Fwd = Crop circle debate lives on
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Original Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 22:22:51 +0200 (CEST)
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The Western Producer
September 28, 2000
Believe it or not?
Crop circle debate lives on
By Lindsay Earle
The latest crop circle discovered in Saskatoon caused smiles and
raised eyebrows. But some farmers who have experienced it up close say
it's no laughing matter.
A local aerial sprayer told Sylvia Bruce and her husband about a
circle on their land six kilometres north of Moosomin, Sask., in early
She originally brushed it off as a hoax, "but once you look at its
perfect circle, you can't imagine anyone taking the time to do this,"
The crop circle formation on Bruce's land is rare. It is a larger
circle with a corridor attaching a smaller circle. The crops in the
circle were ruined but, Bruce said, more harm was done "with tourists
traipsing around than by the circle itself."
Bruce has no idea how or why the circle appeared in her wheat field.
"I'm not skeptical as far as whether it's a hoax or not. I don't
believe somebody went out there and did that, but I'm definitely
skeptical as to whether it's a UFO."
There is mystery surrounding crop circles. For more than 30 years,
debate has raged over whether it's paranormal activity, man-made or
Farmer Randi Ellis said he is pretty sure no humans are involved.
Ellis discovered a circle in late August while harvesting a neighbor's
wheat field. The single circle appeared on land about 64 km west of
Swift Current, Sask.
"When I first seen how perfect it was, it kind of creeped me out. I
thought -- this is wild. Why is this so perfect?" said Ellis.
He leans toward the theory of paranormal activity in crop circle
formation and he'd like to talk to the creators.
"I think it would be really interesting to meet these people, these
aliens," said Ellis.
"Why I would like to meet these guys is, Ottawa doesn't care, Regina
doesn't care, so maybe these aliens would care about what's going on
down on the farm."
Bruce and Ellis are two of the five farmers who have reported crop
circles in Saskatchewan this year. So far, Alberta and Manitoba have
only one report each, for a total of nine across Canada.
For the past three years, the reported number of crop circles has gone
up, from 14 in 1998 to 21 in 1999.
Paul Anderson, director of Circles Phenomenon Research Canada in
Vancouver, attributes the rising number of circles to the fact that
more people report them.
But why the circles occur or why the majority appear in Saskatchewan
remains a puzzle.
"You'll talk to 10 different people and they'll have 10 different
opinions and they'll say they know what's going on -- but no one has a
definite answer yet," said Anderson.
A research team in the United States is responsible for the most
scientific advances to date, he said.
For more than 10 years, the BLT team in Cambridge, Mass., has been
taking samples from crop circles to check for signs of abnormalities.
Field research co-ordinator Nancy Talbott said they have interesting
results that have been published in peer-
reviewed scientific journals.
Research has shown the nodes of the plant stems in a crop circle to be
lengthened, burst or split. The germination rate of the seeds is also
Tests have shown that "both microwave radiation and unusual electrical
pulses were involved in causing or creating these changes," said
In fact, the research team has been able to reproduce the effects "by
exposing plants to microwaves and or unusual electrical pulses."
"When you expose plants in a normal microwave oven for certain very
specific periods of time, you can re-create some of these changes,"
None of these results can be found in test circles made specifically
Talbott said circles made by humans with boards or ropes don't produce
the same effects on the plant's nodes and seeds.
Talbott's team still has a lot of questions to answer, "like why there
are more crop circles and why they are more elaborate."
But the debate is no consolation for Bruce.
"Right now, I don't even care if there's aliens that landed on my
crop, I don't care. I just want to get my crop off. I just want to
sell it. I just want to get through the year," said Bruce.
For more information or to report a crop circle, call 604-731-8522.
� The Western Producer. Not to be republished without permission.
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