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NOVEMBER 2003 - 13/11/2003

MICHAEL GLICKMAN responds to his critics (see current Feedback) regarding his recent words on paranoia surrounding military helicopters and crop circles…


A dear friend of mine, a very old lady (let’s call her Edith), has a special relationship with her TV remote. She puts on her spectacles to change channels because she fears that, if she does not aim carefully, she will mark the wall or damage an ornament.

Clearly, she’s nutty, but what can you do? At least she is not carpet-bombing thousands of old dears with e-mails warning them of the horrors of the TV remote!

And, forgive me (in response to my recent critics), I believe these black-helicopter paranoiacs are as nutty as Edith. But, unlike her, they insist in spreading their crazy fears.

Now let’s be clear. I am interested in the crop circle phenomenon. I find the wilder reaches of military paranoia fundamentally boring because - ultimately - they are never justified or justifiable. When someone (after all these years of hysteria) provides evidence for a solid link between the circles and the helicopters, I will be the first to salute them, and - if necessary - to apologise. Unlike, predictably, the author of the recent scare story about “covert suppression of circles.”

We have, between our ears, the most exquisite and noble creation in the universe; the human mind. The inability (or refusal) of so many to use it to follow their own ideas through to a conclusion, is deeply dispiriting. As Robert Downey Jr so acutely remarked in ‘Air America’, “No need to give up a good theory just because it isn’t true.”
Let us take an example. Tom and Kerry Blower, watching Mars from Knap Hill, are buzzed by a helicopter. They are well-known and respected croppies. Is the argument here that they were personally targeted? Are we to believe that an instruction went out: “The Blowers are on Knap Hill. Buzz them!” Or was it a simple military screw-up? If they were targeted, then why? Tens of thousands of croppies have visited the area over the years and only a handful have experienced low-flying helicopters. What might be the object of this exercise? To frighten us? I fear, realistically, that if crop circle researchers were truly getting up authority’s nose, a far more efficient way of dealing with them would have been found by now (and they certainly would not have let us know about it!).

And the wretched Mr and Mrs Hyde, whose house in Bottlesford, Linda Moulton Howe’s website tells us, was buzzed to the extent that “the plaster cracked”? I am an architect, and, while I do not doubt their word, I find it difficult to believe that helicopter downdraft could penetrate the roof and walls and crack plaster. And to what end? Had the couple been scanned by X-ray through the roof and found to be reading crop circle literature?

I write this in my home, in the centre of crop circle country. For days my house has been shaken (as has the whole area) by the noise of explosions. It is artillery practice time on Salisbury Plain and they seem to have upgraded the shell size. If I suggested that the sole purpose of these loud bangs was to irritate me at my desk as I write about the circles, I would, like dear old Edith, be considered nutty.

The army is a blunt instrument. They are not bright, they are not precise and they are not considerate. To cover their wilder excesses, they invent language. Killing civilians is now called “collateral damage” and killing their own soldiers is called “blue-on-blue”. They have permission to fly low in this area and so that’s what they do! Item A. This area is crop circle land. Item B. Military helicopters come here. Therefore, in the logic of the dumb, Item B is because of Item A.

Animals have four legs. A table has four legs. Therefore a table must be an animal.

I have been writing about the crop circles for twelve years and I have had more outraged responses to ‘Discernment’ than I have ever had before. People are horrified by my suggestion that there is NO conspiracy, that there is NO evidence that the army cares one way or another, that the crop circles seem to leave the authorities utterly cold, and that - fundamentally - the military helicopters are doing (often carelessly and disruptively) simply what military helicopters do.

I feel like the wicked teacher who has told the little boys they cannot bring toy guns to school.

The injured parties, the “buzzed”, have the recourse of complaining and, if necessary, going to law. I fear they will not enjoy great success.

Meanwhile, fear and conspiracy freaks will continue forever to pore over copies of ‘Jane’s Military Aircraft’ and attempt to paint the calm and peaceful circles with the sludge of paranoia. Bless them.



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