PAUL ANDERSON, director of the Canadian Crop Circle Research Network, outlines some of the work being undertaken in amongst the proliferating crop formations of his home continent…
I started my own research into the circles back around 1989 or so when I first heard about them and have been hooked ever since. The work that we have done here in Canada has increasingly shown that there is a real phenomenon. We have documented formations, in numbers comparable to other countries such as the US, Germany and Holland, since the late 1980s, but also have formations on record going back much farther (indeed, in just the last few weeks I've talked to a couple farmers who recounted seeing simple circles on their families' farms on the prairies in the 1950s or earlier, long before anyone had heard of crop circles or Doug and Dave!).
I think it is important for people to remember that this is a global phenomenon. While the formations in Canada have still tended to be simpler circles and basic geometric patterns, they are very widespread as we now know, being reported in virtually every province except in higher northern latitudes. Saskatchewan, in the heart of the prairies, is the Canadian equivalent of Wiltshire, with the highest concentration of formations (about 80 - 90% on average). They have been found in almost everything possible - wheat, barley, pasture grasses, cattle corn (up to 10' tall!), blueberry plants and even ice (the 'ice circles' are a whole other hotly debated subject in themselves).
Some of the best physical evidence to date has come from Canadian formations (we have worked with the BLT Research Team for several years now). Many formations, including geometric ones, have had stretched/ruptured nodes, sometimes massively; compass deviations have been recorded in some formations; cameras and video cameras have failed to work properly in some circles; dogs and other pets have acted agitated around some formations and so on. The majority of circles are in tramline-less fields and exhibit beautiful, clean, crisp lay patterns, sometimes fairly complex with up to several interlocking layers. All of which brings me to the conclusion that even if our formations aren't as elaborate - so what? They are part of the phenomenon. It is this kind of evidence that keeps me continuing to pursue this; there is indeed something going on in our fields!
We have also had an increase in media coverage of the phenomenon, most of it balanced for the most part, the last two or three years in particular, after a large drop in interest from the Doug and Dave fiasco in 1991 (no surprise, the media here bought that as the final explanation just like they did everywhere else). Our network is also growing, with more people volunteering as coordinators and field research assistants every year. It is heartening to see that there is still much interest in what is going on - not everyone believes the lies being perpetrated by the likes of so-called hoaxers (for the record, I do think there is a human/hoaxing element involved to some debatable extent, but that is by no means the final answer! While hoaxing may have muddied the waters, it does not take away from the reality of the phenomenon itself). Even the great majority of farmers here are very helpful and open-minded. A few have even said they were excited to find formations in their fields, having wanted to see one for themselves, which brings me to a final point - who or whatever is behind these does seem to interact with people on some level, as off-the-wall as that may sound to some. I can think of a number of experiences that farmers and researchers here have had that suggest that, even myself having had premonitions of some formations and many, many bizarre synchronicities connected with all this. The mystery only continues to get more interesting.
For those interested in finding out more about CCCRN and crop circles in Canada, please see our web site: