Historically the county of Wiltshire in South West England, home of Stonehenge, has been the focal point for crop circles. Nearly 90 percent of all crop circles have been found in this area, typically in the summer months. However, this season has been slower than usual, with two of the most dramatic and impressive formations being found in the beginning of August.
So far, many of the crop circles of the season have been sub-par. In fact, according to the UK newspaper the Daily Express, locals have taken to calling many of them “crap circles.” However, the first of the two this month that demonstrate the typical awe-inspiring artistry that crop circle enthusiasts are used to was found on August 6, in Monument Hill, near the town of Devizes in Wiltshire.
This circle is described as being a huge cube surrounded by a decorative ring. It is 390 feet in diameter. Five days later another impressive formation was found 15 miles away in Hackpen Hill. The second is smaller, 60 feet in diameter, and a circle with six decorative wedge shapes, touching at their tips almost like flower pedals.
Crop circle researcher Lucy Pringle told the Mirror newspaper, “Suddenly it is all happening just as most overseas visitors have left our shores. Both these circles are the largest and most elaborate so far this summer and contain interesting geometry.”
This year has seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of crop circles found throughout the country side. According to the Daily Express by early August of 2012 there had already been over 50 formations reported, whereas in the same time this year there has only been 15.
In order to gain some insight into why this might be, the Daily Express interviewed Mathew Williams, a crop circle maker. Williams was actually the first person in the UK to be convicted using a newly formed law in 2001 that criminalized crop circle making. He was fined 125 pounds, the equivalent of almost 200 dollars today.
Ironically, Williams had to stop making crop circles recently due to hay fever. As for the decrease in circles, he says:
“A couple of my peers have given up. It’s becoming too difficult, the farmers are getting angrier, the believers are getting too demanding and we’re still not making any money. Julian Richardson, one of the best croppies ever, has moved on to making sand circles instead. It’s a shame because myself and a lot of people have had a great deal of fun with crop circles over the years.”
Indeed, farmers do not appreciate the damage done to their crops. Andrew Naughton, a farmer near Devizes, told the Daily Express how it feels to find a crop circle in his field: “Imagine you had a green car and someone came along and sprayed pretty patterns on the roof with white paint. That’s the only way I can describe it.”
Williams says that while many circles are man-made, he believes some of the more elaborate designs are the product of paranormal activity. He says:
I’ve seen small balls of light which have entered the field and chased us out on one occasion. I’ve seen them passing overhead. On two occasions we’ve also seen black, shadowy figures. Not as clear as a person, a little more rounded but a human shape. There are so many things like that. When teams of people go out into the fields and make large talismanic magical symbols, somehow that does actually have some effect on physical reality and strange things happen.
According to Williams, he is not the only crop circle maker that believes there are paranormal forces at work in the fields of Wiltshire, “All of us are very different but strangely enough, whatever angle you come into crop circles from, all the teams have had paranormal experiences while making them.”