If someone tells you that they know how crop circles are made then they’ve simply never been in one. I traipsed around Witlshire this season looking at them and met one fifty year old academic after another who claim to have been studying them for years still without any proof that they’re man-made. Even the locals when pressed could do little more than mumble something about a show they once saw with a bunch of low-calibre pencil necks from the University of God-knows-where explaining in great detail how you can make large three-dimensional pyramids and nine-fold geometrical forms in wheat fields using a single length of rope and some wood.
You see at a distance they’re majestic. And confounding. Not a single person has ever been caught making one even though they can be up to 400 meters long and 200 meters wide. They’re also made on uneven ground. And even a child who wants to be an engineer when he grows up will tell you that overcoming logistics like that requires time, precise machinery and if possible a team in the air to cross-reference symmetry and proportion. But back in the early nineties a pair of goons called Doug and Dave somehow took credit for making all of them worldwide for about ten minutes until they were asked to actually make one and subsequently produced something that looked exactly like a complete pile of shit. Since then hoaxers have been given a new name. Wanks with planks.
A land owner that I spoke to whose family’s been leasing what he described as everything as far as you can see from here dear boy from the university of Oxford for generations told me that if someone was making them they would have been taken to court by now. We can’t stand the things. Even if they are forms of cosmic graffiti, they’re on private bloody property.
But we did agree on one thing. They’re geometrically impeccable. Every line is perfect. Every arc flawless. There simply is no human error. And in any of them. And of course ask the pros and they’ll just bore you about the changes in the electromagnetic field surrounding them, and how the nodes on the shafts of the wheat get blown out of size, and how many of them are precisely lined up with other ancient sites around like Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, the Pyramids. But none of that stuff really got me going. I was interested in the areas where the wheat had been perfectly woven without any visible entry point. And wheat’s a delicate thing. You can’t take a single step through the stuff without making a complete mess of it. And yet time and again there were these spots, these whole, perfect points in places where no tram-lines met. Without any pathways in or out. Areas that you would literally have to be airlifted into to weave, before being airlifted out again.
The day before 08.08.08 there was a great deal of talk about how a new formation might occur like the one that had appeared the year before in Eastfied on 07.07.07. Speculation was the afternoons big theme. Everyone had a theory. After lunch at the Silent Circle a surveillance operation was formed with about 200 people pitching tents and small enclosures to watch for any action along the main ridges around Calne. For a while we drove around wondering which angle to take until we eventually found our way up Knapp hill. The car park at the base of it had a festival atmosphere to it. There was even a team in a Buckminsterfuller tent serving rich chai and chili chocolate biscuits. Even Channel Four had sent a couple of guys along to see what all the fuss was about following the Daily Mails article about the Pi formation a couple of weeks before. But no one really expected anything to appear and around 5 in the morning I wandered back down the hill cold and miserable. When I got to the chai tent I warmed myself with another mug but the conversation was so disastrous that I ended up going back to the car and listening to some Enya.
I couldn’t say what time I dozed off but at 8 I was woken and told that something had appeared less than a mile from us. So we drove over after having breakfast at the White Horse and getting directions. The thing was massive. Within half an hour the place was littered with on-lookers. Small planes were flying over head and men were taking measurements on the ground. It turned out to be a figure eight in the style of two serpents meeting each other in the center. After almost an hour inside we began to make our way back to the car when a light-weight unmarked Apache approached and just hovered over it for a while. And think what you will about the whole thing, but that alone tells you something.