This was the year that was ~ 2002
© Lucy Pringle

This was the year that Hollywood invaded the fields of England with its sci-fi blockbuster film `Signs`, starring the box office hit Mel Gibson. This was the year the world‘s media
flooded into the South of England; fields were crawling with whirling cameras, frantic producers, agitated film assistants and endless croppies from far flung places such as Mexico, Japan and Slovenia all keenly anxious to get a slice of the action. Whereas the film had a poor story basis, (centred around the breakdown and subsequent renewal of one man's faith after the death of his wife with the subsequent effect on his children, a young boy and girl, its bizarre portrayal, featuring the arrival of a crop circle and how it changed their lives), it did not adversely affect the reputation of the phenomenon as such but the media circus certainly disrupted and interfered with research programmes.

The 2002 season had one of the slowest starts in recent years. In April a small single ringed formation in oil seed rape (canola) was the first to grace the stage and made its modest appearance in Soberton, Hampshire.

She saw an Angelic Being
Each year my dining room looks less and less like a dining room and more like a refuse tip as more and more papers and crop circle appendices claim their space. This was the year when Annie Boher came to my help in trying to make some sense out of the general confusion. Annie is a psychic and the first crop formation we visited was the delicate galaxy type event at Longwood Warren in barley. 

image 1
Longwood Warren

It lay hidden in a secluded dip in the field and was not easily seen from the road. It was a glorious early summers morning when we entered to bury my bottles and examine the lay of the crop. Having completed our chores we sat and meditated and Annie was visited by an angelic being, which she described as "I was aware of an Angelic presence over my left shoulder. I sensed it was a female energy with very long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She was wearing a long flowing dress similar to muslin. She told me that the formations were made up of earth energies, of which our intelligence as yet cannot understand. Also that each formation ha its own individual message, which we will one day be able to decipher. Her energy just faded away".

Tears near the Tree of Abundance

image 2
'Tree of Abundance'
The next formation into which I took Annie was the Apple Tree of Abundance (aptly named by geometer Michael Glickman).
Once more East Field was playing host to the crop circle phenomenon. The formation was easily accessible from the steep, windy road leading from Knapp Hill to the Alton Barnes crossroads.
As we neared the entry into the formation, I heard a noise and looking round saw Annie in floods of tears. She reported that she had walked into a `wall` of such deep grief and anguish that she could not help bursting into tears. Once off the spot she was back to normal. The Wansdyke and its environs make up an ancient landscape and clearly over the ages many unknown and unrecorded events will have taken place that may never be known. We walked around the formation and gazed with awe at the countless small circles (featuring the apples), each with a differently constructed standing centre, yet none of these little circles had any connecting paths of entry.
Tim Redford felt a sense of joy and deep happiness whilst in the formation together with a metallic taste in his mouth and later slightly sore eyes. Could the taste and sore eyes are as a result of crop sprays? The deep happiness stayed with him for several hours gradually diminishing as the day wore on. Marianne Wyss and her boy friend from Switzerland come over every year to visit the circles. As soon as she entered she "had a feeling like a slight pressure or ache above my stomach. When I first realised the feeling, I thought this might be because I was nervous/excited, but as soon as I left the formation, the feeling disappeared. The second time I did not think about the feeling at all when it suddenly appeared." Marianne felt the same when she visited the amazing Druid‘s Knot in South Filed directly across the road.
image 3
South Field, 'Druids Knot'

She could not have walked so
Heather Collins kindly wrote to tell me that she felt "quite shivery" as she approached the Druid‘s Knot. The sensation continued as she entered the formation and seemed to be strongest at the lower perimeter. The shivers left her only to return after 20-30 minutes. Considering it was an uphill climb to the formation it was strange that she felt shivery, instead of warm. Could the residual energy have been zapping her hypothalamus, the area of the brain most associated with the physical basis of the emotions. Heather later went into Devises and was surprised that her pedometer had registered a higher distance walked than expected. "Then I realised that it had altered itself to kilometers. This could not have been done accidentally as one has to hold down the button firmly for 5 seconds to alter settings."
I visited this formation with metreologist Alan Day the morning it appeared. He was keen to help me bury my bottles. I was walking ahead of him and suddenly heard him say "Oh No!", followed a few seconds later by "Oh damn!". Turning round I fond him gazing in fury at his camera. He had only shot 5-6 frames when the camera went forward 2 frames and then within seconds whizzed the whole way back into the canister, taking the tab with it.
A few days later I did an interview with an Italian TV company. I happened to mention this incident to the cameraman whose eyes lit up as I related the story; his camera had failed in the exact same spot. It had never happened to him before. Fortunately it recovered when he moved off to another area of the formation.

Were we bewitched?
I was quite bewitched by this formation and felt compelled to visit it as often as time allowed. It was therefore the event I selected for our annual scientific tests. To arrange these tests and find a suitable day when we can all gather together, scientists and guinea pigs alike, takes almost 6 months of preparation.
This year I planned to continue with the brain activity tests run by Isobel Maxwell-Cade and Peter Staples, the hormone level tests conducted by Ann Smithells of Biotech Health, the new Kirlian photography tests in the able hands of Dr Roger Taylor (who is working in conjunction with Konstantin Korokov from St Petersburg). Dr Taylor measured the changes in area, spectral width, form and noise of the Kirlian records. Everyone showed tested changes, some major changes, in all the chosen parameters.
Due to the numerous electrical failures that have occurred over the years inside crop circles, Dr Taylor was anxious about the safety of his lap top computer and wanted to monitor voltage pluses while inside the formation. Chartered electrical engineer Rodney Hale adapted a Psion A3 handheld computer to record and graph any voltages pulses at various rates.

image
Fig.1

"Roger wanted a way of recording battery voltage, so all I had to do was to make a gadget which turned his voltage into a train of pulses at a rate controlled by the actual voltage. What we were doing in the field was recoding and graphing at 15-second intervals the actual voltage from his voltage monitor with the Psion hand held gadget. The results show the actual pulse count rates and a graph, with calibration data". All was quite until 1620 hours and then a few minutes later a spike occurred, lasting approx 6 minutes.
Shortly before the big day, the BBC had requested that I do a programme with them featuring my research. After consulting Jim Lyons who was a member of the group, dowsing and collecting grain for NIR analysis, I agreed so long as they tried to keep in the background. On the eve of our tests things started to go wrong, Ann Smithells was not well and had to call off and regular guinea pig Christopher Weeks developed chicken pox. However the day started well; the sun was shining and the forecast was good; Farmer David Hues kindly lent us the use of one of his barns at his Beckhampton farm in order to carry our control tests and the BBC managed to keep in the background. We completed the tests, the brain activity tests showing some intriguing results, making us curious to see how the guinea pigs would respond when tested inside the formation. We had lunch close by and Roger Taylor said he would like to do additional control tests at the edge of the field. As I was due to fly with the BBC at 3.30pm, I could see that we were going to be running short of time so we all packed up and rushed off in convoy to South Field. We helped set up Roger but sadly his screen was too dim and we had to return everything to his car and get out his new laptop. At this point things stared to get even worse; the BBC were becoming very demanding and the guinea pigs frustrated as they were not allowed to enter the formation until the Roger's tests were completed;
I was aware that our time schedule was hopelessly ruined. Eventually I managed to reach the Druids Knot and watched as the group straggled up the slope to reassemble. Where were Isobel and Peter? Looking at my watch I saw that an hour had passed since we left the pub. Clearly they had not followed with the rest of us. George Norrie kindly volunteered to go and find them and I had to rush off to fly with the BBC. We spent longer flying than planned and so instead of getting back to the formation by 4.30 to thank everyone, we did not return until 5.30 by which time nearly everyone had left. To my additional horror I was told that Isobel and Peter had never been never found, thereby rendering useless their control tests from that morning. Clearly this was the year for everything to go wrong and as this is my most important day of the crop circle season, I was bitterly disappointed particularly as there had been some unusually interesting brain activity control tests that morning and we were waiting with anticipation to see the reactions of the guinea pigs once inside the formation.
However all was not lost as at least Roger Taylor was able to conduct his tests. I telephoned him the next day to enquire about the results and was astounded to learn that since leaving the formation his lap top computer had become useless to the point that it would be necessary to replace the system board. Would the results still be on there on the hard disk when repaired? Could the 6 minute spike recorded on Rodney Hale's Psion hand held computer be held responsible and give us the answer? Several weeks later and at a cost of £610, the computer was restored and yes, the results were there. The graph readings show the four parameters: Area, in green, and Form, in dark blue. Roger explains as follows "High area and low Form are associated with relaxation, meditation, etc, while the reverse can indicate stress. Less I known about Noise, in pink, but from my experience it is good to be low. Width, in light blue, is a measure of brightness, but in a mature person, especially if present with low Area, can indicate stress.
" Looking from at the transition from A to B, as we go from barn to field, all of us show slightly negative change — decreased Area, and increased Form. This could mean nothing more than the arousal associated with the new situation: the anticipation of going into the circle, and a certain amount of chaos with me trying to get readings, while the BBC were fussing about, and you wanting to get us into the circle a soon as possible. I felt this especially reflected in a sharp reading in my Form reading.
" Most C readings show disappointingly little change from B. Only one looks really significant, and that is Annie M. She seems to have had a very positive response. We have no B readings for Jacqueline or Annie B, but Annie B certainly shows a very negative response to the A-C transition — much more than any of the others‘ A-B transitions. So I would count this as pretty significant too." Interestingly Annie McCaffrey reported feeling considerable benefit from being inside the formation whereas Annie Boher did not, though she was totally unaware of this.

image
Annie M before entering circle
image
Annie M inside the circle

We do not have pictures of Annie B.
Another interesting point maybe worthy of note was that Roger had placed himself and his laptop computer in the most turbulent part of the formation. When I remarked on this he said this had been a conscious decision in order to obtain the best possible readings!

Increase in protein.
A new area of research this summer has been the use of the NIR technique. (Near Infra Red). This technique has been used by the farming industry for the past 10 years to assess the protein and moisture content of grain and thereby establishing a marker price for their product.
Whereas there is a portable machine available to conduct these tests in situ, it costs over £9000. Jim Lyons collected seeds from outside the formation and from the centre and hot spot inside the formation. Jim is a dowser but spent most of his working life in the aerospace industry. An electronic and aeronautical engineer he was chief engineer on the Harrier jump jet. He is now an academic at the University of York.
The seeds were analysed and showed quite remarkably consistent results. The seeds taken from the centre of the formation showing the highest protein content and consequently the lowest moisture content. The seeds for the hot spot showing the next highest protein

Wet Chemistry Results

Moisture Aura Protein
Control 24% 35 8%
Hotspot 21% 59 9%
Centre 16% 106 10%

image
Fig.4
image
Fig.5

content, whereas the control seeds taken from outside the formation showed the lowest protein content and the highest moisture content. These results were also seen in the reflectivity readings in which a laser is focused on the seeds and measures the amount of radiation present. It does this by measuring the amount of light that comes out the other side, i.e. the reflection from the seed. The seeds from the centre showing the greatest reflectivity, those from the hot spot sitting neatly between the readings from the centre and those from the control seeds as in all the previous tests. A final test, dowsing before the seeds were sent for NIR analysis, revealed exactly the same set of results. Al the results from the different tests matched! The NIR analysts found an 8-10% increase in the protein content that they felt was significant.
We will continue with these tests next summer.

Physical reports sent in by the guinea pigs showed varying effects. One person wishing to remain anonymous wrote, "2 nights lack of sleep. Left foot swollen across bottom joints of all toes on left." This effect lasted 2 days and was only relieved by radionics. Annie McCaffrey on the other hand reported "sense of well being. Uplifted, safe, all knowing."

Chanel No 6?
Having read my research articles, I was approached by a company producing smells, who wanted to bring perfumers into a formation in the hope that maybe they would be inspired to conjure up a new and wonderful scent. Unfortunately it was one of those only too frequent days of rain and cloud that we have experienced this summer. We visited several formations; I am awaiting results.

His depression lifted
The Stonehenge "Ribbons in the Wind" 

image 4
The Stonehenge
"Ribbons in the Wind"

formation was one of the masterpieces of the year arriving unusually early on the 4 July 2002, two fields SSW of the famous 1996 Julia Set.
I took a group of people into this formation. This was a most spectacular event. The precision with which it is placed in the field was awesome. Twist the top right hand ribbon fractionally clockwise and it would run into a tumulus, twist the next one to the right, anti clockwise and it also would go into a tumulus. 
We had met up in the Stonehenge car park and I had kept my mobile telephone switched on until we were all assembled.
I then switched it off. We entered the formation full of excitement and anticipation. On reaching the centre, to my amazement, my switched off mobile telephone rang in my pocket. I switched it off again and explorer John Blashford Snell, one of the party, said, "switch it on again and ring the number back." I did as instructed and on the display board it read, "Number unavailable!" 
All the physical and psychological reports were beneficial, one visitor reporting that his depression had lifted.

She could walk without her crutches 
After lunch I decided to take the party into the "Electric Plug" at West Kennet in order to allow them to experience different energies. They had not seen a photograph of the formation. The reason for this decision was due to a report I had received from a long time colleague Paddy Lyons who over the years has been suffering from an increasingly painful and damaged back. When it is particularly bad she has to use crutches. About a week before to our visit, Paddy had telephoned me to tell me that on that particular day she had been drawn to walk up to the West Kennet Long Barrow. It was one of her bad days and consequently she was on crutches. As those who have made the journey will know, the lane up to the Long Barrow is narrow, stony and deeply rutted. To struggle up on crutches shows remarkable bravery and determination. Before reaching the Long Barrow, Paddy was drawn to the field on the left, saw a new formation and entered. (The Electric Plug). When telephoning me on her mobile, she has just left the formation and no longer needed her crutches! 
I do believe these certain of events allow us to access other higher levels of consciousness, levels that take us over and beyond all physical pain. Unfortunately as in Paddy‘s case, this is not always of a permanent nature. 
On entering this formation I suggested to my the group might like to rest and meditate. One young girl who had been remarkably quiet all day came up to me and told me that the previous day she had felt so ill she feared she would have to cancel the trip. Waking up on Sunday morning she had felt a fraction better and her longing to visit a formation out weighed her fears that she would not last the day. She reported that she had felt no different until she entered the "Electric Plug" when to her amazement, all trace of her illness disappeared.

Boom or bust
One of the potentially significant events of 2002 appeared in an article in the Sunday Times magazine 12 September, describing the results of tests conducted by the BLT team on soil taken from a crop formation in Edmonton, Canada. The BLT team collected 90 samples as well as control samples from outside the formation. Initial surface soil tests carried out by Dr Sampath Iyenger, a mineralogist in Dan Diego, using a technique called XRD, an x-ray powder diffraction revealed an increase in "crystallinity". He is quoted as saying "Nothing like this has ever been seen in surface soil before" This would normally only be found in geologic sediments exposed to low temperatures and pressures over millions of years." Dr Robert C. Reynolds Jr of Dartmouth College conducted further tests. The winner of the Roebling medal for lifelong achievement in mineralogy, he is also an expert in XRD. The results of tests conducted in his own laboratory, were the same as Iyenger‘s and in a letter to Nancy Talbot he writes Œ"I am convinced that the sample preparation methods and the x-ray analytical procedures used were consistent with sound, standard methods of analysis, but this brings up the question of the meaning of their results.
"Temperatures of 600-800 degrees Celsius are required in the laboratory for such growth and these conditions would have incinerated any plant material present. In short I believe that our present knowledge provides no explanationŒ". 
I have been in touch with Nancy Talbot who tells that me she is trying to get the full report out a quickly as possible. It is a pity that this report in the Sunday Times was allowed to come out before the full report was available as many questions arise from this publication that need an urgent answer.
Nancy Talbot told me that "that the clay-mineral study was carried out on surface soils from the Edmonton, Canada formation, that the technique utilized was x-ray diffraction to obtain a measure of crystallinity (known as the Kubler Index), that the circle formation samples showed changes in the Kubler Index, which indicate increased crystallinity, as compared to the controls, and that this finding was obtained as the 95% level of confidence. Further that a scientific paper is being submitted for publication and that, when the paper has been accepted, the entire study, with all the findings, will be posted on the BLT Research Team Inc.'s web-site (www.bltresearch.com)."

"A preliminary x-ray diffraction (XRD) study had been carried out on a Logan, Utah (l996) crop circle which also showed this change in crystallinity of the clay minerals, but that not enough samples were run in that case to produce statistical significance....and further, that two other formations were looked at by XRD by the BLT Team, which also showed these changes....but, again, not enough samples were run (due to financial restraints) to obtain statistical significance. The Edmonton case was chosen for a full study because the sampling technique and the number of samples and controls taken was adequate to produce statistical results. Taken together, these 4 cases strongly suggest that the clay-minerals in many crop circles have probably been similarly affected--but, because XRD work is quite expensive, at this point in time we have only the one case thoroughly documented."

In answer to my questions

1. Was the increased crystallinity found only inside the formation?
This is a complex question and can only be fully answered when the report is available.

2. What was the distribution of this crystallinity? Was it widespread, was it found in several areas or only in a few spots?
I understand the distribution was even through out the formation

3. As it would seem that tremendously high temperatures would be needed in order to replicate these findings in laboratory conditions, can you explain why there was no charring or singeing on the plants where this effect was present?
This question remains unanswered.

4. Can you tell me at what depth the soil samples were taken? Were they simply surface samples or were they consistently taken from several inches deep?
The samples were all taken at a consistent depth throughout of half an inch

It is the fate of researchers to ask questions and act as Devil‘s Advocates in order that results may stand up to the toughest scrutiny.

The aches had gone
Another interesting report I received from a visitor to the Crabwood formation came from Charlotte Murphy. As a result of undergoing chemotherapy for cancer 12 years ago, she became depressed and was prescribed Prozac. Charlotte visited the formation on Monday 30 August and when she telephoned me 5 days later she told me that whereas she did not feel anything unusual happening to her whilst she was inside the formation, since that visit she had been able to reduce her Prozac dosage dramatically. She had also suffered from ME and in addition to reducing the Prozac, Charlotte reported, "the aching had gone but she still felt tired".
I telephoned her recently (some 4 months later) and she told that despite going back onto the full Prozac dosage, her life had been extremely stressful and that she had been able to cope in a way that she felt she would not have been able to do normally.
I hope Charlotte will be one of my guinea pigs in 2003.

So all in all this has been an interesting year full of the usual ups and downs of normal life. Investigating this phenomenon resembles the path the searcher treads when walking the labyrinth. Just as they are full of hope and imagine they are nearing their goal, they are taken sharply away before once more resuming their path to the Quest.