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Crop Circles - Real Phenomenon or Hoax?
Apr 22nd, 2007, 1:44pm

There has been intense debate over the origins of Crop Circles. Some believe they are communications from extra-terrestrials, pointing to the many sightings and videos of aerial phenomena seen in connection with formations. Others feel the appearance of lights associated with Crop Circles may be generated by unknown natural energies which produce complex ground patterns. Experiments with the power of the mind have suggested it is possible to influence the creation of certain shapes, leading some to believe psychic forces are involved.

Crop circles are geometrical formations of flattened crops found in England and elsewhere. So far they have been found in wheat, barley, canola, rye, corn, linseed and soy. There are also reports of them being found in desert areas in the U.S.

Crop circles first came into prominence in the late 1970s as many circles began appearing throughout the English countryside. The phenomenon of crop circles became widely known in the late 1980s, after the media started to report crop circles in Hampshire and Wiltshire.

They have since appeared at sites across the world, from disparate locations such as the former Soviet Union, the UK and Japan, as well as the U.S. and Canada. Some sceptics note a strong inverse correlation between crop circles and the presence of fencing and/or anti-trespassing legislation, as well as a great increase in the number of crop circles after media coverage.

The phenomenon itself was observed in its current form after notable appearances in England in the late 1970s. Various explanations were offered for the phenomenon, which soon spread around the world. In 1991, two men named Doug Bower and Dave Chorley revealed that they had been making crop circles in England since 1978 using planks, rope, hats, and wire as their only tools.

In 1991, more than a decade after the phenomenon began, two men from Southampton, England announced that they had conceived the idea as prank at a pub near Winchester, Hampshire during an evening in 1978. Doug Bower and Dave Chorley made their crop circles using planks, rope, hats and wire as their only tools: using a four-foot-long plank attached to a rope, they easily created circles eight feet in diameter. The two men were able to make a 40-foot circle in a quarter of an hour.

Cereologist, Terence Meaden, was filmed claiming that a crop circle was genuine when the humans making the circle had been filmed the night before.

Even today there are no tried and tested methods to discern the natural phenomenon from its man-made counterparts, leading several leading figures in the field (pardon the pun) to claim that they are all hoaxed.

However work by laboratories on circle-affected crops has shown biological changes taking place at a cellular level, and speculation about the causes includes microwave energy, sound waves, and electromagnetic forces. Other physical tests have shown anomalies that aren't replicated in man-made experiments.

These, together with the lights, eyewitness accounts, reports of malfunctioning electronic equipment, and positive health effects on people visiting circles, suggest that the phenomenon involves unexplained forces.
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