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Top of the Crops 2002 461

Posted by michael
from the where's-mel-gibson-when-you-need-him dept.
Steeltoe writes "For those deeply familiar with crop circles, 2, they are truly an amazing wonder of the world. Not only are they getting unnervingly complex and beautiful, but last year researchers found themselves dumbfounded by an ET-face with an accompanying encoded CD-disc, 2, 3! Clearly, there are not enough wonders in the world, but lack of wonder and excitement! If you like adventure, you cannot turn your back on this, 2! Check out the cool circles of 2002 at Crop Circle Connector and at Circlemakers 'Top of the Crops 2002', or even take a physical *gasp* tour during the high-peak season next summer and see for yourself!! Only imagination may tell what will pop up from the crops in 2003."
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Top of the Crops 2002

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  • Crop Circles (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CyberBill (526285) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:37AM (#5160315)
    I wonder when people will realize you can make these things with a 2x4 and a piece of rope? I'm from Nebraska, we've got a lot of corn there... So, well, its just fun, ya know? -Bill
    • Re:Crop Circles (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot.castlesteelstone@us> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:23AM (#5160474) Homepage Journal
      I wonder when people will realize you can make these things with a 2x4 and a piece of rope? I'm from Nebraska, we've got a lot of corn there... So, well, its just fun, ya know? -Bill

      Of course you can. And they can, too. But there are a few more phenomina to it than just pressing down crops.

      Nearly-perfect geometic shapes

      small (measured in micron) iron spheres scattered throughout the crop circle

      Slightly elevated radition / "cooked" effect to pushed-down corn

      and, finally, odd performance from aircraft around crop circles

      The last one its the one that threw me. On the "TV mentury" that documented a few graduate engineers faking a "genuine" crop circle, their helicopter suffered an loss of power over the darn thing. Odd--not the stuff of religious revelations, but odd.

      Crop circles may be an as-yet undocumented natural phenomina, a higher-order of technology (Military or "UFO"), or just a really, really, REALLY clever prank. I don't know, I've never seen one.

      But they are more than you can do with "just a 2x4 and a piece of rope."

      • Re:Crop Circles (Score:3, Interesting)

        by helix400 (558178)
        You've made an excellent point.

        There's the faked 2x4 crop circles, and then there are others with much more curious evidence.

        Unfortunately, rebuttals are lacking for the tougher evidence that supporters put forth (biological changes to the plants, higher radiation, a microwaved like effect, etc.)

        Can anyone help me out with some rebuttals on these issues? I for one, still believe that they are all a hoax, but I'm looking for some good explanations to these somewhat scientific sounding evidences. Its one thing to be laugh and say "Ha, its just a bunch of pranksters." and another to ask "So, can anyone fake these evidence? Are they natural? Are these evidences a bunch of crap?"

      • by Lucas Membrane (524640) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @04:43AM (#5160798)
        No. All the mistakes you'd expect from human beings cavorting in the dead of night. Take a look at these, presented as evidence of the precise geometry:

        Milk Hill 2001 (scroll down, it's the 3rd one) [temporarytemples.co.uk]

        Possibly made by the same people but with only 3 arms in the spiral [earthfiles.com]

        Perfect geometry? The spiral arms don't even have the same number of circles in each arm. The Milk Hill formation has 13 circles on five of six arms of the spiral; the other arm has only 12. The 3-arm spiral has two arms with 11 circles and one with 12.

        Stand in awe if you like, but jeez, this is obvious BS that these things are anything like 'perfect'.

    • "I wonder when people will realize you can make these things with a 2x4 and a piece of rope?"

      Supposedly the 'authentic' crop circles exist in a location of strange energy disturbances. Those, (assuming that's true, i've only heard it on the Art Bell show...) would be hard to recreate.

      I am curious if anybody else has heard about the energy disturbances near some of the crop circles. Anybody have any decent information on it? Art Bell guests strike me as a bit.. uh.. passionate about their work.
      • I am curious if anybody else has heard about the energy disturbances near some of the crop circles

        Simple, if people find a crop circle, someone may start talking about the "strange energy distrubances" in the area, even when nobody has mentioned anything about the disturbance before.

        Whatever "strange energy disturbances" means.
  • Reading Steeltoe's entry made me wonder if he was serious, tongue-in-cheek, self-mocking, or some sort of crazy amalgam of all three. Maybe you have to been in the crop-circle "circle" to understand... .

    • I don't know who are making the circles, but I find it highly improbable that they are man-made with planks and strings. I find the topic very interesting, because it lacks a good explanation so far. The fanatical sceptics that immediately buys the plank-and-string theory, are as much believers as the other side IMHO.

      I'm planning a trip to see them for myself. Maybe I'll get wiser then :-)

  • Uhm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:42AM (#5160331) Homepage
    Quote from the first link: For the thousands reported every year, the vast majority go completely undetected

    Huh?

  • by dynoman7 (188589) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:43AM (#5160332) Homepage
    ...Bill the Cat, Jenna Jameson or Osama bin Laden. Wake me up if things change...

  • crop circle robots (Score:5, Interesting)

    by calib0r (546092) <<ten.srekih> <ta> <rekcapkcab>> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:43AM (#5160334) Homepage
    Makes me wonder how long it will be before someone hacks together some control units, a lawn tractor, and a gps system and some randome patteren generator software and creates an autonomous crop circle generator.

    How cool would it be to drop off this contraption in the middle of a field, set some width/height parameters, and let it run free, just to see what you could come up with. Maybe even have it draw fractal patterns or somthing.
  • by altaic (559466) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:44AM (#5160338)
    Columbia, South America. Know why? 'Cause not even aliens will mess up their special "crop." Or maybe it's cause the dumbass drunks plodding around fields wearing snowshoes all get shot for damaging the crop and being mistaken for theives.
  • by senobium (615793) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:44AM (#5160339)
    Last Month July 2002 The Crop Circle Connector used over 232.42GB of Bandwidth (our highest bandwidth since 1995 for one calendar month). Since last year we have halved our Bandwidth costs, but this will still cost us around £400 to pay for July. Many people visit the web site to see the latest crop circles without contributing towards the web site with Memberships. We are asking people now to join us and maintain the best crop circle web with the best pictures on the Internet. Please do not let us down or yourselves and start joining today or sending us a donation.
    ...well, if the aliens don't make these guys disappear, /. certainly will!
    • by MortimerK (22530) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:54AM (#5160371)
      TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY TWO POINT FOUR TWO GIGABYTES OF DATA?!

      Holy crap! I mean really, what? That much? For pictures of crop circles? Are they that popular? That's a lot. I mean, that's a lot.

      How about reducing the size or number of your pictures?

      Or perhaps get the aliens to beam the images directly to users' computers. That would save costs double-plus.

      No! Beam the images directly into their minds! Yes, that's it. Information delivery on the cheap. "Beamed to your head, straight from aliens." - That's what the site should say.

      "Think here to continue."

  • No mystery... (Score:2, Informative)

    by LinuxPunk (641305)
    there's no mystery at all behind crop circles. I remember seeing a tv show about them a few years back, and they're just made with wooden boards, string, and a bit of geometry. They even showed a group of people making one.. impressive what can be done with this method in a few hours, but certainly not a mystery as to how or who/what makes them.
  • by Forgotten (225254) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:48AM (#5160354)

    I recently came across this press release [nasa.gov] on NASA's satellite monitoring of wheat fields, cunningly disguised as a project to aid agriculture (yeah right!). I fear for the poor crop-circle artists. Can even the stealthiest stalk-stomper evade the watchful satellite's malevolent eye?

  • Pranks (Score:4, Funny)

    by Natchswing (588534) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:49AM (#5160355)
    If only the satellite pictures with high enough resolution to see the kids making these things would be released to the public.

    Nevermind, the public would still say it was alien crop circles made to prove that NASA faked the moon landings, as was written in the email I got proclaiming that I would get 14 million longer penises in Nigeria because of the government conspiracy to spy on us using the IR receivers for our television remotes.

    As long as religion reigns, ignorance will be our biggest social problem.

    • Re:Pranks (Score:2, Insightful)

      by doorbot.com (184378)
      As long as religion reigns, ignorance will be our biggest social problem.

      But is it really ignorance? Many "religious types" (and I consider belief in aliens a "religious" state of mind) want to believe so much, they are willing to either ignore repeately-proven facts, or they allow their imagination to fill in for their lack of facts (which is not necessarily due to ignorance).

      Just think of the wild stories you could get if you took the news and filled in an adjective here, a verb there, and a noun elsewhere -- imagine MadLibs as the news. Now imagine if people actually believed it...

    • ...the public would still say it was alien crop circles made to prove that NASA faked the moon landings

      You gullible fool. Those of us who went to see "Signs" know full well what their up to! Oh sure, they can manage faster than light travel to get here, and navigate to this tiny spec of a planet we reside on, but unless they have crop circles in place they'll never be able to find Toledo to launch the invading force!

      Our only hope is to make road atlases top secrect information. And you just sit there and laugh... Hah!
    • Keyhole Sats (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bios_Hakr (68586)
      The current spy birds do not stay active all the time. The spend most of their life in sleep mode. It would be too expensive to just let them roam over the earth seeing whatever happens to be in their FOV.

      If you want to learn more about them, look up the "Keyhole Satallites" in google. You can take what is public knowledge and apply a dash of Moores Law to come up with some pretty scarry stats on the newest models. Although, I'd guess that the true power in the Keyhole birds lies in their ability to view in the infra red or ultra violette ranges. Or maybe even use lasers to pick up audio from space.
      • Re:Keyhole Sats (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JohnFluxx (413620)
        I thought they used solar power? Why would it cost anything to make them active all the time?
        Except I suppose for the dishes that recieve the signals... but surely that isn't much compared to the cost of putting up the thing in the first place.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:50AM (#5160358)
    'cause i have a hard time seeing enough drunken frat boys to do the job in one night getting those lines straight.
  • Photos of hoaxers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scot Seese (137975) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:53AM (#5160367)

    C'mon, I want photos of the circle perpetrators! I can't believe that in this era of cheap technology that someone hasn't camcorder'd yay-hoos stomping around in their field in the act of making crop circles. Or, after hearing their dog barking at 2 AM, driven down the road to inspect their fence and photographed idiot kids in the process of throwing their 2x4's into a pickup before racing off. Forget the ET's - Circulate enough photos of the real circle makers and this one will go quietly into the dark night of historical obscurity.
  • Clearly, there are not enough wonders in the world, but lack of wonder and excitement

    What kind of English is that?
  • Encoded CD (Score:5, Funny)

    by darkov (261309) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:55AM (#5160376)
    an ET-face with an accompanying encoded CD-disc

    So did someone read off what was encoded on the disc with ET? I bet it reads something like this:


    Microsoft End-User Licence Agreement

    (1) This licence entitles you to limited-use rights to this crop circle ...

    • Re:Encoded CD (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:03AM (#5160411)
      "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. Acknowledge."

      http://www.swirlednews.com/article.asp?artID=512
      • You realise this means the aliens have been trying for years to communicate with us through Slashdot... ...but have been stopped by the lameness filters.
      • Encoding error (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dachshund (300733)
        "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. Acknowledge."

        My favorite bit:

        Richard Brain was unable initially to identify the word "BELIEvE" (initially seen as 'EELIJ?E'), saying he thought it was a corrupted word. The problem was that he read the first 'B' as an 'E'. The binary code for E is 01000101. The binary code for B is 01000010. In the field spiral (see marked photo) there is an encoding error (marked with a red X in the photo above right)! This letter has nine individual bits and appears to read 010000101.
      • by kaphka (50736)
        "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. Acknowledge."
        That's terribly dissappointing. I was really hoping it would be the DeCSS source [cmu.edu]. That would have made my day.
      • by jcsehak (559709) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @12:28PM (#5162040) Homepage
        I read it as:

        crYOgenically freeze yoUR body bEfore mArch second. we will amalgaMate OR destroy all nOn-frozeN life then.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:57AM (#5160382)
    Curse words written by pre-pubescent extraterestrial hooligans to express rebellion and pent up sexual frustration.
  • by h0tblack (575548) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @01:58AM (#5160386)
    From cropcircleconnector.com:
    NEWS FLASH : Last Month July 2002 The Crop Circle ConnectorÊ used over 232.42GB of Bandwidth (our highest bandwidth since 1995 for one calendar month). Since last year we have halved our Bandwidth costs, but this will still cost us around £400 to pay for July. Many people visit the web site to see the latest crop circles without contributing towards the web site with Memberships. We are asking people now to join us and maintain the best crop circle web with the best pictures on the Internet. Please do not let us down or yourselves and start joining today or sending us a donation.
    Then again, maybe the no-doubt huge bandwidth bill they will receieve after being linked to from /. will be slightly offset by the contributions it (may) also bring(s)..
    • Then again, maybe the no-doubt huge bandwidth bill they will receieve after being linked to from /. will be slightly offset by the contributions it (may) also bring(s)..

      Uhhhh . . . . Contributions . . . ? From the /. crowd?

      Yeah, they might get spammed with goat sex links, but if I were over there, I wouldn't be holding my breath. Poor bastards.
  • by SuperMario666 (588666) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:00AM (#5160396)
    There were wooden planks, ropes, and even geometry.

    Apparently, according to Slashdot, these items still exist today. Whoah, blows the mind!

    I guess I had better call the local newspaper and tell them to stop the fuckin presses.
    • We still have ropes? I thought we were using electronic measuring devices, such as This [homedepot.com].. Sure as hell, you can't own a rope any more, that's a terrorist device! :)
  • by CySurflex (564206) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:00AM (#5160397)
    Last Month July 2002 The Crop Circle Connector used over 232.42GB of Bandwidth (our highest bandwidth since 1995 for one calendar month).

    not for long buddy, not for long..

  • AOL (Score:5, Funny)

    by yamcha666 (519244) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:01AM (#5160402)

    It's not another one of those free AOL CDs is it!?!

  • So when do you think Aliens will break the DeCSS code of the E.T. DVD then have George Lucas and the MPAA fial a lawsuit in intergalactic court for illegal copies......

    Tell me that and I'll be interested in Crop Circles. Till then I'll stick with my latest copy of Aliens.(note this is a joke...)
  • Encoded message (Score:3, Informative)

    by sanermind (512885) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:06AM (#5160423)
    is in ascii, english; it says
    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. Acknowledge


    as taken from this ranting article [swirlednews.com]
  • From http://www.paradigmshift.com/pecs.html a section from the crop circle website (the first link in the story):

    Anomalous EM measurements - By doing a fluxgate magnetometer survey of several formations, Colin Andrews determined that the very center of these circles measured 40-50 nano Teslas. This is 10 times the radiation level of a normal field.

    It looks like this was a cut-n-paste from http://www.infosourceresearch.com/tmatt/excerpt3.h tml where they add:

    "Inside the seven patterns, Andrews reported in a recent Sightings Online interview, the magnetic field registered up to 300% of the planet's normal field. "

    Statements like these are hard to credit, since the earth's magnetic field is around 0.5 gauss which is 5x10^-5 Tesla (or 50 microTeslas). Magnetic fields don't qualify as "radiation" by any means either. There may be something interesting about crop circles, but the association with crackpots probably scares away real research.
  • My Lawn!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Larry*boy.3 (621780)
    Hmm....Mowing crop formations into my lawn just doesn't have the same effect.

    I need a bigger lawn!!!
  • here [clara.net] that fits my favorite insects. :)
  • nitrates (Score:5, Funny)

    by Seehund (86897) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:32AM (#5160503) Homepage Journal
    • Reported increase in crop yield [paradigmshift.com] - Some farmers and researchers have independently reported greater yield in the years following the appearance of formations in their fields. ...


    Wow. Bullshit works as a fertilizer. Who'd a thunk it?
  • an RFC (Score:2, Funny)

    by zephc (225327)
    how about a new RFC: IP over crop circle disc?

    Hey, if it can be done with carrier pigeons... =]
  • The disc (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm (591458) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:43AM (#5160538) Journal
    Anyone tried to reproduce this on a disc (or record or something), using the height of the crops at locations as data/audio/etc locations.

    Seems like a hoax/joke, but if it it a joke they might have a funny recording imprinted for the disc-shape.
  • by Ikoma Andy (41693) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:53AM (#5160580)
    Uranus, January 26, 2002

    In a recent escalation of their war on Intergalactic piracy, the Recording Industry Association of Earth prevailed in a court case ordering the Legions of Freedo to reveal the time/space coordinates and quantum state of one of their users found to be using the planet Earth to encode illegally obtained mp3s for possible use in a Leenoox hovercraft.

    "These heinous crimes will only abate upon the implementation of Digital Rights Management upon the entirety of the planet," hissed Qwe'blkk, the RIAE spokesthing. "All your mass quantities of consumables belong to us."
    • In a recent escalation of their war on Intergalactic piracy, the Recording Industry Association of Earth prevailed in a court case ordering the Legions of Freedo to reveal the time/space coordinates and quantum state of one of their users found to be using the planet Earth to encode illegally obtained mp3s for possible use in a Leenoox hovercraft.

      This just in. The Legions of Freedo has retaliated against the RIAA by destroying earth. Millions of geeks were reported to rejoice just before being destroyed.

  • by SystematicPsycho (456042) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @02:56AM (#5160585)
    Skeptic's dictionary entry for crop circles [skepdic.com]
  • Idiot pranks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ndogg (158021) <the...rhorn@@@gmail...com> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @03:09AM (#5160613) Homepage Journal
    These things should stop. I constantly wonder about the farmer whose crops have just been crushed. Those crops represent lots of money that the farmer uses to buy more things for their farm. It's a valuable asset. Sure, this time money for compensation was left, but many times the pranksters aren't so generous.

    (As a side note though, it's interesting that something like this is only devestating to cultures that rely on agriculture. Agriculture, while it's great for mass production of food, is a "place all your eggs in one basket" bet with nature. Horticulturists also have some of the same worries, but not as many. Pastoralists mostly gather their vegetables from nature. Hunter/gatherers have a very varied diet, and lots of mobility.)
    • Re:Idiot pranks (Score:4, Informative)

      by natet (158905) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @03:25AM (#5160650)
      It's much worse than just taking money away from the farmer so he can "buy more things." Farmers go into debt at the beginning of each year, and basically hope to make enough money out of their crop to pay that debt off and pay their bills for the rest of the year.
      • Thanks for clearing that up. I don't actually know much about farming, but I did at least figure out that the crops represented some sort of asset to the farmer! It sounds like those crops are a lot more valuable than I had imagined before.
  • "last year researchers found themselves dumbfounded by an ET-face with an accompanying encoded CD-disc"

    Let me guess: It was only readable on a Mac, right?
  • by trasgu (603018) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @03:18AM (#5160631) Homepage Journal
    If you will notice, nearly all of these things are in fields that have tracks - parallel lines through the field. Is this a machinery (tractor, harvester, irrigatation) track? ANYHOW, if you look closely, the track always intersects the design in the center, or at a node that could be the "pivot point" of the design. Why does the design always align with the tracks? Could it be that this is the ingress and reference point for a clever ground crew? NAW, the aliens just like fields with tracks and the symmetry of aligned patterns!
  • by natet (158905) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @03:20AM (#5160640)
    This sounds to me like the Extra-Terrestrial version of "Cow Tipping."
  • A dangerous prank (Score:3, Informative)

    by ndogg (158021) <the...rhorn@@@gmail...com> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @03:47AM (#5160690) Homepage Journal
    It seems some pranksters go to some pretty dangerous lengths to create crop circles [mit.edu]. I'm not sure my health and limbs are worth a stupid prank like crop circles, but I guess I'm not those people.
  • by RedBear (207369) <redbear@@@redbearnet...com> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @03:52AM (#5160697) Homepage
    and assumptions out there. 99% of the posts I'm seeing here are people who have heard something once or twice on the radio about some hoaxters with a tow-by-four, and who have made up their minds and decided that every single instance of a crop circle all over the world, past and future, can be explained away by that one method. I had expected a little more from the Slashdot crowd.

    I am one of the biggest skeptics out there, but I always try to balance it with an open-minded analysis of all available facts. Looking at all the factors involved, it seems to me that calling every single crop circle instance a hoax with confidence is just impossible. Let's run down some factors here:

    Numbers: First off, there's the sheer number of these things occurring all over the world. They often show up in areas where the locals have never heard of the crop circle phenomenon and don't care when they do. They show up in areas where everyone is so poor that no one has time for stupid practical jokes. They show up all over the world.
    (This factor, in and of itself, I do not offer as complete evidence.)

    Size: Some of these crop circles are huge. A pair of people may be able to flatten a circle 75 feet across in a few hours during the night, but even a team of people wouldn't be able to finish some of these things in one night.
    (This factor, in and of itself, I do not offer as complete evidence.)

    Precision: There is an amazing level of geometrical precision to many crop circles. They aren't all just flattened circles, they're quite often fairly complex geometrical patterns. And they're huge, layed out on flat ground with nothing high nearby to get up on and observe the progress of the pattern. I have a distinctly hard time believing that anyone could create a pattern that precisely in the dark. Even in the daytime, without precise surveying instruments and some way to measure and mark off every single arc of the pattern, it would be really difficult. Certainly more than a few hours work if it was just a pair of people.
    (This factor, in and of itself, I do not offer as complete evidence.)

    Evidence on the ground: In the types of crop circles that aren't immediately identifiable as hoaxes (yes, there are hoaxes, and they are almost always easy to identify, go check out some of the links), there are strange phenomena that happen inside the circles. The stalks of plants are bent without being broken. Have you ever tried to bend the stalk of any plant like grass, wheat or corn to a 90-degree angle without breaking it? Personally, I don't know of any way to do it.

    There's also evidence of odd things like stunted growth within the circle and things not growing there even months or years after the fact. I'd love to know how a two-by-four could do that.
    (This factor, in and of itself, I do not offer as complete evidence.)

    History: Crop circles didn't just start in the last couple of decades with a couple of 40-year old guys and a board. There are instances of them a long ways into the past. I'd be willing to bet that the "original" hoaxters who claimed to have done some of the circles had gotten the idea from something they heard or read about that had already happened. I think the hoax is the fact that they believed they'd started it all.
    (This factor, in and of itself, I do not offer as complete evidence.)

    Human nature: The nature of the human animal is pretty set, and always has been. There are a lot of things that just don't jive if you make a blanket statement that every circle is created by a single person or set of people. People crave attention and recognition. Do you know anyone who knows someone who actually made a crop circle? No? The larger the circle, the more people it would have taken to create it, and the more chance for some dumbass to get drunk and start bragging about he and his buddies getting together and making "that big crop circle on the south side of town".

    Saying that human hands created every crop circle ever made would also mean that there are a lot of copycats in the world. A lot of people who just love the idea of crop circles and think nothing would be more fun than going out and making their own, and then never telling anyone about it for the rest of their lives. Why? I don't buy it.

    I see several people posting about how "somebody should just catch those dumb kids in action and show it on video, and all this would go away". So you know a lot of groups of teens who are organized, motivated, knowledgeable in the correct use of things like surveying instruments and laser distance measuring devices, or even know how to run a tape measure with the necessary precision to create a beautiful mathematically complex geometrical pattern 200 feet across in the space of a few hours? The idea is just ludicrous. Ever think just for a minute that there might be another reason that no one has been able to "catch them at it"? I'll let you ponder that one.
    (This factor, in and of itself, I do not offer as complete evidence.)

    Taking all of these factors into account, I, the skeptic that I am, find it scientifically implausible to believe that crop circles are a purely human-derived phenomenon.

    Ever think for a moment that there might just possibly be things out there that we don't understand yet? That science doesn't yet have the answer to everything? That everything can't just be explained away on a moment's notice without examining all the evidence? Extra-terrestrials don't even have to enter into it. There are things right here in our natural world that we just don't yet understand.

    I think that the treatment of the poster is deplorable. Everyone seems to be just immediately writing him off as a kook (like the first post) and not even bothering to examine the history and wealth of physical evidence about this phenomenon. Yes, there are plenty of kooks out there, but they can't all be kooks. That's like classifying everyone on Slashdot a troll because some trolls happen to post here.

    As I said in the beginning, I had expected a little more openmindedness and intelligent discussion on Slashdot (yeah, I know, silly me, but it does happen here). I hope that a few of you who thought you knew everything will just take a few minutes to read the articles, and think, and wonder about our endlessly amazing universe, like the poster of the article suggested.
    • Finally. Some sense. Thank you for explaining to these freekin idiots.

      Its simple folks. Lots of them are created by humans. No doubt. Lots of them cannot possibly be created by humans alone. They are too precise and carry too much meaning.

      I have been studying crop circles for a while and have read lots of information.

      Did you know that..

      1.) Even though very very precise, the shapes are not perfect. For instance, if there is a shape of a circle, it will not be perfectly round. It will have measurements similar to what a perfect circle would look like if it were projected DOWN on the surface of the earth from about 200 miles up in the air. Sorry, I couldn't find a link for this information, it came out of my books. Don't ask me how they do the math to arrive at this conclusion, its way beyond me.

      2.) The ground under the plants which have been flattened in the geometries contains traces of chemicals and compounds which indicate extreme heat. The ground right next to it, under stalks which have not been bent or flattened looks perfectly normal. Go Here [execonn.com] and here [cropcircleresearch.com].

      3.) There was one or more formations in which a porcupine was found in the very center, flattened and dead. Its Quills were arranged in the same spiral pattern as the circle. Go Here [ee.net].

      4.) in 2001, a formation appeared near a radio telescope. In 1974, Carl Sagan and some other folks transitted a message out into space. The formation appears to be a reply. go Go Here [cropcircleresearch.com] and here [yowusa.com].

      5.) The formations themselves contain information in the order in which they are created and their location. Much study has been done on their relevance to each other by their physical location. No links to this that I am aware of.

      There are tons and tons of little stories like that that individually don't mean much. However, taken together, paint a pretty different picture.

      Its very sad that so many of you /.'ers are so quick to spout drivel and trash without first exploring a little bit.

      Much of this information isn't on the Net. It is however, published in a number of books.

      A very good one is by a fellow named Freddy Silva, its called "Secrets In The Fields". Its clear that he has an axe to grind, but you cannot discount the information in it.

      Paul Vigay has a good site Here [cropcircleresearch.com]

      I believe that something is going on here which needs further research.

      Open up your minds folks. We ain't in the dark ages anymore.
    • Some of these crop circles are huge. A pair of people may be able to flatten a circle 75 feet across in a few hours during the night, but even a team of people wouldn't be able to finish some of these things in one night.

      Yes they can, actually. There was a show on TLC or Discovery channel that showed a time-lapse movie of a team of hoaxsters demonstrating how to make a large, complex circle. It only took them a few hours.

      There is an amazing level of geometrical precision to many crop circles.

      Nothing says the pranksters aren't allowed to make a plan beforehand. :) Get some compasses and graph paper and you're set.

      Have you ever tried to bend the stalk of any plant like grass, wheat or corn to a 90-degree angle without breaking it? Personally, I don't know of any way to do it.

      From May to August the grain is green and it's very easy to bend it without breaking it.

      No? The larger the circle, the more people it would have taken to create it, and the more chance for some dumbass to get drunk and start bragging about he and his buddies getting together and making "that big crop circle on the south side of town".

      Even the big ones only take a few people to make. And it doesn't matter if you brag about it. The True Believers will still believe no matter what. I think the fun is probably seeing how many people you can fool.

      Ever think just for a minute that there might be another reason that no one has been able to "catch them at it"? I'll let you ponder that one.

      Um, they have been "caught". Well, not really caught, since they voluntarily showed how it was done. Anyway, if it's really aliens making it, then why hasn't anyone been able to "catch them at it"? I'll let you ponder that one. :)

      Ever think for a moment that there might just possibly be things out there that we don't understand yet? That science doesn't yet have the answer to everything?

      Yes. But none of that applies to crop circles, which are easily explainable in terms of some wise guys with extra time, some ropes, and some boards; coupled with an infinite supply of human gullibility.
  • by ndogg (158021) <the...rhorn@@@gmail...com> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @03:54AM (#5160704) Homepage Journal
    ...but I have to admit that the pranksters have a lot of creativity and talent [fortunecity.com]. Some crop circles out there look downright cool.
  • I am a member of an advanced alien race. We have technology that would take humans thousands of years to develop. This is evident by the fact that we have ships capable of traveling at faster-than-light speeds, proving how little you humans know about the universe and the laws of physics.

    I am typing this post with a device that is installed in my brain. It's wireless, and can be transmitted on to your Web site with relative ease.

    We're also very good at making sure the only people that ever see any really substantial evidence (in the rare event that one of us screws up and leaves some) are judged as insane.

    Lastly, but not least, we are so very insanely advanced that we use... er, uhm... *cough* fields of wheat *cough* ...to erhm... communicate.

  • by Lucas Membrane (524640) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @04:15AM (#5160747)
    1. About 80% of crop circles appear on weekend nights.

    2. Crop circles occur only in countries with agricultural surpluses.

  • Not a hoax (Score:2, Troll)

    by nebby (11637)
    For every 100 cropcircles, there is 1 which is not obviously made with human boards pushing down on wheat/straw/whatever. These cropcircles have the wheat bent at 90 degrees and interleaved upon one another. This is something that, even with the most advanced equipment, is pretty much impossible to do, and is the reason crop circles are truly interesting phenomenon.

    Just like for every 100 guys who throw a plate into the air and take a picture, there is one who actually saw something unexplainable. Separating the signal from the noise, and realizing that there is in fact actual signal amongst the noise, is the first step towards understanding what it means to be a true skeptic and a rational, open-minded, thinker. Doubting for the sheer sake of doubt and assuming something to be false without any proof is ignorance and is a bastardization of what it means to be a skeptic and a scientist.
    • Funny about this one out of 100. The percentage of crop circles said to be authentic by those who think this is a truly unexplained phenomenon is dropping like a rock. Used to be 75%, then 50%, then 20%, then 10%, now we see 1%. It's tracked very closely with the percentage who believe that dotcoms are a good investment.

      The first crop circles, a couple of decades back were very simple. Were these authentic? If so, how come we never see crop circles like those anymore? Did the aliens get into a race to outdo each other with Mandelbrot sets? OTOH, if those first crop circles were among the 99% bogus, we have now a case of an authentic phenomenon that is copying a hoax(?!?!?!?). Could happen, but very curious.

  • crap-in-a-box (Score:5, Interesting)

    by psych031337 (449156) <psych0&wtnet,de> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @04:22AM (#5160765)
    To me this stuff is at least 99,999% bunk. There is the universal claim that these circls are too symmetrical or spiritual to be handmade. The believers claim that there is no way for human beings to make these symbols without leaving obvious trace to human presence.

    Last year a german TV magazin (stern tv) decided to evaluate that. After finding out that it was possible, they... well, they became alien and just did it. A large field was picked, the "impressions" were made with such other-worldly gadgets as tree logs, rope and a bunch of carbon-based glucose operated water bags.

    The result: crop circles indistinguishable from all the other ones that are worshipped all the time. All the german esoteric elite piled up at that field, people sold the t-shirts and posters, and everyone believed that the god-forsaken place of Schönwalde was location to extra-terrestrial visits.

    http://www.fosar-bludorf.com/kornkreis/
    Scroll down a bit to see a picture of the circle in question. Interestingly enough (and although the creation of the circle was filmed) the site which has the picture is part of the "believers" who are not going to abstain from their initial belief that it is the work of alien visitors. Notice any weird feelings when looking at it? Well, if it is hunger it might be for a reason, the pattern has been taken from a salami pizza, the weird thingy coming out of one of the outer circles is a deplaced pepperoni.

    Well, the wackos running the site are currently bashing the TV magazine people for obstructing the truth and stuff like that. A bunch of the wackos have found magnetic anomalies ("up to 1000%"), dehydrated soil but no burned plant matter, silicium chipping ("broken off a spaceship") or measured modulated signals on obscure frequencies. Some people just WANT to believe...
  • I'm stunned (Score:2, Troll)

    by _prime (181525)

    At the response in this forum. It seems to me that any good scientist closely examines the evidence presented before concluding anything, and also considers any possible explaination without bias or emotional influence. I hear people spouting off about a lack of science on /. lately yet I see little evidence of so-called scientific approach in response to this phenominon. If you've closely examined the evidence and reports first-hand and feel qualified to give an analysis, by all means go ahead and share, otherwise consider the quality and usefullness of your comments before crying "hoax".

    While some of these circles are obviously faked, there is surely enough mystery here to generate legitimate discussion -- some of those circles are hundreds of feet across and contain patterns that seem to be not only beautiful but original. I can imagine some ./ readers are unable to comfortably walk 800 feet (the diameter of the last pattern I looked at) never mind produce a pattern of high complexity in the middle of night in a dark field with flawless geometry while leaving little trace of disturbance. I can imagine few organizations that would be able to pull this sort of stunt off -- certainly none that I have worked for! Whoever or whatever is doing this has my admiration.

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @04:32AM (#5160780)
    First off, Kudos to the Slashdot editors for allowing this story through the newspage stupid-filters. Cool! --And on the tail of the SOHO story, no less. (Which I am still out with the jury on, BTW. Too little info, too much hype, and not enough distance from the subject yet. Better brains than mine must mull over SOHO before I can raise two cents to chip in with.)

    In any case. . . Crop circles. . .

    There are, to my knowledge, four entirely different parties making circles. I'll start from the lowest and work my way up.

    1. Pranksters. There's quite a scene actually, of circle makers with an internal social protocol similar in ways to graffiti artists who spray paint buildings and boxcars. --Often, artists will leave their 'tag' on a crop glyph, or even tag other glyphs to claim ownership. In any case, it has been conclusively demonstrated that with a slat of wood, a length of twin, a tape measure, (and a policebox full of eager engineering students), one can construct very convincing circles of the most remarkable geometric complexity. --Some circle makers even leave weird objects at the centers, up to and including radioactive residues, etc. Humans are smart, and they are good at playing tricks, and many crop circle researchers are entirely willing to be fooled. A happy and kind of infernal madness.

    2. Non-pranksters. Ooh, those pesky military dudes! (Or whoever. Blackops or somebody.) Always trying to obfuscate and mislead. The same types are responsible for replicating cattle mutilations in an effort to mislead and misdirect. (Getting more done before 6 A.M. and all. There's no life like it!) --Though probably not with $400 military slats of wood and $500 military tape measures; there has been a great deal of fast advancement recently in our realm by way of technology. Alien assisted, in some cases. --The crop glyph with the Alien head and the CD thingy was one of these. The garbled word, "BELIEvE" was just that; a garbled word. (Way to go, guys! Wishful thinking, the identity stamp of the greedy & the self-obsessed, will getcha every time. Bush drools for a reason kids, debauchery will do that to you. A rule of thumb: Bad-guys use coke.)

    The psychology behind the alien head & CD glyph: To the susceptible: "Trust the 'good and friendly' greys." To the regular folks: "Crop Circles are scary and weird. Don't trust them."

    3. The Scary Bad Aliens Themselves! Sometimes called 'fourth density' aliens, depending on what sources you look at. They inhabit the level of reality directly one step above ours, where time is a direction which can be navigated backwards and forth. They eat negative emotions when in their corner of reality, and absorb cow and (east-indian human child) plasma when in ours pulling the Men in Black thing. "The Vats are Real." They have set set us up to live in eternal misery, and when the big day comes, it's harvest feast time to the tune of 6 billion very unhappy humans clinging to bibles filled with wrong-headed messages which got garbled way back in the dark ages. Mmm. Yummy fear.

    Anyway, there are supposedly not too many circles directly made by this bunch, but you can identify the ones which have been; The plants in such circles are microwaved and sort of fried and grow funny after the event.

    And last but certainly not least. . .

    4. The good and all knowing entities. --From a another two levels up, called 'Sixth density' (Or 6th harmonic, or vibrational frequency, or whatever depending on your preferred source and level of service.) "We are you in the future. . !"

    Proper circles made by this Yoda-like bunch are supposedly messages documenting the nature of reality in these end-of-times. --Not that I've been able to make head or tail of them. Math isn't my strong suit. (Though, weirdly, precious few are even making the attempt.) "Your media resists. Why?"

    Oh yeah. How to tell a 'real' circle from a fake one, (aside from the perfectly bent stalks and no foot prints, versus the wake-of-carnage system preferred by the slat of wood and ball of string kids). . .

    "One thing to look for would be growth disruptions to the area. Real circles do not disrupt the creative principle."

    A quick side-note to all those who are on guard here: The creepy Scientologists and Moonies, etc., I figure, were set up in order to obfuscate and sound a eerie and somewhat similar, (although selfish and thoroughly dispicable), message. --And to be generally creepy and culty and all that. Ignore those ass-wipes. Travolta and Cruise are royal dinks and should be considered as such. The real story is far less stupid, though still startling. Essentially. . .

    The world is going bye-bye within the next decade or so; global war, economic depression, rich New World Order jerks scrambling over the duped hoards as the ship goes down under the weight of hungry aliens, comet impacts, ice-ages, famine, cats & dogs living together; mass hysteria. (I believe Bill Murry may even be hosting.) Anyway, it's already underway, led by George, "See the Bad Nurse Make Disease" Bush. --Deny it if you will, but everybody can feel it on a gut level. All the little subconsciouses are chattering away. --And it's going to get much, much worse. So buckle up!)

    Have no fear though. When time is circular, (as I am assured it is), all ends are also beginnings. If you don't get smeared by a comet or shot in the head by a Nazi reincarnated as an Israeli, beam-weaponed by an invading alien giant, or just ass-fucked by an American zombie, then you're going to witness some really neat stuff when the Big Shift comes. So get your closets cleaned out, and your heads and your hearts in order. It's all about awareness, baby!


    -Fantastic Lad --mod THAT!

  • Decoded? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JWSmythe (446288) <<moc.ehtymswj> <ta> <ehtymswj>> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @04:59AM (#5160831) Homepage Journal
    Has anyone tried to figure out what the CD says? :)

    Well, seriously think about it. What are the possibilities.

    1) It was an alien.
    They'd be trying to convey a message.. So it should be easy to decrypt.

    2) It was a hoax.
    Someone wants bragging rights. They're not going to go through all the work of trashing that field (great work though), and not make the obviously intricate CD mean *something*.

    Looking at http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2002/Crabwood/c rabwood2002sac.jpg [cropcircleconnector.com], it's fairly clear to see that the marks are evenly spaced. There's an obvious smallest unit, which the others are multiples of.. So, take the smallest displayed unit as 1, and the absense of a unit as 0, the whole thing could be broken out to binary...

    But, do aliens know ASCII to Binary translation? :)

    BTW, have another look at the pic. It's not rings, it's a spiral like a record.. The beginning and end are solid, and taper up and down from nothing. The bumps are too infrequent to even attempt to simulate an audio record.. That'd just make pops..

  • I'm still waiting for an "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" crop circle. Why hasn't anybody done it yet?
  • ok, wow, this deserves some discussion, I think, and I haven't seen anyone attempt a post from a Christian perspective yet.

    I do very much believe in God, and also in evil spiritual beings (Satan and demons). I'm pretty sure all of them would have the capability to do this.

    First, I'll admit that I am not a scientist, haven't seen these, and am going by what I'm reading in the linked articles here. And I haven't read anywhere near everything linked.

    BUT ... let's assume for a minute that the evidence discussed in this article [clara.net] is real, and some of this stuff was done by something "not quite human."

    First, about the cool geometric designs. I'm kind of reminded from this passage from Romans:

    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)


    Now, about the encoded message on the disc, which some people missed from the explanation here [swirlednews.com].

    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. Acknowledge.


    First, does anyone know about the evidence surrounding this thing? Does it have the microwaved plants & such, that make it pretty clearly not a prankster?

    If it were possible to write that one off as a prankster, I might be inclined to do so. After all, why would God use a retarded looking alien to get a message across? (Ok, so He'll probably slap me soon if it is indeed Him! :-) )

    But the message (if you ignore a couple questionable bits and the inconsistent capitalization) is interesting, to say the least. The Bible talks about a time when a great deceiver will make a treaty with Israel, after which will come a time of Tribulation on the earth. Many signs [layhands.com] indicate that that time could happen relatively soon.

    I think that message could be talking about the false gift of peace from this great deceiver ... or the fake signs and wonders he will publicly display to the masses. The pain of course would refer to the plagues of the Tribulation period (see Revelation 8 and 9). I do believe that during that time, people will be able to respond to God's message of Jesus (hence "but still time" in the message). "Conduit closing" could refer to the finite amount of time people have to receive His gift.

    I think that any message like this that COULD be supernatural should be compared to the Bible to tell whether it is from God or Satan. And as far as I can tell, this lines up with what the Bible says. But I still can't get past that retarted looking alien. :-)

    I hope I don't come off as looking extremely gullible or stupid here. I don't know more about this than most of you. I'm just adding this to the list of possible responses, and also to see if any other Christians have opinions on the matter.

  • My explanation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tyreth (523822) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @06:58AM (#5161027)
    Well, the sites promoting crop circle's as something amazing go to great lengths to demonstrate that these are very abnormal [paradigmshift.com]. But seriously, what's their point? They say "This means that each stalk would have to be bent individually to give that effect." So then, each was bent individually? Their point is, I think, that given current human technology the only way to duplicate this effect is to bend each stalk individually.

    Here's what I think is likely. There's a group of secret, elite crop circl creators. They started off small and simple, but their techniques have improved tremendously and have extended their efforts across the world. Whatever mundane method it is that they use causes a lot of those wierd things mentioned in the article above. Perhaps they have some fascinating machinery to produce the effect, or some chemicals, or both. I can explain the nausea, etc, easily: people who encounter these things and cannot explain them will be mentally affected. They will feel confused, amazed, scared, whatever. This translates into physical chnages.
    Consider also the other wierd magnetic effects, noises, radiation, etc. Whatever method is being used to create the circles leaves this residue - whether it be alien or human technology. Just because the devices used to create the circles is unknown does not mean it must be used by aliens. After all, America and Britain can't even prove for certain that Iraq has WMD. What happened to their amazing technology and uber spies? We need you Mr. Bond.

    I consider this the most likely scenario. If aliens, then why do they never visit us? I know that many claim that they do through channeling or mediums, but this is easily dispelled - these methods have been used for the last 4-5000 years for communicating with spirits, the dead (supposedly) and much more. Whatever it is that they communicate with, it is a liar and uses the same method for different deceptions. The answer is not aliens. We are supposed to be amazed by the amazing technology of these supposed aliens, yet they must resort to crop circles? No, I don't think the answer is there.

    The answer seems to lie in the fact that the crop circles are changing and evolving. If it were aliens that knew so much, their methods would be rather stagnant if the crop circles are a common method for them to achieve whatever it is they are trying to. Changing crop circles over time seems to me only explainable by forces or labor that is learning it's art, changing its methods and improving. Sounds like a human influence to me.

    Of course, I don't pretend to know the answers. These are just my musings on the topic. These circles impress and make me curious as much as the next person. I don't deny the possible existence of aliens, but I think it is very very unlikely, and even if there are, none of what we've seen so far appears to originate from outside our planet. Lets consider the possibilities, keep an open mind and see what we can learn.

  • by kobotronic (240246) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @08:00AM (#5161119)

    My jaw dropped when I saw the alien face and disc. Remarkable! Very clever technology must have been employed in order to pull this off with such precision. The execution is flawless! I'm very impressed.

    Certainly this is no ordinary rope-and-plank job, One wonders if the thing was perhaps a clandestine practical execution of a tech student's exam project?

    The site of the artwork may be close enough for the DGPS beacon at the Bristol Channel to have helped the punters get the edges of the rectangle aligned so precisely, but presumably a laser sighting device similar to the ones used by land surveyors could have been sufficiently accurate.

    Once the rectangle corners had been defined and the circle perimeter traced, it may have been fairly trivial for two operators, or teams, to traverse the sides of the rectangle in parallel with the Device running a straight line from side to side and flattening the crop row with variable force (or width) according a predetermined bitmap courtesy of photoshop and some clever artistry. I'd love to see the original bitmap and compare with the finished formation.

    You can see a thin groove at the center of each scanline in the closeup ground photos, which seems to be a wheel track. The device design is unknown, so we don't know if it had 1,2 or even 4 wheels. A rope could have been its suspension from above, though you'd think that would have caused variations in pattern density with the rope at the edges being more taut.

    It would need to be somewhat heavy in order to flatten the crop and have enough mechanical force to gradually engage and disengage the crop flattening part of the mechanism during the course of each row. Perhaps the device was guided on twin taut ropes from either side of the formation, or perhaps guided optically by lasers.

    From the closeup pictures the pattern looks like it was applied in one direction alone, so perhaps returning the cart to the other side was a waste cycle instead of using bidirectional 'printing'. :)

    Interestingly, the wheel groove of the spiral is between the spiral pattern bands, as opposed to centered in the middle, so a different machine may have been used here, perhaps operating concurrently with the alien portrait scanline 'printer'.

    The question remains how the row alignment came to be so spot on both in terms of row spacing and 'horizontal hold' from row to row : The vertical details are quite precisely in sync from row to row, so the tech and methodology used is indisputably excellent.

    I hope eventually the artists and hoaxers come forth and reimburse the farmer for his losses, and reveal their clever technology. I think that would make for an interesting read.
  • Photoshop (Score:3, Funny)

    by sdflkgfljdqshgjkqsfg (129027) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @08:19AM (#5161161)
    How long before a cropfeild filter comes out on photoshop?

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