BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Hampshire


Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Wednesday, 7 January, 2004 15:18
Crop Circle history
Eighty percent of crop circles are faked, 20% remain unexplained....some believe the work of hoaxers disrupts those who want to conduct genuine research.

Crop Circles generate a huge area of research, and exploration of the subject raises more questions than answers.

Here, David Kingston, a leading crop Circle researcher, gives you his views and some of the history behind the phenomenon.


Researcher Colin Andrews: 20% of the designs defy reasonable explanation

The BBC's Jane O'Brien: There are unexplained factors such as the lack of footprints

The BBC's Francesca Kasteliz
"The latest in a long list of possible explanations"

UFOs might fly using magnetic power which might cause crop circle formations
BBC download guide
Free Real player
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

Lucy Pringle's Crop Circle website

Centre for Crop Circle Studies

David Kingston's Crop Circle website

Crop Circle database


UFO, Abduction and Crop Circle website (

Crop Circle Connector

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


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.
View a printable version of this page.
Get in contact
Look through our crop circle factfile to learn more about these strange things.

David Kingston is one of the country's leading UFO and Crop Circle reasearchers. Below is an article he wrote in 1998 exploring the history of crop circles and some of the facts are his first experiences of crop circles, and some of the facts which he says are irrefutable.

The History of Crop Circles
by David Kingston

"I have been researching the Crop Circle phenomena since I saw my first one in 1976. I had been on a "night watch" for UFO’s on Clay Hill in Warminster.

Three separate orbs of approximately six feet in diameter of coloured light had been weaving around and above us for some three hours on the top of Clay Hill, merging at times into a single globe and then separating again above us.

David Kingston
David Kingston, at the site of a UFO sighting in Dorset in 1998

Suddenly one of the orbs descended to some thirty feet above us and then flew down into a field at the base of Clay Hill.

As dawn broke I noticed a flattened circle in a field of wheat.

On inspection there were no broken stalks just a perfectly flattened circle some thirty feet in diameter.

At that particular point in time I had seen and had knowledge of the famous "Tulley UFO Nests" in 1966 in Australia but had not heard of anything of a similar nature in this country.

There then appeared to be a lapse in the appearances of any Crop Circles despite my search and request for any information on them until the early 1980’s.

In my search and research for them during that period of time I uncovered a mention of them in early French literature.

The Bishop of Lyon at that time had written to the local parish priest who was taking over his parish just outside of Lyon.

The contents of the manuscript were basically to warn the new priest that there had been "devil worship" by his local parishioners who were collecting seeds out of "flattened circles" and using them for fertility rites.

I spoke to quite a few farmers who remembered seeing "odd shapes" in their fields or their parent’s fields when they themselves were young but no real proof.

I uncovered information from a second world war pilot who had been returning to RAF Tangmere after an aerial reconnaissance mission over Germany, as he approached the grass runway at his base he saw two flattened circles in the nearby growing cereal crop and photographed them not knowing what they were.

I tried in vain to locate these two black and white photographs, which the pilot remembered were handed on the aerial reconnaissance film but once again to no avail.

The pilot remembers seeing the film with the German aerial photographs and the two crop circles on it at his debrief which were then sent to the Air Ministry Intelligence at Whitehall.

During the early 1980’s there were simple circles appearing in cereal crops ranging in sizes from ten to thirty feet in diameter but as we moved into the latter half of the eighties more complex shapes started to form which generated a lot of media attention.

We had a definite evolution happening with the Crop Circle Formations or Crop Glyphs as they were called and lots of theories being put forward as to the causes ranging from meteorological effects, military experiments through to UFO’s and encounters of the human kind.

They were, and do not only appear during the hours of darkness, they were and still do not only appear in just summer cereal crops, but in grass, stinging nettles, winter crops such as beet and kale, sugar cane, underwater in rice paddy fields in Japan, in the snow 13,000ft up in the mountains in Afghanistan, in fact world wide, not just restricted to Southern England as quite a few people believed such as the two famous Doug and Dave.

These two hoaxers had claimed to have made all the crop circles in England since 1980; little did they know then the extent of the formations.

Yes, each year we do have formations that are man made, this is in no dispute with any of the researchers, but this does not account for remaining ones for which there appears to be no logical explanation.

With my investigations into the UFO enigma since the 1950’s I felt, and still do, that there is a link and in 1988 I started up my own research unit called Crop Phenomena Investigations.

Since that period I have been working with several institutes including the famous Dr. William Levengood’s laboratory in America.

He is a biophysicist and with his team carries out research on all samples sent to him from around the world that are taken out of Crop Circle Formations including the ones from this country.

He has had his research papers published in several scientific journals worldwide.

What do we really know about the formations?

FACT: We know from the scientific research that I am involved in that they are (the genuine formations) formed by an energy, which has the ability to alter the molecular structure of the plant without damaging it and the ability to alter the growth rate and pattern. This same energy has produced numerous photographic anomalies.

FACT: There is a distortion in the earth’s electromagnetic field, sometimes a ghost image a short distance from the original formation.

FACT: Spheres of light have been recorded on film in the formations, also military helicopters seen flying over these spheres apparently taking quite a keen interest in them.

FACT: The energy involved appears to be benign and to my knowledge is not used on this planet.

FACT: Some formations radiate a frequency at approximately 7.5hz in the electromagnetic spectrum but this can vary from formation to formation.

Many researchers and BBC Television whilst filming in a formation have recorded it.

I, recently using the aid of a computer and a specialised programme, have discovered that these beautiful creations of art in the fields are capable of producing the most unusual sounds and music.

FACT: This same frequency has been picked up many times in close proximity to UFO sightings.

FACT: Despite several ploughings after the crop has been harvested the shape of the formation has remained, in some cases, in the soil for at least six months. This cannot be achieved by "crop formations" made by humans.

FACT: In some of the formations, compasses rotate at will denoting a magnetic anomaly present, camcorders, cell phones and other battery run equipment have displayed a discharged battery state when this is not the case.

FACT: Crops outside of the formation does not display the same characteristics changes in cell structure as the crop found inside.

FACT: There is no level of consistency, in some formations we have the sound factor, the magnetic anomalies, photographic anomalies and the lasting impressions in the soil but this is not to say you will find one or all of these in the next formation you visit but it can still turn out to be part of the genuine article.

FACT: If no human being goes into a formation the crop will continue to grow and the farmer will not lose any crop, only possibly what the birds will eat by the downed seeds.

FACT: Farmers have combined the formations from their fields to avoid damage by the members of the public when they have occurred only to find another one appear a short distance away the following day.

FACT: Each year human beings causing untold criminal damage to crops create a large number of formations, approximately 80%, and my sincere sympathy goes out to the landowners.

I just wish more landowners would prosecute these criminal vandals.

Scientific papers have been recently released on the research carried out by Dr. William Levengood and are available to the general public for a small fee to cover the costs of package & postage from the United States of America.

I have the research laboratory's address on my web site.

Lucy Pringle, a fellow researcher, has carried out over the past seven years the physical and physiological effects the formations have had on human beings.

So what are we left with?

Beautiful geometric patterns in the fields, which defy our laws of logic, physics and reasoning but none the less keep appearing world wide.

This does not include the large number that are man-made. They appear to have a very spiritual, profound effect on all who visit or research them; perhaps if nothing else this is their reason.

Like the UFO scenario, there have been cover-ups with the Crop Circle Formations, they are a mystery which one day mankind will know, for the truth is out there, if you know where to look."

Top | Features Index | Home
Also in features

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

What's on

Latest Reviews

Film festival

Film Finder

Location South

Contact Us
BBC Southampton Website
Broadcasting House,
Havelock Road,
SO14 7PU
(+44) 023 80 374370/1/2

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy