The Cereal Business

The Daily Mail is today featuring an interview with probably the best-known members of the 'crop circle artist' community, John Lundbergh and Rod Dickinson of circlemakers.org. It's sure to continue the raging debate in the CC community as to whether the whole caper is art or wilful deception. Interestingly, while the circle makers refer to Doug and Dave's artistic work, the legendary circle creators aren't having a bar of it, saying it was all about hoaxing and nothing to do with art. But perhaps we should expect that from surrealists?

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DigitalDragon's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
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8 years 41 weeks

the people that created the circles have told you what they were doing. hoaxing. you want to believe otherwise. listen to the people that produced the work.


-dd "Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation."

Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
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16 min 18 sec

Ah, but is it surrealistic art as hoax, or is it 'get drunk and make a circle' hoax? And how can we be sure that they are responsible for 100% of it? The US government is known to have contemplated hoaxing UFOs to divert attention away from them. Why not crop circles? As Jacques Vallee commented, he's never seen news travel so fast around the globe as the Doug and Dave story.

What about the balls of light seen in crop circles, even by the 'hoaxers'? Or are they being deceptive about that as well to make it a second layer of deception?

I believe nothing. I am interested though in the details of all this confusion.

Peace and Respect
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things

Seeker1's picture
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5 May 2004
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It is interesting that one section of Lundberg and Dickinson's site contains reports by them and other circlemakers of anomalous lights seen while out making their circles.

I don't get the point of that. After all their chortling about people who study anomalous phenomena and their insistence that crop circles have no anomalous aspects, they have a section on their site where they collect anomaly reports. And not just ANY anomaly reports, but reports from people working on circles.

THAT's surreal.

Steven Mizrach
Academic, Pop Culture Junkie, Grail Recycler

Greg's picture
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16 min 18 sec

Interesting also that Lundbergh is a documentary maker who has made a film about Henry X/Henry Azadehdel/Cassava N'tumba/Armen Victorian, a semi-mythical figure in UK UFO and crop circle research. See here. A culture of disinformation worthy of Hansen's The Trickster and the Paranormal?

Not to mention he is partners with Mark Pilkington in 'Strange Attractor'. Pilkington writes for Fortean Times and also does 'mainstream' work - he appears to have a weekly column in the Guardian, we've linked to a number of them in the daily news briefs. Also is the online editor of Magonia. Writes some great stuff. But should 'guilt by association' be considered in this case with his relationship with Lundbergh? There lies the problem with declaring yourself as someone who is interested in the 'sociology' of hoaxing crop circles.

Like the RlC mystery and the subject of hoaxes/disinformation - how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?
;)

Peace and Respect
Greg

-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things

Seeker1's picture
Member since:
5 May 2004
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9 years 36 weeks

That depends. Of the human circlemakers, there appear to be several types of groups:

1. Some, like Lundberg and Dickinson, do see what they are doing as a form of art. They say as much. Although, not unlike Andy Warhol's stuff, it's a form of art which is intrinsically commercializable from the very beginning, thus their willingness to do Hello Kitty, AMD-64, and other corporate logos in beaches and wheat fields. They say, according to their writings, that part of their "art" is watching with amusement when "crop circle researchers" like Colin Andrews stumble through their handiwork and ascribe them to nonhuman inteliigences. So, yes, they are hoaxing, but only because they see a performance art aspect to their art, with the laughable reactions of the "experts" a continuation of the performance.

What makes their art interesting is that for the performance art aspect to work, they can't take credit for it or "sign their work" and let it be known that they did it.

2. Doug and Dave insist they never were motivated by art or aesthetics, they simply wanted to hoax and create things that would make people believe, falsely, that a flying saucer had landed. I do note that of the circles they've claimed, very few look as beautiful or ornate or geometrically complex as some of the Lundberg-Dickinson work.

As an aside, I must say I've never gotten the mind of a hoaxer, completely. Yes, it can be fun to laugh at somebody when you make a fool of them. Pranks have their pleasures. But most people, once they reach adulthood, start realizing that laughing at other people at their expense is not the only or best form of humor. In a way, it's not all that different than laughing at them because they belong to a different ethnic or racial group... this is the one aspect of Lundberg and Dickinson's writings that I find disturbing, they remind me of band geeks who have never grown up. "LOOK! We made Colin Andrews look like a fool AGAIN!" (Insert Beavis N' Butthead laughter track here).

3. I think there is a third type of circlemaker which does view what they are doing as landscape art, not a form of hoaxing, and are not motivated by the same kinds of things as Doug n' Dave OR Lundberg n' Dickinson. What is interesting is that these people:

-- tend to take credit for their work openly and immediately.
-- often hold New Age/ecological/millennial/sacred site type philosophies which are more like those of the 'believers' than the 'hoaxers'.
-- incorporate sacred geometry into their work not because they want to fool people but because they view it as part of their aesthetics.
-- often openly talk about such things as feeling the design motivated by the "spirit of the place," which in its own way reopens the door for external influences at work...

Perhaps only the third type are "pure artists".

As I noted before, I put no credence in the Andrews 80/20 theorem. I have no idea how many crop circles are "genuine," but for that matter I'm not even sure what "genuine" would mean. If "genuine" means not made by human beings, then I'm not sure if ANY of the complex formations are "genuine". I still think that there are a category of circles where I would say that so far the techniques described by Lundberg and Dickinson appear insufficient (the Mandelbrot Set design comes to mind), but that doesn't mean they weren't made by humans with (to this point) unknown techniques.

Steven Mizrach
Academic, Pop Culture Junkie, Grail Recycler

Anonymous's picture

energy radiates out and bands into a spiral. I am a blackhawk flight mechanic with many hours in the air, and have seen many non hoax crop circles, and ones which appear in the same locations year after year. I suspect this energy is generated within the earth, and have seen slow moving columns of air, smog visible, three feet wide, three thousand feet straight up from the ground moving only about one revolution per second steadily. I have also seen them form in front of my eyes in low wind conditions. Nice to have a birds eye view. I have also seen main rotor blades start turning in no wind conditions to a fairly high rpm, always in the same locations. Just have to wait until they stop. So there, I solved it. Friction and energy generated below ground forming spiral energy as it leaves the earth. Can provide locations where this may be observed. James Lake, jmrlake@hotmail.com.

Bill's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
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6 years 29 weeks

Are these guys claiming human activity is responsible for all crop circles?

No doubt that these guys make crop circles, and they apparently make money in the process. A soft drink company decorates an aircraft making it resemble a flying saucer, but not every UFO reported can be attributed to Pepsi Cola.

Crop circles have been observed since the 1920s. Anomalous circles have been formed in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK. In some locations the fields have been under the surveillance of infrared detectors and cameras with no human activity observed. Some plants in formations have been dusted with an unexplained layer of carbon, not a product of the plant. The germination ability of some plants has been altered. Some types of plants remain upright while other types are flattened, all within the same formation. Some UK formations are made in oilseed rape; the stems are found to be bent at angles greater than 85-degrees. This is an impossible effect to hoax, since rape stems are very brittle. Clocks inside some formations have lost or gained time compared to those outside. These hoaxers offer no explanation to any of these anomalies.

There is no mention of the repeating pattern of biochemical and biophysical changes in the formation plants, or the magnetic anomalies observed in soils of some crop circle sites. How does the activity of Rod Dickinson and John Lundberg explain swollen and reoriented growth nodes, ruptured growth nodes, metabolism changes in plant cells and magnetic iron particles deposited over the plant surfaces and surrounding soils? All this with no evidence of of burning or charring from low-power microwave heating.

Biophysicist W. C. Levengood has studied the crop circle phenomenon and concluded that rapid and intense energy is required to produces cell changes that he has observed in affected plants. Levengood published his research in a 1999 the international journal, Physiologia Plantarum where he wrote,

    The findings reported here lend further support to a decade of research with empirical data which suggests that over 95% of worldwide crop formations (he has studied) involve organized ion plasma vortices that deliver lower atmosphere energy components of sufficient magnitude to produce significant bending, expansion and formation of unique expulsion cavities in plant stem pulvini (swelling at base of leaf stalk), as well as significant changes in seedling development.

We can consider what Rod Dickinson and John Lundberg do as merely an obscurations of a genuine phenomenon. Doug and Dave may have made some crude circles, but they deserve no further discussion. This explanation falls far short of any credible debunking or, IMHO, art.

I think the most applicable description is 'annoyance'.

Bill

DigitalDragon's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
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8 years 41 weeks

Bill writes, "Crop circles have been observed since the 1920s. Anomalous circles have been formed in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK. In some locations the fields have been under the surveillance of infrared detectors and cameras with no human activity observed."

When do you suppose mankind arrived at a point that the species had too much time on their hands. Certainly, it was well before this decade. or this century. As a matter of fact, the farther you go back in time with the human species, the more "free" time the species has had to idly while away days on end, bored and looking for something to occupy itself with. So, statements like the above, actually are not admissible as good reasoning why a hoax is not a hoax, because its been happening in the distant past. And therefore should be considered genuine, non-human organised phenomenon.

Bill writes, "Some plants in formations have been dusted with an unexplained layer of carbon, not a product of the plant."

That would be the condition left on the plant from the "wooden plank" that the creator(s) used to create the circle. Wood is going to leave a slight carbon residue on the plants. especially so since the freshly grown crop is very tender, and extremely succeptable to foreign matter being embedded into it. also, some of the tools used to make these formations would have been conditioned during the original process of their creation. some lumber is treated with oils or paint to prevet rot. some even are soaked in formaldehide.

Bill writes, "The germination ability of some plants has been altered."

if someone smashed you flat when you were a few days old, you would have some trouble germinating yourself.

Bill writes, "Some types of plants remain upright while other types are flattened, all within the same formation."

The hoaxers are very good eh? Maybe they have a distaste for the flattened crop, and a love for the standing crop. I myself would never flatten a sweetpotatoe plant, but could care less for a soybean plant. :)

Bill writes, "Biophysicist W. C. Levengood has studied the crop circle phenomenon and concluded that rapid and intense energy is required to produces cell changes that he has observed in affected plants."

Anything that gets bent will produce an enery just from the resulting motion. Bend a plants stem into a semi-closed position. when the sun hits it the water that collects into the plant from that nights dew fall will cause intense swelling in the upper extremities of that plant. it cannot readily be drawn into the lower porions of the plant due to the kink in the stem. what will result the next day is not natural for the plant. radiation from the Suns UV emissions willalter the plants normal cell structure. the result of the fresh water having a lower heat resistance will also affect the upper portion of the plant. normally, the thicker "juice" of the plants naturaly produced fluids that are brought up from the roots during the day when sunlight heats the plant and draws the fluid up from the soil reduces the ability of the suns enery to radiate and swell the plant.
if you don't think the sun can affect a damaged plant in just one day then take your shirt and pants off. go sit in the sun with no protection, and no water for the whole day. what results is called radiation poisioning.
call it alien activity if you like. the sun is not of this world, after all :)

Bill writes, "We can consider what Rod Dickinson and John Lundberg do as merely an obscurations of a genuine phenomenon. Doug and Dave may have made some crude circles, but they deserve no further discussion. This explanation falls far short of any credible debunking or, IMHO, art.
I think the most applicable description is 'annoyance'.
"

Nothing genuine about it. So you are going to believe that since the 1920's spaceships have arrived here from distant star systems and played with our food supply. you actually believe that some race of creature so advanced would have a passion to screw with a lesser species crops as entertainment. that they could continue to do this for 85 years, and never have been filmed or caught in the act once.
that Sir, is more absurd than all the modern religious beliefs combined.


-dd "Most people wouldn't know music if it came up and bit them on the ass."

Bill's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
6 years 29 weeks

Hi DD,

I don't recall mentioning spaceships or distant star systems. But your rationalizations do approach the amazingly absurd.

Considering that you put me naked in the sun with no water and flattened me, I'll try to make a response:

  • I don't know when people began to have too much time on their hands. Does too much time on one's hands give one the ability to avoid the surveillance of infrared detectors and cameras?
  • Go have someone hit you in the face with a piece of lumber. The residue left on your skin wouldn't be carbon. Cellulose, more likely, or do you rationalize that the hoaxers used burning wooden planks?
  • I stated that The germination ability of some plants has been altered. DD responds with, if someone smashed you flat when you were a few days old, you would have some trouble germinating yourself. Neither you or I have the ability to germinate either prior to smashing us flat or following a smashing. Plants germinate, people do not. Ignoring your poor analogy, I stated that the germination ability had been altered. Plants in some circles have a vastly increased germination rate, others exhibit slow, and in other cases the germination ability is terminated. Go figure.
  • I stated that Some types of plants remain upright while other types are flattened, all within the same formation. DD responds with The hoaxers are very good eh? Maybe they have a distaste for the flattened crop, and a love for the standing crop. Yeah, that technique is so good that I'll need a demonstration before I believe it. Or maybe you can explain how one leaves some plants standing while bending others with a board and a chain. I'll look forward to the demonstration. MPEG format will do nicely.
  • W. C. Levengood is a biophysicist. He states that rapid and intense energy is required to produces cell changes that he has observed in affected plants. DD says it is sunburn. Unless you can produce better credentials, DD, I've got to go with the biophysicist on this one. ;o)
  • DD states. So you are going to believe that since the 1920's spaceships have arrived here from distant star systems and played with our food supply. you actually believe that some race of creature so advanced would have a passion to screw with a lesser species crops as entertainment. that they could continue to do this for 85 years, and never have been filmed or caught in the act once. that Sir, is more absurd than all the modern religious beliefs combined.

Those are your spaceships, DD, not mine. But I won't buy flimsy rationalizations either. Some circles can be explained by a couple of drunks in a bar, others by more sophisticated and sober hoaxers that consider themselves artists. I notice that your rationalizations did not address the other anomalies that I mentioned; magnetic anomalies observed in soils, magnetic iron particles deposited over the plant surfaces, formations are made in oilseed rape, and clocks inside some formations that have lost or gained time compared to those outside.

Since your rationalizations fall short, let me try.

Doug and Dave raked the crops with magnetic chains and burned wood prior to using helicopters to spray the crops with hundreds of beefed-up microwave ovens. Then Doug and Dave, both educated in microbiology, dug-up the existing oilseed rape and replaced it with genetically modified oilseed rape that could be bent to 90-degrees without breaking. The clocks in the circles were changed by the hoaxers although they were within locked buildings. Doug and Dave then replaced the soil with soil taken from the Chernobyl nuclear accident site, thus introducing soil anomalies and cell changes in the plants. Doug swung the chain while Dave protected the plants of different species with his body (Dave took quite a beating, but it was worth it.) This left the different-species plants standing, while flattening the crop. Doug and Dave did all this in a single night, in the dark, while wearing plastic garbage bags packed with ice to avoid infrared detection and painted themselves with invisible-stealth paint that they stole from Area 51 and the US government to avoid the cameras. Doug and Dave have way too much time on their hands considering that both have been dead several years. Not only did they reincarnate, they now have the ability to germinate. Doug and Dave rule, man.

Skepticism is fun. How am I doing?

Bill

the shadow's picture
Member since:
24 June 2004
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7 years 20 weeks

I have to agree with Bill.I read recently, can't remember where, that hundreds of years ago devils were blamed for crop circles that would appear overnight.
The fact that Doug and Dave produced a few tawdry little circles in their lives has been used to explain phenomena that is both stunning and bewildering.
As far as I am concerned, until someone actually proves by daylight how they created all the anomalies found in the grain, I will continue to believe that there is little or no human involvement.

shadows

aurora's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
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3 days 56 min

Hi shadow, would that be the mowing devil/s, by any chance?

the shadow's picture
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24 June 2004
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7 years 20 weeks

By geez you got it in one Aurora, as usual.
I think that while people see unexplainable lights where later a crop circle appears, we have to take into consideration that there is something going on that we can't account for.

shadows

DigitalDragon's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
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8 years 41 weeks

My take on the Biologist reports would lean toward furthering the hoax. Why would you rule out easy money for research from funds derived by harmless pranks? I can see how those that get involved with researching Crop Circle phenomenon would have no problem letting it continue. Who drives away easy money?

The abnormally large amounts of carbon could have been introduced into the process by coating the tools with graphite. this would help reduce friction between the crop and the tool, reducing the chance of breaking the crop while laying it down. :)

i agree, the analogy i used was bad.

Your reference to clocks in the plants being repressed. Please! What portion of these plants were used as the mechanism? The growth rate? cellular degration maybe?

There is absolutely nothing that would suggest that anything except humans are producing these "Fairy Circles". nothing what-so-ever.



-dd "We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation."

Anonymous's picture

All I can sau is if you have seen one being formed with your own two eyes and what formed it.... what can I say, then you'd know. As for others?, they still wouldn't believe you.

Deb

Bill's picture
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30 April 2004
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6 years 29 weeks

Hi Deb,

Have you seen one being formed? Please tell us about it.

Bill

DigitalDragon's picture
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1 May 2004
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8 years 41 weeks

that is correct. thats all. you just say. but the proof is in the pudding. and as Mr. Bill has stated, there has been no pudding produced since the 1920's. So, show me the pudding, and i will kiss your crop circle.


-dd "A bore is someone who persists in holding his own views after we have enlightened him with ours."

Bill's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
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6 years 29 weeks

Hi DD,

I don't know about pudding, but there have been 65 major crop circles worldwide this year. ;o)

Bill

Anonymous's picture

Hi Deb,

Energy forms all kinds of neat objects. Cones, cubes, circles. Talk to someone who works with laser diodes.
Also look at the spiral chute in Hawaii, formed by volcanic activity. Look at the intermitant bands of energy released, and you will find it just as amazing as your crop circles. We know the core of this planet is molten and active, responsible for the weather and indeed even life itself. Everywhere you look it can be seen. What causes rna and dna chains to form in sterile environments? This very same driving force. Imagine that some huge swirling energy was going on inside the earth, and how it would behave on the surface. Surely there would be some kind of sympathetic reaction. Your mysterious crop circles. Fly over Mannheim Germany and you can see all you would like. It may even be as simple as underground water movement. Or try this experiment. Paint a thin sheet of something non-porous, and then run a huge vibrating fan on the other side while the paint is still wet. See if you dont end up with some kind of crop circle.

Anonymous's picture

Do you believe in John Lundberg words?. Nobody, (only one or two person in thirty years ) has been catch by surprise making a circle. I want to see proofs that he is telling the truth. How can you believe that somebody is telling the truth, if he don't show you any proof?. Show me a photograph about John Lundberg making a circle. Nothing. Some Circles are commissioned, some others are hoaxes, what about the rest?.

Suzanne Taylor's picture
Member since:
9 July 2004
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1 year 29 weeks

Ancient quibbling going on here. A couple of new thoughts to introduce. One is that the geometry of the formations is staggering. Ask geometers if they could design them. Very few people on earth possibly could do it. That's what geometers say. And surveyors say it would take them days to even lay out the complex formations. Ask the surveyors. The other thing is that so much about the circles is beyond the beyond that we've got it backwards where we keep trying to prove they are genuine. The evidence is so staggering for the phenomenon not to be of our making that for us to believe otherwise it behooves those who claim they make them to show how they do it. They never have.

the shadow's picture
Member since:
24 June 2004
Last activity:
7 years 20 weeks

Beautifully said in fact.
Ok Digital Dragon and you other non-believers, tell us exactly how these amazing circles are made.
I have seen pictures of crop circles so spectular that I have gasped in delight that they have actually been able to be done.
But how?
How do they get them so perfect?
Who does the design?
Why are there no tracks-footprints-drag marks etc?
How do they affect the grain the way they do?
I could go on asking questions but there don't seem to be answers.
As Suzanne so rightly puts it geometers and surveyors are dumfounded by the expertise of the circle makers.
We should ask Greg to offer a reward to the first person who comes forward on this site with a total explanation comprising photos and plans of just how these super intelligent circles are made.

DD I suspect you are playing Devil's Advocate and actually want it proved to you.

shadows

Anonymous's picture

Has anyone thought to run a ground penetrating radar over these sites, see what is below? At the same time they could put vibration sensors out in likely areas. How about infrared cameras that could view a whole field? Has any logical attempt been made to capture or record these events? Whoever could get one of these cirles recorded would be famous.