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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Jun > Jun 18

Close Encounters Of The Circular Kind

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose@privat.dk>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 06:03:54 +0200
Fwd Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 09:29:08 -0400
Subject: Close Encounters Of The Circular Kind

Source: LaCrosse Tribune (LaCrosse, Wisconsin),




Last updated on Mon Jun 17 16:30:55 CDT 2002

Close encounters of the circular kind

Knight Ridder Newspapers


TOWN OF PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. - Gene Large wasn't sure what to
make of it when he walked out of his farmhouse the morning of
July 11, 1998, and discovered a mysterious, two-acre circle
formation in his wheat field.

At first, said 65-year-old Large, "I thought it was some kids in
their four-wheelers" who flattened his crop.

But the more he thought about it, Large wasn't so sure.

"There were no tracks anywhere. And, besides, how the hell did
they make such perfect circles?" he said.

Hundreds of crop circles - often incredibly complex geometric
formations usually found in fields of grain - are reported
worldwide every year. And interest in them may grow this summer
with the Aug. 2 release of "Signs," a movie directed by M. Night
Shyamalan and starring Mel Gibson as a Pennsylvania farmer who
finds alien-created crop circles in his corn field.

Are they proof we're not alone, the calling card of a worldwide
hoax or, as the Ozaukee Sheriff's Department concluded in Port
Washington, just the work of some nocturnal vandals? When it
comes to crop circles, theorists exist for any conspiracy.

Large harvested his wheat within days of finding the formation,
and he and his wife, Shirley, went on with their lives. The
circles received no media attention.

But aerial photos taken by Large's neighbor made their way onto
the Internet - stirring interest among the true believers,
researchers who call themselves cerealogists (after the Roman
goddess of vegetation, Ceres).

"I was amazed by it," said one investigator, Thom Reed, of
McHenry, Ill., who studied the site after it had been harvested
and posted a report on the Internet. His report concludes they
were made by "interdimensional intelligences."

Kim Sherwood, of Santa Monica, Calif., thinks the Port
Washington crop circles are "genuine" - that is, not man-made.

"The fact it has no walk lines is a very good sign. It's very
clean, neatly done and contains visually similar characteristics
to other crop circles," said Sherwood, who researches crop
circles with her husband, Ed, and viewed pictures of the crop
circles on the Internet.

Sherwood believes crop circles are caused by a "global
poltergeist, a psycho-interactive phenomenon of collective
consciousness and infinite intelligence that points to a form of
divine intervention, if you like. What some people may call

Stephen J. Smith, a Vermont "amateur composer" who died last
year, found the Port Washington collection of circles to have
the proper "diatonic" ratios to each other to create three-to-
five-note musical scales.

Smith composed and recorded music based on it and another crop
circle found near Wausau in 1997, which he said generated a
five- note scale, as well as on two crop circles in England.

Another believer was so intrigued by the Large circles that he
traveled to the site to take soil samples.

According to Casey Holt, of Minnesota, the samples contained a
higher-than-normal concentration of spherical iron particles, 20
to 50 microns in diameter - typical of "genuine" sites, he wrote
in an e-mail to a reporter.

That indicates "there was a kind of electromagnetic energy
present at the site."

Some wheat stalks appeared to have been exposed to heat, and the
circles were not perfectly round but slightly oval, which would
be consistent with the belief that they were created by a "beam"
or "ray" emitted from a craft hovering at an angle above the
site, he said.

Crop circle connoisseurs of another stripe have a different
observation: Two people could have made them in about an hour.

"It's competent, but not that impressive," said John Lundberg,
33, one of a three-member group known as "The Circlemakers" in
England who claim to have made hundreds of crop formations over
the last decade. He viewed the Port Washington circles on the
Internet and e- mailed a reporter and called it "a very simple

As crop circles go, the approximately 230-by-210-foot Port
Washington formation is dwarfed by most British crop circles,
some of which are more than 800 feet in diameter and contain
hundreds of individual circles.

Skeptics say crop circles are the product of people such as
Lundberg and Wil Russel, commonly known as "hoaxers," an
appellation scorned by circle-makers.

"I'm not a hoaxer, I'm a circle-maker," said Russel, one of
Lundberg's partners. "Hoaxing is an activity to deceive by
making fun of someone. That's not what I do. I make art, which
stimulates a reaction from everyone who sees it."

The most famous, and some say first, circle-makers were Britons
Doug Bower and David Chorley who, in 1991, said they made about 250
circles over the previous two decades.

Others, like Lundberg and Russel, have taken up the cause. Their
Web site offers, among other things, instructions on how to make a
crop circle.

If every crop circle were man-made, where would the mystery be?

So Lundberg and Russel don't claim that to be the case.

"I believe there is something else at work, but I am not sure
what," Russel wrote.

Some people serious about the subject have no time for circle-
makers or alien buffs.

The circle-makers, said Nancy Talbot, "get in the way of our work."

Talbot heads a group called BLT Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass.,
and oversees a network of nearly 700 volunteers who investigate
crop circle reports. Talbot also helps finance scientific research
on the subject.

She also complained about "all the UFO talk" that has "scared off
many legitimate scientists" and dried up most funding sources for
scientific research.

A deputy investigating the site believed the wheat was flattened by
vandals riding all-terrain vehicles, according to the incident

But Sheriff Maury Straub viewed the crop circles from a plane flown
by a neighbor of the Larges. He said it's more likely that someone
walked into the field and flattened it using boards and ropes,
moving about in circular patterns - a technique described on
Internet sites.

That explanation didn't fly with Reed - the visitor to the site
from Illinois - who talked to Straub on the phone. He said the
sheriff was "tight- lipped about the formation" and it "seemed like
Straub was in a hurry to finish the conversation."

Straub remembers that chat.

"Yeah, a big cover-up and all that nonsense. And you can quote me.

There's absolutely no validity to that," Straub said.

Still, Shirley Large isn't so sure.

The night before the circles were discovered, Shirley and the
family's dog, home alone while Gene was at work in Saukville, felt
something ominous.

"The dog was strange that night and would hide behind the chair,"
she said. "I got kind of scared and pulled down the shades and
closed the drapes. I even put a towel over the front-door window.

"I didn't hear or see anything. It was just a feeling."

Now, Shirley said, she's a "firm believer in UFOs."

"But I don't know how they were made," she said. "I can't figure it


Copyright =A9 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002 The La Crosse
Tribune. All rights reserved.

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