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UN-FORTEAN TIMES - 12/06/2001

Paul Vigay responds to the recent Fortean Times debunking effort…

I've just read the article on your site about Michael Glickman being picked on in ‘Fortean Times’. Although I've not always agreed with Michael on a number of opinions, I've always respected him for being one of the masters at geometry etc. I also don't like it when people get picked on through incorrect evidence. Whilst if people come out with far-fetched ideas (which Michael does at times), having gone out and bought a copy of Fortean Times, I must say that I side with Michael in this instance.

There are a number of inaccuracies as well in the article. For instance, I don't believe Julian Richardson made the Bythorn formation [Cambridgeshire, 1993]. AFTER the 'inquest' at Montague Keen’s house, the CCCS had another meeting to discuss the issue (at Michael Green's house) and I was a council member of the CCCS at the time. Having seen how Richardson claimed to have made the formation, I would say that it was mathematically
IMPOSSIBLE to make it THE WAY HE CLAIMED. I'm not saying that it wasn't hoaxed, but just that it cannot have been made the way he claimed it, which tends to put doubt on everything else he claimed.

I also found discrepancies in the photos he allegedly took on the day before, so I remain doubtful that he made it.

I've got my original article online at The JPEG with my yellow line overlays will demonstrate that you HAD to have had TWO radii to create the circles. Richardson reckoned that ALL circles were the same diameter. Considering there was some 8-9 foot discrepancy, I can't see how you would get that amount of error on a single length.

The other thing I have a problem with is the claim by John Lundberg that they made the Avebury 'optical illusion' formation that The Daily Mail sponsored in 1999. I could talk for a couple of hours on why I don't think they made it; it was quite a controversial case and I looked into it in quite a bit of detail. Suffice to say, the trail got quite intriguing and could point to a bigger conspiracy (ie. the article traces to one Graham Broughton, who wrote the original Doug and Dave ‘Today’ article...) and the woman credited in the paper couldn't be contacted. Also there is NO five bar gate to that field, which they claimed to have climbed over, plus Chad Deetken was there with his wife until gone midnight (they claim to have entered the field at 11.30pm) and Chad saw absolutely nothing, despite watching the field.

Personally I would speculate that they made another formation and subsequently tried to imply that it was the big one opposite the Red Lion pub. Personally I think it was the one that not many people knew about, which I've got listed in my web site database at (there is a picture available, which shows it in relation to the other one). It's not a very big picture, but I think highlights the formation quite well. If they made the small one, they could have thus claimed it was the big one, not forgetting that the paper came out after the formation, thus there was no 100% proof that they did in fact make that one.

I do think that ALL researchers ought to work together more in order to dismiss the claims and counter-claims that the hoaxers make. It annoys me that they get so much media attention and TV play, when serious research is often overlooked or dismissed etc.

Don't forget also that Rob Irving [alleged circlemaker] is friends with Bob Rickard, editor of Fortean Times, and he also works as a freelance sub-editor for FT. That could put more light on the bias of FT.

PAUL VIGAY, Crop Circle


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