Crop Circle

Crop circles first appeared in the media while I lived in London in the 80’s, and I gave it my passing interest until two men revealed that they had done them as a hoax, and showed how they had done it, dragging a board around in a crop to create a pattern of bent down wheat or canola or whatever.

So I was a bit resistant when Quan insisted I watch a documentary about them, and indeed my qualms were confirmed when the narrator started talking about aliens and trans-dimensional beings, making me squirm in my seat – but the fact of the circles themselves, as shown in the aerial footage throughout the video made me sit up.

‘Crop circles’ is by now a misnomer.  Since I stopped paying attention, these figures have started appearing around the world, not only in crops, but in sand, even carved into ice.  More than that, the figures are of mind-boggling complexity, involving ancient symbols and serious fractal mathematics – Koch curves, Mandelbrot series, the whole shebang.  The aerial shots of these forms are so staggering that they belie any notion of being hoaxes.  To carve more than 200 circles in precise patterns would require a team of people with surveyor’s transepts and military precision, working at night (they appear overnight) – and all without making an iota of disturbance in the surrounding crop.  It would require substantial money, no beer, and a dedication to a hoax that produces no money, and for which no one (with any credibility) has stepped forward.

There are circles in the US, Canada, South America, and Europe, but by far the most have appeared in England.  No one knows how long they might have been appearing, but their numbers have waxed and waned over the last 20 years.  Those who believe it is a hoax are called upon to explain how such complex patterns could be made.  Unfortunately, those of us who believe it is not a hoax but are dubious about aliens among us are likewise unable to come up with a convincing raison d’etre or any other agent that might create such whimsical messages.

And so it was that I set off for Avebury, the site of the largest henge circle in England (much larger, but less dramatic or famous than Stonehenge), having tracked down the latest appearance near this potent earth magic site.  I have been to Avebury a number of times – it was a place of pilgrimage for me when I lived here.  I found it restful – the little village built within the mammoth earthworks, surrounded with what stones were left; many had been hauled off in earlier centuries as sills for barns, etc.  The large uprights that are left are clearly Welsh blue stone – only available hundreds of miles away, and this henge pre-dates the pyramids, according to the archaeologists.

This bit of England – Wiltshire – has a wealth of these earth magic sites – Stonehenge, Avebury, white horses carved into chalk hills, snaky barrows and Silbury Hill – a large hill with a flat top built by ancient man for unknown reasons.  I know – crazy.  But like the figures only visible from an airplane in the high plateaus of South America, or the pyramids themselves, they demand explanation.

Why so many crop circles also appear here – the majority of these phenomena in the world happen in this little area in the center of southern England – is another mystery that lends credence to those who cry ‘Hoax!’, but who knows?  So I set out to feel it for myself.

Arriving in the early afternoon with three companions, and armed with directions from, we found the small circle by the side of the road, and, unable to resist, made our way very carefully through the still unharvested corn crop (shades of Shamalyan’s Signs) to the bigger (but still fairly modest, compared to some) set of 8 overlapping circles in a kind of dynamic yin-yang pattern, planets colliding, you decide.

The corn was taller than we were, so I had taken a bearing on a nearby hill to lead us in.  The feeling was very disorienting, and we seemed to walk forever until I spotted the empty space off to my left, and we traveled between the rows and arrived in these circular patterns, you can see in the pictures.  We did not damage the standing crop in any way.


It is easy to manufacture feelings in such places.  Objectively, the stalks were laid down in strict parallel in a clockwise pattern in all the partial circles, but laid in a radial pattern in the full circles, where all the stalks, still with corn on them, faced the few standing stalks in the middle.  A few were broken completely off, but most were simply bent at nearly 90 degrees.  It was striking that there were no partially bent stalks: the ones at the edge of the circles were upright and fine; the next one in the row was bent to the ground from a couple of inches above its roots.

This circle had appeared on September 14, late in the year.  It was impossible to visit any other sites for anything but remnants, since the combine harvesters had been at work – only this one was left in the as-yet-unharvested maize.

Ok, so manufactured or not: there was a feeling of effervescence, exuberance within the circle.  Some have reported evil or dark feelings; I felt none of that, quite its opposite. My companions and I sat down in the four directions in one of the full circles, and we meditated on ‘who did this?’  After a few minutes of bubbly mind, I descended and found myself in the presence (oh, crikey, here we go!) of a green earth spirit, a long and spritely and feminine deva, with a knowing Pan-like smile. She didn’t speak, but I got the impression that these were warnings, messages to us, but that they were also fun, a lark for these earth beings that made them.
She was disturbingly (to my rational mind, still there if off in a corner) like the green aliens who appear in Signs, but with absolutely none of the menace.

There was also some image of the rush of energy from the edges of the circle where we were to the stalks still standing in the utter center and through them up to the sky, and some rush pouring down again, but this was more vague, and again, no threat, and no sense of extra-terrestrials.

We came out of meditation and walked silently back through the standing corn to the road.  In contrast to the endless minutes it seemed to take us to get there (we all felt this), it seemed but a few steps to get back out.

We repaired along the avenue of stones, feeling high as a second cappuccino, back into the village for a bit of pub grub and a beer.

2 Responses to “Crop Circle”

  1. Jeffery B. Wood Says:

    Greetings Tom,

    If you enjoyed the crop circles so much you should check into Dartmoor, England which is home to Letterboxing. This is another phenomenom that is sweeping the world. Check out . This is another great activity to enjoy the wonders of the world.

    Jeffery B. Wood

  2. neil goodenough Says:

    As one companion on this brief adventure, I had better throw my penny into the pot.

    I was not seeking to understand who or what made this set of circles. That is not to say that I was not concerned about whom and why, but that I just did not want my tiny brain to sit and wrestle about such things on an intellectual level. This was so much beyond the rational and called for a respectful silence in my head. So as I endeavoured to quiet my inner dialogue, the racket and noise behind me in the standing maize was determined to distract me instead. There was definitely and absolutely someone or ones behind and around us. Non-threatening, curious, calling. I could not meditate for having to mediate upon a battle in my head about what it was.
    So in moments like these when I cannot not concentrate, I try to take a ride with nature, on a cloud or, in this instance, with a nearby insect. And then the wind. Wow, the wind. The eddies of air around and between us was powerful and embracing. It strengthened and tugged until a particular moment, peculiar to the group, when it hushed and listened. The stillness was quite palpable as a pounding behind my sternum. And I strained to listen with it.

    Now I am 30 years less deep, in all senses of the word including touch, than my tutor here. So I heard something, somewhere inside me, but am not sure what. I am with Gil on this point however, because that somewhere was in my gut or mesentery.
    Towards the end of the meditation, the wind gathered and held us once again. Becoming more determined as we awoke, carrying us to a higher place or back to this reality, I am not sure which, but it had a purpose and desire about it. Challenging and ushering.

    Whilst the US whipped Europe over the weekend at a place named, with the usual American subtlety, Valhalla; a place with a truely under estimated name, crop circle, whipped my spirit into shape more than I can explain.

    I was not seeking to understand who or what made this set of circles, but I have to say that there is a powerful, natural intelligence involved within it. Whether this resides within the earth or with a designer, a place of power or an illusion to trick the mind into an altered consciousness, I cannot say which. But now I am even more concerned.

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