Friday, October 24, 2008

What do modern crop circles mean? Part I: a scientific overview for the end of 2008

Table of Contents

I. A scientific overview for the end of 2008
II. Mayan calendars and Mayan binary codes
III. More clues of various kinds
IV. Jaime Maussan and the Quetzalcoatl hypothesis
V. Some crop pictures have predicted the future
VI. Quetzalcoatl, Jesus and the year 2012

What do modern crop circles mean? Part I: a scientific overview for the end of 2008

The modern crop-circle phenomenon has been strongly ongoing now for about 18 years, from 1990 to 2008. Fifty or more complex and apparently authentic pictures appear every summer in southern England near Wiltshire, or sometimes in other places. Since 2002, there has been reasonable and undeniable evidence that most large or complex crop pictures might be non-human made, at least in the sense of local human fakers with rope and boards (see for example or or

During the summer of 2008, there was even more rigorous evidence for their authenticity, concerning a "pi to ten digits" crop picture that appeared on June 1 near Barbary Castle, and which was later publicized worldwide in mainstream newspapers (see or Despite its amazing mathematical form, there was no trace whatsoever of possible human involvement in its construction, as evidenced by detailed inspection of the field where it appeared, before large crowds of interested people had arrived (see

So why are not more people excited? Why isn't everyone on Earth jumping up and down in glee, that we have finally made some form of indirect contact with friendly or benevolent extra-terrestrials?

Psychological aspects of the crop-circle phenomenon: most people tend to agree with group opinion, even over what they can see with their own eyes

One reason may have to do with a strong psychological tendency among Earth humans to conform with whatever group opinion might be expressed at the time, by their peers or by governing authorities. This tendency was measured quantitatively back in 1951 during a famous experiment by Solomon Asch. He placed a small group of individuals who did not know one another into a room, then asked them to say which of three black lines on a sheet of paper---A (short), B (medium) or C (long)---matched the length of another line held by an assistant nearby? All of the individuals except one had been instructed beforehand to give the same "wrong" answer. So the question became: what would the remaining individual do? Report truthfully what he or she could see plainly with his or her own eyes, or conform with group opinion?

slide 1: Asch lines

The result surprisingly was that 80% of the individuals tested would agree incorrectly with group opinion in at least one case. And one-third of those individuals would agree falsely with group opinion most of the time! When they were interviewed later, to ask why they had conformed so readily to a clearly false answer, most of the test subjects admitted that they did not really believe in their conforming opinions, but had simply gone along with the group: for fear of being ridiculed, or being thought peculiar (see or or

A persistent debunking of crop circles by the international media has successfully influenced group opinion, so that most people have no idea about the true phenomenon as it may been seen visibly in Wiltshire each summer

Now that is one good reason, at least, why most otherwise intelligent people on Earth today do not believe in the paranormal reality of modern crop pictures! The international media have persistently refused to inform the public truthfully about this important phenomenon, although good reports are sometimes written in local newspapers from Wiltshire, or other regions of England or Italy where new crop pictures sometimes appear (see or or

Few if any of our world's scientists are paying attention to it either, perhaps due in part to a continual debunking of the phenomenon by large media organizations such as Wikipedia, National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. Some unknown contributors to Wikipedia write for example:

"The main criticism concerning a non-human creation of crop circles is that evidence for their origins, besides eyewitness testimonies, is scant. Crop circles are usually easily explicable as the result of human pranksters" (see

Of course, that is not true at all. No honest, intelligent or informed researcher of the subject has ever reached such aberrant conclusions. Nor could they, since one very large crop picture was photographed during its formation two years ago in East Field at 3 AM, in the presence of multiple witnesses (see

Likewise in 2007, Lucy Pringle (an experienced investigator) became so frustrated with the apparent lack of integrity among National Geographic staff, who were preparing a TV documentary about crop pictures, that she wrote:

"There was a time when programmes produced by National Geographic were based on scientific integrity and fact. They were a scion of truth. Sadly this is no longer the case. They are now as bad as the worst tabloids, pandering to what they consider the public wants to see and hear" (see
Meanwhile, the Discovery Channel argues in a far more abstract fashion: "Rational explanations postulate that crop circles are man-made hoaxes. Why would aliens travel all the way to our planet just to flatten a few wheat fields? Why not make contact in another, more easily recognisable way?" (see
Well, it has seemed clear for many years now that modern crop pictures are made by small robotic probes, and not by any visiting extra-terrestrials who are located here in person. If NASA were to send small robotic probes to some other planet under a distant star, and then try to bring about a preliminary form of open contact with the natives there, without having any access to their formal systems of communication, or leaders in government, what would they do?

Would they perhaps instruct those probes to carve out easily visible messages in the fields or deserts, so that everyone on that world could see such messages, and come to terms with the idea of open contact while not being afraid? Then when millions of people on that distant world saw such messages, and began to consider their implications, what would their governments do? Confirm the authenticity of such pictures, and advise everyone to pay close attention? Or simply debunk them out of an irrational fear of what the future might bring? Apparently our local governments on Earth have chosen the latter.

Arguments against the reality of modern crop pictures by the skeptics show no detailed knowledge whatsoever

Now in addition to this persistent debunking of modern crop pictures by most large media organizations, probably at the behest of governments, there have also been supplementary if somewhat superfluous criticisms by a loosely organized collection of people who call themselves "skeptics". A great many of those skeptical websites can simply be ignored, especially if they cite Wikipedia or the 1991 Doug and Dave story (see below) as proof of their intellectual correctness. Nevertheless, in order to give them a fair hearing, we tried to find the best possible website that advocates pure skepticism regarding modern crop pictures, and came up with the following:

"This is one of the three best skeptical websites, written by Professor Rory Coker of the Physics Department at the University of Texas. Believers in the supernatural wonder of crop circles never bother to take a clothesline and a broomstick, to see how simple it is to make a circle precisely like the ones they find inexplicable" (see As proof of their their theory, they next cite this explanatory diagram of how all modern crop circles are made (see

slide 2: explanation by a skeptic

Well, there is still nothing there to be concerned about! Professor Coker seems not to have put nearly as much time or effort into studying crop pictures, as for his regular and respected research into particle physics. A little more intelligent argument (intended to debunk Milk Hill of 2001) was given on, but see for the true facts of the matter.
Other skeptics have made fairly rudimentary attempts to create authentic crop pictures as a test of the human faker hypothesis. Yet they have never apparently examined the real ones in Wiltshire, in order to understand what they are trying to replicate. Thus all such efforts appear lame at best (see Likewise, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry proposed four testable hypotheses concerning modern crop pictures in 2002, but none of those seem to be even remotely supported by new field observations as of 2008 (see
Trying to find a more recent comment from those skeptics, we found this rather emotional outburst in the Bristol Daily Press on July 30, 2008: "Your researcher has no scientific background, and the same counts for all of that other so-called scientific research on crop circles. Researchers like them are only interested in two things: money and attention" (see Yet the primary author of this review is a well-respected professional scientist, who has never taken even one cent for his lengthy research into the subject, nor has ever sought any public attention. One is reminded here of the adage: "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a ditch?" In other words, unless someone actually (a) observes the experimental phenomenon first-hand for themselves, or (b) gains a sound idea of the concepts that are being expressed there, then their opinions are essentially worthless: especially if swallowed whole from another third-party source, without applying any critical evaluation as to whether that third party might be telling the truth?

We can use evidence-based empiricism to find out the real truth concerning modern crop pictures

The best approach for finding out the truth, concerning any difficult or controversial matter, is known as evidence-based empiricism. It was discussed cleverly by John Locke in his famous Essay on Human Understanding (1689), by using the analogy of a king from the tropics who did not believe that water could freeze in far northern latitudes on Earth (see

"A Dutch ambassador was entertaining the King of Siam about certain peculiarities of Holland, and told him among other things that the water in his country would sometimes become so hard in cold weather that men could walk on it, and that it would bear an elephant if he were there. To which the King replied, 'Until now I have believed the strange things you told me, because I look upon you as a sober fair man. But now I am sure you are lying.' "

Well, the pond water does freeze hard in Holland or England during winter, no matter what some king from the tropics might think! And there also are plenty of non-human-made crop pictures that appear mysteriously there in summer. We have seen or studied many of them ourselves, in close experimental detail. Furthermore, we can now understand most of the concepts that they express. The insightful reader may therefore peruse this essay empirically, with regard to detailed experimental facts, in order to decide whether we are telling the truth, or else those skeptics and his TV?

Most academic scientists are sincere, honest people, and not accustomed to dealing with intellectual fraud. Hence the prospect that some ill-defined group of international media organizations might be conspiring, to keep the truth from being publicly known about modern crop pictures, simply terrifies them. Even English scientists who live near Wiltshire are often afraid to go out into the fields to inspect some new crop picture, for fear that the opinion of their peers will turn against them: leaving them unable to obtain research grants, or to publish papers in major journals. That is just what Asch found back in 1951, during his famous conformity experiment!

In any case, since this subject is of great importance for the people of Earth, we will provide below a new and updated synthesis of field data and plausible interpretations for the end of 2008. There should be no need for the casual reader to go back and read lots of earlier work on the subject, although many useful references will be cited wherever relevant. This new synthesis should not be construed to represent anymore than our own considered opinions, having studied the subject jointly for many years, although it seems to be increasingly accepted by others in the field.

General aspects of the phenomenon

Beginning in the late 1980's, or especially during the summer of 1990, modern crop pictures began to appear mainly in five European countries: England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland or the Netherlands, although sometimes in other places (see for example or or By the year 2008, a spectacular crop picture had even been reported in South Korea, and showed the monthly analemma motion of our Moon (see Still, most of the large, complex crop pictures tend to appear in southern England near the ancient megalithic sites of Avebury Ring or Silbury Hill, between April and September of any year when field crops (oilseed rape, barley or wheat) are most suitable for patterning.

Thus in every past year from 1990 to 2008, with only a few exceptions, fifty or more authentic crop pictures have appeared during the summer months all across Europe, or sometimes elsewhere (see It would require a literal army of local human fakers with rope and boards in many different countries, to produce such a prodigious output of crop pictures! Furthermore, the vast majority of those pictures never show any kind of errors in patterning. Hence to any informed observer, the probability that all (or even most) of those complex pictures could be made by local human fakers, is about the same as for Santa Claus leaving lots of presents under everyone's tree on Christmas Eve.

Two fairly simple examples of modern crop pictures are shown below, taken from the years 1999 or 2004. The one on the left shows an ancient Celtic "triquetra" symbol for mind, body and spirit (see The other one on the right shows a schematic map of the seven spiritual centres or chakras in the human body: namely crown, brow, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral or root (see

slide 3: Barbary Castle 1999, Pewsey 2004 (photo credits to Colin Andrews and Francine Blake)

Who are those unknown crop artists, and why are they showing us symbols of a spiritual nature in the fields? Two somewhat more complex examples are shown in the next diagram from the years 1996 or 2001 (see or

slide 4: Windmill Hill 1996, Milk Hill 2001 (photo credits to Lucy Pringle, Steve Alexander and Karen Douglas)

Each of these pictures seems to illustrate in symbolic form the monthly phases of our Moon as seen at far northern latitudes on Earth, or at the latitude of England close to midnight, although other people have interpreted them in terms of Mandlebrot-type fractals (see

If you have watched some entertainment program on TV about crop circles, or read some frivolous story in the international newspapers, to the effect that teams of fakers with rope and boards are going out late at night into the fields of England, and making complex pictures when no one is looking, then please take the time to realize that you have been lied to! In very important matters such as these, involving possible or even likely extra-terrestrial contacts with Earth, we simply cannot expect our governments or international media to be telling the truth. That would require a governmental policy decision at the highest level, which apparently has not yet been made.

Those mysterious crop pictures appear mainly during the four to six-hour darkness of a northern-hemisphere summer night, in England or other European countries. Sometimes however they appear in late afternoon or early morning during broad daylight: as was the case for a famous late-afternoon "fractal" picture which appeared quickly and silently near Stonehenge in July of 1996 (see, or for a two-part "swallows" picture which appeared in early morning at South Field in July of 2008 (see Nor does good weather seems to be a requirement: they appear equally well under a clear sky or during pouring rain.

Furthermore, the typical appearance of any crop picture tends to be incredibly silent and stealthy. Usually no one sees or hears anything, even if some large picture appears directly next to a crowded housing complex or public road. Many of those Wiltshire fields are literally filled all night during summer with young people from Europe, all equipped with modern cameras, and keen to get a good picture of a new crop circle forming. Yet fifty or more silent pictograms still appear each year in the fields, while only a few have been caught while forming on film.

In one case, a well-known daylight video from Oliver's Castle on August 10, 1996 seems convincing at first glance, but remains controversial (see or or Yet in another more recent case, a series of night-time videos that were taken at East Field on July 7, 2007, in the presence of several reliable witnesses, seem conclusive beyond any reasonable doubt (see or or or

The highly international character of modern crop pictures: England, Italy or Germany in 2008

The symbolic content of such crop pictures seems to be an international phenomenon, and not limited to England alone. For example, a large and spectacular Moon-Sun picture appeared at Lizzano, Italy on June 12, 2008, referring to an upcoming solar eclipse on August 1, 2008 (see or

slide 5: Lizzano 2008 (photo credits to Bruno Tommasini)

Then one month later, many eclipse-type crop pictures began to appear in southern England: for example at East Field on July 9, 2008 (see or at South Field on July 22-23, 2008 (see When studied carefully, all three of those new crop pictures showed nearly identical "lines" or "pointers", to indicate where on the horizon our Sun would rise on August 1, 2008 at high northern latitudes on Earth, just before it would be eclipsed by our Moon. Any insightful analyst would conclude that they were all made by the same artist, or same group of artists.

As yet another example, a four-armed serpentine motif appeared in England at Pewsey on July 20, 2004 (see A similar motif then appeared four years later in Germany at Edendorf on June 23, 2008 (see, except showing twelve serpentine arms rather than four:

slide 6: Pewsey 2004, Edendorf 2008 (photo credits to Wieland Werhahn and Steve Alexander)

In fact, four separate and highly detailed crop pictures appeared all across Lower Saxony on that same night of June 23, 2008 (see, thereby making the possibility of human fakery in this case somewhat remote.

What physical evidence have we collected so far?

After so many new crop pictures have appeared over the past 18 years, in five countries mainly (England, Italy, Germany, Switzerland or the Netherlands), but at other times all across Europe or even in South Korea or the USA (see, what kinds of physical evidence might we have collected so far, to suggest some kind of paranormal, non-human origin for such pictures?

Only a few scientific laboratories have devoted any real effort to studying this phenomenon as of 2008 (see or or or Yet there are a large number of competent and experienced field investigators (see for example or or or or or or The collective results from all those laboratory or field investigations seem rather interesting, even if little known to a mainstream academic audience, say the readers of Nature, Science or Cell.

The general consensus seems to be that a few simple crop pictures could perhaps be made by small teams of local human fakers without detection, using rope and boards in isolated fields, so long as those patterns remain fairly simple and require only a few hours to produce. But most recently-formed crop pictures (especially from the years 2001 to 2008) have become so large and complex with respect to the images they encode, that any "human faker hypothesis" has become completely untenable for the subject as a whole. Not one competent or honest researcher seems to believe in it anymore, to our current knowledge. Nor has any known team of skilled human fakers been able to construct a large, complex crop picture, even in daylight over two full days, without making occasional errors of flattening under the best of circumstances (see for example or

These comments are not intended in any way to disparage such excellent efforts to create "authentic but manmade" crop pictures. Every kind of hypothesis should be tested logically and objectively, to see whether it can stand up to critical scrutiny? The current consensus however, among practically all honest and knowledgable researchers of the subject (with no exceptions to our knowledge), is that local humans with rope and boards cannot do such a thing: especially fifty or more times late at night in England every summer, and also in other European countries.

Certain websites (which cannot be named specifically here) do of course favour a "human faker hypothesis", yet they seem purely disinformational in character. Thus, the authors of those websites seem to be deliberately lying to the public, in an intentional sense to mislead. One can only speculate as to their motives. Could they be implementing some kind of official policy perhaps, to cover up any possible contacts between extra-terrestrials and ourselves, even of the most innocuous kind?

The next question to ask is this: if most complex crop pictures are not made by local humans, then what physical evidence have serious researchers collected so far, that could indicate a highly unusual, paranormal means of construction? First, most authentic crop pictures show "bent nodes" or "expulsion cavities" in their patterned plants, not consistent with a mechanical means of flattening (see or or

slide 7: bent nodes, explusion cavities (photo credits to Janet Ossebaard)

In other words, those plants have been subjected to highly localized, microwave-type heating that makes the water inside their stems either expand or explode, through neighbouring plant tissues nearby. By analogy, those plants have been patterned into some particular shape just as for heating a stiff iron bar until it melts locally, then bending it while hot and pliable into a sharp curve, and letting it cool again.

The silent and stealthy nature of this process is in some way its own worst enemy. For example, if a large disc-shaped flying saucer were to appear every time a new crop picture appears, then most people would be immediately convinced. Instead, even the most careful observers usually see no more than strangely moving lights above a newly forming crop picture, or sometimes small metallic probes, or at other times small coherent balls of light (see or or or or or

Yet those witnesses are not imagining anything, because British military helicopters can sometimes see them too! Consider for example the dramatic pair of photographs shown below (left and upper right) which were taken at East Field on July 7, 2007, the very morning after a large crop picture appeared:

slide 8: metallic orbs, balls of light (photo credits to Winston Keech and Charles Mallett)

Other photographs have been taken of strange "balls of light" at night, as also shown above (lower right). Perhaps those are the same kinds of object as seen in daylight, except imaged differently?

In addition to occasional photographic records of those objects, we also have many reliable eyewitness testimonies. David Kingston recalls for example from 1976: "I was on a night watch for UFO’s at Clay Hill near Warminster. Three separate orbs of coloured light, each approximately six feet in diameter, had been weaving around and above us for three hours, merging at times into a single globe then separating again. Suddenly one of those orbs descended to thirty feet, then flew down into a field at the base of Clay Hill. As dawn broke, I noticed a flattened circle in a field of wheat. On further inspection, there were no broken stalks, just a perfectly flattened circle thirty feet in diameter" (see

Charles Mallett reported similarly in the 1990's: "No more than ten minutes past sunset, we spotted a luminous sphere of orange light hanging in mid-air, half a mile across the valley. As darkness set in, it grew to the size of a soccer ball. A second light then appeared next to the first. Military helicopters soon arrived at high speed, heading straight for the first light. When they got close, it blinked out and re-appeared five miles away. After they left, the bright orange light returned to its original location, and remained there for several hours, moving in subtle arching motions. We went to sleep and woke at 4:30 AM in the hope of finding a new crop picture? No new pictures arrived that night, yet on the following night, just where we had seen those lights, a small flower-of-life formation appeared" (see
Again last summer, three metallic orbs were photographed at South Field on July 27, 2008, while they were being pursued by a British military helicopter (see There have been many independent reports of that kind, too many to list here. Perhaps that is not much to go on after 18 years of studying crop pictures, but then large, mainstream scientific laboratories have refused so far to study this phenomenon with any kind of sensitive, sophisticated camera equipment such as they use in their other endeavours.

Nevertheless, using standard commercial cameras, a few dedicated investigators have captured on film what appear to be spacetime portals or wormholes opening up in the sky next to a newly forming crop picture (see "Crossovers from another dimension" by Terje Toftenes on or

Others such as Winston Keech, Gary King and Paula Presdee-Jones have photographed a brief flash of "sheet lightning" at 3 AM, followed quickly by a new 300-meter crop formation in the field below, when no human fakers were visibly present (see or or or

slide 9: East Field 2007 before-after (photo credits to Lucy Pringle, Winston Keech and Gary King)

The sudden and mysterious appearance of that large, 300-meter East Field formation appears to have required no more than 10 minutes, and was not accompanied by any detectable human presence in the field below. Those are the experimental facts, not the wild speculations of hoaxers or debunkers which you hear commonly on TV. Do they have any detailed facts to report? No, none at all. Over the next few years, the placement of improved cameras with greater night-time sensitivities in those fields, where crop pictures commonly appear, may reveal more of the detailed processes by which they are made.

Three classes of hypothesis have been proposed to explain these data, only one of which still remains plausible in 2008

Based on the general facts presented so far, which are accepted by practically all knowledgable researchers in the field, one might conclude that the unknown creators of this strange crop-based messaging system possess a level of advanced technology, which is far beyond anything that ordinary humans on Earth today possess. For example, they seem to have no need for large flying saucers or UFOs, since their technology has evidently advanced beyond that point. Instead, they seem to be sending small, gravity-insensitive robotic probes across large distances of space and/or time, in order to create such amazing pictures. Those devices have been evidenced numerous times by the sighting of a small metallic orb or ball of light near a newly-formed crop picture, whether by eyewitness account or on camera (see above).

Where exactly might such probes be coming from? Another star? Another planet in our solar system? Our future or maybe even our past? Three overall classes of hypothesis have been proposed to account for these strange data, but only one seems to remain plausible as of 2008.

(i) The "human faker hypothesis". No one is seriously promoting that anymore, even the BBC who are well known for their debunking efforts. In the light of many complex crop pictures that have appeared during the years 2001 to 2008, the human-faker hypothesis now seems far beyond the possibility of honest belief, right up there with the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. The mainstream media, perhaps to satisfy nervous governments concerning this greatest story for the past two thousand years, now write skeptical, humorous stories or else remain completely silent, with rare exceptions (see or

(ii) The "natural forces hypothesis". The idea that wind or other natural geomagnetic energies could create crop pictures was once plausible for some simple round shapes during the late 1980's (see, but seems completely untenable today in the light of many complex crop pictures from 2001 to 2008.

(iii) The "extra-terrestrial hypothesis". This last hypothesis now seems highly favoured, in the light of many highly coded, astronomical or mathematical crop pictures which have appeared in recent years: for example the Chilbolton "Arecibo" formation of 2001 (see, the Crabwood "alien face" formation of 2002 (see, or the Barbary Castle "pi to ten digits" formation of 2008 (see

Such new pictures are just what one might expect from highly intelligent starfarers, who might be trying to communicate with the current inhabitants of Earth using universal symbols taken from astronomy or mathematics. For example at Barbary Castle on June 1, 2008, we saw the now-famous image of a rotary encoder that expressed a value of the universal mathematical constant pi to ten digits of accuracy as 3.141592654 (see

slide 10: pi to 10 digits (photo credits to John Montgomery)

That amazing picture appeared during poor weather in fresh green barley. Upon early inspection of the wet field before anyone else arrived, experienced investigators such as Charles Mallett or Lucy Pringle found no footsteps or board marks anywhere, to suggest a local human means of construction (see Furthermore, many of its patterned plants showed "bent nodes", meaning that they were seemingly exposed from the air to some kind of microwave energy, that produced local heating in the plants as a means of careful and precise patterning (see

For a week or so after it appeared, detailed images of that formation went out around the world via the Internet (not the mainstream news), and were seen by thousands of interested people. Yet no one could figure out what the new picture was trying to tell us. Finally on June 5, a skilled physicist-engineer from North Carolina by the name of Mike Reed (see realized by simple inspection that it encoded the fundamental constant pi = 3.141592654 to ten digits of accuracy:

slide 11: pi to 10 digits (photo credits to John Montgomery)

Each individual digit from pi = 3.14..... was drawn in the field with 36 degrees of rotation, in order to specify a full ten-digit number over four spiral turns. For example, its first digit "3" was drawn with 3 x 36 = 108 degrees of rotation, while its second digit "1" was drawn with 1 x 36 = 36 degrees of rotation, then its third digit "4" was drawn with 4 x 36 = 144 degrees of rotation, and so on. There was even a small decimal point placed close to the center between digits "3" and "1", to tell where the fractional part of pi began.

Really, could anyone in their right mind imagine that some invisible team of local human fakers, armed with microwave patterning devices, and not leaving traceable footprints, went out late at night in poor weather near Barbary Castle: to lay down the value of pi to ten digits, without making a tiny mistake anywhere; and thereby setting out a great intellectual puzzle that took everyone in the world a whole week to solve? Or more plausibly, could it have been an open message to the world by friendly extra-terrestrials of the kind:

"Here we are, and we use the same value of pi that you do. There is nothing to be afraid of."

Why won't such friendly extra-terrestrials simply "land on the White House lawn"? Well, there have been suggestions that they already tried to do so but failed (see or or In which case, all of these English (or European) crop pictures might simply represent a back-up strategy, to make open contact with ordinary people on our troubled world, before some critical time in the near future.

Finally, if anyone wishes to read the comments by UK Skeptics concerning that amazing crop picture, they may do so here (see

Other crop pictures show long-forgotten symbols from our distant past, especially from ancient England or central America

So we have made some progress at addressing this difficult problem, by eliminating the "human faker" and "natural force" hypotheses. We are left therefore with some kind of "friendly extra-terrestrial" hypothesis, especially in light of the remarkable pi-to-ten-digits crop picture that appeared at Barbary Castle in 2008. Unfortunately, a definitive answer does not come that easy. Most humans on Earth today imagine that they are completely alone in the universe, and are just waiting for some friendly group of extra-terrestrials to invite us to join an interplanetary federation. Others perhaps are fearful that unfriendly extra-terrestrials will wish to take over or invade?

Given a more thorough study of the crop circle phenomenon, neither of those two commonly-held human attitudes toward extra-terrestrial life seems accurate. We just saw that one particular crop circle from Barbary Castle on June 1, 2008 supported some kind of friendly extra-terrestrial hypothesis which could lead to open contact in the near future. Yet many other crop pictures from the same year 2008, or from earlier years, have shown quite different kinds of symbolic content. Thus, a large number of modern crop pictures seem to show, not alien or mathematical symbols, but rather symbols from our own distant past on Earth, especially from ancient England or central America.

Could there have been a more advanced human race than ours, living on Earth sometime in the distant past? Or might visiting extra-terrestrials have been with us for a long time now, say for the past 2000 to 4000 years, as the human-like gods of ancient legend? In order to address these important questions in a systematic and factual way, let us examine the detailed data further. Crop pictures which show symbols from our distant past may be sorted into four general categories:

(a) Dumbbell-type pictograms from the early 1990's. Most of those appear in retrospect to show long-forgotten symbols from the ancient science of Ptolemaic astronomy, which illustrate the common processes of planetary conjunction, planetary opposition, or lunar and solar eclipses (see Some of those symbols are still used today in modern astrology, because Ptolemy was an expert at natal astrology, as well as his Earth-centered system of epicycles (see For example, looking at the crop picture shown below from Alton Barnes on July 11, 1990 (see, one can see several ancient astronomical symbols for a close approach or conjunction in Earth's sky between the two planets Venus and Jupiter, or between Jupiter and our Moon:

slide 12: Alton Barnes 1990 (photo credits to Lucy Pringle)

On August 12, 1990, precisely one month after that crop picture appeared, the two bright planets Venus and Jupiter made their closest approach in Earth's sky for perhaps 100 years. Their sky coordinates at that time were Right Ascension Venus 8 hours, 4.3 minutes versus Jupiter 8 hours, 4.1 minutes, and Declination Venus 20 degrees, 42 minutes versus Jupiter 20 degrees, 40 minutes (see Our Moon then passed closely by both Venus and Jupiter on August 17-18, 1990. One month later, our Moon eclipsed or occulted Jupiter on September 15, 1990. How could anyone have not noticed?

Those crop artists must have imagined that their first attempt at sending a complex pictorial symbol through space and time would be wildly successful! Probably they expected everyone on Earth to become very excited, once someone made the simple and logical connection between two bright planets joining together in Earth's sky on August 12, 1990, and their astronomical crop picture of July 11, 1990? What a clever message! But no one at the time caught on, and only a few people worldwide took any notice.

That became especially true after the international media concocted an elaborate fake story about two old English gentlemen Doug and Dave, who had supposedly made thousands of crop pictures from 1978 to 1991, late at night with rope and boards without ever getting caught (see or or Given that the crop growing season lasts in southern England for three months, their claims would work out to 100 new crop pictures every year, or one for each night in summer, lasting 14 years in succession! Nor did they ever claim to work in the Avebury region of southern England, where most authentic pictures usually appear. Finally, they were reportedly paid a substantial sum to tell their story (see

In summary, we can be sure now that their claims were untrue: not only for logistical and/or geographical reasons, but also because they knew no astronomy. The transcript of a 1991 interview with Dave makes interesting reading:

"How did you make all of those circles?"
Dave: "We made them using the most primitive equipment: two sticks four feet long, two pieces of string, and a baseball cap with an eyepiece."
"But how do we know, Mr. Chorley, that you are not now hoaxing us about the hoax?"
Dave: "You don't know, do you?"

Now in addition to Alton Barnes of July 11, 1990, approximately fifty other dumbbell or eclipse-type pictograms appeared in Wiltshire during the years 1990 to 1993. Most told about significant events in Earth's sky contemporaneous with the appearance of specific crop formations on the ground, again using obscure and long-forgotten symbols from Ptolemaic astronomy (see Or following an old adage, "As in heaven above, so on Earth below". Anyone can go back now to the crop circle archives, and verify this is so (see or

(b) Megalithic-type pictograms from 1994 to 2007. Other crop pictures seem to show symbols from our distant past, that tell about the original function of well-known historical sites in southern England. Some of that information seems amazingly accurate, just as if it might be coming from the builders of those ancient sites, across 4000 years of time to modern humans today. For example, the Avebury "spiderweb" of 1994 told us that five turns around the outer ring of stones at Avebury Ring were used to keep track of one 19-year Metonic cycle of our Moon (see or

In two other cases, a daylight crop picture from Stonehenge on July 7, 1996 told us that monthly cycles of our Moon were once studied at Stonehenge close to sunset (see or

slide 13: Stonehenge 1996, West Kennett Longbarrow 2007 (photo credits to Lucy Pringle and George Latham)

Eleven years later, another crop picture from West Kennett Longbarrow on June 27, 2007 used clever three-dimensional perspective, to show us what that ancient burial mound once looked like inside (see

Many people at first interpreted that daylight picture from Stonehenge 1996 in terms of fractal geometry from modern mathematics. Yet once you study the entire archives, to see if those same symbols appear anywhere else, then you can find perhaps a dozen other examples where they clearly represent monthly lunar phases. Consider for example a very lucid picture from Horb Am Neckar, Germany on July 1, 2007, that told about a recent conjunction between Venus and our Moon. It showed a five-pointed star for Venus (see below), and those same Stonehenge-type symbols for our Moon as it progressed from "new" to "full" (see

(c) Sacred geometry pictograms from 1990 to 2007. Sacred geometry represents a beautiful form of mathematics or architecture that was once in widespread use on Earth, during our distant past (see Somewhat surprisingly, it also appears in modern crop pictures today (see or The idea that sacred geometry might be important for understanding crop pictures was first developed by astronomer Gerald Hawkins, when he found five new geometric theorems in crops that had never been written down by Euclid (see or Later that same idea was developed further by Bert Janssen in his book "The Hypnotic Power of Crop Circles" (see or

Its most recent exposition came with two remarkable crop pictures during August 2007 at West Overton or Sugar Hill. One showed an ancient "Flower of Life" geometry from our distant past, say from the Temple of Osiris in Egypt (see, while the other showed "Metatron's Cube" (see or

slide 14: Sugar Hill 2007 versus Metatron's Cube (photo credits to John Montgomery)

In the latter picture, they showed us Metatron's Cube in order to convey a clever double meaning. Thus "18 cubes" from its internal geometry matched the 18 days from when it appeared on August 1, until August 18 when Venus would complete an inferior conjunction with our Sun. Likewise, their Flower of Life picture showed "6 one-sixth parts of a cube", and appeared on August 17, or just one day before August 18 and Venus conjunction.

(d) Calendar-type pictograms from 2002 to 2007. Still other crop pictures seem to show calendars from ancient England or central America, that fell out of regular use on Earth many hundreds or thousands of years ago. One good example (below left) appeared at Windmill Hill on July 18, 2002, and illustrated a British megalithic calendar that once divided any year into six equal parts, each of 60 to 61 days in length (see It appeared 28 days after the summer solstice of June 20, and hence 28 diamond shapes were omitted on the left, because those particular days had already been used up:

slide 15: Windmill Hill 2002, Silbury Hill 2004 (photo credits to Lucy Pringle)

Another good example (above right) appeared at Silbury Hill on August 2, 2004, and illustrated a Mayan Long Count calendar that divides any long period of 26,000 years on Earth into a series of 5200-year epochs or Suns (see According to the ancient Mayans, humans on Earth have supposedly lived through four past historical epochs of 5200 years, each of which ended with some kind of great natural catastrophe. Their last epoch or Fourth Sun ended on August 11-13, 3114 BC, supposedly due to a worldwide flood. Meanwhile, our current epoch or Fifth Sun will end on December 21-23, 2012 AD, supposedly due to a worldwide earthquake. Hence today we are living in the Fifth Sun, but there is not much longer left to go!

Those past four epochs or Suns (1, 2, 3, 4) were represented in the crop picture at Silbury Hill by two narrow outer rings, each of which was divided into four equal parts by a broad "dark space" in between. Likewise, our current Fifth Sun (5) was represented by a large open circle at its very center, which was surrounded in turn by two multi-armed spirals, that seem to resemble the two moving hands of a clock. All of these features resemble those found on the original Aztec Sunstone from 1450 AD, which is today a major cultural symbol of Mexico (see

Along the very outside of that crop picture, two rows of ten boxes divide any long, 5200-year historical period into smaller parts of 520 or 52 years each. A few of the small 52-year boxes (near any dark space) have been further divided with six thin lines, so as to suggest an even smaller time interval of 52 / 6 = 8.67 years. And indeed, that is just how many years were left in our current Fifth Sun, from when that crop picture appeared during the summer of 2004, until late 2012 or early 2013. Very clever and mathematical! Could they be showing us a countdown of some kind, to tell us when our current world age will come to an end?

Some people continue to believe that such remarkable crop pictures could only be made by local human fakers, late at night with ropes and boards. Yet the detailed forensic evidence argues otherwise:

slide 16: fallen plants at Silbury Hill 2004 (photo credits to Verity Bullock and John Jameison)

How could anyone make such finely detailed patterns, across a broad expanse of several hundred meters, late at night without ever making a mistake, or ever being caught?