Number of formations: UK: 102 Worldwide: 184
By Country: 102.uk 24.de 16.nl 20.ca 4.ya 1.us 1.il 4.dk 2.po 10.cz 1.au
11 September 2001: On last nights Art Bell radio show Colin Andrews summed up the 2001 season "There's never been a better one, this is by far the pinnacle of the last 20 years, these new designs are awe inspiring, it feels so special... it troubles you and yet it excites you, one feels a spiritual content to it, there have been times in my work where I have privately cried to myself, it sounds extraordinary I know, but it's just so special."
I have to say I agree with Colin 2001 has been an extraordinary year for the crop circle phenomenon.
31 August 2001: It's amusing to see crop circle sites buckling under the pressure of excessive traffic due to the massive public interest generated by the recent batch of crop circles here in the UK. I think it would be fair to say that interest in the phenomenon is currently on a par with or even exceeding levels reached back in the early 1990's, when crop circles first crossed over into the mainstream media. First cropcircleconnector.com buckled due to the wave of interest sparked by the spectacular Milk Hill formation, eliciting a begging letter along the lines of "send more money, the server buckled!" or some such, and now tech whizz Paul Vigay's cropcircleresearch.com has also succumbed to public interest "due to excessive traffic, this site is temporarily unavailable". I'm sure viewers will be glad to hear that we have enough friends in high places and bandwidth to ensure we stay online 24/7... finger's crossed!
30 August 2001: More coverage on Art Bell's radio show. Richard Hoagland was back on Wednesday night proffering recent "research" into the "Arecibo Reply" from Colin Andrews, Paul Vigay and himself. Art called it "the biggest story this year in the paranormal community".
One of Art's listeners suggested that he "get a bunch of "students" to try and reproduce the formation at night" his reply "that's a good idea, I don't think they can". I know we can, so if Art want's to find us a field...
Online broadcaster now.com have penned an article entitled "Excitement Over Latest Crop Circles" about the "Arecibo Reply" formation which includes comments from circlemaker John Lundberg.
28 August 2001:Todays Daily Mail newspaper here in the UK carries a full page report on the "Arecibo Reply" formation. The cropcircleconnector.com have some great aerial footage of the formation.
Photos: Peter Sorenson
After being inundated with enquiries about the "Arecibo Reply" formation which recently appeared next to the Chibolton radio telescope in Hampshire, Seth Shostak from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) institute - who sent the original Arecibo message back in 1974 - has posted a statement titled "Is the Latest Crop Circle a Message from E.T?" about the formation on the seti.org website. Unfortunately, uninformed statements such as there have only been "160" formations over the past ten years - it's actually up in the 1000s - detract from his argument, none the less, it's still interesting reading. Seth also spoke about the formation along with Richard Hoagland and Michael Glickman - who also spoke at length about the Milk Hill formation - on last nights Art Bell radio show. Quote from Seth "I admire these people who make the crop circles", thanks Seth!
Slow on the uptake, the mainstream media are now starting to show interest in the "Arecibo Reply" formation. In the US Linda Howe appeared on "The O'Reilley Factor" on the Fox News network yesterday.
The Independent newspaper here in the UK recently ran an intriguing article called "Crop circles - something else the Chinese had first
" about the recent discovery of what are described as a series 2500 year old crop circles in China!
27 August 2001: On the surface the "Arecibo Reply" formations seems unprecedented, but if we take a closer look there are indeed two formations that have also appeared this year that can be seen - in retrospect - as precursors to the formation. Paul Vigay has written a very thorough analysis of the "Arecibo Reply" formation based on a recent site visit. If somewhat breathlessly titled "World Exclusive - Arecibo crop formation decoded!" the article does a great job of interpreting the data encoded into the formation. Paul writes of the original Arecibo message "The message was actually transmitted on November 16th 1974 and consisted of 1679 pulses of binary code... The reason for this is down to mathematics. 1679 is the unique product of two prime numbers; 23 and 73. Any sufficiently intelligent lifeform would no doubt look for unique, universal constructs - such as prime numbers". As yet, nobody has been able to make any links between the "Arecibo Reply" formation and the earlier Milk Hill formation, in keeping with Paul's breathless style I'll call the following text "World Exclusive - Arecibo Reply and Milk Hill formations linked!". On the surface the formations seem worlds apart and this may well be so from a pictorial point of view, but, if we take a look at the mathematics underpinning both formations there is a link, prime numbers, the Milk Hill formation consists of 409 circles, another prime!
Next, casting our eye over to the second element of the "Arecibo Reply" the face, many observers have described the image as a pixel grid. In fact the image is made up of a grid of circles - or dots - of varying sizes, so this a halftone dot screen like those used in newspaper images and not a pixel grid. Again, if we look back to a formation that was discovered at All Cannings in Wiltshire on 30th June this year (see diagram right) we find what is undoubtably another halftone dot screen! Food for thought and you heard it here first, although I doubt many "researchers" will acknowledge that fact!
26 August 2001: Another day, another Art Bell radio show dedicated to crop circles! Once again, on Friday night Richard Hoagland joined Art to discuss the "Arecibo Reply" formation which appeared recently at the Chibolton radio telescope in Hampshire (note: the formation has now been cut out by the farmer so don't bother heading out to view it).
24 August 2001: Art Bell just can't get enough of crop circles this week. After the Wednesday night programme which dedicated an hour of his US radio show to the spectacular Milk Hill formation he followed it up last night with another hour featuring Richard "Face of Mars" Hoagland talking about the "Arecibo Reply" formation. Choice quote, Art's reaction to the formation "Holy CRAP!!!!".
Arecibo Reply: Perfectly timed to coincide with media interest in the crop circle phenomenon reaching levels unseen since it first broke into the mainstream back in the early 1990's, was the discovery on Sunday 19th August of the "Arecibo Reply" formation at the Chibolton radio telescope in Hampshire, a location which has been host to several impressive formations over the years. On 16th November 1974, at ceremonies to inaugurate a set of upgrades to the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico (see pic below right), scientists transmitted a brief, simple message (pictured below right) in the direction of the cluster M13, some 25,000 light-years from the Earth. The message was part of Frank Drakes Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. Interestingly at its base the "Arecibo Reply" incorporates both the motif of a crop circle that appeared at the exact same location last year (see pic below left) and the archetypal grey alien motif. We'll leave it up to you and the crop circle "researchers" to decipher the rest of the formation. Why not start by playing spot the difference between the right and left hand images below.
MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE SPECTACULAR MILK HILL FORMATION
23 August 2001: Press coverage of the Milk Hill formation continues unabated and is now spreading across the globe. We've given up trying to document all the coverage but here are a few highlights. CNN in the US ran an item about the formation, Fuji TV in Japan, ABC TV in Australia, ABC Radio breakfast show in Australia, Channel 4 TV's Big Breakfast in the UK, ITV's GMTV in the UK, Der Spiegel newspaper in Germany and not to be outdone, Art Bell's national radio show in the US dedicated an hour to the formation last night, with contributions from US researcher Linda Moulton Howe, UK researcher Lucy Prinlge and German researcher Andreas Müller. They repeated the meme about us creating the formation but this time added the extra twist of inferring it was commissioned by Disney for M Night Shyamalan's upcoming crop circle movie "Signs". Oh, Art also nicked my "my brain hurts" quote! (see below).
20 August 2001: Coverage of the spectacular Milk Hill formation continues this week with a very positive article in today's Daily Mail newspaper spanning 2 pages and for those in London, there is also an article in Metro which can be picked up at most tube stations. The formation was also covered on BBC Radio 2 at the weekend and was also featured on the national BBC TV news at 6pm here in the UK with the item inferring that the formation was too vast and complex to be man made. ITN Channel 5 news at 7:30pm featured the formation, with a very positive spin and some great lingering footage of the formation which illustrated just how huge it really is. Not to be left out the ITV News at Ten also ran a feature on the formation which had a brief interview with the musician and millionaire Reg Presley. Again they showed spectacular aerial footage of the formation.
18 August 2001: It's now a week since the spectacular Milk Hill formation was discovered and the UK media have smelt the coffee and are now starting to run articles about this unprecedented formation. UK press agency ananova.com have run two articles about this years crop circles. The first is about the Milk Hill formation entitled "Largest and most complex crop circle ever". The second article also mentions the Milk Hill formation and is sourced from an earlier report from BBC Online (see below).
BBC Online have published an article about the crop circle phenomenon which includes the Milk Hill formation. In it local farmer Tim Carson talks about the formation describing it as "something that defies belief."
HTV ran the first TV news report about the Milk Hill formation which was broadcast here in the UK. The item also had footage of the formation we recently created for HTV which will be included in their upcoming 30 minute documentary about the crop circle phenomenon as well as footage of us creating the formation.
Bill Holive, a crop circle enthusiast from the states is so impressed with the Milk Hill design that he's having it tattooed right across his back! Will it fit I ask myself...
17 August 2001: Awe inspiring, jaw dropping, mind warping, incomprehensible, bloody huge, are a few phrases that come to mind when viewing this years "finale" formation which was discovered on top of Milk Hill in Wiltshire above the White Horse on 13th August. It's difficult to take on board the sheer scale and complexity of this formation it spans ten tram lines and if you walked from one side of the formation to the other you would have covered approaching 1500ft! Compare that to the average diameter of formations this year which is approx 200ft. There are over 400 circles incorporated into the design a record amount dwarfing all previous formation. The formation has already been variously described as "Utterly AWESOME" by american radio talk show host Jeff Rense, as the "greatest formation to form in the entire world" by crop circle researcher Stuart Dike, as "the mother and father of all crop circles" by crop circle researcher Charles Mallett, as "the pinnacle, the very epitome of perfection, the paragon of all circles" by Mark Fussell from the crop circle connector website, who goes on to say "there are not enough words in the English vocabulary to describe how amazing this crop circle is". Everyone is saying this feat is beyond human ability. This is an unprecedented formation and definitely one for the history books and I don't think it's an overstatement to describe it as truly paradigm shifting. You can view some great aerial footage of the formation at the cropcircleconnector.com.
Here's something to ponder, if this formation was man made allowing for time to get into and out of the field under cover of darkness the construction time left should be around four hours. Given that there are over 400 circles some of which span approx 70ft in diameter that would mean that one of those circles would need to be created every 30 seconds and that's not even allowing any time for the surveying, purely flattening, this formation pushes the envelope and that's a MASSIVE understatement... my brain hurts!
To give you some idea of the scale of the formation pictured right is an enlarged detail of the above photo showing just the center of the formation, we've ringed the area to indicate where someone is standing, you can barely see them, now can you see how massive the formation is!!!
Photo credit: Steve Alexander.
14 August 2001: Below are a selection of formations that have appeared across Southern England over the past couple of months, as well as a diagram of a formation that was destroyed:
Photos: Nick Nicholson, cropcircleconnector.com, Steve Alexander.
19 June 2001: There are now fourteen formations on the ground in the UK with the discovery of a new formation at Liddington Castle in Wiltshire close to the M4 motorway. The formation is in barley and depicts a checkerboard sphere surrounded by a snake swallowing its tail. It was discovered on 17th June. There's also a formation at Winter's Down, nr Corhampton, Hampshire which was reported on 18th June and is described as a wheel divided into eight segments with a large grapeshot nearby. It's the first formation of the year to appear in wheat.
10 June 2001: There are now eleven formations on the ground in the UK with the discovery of two minor formations in the Avebury area of Wiltshire and a real jaw dropper at Berwick Basset in Wiltshire (pictured right) discovered on Saturday June 9th. The Berwick Bassett formation is in barley and depicts a twisted triangular vortex consisting of fifteen curved wedges. The formation seems to be of the same family of many of last years optical illusion formations. You can view aerial footage of this stunning formation at the cropcircleconnector.com website.
6 June 2001:There are now eight formations on the ground in the UK. Two simple rape formations were discovered on May 30th at Honey Street near Alton Barnes in Wiltshire. The second formation to appear in barley was discovered on 3rd June at Wakerley Woods, Northamptonshire. The design is approximately 200ft in diameter and is too complex to discern form the ground. Germany's fourth crop circle appeared at Hessen near Zierenberg (pictured right) which is now the epicenter of crop circle activity in Germany. The formation is the first to appear in barley in Germany this year and is an appealing six-fold flower formation.
2 June 2001: We've received a report of a formation in Yugoslavia! It's located in the Sombar region to the north of the country. It's estimated that the large circle is 150ft in diameter which would make the formation about 300ft in length. It's interesting to note that the main circle has a standing center. The design is quite crude but it is reminiscent of the 'Snail' formation that appeared in the East Field at Alton Barnes in Wiltshire back in the early 90's. As far as we know this is the first crop circle formation to appear in Yugoslavia. We don't know what crop the formation is in but it looks like barley. The formation was discovered on May 30th. Thanks to Radoslav for the report and photo.
29 May 2001: England's fourth and fifth crop circles were discovered at Pegsdon in Hertfordshire on 28th May and Barbury Castle in Wiltshire (pictured right) on 27th May. The Pegsdon formation is in oil seed rape with the formation being described as resembling a scarab beetle and sun. The Barbury Castle formation is the first to appear in barley this year, spans 150ft and is the most complex formation to appear so far. The design - reminiscent of last years east field formation - consists of a flattened circle with a standing triangle dissected by three circles and three semi-circles with a further flattened circle at the formations center.
Germany's second rape formation was discovered on May 24th in Zierenberg, which is fast becoming Germany's crop circle heartland, akin to Wiltshire in the England. The formation is a variation on the Ying/Yang symbol looking as if the two halves have been pulled apart (pictured right). There was also a report of a formation discovered on 24th May in Zierenberg next to the earlier oil seed rape formation. The formation was in long grass and was described as having a wavy line motif which has been a common thread in many of the formations to have appeared in this area over the years. Unfortunately the formation was mowed out of the field almost immediately.
25 MAY 2001: With Foot and Mouth now seemingly under control - as of 25th May - both Wiltshire County Council and Hampshire County Council have decided to open up public rights of way across the crop circle territories of Wiltshire and Hampshire. Check out the Wiltshire County Council website - and note the photo in the top right of the page! - and the Hampshire County Council site for more info. Coinciding with the lifting of restrictions is the appearance of Wiltshire's first crop circle below the Pewsey White Horse. It was discovered on the 25th May 2001 and is a simple circle about 50ft in diameter with a smaller grapeshot circle next to it in oil seed rape.
22 MAY 2001: England's second crop circle was discovered on Saturday 19th May at Herne Airport near Bournemouth in Dorset. The local paper 'The Daily Echo' published an aerial photo of the formation on 22nd May. The formation is located at the end of the Herne Airport runway. The crop circle (pictured right) is a seven-fold spoked wheel formation with a central ring and appeared in oil seed rape. It's approximately 200ft in diameter.
16 MAY 2001: Crop circle enthusiasts around the world can breathe a collective sigh of relief as the spell of the much predicted barren UK crop circle season because of the Foot and Mouth outbreak has been broken with the appearance of the first UK formation in rape at Old Winchester Hill, Nr Warnford in Hampshire. The formation which consists of a circle containing several rings was discovered on 13th May.
Photos (from top down) courtesy: cropcircleconnector.com, Frank Laumen, Predrag Curcija, Peter Sorenson, Frank Laumen, Peter Sorenson, Bournemouth Daily Echo, David Russell.
Diagram: Kassel, courtesy Andreas Müller
15 MAY 2001: Well, with all the paranoia surrounding the foot and mouth disease that has spread itself across the UK landscape and its possible effect on the 2001 crop circle season it seems somewhat fitting that the first formation of the year should arrive outside of the UK, in Germany. It's interesting to note that because we've had the wettest winter on record the sowing of crops was delayed by a month so regardless of foot and mouth we were always going to have a late start to the 2001 season. The rape is now in flower across the UK and we will no doubt start to see circles in the fields of england in the very near future.
The formation below was discovered on May 13th 2001, in a field of oilseed rape just outside Zierenberg near Kassel in Germany. The formation is an elaborate six-fold flower design and is probably the most complex formation to appear in oil seed rape to date. It's approximately 90ft in diameter.
More information at: franklaumen.de and invisiblecircle.de
[ Image courtesy Frank Laumen ]