INTERVIEWS:
Alan Smithee
An NHNE Special Report
By NHNE SwiftWing Reporter Sherry Stultz
sherrystultz@earthlink.net

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Editor's Note: February 24, 2010: The following interview was conducted with a filmmaker who made a well-known documentary about crop circles. He has since moved on to other things and no longer wishes to be associated with crop circles. At his request, we have replaced his real name with a fictitious one.

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Alan Smithee
Saturday, June 13, 1998
THE BARGE

SJS: I saw your video earlier in the week and I thought it was really well done; better than the NBC video.

GW: Really?

SJS: Yes, it was much better. In fact you got actual interviews from the Circlemakers, which prior to that, I had not seen on television.... I heard you talking inside saying that you've been involved with this phenomena for 10 years?

GW: No, the first year was 1992. I became an associate member of project ARGUS, looking into very extensive soil and crop sampling. Coincidentally, I mounted my own two-camera, sixteen millimeter surveillance operation trying to discount hoax theory; seeing if we could kind of get it into an arena where it could be discussed by many people. Unfortunately, I was green as grass and didn't realize the kind of politics and mind-set that goes on and the hoaxers deliberately hoaxed in front of me to see if I'd say things. And I didn't go on the record with anything that I could never prove... so they didn't catch me out in that respect. I think they wanted me to say I caught something on camera, but I didn't. A year after that I was involved quite heavily in operation RELATE, which was another CCCS-funded project which was basically testing for infrared photography. It was seismic, magnetic sensing stuff and they staked out some fields, but nothing happened in that either. Then I stopped bringing my camera and I started enjoying the place and the people, and gave up on the idea of ever really eliminating hoax theory. By then I think the game was up really: I'd decided that was what it was.

SJS: You think they are all hoaxed?

GW: I think hoax is a misnomer, like I said in the film, like Robert Irving says in the film. I think they are made by people but their motivations are very little understood by researchers. And they tend to dismiss them as mindless morons, when they all have backgrounds in art and graphic art design and they are very interested in the paranormal; they are trying to foster a kind of social phenomenon and they have done it. I mean it was listed in TIME MAGAZINE'S one hundred most important events of the century. The way I look at it these days is in a world of superabundant technology and science, that people can still go out with a piece of string and a bit of wood and shake the world. I think that's amazing.

SJS: So you don't think that any crop cirlces come from a higher power source?

GW: No, but I do believe that what goes on while people are making them and what goes on afterwards in the way people relate to them is paranormal. I think what happens is that people so much want spiritual gaps in their life to be plugged, that they come to circles; and they so much want for something to happen, that it actually happens. That's what happened to me when I believed in them; weird things happened to me. When I stopped believing in them, they stopped happening. I've got strange photographs I can't account for and bizarre coincidences that seemed to go on and on, and when I stopped believing in the non-human cause of circles, they went away...

SJS: So why did you decide to make the video?

GW: It's a labor of love; circles have been very good to me. It's my farewell and my thanks. I made it all out of my own pocket, as a labor of love. It's such a fascinating subject and I've met so many great people and I've moved down here as a result of the circles, really. It's sort of my thank you and my exploration to satisfy myself, and put my opinion out there, wave good-bye and go onto other things.

 

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CROP CIRCLES
An NHNE Special Report
By NHNE SwiftWing Reporter Sherry Stultz
sherrystultz@earthlink.net