Some constructive thoughts on the controversial ‘dolphins/whales’ formation of 2004…
Fear and Loathing and the Power of Hoaxing...
My introduction to the psychology of hoaxing came last year with the Golden Ball Hill formation. Early one morning in July, Rod Bearcloud arrived at the Knap Hill car park in Alton Barnes. It was still dark when he got there and he spotted a man standing by three or four cars, smoking a cigarette, who he believes may have had a radio and was keeping watch. Soon afterwards, eight to ten men dressed in black with things slumped over their shoulders passed by him. They climbed into the cars and drove off with the first man Rod saw. Noticing that the dew on the path had been broken, he followed their tracks to the field where he discovered the dolphin formation.
Later that day I visited the formation, not knowing of Rod’s encounter earlier that morning. I was very impressed with the ground conditions in the formation. The lay of the corn was beautiful and looked to me like showing signs of bundling (with the stems wrapped spirally around bundles of the stalks) with alignment of the seed heads, both aspects not easily replicated in man-made formations. Later that night I read Rod’s report of what had happened that morning.
For a long time afterwards I found it difficult to reconcile my own memory of the formation and Rod’s testimony. The process was very unsettling to a rational mind, conditioned to insist on a solution to every problem. The mind prefers to organize reality into relative opposites. It helps us to understand something in relation to its opposite. When we experience a phenomenon that doesn’t have an analogous opposite or relative similar experience to compare it to, we either block it from the conscious mind or we are forced to construct a new model of reality which will cater for it. Often there is mental anguish experienced due to a resistance to change, like sailing a ship into the rocks of a continent that wasn’t marked on the map you were using. Altering a reality model highlights the illusions inherent in the original model and any potential future model.
A neat polarization was enforced on the crop circle phenomena from very early on - Real or Hoaxed. For many this conveniently sidestepped the actual question of what was happening and replaced it with a paradoxical argument. The hoaxers take no responsibility for the formations they have created, due to the illegal nature of the activity (except to brag about their exploits without providing credible evidence to back up their claims.) Obviously the non-man-made formations are never accounted for either, which suits the hoaxers as the lack of information creates an overestimated impression of the extent of their work.
The hoaxing paranoia has parallels with the current terrorist threat we face in the West. Any establishment will eventually encounter those who challenge its dominant ideology. We now see that those who are able to amplify and manipulate the perceived threat to society gain a greater control over it. The same is true of hoaxing, with those “experts” who offer statistics and percentages of how many circles are man-made cultivating the perception that they have intelligence information or “insider” knowledge unavailable to the masses. Often this is not contested and the community will eventually police force itself in its reluctance to declare any circle genuine, for fear of being tricked by hoaxers.
I suspect one reason for the original hoaxed circles was to knock these experts off their perches. Many of the early pioneer crop circle researchers suffered damage to their credibility at the hands of the hoaxing contingent. Many are now regaining power by reversing their earlier views and hyping the extent of hoaxing. Like the small fundamental groups in the terrorist threat analogy, this is to the benefit of the hoaxers as it over-estimates their power and activity. In their attempts to gain power the two groups – the hoaxers and the hoax-hyping experts – serve to increase the perception of each others’ potential strength.
Rod Bearcloud warned me that the Golden Ball Hill formation was filmed by the hoaxers who created it, in order to discredit researchers who declare it to be genuine. I would welcome a viewing of this video, if it actually exists [no-one has seen this – Ed]. I wonder if it would undergo the same relentless scrutiny a video of a non-man-made formation would or has suffered. If this polarization is removed, the formations direct us to confront aspects that have been relegated to the fringes, or do not exist at all, in the dominant reality model such as dowsing, ley lines, earth energies, channeling, sacred geometry and numbers, etc. Like most phenomena, they evade conclusive summary. Perhaps the first step in understanding is reconciling the fact that our current map is actually incomplete. I reserve judgment on the Golden Ball Hill formation, as with the phenomena as a whole.
The formation that appeared under Golden Ball Hill on 27th July and was immediately revealed to be a hoax will, no doubt, be seized upon by some as support for the 'majority hoax' theory. After all, it appears to be a well-executed, reasonably complex design, albeit a re-working of a formation in East Field from a few years ago.
However, before anyone gets too excited, keep this in mind: The hoaxers were seen! They were seen both entering and leaving the field. In fact, they seemed to form quite a parade as, dressed all in black, they lugged their equipment back to their parked cars.
To my mind, one of the main detractions from the majority hoax theory is the simple fact that people
are rarely seen and virtually never caught vandalising farmers' fields. To anyone who has ever spent any time in the English countryside at night this fact jumps off the page.
Just a quick thought and thanks for the time you spend keeping us informed and entertained.
TERRY HALL, Bournemouth