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The scientific consensus is that crop circles are predominantly man-made with perhaps some due to meteorological and other natural effects.
The meteorological theory became popular and it was even endorsed in 1991 by physicist Stephen Hawking who said that, "Corn circles are either hoaxes or formed by vortex movement of air"
Changes to crops Scientists have found differences between the crops inside the circles and outside of them, and they are still studying them. It has been reported that the pulvini of wheat in 95% of the crop circles investigated were elongated in a pattern falling off with distance from the centre, and that seeds from the bent-over plants grew much more slowly under controlled conditions. Furthermore, traces of crop circles patterns are sometimes found in the crop the following year, "suggesting long-term damage to the crop field consistent with Levengood’s observations of stunted seed growth." These current investigations seem to imply that at least in some crop circles, there is more at work than the effects of mechanical crushing of plants by human activity such as the use of microwaves by crop circle artists
That said, most crop formations appear in the county of Wiltshire, England around the areas of Avebury (which is also where Stonehenge is). Cereologists (researchers of crop circles) have proposed that there may be a connection to ancient sites.
There is, then, a long history of landscape artistry in Wiltshire that preceded the crop circle phenomenon, and it is tempting to see the crop circles of Wiltshire as a continuation of this "sacred art" tradition (Fowler, 1995). It might be pointed out that Sussex, which is the location of several crop circles, also has its own local tradition of landscape artistry, featuring the Long Man of Wilmington (or the Wilmington Giant) and the white horse formation at Litlington.
The concentration of crop circles in the Avebury area, and to a lesser extent at places such as Uffington, Exeter and Sussex, would seem to relate to what Baldia (1995) found with respect to megalithic tombs in Europe - that is, that they are located along pilgrimage routes. People visit these areas for their mystical significance, and it may well be the case that crop circles are produced in sacred areas because they are made to appeal to spiritual-oriented visitors and tourists. (Spatial distribution of England's crop circles)
Add "supernatural" touches to your crop circle. Add a hoax-like dimension to your work by making it appear as if aliens authored the crop circles. Here are some suggestions.
Bend some stalks around by exposing them to a blue light source for a few hours. Applying small amounts of natural gum or plaster will lock their new shape.
Well, fellow detectives, it appears that we've found a significant motive for human created crop circles… attention.
the history of crop circles dates, not back to 1778, but to 200 years later,
but Doug Bower and Dave Chorley confessed to the deception in 1991
The plants inside crop circles are changed in a way that is beyond human ability.Figure 1 is a photograph showing a normal plant stem and a stem found bent in a crop formation. The bent node of the plant from inside a crop formation is elongated yet undamaged. Plant stems bent by people via mechanical means appear damaged and do not have the elongated nodes.Figures 2 and 3 are photographs demonstrating the microscopic changes in a plant inside a crop circle compared to a control sample taken from the same field.
Plants inside crop formations often have "blown nodes." Figure 4 is a photograph of the normal nodes of plants taken from outside of a crop formation. Figure 5 above is a photograph of the blown nodes of plants found inside the crop formation. Figure 6 is another example of the blown nodes of plants taken from inside a crop formation. Other changes to the plants have been reported by Dr. W.C. Levengood and his BLT team, including stunted seed-heads, cell-wall pit enlargement, and expulsion cavities.
Crop circles are usually explained as the handiwork of creative pranksters. `Not true,' says Dr. Eltjo H. Haselhoff, Ph.D., former employee of Los Alamos National Laboratories. `The complexity of the crop circle phenomenon is tremendously underestimated, because its true nature is unknown to the general public.' `Obviously, there are people trying to imitate the real thing, but the suggestion that all of these crop formations are made by men with simple flattening tools is by far insufficient to explain the well-documented observations, like unambiguous and consistent biophysical anomalies in the flattened plants, inside the circles, all of which have been published in peer-reviewed scientific literature,' according to Dr. Haselhoff.
Enter the field on the tramline. If the field is active, there will be deep tram, or tractor, tracks crossing it at several points. Walk inside these tracks so as not to make footprints. When you've reached the location of your planned circle, walk off the tracks such that your crop circle will cover your footprints. Leave the same way.
An important final note regarding these changes to crop circle plants is the fact that non-geometrically-downed crop -- usually called "lodging" by farmers and attributed to over-fertilization of the field and/or subsequent weather damage -- has sometimes been found to show these same changes. This more randomly-downed, or chaotically-downed crop is often observed in the same fields in which "geometric" crop circles occur, but is also found in fields where no geometric crop circle exists.
and by the devil, not by a UFO. In other words, not the same thing.
but they admit to coming up with the idea, and demonstrated on film how it is done.
"swirling" laying down of crops is exactly what their "boards and rope" method would result in -
you want a video?
Walk inside these tracks so as not to make footprints.
including computer software that aids in circle design.
Though we have seen ironclad, irrefutable evidence that humans are responsible for crop circles, and absolutely no evidence that aliens are behind
This more randomly-downed, or chaotically-downed crop is often observed in the same fields in which "geometric" crop circles occur, but is also found in fields where no geometric crop circle exists.
Dr. Eltjo H. Haselhoff? Debunked as invalid science
We've seen that, from 1978 to 2012, humans have gone from two guys with boards and ropes to computer software, GPS aided design and organized teams, which certainly accounts for this natural progression of complexity from crude to complex.
In college, some friends and I almost did a crop circle. We were skeptical of alien influence and wanted to cause trouble.
So I started this debate in full support of adjensen and perhaps a little biased in the topic. I thought adjensen did a fine job of laying out the evidence and supported his side admirably.
But then I read skyfloating's posts She also did a great job of supporting the idea that the crop circles were not man-made.
In the end though, it has to go to skyfloating because I now believe that intervention by other than pranksters is "plausible".
Great job to both!
Oh boy, this was an entertaining debate to read, but it came down in the end to who made the better argument for the unexplained nature of some crop circles, and while there was no debating that some were in fact man made hoaxes, (as there is with much in the world) Skyfloating had the edge with clear, well thought out logic and proof to back up her claims. Adjensen never quite got over the 1700's crop circle that to this day remains unexplained.
The winner by an overwhelming margin would be Skyfloating.