Fulley Wood, nr Tichbourne, Hants.
(near Rodfield Lane)
Detail & Location: This circle was reported on the 21st of June (summer Solstice). It is in a field of Barley and measures approximately 250ft in diameter. See the Google Maps link for precise location.
Crop Circle Reporting and Covid-19: As in 2020, we will not be censoring crop circle locations during the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. We consider the reporting of crop circles to be in the spirit of journalism, and censorship to be an anathema to that spirit. Therefore, we will be treating the crop circle community as adults and asking everyone to approach the information carefully and responsibly. This will include not visiting the circles if the farmer has not given explicit permission to do so and should permission be given adhering to any covid restrictions in place.
Flying during the Covid-19 Pandemic: The UK is coming out of covid restrictions in the UK during the early summer of 2021. However, the restrictions of the past year have had a heavy impact on the aviation industry. Flying will continue to be very challenging for us this year, with access to aircraft and pilots still very restricted. We will continue to cover the season, flying where we can, while continuing to work photographer colleagues to bring you as much coverage as we can. We’d like to extend our deep gratitude to all those who generously share their images with us.
Visiting: As far as we are aware no permission has been given to visit this crop circle. Please do not visit this circle.
History & Connections: There have been circles in this location before. The last one being in 2019 click here for link to information and pictures of that circle.
Tichborne is close to New Alresford, Cheriton and Headbourne Worthy – all previous crop circle sites. This entire area of Hampshire has a rich and longstanding relationship with the crop circle phenomenon.
The Curious Tale of the Tichborne Dole: Nearby Tichborne is famous for its annual ‘Dole’ in which flour is given out to local residents as an act of charity. It has its origins in the 1100s and is a fascinating bit of local folklore…
The origins are said to be from around 1180, when Lady Mabella was married to Sir Roger Tichborne: in the 12th Century, Lady Day was the official first day of the next year. Sir Roger was not known for his benevolence. Lady Mabella lay on her deathbed: she was concerned that after her death the poor of the Tichborne village would no longer receive her donations. So she suggested to Sir Roger that he would honour her bequest, that the poor and needy would receive a gallon of flour, annually in the future, after she had died. He was not so sure, so he took a burning firebrand from the fire, and said “The flour from all the land Lady Marbella can crawl round before this brand dies out will be the source of this bequest!”
Please use the link above to read the full story, which includes a curse and a family prophecy! There is also a beautiful painting of the Dole by Flemish artist Giles Tilburg which can also be seen at the link above.
Design & Symbolism: This clearly an eight-fold design. See the Geometry Gallery below for updates as we have them.
Visiting the Circles? If you are thinking of visiting any crop circles this summer, please read our Visiting the Crop Circles section. It’s full of useful information and etiquette for visiting the countryside and the crop circles. Please remember that you should not enter any fields without the express permission of the farmer and you will need to be aware of and abide by any restrictions in place in the UK in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Click here for Copyright Information about the reproduction of images on this website.
Please Help to keep us Flying in 2021: If you have enjoyed looking at our pictures and information please consider making a small donation to keep us flying. There are so few of us left regularly recording the circles it’s really important that we continue. And while some now use drones to record the circles, it is important that there are still images taken from aircraft where the best quality camera equipment can be used and images that include the broad vista of the landscape can be taken. This kind of photography is expensive and it gets harder with each passing year to raise the funds we need to continue our work, but if everyone who regularly looked at this website made a small donation we would meet the funds we need. You can make a donation here.
NOTE: Some of the images below are beautiful landscape scenes. Click on each image to enlarge them and see the whole picture.
IMPORTANT THANKS: to Hampshire Flyer for allowing us to use his images on our website.
The substance that matters
Fulley Wood 2021
Please note you can click on any of the images in the article below for a larger view.
The crop circle that appeared at Fulley Wood in Hampshire seemed to be a straight-forward eight-fold design but, like many crop circles, it’s not until you scratch beneath the surface that the true nature of their design becomes apparent.
From the outset of this write-up I’d like to acknowledge and thank Peter van den Burg, who has done some great work of this formation and who also was a great sounding board for some of the ideas in this piece.
Eight and the Octagram
Let’s deal with the number eight to begin with. It is clear from just looking at the design that the main star-like component of the crop circle is based on one of the two classical octagrams. Traditionally there are two octagram stars. The classical octagram connects every third point around the octagon and is the one used in this crop circle. The second is based on two intersecting squares (were every second point is connected), this is known in Islamic geometry as the Khatam (or Khatam-sulayman) which means ‘Seal of the Prophet’ and is found throughout the Islamic geometry tradition. For the eagle-eyed amongst you, you will see the Khatam star in the centre of the traditional octagram.
However, it would a mistake to think that this is a straight-forward octagram, it is not. There is a definite foreshortening of the inner points of the diamond shapes, which accommodates an almost invisible central circle. It is this foreshortening that creates the elegant spaces between each diamond as they approach the centre of the crop circle.
Eight is the number of ‘periodic renewal’ (as I’ve alluded to many times of this website), its connection to the octave in music is widely quoted. Eight also plays a major role in many religions and philosophies throughout the world; the eight-fold path of Buddhism (the Dharma Wheel is eight-fold), in Islam there are eight levels of paradise and in the Hindu tradition, the God Vishnu has eight arms. In china the I-Ching is based on a system of eight trigrams… I could go on.
The octagon (eight-sided polygon) is often seen as an intermediary between the square and the circle, it is often found in the architecture of religious buildings. Its relationship to the square (earth and matter) and a close proximity to the ‘Divine’ circle, expresses an almost spiritual nature to eight; the eighth step is one that takes us beyond the world and ourselves, yet somewhere that is still home. It’s kind of like the feeling you get with the crop circles, something completely out of place, yet totally familiar.
But, eight is not the whole picture, there are other geometries at work in this crop circle.
Drawing the Fulley Wood Crop Circle
One of the first things one notices about the Fulley Wood crop circle, are the pretty chevrons (or darts) between the diamonds of the eight-fold star. These chevrons actually necessitate that we divide our crop circle into sixteen pie-slices to draw the geometry. You can see one way to divide a circle into sixteen in the Geometry Gallery below. This having been done, we begin the process by drawing in our traditional octagram star.
The next puzzle is the proportion of the central circle to the perimeter of the circle in which we’ve drawn our octagram. The relationship between any central circle and the perimeter of a circle is a classic place to look for any hidden geometries in the design.
Crop circle researcher Peter van den Burg offered one solution for the centre circle, I found another. The two methods are so alike as to be negligible in ratio. Personally, I liked the three triangle method through, because, like eight, it is a fibonacci number and could be suggestive - more of that later. But as with so many of the crop circles, there is no right way and wrong way, it is all a matter of interpretation, and as in this case, the differences are so negligible that only a super-accurate ground survey could perhaps solve the difference. Add into this mix that crop circles always have some degree of asymmetry in them (as they are manifest in the world of matter and not in the realm of ideals) and this liminality of accuracy becomes better understood.
Having established the centre circle, one can then foreshorten the diamond points to that they meet the perimeter of that centre circle - thus creating that beautiful separation in the centre of the design.
When I sat to contemplate the image this crop circle presented, I couldn’t help seeing this parting of the diamonds towards the centre of the formation as an opening of some kind. An inward opening too, because of the foreshortening toward the centre. Where the opening leads is entirely unseen, but is a reoccurring theme in many crop circles. This suggestion of an opening, gateway, or portal is highly evocative, it is as if we are been shown that there is something beyond our current consensus reality and that someone unseen is opening the door and inviting us to take a look. It gives me the shivers!
Finally, we come to the question of those eight chevrons that sit between the diamond shapes close to the perimeter of the crop circle. Firstly, let's divide each chevron into two - the upper angles and the lower angles.
The upper angles can be created by joining points round the circle when divided into sixteen - see the drawing. This is highly satisfying. When all the points are joined up it creates a hexadecagram (16-pointed star) - but only portions are used to create the upper chevrons and so the hexadecagram remains un-manifest.
16 is 4 x 4 - the number of matter and substance. The presence of 16 in the underlying geometry, gives this circle metaphorical weight - an anchoring and sense of physical presence. Sixteen itself is sometimes known as the number that orders the world. It is also the age at which many of us first fall in love.
“Life is breathing order, order is remembered love” Peter Horton (musician).
The lower chevrons are much more of a puzzle. Try as I might I couldn’t find a geometric rationale for them. Peter van den Burg looked at a solution which involved dividing the available space into three (see diagram) again this is a nice solution, but I wondered if this was a little abstract, when so much of the design so far had unfolded in a self-generating way.
So in a last ditch attempt to understand what was going on, I tried my trusty Golden Section callipers to see if there might be a phi portion at work. I used the callipers both on the photograph then applied them to the drawing, and as you can see the callipers showed a beautiful solution using the top inverse angle of the chevron, the perimeter of the centre circle and then the third identifies the lower point of the chevrons - it was an elegant and harmonious solution.
With phi already at work in this formation in the chevrons, along with the numbers eight and three in the geometry, it begs the question where might five be?
3, 5, 8 are all sequential Fibonacci numbers.
Peter van den Burg came up with yet another interesting idea. Using two nested pentagrams and the placement of the circle in relation to the tractor lines (tramlines) in the field.
Peter wrote “The tramlines give nice pentagonal relation when the inner radius of the outer ring is used. This was nice. I hadn't seen this yet. As you can see the central circle comes close, but not in a really convincing way. The other Golden means, or approximations of that do not really come as a result of this either. It's mostly the tramlines”.
Have a look at Peter’s diagram, it’s much easier to see than to write. Three, Five, Eight and Phi give this crop circle a level of complexity that belies what might initially be thought of as quite a simple design. No wonder it has such a powerful effect on psyche when looking at it. No wonder we consider it beautiful and arresting. The presence of Phi and the fibonacci numbers gave this crop circle a living presence, made it part of the natural world around it - it was designed using the same ratios as the wheat in the field and the trees in nearby Fulley Wood. A real paradox; something so out of place, yet also so intimately woven into the fabric of our world. We don’t even begin to have the vocabulary to describe such an event.
Working with this circle was a joy. Being able to just take the time to explore, play and contemplate makes time so very rich with meaning.
This crop circle spoke to me of a way of perceiving the world which involves stepping beyond ourselves, and realising what a product of our environment we are. We are woven into the fabric of this reality in ways in which we are barely aware. We are so convinced that we are separate from our world and from each other - that there is an objective world out there that exists despite us. We forget that we are part of the pattern, tapestry and blueprint of life - what if the the world ‘out there’ exists because of us, not regardless of us?
This crop circle also spoke of a level of connectedness that we seem to find so very uncomfortable, but yet also paradoxically deeply long for. If there is one thing we are missing in our materialist interpretation of reality, it is an image, or concept of ‘Wholeness’. We are so concerned with the minutiae, the detail of how things work, about function, operation and utility, we rarely stop to look for a big picture - were on the road of progress, but to where exactly? What if, like this crop circle we could work in-synch with the natural world, we could find our place within it, work alongside it? Our bodies might be containers for sentience and consciousness, so yes we are a part of this word, yet that sentience is also something beyond the world - we are in fact exactly like this crop circle.
I would like to thank some of my crop circle cognoscenti for their help in forming these ideas: Steve Alexander & Peter van den Burg
With special thanks to Peter van den Burg for his thoughts, perspectives and analysis. You can see more of his great work on his Facebook page Geometry of the crop circles.
Diagram of the Octagrams from:
By Tomruen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
By Tomruen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
A circle at Fulley Wood also appeared in 2019 - https://temporarytemples.co.uk/project/fulley-wood-2019