circles are flattened areas
found in farmer’s
fields that often form intricate patterns and are
frequently of undetermined origin.
woodcut from the 17th
century called the "Mowing-Devil" is often cited as the earliest known
crop circle but in fact is nothing of the sort. It is simply a
rendition in picture form of the sentiments of a farmer, who angered by
wage demands, stated in a pamphlet the
image appeared in, that he would prefer “that the Devil himself should
mow his oats." The farmer's field was apparently set afire that night
the work of the aggrieved laborer.
day crop circles are far more complex than the straightforward oval
seen in the woodcut. First appearing throughout the English countryside
in the late 1970s, they have now become a worldwide phenomenon
appearing in many geographically diverse countries, including Hungary,
Russia, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Japan and Australia.
day crop circles also seem to have an affinity for the media: Increased
coverage equals an increase in crop circles. A fact which was seemingly
confirmed when nocturnal pranksters Doug Bower and Dave Chorley
confessed in 1991 that they had come up with the idea in 1978 while
having a beer in a local pub. Loving the speculation and controversy
their machinations engendered spurred them on to create patterns of
ever increasing complexity. The hoax was finally brought to an end when
Bower admitted to his wife and later to a British newspaper that he was
the perpetrator. Bower afterwards stated that if his wife hadn’t begun
to suspect him of adultery, due to the late night outings, he would
have taken his secret to the grave.
In Hungary two teenagers
were sued by the owners of a wheat field after creating a crop circle
that attracted thousands of visitors. A few weeks after perpetrating
the dastardly deed, they had appeared on television and revealed how
easily they had duped the public using only the simplest of tools. The
television show paid the fine.
In a new twist, crop circle competitions are now being held with prizes
for the most innovative designs.
if the majority of crop circles are man-made there is a significant
number for which there is no logical explanation, at lest so say the
true believers who then offer their own exotic theories. Ideas include
the paranormal, UFOs, lightning bolts, whirlwinds, messages from
Gaia-Earth and messages from the stars.
It has even been
suggested somewhat tongue in cheek, that crop circles are the logos of
galactic corporations and Earth is in the middle of some sort of
gigantic advertising blitz.
Are crop circles real, well all
joking aside much of the latest evidence by scientists and other
researchers would seem to indicate they aren’t? John Macnish, a BBC
producer and author of “Crop Circle Apocalypse” certainly doesn't think
so. The final nail coming when Doug Bower and Dave Chorley passed all
the tests imposed on them by the self-professed open-minded
investigator, thereby proving conclusively, at least to his mind, that
their were no features of crop circles which could not be reproduced by
a dedicated hoaxer. Where the rest of us stand on the issue is a matter
of individual choice. The sad fact is, however, that no matter how
incontrovertible the evidence, truth is often a commodity too costly
for many to purchase.
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