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KATE DASH gives an account of the Australian treatment of some local circles at Glasshouse…

The local TV channel had a scoop. They would divulge nothing to me except that the crop circle was at Glasshouse. Glasshouse is a small township taking the name from the Glasshouse Mountains - eight or so giant volcanic cones clustered over a few miles and rising spectacularly up from plantation pine forests and fruit orchards. They all bear Aboriginal names.

When I found the field, one such cone towered a quarter of a mile distant. The farmer was friendly and bewildered. The TV channel had given his name and his phone kept ringing. There had also been footage of a farm hand who'd woken in the night to a large bang to find his room lit up by a green flash. Usually quiet dogs had barked. Zapping noises were heard and power in the area was out for over an hour. This all sounds very familiar.

The local TV camera was there again - a good story needs a follow-up. The formations were in a field of not much more than an acre, in green ripening sorghum three to four feet high. The only formation I could see was about six feet across and the crop had gone down in one direction, somewhat fanned out from a centre. Twenty-four hours later, when I returned, it had very noticeably risen. There looked like other formations further out in the field, but there was no path without trampling the crop and the farmer was under instruction from "scientists" in Sydney to allow no-one into the field until their arrival.

"Scientists" investigating an alleged crop circle? I was intrigued and went back the next day to meet them, but not before the farmer had told me something very interesting. He first said he believed birds followed magnetic paths and a flock of ibis passed over the sorghum field every day. The day after the formation, they flew about scattered and confused.

When I met the "scientists", their T-shirts stated AUSTRALIA UFO RESEARCH NETWORK. Two young guys and two girls, who were involved in some UFO magazine production had done their research, which seemed to involve no more than taking plants from formations, visually checking and packing carefully for transport to Sydney. They had travelled from Brisbane, an hour's drive away.

The spokeswoman gave her results that evening on the farmer's verandah to a small group of family, employees, friends and neighbours. "You will not like the results," she said firmly. “Lodging” [naturally damaged crop] was the answer and there seemed a general sense of relief - a problem solved.

In the darkening evening on the farmer's verandah, I said my piece. Cause and effect is a narrow and limited way of looking at things, and an approach of very recent time if set against the vastness of life on this planet. I was listened to. I used words Glasshouse like "holistic" and "spiritual". But the sense of relief quickly returned. However, people came to speak to me. The farmhand, who came from India, felt there was more to his experience with the green flash of light than lodging could account for. A local lady told me that the evening before the formation she had been watching William Gazecki's video ‘Crop Circles: Quest for Truth’.

The Glasshouse Mountains is an area where there have been Aboriginal people and their sacred sites. The volcanic cones are mysterious and beautiful as they rise steeply out of the ground. I've visited Wiltshire crop circles four times and live just twenty minutes from the Glasshouse field. ‘Nexus Magazine’ has its office twenty-five minutes away. A small discussion group on esoteric topics meets fifteen minutes away.

Surely there is room for reflection on all of this?



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