Norway has been seeing an upsurge of interest in the crop circle mystery. EVA-MARIE BREKKESTØ of the Norwegian Crop Circle Group reports on the development of the regional research effort…
Since the Norwegian Crop Circle Group was formed four years ago, we have registered 23 crop circles in Norway. The formations have been found in grain and grass and have varied in size from 1 to 75 metres.
A few years ago, the Norwegian public interest in crop circles was practically non-existent, and the formations that appeared in Norway were known only to the local communities where the circles were found. This has, however, changed in the last couple of years, and we like to think that the Norwegian Crop Circle Group has contributed a great deal to this positive development.
THE GROUP IS FORMED
In august 1999, a couple of very curious Norwegians visited Wiltshire for their first time. We had enthusiastically studied the crop circle phenomenon through books and the Internet for a couple of years already, but this was the first time we had the chance to see crop circles for real.
During our stay in southern England we realized that we were now completely hooked on the circles, and that this phenomenon would probably take up a lot of our time for years to come. In the breathtaking Hackpen Hill formation of 1999 we met a friendly American lady who, when she heard we were Norwegians, asked us if there were any crop circles in Norway. Strangely, we had hardly asked ourselves this question before, but we had to admit that, yes, even though grain fields in most of Norway are very small and scattered, we had heard about one or two some years ago. But we went on to say that they were simple, unimpressive and not much to be bothered with.
The lady, whom we later realised was Nancy Talbott of the BLT Research group, told us that crop circles which are modest in size and design might be just as interesting from a researcher’s point of view as the more intricate English circles. She recommended that we put up a Norwegian crop circle website to stimulate Norwegians’ interest in the phenomenon.
Six months later, a handful of us started the Norwegian Crop Circle Group. We are not an organisation in the sense that we offer membership. A few times a year, when crop circles appear in Norway or when something interesting happens in the crop circle world, we send out news bulletins via e-mail to interested Norwegians. About 250 persons are by now registered on our e-mail list, and the number is steadily growing.
The first task for the Norwegian Crop Circle Group was to gather information about Norwegian crop circles and, secondly, to spread information about the general phenomenon to the Norwegian population.
After some weeks and numerous phone calls to newspapers, as well as to private persons interested in UFO-related phenomena, and after extensive searching on the Internet, we realized that crop circles had been recorded in Norway since 1991. We managed to gather photographs, surveys and articles from many of the formations, and made this information available at our web site - www.kornsirkler.org.
We have tried to make the crop circle phenomenon known to Norwegians through our website, through information stands at several regional symposia for alternative issues, and through holding lectures about the phenomenon both in Oslo and in other parts of the country.
SOUTHERN NORWAY FOCUS
Only 3% of the Norwegian land is cultivated (the rest is mountains and forests), with the farmland concentrated in the south-eastern part of the country, close to Oslo and a bit further north, near the town Hamar. Most of the crop circles have been found in these areas. But two circles also appeared in another agricultural “pocket” in the central part of the country, near the town of Trondheim (the two ‘flower’ designs of 2001). In addition, two formations, one in grass in 1995, and one in grain in 1999, were found in the southernmost part of the country, near the town of Kristiansand. The first registered formation in Norway appeared in 1991, and circles have been recorded every year from 1995 to 2002.
We did not receive any reports about crop formations in 2003. But in December the same year, a schoolgirl living in Snåsa, a small community halfway to the north of Norway, called us to report something very strange. Together with two classmates, she had discovered a strange ice pictogram on a field close to their schoolyard. The formation could best be described as a 3cm thick “relief” of solid ice. It was lying on top of the withered grass in a sloping field, and consisted of two rings of ice around a central circle. A cross was superimposed upon the rings, and the whole formation measured about 15 metres. The pictogram had probably formed the night before when the temperature had been slightly below freezing point. After school hours the children just managed to video the strange pictogram before it got dark. Some hours later, during the night, the formation was covered by a heavy snowfall. This ice pictogram represents something quite different from ice circles reported earlier. To our knowledge, it is the first of its kind in Norway, and possibly also internationally?
SOME CROP FORMATIONS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST
Many of the Norwegian designs resemble formations that were seen in England in the late 80s, such as ‘key’ pictograms, dumb-bells, flowers, simple rings and circles. Even though the Norwegian crop formations are small and simple compared to crop circles in England and Germany, for instance, there have been a couple of formations that are worth mentioning in particular.
The formations at Hamar in 1997 and Furnes in 1998 appeared only about a mile apart, and could both be interpreted as “tree of life” designs. The 1998 pattern partially corresponded to the 1997 Kabbalah formation at Barbury Castle. The 1997 one appeared close to a church in a field belonging to the local parsonage, in the same field that also received a ring formation in 2002. In a newspaper article, the priest expressed that he feared the design was a “representation of the devil’s horns”, and that Satanists may have made it. He also said that he was afraid that “God-defying pagans who want to threaten the church” had made the pattern. We think, however, that there is a much less sinister explanation why crop circles have appeared close to Norwegian churches. Most Norwegian churches are placed on the exact locations of the old pre-Christian cult sites. These pre-Christians probably had reasons to choose their sites. They may have had knowledge about potent places in the landscapes, a knowledge which is presently re-emerging with the arrival of the mysterious circles and related phenomena.
Another circle worth serious consideration was a simple circle that appeared in Modum in September 2001. It had five burned areas about a foot wide - one in the centre of the formation and four in the periphery. The farmer, who was convinced that local pranksters had made the circle, was quite shocked to see the scorched areas. This playing with fire could easily have set the very dry field on fire, he expressed. Crop circles with burnt areas are, as far as we know, not common, and we have not been able to find information about similar cases in other countries. Unfortunately, as the field was harvested only a few days after the circle appeared, and as we weren’t notified about it until after the harvest, no one from our group had the chance to survey the formation or to collect soil or plant samples.
All available information about the registered Norwegian crop circles such as photos, silhouettes, sketches, research reports and newspaper articles is presented at our web site.
We also have a research page that presents a summary of the scientific research on crop circles (the BLT part kindly provided by Nancy Talbott). We have lists of literature, videos, TV programmes and cinema films. We also have a page with the Norwegian media coverage concerning crop circles, as well as a list of literature, useful links and addresses.
Many Norwegians contact our group asking about phenomena that they perceive as related to crop circles. To answer these questions we have put together a page with “Related Phenomena”. Some Scandinavians also report to have observed snow circles (imprints or coloured rings or circles in snow), but so far we have not been able to get hold of good reports or photographs (if any Swirled News readers have information about snow circles, we would be very happy to receive it). Several Norwegians have also contacted us to get information about how to travel to and where to stay in Wiltshire. To meet these requests, we have composed a page of “Travel information” that we hope can answer some of these questions.
During the few years our group has existed, we have received numerous e-mails from foreigners who have asked us for English translations of the material at our web page. In the past few months we have spent a great deal of time with this task. We do not have the means to engage professional translators, but we hope that our amateurish English, at least to some extent, meets these requests. The English translation of the website can be accessed through the Norwegian address www.kornsirkler.org by clicking at “English version”, or at the specific address http://uk.kornsirkler.org.