The highly anticipated crop circle season of 2013 didn’t quite go to plan! The long awaited Mayan prophecy of December 21st (which had failed miserably to propel us into a multi-dimensional state of sheer bliss!) also didn’t go to plan and this seemed to be reflected in this year’s circles. These annual events that have long been catalysts for the awakening and enlightenment of many people, quite unexpectedly responded this year by taking a bit of a back seat. Early on they stepped back from their usual stance and supplied us with a small number of laid-back efforts that did no more than catapult us back to how they were in the early nineties (…ah, those were the days!)
Compared to previous years, the first effort to arrive was at least two months late. Arriving on the 2nd of June in a field of Oilseed Rape a humble and untidy formation appeared that was to announce the slowest start to a season in decades. To be fair though much of its lateness was obviously due to the depressingly long winter we’d suffered that had seemed to morph into an even more depressing and unseasonably wet spring. The fields were sodden and with less sunlight around the crops were at a standstill. They were extremely late in bursting forth and as a consequence you didn’t have far to go to see the Rape fields in full bloom during midsummer… something that up until this year had never really been known.
The weather may have also been responsible for the fact that this season saw for the first time since the 80’s a serious decline in numbers. By the end of the season in the UK we ended up with around 30 formations, which when you consider that it’s not so long ago that we were on the receiving end of at least a 100 – 150 annually, is to say at the very least…disappointing. Another possibility is that maybe “The Circlemakers” believe that over the past 40 years or so they’ve now said it all. Perhaps they have…and maybe now they’re at the stage of slowly wishing us a fond farewell.
Something else that didn’t help was that we were also on the receiving end of a real farmer’s revolt this year. Not only did they cut out most of the early formations as soon as they arrived but they threatened a policed closure to all their fields. This was to some extent smoothed over by some researchers who dreamt up a scheme whereby the “circle-tourists” could purchase an access pass, of which the proceeds would help to compensate the farmer’s loss. This bold plan as such never really caught on though, but who’s to say that with a bit more determination and a lot more chatting-up of farmers, this couldn’t work out in future.
Photo 1 – 25th JUNE – SILBURY HILL nr. AVEBURY, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
It wasn’t until we got past mid-summer on the 25th of June that a formation arrived that seemed to mark the real start to the season. Looking very much like an hour glass (turn the photo sideways) was it simply telling us that time was running out? And what about those strange markings that surrounded the formation…were they not dissimilar to the scratchings of a prisoner crossing off the years on the wall of his cell? Maybe this suggests that freedom through enlightenment is not that far away. Are we viewing a simple illustration of the sands of time slipping through into a new era…of which we seem blissfully unaware of …but of that which we’re slowly becoming a part of.
What you should importantly note about this particular formation though is that if you ever wished to be convinced that this was a “real” formation then this was it! For throughout the whole of the formation were some of the most impressive biophysical anomalies ever found, which offered proof indeed that on this occasion here was an amazingly crafted sculpture that simply wasn’t man-made. Apart from several who witnessed in some areas what can only be described as the most precise selection of which stems were to be laid and which were to remain standing, the nodes of the plant stems throughout were discovered elongated and swollen. This evidence alone suggests that many of the nodes had exploded during the short but creative energy process (expulsion cavities). Such anomalies that we often come across like this are the true signature of who really is behind this amazing phenomena.
Photo 2 – 7th JULY – AVEBURY TRUSLOE nr. AVEBURY, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
A very neat design arrived on the 7th of July which curiously marked the 66th anniversary of the notorious Roswell incidents. Here we have an illustration of a ship…albeit one that’s sinking within a crescent moon. Representing an ancient Sumerian “Boat of Heaven” that’s often been associated with today’s spacecraft technology, here we see the hull breaking up as this symbolic “alien” vessel falls to Earth.
This was another circle that was to feature some remarkable anomalies but unfortunately (apart from a small number of researchers who were allowed to record it) the farmer didn’t allow any visitors. But at least we have to be grateful I suppose that this one did get recorded…because so many others unfortunately didn’t. As far as the landowners are concerned cutting out the formations as soon as they arrive immediately sours the event and swiftly lifts the burden of policing the fields.
Photo 3 – 1st AUGUST – STONEHENGE nr. AMESBURY, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
Although it was late in the day, August was the month where the phenomenon picked itself up and began presenting us with what was arguably this years best of the bunch. Three formations appeared on the 1st of August alone, and although all three were of a consistently high standard, they appeared to be quiet basic as far as their overall design was concerned.
This particular formation appeared to hold a lot of energy and many claimed that they’d experienced a very strong response from dowsing rods, even after the formation had been down a couple of days.
Photo 4 – 6th AUGUST – MONUMENT HILL nr. DEVIZES, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
Arriving on the 6th of August in an area that’s been blessed by many formations over the years, this was quite an unusual design. Some interpreted it as a “star council” of sorts that were sitting round a “round” table contemplating a rather odd cube. A very odd cube because in a rather mystifying way its sides were slightly curved. Was this a feature created by accident or by design?…we’ll probably never know!
Photo 5 – 10th AUGUST – CHUTE CAUSEWAY nr. TIDCOMBE, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
A more traditional simple mandala appeared on the tenth that many likened to a set of neatly arranged clothe pegs! You will appreciate though that in order to create a design with such impact as this that it’s had to rely on quite a substantial amount of crop being laid…(For the less that is laid is that which is less likely to be subsequently damaged by visitors…which is something that “The Circlemakers” normally seem to be quite mindful of).
Photo 6 – 11th AUGUST – HACKPEN HILL nr. BROAD HINTON, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
What at first glance might just be perceived as a simple circle, held one of the most impressive floor patterns we’ve ever seen. A complex and intertwined “Star of David” together with a centralised sun-burst amazingly appeared when viewed from above.
So what we should really be asking ourselves is, how do you go about getting a highly complex and textured piece of art on this scale exactly right in the dark?
Photo 7 – 13th AUGUST – HACKPEN HILL nr. BROAD HINTON, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
On the 13th of August yet another formation appeared at Hackpen Hill. With the “Hackpen White Horse” etched out in the chalk nearby this was the third one to appear here this year. Usually when they’re found in this area they occupy the fields below the white horse which provide a superb overview when you climb above. A couple of weeks later it was reported that the formation had received additions that were to considerably alter its appearance. What had started out as a very simple “Spirographic” circle (or a ring of circles holding hands!)…was completely transformed into a more complex design that exhibited quite a neat-ish floor-lay.
Photo 8 – 30th AUGUST – (NEW ADDITION) HACKPEN HILL nr. BROAD HINTON, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
This year’s events that were so far received by many as mostly disappointing suddenly moved up a few gears in what was later classified as these seasons’ death throes. Too little too late perhaps?…But if you were visiting the fields of Wiltshire as late as mid-August onwards you were witness to a crop circle phenomenon that was at long last back on track. With the blades of the combines fast approaching it became a chase from rumours to reports as the last flurry of formations arrived.
Photo 9 – 13th AUGUST – WEST KENNET LONGBARROW nr. AVEBURY, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
Appearing on the 13th of August right next to the West Kennet Longbarrow this Mayan influenced formation took many by surprise…after all, weren’t we all done with that 2012 business last season?
This formation basically illustrates a triangular shaped craft or UFO within a series of arcs. The placement of the UFO in an off-centre position is most certainly deliberate and relates to features within the surrounding landscape. As well as acknowledging the ancient West Kennet Longbarrow that it chose to closely sit beside, it also pointed out via one of its triangular sides the nearby “pyramid” mound of Silbury Hill. Whilst now forming a conical shape, Silbury was once a stepped structure and this might well be represented by the small illustration that’s found within the top sweep of the arcs.
At the very centre of the UFO we find a reference to the ancient Mayan entity Quetzalcoatl that takes the form of a headdress…(Six nearly identical crop wedges that sit on each side of the inner circle in order to form twelve “quetzal feathers”).
Quetzalcoatl promised to return at the end of the Mayan Calendar…did we get the date right?(Which on the face of it isn’t such a bad assumption considering the number of alternative dates that are still being suggested and that which would now lead us to conclude that his return in a space craft is still forthcoming!)
Although on this occasion it’s more simply put we’ve seen this headdress symbolised before in several pre-2012 formations that yielded much information concerning the end of the Mayan Calendar. It’s also interesting to note that the “lunar crescent” motif alongside the “alien” almond shape that’s featured here has been strongly employed in at least three or four of the previous Mayan influenced formations.
Photo 10 – 19th AUGUST – ETCHILHAMPTON HILL nr. DEVIZES, WILSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER *
A really beautiful formation landed in a friendly farmer’s field on the 19th of August. The fields surrounding Etchilhampton Hill have seen some remarkable formations over the years and this season’s effort proved to be no exception.
The lay of the wheat was jaw-dropping to say the least. It had numerous features, many of which were quite subtle to the discerning eye, but what was outstanding and quite beyond any human capability was the way the outer ring had been woven into a stunning chequer-board lay.
When you view this masterpiece from above your immediately struck by its strong resemblance to a six-bladed lens aperture…and what’s more in camera optic terms it’s denoting an aperture of approx. F5.6 – F8. The variation of those blades within a camera lens determines how much light is to be let in…maybe “The Circlemakers” are suggesting we haven’t received enough yet…I look forward to a formation in the future that might suggest F1.2!
Photo 11 – 23rd AUGUST – COOKS PLANTATION, nr. BECKHAMPTON, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
Once again one of the last circles to appear this season surprisingly held a strong Mayan influence. Typically within a Mayan circle design we have an “alien” almond shaped centrepiece complete with a Quetzalcoatl headdress or if you view the formation the other way up, a smiley faced version with a neat looking beard! He’s surrounded by a ring that features thirteen “spiral-square” spirals that are symbols of time…which clearly in this instance represent the “13 Baktuns” of the new 5,000 year Mayan calendar which began on the 21st December 2012.
By presenting us with yet another Maya influenced formation that strongly hints at the return of this legendary spiritual teacher, are we to believe that without a shadow of a doubt his return is imminent? After all it’s been long believed that he would return at a time when the world is oppressed to help bring about an era of peace within a new spiritual order.
Photo 12 – 23rd AUGUST – MARDEN HENGE , nr. DEVIZES, WILTSHIRE. PHOTO by STEVE ALEXANDER*
A much more simple and attractive formation just happened to arrive on the same day. It had placed itself beside Marden Henge which is one of Britain’s most important, but least understood prehistoric monuments. It doesn’t attract as many visitors as for instance Stonehenge or Avebury because it no longer sports a fine set of standing stones. However it’s still a very interesting place to visit and having a superb crop formation lying within spitting distance of it certainly attracts us to it.
The sheer size of the henge has long fascinated archaeologists who are particularly intrigued by the evidence that supports the idea that up until the early 19th century there would have been a huge mound, similar to Silbury Hill that would have quite effectively created a dominant centrepiece.
The final formation of the year landed in Dorset near Shaftsbury on the 30th of August and because it was a bit off the beaten track it didn’t receive many visitors. But then again the number of visitors to the circles this year had dwindled anyway which was largely due to the unexpected drop in circle numbers. Aided and abetted by farmers who seemed more anxious than ever to cut them out, the wind had been truly knocked out of the “croppies” sails.
Because they’ve had to book months in advance of any realisation of a “thin on the ground season” many of the visitors to our circles seemed to be from overseas… And so it’s not uncommon to strike up a warm and enthusiastic conversation inside one from somebody who’s from Portugal or Peru! This is one of the great things about crop circles…because they’re such a common denominator the people you meet inside them are usually so warm and friendly that it’s a good bet that you’ll be having your photo taken with someone who up until ten minutes ago was a complete stranger!
Over forty countries world-wide have been on the receiving end of this phenomenon and those from foreign fields are drawn to the fields of Southern England because the UK is regarded as the “Mecca” for the whole thing. Some of them probably could have stayed at home this year and visited their own jaw-dropping efforts the like of which we usually get! For it was business as usual across the Channel with Holland receiving more than a dozen events and Italy and the Czech Republic producing some outstanding designs.
I’m sure they’ll bounce back into our fields next year because I’m not convinced that they intend to slowly fade away…We’ve always approached them in the past as something we have to solve or an enigma we have to explain…And whilst we still don’t appear to have an real answers for their being, we’ve certainly learnt one thing along the way and that’s that first and foremost they are attention seekers. If they are torn out at birth or not paid a visit they might well disappear…I don’t think we’ll ever quite understand them…but obviously the more attention we give them and try to work out their puzzles, the greater our reward will be.
G.Tucker © 2013
• All these photographs were used by kind permission of Steve Alexander © 2013.Steve is a professional crop circle photographer who produces a beautiful yearbook illustrating the season’s events that’s usually alongside a DVD. Details to be found on his homepage at: http://www.temporarytemples.co.uk