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.
through our crop circle factfile
to learn more about these strange things.
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.
research has added greatly to the study of crop circles, but has
come up with no firm conclusions.
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.
websites have been known to advertise week-long tours of UK crop
circles priced at $2,199 per person.
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.
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.
such expert is Lucy Pringle, who was a founder member of the Centre
for Crop Circle Studies.
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
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.
1991 two landscape painters from Hampshire, David Chorley and Douglas
Bower, claimed they started the hoax in 1978, after drinking in
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
it seems there remain unexplained factors, such as the lack or tracks
Andrews' believes 80% of crop circles are man made, and
others are formed by magnetic shifts.
Andrews has researched crop circles since the 80s.
research claims the appearance of crop circles in summer fields
are caused by the Earth's magnetic field.
17 years of work has revealed that about 80% of the formations are
But he believes that magnetism may account for the rest, which
display a simplicity of form compared with elaborate, beautiful
patterns of the "hoaxes".
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.
Lundberg makes crop circles....but has he been told to by
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,"
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.