Almost everybody has heard of crop circles. Crop circles are flattened areas in crops or fields that form geometrical shapes. They have been found in fields of oats, barley, rye, wheat, soy, canola, corn, linseed, tobacco, and even weeds and snow. Today, crop circles are highly complex, but in the beginning, they really were just circles.
The earliest modern day reports of crop circles began in the late 1970’s in England. These first designs were primarily simple circles, circles with rings, or variations of the Celtic cross. In the mid 1980’s, crop circles developed straight lines. This is also when intense media coverage caused the mysterious phenomenon to become widely known.
Since 1990, the number and complexity of crop circles has developed rapidly. Thousands have been reported worldwide from far-flung locations like Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, Germany, and the United States. In the 90’s, observers believed increasingly complex shapes reflected sacred geometry. Later formations were characterized by intricate details, sharp even symmetry, and were three-dimensional. Some seemed to mimic computer fractals and even had elements relating to fourth dimensional quantum physics. Crop circles have increased in size as well, some as large as 200,000 square feet.
The truth is nobody really knows what the shapes mean, how they are created, or why they are here. Many beliefs and theories abound ranging from man-made hoaxes to weather anomalies to alien-created messages.
Most scientists and skeptics are convinced that humans create all crop circles. They cite the case of Doug and Dave, two retirees in the UK, who came forward in 1992 claiming to have created hundreds of crop circles over the previous 15 years. The two demonstrated how they created the circles using planks of wood and rope. Then performance artist John Lundberg, along with his team of Circlemakers, began creating more intricate designs, proving that with a little planning and ingenuity, humans can create detailed designs overnight. Some researchers, however, dispute the claim that all crop circles are manmade due to number, complexity, placement, and altered vegetation.
Some researchers suggest that natural phenomena could explain crop circles. Ideas include tornadoes, ball lightning, and freak wind patterns. Plasma vortices, swirling ions with microwave frequencies that rapidly heat water in plants, have also been suggested. While it is conceivable these anomalies could create some simple circular patterns, the sheer complexity of crop circle designs does not support this theory. Natural phenomenon is too random.
An early and persistent theory is that intelligent aliens create crop circles, probably as a way to communicate with humans. Detailed and intricate crop circle designs do seem based on complex mathematical, astronomical, and quantum physics concepts. While this indicates intelligence behind the designs, whether these are messages for the human race is not clear. Some hypothesize that crop circles are navigation markers specifically for ET use, but again that is impossible to determine.
Cymatics is the study of wave phenomena, or how sound frequencies produce dimensional patterns. The scientist who pioneered cymatics found that higher frequencies produced more complex shapes similar to mandalas and crop circle designs. Musical vibrations are one way to produce shapes, and crop circle enthusiasts have reporting hearing a “trilling” sound while inside crop circles, and also just before crop circles have appeared nearby.
While some crop circle researchers are studying how crop circles are made, others research the effects of crop circles on people, plants, animals, machines, and electronics.
People investigating crop circles report dizziness, disorientation, tingling sensations, and nausea. They also report that electronic and mechanical equipment often malfunctions while inside crop circles. Cameras either stop working or produce photos that are overexposed, smeared, streaked, or entirely black. Video equipment experiences severe interference and battery drain. Cell phones often will not operate within the formation, but work once outside of it. Compasses cannot locate north. It’s also been observed that animals avoid crop circle areas, and even geese will break formation when flying overhead.
On nights when crop circles form, people living nearby often report that televisions, cell phones, security devices, and smoke alarms malfunction or operate improperly. In 1991, an entire village in England experienced a power outage, heard a low rumbling noise, and witnessed balls of colored light on a night when a crop circle formed nearby.
The most easily studied part of this phenomenon is how crop circles affect plants. In non-manmade formations, stems are bent and never broken. Plants are bent at 90-degree angles into specific formations such as weaving or braiding and are so intertwined that they are difficult to pry apart. When viewed from above, this weaving creates spectacular three-dimensional effects.
Crop circle plants show altered seeds that are stunted or even fail to grow. At the same time, some farmers report a substantial increase in crop yield. Also noted is that stem circumference increases, an effect scientists say can be produced with intense heat. Usually, the ground under a crop formation is intensely dry, even after heavy rain. Despite all of these changes, crops continue to grow even after a crop circle forms.
There are numerous theories on how crop circles form and why they are here, but they remain a mystery. Continued scientific study may yield new results, and perhaps using technology such as satellite imaging will help unravel this mystery. At the least, crop circles are a wondrous and beautiful phenomenon to behold.