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Crop circles

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Norman Castle
748359.  Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:27 pm Reply with quote

On tonight's show Mr Fry said that crop circles are a recent phenomenon, dating back only to the nineteen seventies or eighties. He is not correct. The earliest known reference is in a pamphlet from 1678 depicting the "mowing devil" of Hartford-shire.

http://webecoist.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/cropcircles1.jpg

As for that pair he referred to (not the guests who made the QI circle) who claim to have invented them, why should we trust their story. Why should we believe anyone who claims to be a liar? Perhaps they are making up the story to gain publicity and money. Obviously, they did not invent the phenomenon, as they claim. I think they are exaggerating their accomplishments at least.

To be clear, I think that most circles are man made. Anything more complex than a simple circle is a definite fake. I don't think that any are made by aliens or devils. But maybe a few are naturally occurring, made by unusual weather, or something. It is at least plausible.

 
Sadurian Mike
748363.  Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:37 pm Reply with quote

Norman Castle wrote:
As for that pair he referred to (not the guests who made the QI circle) who claim to have invented them, why should we trust their story. Why should we believe anyone who claims to be a liar? Perhaps they are making up the story to gain publicity and money. Obviously, they did not invent the phenomenon, as they claim. I think they are exaggerating their accomplishments at least.


Brian: I'm not the messiah, would you please listen. I'm not the messiah, do you understand? Honestly!
Follower: Only the true messiah denies his divinity.
Brian: What? Well what sort of chance does that give me? All right, I am the messiah.
Followers: He is! He is the messiah!

 
dr bartolo
748439.  Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:55 am Reply with quote

welll... that infamous mowing devil thing... the crop was mowed i.e, cut, not set/trampled down, as with the modern ones

 
gruff5
748473.  Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:43 am Reply with quote

i think crop circles are fascinating, however they are caused. If they are created by "hoaxsters" - well, that is amazing in itself. That they can create such well-made complexity, at night, in a few hours, and NEVER be caught doing it. And for no direct gain. And year after year........

 
RLDavies
748526.  Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:42 am Reply with quote

Crop circles in the modern sense (plants bent down) are a recent phenomenon. But there are weird crop-related incidents, like the "mowing devil", going back a lot further. A few include reports of unexplained lights in the sky or over the field.

The Fortean Times had a good article about crop circles in a recent issue, from which I remembered the foregoing. But I can't lay hands on it right now.

 
kanefer
749068.  Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:13 am Reply with quote

I went on holiday recently and stayed at a lovely B and B - the couple renting us the room had a marvelous picture of a crop circle on the wall that they had taken.

The chap who owned the house talked to me about it and when I showed an interested brought back a whole family album of crop circle pictures that he had taken.

I talked about circlemakers.org and how these guys had been making them for years - He then rubbished the idea that they could be man made and he was such a nice guy I couldn't go after him about it the way I would normally. When I pressed him what he thought had made them if it wasn't mankind he admitted he thought it was done by Angels.

 
RLDavies
749084.  Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:55 am Reply with quote

I forgot to mention... In Graeco-Roman times, people believed ill-disposed witches and wizards could do various types of harm. But one of the main things they were worried about was that a wizard could steal a whole crop by moving it from its field into his own lands.

That's got to beat a circle any day.

 
dr bartolo
750275.  Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:13 am Reply with quote

there is a word from the gahnan tounge of bwil, which is
zakoosirlk- a sorcerer who transfers the crops of his neighbour's feild to his own by magical means
go figure

 
MatC
808674.  Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:05 am Reply with quote

Quote:
In July 1880, the English solicitor and amateur astronomer and spectroscopist John Rand Capron (1829-1888) published a letter in Nature reporting on an unprecedented disturbance of fields in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey. For its historical value, it is worth repeating the piece in full:

"The storms about this part of Surrey have been lately local and violent, and the effects produced in some instances curious. Visiting a neighbour's farm on Wednesday evening (21st), we found a field of standing wheat considerably knocked about, not as an entirety, but in patches forming, as viewed from a distance, circular spots. Examined more closely, these all presented much the same character, viz., a few standing stalks as a centre, some prostrate stalks with their heads arranged pretty evenly in a direction forming a circle round the centre, and outside these a circular wall of stalks which had not suffered. I send a sketch made on the spot, giving an idea of the most perfect of these patches. The soil is a sandy loam upon the greensand, and the crop is vigorous, with strong stems, and I could not trace locally any circumstances accounting for the peculiar forms of the patches in the field, nor indicating whether it was wind or rain, or both combined, which had caused them, beyond the general evidence everywhere of heavy rainfall. They were to me suggestive of some cyclonic wind action, and may perhaps have been noticed elsewhere by some of your readers."

S: Fortean Times 275

 
Spud McLaren
808703.  Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:30 am Reply with quote

Not crop circles, but the reference to the lights seen over the fields reminded me of this. There are plenty of reports to be read by googling "Longdendale lights"

 
RLDavies
808715.  Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:05 am Reply with quote

It won't be news to readers of The Golden Bough, but this letter in the new issue of Fortean Times reminded me of the ancient belief in crop spirits and "things" in the fields.
Quote:
Theo Paijmans' article on "Those Damned Invisible Things" (FT 269) brought to mind tales of the "field spirit" or "spirit of vegetation", a nearly worldwide belief system in which it was thought that the personification of the growing crop dwells in, and guards, the field throughout the growing season.

This spirit, it was said, would manifest in a number of different animal forms, and evidence for its existence could be seen in the way in which the wind would set the crops into waving motion. Various epithets such as "the Cat sits there", "the Steer is running in the corn", "the Goats are chasing each other", "there runs the Horse", "the Boar is rushing through the corn", "the Mad Dog is in the corn", "or "the Wolf sits in the corn and will tear you in pieces" were all meant to dissuade the unwary (especially children) from running afoul of the Corn-Cock, Corn-Cat, Corn-Steer, Oats-Goat, Oats-Stallion, Rye-Boar, Rye-Dog, Rye-Wolf, or any other variation of crop animal, which would "get" them if they ventured too close. (Sir James Frazier, The Golden Bough)

The dangers of encountering the field spirit were perhaps best demonstrated in Silesia where, in a certain harvesting-festival custom, the reaper who had cut the last stalk of the season was arrayed in rye stalks and given a long plaited tail. Called the "tomcat", he was sometimes joined by a second man who was similarly attired and called the "she-cat". Thus costumed, and mimicking the spirit(s) of the field, they were charged with giving chase to anyone they could catch and thrashing them with a long stick.

The potential violence that these invisible spirits could dole out on the unsuspecting child or farmer seems eerily in keeping with the kamaitachi reports from Gifu prefecture, or the thing that Dennis Sullivan encountered on his farm in Brookville, Kansas ("...when he entered the field he noticed a movement in the grass, as of some animal"). Perhaps it's not that these stories were, ahem, "planted" as promotional pieces to gauge public reaction to a particular topic, as Mr Paijmans briefly wonders, but that they were always there among the wind-blown crops, waiting for someone to rediscover them.

Trevor Ouellette
North Bay, Ontario

 
nicholasjwest
809207.  Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:38 pm Reply with quote

My father's getting a bald spot on his head. Either that or he's going bald. I know which one I'm betting on...

 
Bondee
809375.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:27 am Reply with quote

I'd bet on the latter following the former.

 
Posital
809410.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:46 am Reply with quote

I went to Avebury one summer... there were more crop circles than you could shake a stick at. Even found a fresh one... but here's a nice panoramic from the day...

http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/4536/panavebury130703.jpg

 
Ion Zone
813406.  Wed May 04, 2011 3:45 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
This spirit, it was said, would manifest in a number of different animal forms,


They have these kinds of stories in Japan.

 

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