Crop Circles: Windows of Perception

Lucy Pringle

Reviewed by Ellen R. Hartman

24 Jun 2016

Uffington, Oxfordshire, July 8, 2006
Photo © Lucy Pringle

The following text is based on a lecture by internationally renowned crop circle authority Lucy Pringle, delivered on October 28, 2015, at the Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Moderator: Ben Nicholson

This series of three talks is by people who are working beyond the edge of design. The series is called Taboo Subjects, meaning subjects that are not really thought about very much within the design and the architecture and the arts community.

This evening’s lecture is being given by Lucy Pringle. She was educated in England and France and Switzerland and is a member of the Center for Crop Circle Studies, and a pioneer researcher into the effects of electromagnetic fields on living systems. This includes the physiological and psychological effects reported by people after visiting and being in the vicinity of a crop formation. She also studies animal behavior, remote effects, luminosities, mechanical failures and audio effects. Within our discipline of arts and design and architecture, these are things that we desire so much to have access to and yet know so little about.

Lucy Pringle works with scientists from all over the world and was one of the speakers at the Institute of Science and Astrophysics in Sofia, Bulgaria. The BBC has recently produced a program on her research, and she has appeared on the Discovery, Learning, and History Channels, as well as TV programs in Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Mexico, and Canada, as well as the BBC World Series. The BBC does not yet broadcast to the outer atmospheres, so we are going to be just working on the world today. That’s an English joke.

Lucy is a founding member and the chairman of the Unexplained Phenomena Research Society, as well as a member of the British Society of Dowsers, and she lectures at home as well as internationally. She has lectured at Christ College, Cambridge, at the Darwin Society, the Scientific Exploration Society, and the College of Psychic Studies and Alternatives in London. She has three books to her name, and her latest book is on... Forgive me, Lucy, I cannot remember the title of the new book but it’s about crop circles. They’re all out of print.

This afternoon we will be taken into a place that is familiar to some and probably deeply unfamiliar to others. Human beings have the ability to have cognizance of qualities within our world, within our being, that has been, what you might say, culturally edited out. Lucy, this evening, is here to bring these qualities back. So please welcome Lucy Pringle.


Lucy Pringle

Thank you for that glowing report. Also, thank you for inviting me here. I feel very honored. I’ve spoken at several places in America, but never in Chicago, so this is a new adventure for me.

This is a huge subject, and whatever I’m going to tell you tonight, I’m literally only going to be scratching the surface.

"The mowing-Devil, or, Strange news out of Hartford-Shire," woodcut, 1678
Photo courtesy Folger Shakespere Library

We’re going to start with one of the oldest images, if you like, because this is not a new phenomenon. This is a very famous one. It’s the Mowing Devil. It is a woodcut because in those days they didn’t have photography or anything like that. It dates to 1678. It tells the story of a farmer in Hertfordshire who had a field of oats. And when they were ready to be harvested, he called in a reaper.

Well, apparently that man was going to charge such a huge amount of money that the farmer was heard to say that he would rather the devil took his oats. And that is why this is called the Mowing Devil. Now, the farmer went away, and during the night, apparently, he heard strange sounds and he saw strange lights. And this is extraordinarily similar to what is happening in the fields today. We see these luminosities or lights hovering about the fields. And very often, if you go into that particular field the next morning, you may well find a crop circle underneath where you saw the lights the previous night.

When he came back the next day, he found part of his crop laid down in round circles and apparently he was terrified. But this is quite a misleading slide, because you can see that supposedly, the Mowing Devil, there he is, is cutting the crop. This is such a famous one that everyone thinks that in genuine crop circles that the crop is actually cut at the base. It’s not. It’s bent over very, very, very gently. No damage to the crop whatsoever.

Now, he wasn’t the very first person to talk about crop circles. Very recently I found a piece about John Aubrey. John Aubrey was an antiquarian historian and a philosopher, and he lived from 1626 to I think 1676. He, together with William Stukeley, were the two people to record what was happening at Stonehenge and Avebury in those days. We owe them a huge, huge debt, because but for them we would have no record of these very historic, sacred places at all.

He was also fascinated in the round grass circles that he was finding on the Wiltshire Downs, and this is what he wrote: “I presume they’re generated from the breathing out of a fertile subterraneous vapour.” Little did he know that, 400 years later, he would have found a very important part of the jigsaw puzzle.

Many people say to me, what is this subject all about? What is the meaning behind all this? I received an email from someone who said she had been looking at the pictures in my book, and she said they had had a profound effect on her. They’re all giving off—later on, as you’ll see the actual pictures of the formations—they’re all giving off frequencies.

[Slide disappears due to unexpected technical failure.]

Strange things often happen when I talk about crop circles. There’s a sort of strange energy around and the most mysterious things happen. The most reliable technology fails.

What was interesting—she said that a word that came into her mind was “didactic,” and she didn’t know what “didactic” meant. So she looked it up in the dictionary and in fact I heard Kate use the word yesterday, and this is what she found in the... [Slide reappears.] Here we are. Hooray. Hip hip hooray. “Designed or intended to teach, intended to convey instruction and information, as well as pleasure and entertainment.” I think that actually fits the bill very, very precisely with this phenomenon.

Strange things do happen in circles. Many people like to meditate, because it’s an extraordinary event they are experiencing: it has a draw to the right-hand side of your brain. When I do my scientific work, I really rebel against it. I want to be sitting there meditating, but I have to sort of discipline myself to the scientific aspect.

This was a wonderful one. This appeared in 1993. It’s called Bythorn. It’s got so much symbology: the five-pointed star of Shiva and all the rest. Shiva was androgynous, etc. I won’t go into that. The group were sitting meditating around the edge of this circle, and one of the women heard someone walk up behind her when they were meditating, and she went on with her meditation. When it was finished, she was too embarrassed to say anything. Like so many people, she thought maybe she had imagined it.

But the man sitting next to her said, “Where is the person who walked up behind us?” No one else had joined the circle. I’d like to think of it as the genius loci, the guardian of the spirit, if you like—of the place; maybe the guardian of the crop circle. This has happened time and time again.

I’m going to take you back now to 25 years to 1990, because this year is the anniversary, really, of the very first amazing crop circle to appear. Before this, we had simple single circles, and then we’d had a ring around them, then more rings. Next we had little satellite circles which we call "grapeshot." Suddenly we had this extraordinary event appear with a shaft connecting all these elements, and we had these abutments coming off, which scholars of the arcane, they likened them to all different schools of mystery.

It set the world alight. So many people went in. All over the world they came to visit it. I think I was one of the few people who didn’t go in. Why I didn’t, I don’t know. Maybe I wasn’t meant to go in. But it created a huge stir. As Ben [Nicholson] was saying, this was the year we started the first academic society, which was called the Center for Crop Circle Studies.

The whole thing took off. Our president and secretary were both very polished public speakers. They did a lot of television work; they did a lot of radio broadcasts. The whole thing went wild, went viral, all over the world. Suddenly the powers that be got worried. The next thing that happened was that Doug and Dave appeared.

I remember this very well because I had an organized a lecture in Farnham, and the place was thronged with people. Suddenly this news broke, and again, just like everything else to do with crop circles, it made headline news—America, everywhere, all over the world. There wasn’t a phenomenon anymore; there wasn’t a mystery. These two men were responsible for everything.

For many people, they clutched to this rather like a dying man will clutch at a straw. Thank goodness, they said, we’ve now got an answer. Because so many people, if they can’t find an explanation to it, they become very scared. Other people said, no, that’s not true. There were circles happening in Europe at that time. Doug and Dave had nothing to do with those. They said they only did ones in Hampshire, and indeed, they did do simple ones in Hampshire.

But even today, when people introduce me and say, “Oh, she’s working in crop circles,” “Crop circles? But they’re all man-made! Those two old boys made them. We know all about it. There’s no phenomenon at all”—it’s extraordinary how that caught on.

Well, they were very careful. They learned their lines very well, Doug in particular. If you got them—because they did several lectures—if you got them both in the same room, Doug at one end and Dave at the other, and you asked them identical questions, you got completely diametrically different answers. So Dave was packed off to Australia. He couldn’t get his lines right. Sadly, he became an alcoholic, and he died. 

Martinsell Hill, Wiltshire, July 19, 2007
Photo © Lucy Pringle

I remember one program I was doing with the BBC, and a colleague of mine had already been caught out, so I was wary. They took me into a new circle, and they asked, “What is your opinion of this?” It was a mature crop, and I looked at it very carefully. I felt it between my thumb and finger, and it was crushed. I looked underneath, and there were seeds underneath—i.e., pressure had been exerted onto the fallen crop.

So I said to the producer, “Well, either this is man-made or else people have been in it. I don’t know which.” And they said, “Doug made it this morning.” It was a very, very simple circle. Anyhow, my bacon was saved.

In those days, the farmers were very, very happy to let you into their fields. In fact, they often came with you. They were thrilled. But ot anymore. Nowadays, the farmers are shutting their fields, and some of them are actually going in and just harvesting straight through a circle, cutting it in half.

There’s one man, Tim Carson, who actually owned the field where that enormous one appeared. He’s had over a hundred on his land. And the trouble is, this has become a commercial phenomenon. People come from all over the world—from the Far East, Middle Europe, Europe, America, Canada. Everywhere. And they appear in these huge buses, and they’ll just peel out and they’ll go in wherever. They get so excited. They actually forget it’s the farmer’s field. It’s his livelihood. And they’ll go in straight across the crop. And someone else will go in straight across that way. And once these paths are made, everyone else will go in. And, of course, the farmers get very upset.

So, it has become quite a problem. It was a huge commercial enterprise for that particular area in Wiltshire. I think they were making something like six million pounds a year, which would be about $10 million, due to the crop circles, and now all of that’s going. But still, the circles are there.

Wheat at Etchilhampton, nr Devises, Wiltshire
​Photo © Lucy Pringle

Wheat at Silbury Hill, nr Avebury, Wiltshire
Photo © Lucy Pringle

Now, people say, in what do these appear? Well, they will appear in anything which will take an imprint. And this one dates back to the 1980s. It appeared in Lincolnshire in a field of potatoes, and the farmer did extensive research. There was no plant decay; there was no soil deficiency; and no tracks leading to or away from it. So far as he was concerned, there was no explanation.

There was also an extraordinary story given to me by someone called Andre Tong, who I went to visit in Kent. As a young lad, he had been working on a farm, and one morning he and the farmer went into a field of sprouts. It was a very, very frosty morning. And to their amazement, they found this huge flattened area of sprouts.

The strange thing was, there was no frost whatsoever in the circle. There was a dead pheasant lying on top, and there was no frost on that either. Now, we know that there is a change of temperature, a change of atmosphere, in these circles, but that was an extraordinary explanation of that precise happening.

Also, what is particularly interesting is that in canola—and I’m going to be showing you pictures of the canola... It’s a hollow-stem crop, and it’s fragile. And if you bend it at an angle of more than 40 degrees, it snaps.

Well, sprouts have a far greater diameter, and so they will snap far more easily. They weren’t snapped at all. They were just softened at the base, lying flat.

Another question is, when does this phenomenon appear? Well, the answer is, we don’t know. The sort of general hypothesis is that it originates in the ionosphere, which is an area of huge atmospheric electricity, and then it spirals, this electric force, to earth, and it’s been estimated that it hits the ground with hundreds of thousands of volts per meter, but only for a nanosecond; otherwise it would burn the crop. And very occasionally, we do see evidence of scorched crop on the fallen crop inside a circle. But the answer is, we really don’t know.

Now, talking about the press, there’s a huge embargo on this subject. There was an article I had submiited for and was submitted by a news agency just before I left. Not a single paper or magazine anywhere in the world would touch it, because it was to do with making this into a credible subject, and they don’t want that.

How do you feel about the National Geographic? Do you feel it’s a reputable, well researched magazine? Yes? So did I. It was one of the ones we were allowed at school. It was a really genuinely good educational magazine. Well, all I can tell you is, when I have done...certainly one program with them, and I can’t tell you what a disaster it was. They told me no one else would be involved, and yet at the end, I was given half a minute’s coverage and the hoaxers were given two and a half minutes, and the hoaxers weren’t even supposed to be involved.

Well, they came to about six or seven of us researchers from all over the world—America, Belgium, all over—saying they wanted to do a program on the circles, and we all said no. We’d all had bad experiences with the National Geographic.

Several years ago, Bert Jansen from Belgium was walking past Silbury Hill one night at about midnight, and he saw across the road, at West Kennet Long Barrow, a whole lot of lights, and he thought he’d go up and investigate. He found a film crew there, so he went up to the producer and asked what was going on. She said, “Oh, we’re making a film for the National Geographic on people making a circle.” So Bert thought, oh, that’s interesting. So he went over to where these men were with their stomping boards, their great, big planks, and they sort of walked and pressed the crop down into the ground.

To his absolute amazement, he found they weren’t making a circle; they were actually walking around a circle that had appeared two weeks before. Now, the way that was shot, the whole world believed that those men had made that circle. We tried to get to the bottom of this; we tried to follow it up. We followed it all the way up to a head office in America. We met an absolute stone wall.

So this is what’s happening. What are people frightened of? What pressure is being put on them? Either way, I know that my telephone is tapped and I really couldn’t care less, because—[laughs]—I’m just devoted to this work.

The Jaw-Dropper, Milk Hill, Wiltshire, August 14, 2001
Photo © Lucy Pringle

Now, this was one...The hoaxers sometimes like to claim everything, sometimes as many as six different groups, all quite independent, will claim the same one when none of them have done it at all. This was one that they actually wrote to me and said they couldn't do. It was called the Jaw-Dropper because it was huge. It was 409 circles, and it almost covered the entire width of the field.

They said that, due to the hours of darkness at night at that particular time of year, the size and number of circles, and the fact they would have had to have created a circle every thirty seconds, “We can’t do it,” they said. So, in the book I’ve got there, I have actually included that because I thought, well, that’s really honest.

Another thing that was particularly interesting about this one was that it was raining that night when it occurred. Now, if you walked on the tram lines—these are the lines in between the crops that the farmers use for spraying and cultivating and that sort of thing—and if it has been raining, you build up a whole lot of soil on the soles of your feet. Sometimes it’s almost like walking on stilts and you have to kick it off.

If you then go into the field with stomping boards and you’re walking into the standing crop, you’re bound to get mud on the fallen crop. I have seen ones where there has been a thin film of mud. There wasn’t a trace of mud on any of those circles. And it’s a fractal image. It’s absolutely incredible. Many strange things happened in there—electrical failures.

I do say to people, if they don’t feel well as they’re approaching a circle or, actually, when they’re inside a circle, for goodness sakes come out, because there’s a whole gamut of effects that you can go through. Certainly, due to the electrical failures, I get worried if people have got health devices which are geared by a battery like a pacemaker. I think they’re much improved now, but I always say, go to your doctor and check that you’re going to be all right if you’re going to come with me on one of my tours—[laughs]—because I don’t want people collapsing all over the place.

Pitt, nr Winchester, Hampshire, August 15, 2002
​Photo © Lucy Pringle

Pitt, nr Winchester, Hampshire, August 15, 2002
Photo © Lucy Pringle

And this was another one they said they couldn’t make. This happened at Crabwood in 2002. It’s rather like a computer-generated image. You could probably do it on a computer, but how the heck are you going to put that in the field in the middle of the night? It’s quite extraordinary. All I can tell you—when I was flying over it, it meant absolutely nothing to me at all, and I thought, well, this is a most extraordinary thing.

So I said to the pilot, “Let’s orbit around it and see if it makes any sense.” In those days I was still using film in my camera, and I took it down to the printers, and as this thing came out we both said, “Ah! That’s a face.” It was absolutely stunning. But you then get this disk, and it’s as though you’ve got two master artists at work, two different artists.

What is so extraordinary about this one? This is the disk. Now, this disk is comprised of little tufts of crop. As you walk around something, you see it in different perspectives. But the reality always stays the same. For instance, if you’re walking around a chair, you’ll see the chair in all different perspectives, but the reality is that it is still a chair. What was even more extraordinary was that there was a decoded message in here. This was worked out by Paul Vigay, who was a close friend of mine. Sadly, he died a couple of years ago.

Using the ASCII character set and binary, this was what he deciphered, and some was in upper-case, some in lower-case:

Beware the bearers of FALSE gifts & their BROKEN PROMISES. Much PAIN but still time. BELIEVE. There is GOOD out there. We oppose DECEPTION. Conduit CLOSING.

Now, to find that message from little tufts of crop is unbelievably bizarre. But also, I thought that it was really quite a superficial message. To me, it was what you would call a steganogram, which is a code within a code. And I happened to go to a talk about the Omega file a few years later, and there were one or two people there who had actually worked at Bletchley, decoders at Bletchley. So I gave this to them. None of them have so far managed to come up with a steganogram. But it’s just an amazing piece of work. Paul was absolutely brilliant.

This is the one I call the Doubt Dispeller. It looks like absolutely nothing. It’s in a field of barley, and it was early in the year, because there you have the canola in the background. It was flattened three feet off the ground. No way could any pressure have been exerted on that whatsoever. It was all twisted and bent. None of this was broken. It was like spiders’ webs in places. All of it was just bent over. It has a most curious effect.

Many of the skeptics said, “Oh, that’s just rook damage.” So I went and spoke to the farmer and he said, “I have a rookery, and I’m going to show you what rook damage looks like.” So off we went, and it looked nothing like that whatsoever. He said, “That’s not rook damage.” He was absolutely, completely perplexed. He could not find an answer. (Rooks are birds!)

I was doing a lot of work, and still do, with someone called Christopher Weeks. We were walking down the tram line, and there were telegraph poles. And, on the right-hand side, we came upon another circle with exactly the same effect: again, flattened, three feet off the ground. It had a very sharp cutoff point there. We thought, well, that’s very strange.

We walked a little bit further, and we found that bit. So I got out our measuring tape. We measured it. That was exactly 22 feet, and that was exactly 22 feet. So clearly there was a descending force which in some way met the electricity of the telegraph poles and got sliced at that particular juncture.

Now, the first crop—this was actually one that appeared in 2010, again, in canola. And as I was saying, it’s the easiest crop to find out if it’s genuine or not because any weight that is exerted on it, it does massive damage. And Prometheus, which produces the programs Ancient Aliens—I don’t know if any of you know that—they wanted to do a program on crop circles, and they rang through. They didn’t really know too much about them, but they’re a really nice bunch of people, and I spent hours talking to them about it.

They wanted the best hoaxers to construct a circle identical to one that had already appeared, which was perfect. This one was perfect. Again, it was in canola. I went in. There was no damage whatsoever. So this was the one that was selected. They asked me to get in touch with the hoaxers and arrange for it then and go in as the critical person afterwards to give my opinion.

Well, I can tell you, they’re not a very nice bunch of people. I knew they wouldn’t be able to do it, and then I would have had to pull all their work to pieces. I thought, well, I don’t think I want to do that. And someone called Charlie Mallett took it over.

This is their effort. It was extremely good, as you can see. I flew over it, because Charlie wanted me to take a picture of it when it was being made or almost completed. Now, this was in another pilot’s airspace, and you have to ask permission to fly fairly low if you want to go into their airspace. We couldn’t get ahold of him.

The “Spider’s Web,” Avebury, Wiltshire, August 10/11, 1994
Photo © Lucy Pringle

So this was taken from about a quarter of a mile above the earth, above the ground. And I’ve just got a particularly good lens. It was a very expensive lens, and I had to sell a really beautiful, old, silver coffee-pot in order to buy that lens. Luckily, my sister bought it, so it’s still in the family. Here you can see their ladder down at the bottom of the field, and there they are holding a tape across. There are two people there holding a tape across the other one.

The tape there will be knocking off the flowers. Well, afterwards—I’ll zoom in again; there you can see it more clearly—there they are. Well, when we went in—well, Charlie went in first and then I went in later—all I can say is I really took my hat off to them because if ever you have walked through a field of canola when it’s ripe, it is absolutely horrendous. The pollen gets everywhere. It gets in your hair, in your nose, in your eyes, in your ears. You’re covered in yellow. The smell is awful. And they worked on that for about four hours.

And here you can see, there is a broken stem at the base. There is another one. There is a crushed stem. And there is a bruised stem. They can’t do it. They just cannot do it. Now, this is really good. Prometheus is actually going to show this. It’s come out in the States. It’s come out here already, but it hasn’t been released, I don’t think, in England yet. So this is a really valuable piece of work.

This is the genuine one. I went in on—into a formation very, very early one morning. Again, it had been raining. And what I had to do was to dig right under the base. I always go around the perimeter, because that’s where fewer people have walked. And I found this one. And you have to dig quite a bit around it, because, even if it’s cracked underneath, then it’s not right. And that was perfect. But it was so muddy, I can’t tell you. I was covered in mud, my camera was covered in mud, I was a total mess. But that was a very worthwhile photograph.

And I was supposed to do a three-hour interview with Prometheus. The production company did a lot of thinking. Well, they thought. They thought some more. There’s the producer doing a lot of thinking. And even more thinking. And then, suddenly, a little light aircraft came over and decided to loop-the-loop and do acrobatics. So I ended up by doing an interview of about twenty minutes, which was totally interrupted, so in fact nothing happened at all. But I think Charlie Mallett did, because he had them down in Wiltshire for three days. I think he did a really good interview.

Now, we’ve simply got to—we can’t possibly not tell this story, because this is an eye witness account of a formation that happened, actually, in the daytime. And I had been giving a talk at Alton College in Hampshire and someone went in a taxi afterwards and said to the taxi driver, “Oh, I’ve just been to a fascinating talk on crop circles.” And the taxi driver said, “Ooh, I saw one appear at Stonehenge.”

So this got back to me very quickly, and I rang through to the taxi driver and I said, “There isn’t one at Stonehenge at the moment—one that I know about. Can you possibly tell me where it is?” And she said, “No, no, it’s years ago.” So at that time, I said, “Well, there was one in 1996, one in 1997, and one in 2002.” She immediately said 1996, because that was the year a son who was in the army was on leave. And she said, “I know it was a Sunday” because she had to drive down the A303, which is one of the most clogged roads going to the west, and all the evening traffic was coming back after the weekend, and she had a clear run. 

Windmill Hill, nr Avebury Trusloe, Wiltshire, July 18, 2002
Photo © Lucy Pringle

As she was coming down the hill from Amesbury—you can see Stonehenge on the right—she saw this curious cloud hovering above the field on the left, and there was a whole mass of cars pulled in to the side, on the verge. One came out, so she nipped in quickly, and she thought, “I wonder what everybody’s doing looking over the fence.”

So she joined them, and she said she saw the most amazing thing. She saw the crop actually going down in front of her eyes. And it got bigger and it got bigger and it got bigger. She couldn’t see the shape because she was on the same plane, but she said what she was witnessing was just unbelievable. And she said, “Something happened to be happening to the mist. They weren’t actually joined, but they seemed to be communicating in some way, because the mist was also expanding and circling around as the crop, on the ground, was so expanding.

So I said to her, “Well, how long do you think this took?” And she was one of the most factual people I’ve ever come across. She was Irish. And she said, “Well, Lucy, when you’re watching something like that, you’re not looking at your watch, are you?” So I said, “No. No, of course you wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be, either.” I said, “No, of course not.”

So then I pressed her, because all the other reports I’d had, which I wrote up in my first book, it happened in a matter of seconds. And so she said, “I think it was between 20 and 25 minutes.” I said, “Are you sure?” And she got really quite cross with me. She said, “Lucy, I was there. I know what I saw. You weren’t there. You don’t know what I saw.” [Laughs.] No arguing with that whatsoever. So I went away feeling really quite chastened, but also really very disappointed, because I thought, well, she was so credible, but she’s simply got all this wrong.

And then I thought again. A little bit further again. I thought to myself, hold on. All the other eyewitness stories I had recorded were about simple, single circles, and here we’ve got something which is gigantic. It had 501 circles. So I got in touch with Jim Lyons, with whom I do a huge amount of work. He was chief engineer at the British Aerospace when they were developing the Harrier Jump Jet. He’s an academic through and through. He’s now retired, so he’s free to think and do whatever he wants. He’s really a polymath, and he puts up with my total ignorance about basic science.

And so I told him about this, and he got wildly excited about the mist. He said, “This is part of the forming process.” And so I said, “But listen, Jim, what about this time element? Would there be any difference?” And he said, “Yes, of course. Just give me the number of circles and the measurements and I will tell you how long it takes to form.”

Well, in those days we did have teams of people going out measuring the circles. Sadly, now, I think I’m about the only person doing work in England on the circles. We badly need more people. Anyhow, he wrote back, and I’m going to read you what he said. 

Woodborough, nr Alton Barnes, Wiltshire, August 13, 2000
Photo © Lucy Pringle

It’s generally accepted that, as a result of work conducted in the 1990s, it’s possible to calculate the time formation takes to appear based on the size and number of circles. The method relates to the earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields. This predicts the velocity of the resulting vortex filament of some ten foot per second. The filament propagates not unlike a solar flare. To create the 151 circles in the 915.5 x 580-foot pattern would take of the order of 20 to 25 minutes to create.

M was spot-on.

The descending force emits an electrical discharge, which releases bubbles from the underground aquifers, which rise up through the surface of the ground, and patterns are formed. The patterns develop...

Now, wait a second. Oh, yes, he was saying... I’ll go on a bit more.

There’s less pressure outside than inside. Therefore, there is a sort of sucking down motion from inside which bends or sucks down the crop at the base.

I think that also has something to do with the atmospheric conditions we’re finding inside.

The mist would appear to be as a result of cool water vapor rising from the underground aquifer”—just what John Aubrey said 400 years ago—“and behaves in a manner similar to what happens in the lab when electrical discharges are created through water and different patterns appear on the surface. Mist forms a little distance from the triggering point, which would support what occurred in this case.

M could see the circle growing.

As for the height of the mist, it would be no higher than the radius of the formation created, and the mist cloud would grow as the formation grew.

This is all absolutely amazing, and it resulted in us taking huge steps forward in the basic science of this phenomenon. Really, the basic science behind is just basic, pure physics. But I said to Jim, “Yes, this is all very well. We need science as the basic structure and grammar of things. But science is evolving and moving. Science is not necessarily a litmus test for everything. Science is moving on just like everything else.” And so I said, “There’s more to this phenomenon than just that.”

And this is what he said: “However, the more complex patterns have additional information contained in the sphere, and who or what presses the button is beyond our present knowledge or understanding.” And, again, this is absolutely right and fascinating.

And it was a fractal image. We called it the Julia Set. But these can be seen on a very personalized basis. Some people saw that as a bass clef, other people saw it as the cross-section of a nautilus. And it all depends how these things really speak to you. 

This was a strange formation, though, because, as I was walking towards it, I suddenly had a gut feeling, don’t go in. Well, I often haven’t paid much attention to that in the past, and I’ve regretted it. Ihave felt really dreadful going in.

And there were two people with me. We were going to fly later on. They went on. They went in. They came out looking absolutely pea green. The circle had a huge, huge energy field around it. I can’t tell you how enormous. I dowsed it. So did Jim. We both had taken some wheat from the circle, and, although we were living miles from each other, we both found similar results... I dowsed the wheat outside my house in the street, and I found I was walking yards down the street before I reached the edge of the energy field, as it was so big. Jim did likewise with the same results.

I had some Canadians staying with me that weekend—they had all visited the circle—and one of the men said he felt totally irradiated. And he said, “I know what I’m talking about, because I work with radiation." It was almost like radiation sickness. As soon as they were outside the energy of the circle, they recovered immediately. So this is what I say to everyone: “If you don’t feel well, come out quickly.”

Barbury Castle, Wiltshire, June 1, 2008
Photo © Lucy Pringle

Now, we have to talk a little bit about mathematics. And this was a wonderful one that appeared in 2008 at Barbury Castle, one of our Iron Age hill forts. And it was someone called Mike Reed, who—sadly he’s dead now; he died last year—he was a retired astrophysicist. And he was working at the University of Arizona in Tucson on the MMT telescope, the Multiple Mirror Telescope. And this was in conjunction with the Harvard/Smithsonian Observatory.

He recognized that as being pi, which is a mathematical constant. And he wrote to someone called Linda Moulton Howe in America, who wrote straight back to me, sending me a very sketchy pencil diagram. So I took it down to a friend in the village, who’s a brilliant mathematician—she is an examiner who corrects a whole lot of mathematical exam papers—and was a dead skeptic. But the moment she saw the photograph and diagram, she said, “My goodness, that really is pi.”

So I got home and I got out my box of colored pencils and I penciled it in. What happened was, this is a little, tiny dot in the middle, and Mike started from this abutment in the center and he worked all the way around.

And so I colored it in in my colored pencils and then sent it off to Andreas Mueller in Germany, who did a much more professional job.

Barbury Castle, 2008, diagram by the author, with Andreas Mueller

But this is how it works. You start there in the center and go around. So we’ve got three, one, four, one, five, nine, two, six, five, four. Pi to the power of nine: 3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9, 2, 6, 5, 4. But that’s not all, because here we have these little circles. They’re not ellipses—’ses’—they are ellipsis—’sis.’ And that is a geometric term for “and so on,” and that is pi.

Well, we were given pi not only in a decimal form; we were then given it in a fraction form. This appeared a few years before. And if you count the little jaggedy bits up into the center, the radius there, there are seven, and all the way around there are 22, you’ve got 22 over 7. So if you believe there could be an intelligent sort of communication behind it, they’re giving us this mathematical constant in both forms—in the fraction and the decimal form. And mathematics is a universal language.

Now, here we have another lovely one. This one appeared in Dorset last year at a place called Sixpenny Handley. And we have here the five-pointed star and the star and the crescent. [Slide: Image of a star and crescent.] And many people believe that the star and the crescent is purely an Islamic symbol, but in fact it predates Islam by many, many thousands of years, because our ancient forefathers in Egypt and many, many other cultures in Southeast Asia, Siberia—really, all over the world—they worshipped the sun, the moon, and the stars. They were the celestial beings, the sun gods.

It wasn’t until the Ottoman Empire when the Turks invaded Constantinople—I think it was in 1453, that then they captured and they adopted the flag of Constantinople. And that was when the star and crescent became the symbol of Islam. It was also known as the Metatron Cube. And this again goes back to the ancient people. Metatron Cube represented the Big Bang, if you like; the creation of the world when God or the divine intelligence created the universe, which stretched out in all dimensions of time and space into infinity. And to them it was really a map of the creation of the world.

And here again you can see it. Much more complex geometry. A lot of people are very, very expert at sacred geometry, and this phenomenon is full of sacred geometry, which is really the geometry of the natural world, which incorporates the golden mean and the Fibonacci series, etc.

It also includes all the five platonic solids: the tetrahedron, the cube, the octahedron, the dodecahedron, and the icosahedron. That was the octahedron. So there’s a huge amount of mathematics. And, of course, math and music are related. That’s what Pythagoras taught us. And so these are also giving off frequencies.

And this is what I’m going to tell you about now, because a friend of mine called Bob Sefton, who is a scientist as well as a dowser, used to accompany me on the Scientific Day, which I organize each year. I get a group of people together of all different disciplines and we do tests. And Bob hasn’t been able to come with me for a couple of years because he’s got a whole lot of ailments.

And he’s taken my calendar—I’ve got calendars on the table—ever since I first brought them out in the year 2000, in the Millennium. And knowing that these pictures, being geometric and linked to music, they’re giving off vibrations. And if any of you are feeling anything from these, I won’t be at all surprised, because they are giving off frequencies.

He found certain ones by dowsing that related to the various parts of his body that were giving him trouble—for instance, his ankle or something like that—and he would hold his pendulum over a particular formation which related to one of his ailments. The pendulum would start to spin, and when it stopped, treatment was over for the day.

Well, I was going through a really bad patch of—I’m a migraine sufferer but I didn’t take my powders in time, and it was just at a very, very low level for about two weeks and really, really wearing. So I thought, well, I’ll have a go, too. And I got out some of my calendars, used my pendulum; no, no, no, no—because my “no” is anti-clockwise—no, no, no, no. And then suddenly it came upon this one. And it whizzed around—yes.

Ackling Dyke, nr Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, June 29, 2014
Photo © Lucy Pringle

So I got out a bigger picture of it, and I sat down in a chair, and I looked at it. And I thought, yuck, that’s really horrible. It was jagged and sharp, and I thought, well, what am I doing? And then I thought, no, I’ve got to go on with this. And suddenly it started to evolve, and it all started to go into 3D. And I was absolutely fascinated watching it. It was the most extraordinary thing that was happening.

And then after a bit I thought to myself, where’s my headache? It’s gone. So I try and carry that photograph. I haven’t got it with me today, but I try to carry that with me, because if the situation allows and I’ve got a headache and I can go and sit quietly somewhere and look at that, it’ll go. And that is the frequency that actually relates to my particular cellular reaction. And so this is what is happening.

There was another lovely healing story about this one. This was the Hummingbird, which is very similar to the ones that you see on the Nazca lines. And there was a man called Steve Meredith, and he had had a really bad skiing accident when he was a young man. He hadn’t broken his neck, but he had damaged it really badly. He had been to all sorts of doctors and practitioners and it grew worse and worse and worse over the years. And he found that he could only lie on one side of his head, and he had to have a special pillow, and he was in a bad way.

And he went to this particular formation, amongst others. There were a lot of organic ones in those days. And suddenly, he found his neck was no longer giving him any pain. And I keep in touch with him, and to this day—that was in 2009—he is still absolutely fine. I’ve got the largest database in the world. I’ve got over 800 reports sent to me of what people have experienced either inside, outside a circle, or event remotely as you are doing today. So if anyone has experienced anything strange, please come and fill in one of my questionnaires, because this is invaluable research, and really, really important.

So he is one of the few people I’ve been able to keep up with. I can’t, unfortunately, keep up with everyone, which is sad, and which I would like to do. [Slide: Photo of woman with cat.] And there was a lovely story about this woman with her cat. I had been giving a talk in the morning. This was the years of the Millennium. And we went into a circle in the afternoon. And the cat was beautifully behaved. And I said, “Why have you brought your cat with you?” There he is in his British Airways bag. It was raining, it was sunny, it was stormy. It was every type of weather you could ever believe. And there he is, Rupert, tucked away in his British Airways bag behaving beautifully.

And she said, “Oh, well, you wrote about your cat, Hero,” which I did do in my first book, so she said, “I thought I’d bring Rupert along.” Well, afterwards, she wrote to me and said the most interesting aspect of Rupert’s reactions was that he behaved exactly as he does when visiting a church. She took him everywhere with her, on a lead.

“He has visited numerous country churches on our travels. Another interesting thing was, uninvited, he went up to a stranger, sitting, meditated, and sat beside her. Although he’s perfectly polite to strangers, he is never normally friendly as that and has never sat on anyone’s lap but mine.” And then she added a P.S.: “It may be coincidence, but Rupert’s constipation problems were sorted out after that experience.” [Laughs.] So there you are. All sorts of things can happen to you when you go into crop circles.

There he is.

The Torus Knot, Alton Priors, Wiltshire, July 11, 1997
Photo © Lucy Pringle

Now, I think many of us have had chapters in our lives, and each of those chapters has been a particular journey. And my journey at the moment is focusing on the temporary relief of Parkinson’s disease. And my focus really started in 1997, when a friend of mine who had Parkinson’s, who was very broad-minded, wanted to go into a circle. And I said, “Well, I’m rather worried about you, because you’re not well and I don’t in fact know how you’re going to feel.”

She was so passionate about it, I said, “What I’ll do, I’ll try and find one which I think is as nearly completely beneficial as possible.” So I went down to this one in Wiltshire—it was called the Torus Knot—and I went into it every day for almost—[audio goes out].

[Audio is restarted.]

So I said to her, “I think this is the one for you to go into.” So she came down with a friend and she sat in the center for about twenty minutes, or a little bit longer, and she didn’t shake for 24 hours. Now, if you know anyone with Parkinson’s, they’re shaking so many times per second. And to stop shaking for maybe a half-hour or an hour...but to stop shaking for 24 hours was absolutely remarkable.

And she said another factor that went with it was an extraordinary feeling of well-being. So this really was what kept me going on with this phenomenon, because I had been doing tests. We were getting constant results, which admittedly is what mainstream science wants, but we weren’t seeming to be making any advancement or any progress.

So I kept on harkening back—what has happened to Mary. So the research continued. And as I was saying, every year I organize—it takes a huge amount of organization—a group of people. Hazel Drummond comes with me every year. She is using the Asyra technique, which is—according to Prof. William Teller of Stanford University—is the best diagnostic machine on the market. It’s a hugely, hugely comprehensive amount of things she’s testing. The baseline test measures energy states in major organs and systems, and this can give an indication of which organs are out of balance and could indicate health problems.

The comprehensive test, thousands of test items in the computer database, attested to show whether one has been affected by viruses, bacteria, parasites. Then the hormonal imbalance. And this is very, very important, our endocrine system, because if our endocrine system is out of balance in any way, we’re out of balance emotionally, physically, and mentally. Neurotransmitters, brain wave patterns, vertebral misalignments, etc., etc., etc.

So, we had been testing, also for brain activity, and we were going as far as the beta level of brain activity, which was up to approximately 32 or 34 hertz per second. Then the technology advanced, and we were able to go up into the gamma level, which is between 34 to about 70, 70 to 80 hertz per second. It’s a very, very high frequency. And we were finding that people were actually spiking in this level.

So, I really didn’t know very much about it, and I did intensive research on the Internet. And I came upon a little, tiny paragraph which said, the brain naturally produces dopamine in the gamma level of brain activity. Bang! Suddenly I got the answer to what had happened to Mary. She had experienced a huge burst of gamma when she was in the Torus Knot, which had stimulated her dopamine naturally, which in turn had resulted in her shaking stopping for a period of time. (Synthetic dopamine is the chemical substitute given to Parkinson's sufferers to replace the natural dopamine.)

And I’d been giving a talk to a group very close by, and there happened to be quite a lot of Parkinson’s sufferers there. And they put me onto a scientist, a neurologist, who was working in the Midlands. I have to summon up courage, really, to talk to scientists, because the moment you talk about crop circles, very often the telephone can be put down quickly. Anyhow, it took me about two weeks and eventually I lifted up the telephone and I banged straight on in.

And the moment I started talking about my research, he was really fascinated. And he said, “This is very interesting because this is exactly the same line of research that we are developing ourselves. We are raising the level of brain activity into the gamma level and we find it inhibits their dyskinesia—i.e., it stops their shaking.

So this told me that I was actually on the right track, which was hugely exciting. But then he said, “I’m very sorry, Lucy, I can’t work with you.” Well, I knew he couldn’t. I wasn’t even going to ask him, because his work was supported by the Wellcome Trust and various other foundations, and he would have lost his grant if he had ever been known to be connected with crop circles. Rupert Sheldrake, who I think was up for a Nobel Prize one year, had been working in crop circles. He made it public that he had. He was almost ridiculed in the mainstream scientific world.

It’s a tragedy. It’s really a tragedy. Because if only we could get help and funding, which we really badly need in order to continue with our work, I do believe that the work I’m doing with the help of these scientists, eventually we will be able to contribute to mainstream medicine in this particular area of research.

And I’m also working with Paul Gerry, who’s a clinical physiologist from Devon and Exeter Hospital. He joined the team just about three years ago. Quite often we do EEG tests where we wire people up, but this particular test was extremely illustrative. It was holding a mobile in your hand for a certain length of time, and the degree of tremor was registered and sent back to the program in the computer.

And then, having done the initial control test at the Avery Study Center, where we’ve got very good facilities, we then go into the crop circle. And this was last year. And it was a pioneer experiment, because the farmer had harvested out his field as he had been so pestered by people. He’d said he’d keep it in for me if I could do it the following day, but then people were coming from Devon, from Yorkshire, from all over England. And it was going to be that Sunday so I just simply couldn’t do it at such short notice.

So we went in, because I was quite convinced that the energy would still be in the ground, because that was where the energy would hit; it would actually hit the ground. And we got the most remarkable results. So here we are doing the tests in the field.

The author and her team undertaking research at Forest Hill, nr Marlborough, Wiltshire. Reported July 16, 2014.

Hugo Jenks dowsing at Forest Hill, nr Marlborough, Wiltshire. Reported July 16, 2014.

And this is someone called Hugo Jenks, who looks as though he’s a man from outer space. But in fact, he’s got a satellite dish on his head, which is linked to a satellite. And he’s got a whole lot of equipment. He’s got his computer and his laptop and his rods, and the results are all connected to, and stored in, his computer, and he is dowsing. And this is all being registered on the computer and showing what is happening to him.

So we’re getting very close to putting dowsing onto a scientific level, and a huge amount of scientists are also dowsers.

And then we do the double controls outside the field. Then all three results are compared, and they are analyzed. And the result—this was particularly interesting—of the tremor test. This is the control group, which, none of us had any particular ailments, and this was the subject group. Our tremor was 2.7 percent lower in the circle, whereas the subject group was at the 18 percent level. That’s a huge amount. And even afterwards, they were still 15 percent lower.

So we’re getting huge results, really from almost any technique that we are using, which is all extremely exciting. And each year we are improving our methodology as the technology also advances. This is the one we used this year. And all I can tell you is that on a sort of cellular basis, this does something very, very strange to me.

There’s a rather lovely but very sad story behind this. The Husseys were the only people who would allow people into their land to visit their circles, James and Gill Hussey. Well, Gill lost her 14-year battle with breast cancer last year. So, James opened this field and he set up a foundation really to raise money for a breast screening clinic in Swindon, because at the moment they all have to go to Oxford for daily treatment, which is miles away.

And it’s a rose. And to me this is a symbol of love. And if Jill could ever have sent James a more poignant message than putting that rose in the field, I can’t think of any better way than conveying how she felt about him and her love for him. And it’s absolutely beautiful.

There is another picture of it. I took this on an evening flight, and there was a storm behind this, and a storm was chasing us as we were flying along. But you get the most beautiful light in the evening.

And it’s a very, very strange formation because it was full of vortices.

Wroughton, Wiltshire, June 21, 2015
Photo © Lucy Pringle

Also, it’s our national flower—the national flower of England, and it also was the Tudor rose. [Slide: Illustration of Tudor rose.] Henry VII was the first Tudor to introduce the Tudor rose. And it is also depicted in many, many of the church windows—the lovely, lovely rose windows.

And here we are this year doing tests. [Slides: Series of images showing researchers working at tables.] That’s Hazel Drummond. And Paul Gerry, also being tested by Hazel. And this year, Paul was wiring people up with electrodes, and the particular test he was doing...this is Jill Puttick, who has been with me for years—suggesting that they lean back against the wall. And he watched what was happening to their brains over a period of five or six minutes.

He is using this’s called the Vilistus Mind Mirror 6. It’s a very, very complex piece of technology. And the green lights on the right-hand side are the traffic lights giving indication of the quality of the signal. And then in the center you have the mind mirror shape with the highest frequency at the top. On the top left—I don’t know if you can really see; it’s not very distinct—we’ve got the raw data. And at the bottom left, you have a frequency spectrum, which gives the frequency, which is vertical axis, and time the horizontal axis. It’s a very, very complicated piece of technology.

It can also measure the autonomic nervous system.

And here we have the different levels of brain activity going from the Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, Gamma. We don’t go so far as the Epsilon or the Lambda.

So then we went into this formation. And I always dowse for the most energetic part of the formation, because that’s where I think the tests are going to give us the most interesting results. So here we are sitting in the circle, again repeating the tests.

[Slides: Series of figures showing measurements of Gamma waves/Brain Mirror frequencies.] 

And the gamma waves—this was interesting. This was on a much broader level. This was Jill Puttick. This is before, inside, and afterwards. And then we focused in.

Now we see a little bit of gamma going in. We’ve got the orange. And we then focus in on the gamma and we see the before. There’s a distinct change when we’re inside, and the gamma even increases to when she was outside. It continued again for some time afterwards.

[Slide: Diagram of autonomic nervous system.]

That’s the autonomic nervous system, and that’s part of our body and our organs over which we have actually have no control. So that particular machine can also measure the autonomic nervous system.

Tina's handwriting samples from before, during and after visiting the Torus Knot Circle in 1997

Now, Tina has suggested a very, very simple test, which was that we should all write something before we went in, when we were inside the circle, and then repeat it again when we left. “Sat on the mat.” I’m just going to show you Tina's results. She has essential tremor. And I know someone else with essential tremor and she said this is absolutely exactly what happens to her, too. So here is Tina beforehand [referring to handwritten note] before going into the circle.

Here she is in the circle—dramatically different, and she didn’t even have anything to lean on. And there she is afterwards.

She knew that we were going to do this test, so she did quite an extensive test for me. She said the most difficult thing for someone like her is to do a spiral. And here she is in the circle. She’s actually able to draw a line, and she can do a pretty good spiral.

There she is still in the circle and continuing. She said, “I will keep working and see how clear it will remain by writing more and more.” 1:40, just outside the circle, she can still do pretty well. Her spirals are starting to go. 5:00p.m., her spirals have really just about gone; and 9:20. And then she actually continued until the Friday and look what had happened. And if we go back to when she was inside the circle, and we can see the huge, huge difference that she experienced. She said it was remarkable.

And also, the hypothalamus was affected. We have here the blue line. That’s before we went in. The orange was while we were inside, and the grey was afterwards. And five people had hypothalamus going out of sync while we were actually inside the circle. The hypothalamus is really known as the master gland because it regulates our body weight, our body fluids, our blood pressure, etc., etc., etc. It’s an absolutely vital gland. It’s often thought of as being the physical base of the emotions.

And here we are again with this circle, and something very, very, very strange happened in this circle. Charlie Mallet, who lives down in Wiltshire, knows an awful lot about where the circles are, whether they’ve been harvested or not, and he has a little shop. And a group of Spaniards came to him one day and said they’d love to go into the rose. And he didn’t know if it had been harvested or not, so he told them exactly where it was.

When they got there, it had been harvested out. There was just stubble on the ground. So they were so disappointed. They had no idea where the circle might have been. They were standing on the edge of the field. And suddenly, a little tornado appeared in the center of the field, and it went up to about 60 or 70 feet. It really was quite high. So they walked through the stubble and they found themselves right in the center of where the circle had been—the flattened crop.

So in some way, they were given the direction of how to go into that circle. And it was a tornado full of dust and scraps of crop. They stood there watching it and then it moved away. So most of them went back to the car, but just one woman stayed, and then something even stranger happened. Another little tornado appeared at her feet. She said the air was warm. Again, it was full of dust. And it was rising up. And it didn’t actually envelop her, but it moved around her. And then, very slowly, it started to take off, to move away, and she thought she’d follow it.

So she chased after it, because it started to gain speed. And then, suddenly, she came across a wall, an almost invisible wall, and she couldn’t go any further. Now what was that wall, and what on earth had happened to her?

Well, again, I…there was a strange, similar event that had happened to somebody called Ray Barnes many, many years ago. There was one particular field that he visited. He was a country man, and he loved going for walks in this particular field. And one day, there was a whole lot of smoke coming from the west, across the field, and it stopped. It billowed up against something, which was completely invisible. One side of the field had all this smoke, the other side was completely clear. Again, what was happening? So, I’ll read you what this Spanish woman said. She was so articulate. 

She said, as she started to run towards the vortex or tornado, she saw form immediately in front of her, almost invisible, almost transparent, but not quite, wall of what she described, an energy, a pressure wave, almost transparent—but it physically stopped her in her tracks when she was trying to follow the tornado. And the wall stayed rigidly in place for some moments, and then the tornado disappeared down the field and cut into the maze—field—and this wall of energy—watery, glassy, wall effect—you know when you blow children’s soap bubbles, they have these little blowing things for blowing bubbles, and they have this glossy, shimmering, colored effect.

That was what she saw. 

So, again, I thought to myself, well, there has to be some sort of scientific explanation to this. So again I got in touch with Jim Lyons, who jumped up and down—I could hear him the other side, on the telephone—“Yippee! This is exactly what we’re looking into at the moment. This is a plasma double-wall layer effect.” 

Now, this was discovered by somebody, a German physicist called Langmuir, in 1927. And this is what he actually called it. And when I read Jim that description, he said he had never heard a better layman’s description of what was actually happening. And this is what he said:

“Matter occurs in four phases: liquid, gas, solid, and plasma”—and, of all of them, plasma is the most abundant. It’s about 99% of the whole cosmos, and he said, “it occurs naturally in nature, being the shells which cover ancient sites and crop circles. They appear like soap bubbles, sitting on a flat surface. Plasma consists of a”—it’s an interesting field, because it consists of both a negative and a positive charge, similar to the terminals of a battery. “The electric field can be extremely strong. Vortex centers in the earth, which give rise to tornados, lie spinning vortex electrical charge, generate these hemispheric shells of such large radius, hundreds of meters, that they appear to be wall-like. They can be cloudy or shimmer like soap bubbles.”

This is exactly what she said.

“People sense these at ancient sites and elsewhere where the strong vortex center occurs. They are in effect akin to the human aura, which many people can see and feel. Such shells often seem associated with tornados, and if the vorticity is so great, then some people sense them as almost solid walls."

Now, also, Christopher Weeks, when we went into the circle last year, he had the greatest difficult actually getting into the circle. It was as though he had met a wall. And again, he had obviously met a plasma shell, a double-wall plasma shell. 

So, we’re meeting all sorts of absolutely fascinating scientific effects.


By Ellen R. Hartman

We forget that all of the sciences ask us to believe. That condition gets lost in the directness of what can be witnessed through our tools for measuring, imaging, and recording. Science shows us things smaller than us and larger than us and helps us walk the fine line between the certainty of knowing and the certainty of believing.

Lucy Pringle is taking the first steps into knowing the unknown, interrogating the line between the rational and the irrational in order to understand more fully the phenomenon of crop circles. Through her research, Pringle has explored the effects of electromagnetic fields on living systems and how animal behaviors, remote effects, luminosities, mechanical failures, and audio effects are influenced by the energies found in crop circles. Although crop circle study is widely considered a pseudoscience, knowing without believing is the real pseudoscience. Pringle uses scientific methods to explore the complex and largely unknown forces that combine to form the circles. In doing so, she accommodates doubt and accepts that there are elements in our world that are unknown and beyond explanation. Ignoring the faith-based aspect of science blinds us to its essential shortfalls: that something now taken as fact can later be proven false, and that what cannot be explained at present is often—or, perhaps, inevitably—something we do not yet have tools to measure, represent, or record.

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Lucy Pringle is a founding member of the Centre for Crop Circle Studies and is an international authority on the subject and the pioneer researcher into the effects of electromagnetic fields on living systems. Her research is currently focusing on the temporary relief of Parkinson’s disease. She is also an aerial photographer and has exhibited at The Independent Photographer’s Gallery in Battle, Sussex and Denbighshire County Council has also hosted a traveling exhibition of her work. The BBC has produced a program on her research, which was shown on Inside Out. She has lectured world wide and contributes to magazines including Kindred Spirit, The Cerealogist, Caduceus, The Circular, The P.S.I. Researcher, A Quest for Knowledge, and the Journal of The British Society of Dowsers. She is the author of three books: Crop Circles: The Greatest Mystery of Modern Times (1999), Crop Circles (2004), and Crop Circles, Art in the Landscape (2007). She has also published a book of cartoons, Paranormal Pranks, drawn by Peter Eade. She is a member of The British Society of Dowsers and a Founder Member and Chairman of UNEX (Unexplained Phenomena Research Society). She lives in Hampshire and studied in England, France, and Switzerland. Email:

Ellen R. Hartman is an artist, designer, and researcher trained in architecture and landscape architecture. She researches landscapes for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is co-founder of the design research collaborative Studio Ha-Ha. As a researcher, Hartman’s work focuses on the intersection of social and environmental networks in urban areas and generates pages and pages of technical reports. As a designer, her primary interest is collaging the historical, the fantastical, and the absurd. In 2008, Hartman became a geomancer through an online course and has since used geomancy in her design work as a tool for investigating what she does not know. Her geomantically-influenced work "Savior City" was featured in (Non-)Essential Knowledge for (New) Architecture (306090/Princeton Architectural Press, 2013). Email: