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Despite all the attempts to debunk it as a special effects hoax, the origins of the infamous 1996 video in which a crop formation is seen materialising under balls of light are still being debated. Since his previous Swirled News article on the subject, MARTIN JOHNSSON has been looking into the mystery further, and here presents the second instalment of ‘A Theoretical Analysis of the Stories Surrounding the Video Footage at Oliver’s Castle’…

This is a follow-up article to the first one I wrote on the subject, published here on Swirled News in January 2005. The first article laid a foundation for analysis using two basic sources of information; a section on the subject published in Andy Thomas’s book ‘Swirled Harvest’, and the fourth video of Michael Glickman’s series on crop formations, which has a substantial part discussing the circumstances and events of the controversy. In this follow-up article, new and various sources are considered, providing further interesting and sometimes provocative analysis and circumstances surrounding the Oliver Castle video (OCV) from 1996.

Two ’new’ (compared to the first article) major sources are used in this article for consideration. One is Peter Sorensen’s article, which can be found on Crop Circle Connector at:

This is entitled ‘The Case of the Vanishing Camera Man - Hammering the Final Nail Into the Coffin of the Oliver’s Castle Video’ (referred as “Sorensen’s statement” in this article). The other source is the analysis arranged by Rod Bearcloud and presented and reported on the DVD ‘Seven Sacred Fires of the Star Nation People - From the Earth to the Sky, Part I’ (referred to as “Bearcloud’s report” in this article). In addition, some discussion and comments are also included concerning the recently broadcast documentary regarding the OCV footage by the National Geographic Channel. Further sources have also been queried, providing more (very) important material to the analysis of the subject, and I hope that I’m able to come back and report on that in a third article.

Before kicking off, I would like to acknowledge all the good and interesting discussions I’ve had and still enjoy via email and phone with many people following my first article; there have been many good thoughts and questions, so my sincere appreciations - no-one mentioned, so no-one forgotten!


In the conclusions part of the first article, it was stated that John Wheyleigh/Wabe (John W) apparently managed to catch the balls of light (BOLs), and perhaps also the formation being created. It is then interesting to note that it seems likely that on that first night at ‘The Barge’ pub, when John W first showed the footage to an audience, only the BOLs were really noted by those seeing it (including John W), not the formation appearing, which seems utterly strange. But that may only be the case for those who have gained knowledge about what they will see prior to looking at the footage.

During the spring, I showed this video to a few people with no real interest in the world of crop formations (though they had heard about them), without actually telling them what to see, as I took it for granted that they would see and be amazed (of course). One of them was a video animation professional, by the way. “Hmmm… interesting,” they concluded, after the third or fourth look at the footage, seeing these light spheres flying around. “So do they have something to do with crop formations, or…?”, they said. “But, but, but,” I said, “didn’t you see (on this 20-inch something screen) the formation being created at the same time the BOLs were flying around!?” “Oh yes, yes; now we see,” they said, “how could we miss that? But it was like the BOLs were the action that caught all our concentration. What do you think Martin?” I was sincerely surprised at this, but it actually gave me some hints that if it could be so easily missed on this big screen, then why not then on a very tiny screen [as it was first shown at The Barge]? This is not to say that there aren’t people who discover the BOLs and the formation being created right from the first viewing. Since doing this, my own experience has been confirmed with some others who had bigger audiences than I had. So this account of the first viewers not noting the formation appearing from the first viewing at The Barge may very well be accurate, however strange it may sound. Would a hoaxer really be able to withhold telling about the formation being created under the BOLs if it wasn’t at first spotted? I find that unlikely.


The (mostly theoretical) analysis that I have done on Sorensen’s statement and Bearcloud’s report could go into great length, but there is no real reason for that here. They are both of the kind which quite firmly state two opposite opinions: either it’s a fake, according to Sorensen’s statement, or it’s genuine, according to Bearcloud’s report. So we have a word-against-word situation, and who/what do we trust? I don’t find any reason to go into details, e.g. comparing story-telling between what happened according to Sorensen and what is told in ‘Swirled Harvest’, and facts and details of similar sorts. What is essential is to analyse and look at what is most factual in this story, and that is, as far I can see, still the footage itself. From that point of view, I find Bearcloud’s report very interesting and performed in what can be judged as a serious and professional way. Several important things are said in this report regarding the amount of work, time and resources needed to fake such a video. What caught my interest, and this I believe is a key, is the analysis of the BOLs. It is clear that they change their shape, size, opacity and speed on basically a frame-by-frame basis. I find no reason to question this analysis. This contradicts those who claim that the BOLs appear rather fixed and not as oval-shaped as one would expect from their speed of movement. I find it highly unlikely that a hoaxer would have taken the time (and 16 hours is the max available here!) and energy to do it in such a very sophisticated way.

It must also be clearly noted that we can’t make any judgements whatsoever regarding the properties for how BOLs move in space and time, as they are definitely out of our current knowledge and understanding, and must from a purely scientific aspect be treated as an unknown phenomenon.

Thus, saying this, there is still nothing that demonstrates that the most factual evidence, i.e. the footage, is fake. On the contrary, the case is that there is a strengthening of the likelihood of it being genuine.

This is ABSOLUTELY NOT to say that Sorensen’s’ statement is a lie or being twisted on purpose. It is very difficult to judge and further analyse all the events surrounding Peter’s story, e.g. what might have happened before he entered the scene, and then during the course of time after. He or others might have been deceived for one reason or another, so I don’t really find it necessary to look deeper into Sorensen’s statement, especially considering what is concluded above.


Quite recently, the National Geographic Channel featured a documentary with John Wabe in the focus, telling the world about how he conned the ‘believers’. Besides being sadly sloppy in all its appearance and production, and being the least factual report of all that I’ve seen so far about the OCV footage, its tone has some messages that stand out from the very beginning. First, ‘believers’ are associated (once again, largely by tone) with being sect-like, fanatical and probably naive, not open to ‘facts’, and second, the footage is presented as being without doubt fake. It is quite obvious that this was the agenda for the documentary way before it was produced. I would like to silently dismiss it, besides this short note here, but there is actually stuff in this documentary that I might like to go back to in a third article….

It is in this context, and at this very point in time, that it is so interesting to read about the recently experienced account reported by Linda Moulton Howe on her website ‘Earthfiles’, telling of a man in Wiltshire who witnessed white objects/crafts depressing the tops of the wheat in a field. There seems no doubt from the report that he really saw this, with little room for interpretation. Doesn’t the OCV look like a demonstration of this..?

Investigations continue…



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