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 915.5580-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 particular…it’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.

placetechnologypeoplehealthoutside design


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: LucyPringle@​aol.​com

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: ellen.​hartman@​gmail.​com