Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Crop Circle Enigma

I guess I would say I'm on the fence about the whole crop circle phenomena. I know hoaxers have made them before using ropes and boards. And there's many people that would have you believe that that is all there is to it period. But it's not quite that simple. Years ago I used to wonder why anyone would bother taking new crop circles seriously, but then I learned that not all crop circles are so cut and dry. Or flattened and dry, maybe I should say.

Some crop circles seem to elaborate to have been created overnight, but if you had enough people involved, it wouldn't be impossible. But there are some crop circles that also have some mysterious properties that men with boards wouldn't be able to duplicate overnight. . .if at all. Here are some examples of those mysterious properties:

  • Weaving - Some crop circles have plants that hadn't merely just been flattened, but also had plants that were weaved together. Merely flattening crops with a board does not weave them together.
  • Elongated nodes and unbendable plants- In some crop circles the nodes of crops are bent, but remain undamaged. When hoaxers flatten crops, the nodes get damaged. But there are others where the nodes are elongated and bent without being damaged. Take a look at figure 1 in this article to see an example. Another example would be canola that has been bent without being damaged. Canola has a consistency like celery, therefore, if you try to bend it, it cracks. But canola stalks bent at 90 degrees without cracking have been found before. This is something a hoaxer could not duplicate.
  • Increased size - A former employee of Los Alamos National Laboratories, Eltjo H. Haselhoff, Ph.D., noted that plant stems inside some crop circles had increased in diameter, possibly caused by intense heat.
  • Effects on electronic equipment - Watches, mobile phones, and other electronic equipment have been known to fail at some crop circles. Compasses have even been said to spin out of control. This may be caused by increased electromagnetic (EM) radiation recorded at some crop circles. The EM radiation has been known to be ten times the normal radiation level of a normal field. In some cases, people or animals that entered the formation experienced nausea, headaches, and other ill effects. The EM radiation may be to blame for this too.
I've also seen pictures of crop circles that were messier than others. The dimensions of the formation may have been perfect or near perfect, but if you paid closer attention and looked within the formation at the flattened crops themselves, they appeared to have just been trampled somewhat haphazardly and gave it a messy appearance, whereas others seemed to have been flattened in a smooth, flowing pattern.

Crop circles only came into the public consciousness during the last few decades and that's probably because crop circles only became a common occurrence during the last few decades. There is some evidence indicating earlier instances of crop circles prior to the 1970's, but the cases are few and far between. Some people have compared crop circles to fairy rings, but there is little to compare between the two. Fairy rings are smaller and much less elaborate. Fairy rings are said to be a naturally occurring phenomena that are caused by fungi. Fairy rings typically occur in forested areas, grasslands, or range lands. The name is a reference to older folk beliefs that stated the fairy rings were where fairies or elves gathered to dance.

The explanations for crop circles vary widely too. There are many of course who still persistently claim it's all just a hoax. Some people say its aliens. Others say it's the military (possibly shooting some sort of aerial microwave at the ground). Some people think the earth itself is somehow causing it. I wouldn't be surprised if some people thought it was elves and fairies. One of the more interesting explanations is that they are caused by "balls of light". The explanations as to what these balls of light are may vary, but here is a video clip allegedly showing the balls of light forming a crop circle in the process:


That video may or may not be a hoax. I don't know. Here is a clip from some sort of documentary that shows a ball of light flying around too though:





It would be interesting to know just how many really are hoaxes. Even most people that research the alternative explanations on the subject admit that most of the formations are probably hoaxes. Although they appear all over the world, the most common place for them to appear is in England. This could indicate that most of them are created by a localized set of hoaxers. Back in 1991, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley from Southampton, England announced that they had been creating crop circles with planks and ropes. Once it became clear that hoaxers had been making them, most people just passed the phenomena off as nothing more than a bunch of hoaxes period. But in light of other information about them, I sometimes wonder if the announcement of the hoaxes was purposely intended to distract people from the phenomena. Or at the very least, the hoaxers may have just intended to show that the crop circles could be hoaxed.

I was inspired to write this article today because I came across an article that claimed one of this year's crop circle formations that looks like a jellyfish is actually more than just a depiction of a jellyfish. The article states that crop circle analysts discovered that the jellyfish actually predicted a solar storm that would be occurring today, July 7th. The article goes into more detail explaining how the jellyfish depiction predicts the solar storm. But the article's claims of a crop circle predicting a solar storm reminded me of another article I read recently about a crop circle depicting a phoenix rising. That article claimed that investigators were claiming that the Phoenix rising was a reference to alleged cataclysmic event or great awakening that is said will occur on December 21, 2012. It's made all the more interesting if you take into consideration this article's claims that crop circles have been depicting solar symbols for years. Could they be some sort of warning of major solar activity? And if so, who is warning us? One interesting crop circle that was formed in England back in August 2001 may provide evidence as to who. The crop circle appeared to be a response to the "Arecibo message", which was a frequency modulated radio wave beamed into space by the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) back in 1974 that contained a brief description of our civilization encoded in binary. The August 2001 formation near the Chilbolton radio telescope in England appeared to be a possible response. To learn more about the Arecibo message and Chilbolton radio telescope crop circle, go here.

So are they all hoaxes or are some of them real? Some of them may be real, but the trouble is, trying to figure out what is real and what isn't could be difficult and time consuming. Even most of the people interested in the subject would hardly have time to sort them all out. If the real ones are some sort of message from aliens, or angels, or fairies, or balls of light, or the earth itself, I'm afraid the message is largely falling on deaf ears (or blind eyes).

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