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THE HISTORY OF CAMBRIDGESHIRE CROP CIRCLES
by Hugh Newman, September 2003

Crop circles in Cambridgeshire are few and far between. Wiltshire, Somerset and Sussex seem to be the central hub of the phenomenon. But nevertheless, Girton, Peterborough, Ickleton and the Wandlebury area are the favourite spots in this part of the country for the circle makers. But recent history is only one part of the puzzle. To get the whole picture we have to go as far back as the 1930’s, but we will begin our survey in with the most recent and significant formations. In July 2001 two crop formations that appeared next to the GogMagog Hills, near Wandlebury Camp, made Cambridge flavour of the month in the world of the croppie enthusiast. So what happened in 2001 that caused such a stir?

Within two weeks of each other two crop formations appeared in opposing fields around the Gog Magog Hills. The ‘Big One’ on 11th July and ‘The Angel’ formation on or around 25th July. Lets start with the ‘big one’ that has a story all on its own. Within this ‘big one’, two separate stages were added inside the formation, on two separate occasions.

Crop circle no.1, stage 1. The diameter was precisely 666ft wide. Not approximately. Precisely. The outer ring was 18ft wide all the way round. The centre circle was 45ft wide. Stage two a week later; a 237ft ‘maze’ design was added within the large circle. This labyrinth was something else. Not only was it beautifully laid, but the wheat was at the precise height so you could not cheat your way to the middle, and there was only one way to the centre. This was the most interesting and fun crop circle I have ever witnessed. Not only did you have to use your head to get to the centre, it taught us patience and perseverance. A few days later and there is another addition. This time it was a sort of square. From above it looked like a step-pyramid with four radiating fields of energy coming out of it. The lay of the crop was fascinating. It was in four equal triangles, but at the centre, the straight lay blended in to a perfect circular nest at the centre.


The ‘Big One’

That was the first formation. But another one over the way named ‘The Angel’ came in to existence on or around the 25th July. The diameter was also 237ft. Exactly the same size as the maze in the other formation. Coincidence? you decide. The view from the GogMagog Hills was quite breathtaking. In fact, there was one point only on the hills where you could see both formations. Inside the ‘Angel’, the wheat was laid as though it had a halo around it’s head. The harmony of the design and the beautiful lay of the wheat, combined with the still standing and very delicate poppy flowers suggested this was also a ‘real’ one.

The ‘Angel’



We dowsed the formation for some time and soon found a very strong ‘female’ energy current running through. We realised it was the famous ‘Mary’ line, of "The Sun and The Serpent" fame, which runs from St.Michaels Mount in Cornwall, up to the East Anglian Coast near Hopton. Spreading out from the centre 75 flattened ‘rays’ were laid alternately facing inwards and outwards; apart from numbers 12 and 13 (if you travelled anti-clockwise from the head) which both go inwards. But even stranger, these two both pointed to the other crop circle over the way.

The crop formations tend to be found on these ‘ley-lines’, which are currents of energy that surround the Earth. Where these lines cross is often where the circles are found. Underground streams also have something to do with the phenomenon. The water either gets dried up by the ‘heat’, which is used to form the circles or the directions of the streams are altered in some way. Most notable though, is the fact that ‘real’ formations do not have broken stems. They are carefully bent, as though they have been heated from within. Experts say it is microwave radiation that causes this.

On 11th August 1996, a crop circle was filmed being formed within five seconds by several balls of light near Oliver’s Castle in Wiltshire in 1996. The footage was checked and appeared not to have been tampered with. Plus the fact that the footage was presented on 12th August (within hours) suggests that it would have been virtually impossible to create and sequence it in such a short space of time. Attempts to replicate the video with personal computers as test comparisons were alarmingly crude. There is plenty of other footage, which shows the balls of light, although this is the only one caught actually forming a crop circle.

In 1991, the most significant crop circle in Cambridgeshire, and possibly the world , had to be the famous ‘Mandlebrot set’ formation which appeared in Ickleton, next to the M11 motorway. On August 13th pilot Steven Cherry-Downes flew over this formation and started one of the biggest crop circle controversies of all time. Nothing like this had been seen before. A recognisable symbol with connections to Cambridge – the city where the mandlebrot set was discovered by accident. It was

quickly concluded by mathematicians, scientists and crop circle researchers that this one could not have been hoaxed. Even the science magazine New Scientist had to admit that it is impossible to draw on paper such a diagram without a computer, let alone spread over 280 square metres in flattened crop.

The ‘Mandlebrot set’ formation

Furthermore, one year before this formation appeared, on 11th August 1990, the New Scientist published a reader’s letter by Martyn Hughes from Highworth, Wiltshire:"With each summer, the crop circle formations become more complex. How long will it take until we see a complete Mandlebrot diagram?". Exactly one year it seems, because on the night of 11th August 1991, a Mrs Unwin drove with her son along the B1102 near Ickleton. At around 1.15am she noticed that her car was followed by a silver-blue light sphere. The UFO approached the car within less than ten yards. On 12th August, farmer Hugh Raybone discovered the formation. One day later Steven Cherry-Downes flew over it and reported it. . There have been several UFO sightings in this area and one was caught on video by the then head of the Cambridge UFO Society Chris Massey Lynch in the same year. But on Monday 9th September, the world of crop circles temporally collapsed, with the repercussions lasting to the present day. "The Men who conned the world", appeared in Today newspaper, explaining how Doug and Dave, two elderly men created ALL the crop circles thus far, with planks of wood and rope. They never proved their anecdotes, but kept up the hoax theory via the tabloid press, just enough to discredit the crop circle researchers.

The most notable event of 1993 in the paradigm of the crop circle was discovered on 4th September at a Cambridgeshire location.‘The Bythorn Mandala’, a stunning ten-petalled geometric ‘mandala’ with a five pointed star in the centre started a whole new style for the phenomenon. There were even strange tales of crunching footsteps from invisible beings recorded by people who meditated inside of it.

The ‘Bythorn Mandala’

Two well-known formations appeared in the Girton fields in 1996. They looked like different stages of a seed sprouting. The first formation appeared on 13th May in a field of oilseed rape (see diagram). The second appeared on 12th June as was much more intricate. It had a long flowering shoot preparing to blossom with tapered ends emanating from a radially laid circle in green barley, in a field near the M11 motorway. Wandlebury followed suit, when on August 1st a simple circle appeared near the camp. It is worth noting here that there is a dowsable ley-line that stretches between Girton and Wandlebury.

The ‘Girton Seed’

Over the last nine years David Hope, a farmer from Peterborough has had numerous crop circle experiences in his 340 acres of land. Manor Farm in Sibson has even experienced circles that are not of the crop variety. In 1988 he saw twenty three hares in a perfect circle looking into the centre! He even witnessed his livestock forming circles in the fields! It seems that the circular phenomon affects all forms of life.

What most people are not aware of, is the more ancient history of crop circles. To put the hoax theory to rest we must consider the formations of antiquity. There are reports of crop formations going as far back as 1590. There is even speculation that there is evidence of some in the Bible! But if we look back to 1678, Hertfordshire housed the famous ‘mowing devil’ crop circle which was recorded on a wood carving.

The ‘Mowing Devil’ wood carving.

But if we jump to Cambridgeshire and into the year 1934, we find the earliest recorded ‘local’ formation in Eversden. Kathleen Skin reported seeing a whirlwind over a cornfield in July of that year. She also heard a crackling sound likened to that of a bonfire. She then saw a perfect circle which was newly swirled onto the ground, with the flattened stems interlaced and plaited together at the circle’s edge. She reported that the stems were hot to the touch. The sky was clear, and devoid even of wind, although Kathleen had seen the whirlwind lift debri into the air just moments before.

Since the thirties, several more formations have been reported in Bedfordshire (1966, 1968), Hertfordshire (1940’s), Northamptonshire (1977) and Essex (1937,1963, 1964), but the numbers could be much greater. There were several intricate formations in the Bedford area last year and East Anglia is becoming a popular location for the circle makers. This season has witnessed intricate formations in Harlow, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Last summer (2002) there were two recorded crop circles in the Cambridgeshire area. A simple two-circled affair was discovered behind a Little Chef restaurant near Harlow and Great Chesterford offered a definite hoax. Not living up to the previous years standards we wonder what 2003 has in store for us Cambridge folk? We will just have to wait and see. To keep up to date this season check out: www.cropcircleconnector.com.


CAMBRIDGESHIRE AREA CROP CIRCLE DATABASE

1934: 1 formation: Eversden.

1991: 8 formations: Sutton. Sibson. Sutton. Guyhirn. Spaldwick. Ickleton. Guyhirn. Keyston.

1993: 1 formation: Bythorn.

1994: 6 formations: Great Stapleford. Girton. Cambridge. March. Cambridge. Sutton.

1995: 5 formations: Wandlebury. Towcester. Pottersbury. Sibson. Welford.

1996: 6 formations: Girton. Girton. Spaldwick. Huntington. St Neots. Wandlebury.

1997: 1 formation: St Neots.

1998: 1 formation: Ickleton.

1999. 5 formations: Great Staughton. Wimpole Hall(Great eversdon). Hail Weston (St Neots). Sibson. Great Staughton.

2000: 1 formation. Great Shelford.

2001: 2 formations: Wandlebury. Gog Magog Hills.

2002: 2 formations: Harlow. Great Shelford.

2003: ????????????????????

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Circular Evidence by Pat Delgado & Colin Andrews. Bloomsbury 1989.

Crop Circles: The Latest Evidence by Pat Delgado & Colin Andrews. Bloomsbury 1990.

Crop Circles: A Mystery Solved by Jenny Randles & Paul Fuller. Robert Hale 1990.

Crop Circle Enigma edited by Ralph Noyes. Gateway 1990.

The Circlemakers by Andrew Collins. ABC Books 1992.

Crop circles: Conclusive Evidence? By Pat Delgado. Bloomsbury 1992.

The Cosmic Connection by Michael Hesemann. Gateway 1996.

Vital signs by Andy Thomas. SB Publications 1998.

The Secret History of Crop Circles by Terry Wilson. CCCS Publications 1998.

www.cropcircleconnector.com

www.swirlednews.com

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Read the new article: The 'Angel' formation is back (2003)

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