RD: "We tried rollers for a while, but they're really a pain. Actually, the best circle making tool is a board about three feet long, with rope handles. Depending on how you angle it -- straight ahead or turned left or right, you can get the crop to go down in different ways. That impresses the researchers a lot."
ML: "Did the group that made the Stonehenge Julia Set also make the Triple Julia?"
RD: "Yes, same group."
ML: "What evidence could they show for that?" I asked.
RD: "Well, there is a diagram of the formation, which I've seen. That's about all."
I returned to the question of getting the "artists" who created the Julia Sets to come forward and demonstrate how they did it. After all, people like Colin Andrews have devoted years to studying crop formations, at great personal expense, in the belief that the formations represent something truly momentous. If these researchers are laboring under a false supposition -- if there is nothing anomalous here at all -- isn't it time to settle the matter?
ML: "If they came forward and made another one just like the Stonehenge Julia Set, what would it really prove?" Rod asked me. "Would it convince the believers that there are no real circles?"
ML: "All it would really prove," I said, "is that people CAN make even these extraordinary formations. That does not eliminate the possibility of something paranormal someplace else, but it would suggest that we have to be much more careful and rigorous before we label any of these formations anomalous."
RD: "There have been contests in England before. There have been prizes offered. It really doesn't do any good. It only leads to negativity," Rod argued. "Once you identify the artist, all the mystery and magic is gone. Before, you had something beautiful that inspires people; afterward you've just got disillusioned believers and artists in trouble. Nobody wins. Why should the artists come forward?"
Though Rod and I talked about this at length, he remained insistent that anonymity was not only in the interests of the circle makers but also served the public, who enjoyed the mystery as well as the beauty of the crop formations.
ML: "Do you really think the public is served when they are deceived?" I asked. "Many people would consider what you do just plain fraud."
RD: "No, it's not fraud at all," Rod insisted. "We aren't the ones who say, 'Look, these formations must be made by UFOs,' or whatever. We just make them, as pure art. Then other people, researchers and 'experts,' make up all kinds of stories and explanations. It's interesting to watch this happen, but we aren't doing it. None of the circle makers ever try to convince anyone that these formations are made by some unusual force. And when we actually tell people that we are making these formations, most people don't believe us anyway."
There was one more thing I wanted to know. "What about reports of strange energies and paranormal events in the crop formations. Have you ever seen lights or felt anything strange while you're out there?"
RD: "Yes, I have," Rod said. "And so have most of the other circle makers. On several occasions I've seen sudden flashes of light -- like a flashgun going off in your face. There's no apparent source or direction -- just a brilliant flash. I have no idea what it is."
Rod suggested that I visit the 'circlemakers' web site for further detail on the "art" and "artists" behind crop formations. I recommend the same to all interested readers.
As Rod himself said, even if he's telling the truth (and I think he is), this doesn't prove that all crop formations are human made. In fact, Rod mentioned that the two most (in)famous circle makers, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, are both avid UFO enthusiasts. One of them (Rod couldn't remember which one) had visited Australia years ago and seen a "UFO nest," an apparently authentic UFO landing site in tall reeds that had left a mysterious bowl-shaped impression. Rod Dickinson says this experience was the original inspiration for Doug and Dave's noctural artwork in the fields of England.
RD: "Some of the simple circles could be the real thing," Rod said. "I really don't know."
A final caveat: CNI News takes no position on whether or not some of the large pictograms are authentically anomalous. However, we are deeply impressed by the apparent ingenuity of the circle makers. According to "The Circle Makers" web site, these "artists" sometimes even dowse the fields they work in to make sure their formations are aligned with dowsable earth energies (dowsing rods are listed among the recommended equipment for circle making). "With a little practice," the web site declares, anyone can "produce genuine, dowsable, scientifically proven un-hoaxable circle patterns."
Well, maybe. But is it art? Readers are invited to respond to:
CNINews and 'circlemakers'
Photos by Steve Alexander: Stonehenge, Wiltshire, wheat, 385 ft, 8 July 1997.
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