Terence Meaden, and Colin Andrews provide the researcher perspective. Tim Carson speaks for the farmers.
George Vernon, better known as Merlin, is a name perhaps only known to long-in-the-tooth croppies such as ourselves these days. We well remember him flogging his crop circle board game at The Barge Inn every season back in the 1990s. Unfortunately George has been banged up for racially abusing his neighbour. Here are two articles for you to read; the first a news piece from The Mirror covering the crime and sentencing, the second a very interesting historical piece from World Gathering regarding George’s involvement in the legendary Operation Blackbird. Screen captures of the latter below. Thanks to our friends at Circular State Of Mind for the links.
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).
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.
Hold 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.