Following our recent story on the circle debunking TV programme which went out on US television in the autumn, CAROL PEDERSEN gives a more detailed account of its content and records her subsequent, and strange, communications with the National Geographic Channel - who deny all knowledge of the show, despite the fact that it was clearly broadcast by them..!
I have now seen the tape of the National Geographic programme, thanks to Doug Rogers, and I agree with his thoughts on it [see previous Swirled News story, November 2001] and have some of my own. I don't know which people behind the scenes were responsible for putting it out, but it was only two days after October 31st and whoever did it chose and prepared a ‘Halloween’ set for the purpose of perpetrating mischief and deception.
The whole production was a gross misrepresentation and I think knowingly done to put forth the premise that all the circles are man-made. To make it seem like the programme was ‘open minded’, they occasionally put in that the circles are found world-wide and other miniscule disclaimers which still allowed for one or two that might – but not really! - come from aliens. They obviously wanted specifically for people to not think there was any possible alien connection because they dwelled on that, not saying anything about the years of laboratory research and results on the crops themselves nor allowing for any other unknown source. Why the big problem with a possible alien connection?
The first thing the viewer sees on the screen is ‘Night Fright’ in ghoulish dripping giant-sized lettering (a specific reference, I think, to the fact most circles are made at night, but this is intended to make the event seem fearful and humorous at the same time) and then the studio comes into view with many lighted candles and pumpkins all over the set and the two hosts, one in black and white and the other in autumn leaves. They set the mood by saying their "special correspondent Chris Packham" (whoever he is - some guy whose intelligence about the circles makes it obvious they got him out of a cave) doesn't think there is anything mysterious about the circles and he is going to "harvest a solution" on this show. Throughout the show, eerie, ghostly and freaky music and tense sceptical debunker commentary by ‘Chris’ demean the subject. The photography is spooky as well. Whenever a ground shot of ‘Chris’ in or near a flattened area is shown, the viewer never gets to see the floor lay clearly because the waving superimpositions of billowing grain fields sailing around him shadows the crop.
Many aerial shots were interposed throughout, never identified by location, and none of them related to what ‘Chris’ was saying straightforwardly. Instead, they used subliminal programming, repeatedly plugging away that it was no problem for people to have made what the viewer was seeing in these televised aerial photos. And when the Milk Hill and Chilbolton designs are shown ‘Chris’ says something about graphic artists and that ‘Matthew’ [Williams] will show how easy it is to make the circles.
A Mr Reg Presley, who I am told was a British rock star, is interviewed as a crop circle researcher [Presley is a UK UFO and circle enthusiast, often interviewed over here in place of more informed sources]. He explains that the Milk Hill 2001 circle was huge (as they show a shot of it), but also says that 95% of the circles are man-made - yet he thinks there will eventually be found an alien connection. What a bunch of garble and contradiction that is. Does he mean that there will be found an alien connection to the 95% he now claims are man-made circles, or the 5% he doesn't know about? Or all of them? He sounds incoherent. I suppose next that someone here will be interviewing Michael Jackson as a specialist on the topic.
Then, in a really DECEITFUL portion of the show, ‘Chris’ says to the unsuspecting audience that at the Barge Inn pub he just ‘happened’ to run across Matthew (he never says his last name) who "was recently cautioned by the police in connection with making the circles" (failing to mention he was actually arrested in Britain, found guilty of making one circle in a farmer's field without permission and fined) and says that Matthew must "hold the secrets to the creations in the corn", giving the impression the viewers need to place faith in him. What twisting of the truth and plain garbage. The producers of the show obviously wanted to get Williams and no other on the programme and play this Halloween trick, thereby giving their audience poison treats!
Then Matthew Williams (who I had not seen before, but now my original thoughts about his character are confirmed) himself is interviewed and gives a demonstration of plank and rope landscape "artistry" and he just happens to say that he doesn't believe there is any alien connection. Surprise, right. That was specifically, in my opinion, put in to make the viewer discredit the possibility. Matthew talks about how big groups, up to 15 people, make the circles. And when he gets done ‘demonstrating’ (no less in grass it looks like and they don't even show the results) ‘Chris’ says “see, with crude tools, an action plan and some simple mathematical calculations, a crop circle can be produced that any alien would be proud of." Previous to the demonstration, ‘Chris’ says it is done at night, but it is obviously daylight when they show Matthew doing it, but then ‘Chris’ comes back on in the dark in the next shot and says it's quarter to eleven. Absurd, and an incongruity. And in the following shot in front of a circle, in yet another example of incoherence, ‘Chris’ says HE, Chris, did well in HIS first attempt yet HE isn't shown at all with a plank and board at any point making a circle - yet the viewer is led to believe that he made the circle he is shown standing in front of. And all this with frenetic music going from soft to loud to soft, etc.
And then, to sum it all up, ‘Chris’ says for us not to go out into the Nebraska or Kansas fields and make circles without farmer’s permission (this is the first time America has been mentioned in the this Britishised Halloween fantasy - making it obvious that Americans are the targets of this show). He completes his commentary by saying "the show has finally taken the circles out of ‘The X Files’ and into the art gallery... or have we?!" (ie. gee, folks, guess what, each year there are one or two circles that no hoaxers claim to have made... but we all know that you can't take that seriously).
Then it’s back to the studio set where the host and hostess are laughing. The man says "just another idea out of a British pub" and the woman says (now that the whole idea has been entirely discredited through ‘Chris’, Presley and Williams) “but wait... there have been circles since 1600 and they are found world-wide" (ie. but you folks really don't believe that do you) "so how many artists are out there..?", hey what, ho ho ho.
What a sorry programme this was. Yes, the powers that be really must be scared of the Chilbolton and Milk Hill formations. The program showed shots of those too many times for them not to have been the reason for the show. It is such lunacy to spend thousands of dollars to produce this trash and the National Geographic Channel must think Americans have weak minds to accept this deception. They obviously are appealing to non-thinkers who they can program with their spin and think this show will be believable because of their ‘name’, record and reputation for producing only quality truthful shows, a reputation which has hit the dust as far as I am concerned. The only thing honest about the show was the name - it was a total ‘Night Fright’.
POSTSCRIPT: I sent a copy of this article to the National Geographic Channel and received a reply from the ‘Program Research Assistant’, who said that National Geographic did not put the programme on, never had a special called ‘Night Fright’, that such a show on crop circles was not listed in their inventory and the show I referred to probably was not even aired in the USA.
I wrote them back that Doug Rogers and others had verified watching this hour-long show entitled ‘Night Fright’ in Connecticut, USA, on November 2, 2001, and that this show was identified as a National Geographic Channel production shown on the NGC (Channel 25), and that the NGC logo was visible on the screen (the crop circle portion was a 10-minute segment of the show). I also told them Doug Rogers has a professional copy of this hour tape which was made by a television studio in Newtown, Connecticut.
Shortly thereafter I received another e-mail, this time from another official of the NGC who admitted they did have a programme called ‘The Today Show’, which it might have been part of, but said it aired on NBC and claimed this show was part of their “news” division. He indicated that their programming database (which they had searched and found no mention of the show in) was separate from their “news” operation. (Doug Rogers says the ‘The Today Show’ is shown three times a day during the week on television and is by no stretch of the imagination a “news” show, and I would have to confirm this from what I saw of the tape). The NGC e-mail to me ended by saying they had but a lone person handling all the e-mail inquiries they get, that they found it really hard to decipher my article, that they would continue to sort out the matter as best they could and my article was now being sent to their “news” producers to review.
I find this all VERY peculiar... how could the NGC actually lose track of one of their own productions, not even list it in their programme inventory and find my article so hard to decipher..?