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A mixture of condemnation and praise has greeted the making of three man-made formations near Calne, Wiltshire, by the US-based Midwest Research team…

There are some who feel the only way to tackle the thorny issue of how good man-made circles can be is to actually make some. Others see it as more profound than that and believe that the act of creating patterns in corn actually stirs hidden power sources…

Objectors, of course, see human circlemaking by researchers as abominable betrayal and an unnecessary confusion in an already muddled arena.

It is the two former justifications which spurred on the Midwest Research group, led by Ron Russell, Peter Sorensen and Dr Simeon Hein, to create three man-made formations - with paid permission of the farmer – at Highway Farm, Hilmarton, near Calne on July 21st (Crop Circle Connector has it down as Witcomb Farm). With the use of two ‘stomper-boards’ and the helping hands of some of Ron Russell’s tour group (including two women in their 70s!), two formations were made in daylight, but a much larger 300’ design took them beyond the hours of dusk and into darkness.

The first public announcement of this was made by Simeon Hein at the Centre for Crop Circle Studies conference at Andover on Sunday 22nd July, where he proudly held aloft one of the stomper boards used, to scientific nods of approval from some and disgruntled tuts from others. An e-mail announcement was made by Peter the same day. Simeon stated that he in no way believed all circles were man-made, but that creating formations was the only way to find out how they might differ from those which remain unexplained. He also believes that creating crop formations helps gather energy through what he describes as “quasi-crystalline technology” and that measurements of such energies would be monitored at the test site. No, we don’t know what this means either.

After his presentation, Simeon stated to Swirled News that there were no plans for further such experiments this summer, but, less responsibly, he had already encouraged everyone present at the lecture to all go out and make their own formations, which understandably stimulated choking apoplexy in some listeners, though he did add that permission should be sought.

The value of the experiment remains to be seen. The formations, though the larger one is neat, are not that impressive (Peter refers to “a disastrous attempt to replicate the basket weave” in one of the patterns), but are not intended to fool anyone. ‘Paranormal’ effects in and around the patterns and developing anomalies in the crop will be watched for in the coming weeks.

While some believe this is a brave attempt at scientific investigation, others point out that such experiments have been made before and that little more will be learned this time. Others still wonder about the morality of bringing over US tourists to look at the English crop circles, only to wind up having them make some instead. Was this advertised in Midwest Research’s promotional blurb..?

Though many see this experiment as a disastrous encouragement to more people to go out and make their own formations, thus muddying the waters of clear investigation even further, there could be one interesting effect from all this. The more open and non-criminal ventures such as this which are mounted, however dubiously to some, the more the thunder could be stolen from those seen as ‘hoaxers’ – what would be the point of their continuing murky activities if human circlemaking were to eventually become an above-board and legal act combining both art and science?

A thought to ponder.



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