MICHAEL MILEY is a contributing editor to ‘UFO Magazine’ (USA version) and gives his first impressions of a UK circle conference. The event in question? - the CCCS convention which recently took place in Andover from 20-22 July…
I’ve mastered the Tube in London, but not the challenge of driving its streets or getting out of town on a Friday afternoon. (Picture a frantic motorist from California, tortured by London’s streets and traffic, inching his way toward the M3 motorway.) Hence, I was three hours late for the CCCS 2001 Convention, held, as announced, in Andover, Hampshire. I missed Nick Kollestrom’s talk on the geometry of the circles, as well as Ed Sherwood’s talk on BOLs. I arrived in time for Ron Jonah Ohayv’s plaintive plea for cross-disciplinary research and a humbler, more cooperative spirit among croppies and researchers. He posed some pertinent questions. How can one give something back to the whole phenomenon as individuals or, especially, in various groups? What questions might we pose to the true circle makers? What holes in our understanding or experience of the circles might we want filled?
On my way back through Andover that night, returning to my B&B, the only kind of circles I wished to understand better were the roundabouts of England’s roads. No matter how studiously I study my maps, I’ve been getting lost since the moment I’d left the rental garage. That night was no exception. It took me 30 minutes to find my way back. For the next two days I’d repeat my errors, in both directions.
Rather than plod my way through every speaker at the CCCS conference, both good and bad, let me just give a few highlights. Jazz Rasool’s talk stood out on Saturday morning as an a extended scientific theory of the implications of the circles, a rather scary linkage of sunspot cycles, global warming and atmospheric degradation, loosely tied to a urgent paean for human spiritual transformation before it’s too late. While his talk was ecologically PC (even in keeping with my own environmental musings on the subject), I found myself wondering why such harbingers of doom – apparently the circles themselves - were so beautiful, capable of bringing such delight and so chock-a-block with paranormal happenings. Any theory has to account for those elements too.
After lunch, Andy Thomas took aim at some of the 80%-20% pronouncements on the percentages of hoaxed versus real UK circles, made a year before at the 2000 CCCS Crop Convention. In a speech that rocked between the absurd and the surd (he joked that “flying pineapples” have been seen making circles, a spoof he borrowed from Michael Glickman), he took aim at theories of crop circle creation that lack proper evidence, arguing point by point against the ‘data’ that people like Colin Andrews, hoaxers, and sceptics have variously put forward to debunk most or all of the phenomenon. He ended with a passionate plea to return to what everyone felt in the earlier days of cerealogy - to not let such people steal our joy at the mystery of the circles.
In the afternoon, Chris Everard of The Enigma Channel showed video excerpts from tapes of luminosities, aerial creatures, rods and UFOs seen over London, Scotland, and elsewhere in the UK. Brian McPhee’s videotapes showing UFOs over Scotland were a big portion of Everard’s presentation and are available on his website. He also presented an analysis of the Oliver’s Castle video that showed unnoticed BOLs in the background, lending support to the notion that the video is not hoaxed but genuine.
In the evening, George Bishop gave some thoughtful ruminations on where we’ve come to in crop circle research. He urged people to question everything, to look at crop circles and their research in different ways, to not be bound by assumptions, and to consider the unknown intelligence that’s playing with us as if we were a household pet. Referring to the fairies, goblins, and Good People of Celtic lore, he urged us to start thinking about other dimensions as sources for the circles.
Lucy Pringle kicked off the Sunday talks with intriguing stories of strange anomalies, as told by many visitors to the circles. As recounted in her recent book ‘Crop Circles: The Greatest Mystery of Modern Times’, these experiences range through the senses, from things seen and heard in crop circles (BOLs and high-pitched sounds) to anomalous healings, visions, and other life-transforming events. Some of the more unusual experiences included Ron Russell’s ‘time-shifts’, as well as reports of women’s menstrual cycles being affected, showing that the power of the circles even extends to affecting the hormonal levels in women.
Later on, Simeon Hein walked a fine line between his stated belief in a genuine phenomenon and ongoing research into man-made circles. He reported that he and a team of four others from Midwest Research, along with Peter Sorensen, had just made three circles in the UK using stomping boards, with the intention of finding out what effects appear in the circles from the increased coherency of organized crop. He then outlined a theory of “quantum resonance”, where a combination of coherent crop and human attention is meant to account for the effects found in circles.
After lunch, Bert Janssen showed excerpts from his and Janet Ossebaard’s recent film on the luminosities seen in or near crop circles. Part of the film focused on the work of Dr Eltjo Haselhoff, an extension of BLT’s research into electromagnetic effects that can be detected in the nodes of plants in crop circles. These effects are in accord with the Beer-Lambert principle that describes a decreasing linear curve from the epicenters of circles to their periphery. Haselhoff’s research into light distribution, analogous to that of a light bulb, supports the thesis that it’s the BOLs that are creating the crop circles.
Jim Lyons, CCCS’s director of scientific research, wound up the conference with a rapid-fire presentation on the physical and energetic conditions in operation in the UK countryside that might contribute to the creation of crop circles, including chalk aquifers and geopathic stress. A dizzy array of scientific principles were used to account for crop circles, including quantum non-locality, the Bose-Einstein condensation principle, cymatics (describing the effects of sound patterns on timpani drums), fractal mathematics and interference patterns, diatonic ratios and the Fibonacci series, trefoil knot topology, Stromboli Smoke Rings, and something called the ‘Constant of Nineveh’ that “describes all the things that galaxies do.” Lyons had 40 minutes for his talk and he needed three days.
The conference was a mixture of hard-nosed scientific approaches, field research, film documentation, and explorations into the paranormal - an eclectic mix that alternately seemed unfocused and fascinating. The schedule was juggled and some speakers on the roster never showed up, while others unbilled took their place. Anyone who’s ever organized a conference knows what an effort it is to pull it together, so a certain tolerance for such surprises was called for.
As an American who’s never attended a CCCS conference before, I was glad to meet some of the people I’ve read about for years. Though I was distressed at the obvious undercurrents of discord and rancor that are endemic these days in crop circle research, I took heart at the pleas of some of the speakers that we should all pull together to further cerealogy. Unfortunately, while the spirit seems willing, the flesh seems weak. Perhaps a typical speakers’ conference isn’t the way to handle this problem. Rather, I think, the time has come for a new type of conference, perhaps organized around the principles of David Bohm, where dialog and sharing are the predominant modes. It might go a long way toward healing the wounds in the crop circle community.
[Michael Miley is a contributing editor to UFO Magazine in the US. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org]