Many of the letters I receive regarding The CropCircle Phenomenon include questions about various aspects of the Enigma. From time to time, I'll be posting my answers to some frequently asked questions. Readers' interaction is welcome.
Have the circles been around a long time, or only for the last twenty or so years?
While there certainly seems to be at least circumstantial evidence for a simple Circle or two having arrived sporadically in years (and even centuries) past, I believe that the Circle Phenomenon as we know it today is about 18 years old. (But please don't hold my feet to the fire on this one!)
I have read the account of the devil's circle, or whatever it's called, but a) is this true, and b) are there other ancient accounts?
Well, it's 'true' insofar as I've seen a black-n-white of the woodcut ('The Mowing Devil') in a book. It's been reprinted in various Circle articles, along with a story of how it came to be. It's too long to reprint, but here are a couple of references (with credit to "The Cereologist" issue #1, Summer '90): Terence Meaden's "Journal of Meteorology" Nov '89 issue; the Rev William Andrews' "Bygone Hertfordshire" , in a Victorian book of folklore (ask a 'library angel' if you're in the UK); and "Fortean Times" issue #53, Winter '89-'90.
I have an 'ancient account' of another circle in a little book entitled "Thirty Indian Legends of Canada" by Margaret Bemister. The book was published in 1912, and is a collection of stories and legends from various indigenous tribes. The story of interest here is called "The Daughters of the Star". It tells of a skilful hunter who, while out hunting on the prairie, discovered a circle. "It looked as if people had run around in a ring until the grass was trampled down. As he could see no marks of footsteps leading away from the ring, he wondered very much whose feet could have marked out the circle." So he went and hid, and waited to see if anyone returned to the spot. "After a while, he heard the sound of beautiful music. It seemed to come from the sky. As he looked up, he saw something coming down through the air, and the music sounded like the singing of girls. As the object came closer, he could see that it was a wicker basket, and in it were twelve beautiful maidens." After it touched down, the girls alighted from the basket and danced around the circle, but as soon as the hunter made his presence known to them, they jumped back into the basket "and were at once drawn up to the sky." Later in the story, it seems that in order to start the basket moving the passengers needed "to sing the old chant". Where the maidens go is to Star Grandfather, who was capable of wondrous magic ...
Does anyone know of any other 'ancient circle tales'?
Are there any crop circles in central Ontario?
In 1994, Windsor, Ontario had a lovely and interesting 150' long Pictogram. Check out The Windsor Star, County News page A12, Tuesday Sep 13, '94 . Also, their Fri, Jul 15 paper ran a second article on PAGE ONE! Both have great photos!
Canada has received various Circles, Ringed Circles, and Rings since 1990. Contact our Canadian colleagues Chad Deetken (firstname.lastname@example.org) , or Paul Anderson (email@example.com) for specifics. Chad has photos and stories of some of the Canadian Gifts he's documented. He returns to England each year, along with the rest of us, to help record the new British Formations.
Do they ever appear in snow?
Yes, the Circles have arrived in snow, too. The following fascinating story appeared in a Russian UFO magazine. It was written by a Russian worker who straightforwardly tells what he saw. Several of the photos he took the following morning from the third, fifth, and ninth floors of his Moscow apartment building were also run in the magazine.
The witness was watching the nightly news when he was suddenly distracted by a brilliant ball of light outside his kitchen window. He watched for a few seconds, then ran to get his camera. As he returned to the window, he could see the Light already disappearing quickly - "but a moment, and it was gone!" Though he waited and watched for another 30 minutes, he saw nothing. In the morning, his neighbour came down and knocked on his door. "Have you seen what's in our backyard?" he asked incredulously. They both went to the kitchen window where they saw twenty-two concentric Rings in the snow below.
We here in the States had a very similar manifestation, only it was in * sand *. It's the first documented sand Formation of which I'm aware. *Thirty-three* concentric Rings arrived in wet sand during low tide, under the high water line. They manifested about 50 feet from the mouth of a shallow cave in the Hug Point promontory, and bore a stunning resemblance to Moscow's SnowRings. CCCS/US Network Oregon Coordinator Carol Pedersen and I documented this fascinating Formation, and collected sand samples. The results of the analysis are in my report, which I'll make available for copying costs and a long SASE with two stamps.
Other snow events have occurred in Turkey, Afghanistan (3 in-line separate SnowRings), Sweden '87, Tannersville PA '93, Waltham MA '91, the River Charles in Boston MA '93, and the River Don in Toronto, Canada. There was a multiple-ringed pattern on the River Mzha in the Ukraine '90 near Kharkov, which a man reported had been created by a hovering UFO.
The above information on snow and ice events was published in "Fortean Times" issue #74, 'Rings of Ice'. It's the most comprehensive compilation on Snow and IceRings I've come across, although it's now dated.
If anyone has any photos or documentation of Circles or Rings in crop, snow, or ice, we'd appreciate it greatly if you'd share your information with us. I'd be happy to swap a few of our Circle photos for any well-documented reports, especially if accompanied by photos. Thanks for your help!
Centre for CropCircle Studies / US Network