Whether you were one of `End of the World` or `Beginning of a New Era` brigade, 2012 was undoubtedly a year full of expectations. What was going to happen?
In global terms the upheaval continued unabated particularly with erupting revolutions in the Middle East, unexpectedly sparked off by Egypt and creating great loss of innocent life; the weather determined not to be outdone, delivered devastating hurricanes in particular one roaring across the Caribbean from Jamaica, to Haiti and hurtling relentlessly onwards to New England, USA with yet more loss of life and property in its wake. After an almost record drought in the UK resulting in a near countrywide water ban, the heavens opened and a monumental amount of rain arrived breaching the banks of many rivers and flooding hundreds of homes making 2012 the second wettest year in the UK missing the record by a mere half inch. This will be a year many people wish to forget not only for the conflicts and weather but from personal reasons. Numerous are the people who have told me they were glad they are to see the end of 2012.
The good thing is that the world hasn’t ended as some people believed and that in contrast to those doom laden prognostications, we have a New Beginning which I believe is exactly what the Mayans were trying to tell us so many centuries ago. Not that it is all going to be an instant bed of roses but at least it is a start and as Tlakaelel the venerable Toltec American Indian told us last year in Taos, New Mexico, everything will gradually go back to normal.
As fresh new green buds appear in spring each year so I can already see positive shoots starting to emerge.
But what of the crop circles? To be honest, 2012 was a bit of a damp squib with a late start to the season and it wasn’t until the summer progressed that the quality and complexity of the circles themselves progressed.
One of the early exceptions was the complex event at Manton Drove, Nr Marlborough, Wiltshire that arrived at the beginning of June. Flying over it with a recently arrived couple of American friends, we were enchanted by its sheer symmetry and beauty and hundreds of pictures were taken as we circled around. My attention along with others, was drawn to the geometry of the formation.
Polymath Jim Lyons found “With the 8 rings, it is a scale. I have turned the arcs into notes on the scale and played the tune - not very exciting. However, if one takes the arc lengths as fractions of 360 drg/ there is a pretty good Golden Ratio harmonic between the first two outer arcs. By adding all these fractions together it gives a good approximation to the Golden Ratio of 1.618034 even with crude measurements.
“What is important is the relationship between the Golden Ratio and the octave number 2. I have found this in all earth energy line patterns. What is even more important is Pythagorean harmonics, in particular the Pythagorean comma.”
At the beginning of July, in between Silbury Hill and Avebury a formation consisting of a series of connected equilateral triangles resembling a floral pattern, contained within an outer equilateral triangle, graced the still green wheaten canvas. Many saw it depicted as the Flower of Life.
Following hard on its heels was the amazing multi-dimensional triangle contained inside a circle. At its centre lay hidden a cube, an almost exact replica of the event that had appeared on the very same day, 1st July at Chilcomb Down, Nr Winchester, Hampshire. The Warnborough Plain, Nr Liddington formation was clearly visible from the M4 as indeed was the Hampshire event from the A272.
The Liddington formation was chosen for our annual scientific tests. However it proved no easy task to locate the owner of the field and get his permission to enter.
As in previous years, my main research continues to focus on the temporary relief of Parkinson’s. It has been established that in the high beta and gamma level (30-70 htz per second) of brain activity, the dyskinesia is inhibited. In other words the shaking is controlled.
David Greenwood had volunteered to be my Parkinson’s guinea pig last year with remarkable results (1). He enjoyed the day so much that he re-volunteered to come this summer 2012. However at the last moment, his wife fell ill and as he is unable to drive, he had to abandon joining us.
After a last minute’s search, Gill Puttick who runs the Petersfield Parkinson’s Help group gallantly stepped forward to replace Greenwood. Other participants were Essential Tremor sufferer Linda Daubney, ex Editor of the Petersfield Herald and a long time friend and supporter of my work; Ann Godden, a friend with Restless Leg Syndrome and for which she takes Ropinirole, a Parkinson’s medication; regular guinea pigs polymath Jim Lyons, long time researcher and friend Christopher Weeks with whom I have experiences many strange crop circle experiences (2) and Anne Leonard MBE
Anne Leonard, who runs the charity Operation New World which provides confidence building outward bound courses for young unemployed people.
Conducting the scientific tests were Hazel Drummond of Nutrihealth, who has generously given her time and energy to this research for many years using the renowned Asyra technique, acclaimed by Professor William Tiller, Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University in the States as being one of the most reliable diagnostic systems available? The Asyra technique covers a broad spectrum of investigation.
1. Baseline test – This test measures energy states in major organs and systems. This can give an indication of which organs are out of balance and could indicate health problems.
2. Comprehensive test – Thousands of test items in the computer’s database are tested to show whether one has been affected by viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc.
3. Hormonal imbalance in the endocrine system – 31 hormonal signatures are tested for imbalances.
5. Brainwave patterns.
9.Chakra Imbalances – The 7 chakras are tested.
10.Geopathic stress and Harmful Energies - Here we look at Earth fields, electromagnetic stress, mineral deposits, power lines, microwave energies, radioactive exposure, ultraviolet waves and X rays.
Also joining us this year was Paul Gerry, highly specialised clinical physiologist from Exeter Hospital using a clinical 34channel EEG machine. As the tests took one hour to set up and record and thirty minutes to remove the glue, only two people were tested, Parkinson’s sufferer and Ann Godden (Restless leg syndrome)
“The equipment records all frequencies up to the "sampling rate" which is set at 256 cycles per second. Then it can digitally filter out any below and above specific values, e.g. 0.5 - 70 Hz is used clinically. I can see the main problem is that an EEG even when performed on a relaxed subject lying down still contains a fair amount of muscle artefact which is high frequency (20 + Hz).
The technique was as follows: “Each subject was recorded from disc electrodes placed according to the 10 - 20 system, impedances kept below 5 Kohm, glued to the scalp with collodion.
“An EEG of 15 minutes was recorded before, in a crop circle and outside (but within the cornfield) shortly afterwards. Each recording included periods of eye opening and eye closure.
“After visual inspection an epoch of each of the six recordings was selected (eyes closed, minimal eye movement and Electromyographic artefact).
These samples were analysed using FFT and frequency maps produced by the Psychology Department at Leicester University.
“As you will see they are split into the different frequency groups, Maps are Power i.e. uV2 (Amplitude squared)
Anne's results on left, Gill right.
Frequencies: - Alpha 8 - 12 Hz, Beta 13 - 30 Hz, Low gamma 31 - 45, High gamma 54 - 70 Hz
“I leave it to you to make what you will of the results, my comments are that Gill had a good symmetrical alpha rhythm whereas Anne didn’t, but little difference occurred suggesting they were in the same states of relaxation.
The beta/gamma showing in Anne's "before" over the right mid temporal area is likely to be slight jaw tension.
I can't explain the fast increase in Gill's Low and High Gamma.”
A Cone of Energy
Hazel Drummond reported that “As soon as we were in the circle I could feel a kind of buzzing and slight heaviness in my legs. I felt a bit uncomfortable as if the energies were slightly negative. I tried using my pendulum and was interested to see that it was turning anti-clockwise (negative) no matter where I went in the circle however when I went into the centre I found that it immediately turned clockwise and did so in a circle around me. Interestingly that was when Jim Lyons came up and told me that there was a cone of energy rising from that central spot. I felt really well standing in the centre. I could have stayed there all day. I felt well and energized – very different to the rest of the circle. After leaving the circle I felt quite woolly headed and that continued all day Monday and Tuesday as often happens after the crop circle day. I also had a horrendously sore throat and no voice on the Sunday evening and Monday but that could have been due to the crop affecting me. By Wednesday I felt back to normal.”
With Parkinson Sufferers the brain finds adjusting to narrow spaces a problem and Gill Puttick had great difficulty walking up the tramline towards the circle. However after being in the circle, she led the way out of the formation striding along the tram lines without any problems whatsoever. In addition whilst inside the circle she had been able to get up out of the floppy canvas seated chair (not everyone could) but after the double control tests at the perimeter of the field, she was unable to do so.
Puttick reported “My medication is 2 Symmetrel each tablet is 100mg amantadin hydrochloride. 1 Mirapexin either 2.62 or 2.1 this is prolonged - release pramipexole. This drug can make you gamble, over sexed, and many other things. It didn't work for me it only had a good effect.
1 Madopar 100mg/25mg. three times a day. Levodopa + Benserazide.
“As for me I’ve had to two good days lots of energy. Sleep was better even if I did pummel Chris on the shoulder. He was glad his back was towards me, I slept in the other room last night.
“Going back to walking through the field. I have a problem with starting off when my meds are low and narrow spaces are a night mare. It sounds silly but the brain doesn't send the message to the feet to move.
“My feet feel very odd it's like being on ice skates they get quite painful. When the Meds switch me on I'm away. I would like to try the circle again with no meds I would need a driver.
“The last two weeks I've had a lot of energy, making birthday cakes for 80 and 90 birthdays. Sorting out a tea party for mother in law (90). I didn't slow down, walked miles round a steam engine rally in Norfolk.”
“Hazel Drummond’s machine I could feel the currant each time I held it only in my left hand. If you have used a tens machine it’s that tingly feeling, it soon went.
“Now the glue was a different story, that took a long time to comb through.”
Puttick had not taken any medicine during the tests.
Unfortunately I did not have time to bury my bottles of Volvic water in the circle.
I was unable to focus
Christopher who has been one of my guinea pigs for more years than I can remember, being very much an independent spirit, decided not to follow the rest of us but chose to approach the circle from a different tramline. Being very experienced, he then continued to examine the lay of the crop and various other aspects of the formation. After the tests were completed I started to wander around the formation. This was not easy as the criss-crossing lines made finding one’s way confusing and frustrating. At one point I bumped into Christopher standing looking thoughtful and puzzled. “Have you a got good sense of smell” he asked. “Yes”, I replied, “in fact I am often accused of having an over active sense of smell, why?” “What do you smell here?” he asked. All I could smell was the wet earth and the crop, nothing else.
Christopher reports “On the day of the visit to the circle I was awake early and felt bright looking forward to an interesting day ahead.
“When I arrived at Avebury I felt in good spirits and relaxed to do the control experiments
“We packed up and headed off in convoy to the chosen circle. It was difficult to park close to the circle so after some to-ing and fro-ing we parked a little way from the field, in an area which had a footpath leading down the edge of the field. As we proceeded down the path I felt fine but as soon as I entered the field I had an overwhelming feeling that a battle and much death had occurred in that area.
I have always been affected by the 1st World War and just the mention will cause me to well up inside. This has always been the case for me and as far as I am aware there is no rational explanation for it. It was this very same feeling that I got from the field.
“When I entered the circle the area felt shielded from the dreadful feeling that the rest of the field had, but I was unable to focus or concentrate on any of the feelings that I usually get within a circle, however there was a very strong smell of decay that can often be associated with road kill. When I asked others if they could smell it no one else was aware of it. I checked the circle for signs of any dead animals but none were visible. The circle seemed to have a cancelling or numbing effect on the sensations and my mind strikes a blank as to what happened within the circle or what it looked like. I am sure that we must have done the further tests in the circle but have very poor recollection of them which is odd as I have very clear recall of the rest of the day.
“Upon leaving the circle the feeling (which is difficult to put into words, but feelings of a mixture of desperation, panic, chaos, with an overwhelming atmosphere of death might get close to it) returned in full force. We continued to the edge of the field where we did a further control experiment which I can remember quite clearly as I was very keen to get out of the field.
“When I got home Lucy rang me to say that she had researched the area and found that a big battle had occurred there going back to the time of King Arthur I have visited many sites from this period and they have not had this effect on me. I would be most interested to know if this site has ever had anything significant to do with the WW1.”
It might be significant that Christopher’s hypothalamus levels rose by over 50% after being inside the circle. The hypothalamus is a very important part of the fore brain which lies below the thalamus and forms the lower part of the ventricle and its floor. Its integrity is essential to life, for it is concerned with the `vegetative` functions. It plays a major part in regulating the temperature of the body. The body weight and appetite, sexual behaviour and blood pressure and fluid balance, and can even be said to be the physical basis of the emotions.
Not sweet enough
Also Christopher’s pancreas levels dropped by approx. 40% after being inside the circle. The pancreas is a small glandular organ measuring about 6 inches long and is part of our digestive and endocrine systems. It is an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including amongst others, insulin and glucagon and is responsible for our blood sugar levels. Christopher’s partner Jenny is diabetic and so her blood sugar levels are checked on a regular basis and as Christopher is a very keen sportsman (he fences, mountain bicycles races etc.) he also gets his blood sugar level checked regularly. His level has never dropped in any of the tests.
Following on from the research day, the year seemed to be gathering momentum with more circles arriving just as the fields seemed to be teeming with visitors making any ground research impossible as hundreds of feet trampled the fallen crop, obliterating all physical evidence.
I had a wonderful week-end attending and speaking at the extremely well run WCCSG Marlborough conference. With half an hour between the lectures, the attendees were able to wander around, chat, relax and digest each talk before going into the next. This also worked well for the stall holders.
I was only able to take one picture
Just before attending the Glastonbury symposium, the grandfather of all conferences, I was flying over a new circle behind Silbury Hill when after taking one picture my camera suddenly broke. Try as I might I could not fix it so as flying costs several pounds per minute flying, there was nothing to do but return to Thruxton. With only days to spare before Glastonbury, what was I going to do without a camera? I rang several local photographers but with no luck as they were away or their spare cameras had also broken and needed repair. However all was not lost as I remembered a friend who had the same equipment as I. Not only was she in but she said, “come up immediately, I will wait for you with everything I have and you can take whatever you need.” Can you imagine how lucky I am to have such a wonderful and generous friend. The day was saved, in fact several days were saved before my camera was restored to me, the whole shutter mechanism having had to be replaced and I was able to go the Symposium with all the latest images. People who visited the formation pronounced it as being one of the most energetic of the year. Had that had anything to do with my camera catastrophe? Over the years I have experienced camera failure before whilst flying over the circles as indeed have others, and not just cameras but mobiles, camcorders etc. when visiting the circles. Credit cards, hotel keys and car keys have also been similarly affected, so beware what you take into a crop circle!
A disaster in the making?
As usual I organise and take round two crop circle tours each summer; one tour has an additional extra of a wonderful private entry visit to Stonehenge in the evening, the second has another optional extra of flying over the circles. Both tours are enormously popular and get booked up quickly. The tours this summer were memorable for the amount of rain that fell incessantly drenching us as it trickled down our necks and filled our Wellington boots. As always I advise wet weather gear and this was essential as we slipped and slithered our way down the tramlines. I had amazingly intrepid people with me and despite my frequent suggestions of “would you like to go to Avebury for a cup of tea?” the answer always came, “no, let’s go on and which circle will we visit next?” On the first tour the final circle we entered was one that I knew to be man-made and had been created a couple of days previously. It was the result of a project called Measuring the Land which, with the permission of the land owner, consisted of a team of eight youngsters and young adults aged between 14 and 22 from Frome College and Mendip’s YMCA’s Routes Drop in Centre and Youth Café. Veteran crop circle maker, Rob Irving designed and led the team and when they all gave up, completed the event himself after eight hours. The idea was to make the circle in darkness but as this picture show, it was clearly still daylight and indeed one of the youngsters already looked thoroughly fed up. I was later told that several of them admitted that they now realised that there had to be a real phenomenon as the whole thing was so arduous and lengthy.
The somewhat questionable and dubious idea behind the scheme was to introduce “teenagers and young adults to the ancient and more recent heritage of the Wessex landscape, and the geometry that underlies it.” Despite being open minded, I find it hard to justify encouraging people to trample down crop. Surely just walking the landscape gives you all the information you need to appreciate the spectacular geometry of the land and if more is needed, then why not draw diagrams on the blackboard or construct templates in the class room?
As history relates only too well this sort of activity in the fields leads to disaster. It was in the early 90’s that I amongst other foundation members of the CCCS (The Centre for Crop Circle Studies) made our biggest mistake in organising a crop circle making contest on Edward Dashwood’s estate in Buckinghamshire. Strict rules and conditions were laid down; one being that the circles should be made during the night. Many teams turned up with equipment ranging from scaffolding to ladders. As expected they could not meet the required criteria but rather than scoring a victory for the circles, we had done untold damage in breeding a generation of hoaxers that have prevailed and multiplied over the years giving the press an unparalleled opportunity to rubbish the subject unmercifully. Many are the times I have been asked why people want to go out and make circles without asking the farmers’ permission. The hoaxers tell me it gives them an adrenalin rush. This has now become a commercial business with companies all over the world commissioning man-made logos of their companies. Sadly this element besmirches the phenomenon and confirms the public perception that the circles are all man made.
It is therefore left to those of us who remain deeply involved to put forward a polemic argument in support of this enigma.
The circle was dead
It was therefore with considerable interest that I took the group into this formation and indeed the ground lay looked surprisingly good but due to the amount of people who had already visited the circle trampling down the wheat, it was not possible to make a proper inspection of the flattened crop. There was a notice in the centre of the circle giving the information behind its construction.
The reaction of my group was varied, whereas some seemed perplexed and concerned, others more sensitive to the `energies` sensed an `empty` quality.
Stonehenge reunion. `I felt pure joy at coming home.`
There is another particular incident that stands out above and beyond all others on that particular day. This happened on the private entry visit to Stonehenge. I had met Amber Wing during the Marlborough Conference. She seemed unusually fascinated by the circles but even more so by the possibility of a private entry visit to Stonehenge the following week. Unfortunately all the allotted twenty six places had been taken. I could see her profound disappointment as she kept coming up during the week-end asking if I had had any cancellations. I left the conference early to drive up to Coventry to fly over the beautiful Corley circle, swopping mobile numbers with Amber Wing before packing up. As so often happens if a person is fated to do something nothing can prevent it and indeed there was a last minute cancellation. I led the group into the stones and was explaining the importance of the heel stone with Amber standing beside me when suddenly I was conscious that her face had crumpled and that she was crying. I put my arms around her but she walked away still crying. This is Amber’s story. “As I walked up the ramp and Stonehenge came into view, I became aware of a very low frequency “hum”. I felt myself slip thousands of years into the past, and the other people in my group seemed to disappear. My breathing became erratic and I struggled to catch my breath. Then I was flying back into the present, with the understanding that I was also still in the past. Both experiences are occurring simultaneously.
“I could feel the tears welling in my eyes as I approached the monument, but I tried to push them back and regain my composure. The next thing I remember is standing at the place where you can see the sun rise over the Heel stone at the summer solstice, and trying to listen to what Lucy was saying. That particular spot seemed to accellerate my emotions, which at that point spiralled out of control. I started uncontrollably sobbing……
“I felt pure joy at coming home, but I also felt the sadness of what had been lost. It seemed as though I felt several life time’s worth of emotions all in a matter of moments. I was unable to sleep that night …..”
This is not the first time that I have witnessed a similar `Home Coming`. Several years ago a young Norwegian girl booked in for the private entry visit without the crop circle tour. As she entered the stones she was overwhelmed with tears, tears of `Home Coming` joy. Amongst other things, she remembered her past life as a priestess and which stones served which purposes.
Many is the time I too have slipped into the past, aware of the both past and present simultaneously. Both `times` seem right and proper and comfortable; they co-exist.
The second tour on the 2nd August was also plagued with violent rain. As the storm clouds approached we would leave the circle and make a dash for our cars. Georgie Manners arrived with such a bad migraine that she was uncertain if she should come at all. As she lived close by, I suggested that she should start off but leave if she didn’t feel well. Our first visit was to the enormous Etchilhampton formation that had arrived just a few days before and was easy walking from the lane. We found the farmer sitting in his land rover at the edge of the field so we were able to pay him there and then. He had netted a goodly sum over the two days it had been there. I am glad as it makes up for his loss of income due to the lost and damaged crop.
After walking round the circle, we sat, some chatting, others meditating but all totally at peace until the storm clouds drew near when we retired to the Barge Inn for lunch and to dry out. I was surprised to see Georgie Manners tucking into a goodly meal and chatting away merrily. Her headache had totally disappeared whilst inside the formation. “Whilst sitting in the first circle and relaxing and just taking it all in I began to feel better and not be taken over by my headache. I felt very peaceful and calm and just wanted to take the day slowly. It was so enjoyable. You were brilliant at answering so many questions being fired at you.
“The pace of the day was utterly lovely. I really enjoyed our lunch and felt honoured being able to sit next to you. I am a firm believer in the supernatural and crop circles are a wonderful way to really stretch our rather limited minds to such a greatness of unseen possibilities. The Barge was a great success and I found my headache was completely cured although I did feel very tired..
“The second circle was outstanding. So close to Avebury I had to go. It was electric. I knew I needed to sleep so I took myself off at that point and missed the aerial possibility.. I am sure it would of been spectacular..”
Anne Scowcroft who had driven all the way from Bolton, Lancashire with a friend. Unbeknownst to me she was also suffering from a bad headache. She wrote:
“Mina and I had driven down from Lancashire the evening before so when I woke up in the morning I had a headache before coming out on the tour. I went to get some Ibuprofen from the chemists as I thought 'If this gets any worse it will ruin my day', but I didn't take any.
“It was exciting to reach the Etchilhampton crop formation. I was struck with the beauty of the landscape and peaceful quality of the area.
“On entering the circle I sensed a slight dizzy feeling , a little like if you are small and turn around very fast , but not as extreme as that. It was not a nauseous dizzy though.
“I felt uplifted being in the circle and yet calm at the same time. I felt a sense that I had been there before somehow, or it reminded me of being very small and playing outside in nature, making dens and exploring.
“It was a nice feeling. As it started to rain we ran for the cars. When we had lunch I immediately noticed my headache had gone and I felt much perkier and not at all tired. I also had quite a sense of elation and joy.”
The circle at Avebury was only one day old when we entered, so the crop was still springy underfoot. Sadly our visit was cut short as once again the rains came and we were not fast enough or close enough to our cars to escape a second soaking!
However the rain miraculously stopped, the clouds vanished and all those who had booked, enjoyed marvellous flights over the circles with Graham Slater and his team at Clench Common above Marlborough. It is one thing to see the circles in the abstract form on the ground and feel the residual energy of not only the circle but of the earth itself (The Gaia effect) but quite another to experience them from the air and see them figuratively in all their glory. And so ended two happy but soggy tours!
It wasn’t there in the morning
On the 26th July, a curious and unusual event appeared at Hill Barn, East Kennett, near Marlborough. Even stranger was the report that a pilot whose airfield is just down the road on the A40 flew over that field in the morning. At that point the field was empty but not so in the afternoon as this large octopus like image clearly visible, rested in the corn where nothing had been seen earlier that day.
I received a lovely and wise email from Penny Joseph “I know that there has been much debate as to the meaning of the patterns that are created in our landscape, with mathematicians and intellectuals puzzling their meanings, and I have no doubt that there is a message in them waiting for us to catch up and understand them. However as I stood there in that field, I had a kind of message/understanding that seemed so simple and blindingly obvious to me. When you stand within a crop circle all you can see is carved out paths running in different directions, a bit of a mess really. Yet when you view the field from a distance, up a hill or from the air, you see the beauty of the design in it's glory, and the one that we visited was magnificent viewed from the top of a nearby hill. I understood what the message was, that we as a species are so bent on examining the details of our lives, caught up in the minutia of 'you hurt me so I'll hurt you' or 'this is mine I own it and you mustn't steal it from me', that we just can't see the bigger picture. If only we could step back and look at the whole picture, the real meaning of our lives would be revealed”
One of the most beautiful of the year was the geometrically harmonious nested crescents at Milk Hill formation of 5 August. It was quite a long walk from the lane but worth every step. When I arrived I found Olivier Morel with his French group. Morel was sitting at the edge whilst the group was in the centre chanting to the Keys of Enoch. I sat and chatted to Morel for some time, reluctant to disturb the group but Morel urged me to join them and as I approached they all smiled and beckoned me in. What a joy, listening to the music in those heavenly surroundings, sitting in harmony in a perfect crop circle being part of a group of wonderfully spiritual people. One of those magical and uplifting days of 2012.
And as the days started to shorten, so the season neared its end. Were our wishes going to be granted and might we be granted one or more spectacular finales such as we have witnessed in previous years?
They didn’t know it was there
Indeed fast on the heels of the Olympic games success, a formation reminding me of this spectacular achievement arrived on 9th August during the week-end of the Boom Town Rock Festival held just yards away in the Cheesefoot Head amphitheatre. It seems that the revellers were totally ignorant of the fact that this majestic formation that lay hidden so close by. It had been spotted by a truck driver who perched high in his cabin, had caught a glimpse of something in the field just over the hedge. Unable to stop, he reported it to the eyes and ears web site, the Crop Circle Connector without whose tireless service and contribution to this phenomenon, the world would be deprived of up to date worldwide crop circle information on we which we all depend.
Flying over the formation was an extraordinary experience. On one side, in the amphitheatre below, the bands were playing and as far as one could see stretching from the A272 to the A31 were thousands of vehicles or all sorts and sizes parked, yet unbeknownst to them this jewel lay hidden in the field above with a small ringed circle with small adjacent grapeshot circles nestling close by. Two quite different and separate worlds side by side, untouched by one another.
Only a few minutes from where I live, I arranged to meet a colleague. He had already walked the formation when I arrived and I was thrilled when he pronounced it to be a labyrinth. Labyrinths are ancient designs, Daedalus having designed the first one to house the fearful Minotaur in 1600 BC. Over the years labyrinths have been used for many different purposes from Ecclesiastical, ritual, magical protection, song , dance etc. but perhaps the most important function is walking the journey of one’s life as we seek the Eternal Holy Grail, suffering the many twists and turns as we tread our earthly pilgrimage.
Indeed it was a complex design. I have a particular affinity with these wonderfully circuitous and spiritual designs, so it was with a song in my heart that we entered the formation at the perimeter and walked round following the underlay of the crop, completing each quadrant before going on to the next, arriving back at the starting point. It was a truly wonderful experience, especially as we were the only people in the circle at the time and we seemed to have entered another world away from the noise and problems of our daily lives. So thrilled was I by this design that I visited it several times taking friends. Even walking at a steady pace, it took about 30 minutes to complete and the distance walked must have been about a mile.
One of the joys of living in Hampshire is that the hordes of visitors arriving in coaches tend to concentrate on Wiltshire; it is only the seriously interested researchers who take the trouble to travel east with the result that added to the fact that the Boom Town groupies knew nothing of the labyrinth, the crop remained relatively undamaged for quite some time. Unfortunately however, I was not the first person to visit this event so was unable to make a proper physical examination.
The design consisted of Celtic crosses and chain links, symbols of both Spirituality and Unity, reminding me of the qualities that symbolised the spirit of unity and friendship that characterised the London 2012 Olympic Games. What a wondrous gift!
The faery folk
Was this going to be the final masterpiece? Indeed I had just about packed up for the summer when I was told of yet another unusual and interesting formation this time at Hackpen, just across the road from the memorable and elaborate three armed spiral of 1999.
Clearly this was one not to be missed and it didn’t disappoint. A three D cube, it lay beneath the ancient Hackpen White Horse. This is primordial, magical land inhabited by fairies who live inside the hill and who at certain times of the year will lure people inside to join them in their song, music and revelry with dire results!
The farmer, James Hussey generously opened the field to visitors and when harvesting his crop, even went so far as to cut around the circle and leave it intact for several days longer. When I spoke to him, he told me that there had been tremendous thunderstorms on the night it appeared with at least a half inch of rain, yet there was no mud on the fallen crop when first entered. A fitting end to a season of high expectations.
As always I would like to thank all the kind people who fill in and send me their questionnaires or send emails of their experiences. No matter how small or insignificant they may seem to you, they could be of vital important to me, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Your support over the years has been the building block of my research enabling it to go from strength to strength. You have all played a part; do please continue.
Also my grateful thanks to all the farmers who allow visitors on to their land. Unfortunately not everyone understands that the crops are the farmers’ livelihood and that permission should be sought and obtained before going on to their land.
Finally my grateful thanks to Marion Simmonds who enters the questionnaires on to my data base and to Andy Potter whose understanding of the technical aspects and vagaries of my web site is parallel to none.