Crop circles of Wiltshire, original pictures from a visit to the Pewsey area in 2011
Crop circles are undoubtedly an enigma - the beautiful geometric shapes that mysteriously appear overnight in cornfields, mainly in England, but also cropping up (excuse the pun) in many other parts of the world.
In the summer of 2011 I accompanied a friend on a search for crop circles in the county of Wiltshire in England. We had done a little research on the web, and discovered the most common areas and time of year that the majority of these circles appear. Wiltshire seems to be the crop circle centre of the world, and we felt we were guaranteed to see some there.
So, off we went with our tent, and set ourselves down in the Vale of Pewsey, on the south Wiltshire downs, an area of outstanding natural beauty, and right in the middle of Wiltshire's ancient historic monuments (Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill all within 20 minutes drive).
We found ourselves at the hub of crop-circle hunting activity. Our neighbour at the campsite was there to attend a crop-circle conference in a nearby town, and everybody in the local pub was talking about crop circles and alternative viewpoints. The pub was definitely geared up for it with aptly named real ales such as "Croppie", and cider called "Area 51"! They also had pictures of crop circles everywhere, and a noticeboard about local sightings. I began to wonder if I was in some sort of theme park.
We found what we were looking for, though. As we looked out across the landscape in the morning we noticed a beautiful crop circle less than a mile away, so walked across the fields to it to have a closer look. We took care to walk between the rows of corn so we didn't damage any more of the farmer's field, but I suspect the farmer may have recovered any losses with the big metal bin in the middle of the circle asking for contributions! The picture at the top was taken inside the circle and shows how neatly all the corn was laid down to make the pattern.
A Visitor's Guide to the Historic Sites of Wiltshire, England
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It's very hard to see the shape of the circle when you're in it, and the design can really only be appreciated from an aerial shot. The one that we were in was that pictured in the newspaper article entitled "Fields of Gold" on the noticeboard above.
Some people say they feel strange when walking inside crop circles, and you hear all sorts of stories about weird electrical energies, and photographic equipment going wrong. I can't say I experienced anything like this, my camera worked just fine. I did think it was extremely beautiful, partly because it was in such a lovely serene setting, and I couldn't help being impressed by its size and the quality of the workmanship.
We spent a couple of days visiting the historical sites and stone circles, and while visiting West Kennet Longbarrow and Silbury Hill, were treated to a second crop circle in the field right next to these. This one had a simpler design of concentric circles, but in a great setting overlooking the monumental Silbury Hill (see photo below).
These were just two of many that appeared in the countryside this summer. They are rarely reported in the news these days, as they seem to have become quite common, but they are stil fascinating nonetheless. If you want to see more check out the websites listed below under Further Reading.
The real mystery behind crop circles is who makes them and why. Nobody ever sees them being made, they just mysteriously appear overnight. Some of the designs are so complex and perfectly formed it is hard to imagine how it is done in just one night. There is much debate and divided opinion about them.
Current theories include:
- Hoaxers creating the shapes overnight with planks of wood and bits of string
- Visitors from outer space trying to communicate important things to us
- Visual artists creating controversial works of art
The more I find out about these formations the more interesting I find them. The designs are often extremely complex, featuring elements of sacred geometry, astronomical measurements and mythical symbolism. Some have included complex codes with messages and they often have a very clever three-dimensional appearance. It is obvious that whoever (or whatever) is making the circles is very intelligent. I have heard of people who have been involved in going out with a team to create circles in covert night-time operations, but this is only hearsay. There are also reports of balls of white light flying over the fields where these circles appear, maybe they have something to do with them?
What do you think?
Further reading ...
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