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Monday, 11 November, 2002 13:14
Crop Circles - man-made or mystery?
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Crop circles
Even if crop circles are man made some argue that aliens could have instructed people to make them.
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Crop circles have become a feature of the UK countryside in Summer, especially in Wiltshire and Hampshire.

But what causes them? Are they all fakes? Are they caused by magnetic shifts? Or are they UFO landing sites?

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WATCH and LISTEN
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Researcher Colin Andrews: 20% of the designs defy reasonable explanation
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The BBC's Jane O'Brien: There are unexplained factors such as the lack of footprints
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The BBC's Francesca Kasteliz
"The latest in a long list of possible explanations"
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UFOs might fly using magnetic power which might cause crop circle formations
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SEE ALSO
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George Bishop of the Centre for Crop Circle Studies explains his theories

BBC Southampton's ghost section


BBC Southampton's psychic section

BBC Southampton's UFO Section
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WEB LINKS
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Lucy Pringle's Crop Circle website

Centre for Crop Circle Studies

David Kingston's Crop Circle website

Crop Circle database

Circlemakers

UFO, Abduction and Crop Circle website (iwasabducted.com)

Crop Circle Connector

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

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FACTS
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In 1991 two landscape painters from Hampshire, David Chorley and Douglas Bower, claimed they started the whole crop circle hoax craze hoax in 1978, after drinking in a pub.

Ninety percent - and in some years, 98% - of the circles in the UK appear along the aquifer line (a layer of rock able to hold water), which runs from Dorset to Norfolk

One of the earliest reports was in Lyon in 815AD, and a late 16th Century woodcut depicts the devil mowing a field into patterns.
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Every summer you can be sure of two things in the UK. Rain and crop circles. So prolific are they that a few years ago US billionaire Laurance Rockefeller funded a huge UK survey of crop circles.

Look through our crop circle factfile to learn more about these strange things.

Scientists carried out aerial research over Wiltshire in the hope of finding out once and for all whether the mysterious patterns were genuine or the work of hoaxers.

Their research has added greatly to the study of crop circles, but has come up with no firm conclusions.

Some believe they are created by UFOs during nocturnal visits. Others say they are connected to ancient "ley lines", or put it down to natural phenomena such as unusual forms of lightning.

US websites have been known to advertise week-long tours of UK crop circles priced at $2,199 per person.

Until now research has been carried out by amateurs and enthusiasts, known as croppies. But there is a growing scientific discipline based around the study, known as cereology.

Lucy Pringle
Less concerned with how they're made, Lucy Pringle's exhaustive work concentrates on the effects crop circles have on those who come close to them.

One such expert is Lucy Pringle, who was a founder member of the Centre for Crop Circle Studies.

Her research revolves around effects on people, both psychologically and physically, who have come into contact with a crop circle.


She also measures possible changes in animal behaviour where crop circles appear.

Many farmers believe crop circles are the work of hoaxers, and say they cause thousands of pounds of damage every year. Several people have come forward to claim responsibility.

In 1991 two landscape painters from Hampshire, David Chorley and Douglas Bower, claimed they started the hoax in 1978, after drinking in a pub.

They said for the past 13 years they had been sneaking around southern England at night, fashioning as many as 25 to 30 new circles each growing season.

But it seems there remain unexplained factors, such as the lack or tracks or footsteps.

Colin Andrews
Colin Andrews' believes 80% of crop circles are man made, and others are formed by magnetic shifts.

Colin Andrews has researched crop circles since the 80s.

His research claims the appearance of crop circles in summer fields are caused by the Earth's magnetic field.

Colin says
17 years of work has revealed that about 80% of the formations are man-made.

But he believes that magnetism may account for the rest, which display a simplicity of form compared with elaborate, beautiful patterns of the "hoaxes".

Dr Andrews believes a mysterious shift in the magnetic field gives rise to a current that "electrocutes" the crops forcing them to lie flat on the ground.

John Lundberg
John Lundberg makes crop circles....but has he been told to by aliens?

Self-proclaimed hoaxer John Lundberg said no-one would ever believe a scientific explanation for crop circles because people want to believe it is something more mysterious. "The public don't want it explained," he said.

Some argue that even so-called 'fakers' have been instructed to create patterns subconsciously by aliens wanting to send earth messages in a process called 'auto-rolling'.

Most mainstream scientists believe the only explanation for crop circles lies in the footboards of hoaxers.


 
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Crop Circles
Crop Circles man-made or mystery?

Join the Crop Circle discussion

Crop Circle expert -John Lundberg


Crop Circle expert - Paul Vijay


Crop Circle factfile


Some theories explained

The history and facts about Crop Circles according to David Kingston

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