by Frances Evlin
Thus opens Circles of Deception, my novel about the crop circle phenomena. Risa’s flash of intuition propels her into the world of the circle-makers, individuals with extraordinary mental abilities. And into my long-time favorite unsolved mystery.
To help you understand what I am going to rave on about, please look at photos of these amazing works of art. One such site is www.temporarytemples.co.uk/imagelibrary. It lists them year by year since 1994, three years after they gained worldwide attention, thanks to two retired English gentlemen who claimed they’d made all of them from 1978 to 1991.
Their story is one of the first you will find if you Google crop circles. The formations were not as complex then as they are now, and their confession sounded plausible until I got to the part where they said they made the “grapeshot” small circles by pole vaulting, to avoid leaving paths through the crop. That claim presented a serious credibility gap.
Anyone who looks at recent crop circle formations will see they have progressed far beyond the point where they could be made with a center pole, rope and stomper board.
They are no longer simple circles. In fact, many are not circles at all, but incorporate geometric designs, and representations of animals, birds and other creatures great and small. Those that still feature circles may include 3-D elements (Sugar Hill, August 1, 2007) or intricate floor lays (Etchilhampton, July 25, 2011).
I do not believe these formations are made by ETs. God created the universe and science does not know where it ends. We do know it contains thousands of planets. It is unreasonable to presume that only Earth is populated with intelligent beings. Novelists and screen writers often portray ETs as other than humanoid, but God created man in His image, so we can further presume that Beings from other planets would at least resemble Earth dwellers. However, it equally unreasonable to hypothesize that ETs would venture through space only to leave field art designs that Earth people are unable to interpret.
The designs are much too complicated and precise to be made by weather anomalies.
That leaves only humans as the probable formation makers. Eliminating those designs that are obviously contracted to publicize an event or advertise a product, we are left with other field art of unexplainable origin. A phenomenon, a modern mystery.
So I wondered what sort of individuals could be creating them. They would have to be people who: (1) had an excellent grasp of math, particularly geometry; (2) had some knowledge of architecture, to know how to lay out a pattern, even on hilly ground; (3) were willing to stomp around for hours at night in all kinds of weather; (4) had spouses or family members who did not question their frequent absences; (5) had a reliable vehicle with enough cargo space to haul their tools; (6) were risk-takers, foolish enough not to care about being caught and prosecuted for trespass or criminal mischief; (7) were sufficiently dedicated to their mission to never utter a word about it to anyone other than their circle-making buddies.
It was that last requirement that intrigued me the most. People like recognition. If they create something fantastic, beautiful and/or inspiring, they want the world to know they did it. Remember we are not talking about only one nationality or one ethnic group. Crop circle formations have appeared in twenty-five countries. The network of circle-makers would have to be worldwide. They would want to compare notes, to see who is contemplating what sort of design. Can’t you imagine the jealousy, the hard feelings (anger?) if a group in Country A was all set to put down a never-before-seen pattern only to find a group from Country B had done it within the last twenty-four hours?
What would be the consequences if a group became careless, left telltale footprints, let themselves be seen or otherwise jeopardized the mystery the phenomena needs to survive? Would members of other worldwide groups forgive and forget? Wouldn’t there be serious punishment for the offending group, followed by public denunciation of that group as frauds?
A similar scenario exists for an individual circle-maker who became disenchanted with the whole idea and declared s/he intended to go public. Is there a secret society, ala some university groups, whose threats (physical, social, financial) would force that person to keep quiet?
Did the British government set up Operation Blackbird only as a disinformation campaign? Why doesn’t the scientific community seriously seek to solve the origination of the formations instead of declaring all of them hoaxes and ridiculing those who research them?
Those are the thoughts that ricocheted through my mind when I visited the crop circle near Wilbur, Washington in 2007 (simple circles, not a stylized Teddy bear.) Who ARE these people? True, some folks are gifted at creating designs, although why they would choose cereal crops as their medium of expression baffles me. HOW do they escape detection? In over thirty years, and with up to 10,000 formations recorded worldwide, nobody has been prosecuted for trespass and/or criminal mischief? Some of the formations have appeared within sight of a major highway and no motorists noticed someone skulking about in the dark fields? (Wickham Green, July 29, 2010). Amazing!
And where are the “practice” formations? The attempts that turned out to be less than perfect? Once in a while, a poorly executed formation will appear, but the great majority are found in fine shape. This field art cannot be done over. There was no sloppy early version of The Milk Hill Galaxy of August 12, 2001, with its 409 circles of graduating size. And it has not been replicated, in spite of a Crop Circle Challenge offering approximately $160,000 to do so.
I think we have two phenomena here: The tantalizing circles and the mindset of the individuals who create them.
Frances Evlin is the author of eight novels: two mysteries, one YA, and five fantasy. She is a Pacific Northwest native whose love for creative writing predates her years involved with marriage, children and employment in the lumber industry. She appreciates the power of the English language and enjoys tinkering with words, as you will discover when you read her books. She enjoys reading soft-boiled mysteries, light fantasies and ghostly paranormals. Not sure if she’s an optimistic pessimist or a pessimistic optimist, she strives to live up to her motto: Don’t ever get daunted.