Another crop circle in the United Kingdom was found on July 29. Like most crop circles, little to nothing is known about how, who or what created it. As mysterious as Stonehenge, crop circles continue to stump the brightest scientists and UFO fanatics alike.
Crop circles are a flattening of wheat, barley, rye, maize, and other crops. Cases have been documented for more than 40 years now in over 20 countries, but mainly in the United Kingdom -- and more specifically in southern England. Circle makers typically avoiding being caught by working at night.
In July, a crop circle appeared across the field from Stonehenge, adding mystery to what was an already mind-boggling location. Many people believe that crop circles are an act of aliens, God, or mankind; some believe they spawn from earth's magnetic field and energy. Yet, no one theory has proven what crop circles are, why they are here, or what created them.
More than 2,000 different shapes have been recorded, and mathematical analysis has revealed the use of construction lines, invisible to the eye, are used to design the patterns. However, how these circles are created, or who is creating them remains a burning question many would like answered.
Crop circles and physics
In this month's Physics World edition, Richard Taylor, director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, states that physics and the arts are grouping together to work toward solving the secrets behind the ever complex crop circles.
According to Taylor, via EurekAlert.org, "physics could potentially hold the answer, with crop-circle artists possibly using the Global Positioning System (GPS) as well as lasers and microwaves to create their patterns, dispensing with the rope, planks of wood and bar stools that have traditionally been used."
Microwaves, Taylor suggests, could be used to make crop stalks fall over and cool in a horizontal position -- a technique that could explain the speed and efficiency of the artists and the incredible detail that some crop circles exhibit.
However, Taylor states that "Crop-circle artists are not going to give up their secrets easily. This summer, unknown artists will venture into the countryside close to your homes and carry out their craft, safe in the knowledge that they are continuing the legacy of the most science-oriented art movement in history."
"It may seem odd for a physicist such as Taylor to be studying crop circles," said Matin Durrani, editor of Physics World, "but then he is merely trying to act like any good scientist -- examining the evidence for the design and construction of crop circles without getting carried away by the side-show of UFOs, hoaxes and aliens."
Crop circles: Rob Dickinson and John Lundberg
Rob Dickinson and John Lundberg are known crop circle artists residing in the UK. On their personal website, the artists/circle makers address one researcher's findings on crop circles.
Dickinson and Lundberg wrote:
"With our unique insider's perspective to the crop circle phenomenon we've always known crop circle research has centered on beliefs - rather than empirical derived evidence. Without studying the detail of researchers' statements this is a difficult point to demonstrate, let alone articulate in sound bites in the media.
"During the summer of 2000 the media focused on crop circle researcher Colin Andrews assertions that 80% of circles were man made and 20% were the product of some kind of magnetic energy. Colin was featured on almost every TV and radio channel, often with us arguing that Colin's estimate...was just that, an estimate without substantial proof, or evidence.
"Andrews [has] presented erroneous information to support their own beliefs and to inflate their importance and perceived knowledge of the subject. In the case of Andrews, the media accepted his statements with little skepticism or scrutiny, and his beliefs have been portrayed as scientific fact across the globe."
"I have invested my reputation, profession and marriage in trying to resolve the apparent puzzle. At this point I have proven to myself that you and your friends (and others before) are at least 80 percent of that puzzle and if you are proud of that, so be it. I am proud to have put myself on the line to be honest with my conclusions. The 80/20 percent have not made me friends amongst those who want to believe everything comes from ET's etc.
"I look forward to the day you make my job and that of serious fellow researchers easy and post all the formations you have made and call them what they are man made art - without all the deliberate deception and trouble making."
Watch a National Geographic video on crop circles, below.