Crop Circles are geometric patterns that appear mysteriously in crop fields. The crop is not cut, but is usually laid flat and most often swirled into an attractive floor pattern. Most patterns appear in cereal crops such as wheat and barley, but circles have been known to occur (in lesser numbers) in oilseed rape, maize, linseed, grass and even borage - to name a few. In the US many circles appear in soya, as it grown prevalently in that part of the world.
In the UK most circles occur in the county of Wiltshire, although circles do happen (in lesser numbers) countrywide. In the early season (April/May) numbers are few but this gradually builds up as the summer moves on, at the height of the season (Late July/August) several circles can appear on one night. The season ends with the harvest - and the slate is wiped clean for another year.
The crop circles do seem to have an affinity for ancient sites. Many circles appear close to stone circles, barrows, earthworks and other landmarks. Stonehenge and Avebury have played host to many crop circles over the years.
The Crop Circles usually appear overnight, in the few short hours of darkness in the summer months. Most are completely perfect at first-light with no flaws in their designs!
There are many theories about who or what makes the crop circles. Whirl-winds, earth energies, extraterrestrials and human hoaxers to name but a few. What makes the crop circle subject so fascinating is that anyone and everyone can take part in the search for answers. There has been some very interesting scientific work carried out on the crop and soils from the circles which should be investigated by all those with an interest in the phenomenon. You can find a link to the specific website carrying the work here: www.bltresearch.com
Much the same goes for the ultimate meaning behind the designs, there has been some fascinating research into the geometry and mathematics of the crop circle designs and shapes, which suggest that the designs are not arbitrary or meaningless, but quite the opposite. People have connected the circles to subjects as diverse as star constellations and quantum physics to alchemy and spirituality. Some of the most fascinating research is concerned with shape and vibration (Cymatics) and the collective unconscious.
If you are interested in getting a good overview of the subject please try our book CROP CIRCLES: Signs, Wonders & Mysteries. It gives a good overview of the subject from many angles and contains around 280 colour images of the crop circles.
A good place to find out about the circles and about the very latest thinking and research into the circles is to attend our annual conference. It's also a good place to meet like-minded people and you can even take part in a guided tour of the latest circles! www.summerlectures.co.uk
Yes. There are farmers who will allow the researchers and the public on to their land to visit the circles. Please only enter a circle if you have permission from the farmer. Please see our 'Visiting the circles' section for important information, guidelines and advice. You can also visit the circles as part of an organised tour group at our annual conference: www.summerlectures.co.uk
Please check out the 'Latest Circles' section of our website to see the very latest circles to have appeared, before planning your trip. You can also visit the Henge Shop in Avebury for the locations of the latest circles. Avebury is right in the centre of crop circle country in the UK. Please don't phone the shop (they get very busy in the summer), but call in, they have a map of the area with the latest circles marked on it. They also carry a stock of our latest photographs and books.
Click on the link for information about the Henge shop and how to find it.