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An NHNE Special Report
By NHNE SwiftWing Reporter Sherry Stultz
First, my apologies to the people who responded to my crop circle report for taking so long to post these letters. Some of the letters I received were lost because of a computer glitch, so if you wrote a letter and do not see it posted, please re-send it to me and I will happily post it for you. My responses are in italic.
--- Sherry Stultz
I've Been Reading Your Reports with Incredible Dismay
Creator, The Crop Circular
Wednesday, October 28, 1998
I have been reading your reports on this summer's crop circles with incredible dismay. If I thought that you would be writing this kind of information I would never have taken the time to point you in the right direction and get you in touch with sensible people who could show you the ropes of this phenomenon. I blame myself to a degree because I could have educated you better as to the politics involved, what to expect and what to look for. Unfortunately, I did not have the time.
First of all, one month in England does not make you an expert. It has taken many of us years of dedicated work to figure out the intricacies and avoid the politics which surround a number of personalities connected with this phenomenon, which, incredibly, you appear to have connected with. Matthew Williams has been known to get his facts wrong on many occasions and he is certainly not an authority on the subject. His handling of the Oliver's Castle video fiasco is proof enough. That there were many hoaxes this year is accepted -- by my estimate, 80%.
Unfortunately, this was the year that you happened to go to England and see this shambles. Yes, there were some elaborate hoaxes but so too were there incredible real designs. It seems from all your reports that you have fallen for the hoax angle. This is natural assuming the formations at the time of your stay were mostly hoaxes. But this does not excuse you from portraying the whole phenomenon as some social prank. You are in essence destroying much hard work by portraying one side of the issue.
Yes, a lot of researchers were honouring fakes as genuine crop circles. You must understand that there are a lot of self-appointed crop circle figureheads who are no longer regarded by the few who are staying objective about the fats as objective. American researcher Ilyes even called the 'Hamlet' formation the greatest gift from the Circlemakers when in fact it was a paid advertisement for a tobacco company which the farmer knew about. The list goes on.
What I'm trying to tell you, in the most polite terms, because I am seething with fury at your shallow reporting, is that you have skimmed a very rough surface of this phenomenon and picked up on the crud. This is fine, it happens/happened to all of us. But have the courtesy to state in your reports, as someone who is responsible for the molding of public opinion, that you are an inexperienced observer and that the facts you are conveying are merely samples of observation, most of which have no scientific valuation.
I'm sorry to be this critical, but this reporting has been so poor and so biased that I feel the need to set you straight. It appears that not only have you made the hoaxers' bed but you've slept in it as well.
My original response to Freddy was lost to the computer glitch I mentioned above. Here is another response to Freddy's letter:
I spent about 10 weeks in the UK, and in that time I became aware of a massive hoaxing subculture in the UK, particularly in southern England where I was staying. Unfortunately, in the case of Freddy Silva, he did not review the entire report, just a few early field reports, and he like many other people I met in Wiltshire, was under the impression that my visit to investigate the phenomenon was to enhance support for a genuine phenomenon. Perhaps this assumption should have been obvious to me, since most people who investigate crop circles do so to prove that a genuine phenomenon exists and not to prove that it is a human phenomenon. So to me, the research appears to be focused in one direction, and that is to prove that crop circles are created by non-human entities.
I am not of the opinion that all human-made crop circles are staged as pranks. I believe from meeting individuals who make circles, that they are in many cases genuinely inspired, and that perhaps this explosion of circles is rooted in a few anomalous events.
However, the naivete of people who investigate crop circles is fairly obvious when you look at the credentials of some the circle makers. Artists trained in graphic design and mathematics can create an elaborate design using computer technology to attain the mathematical phenomenon associated with some crop circles. And yet this is rarely acknowledged by crop circle researchers as a plausible answer for the geometric anomalies of circles.
Having experienced the region, I am inclined to wonder about the power of the collective unconscious and the desires of many people to experience something magical, something anomalous to reinforce a faith in their lives.
List the Hoaxes!
Dr. Patrick Bailey
President, Institute for New Energy
I strongly plead for a list of the circles and formations that are KNOWN to be hoaxes: their names, where they are, when they were made, and by whom. At the very least: A LIST OF THE KNOWN HOAXED FORMATIONS!
Unless this list is posted, all of your efforts and all of NHNE's efforts to provide any information that is to be useful to true researchers in this area is all confused dis-information, and not useful. We need to know which ones are hoaxes and which ones are not -- not the news about the people, but to find out what someone else (from above) is trying to tell us. Please do this!!! I am being very, very sincere.
Dr. Patrick Bailey
I responded to Dr. Bailey's letter with the most detail I could give due to the fact that much of my information was sourced confidentially. I realize how frustrating this kind of answer must be to people like Dr. Bailey who have the same question, but I have to protect those who were kind enough to share this information with me. Making crop circles in the UK is a criminal offense and anyone caught doing so faces jail time and heavy fines, which is one reason people who choose to spend their time this way desire to remain anonymous.
Crop Circles Are Works of Art
Jonathan van den Berg
Pretoria, South Africa
Wednesday, December 9, 1998
Thank you for a very well-presented and informative report. The fact that at least most crop circles are hoaxes reinforces my belief in the supernatural. Crop circles are works of art and all works of art are expressions of the human experience. Expression on such a grand scale I think inspires many people to powerful effect proper and "true to heart" art can have on the collective.
Thank you to the "hoaxers": your art is inspiring.
Stonehenge Has Stronger Energies Than Avebury
First let me introduce myself. My name is PAN on the Net. I have an interest in crop circles, although it is my belief that they are all manmade. My favorite pursuit is visiting ancient sites in the summer, especially in Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, etc. I live in England so I am lucky to be able to visit these quite often.
There was one part of what you wrote that caught my eye: that was the fact that you felt more energy at Avebury than Stonehenge. This is interesting because I feel the energies at Avebury to be fairly faint, although the throng of people does add to the atmosphere. My question to you is: "Did you manage to get to the center of Stonehenge, or just follow those dreaded footpaths around the edge of it?"
I have been in the center of Stonehenge and the energies there are quite amazing, as is the overall structure and size of the thing. Unfortunately, these are not felt just wandering around the path on the circumference.
Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to England.
Hoaxers Cannot Replicate Phenomena
Sunday, December 13, 1998
Maybe you missed the research on cropcircles:
It might be nice to list it in the article.
PS. I don't think hoaxers can replicate many of the phenomena found there.
Research Methods, Anomalies, Canadian Crop Circles & More
I recently read your NHNE article on the 1998 crop circles in England -- very well written and balanced, which is a nice change in this "field"!
I thought that you may be interested to know that an archive of 1998 Canadian crop circles (plus previous years, as well as information on other related resources) is on the Circles Phenomenon Research Canada website at:
If you are interested in using any of this material, feel free to contact me anytime. I can also forward to you a text copy of my 1998 Summary Report, perhaps for an (update) article on the Canadian circles at some point.
There were 14 reports across the country, from coast to coast, including the famous group of eleven circles at Vanderhoof, BC. Other formations ranged from simple single circles to various groups of circles and simple pictogram types. Almost without exception, the Canadian circles were very nicely made, with beautiful flow patterns and layering of the crop, with no evidence of footprints, broken plants or other obvious signs of hoaxing.
Photos are on the website.
I am also expecting results from Nancy Talbott / BLT on lab analysis of samples taken from a number of these formations, within the next several weeks or so. Samples from the Outlook, Saskatchewan circles in August, 1998 (from plants inside the circles) displayed an unusual "horizontal splitting" of many of the growth nodes (wheat), in which the nodes were split cleanly in half, right around the circumference, so that you can slide the two halves of the outer portion of the node apart, along the inside stem. Scans of these are on the web site. Control samples did not show this, except for possibly a few of the stalks in close proximity to the circles.
There is also a link to information on The Millennium Project website (my new research initiative) regarding the controversial but interesting "weather radar circle anomalies" which have been reported across the United States since early last year, and into this year.
Founder / Director, The Millennium Project
Main Website (frames): http://persweb.direct.ca/psa
The Millennium Report: http://persweb.direct.ca/psa/tmr.html
Special Research Projects: http://persweb.direct.ca/psa/srp.html
Director, Circles Phenomenon Research Canada
Affiliate of Circles Phenomenon Research International
Main Website (frames): http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/3310
1999 Updates: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/3310/1999.html
BLT RESEARCH, INC.
Suite 202 - 2086 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J 1J4
Tel / Fax: 604.731.8522
Thanks for your letter. I have yet to see anything from Canada this year, and I will certainly take a look at your photos. I do have a few questions for you, though.
One of my biggest misgivings about crop circle research is related to the research methodology used to assess this phenomena.
Does Nancy Talbot visit the circles regularly? How are the samples transported to her lab? Many of the so-called researchers working in the UK use methods to collect and assess data that are suspect.
As far as I know, there are no control samples from known hoaxed circles to compare the plant material with from one circle of unknown orgin. To me this is crucial in determining what effects can be deemed anomalous, rather than comparing the stalks from the inside with the ones on the outside. Because at this point who's to say what's an anomaly and what is a by-product of a night in the field? I know that Mathew Williams, who was researching crop circles by making his own, all ethics aside, found anomalies in his circles that were thought to indicators of a 'genuine circle.' And John Lundberg's circle for the BBC was quite telling this summer for many people, based on the high quality of the work.
I have yet to conclude one way or the other whether anomalies are associated with the humans that create the circles. And I am still more curious about the original simple circles than the elaborate pictograms, since much of the information I gathered from the people who make circles gave me a greater understanding of the hoaxer subculture and the need to create perfection in circles, as an art form. But they have made people change their lives for better and occasionally for worse, and that alone makes them quite compelling phenomena.
May I use your letter? I have yet to update the letters section of the site because of the persistent Y2K initiative at NHNE.
Paul Anderson's Response:
Thank you very much for the quick response, nice to hear from you.
I agree with you on many points, which is what makes this area of research so frustrating -- defining what is "real" and what isn't.
I have little patience for debunkers, but also those who insist that every crop circle "must" be real. To me, there is a combination of hoaxing and a real phenomenon happening, simultaneously.
Nancy herself doen't get out to circles much, she is relying on associate field workers, as she is more than swamped just handling in-house BLT affairs as it were. You will have to check with her regarding specific protocols, for complete and accurate details, but they are stringent.
I've heard many people complain about that, and having to do "so much work" when sampling, but that is exactly what is *lacking* in England, I think.When I heard Michael Green's "litmus test" a few years ago for determining a real formation, i.e., laying the stalks on the hood of your car and dowsing them, I had a fit! No wonder it's been so hard to get this phenomenon taken seriously.
Nancy has told me that they have done tests using controls from known man-made circles, and that they continue to find differences between those and other "unknown" formations, although not necessarily the same ones as described by Williams or other hoaxers (btw, I find hoaxing deplorable, even for so-called "good intentions", i.e., Williams and company). There are some "anomalies" that were considered proof, but even according to BLT, these have often not been the case, such as "magic" bends, which more often than not, are only cases of phototropism. The formations done for the BBC looked good from the air, although from all accounts I've heard so far, they were rather messy on the ground.
One thing that fascinates me is how hoaxers describe their own experiences while out in the fields, which is one of the things that makes me think that more than one thing may be going on at the same time, and that maybe these are even intertwined in some way.
Similar anomalies have been found and experienced in Canadian circles, and while not as elaborate as most of the Europen ones, many of them do have abeauty, even a perfection to them, albeit in simpler geometric terms...
Nancy's contact info, if you don't have it already, is on the BLT page of the website. There are also coordinators/representatives for CPR-Canada in four provinces now. Their contact info is also on the website. Regular email updates are also available from both CPR-Canada and The Millennium Project [these addresses are all listed above].
Yes, of course you may use my letter, or any other material. Just ask me about what you need, and I'll do what I can to help out.
An NHNE Special Report
By NHNE SwiftWing Reporter Sherry Stultz