As I write this, more violent weather is approaching and the western and southern parts of this sacred isle have been and continue to take storm batterings such as has not been seen for decades, if ever. Thousands of acres of farmland have been swallowed up, houses flooded, some even disappearing into the sea as the cliffs gave way under the onslaught of the towering waves.
Railway lines left suspended and swinging to and fro over the open sea, the ground beneath having been washed away; power lines down and trees uprooted. This has been the wettest winter since records began in 1766 when George 111 was on the throne.
But as so often happens in times of emergency, people of this ancient and resilient island race rally in a most remarkable way banding together to help each other out with amazing cheerfulness and stoicism. Indeed as the storms washed away layers of sand, distant and strange things are being revealed. Last May in Norfolk, a series of footprints thought to be some 900,000 years old were discovered. On examination by anthropologists they concluded that these were left by a human species of Homo Erectus, Homo Antecessor known as “Pioneer Man”. These footprints, the oldest outside Africa were found on a crumbling beech where many layers of sand had been removed by the lashing waves revealing soft sedimentary rock below. They were of various sizes showing that a group, possibly a family had walked along this beach in those far distant days when England was still joined to Europe.
But how will the harvest be this summer?
Fields can be flooded for up to 21 days after which time the young crop buried under the water starts to degrade. However whereas parts of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall may take years to recover, I understand that despite the weather having been relentlessly appalling in Hampshire and Wiltshire, the same damage has not occurred as further west. So let us look towards the future with optimism. Warm, sunny, dry days and wonderful circles.
But what of last year? To many it was a year of disappointment; very few circles that could be visited and the vexed question of entry tickets. There is no doubt that farmers’ crops suffer when circles appear on their land; these crops are their livelihood and when busloads of people descend into the fields, damage is caused especially when people fail to walk down the correct tramline into the circle thereby minimising the damage, but instead trample willy nilly through the crop. We all know the excitement of seeing a crop circle and indeed sometimes people get so carried away that all sense goes out of the window and they forget that they are on private land and should ask the farmer’s permission before entering.
What should be done? Last year I sent out a questionnaire to my many web site members stating the facts and asking how people would like to compensate the farmers---- tickets, or donations collected by trusted people at the entrance to the field. The result was startling in that over 80% opted for donations. Not only do people feel good when giving but by having someone at the edge of the field, they can be shown where to walk in order to go into the circle without wandering all over the place in the field. In this way the farmers also cover the loss to their crop.
Thinking about all this, has made me hark back to the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when there were few circles and the farmers were happy to direct one to their formations knowing that care would be taken of their crop. Those were joyous, carefree days, full of wonderment and excitement. Those were the days before I started my scientific research and days when I spent most of my time dowsing with Hamish Miller (discoverer of the Michael and Mary lines and author of many books including The Sun and the Serpent), David and Bar Russell. I remember the time when we were walking down the edge of a field one morning near Cheesefort Head, Hampshire, and the three of us were trying to find a circle over which David had already flown and which he had visited soon after in order to remember where it was as the ground was flat and the circle could not be seen except from the air. It was some two weeks since David had flown over the circle and I had left my rods and pendulum in the car but at the certain point, I developed a sudden and piercing headache. What was going on? I told the others what was happening to me and said, “I think this is the tramline we should go down.” David disagreed and went off at an angle; the others followed me and after what seemed like forever we walked straight into the circle and lo and behold my headache immediately disappeared! What a relief!! This just shows that we can dowse with any part of our bodies and I know someone who dowses with his eyes. Using one’s head is not a recommended method!!!
Many were the adventures I had and many were the wonderful people I met who told me what had happened to them when visiting the circles which led me to bringing out my questionnaires and from thence to enquiring why these extraordinary experiences were happening to so many people. This took me into the scientific world and my work that has since developed over the years with the help of learned people from all over the world. Also the Doug and Dave scam in 1990 made me realise that science was the only way in which this wonderful phenomenon could be placed on a credible footing. Writing books and articles to portray this aspect is also essential especially as the English national press refuses to publish anything that might bring integrity to the subject. Last year the only ones to appear were centred exclusively around a hoaxer who has given up making circles due to developing hay fever! An article I sent up with irrefutable scientific facts was supressed.
As with everything, people come and go and a subject evolves, fades away and disappears, or as has happened with the circles, advance and bring with it a greater understanding of the world in which we live and of ourselves. This phenomenon stretches to all parts of the world (66 counties was the latest count) and brings together a diverse and exciting mixture of people who all find their own level of interest or involvement. We are a motley lot and all the better for it as we can learn from each other in wonderful ways.
I am very aware that we are dealing with a Conscious phenomenon, an Intelligence beyond our own present understanding and just as nature is both complex and simple simultaneously so is this subject. We elect the path we choose to walk, combining the two as being essential to each other. Last year the circles flew over to Italy where they appeared in greater number and complexity than in England. But as always we had some truly great ones, in particular the seemingly simple circle on the Ridgeway not far from Overton, near Marlborough, Wiltshire. It appeared the morning after Peter Knight had held a talk and mediation at West Kennett Long Barrow the evening before the WCCSG Conference in Marlborough. Peter is an authority on this ancient edifice and as they were leaving he asked the Universe for a circle. The next morning as he was walking down having revisited the Long Barrow, he saw this circle in the far distance. It lay a good mile along the Ridgeway and being on level ground was almost impossible to find.
My scientific research day was planned for Sunday 14th July. Unfortunately clinical physiologist Paul Gerry from the Devon and Exeter Hospital was unable to join us as a portable EEG was not available. Hazel Drummond of Nutrihealth who has been a most important long time part of the team, Parkinson’s sufferer Gill Puttick, Dr Roger Taylor and myself were the only ones as Jim Lyons had mistaken the day and various other mishaps had befallen the other participants. As it turned out it was just as well as the trek in 32 degrees C was only for the fittest. Gill Puttick clearly couldn’t walk that distance so I took her in my car. This was a most perilous journey as the track was deeply rutted, 10 inches deep in places; getting there we only fell in once but twice on the way back and each time I doubted if my car would survive, but survive it did most valiantly. As Gill and I were driving along and still finding no sign of the circle and indeed no chance of seeing it in the flat landscape, we feared that either we had passed it or that we would never find it. Suddenly in a field to our left we saw 2 people stand up briefly. We had found it but only because those people had momentarily stood up!!! Taylor and Drummond joined us on foot and we walked into the most delightful nine ringed circle. As I was walking in, I had a sense of music and knowing that numbers carry frequencies felt sure that this was what I was `hearing.` We conducted the tests in blistering heat. Gill who had had trouble walking down the tramline, strode out of the field without any problems. Thankful to reach the road after our perilous journey we went to the charming newly opened Honey Street Café, run and owned by a dedicated and hardworking young couple, Joe and Sophie. The Cafe lies in one of the most idyllic settings overlooking the river Kennet with the Alton Barnes chalk white horse visible as you drive in. The garden has beautifully manicured beds full of roses and sweetly smelling flowers of all descriptions. Comfortable wicker chairs are placed under the trees and on the lawns and the locally grown food cooked on the spot is delicious. We sat beside the river to recharge our energies and conduct the double control tests. However in order to achieve a proper test we need a minimum of seven people and sadly as there were only four of us, the results are not scientifically valid.
I sent a photograph of the circle to polymath Jim Lyons and was fascinated by his findings.
“However, this formation is far from simple since it embodies in a remarkable way the key numbers of Earth Energy patterns most certainly including Crop Circles. For some 20 years at least, the number of a circle, namely Pi -3.1415. is implicit in most formations. A second number Phi- 1.6180...the Golden Mean is very well known since it is present in all of Nature including the human form. What is relatively new is the presence of a now well established constant termed Delta –4.6692... the first number of Chaos. Since Nature is studied as a dynamic process, it is not surprising to find it appearing in the Crop Circle scenario. It is the key to understanding the most elusive aspect of the phenomenon namely- the conscious link.
After more discussion he goes on to say “All these numbers are identifiable within the diatonic music scale.” He ends by saying “The final point to make is that this formation in such a simple yet elegant form reveals to us the principles of the Crop Circle phenomenon we have uncovered in the last 20 years or so are fundamentally correct. The Cosmos is all One.”
As always I met many delightful people during the summer months who told me of their experiences. Sheila Richards’s experience was one of the most notable. In the morning on the day of the tour we visited the first of the three Hackpen circles to appear during the summer, lying between two copses and graciously opened to visitors by owners James and Gill Hussey. This formation lay to the east of Hackpen Hill and the wonderful chalk white horse.
As there were very few circles that we could visit, after lunch I gave the group the option of visiting West Kennett Long Barrow, the stones at Avebury or taking the long and arduous hike to the Ridgeway circle where we had conducted the earlier scientific tests. As it was again 32 degrees c, I expected most people to choose one of the easier options but no, two thirds of the group including Sheila Richards (despite her arthritis, opted for the circle. “My arthritis started some 10 years ago and tends to come and go in my system from time to time, strangely more of a virus than full blown arthritis. This year, with increased temperatures my knees tend to be more swollen and often ache. As a rule my remedy is the occasional use of over the counter pain killers, and believe it or not, exercise. So compared to some sufferers of arthritis I am at a low level.
“Needless to say, I did buy some pain killers on my way to our meeting on Wednesday, but didn't take any. Although my legs felt heavy and slightly painful walking towards the first crop circle, after sitting down and enjoying the relaxing environment, I was less aware of their existence...concluding that they were pain free. Although we had a distance to walk before reaching the second circle I felt easily able to walk that, and kept up a good pace, even though I had to return to my car and find something for one of the other passengers. In fact I was aware that the whole experience energised me.
“On waking the following morning at Jan's house, who lived locally, both Caroline and I felt energised and raring to go the following morning ......we decided to walk to the white horse from the car park near to the tea rooms. Looking down onto the valley from such a distance we could easily spot two other crop circles that had been hacked by the farmer. Afterwards we travelled onto Avebury and had an enjoyable time walking the stones.”
Another visitor to the Hackpen formation “First of all, thank you for the experience of the crop circles. And for your patience as I walked, the last to arrive, slowly but steadily. I did better than I thought I might. I feel fortunate to walk at all. Car accident broke three vertebrae in my back and all the bones in my pelvis. I am blessed to be upright!"
How can we explain these particular effects so often reported to me over the years?
It is known that the biochemical changes in the brain induced by 'hope' and 'anticipation' could be factors. That is to say, serotonin levels could rise with many other biochemical sub-factors. These effects can also be seen in visits to holy places and pilgrimages, where there may also be geomagnetic 'hot spots' as well as the amygdala (1) response to good thoughts and emotion in the brain. However this is a complex and not fully understood area of research.
The chemical serotonin known as ‘the happiness hormone` is a neurotransmitter found in the hippocampus which is a horseshoe shaped paired structure, with one hippocampus located in the left brain hemisphere and the other in the right hemisphere. Serotonin plays a key role in mood regulation. Drugs such as Prozac alter serotonin levels and are used in treating depression and generalized anxiety disorder. The hormone Serotonin is also found in the digestive tract, the central nervous system, blood platelets and the pineal gland (deep at the centre of the brain). According to Bristol University in England, serotonin is involved in: appetite, sleep, memory. Serotonin also plays a key role in regulating learning and temperature.
Yet another Hackpen report from someone sitting next to me who suddenly said “Everywhere is pink light. I felt a kind of healing/very inspirational.” She was not the only one “Vision of coloured light/pale pink while in the circle. During mediation, felt wonderful afterwards, felt high, happy and in joyful mood.”
Further reports stemming from the Hackpen visit: “The morning of our adventure I went into a very deep meditation. I was out there for about 40 minutes. When I came back I couldn't speak. I could only observe. Finally I could sit in the edge of the bed. When asked if I was OK I could barely reply, "I don't know." I managed to dress and go down for breakfast. I ate some oatmeal and drank hot tea. I began to come fully back into my body. After a few minutes I felt whole."
“When I stepped into the circle later I was hit with a powerful blast of energy. I heard my friend's voice say, “It’s not about the energy". He is the person who got me interested. He and friends come every summer. I feel the circles are triggers. They open gateways to other levels of consciousness. I have returned changed. I've been in process. Re-entry has been bumpy. “
And “Very emotional, wanting to cry but not sad.” The lady told me later that as she stood in the centre of the circle, she was so overcome with emotion that she couldn’t speak to anyone. When she got home that night, she couldn’t stop crying; she felt it was some sort of emotional release from some unknown event. I do believe that the circles can have a beneficial cathartic effect. A far more rapid and effective treatment than visiting a psychiatrist!
As so often happens, the circles increase not only in number but is complexity as the season progresses and 2013 was no exception. Two formations appeared at Etchilhampton, near Devises. Etchilhampton is an area that has welcomed circles over the years.
Apart from some Roman pottery found on Etchilhampton Hill no archaeological finds or sites have been discovered within the parish. Edward of Salisbury held Etchilhampton in 1086. (fn. 17) Part of it passed to his son, Walter of Salisbury, and descended with the earldom of Salisbury.
In the late 11th century part of the manor of Etchilhampton passed after Edward of Salisbury's death to his daughter Maud, the wife of Humphrey de Bohun, and descended in the Bohun family until the time of Humphrey de Bohun (d. by 1166). (fn. 40) It was held of the Bohuns in the early 12th century by Ilbert de Chaz who alienated it to Monkton Farleigh Priory. (2)
Having flown over the circle, I drove straight down to visit it. As soon as I arrived I decided to bury a control sample of water as I was walking along the lane bordering the field. I was digging the hole when someone came up to me and asked me what I was doing. I explained and he then said “I am a croppie virgin, please can you tell me what to do?” We chatted and I suggested he walk to the circle with me. I told him that just as always try and remember to ask permission before going up to a standing stone, so I try to do the same with certain circles as soon as I enter their electromagnetic field/aura which we can detect by rods, pendulums, hands, eyes or even heads. The latter is not recommended as recounted earlier to my cost!!
As we were chatting he asked quietly “Do you think I might find myself?” What a lovely question. This was not an idle enquiry as crop circles can have the most remarkable effect on people as my data base of over 800 reports can testify. I suggested that he should walk round the circle until he found HIS spot, then sit quietly and see what happened. I was happy to dowse for this if he had a problem. My hands started to tingle as we neared the circle and so did my new friend’s.
Several people were already in the circle and when I asked them how long they had been there they told me that they had been there for some time and indeed had seen the helicopter flying over them. I was able to show them pictures of themselves in the circle!!! They kindly helped me bury my bottles. Whilst conducting this research, my new friend came rushing up to say he had found a spot which had had a most strange effect on him. He recounted how the hairs on his arm were standing straight up and that his head felt as though it would burst. A good place to bury a bottle? We all hurried over to his spot and indeed the hairs on his arms WERE standing up as though he was full of static electricity or scared to death! Certainly it wasn’t the latter as he was full of excitement and wonder at this effect and what was happening to him. Sadly I never took his address or telephone number in order to follow this up.
I try and follow up as many cases as possible and one that stands out above all others is the effect experienced by Steve Meredith when visiting the `Humming Bird` crop circle that had appeared on the 2nd July at Milk Hill, Stanton St Bernard in 2009, after which visit the terrible pain in this neck due to a bad water skiing accident when young, was cured. Frequently effects seem to be of a temporary nature so this one is unusual. I regularly keep in touch with Steve and when I telephoned him 2 weeks ago, his neck was still free of pain and he was keen to know if others had experienced long standing benefits. (3)
Indeed this experience raises the question of how many other people have experienced permanent cures as a result of visiting the circles. I am hugely indebted to everyone who kindly takes the time and trouble to complete what may seem rather long and pointless questionnaires. I can assure you that all the questions are relevant and no matter how small an effect may seem to you, it might be of great importance to my research. So please continue to send me to get in touch with me by any means that is easiest for you such as emails, letters, telephone calls etc. Without your help the research would not be able to progress.
I am going to finish with a strange story sent to me by dedicated and long-time crop circle researcher, Barbara Lamb. A young man who was disturbed by what had happened to him one night at Avebury was directed to Barbara who wrote telling me. “ ------ was referring to the young man who was brought over to me, in front of the Red Lion Inn in Avebury, to talk about the amazing experience he had had there previous night: of camping with a friend and the friend's father on the ground somewhere fairly near Avebury...just a field somewhere, not even a campground. They went to sleep close together, but he woke up in the middle of the night, on the other side of the fence nearby and at least 20 feet away, totally baffled about how he had gotten there and why. He knew he hadn't climbed the fence, because it was made with barbed wire and he had no scratches on his skin or clothes. The other two people were totally unaware of his having gotten up and having managed to get on the other side of the fence. He felt strange, and disoriented."
“He hadn't known anything about that phenomenon, and wanted to know more. I regret that I did not write down his name and contact information, but I do think he lives in the Midlands.”
In addition he was perplexed to find that he was carrying his jacket so neatly folded it looked as though it could have just been bought new from a shop.
Over the years many groups have come and gone and it is with great sadness that we learn that the WCCSG is disbanding. Soon after the CCCS (Centre for Crop Circle Studies) was founded in 1990, many allied sub groups were set up all over the UK and abroad. One by one these groups have disappeared except for The London Centre for Crop Circle Studies group that started in about 1998 and has since been renamed, Histories, Mysteries and Spiritual Quest in 2005, when the CCCS closed down.
Abroad, the only original group is the (Canadian Crop Circle Research Network (CCCRN)), founded in 1995 by Paul Anderson.
The Wiltshire group also established in 1995, despite changing its name and widening its aims in order to obtain charitable status, became the last remaining group still active in this country under the leadership of Francine Blake, the original group founder. Just as groups vanished so too did the crop circle magazines such as the original Cerealogist, the Circular and SC (Sussex Circular), all apart from WCCSG’s excellent Spiral publication which has kept people abreast of crop circle information and environmental issues over several decades. Running a group is an arduous job and depends on people who are willing and able to help. There have been many such wonderful people associated with the WCCSG but as so often happens, there comes a time when there are no longer enough volunteers who have the time and energy to allow them to continue. The WCCSG has contributed greatly to the subject so they will leave a gaping hole and will be hugely missed. I wish them every success with their final Conference to be held at Marlborough College the week-end of the 5-6th July 2014. It is one of the friendliest and happiest conferences of the summer with marvellous speakers, workshops and tours. I will certainly be there to wish them every possible luck.
My grateful thanks to all the farmers who allow visitors on to their land in particular James and Gill Hussey.
Finally my grateful thanks to Marion Simmonds who enters the questionnaires on to my data base and to Andy Potter whose understanding of the technical aspects and vagaries of my web site continues to be parallel to none.
The amygdala is an almond shaped mass of nuclei located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain. It is a limbic system structure that is involved in many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival. The amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions such as fear, anger and pleasure. The amygdala is also responsible for determining what memories are stored and where the memories are stored in the brain. It is thought that this determination is based on how huge an emotional response an event invokes.
2 'Parishes: Etchilhampton', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 10 (1975), pp. 71-77.