We arrived at Heathrow Saturday 31 July, found our hire car and set off for Marlborough - heart of crop circle country. We had booked a lovely B&B at Browns Farm for the 8 days of our visit. Very comfortable room (w. ensuite) in a lovely old 2 storey building surrounded by beautiful grounds and fields of crops. Peaceful.
Not long after arriving Hazel (our host) informed us there were two circles which were relatively close by. She showed us where to go on her ordnance map and we immediately set off.
For those not familiar with the phenomenon, crop circles are large formations which appear overnight in fields of crops from spring onwards until early autumn, with most arriving during the three main summer months. How they appear and what they mean has long been the subject of much controversy with the question still not fully explained or answered - are they man-made, or is there another mysterious explanation. While they have been found all over the world, two-thirds of the world's activity occurs in England, with an area around Wiltshire (known as the Wessex Triangle) having the most activity.
While they first came to public attention in the 1980s, they have been recorded for centuries. One of the earliest accounts is recorded in a 17th century document which appears to tell how a farmer discovered strange circles on his land. Similarly local farmers also recall having them in their fields all their life with reports that their parents and grandparents did also.
They appear in many types of crops - wheat, barley, canola, rye, maize for example, as well as other mediums, including rice paddies in Japan. Formations have also been found in wild grass, bracken and other undergrowth-type plants. Public interest began in the mid-80s with increased complexity in size, patterns and geometry of the circles since that time.
How did this all start for us.... well, it is actually Chas who is most interested. He first became aware of them on reading a book which my sister, Leonie, had at her home in Toowoomba, and was mystified. So off we set - Chas to do his own research on these mysterious circles, and me to share the excitement with him. We visited six beautiful circles which required lots of walking up hill, down dale. One circle took 40mins to walk to and then back again. Intrepid circle hunters!! However, I won't detail each of them individually, rather I thought I would just share my overall observations with you.
Firstly was my surprise at the amount of interest worldwide. In our short time we came across people visiting from UK, USA, Norway, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, and Australia, some on organised tours. Yes, we were not the only ones from Oz! Two ladies from Switzerland, also staying at the B&B, have been coming every year for 10 years!! We had much interesting discussion over breakfast with them.
We arrived the weekend of a crop circle conference which brought together 'experts' from many associated disciplines. At the Silent Circle Cafe we sat in on a meeting with lots of enthusiasts (from very diverse backgrounds) to discuss past and present circles. It was fun speaking with everyone as they were open to speak with you and give their opinion or suggestions. We even had an impromptu concert at one of the circles when someone produced a fiddle and commenced playing. A very friendly group. That was fun.
The circles themselves ... they are beautiful and it was lovely to wander through the formation and get a sense of them. There were many visitors meditating, lying on the crop, groups holding hands etc. However, for me there was no evidence of ‘higher intelligence’ in structure of the circles, or their energy force. Having said that the circles are beautiful. I cannot understand how they are constructed in one night (especially with the short hours of darkness at this time of year) without the circle makers being seen. Many have very complex patterns with accurate geometric measurements. Some are very large and positioned in undulating ground making it even more astounding that complex and accurate formations can be made.
Lay of crop
Lay of crop
The attitude of the farmers is interesting and varied. If they are man-made this is criminal vandalism of the farmers crop. Some go with the ‘phenomenon’ and request a donation by visitors to compensate for the loss of their crop. Others angrily mow down the circles when they occur. One person has been prosecuted receiving a fine of 100 pounds (Hmm...). Our host at the B&B, while not wanting a circle to appear in their crops, was quite accepting stating her opinion that they can't all be man-made. However, she wasn't able to offer an alternative scenario.
The believers start their discussion from the position that the circles are NOT man-made. The evidence they provide, in my view, is very subjective and lacks credibility and substance. However, if considering that 100% of circles are man-made, how is this being done? How many teams of men are maintaining this phenomenon, out at night, in all weathers, without someone leaking information, for the last 4 decades. If even some of them are man-made, what is the explanation for the rest???? If not man-made, is the only other option 'extra-terrestrial', or could there be a scientific answer.
And ..... are there vested interests .... If so, for whom? Why?
However, there is no denying that they are beautiful works of art. Someone/something is offering the world a beautiful gift. Take a look at the ones we visited:::
Milk Hill, Near Alton Barnes. Wiltshire Reported 25 - 07- 10 (31)
Roundway, Near Devizes. Wiltshire Reported 25 - 07- 10 (32)
East Field, Near Alton Barnes. Wiltshire Reported 26 - 07- 10 (33)
Windmill Hill, Near Avebury. Wiltshire Reported 27 - 07- 10 (34)
Whitefield Hill, Woodsend, Wiltshire. Reported 03 - 08- 10 (42)
Maybe that is the message - just enjoy...