Go on, consume!



Establish the centre of your first circle about two metres in from the tram-line, walking in an angled, loping stride so as not to leave an obvious path to the centre. Make the centre by turning on an axis of your standing foot whilst dragging the crop down with the other (a beautifully nested centre - yet another proof of genuineness - can be fashioned with the hands. This will also increase the likelihood of positive results in any subsequent micro-biological study). Alternatively; expertly laid centres can be fashioned by using a stalk-stomper or roller (individual circle-makers tend to develop their own individual style of centre - acting as a subtle form of signature). As the perimeter widens, move away from the centre to create a space about one metre across - you are now ready to form the outer perimeter. If you are working alone, place a barbeque stick in or near the centre, attaching your tape through the loop before walking out to your chosen radius. Be sure to walk the perimeter in the same direction - clockwise or anti-clockwise - as your centre, dragging one foot as you go, thereby leaving a narrow but visible trail. If the tape is kept taught you will eventually return to your starting point. You are now ready to roll, or stomp the rest of the circle. N.B. At certain angles, a breeze may cause the taught tape to vibrate and make a loud, mysterious, whooping noise. Do not be alarmed. This noise, under scientific analysis, has been identified as a residual effect of the true circle maker.
T H E  C I R C L E
Flow, and Multiple Layering
A circle flattened from the inside out will produce a radial lay, made famous by Bower & Chorley, and worshipped by people like Colin Andrews, the 'World's Foremost Authority on Crop Circles and UFOs' - whilst the reverse will result in a near concentric, tangentental flow, "like water", as described by lesser cerealogists. Both, naturally, are regarded as genuine, un-hoaxable effects, as is practically any consequential artefact of construction. The wide latitude for genuineness given by expert researchers allows for a great freedom of expression. In conjunction with circles, avenues, crescents, key shapes, web shapes, rings, and arcs, there are myriad ideas you can introduce to your formation - complexity will always prove popular. But while it is the author's dream that the bread-belt be filled with a zen-like aesthetic, we concede that it is purely a matter of taste. However, we do suggest that you apply some deftness to the joining of these elements. REMEMBER - Even if you later claim to have made your formation, it will only be dismissed as 'fake' if it is initially suspected that you work for, or know anyone from, the media. Before leaving your completed formation, always check that you have not left anything behind. Sweet wrappers, cigarette butts, empty beer cans, or string, whilst not necessarily regarded as signs of human involvement, may create extra work for early-bird researchers.
It is now conceded, even by the luniest of cerealogists, that 'grapeshot' circles, or 'signatures' - small circles, usually about 1 metre across, and separate from the main formation - could be regarded as of human manufacture. This type of official alert often precedes dismissal as a genuine component. There are some circle makers, meanwhile, who swear by them - different tags for different groups. Discretion is advised, however, as compulsively making grapeshot circles as you walk out of the field leaves a really naff trail to your exit.
A formation will be deemed genuine if:

  1. you are not caught making it.
  2. the pattern represents a shape which leading cerealogists could regard as of symbolic importance, and, therefore, useful on the proselyting lecture circuit, e.g. mandalas, Atlantean script, etc.
Any particular formation might develop its own individual folklore if:
  1. it is made in a field which cerealogists later claim to have been watching.
  2. light phenomena is associated with it.
  3. audio phenomena is associated with it, especially in conjunction with 'd'.
  4. mysterious substances are found in it - particularly if these substances are subjected to scientific analysis and found to be, 'not of this earth'.
  5. a publicised prediction is circulated beforehand (this practice, however, may result in the pattern being repeated in a neighbouring, or the same, field). n.b. if you do correctly predict a formation, or rash of formations, it is important, like all good mystics, to exude the public manner of an enigmatic... this may bring offers of fee-earning consultation, or invitations to lecture, etc.
  6. see '2' above.
REMEMBER - The discovery of a formation within a 10 mile radius of any local Centre for Crop Circle Studies (CCCS) group will also ensure genuineness.
Auditions for beginners are held on a nightly basis in the East field at Alton Barnes, in Wiltshire - but be prepared that the farmer, Polly Carson, is always on the look-out to recruit hoaxers for future formations. Due to its legendary status this location also occasionally attracts genuine, independent, circle makers.
Photos by Steve Alexander: West Stowell, Wiltshire, wheat, 170ft, 22 July 1994.
[ page two of three ]
Beginners GuideBeginners Guide (3)