Now getting down to the business of sifting through important but neglected evidence, MICHAEL GLICKMAN turns his attention to some of the most astonishing instances of lights and luminosities in connection with the appearance of formations, and reopens the Pandora’s Box of Oliver’s Castle 1996…
THE LUMINOSITY PORTFOLIO
I visited the Oliver’s Castle six-armed ‘snowflake’ formation of 1996 several times and I did an accurate measured survey of it. It was my opinion that it was a formation of exemplary quality. After some days, we heard that a young man, John Weyleigh, had taken a video of four balls of light moving over the field as the formation took shape. The footage was shown, repeatedly at ‘The Barge’ to great acclaim. I felt then – as I have felt ever since – that the Oliver’s Castle footage was perhaps the most important, confirmatory (and charming) evidence the circles have ever offered us.
This view has been reinforced by the response of lecture audiences in both England and America. I have shown it to several thousand people who were consistently moved. I have also shown it to highly qualified film, video and computer technicians who were most impressed.
The video offered us an important lesson: that the luminosities play a crucial role in the inception, if not the actual manufacture, of crop circles. The first of the two pairs which looped over the field seemed to trigger the construction of the shape, while the second appeared simply to be inspecting it.
If – as the usual suspects would have us believe – this footage is a cheap and hasty hoax, then its anonymous authors have produced a work of grace and inspired inventiveness. They should be congratulated on their seamless, touching (and, thus far, motiveless) fraud.
Even more perplexing, the supposed fraudsters have shown a remarkable prescience. This 1996 footage was prophetic of events which were to be witnessed repeatedly over the following seasons. How did they know? Perhaps it is, once again, just a coincidence, or rather, a series of coincidences.
In accordance with my new protocols, I will not soil my shoes in assailing those who lead us into the murky waters of “detective agencies” (unidentified), their findings (unseen), “confessions” (unavailable). Rather, let me list certain events of the past few years which, though proving nothing, might help to focus minds. With the exception of Barbury Castle 1999, they all took place before, during or very shortly after the arrival of a crop circle…
On the night of 7th August 1997, a party of crop circle researchers from the Czech Republic were on top of Milk Hill for a night watch. During the evening they saw a complex dance of light events over the field at the southern foot of Milk Hill. In the morning, the 8th, the Milk Hill Koch fractal formation had appeared. This was distinguished from the earlier Silbury Koch fractal only by the fact that the Milk Hill formation had a central “rosette”. This rosette could be seen as an inwardly operating Koch progression (starting from a hexagon), rather than the outwardly growing system which was developed from an equilateral triangle.
On the night of 8th August 1998, Nikki Saville and her brother Andrew stayed on Adam’s Grave and witnessed a remarkable show of luminosities. At about 11.25pm they saw two red balls of light. This continued with the appearance of a white ball, which split into three. These were just the opening events in an elaborate performance which continued until after 5.00am. It was a moonlit night and they said that they could see the crop at Tawsmead Copse being flattened. There was a couple from Oxford with them for much of the night. Nikki and Andrew visited the formation at dawn. They believe they were the first to go in.
Two American ladies, neither of whom had been involved with crop circles, spent the same night on Knap Hill. They were hoping for a UFO sighting. Instead they witnessed the same elaborate choreography of multiple luminosities over Tawsmead Copse.
Coincidentally, just as the Milk Hill Koch could be seen as the Silbury Koch with a central figure, Tawsmead Copse was similar to (though smaller than) the huge East Field formation of 9th July 1998. Both were seven-fold geometries. East Field contained the largest single laid area of crop in a formation – 6000 square metres - a record it still holds.
The 23rd July 1999 Barbury Castle formation of interlaced crescents was set in a field below the Barbury Castle hill, which offered a perfect position for photography and video.
About two weeks after the formation appeared, Don Fletcher was on the hill when he saw, and started to film, a bright single luminosity. It quickly moved out of the crop circle and, accelerating to remarkable velocity, sped northward over the countryside. Don was able to capture the whole event.
On the same afternoon, my colleague Patricia Murray visited the site to take photographs. While she worked, she decided to set up her video camera on a tripod locked onto the formation. She had never done this before and did not consider it seriously. Indeed, she did not view the video for several days. What it showed astonished her, for the film had captured ten or twelve luminosities gently entering and leaving the formation and moving around the people sitting there who, like her, saw nothing. It was like a film of a crowded fish-pond. [Two still frames from this video are included here. More can be found on page 130 of the revised version of Andy Thomas’s ‘Vital Signs’.]
This example is unusual in several respects. Firstly, it occurred some time after the arrival of the circle. One could not assume that the luminosities played any part in its manufacture. Secondly, while both these pieces of video are important and groundbreaking records, they do not describe any geometric shape or choreography.
It is curious that I have no reports for the 2000 season. Perhaps someone will be able to fill this gap.
I had heard rumours during the season of an Italian researcher who had filmed a luminosity over Windmill Hill on the night of 14th July prior to the arrival of the lovely Causewayed Enclosure formation on the 15th. My attempts to contact him were unsuccessful, but an account of the circumstances can be found (in English and Italian) at www.cropcircles.it.
In the evening of 22nd July this year, Terry Hall, his wife, daughter and a friend were on Knap Hill. Ironically, Terry had told his friend – who was rather sceptical, that lights were often seen in the area. It was approaching dusk and they walked to the end of the car park to look across East Field. The light was fading, but they could still make out the beautiful nested squares at South Field which had arrived that morning.
As they watched, a luminosity appeared from the south and stopped above the formation. Terry noted that the time was 9.02 pm. The light split into four. One went upwards and stopped, one downwards, one to the left and one to the right. Terry said that the lights held still to form a diamond configuration. After two or three minutes, the four lights moved outwards again to form a larger diamond. The lights then went out simultaneously. He was very specific about the quality of the way they were extinguished. It was not like a light being switched off, he felt, but much more like shutters or blinds being closed. He estimated that the whole sequence took somewhere between seven and ten minutes.
I was particularly intrigued by the idea of a small diamond transforming into a larger diamond. I asked him if they might, in fact, have been squares, narrowed by the position and angle of viewing, and he agreed that this might have been so.
The whole event was witnessed also by two men who drove off afterwards in a blue car. I would like to contact these two and hear their version of this event.
Another curious sighting took place on the night of 16th July 2002. Guro Kokaas Parvanova of Norway was standing outside her rented cottage in Manningford Abbots, which is about two miles away from the Pewsey White Horse. She was looking towards the White Horse when she noticed lights. She was astonished that the “lights repeatedly went down into the ground.” She shared the event with colleagues, who were happy to discover the Nautilus formation below the White Horse next morning.
I would be most grateful to hear confirmations or amplifications of these – or any other - sightings. Obviously, my particular interest is occasions where lights seem to perform particular movements or hold particular patterns over new formations. These things should be recorded and shared.
I should also make it clear that I am very happy to share all information with ‘Detective Agencies’, and I guarantee that the highest levels of paranoia and suspicion will be maintained. (I am sure someone will take this literally. It is meant to be ironic.)
And while we are on the subject, I have money for John Weyleigh. I would like him to contact me (and now I am deadly serious). I promise to respect whatever conditions of confidentiality he chooses.
Does the point of this piece need clarifying? The debunking of the Oliver’s Castle video shamefully removed a precious piece of evidence from our attention. Where (and who) are the culprits now?
My impression is that the luminosities are seen in two distinct modes. The first is casual, when they are observed going from place to place or moving around a field or formation and, though enigmatic as ever, exhibiting no particular agenda. The second mode, always associated with a new formation, conforms to a specific procedure, which appears to involve pattern making, colour and ordered movement.
These accounts have all been offered by decent people and – as you can see – are often substantiated by other decent people. I thank them all for their testimonies. The past years have shown us consistently that Oliver’s Castle was a key element in a continuing programme of development and revelation. We ignore it at our risk.