Our recent response to Colin Andrews’ ‘Proclamation Initiative’ (see May 2004 headlines) has sparked further important thoughts from others…
I recently received notification that your site had been updated and so, as usual, checked it out. I read with interest the replies to the ‘proclamation initiative’ – something whose existence I was unaware of – and then managed to obtain a copy.
As an ex-farmer who for years protested about the vandalism of our crops by so-called ‘researchers’, ‘land-artists’ and just plain hoaxers, I find this document extraordinary. For years I have been ridiculed for asking people to be honest about their activities, to compensate the farmers, to share their ‘research’ with all of us so that the waters were not muddied. The response – “Why should you care? Farmers make a fortune out of these things”, “They have no right to prevent us – it’s not their land, it belongs to all of us”, etc., etc., etc. In other words, farmers didn’t deserve common decency – the phenomenon was far more important – “It’s all in the interests of art and research”.
I could never accept these arguments, as this phenomenon seemed to me a benign, gentle, loving thing that wanted to teach us something and to raise our consciousness and understanding of larger issues. It always made me feel humble. Not something that would ever approve of some men setting themselves aside, claiming they knew best and being prepared to literally trample over everything in its name.
And now those very same people are talking of “renewed respect”, “truth”, “the co-operation of farmers”. Ron Russell talks of “honest exploration” and Peter Sorensen talks of it being “time for truth and honesty to regain the upper hand”. These people and many others who have signed this document have vandalised farmers’ crops on a regular basis in the name of research. Excuse me, but for there to be RENEWED respect or for truth and honesty to REGAIN the upper hand, that assumes it was there in the first place – it never was with some of these people.
On the other hand, there are people who have signed this proclamation who have ALWAYS behaved with respect for others and the phenomenon, who have never claimed to know all the answers, who have been honest in their approach and who, I must assume, have signed because they are decent and lovely and just want everyone to get on together. I really hope that is possible.
If there had been a statement saying something on the lines of “OK, we know we have been deceitful and arrogant and we realise this is not the way forward, can we apologise and let’s start again?” – this might have worked.
However, whilst there are phrases like “many populations… are desperate to be represented with trustworthy leadership who apply basic human principles... and the crop circle community is no different to any other” – I see very little hope. The crop circles are there to teach us all individually so that each one of us can make a difference. Leadership (by anyone at all) does not come into it – no-one has the right to assume that role either individually or in a group. No one can dictate to anyone else about this thing – we all must have our own views. Humility is everything and I see little sign of that.
POLLY CARSON (farmer, Alton Barnes, Wiltshire)
In e-mail exchanges concerning the Colin Andrews proclamation "to inspire a trustworthy dialogue with the public," I saw the invitation to sign it that Colin sent to Michael Glickman [sent AFTER the original proclamation was issued – Ed]. True to a pattern where Colin has responded with insults instead of information whenever Michael has challenged what he says, the invitation served as a vehicle for more of same.
Since Colin says he's looking to put on a good face to the world for the sake of the circles, were he sincere you'd expect his attacks to end. This nastiness to Michael, however, is as off-base as the idea the proclamation supports of a peace pipe with hoaxers. It's like terrorists issuing a call for peace as they continue to terrorize.
One would hope that those devoted to the circles and to their mysterious makers, some of whom signed the proclamation, would see how divisive and troublemaking Colin's latest effort is, where instead of creating more harmony, he's fostering more war with a 'with us or against us' challenge to sign a document that not every person of goodwill conscionably could sign. And it comes fast on the heels of another foray of Colin's into divisive distortion where Nancy Talbott had to issue a statement to correct what he widely circulated about her new study. Colin wrote: "This IMPORTANT study confirms Andrews 20/80% finding of 2000 was on the money." Nancy’s statement to correct him said, "Perhaps Mr. Andrews has misunderstood entirely the work reported in the BLT study... the reader should be aware that there is no scientific evidence provided by the XRD Study which can in any way be construed as supporting (or contradicting) this 80/20 idea."
Quite unbelievably, by the way, this is what's prominent on Colin's homepage: "This IMPORTANT study confirms Andrews 20/80 finding of 2000 was on the money," and, under that, "An email update from Nancy Talbott of BLT Research." At first blush you'd think that, remarkably, this is Colin sharing Nancy's statement about how wrong he was. However, both lines refer to one thing: Nancy's report on the study which Colin had sent out under the headline about himself. And Colin's homepage goes on to offer this: "The complete response by Colin Andrews to the recent
important announcement made by Nancy Talbott." This is what he sent out saying Nancy's study confirmed his 80/20. The refutation of this by Nancy is not on the site. Unbelievable. When people go to Colin's site all they get is Nancy's study and his erroneous claim about it. Since he has the granddaddy star name, people do get on his site and take what's there as gospel. I hope we can get those fallacious postings removed.
Well, maybe it is time to "kick the bull****ters off their thrones in Crop Circle Country," as one of the signers strangely comments in the declaration of peace. And time to be honest about a situation where, despite the idyllic notion the song expresses, between the hoaxer element and everyone else in crop circle country the reality is we can't work it out.
Given the upset caused and hypocrisy spread over the years by several of the people who sign their names to the Proclamation document, let us hope they truly have had a ‘road to Damascus’ moment and that we see an improvement in their behaviour towards others according to their own newly-pronounced principles.
Let us also hope that this proclamation club does not, as Swirled News so succinctly puts it, descend into ‘witch-hunting’, as could so easily happen. All power to your site for having the mettle to raise pertinent enquiries as to the motives behind this venture, and to have avoided the reflected glory-aspiring posterior licking which seems to motivate so many others in this unfortunate arena, which, despite all our best hopes, seems no more immune to human foibles than any other strata of our society.
Let us remember that what this should all be about is CROP CIRCLES – not people. Those on the outside of the croppie world must be puzzled indeed by the current shenanigans and surely wonder why we don’t just simply get on with what we do and stop the internal fussing. Ironically, the proclamation is as likely to give rise to MORE such political fuss, not less.
When the crop circle "proclamation initiative" was released, I couldn't help but wonder why the names of SEVERAL very well known crop circle investigators were not listed.
Is it really promoting peace in the crop circle community when leading researchers names are left off, and known hoaxers and disinformation specialists sit visibly along side a few "purity of intent" investigators who made the list?
In a nutshell, why weren't ALL investigators invited to join this newly formed "peace club”?
In the spirit of wondering…
The Proclamation Initiative, and some of the contents and comments, made me think about one of my favourite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt:
"Great minds talk about concepts, mediocre minds talk about events, small minds talk about people."
Whomever made the comment about "knocking bullshitters off their thrones" was probably a well-meaning truth-seeker having a pin-headed moment. All too often for some people, what begins as a sincere search for truth becomes a distorted hunt for the mistakes or contradictions that others make. Satisfaction with such petty victories makes even the most well-intended truth seeker become only a bullshit seeker.
To transcend such comments means to see the underlying divine truth, which perhaps is: We all seek beauty and wonder - and sometimes we blunder.
SABRINA ZAN FERRIS
We also heard from Colin Andrews, at great length, in a series of personal correspondences. Needless to say, he did not agree with our concerns or comments. Let us hope, however, that the spirit of this proclamation is genuine and that it will see an end to the previous entirely disproportionate and very personal (not to mention highly hypocritical) assaults on Swirled News team members from Colin and his sympathisers, and that our fears of ‘witch-hunting’ are unfounded. Let us also hope that the 80/20% authenticity scenario – an opinion and no more - ceases to be promoted as some kind of official and widely-accepted orthodoxy. It is not.