Unravelling circles

Crop circlesCrop circles

Andy Thomas, a leading researcher into unexplained mysteries, will be exploring the extraordinary phenomenon of crop circles at this month's meeting of the Wanstead Park Women's Club.

The crop circle mystery is a persistent and ever-controversial part of the English countryside – and countries beyond. Each year sees a new collection of beautiful shapes in the fields, always reviving arguments about whether they are man-made art or something stranger. Although the West Country is best known for its many crop circles, many other counties have them.

People often think crop circles have gone away because the media barely reports them, but they are still appearing and still astonishing people with their remarkable geometric complexity. For every crop circle that might be made by people, there are others that simply cannot be dismissed so easily. Many have appeared within seconds in front of people's eyes, while others see aerial lights in their vicinity, and there is evidence of biological anomalies occurring in many of them – something never found in man-made circles.

Whether the more mysterious patterns are made by other intelligences, natural forces, psychic forces or all or none of these is still hotly debated, but the effect they have had on people has been profound. Many have been moved very deeply by the sheer beauty of the designs, and for that alone we ought to be grateful.

Circular facts and figures:

  • England receives many crop circles, but Germany, Italy and The Netherlands also have high numbers. Other nations, such as Canada, Australia, Brazil, Russia, China and the Czech Republic, have also reported formations. Surprisingly (for its size), the USA only receives a handful each year.
  • The earliest known crop circle is depicted in a woodcut from 1678.
  • The oldest photo of a crop circle is from 1932.
  • There have been approaching 10,000 recorded crop formations to date.
  • There are around 150 eyewitness reports (and videos) of people watching circles appear in front of their eyes within seconds.
  • Crop circles can appear by day or night, often within very short time frames, yet an average man-made formation can take from six to nine hours for a team to create.
  • The longest recorded formation, at Etchilhampton, Wiltshire in 1996, measured 4,100 feet in length.

Andy's talk will take place on 15 May from 8pm at Aldersbrook Bowls Club (visitors: £2; booking required). Call 020 8532 9093. For more information on crop circles and other mysteries, visit truthagenda.org

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