The Silent Circle website has a warning for anyone thinking of visiting a crop circle near Etchilhampton in 2016: ‘The area . . .  – north [and north-west] of Etchilhampton Village, Wiltshire, UK – has been marked by crop circle hoaxers and their supporters for substantial crop circle hoaxing activity during the summer of 2016.’

Etchilhampton Hill

I’m not sure if Charles Mallett and the Silent Circle are acting on information or if they are just speculating, but they leave nothing to the imagination about whom they believe are involved:

The support structure that operates alongside the actual circle hoaxers comprises website, drone aerial photographer/s and Paul Jacobs, owner of the notorious yellow van – who charges unsuspecting visitors to the circles he covers outrageous fees to enter the given circle/s he covers.

If you’re struggling with the bigger picture, the allegation is that human circle makers (I refrain from collectively calling them ‘hoaxers’ as that is, on a philosophical point, sometimes the wrong term) are reporting their work to the Crop Circle Connector website. In turn, they dispatch a photographer with an unmanned aerial vehicle to capture some photos. Finally, Paul Jacobs turns up with an agreement from the farmer to collect an admission fee from visitors.

Crop circle at Etchilhampton in 2015. All photographs on this page courtesy of the Crop Circle Connector.

Crop circle at Etchilhampton in 2015. All photographs on this page courtesy of the Crop Circle Connector.

It’s only fair to note that it is down to the farm manager as to whether he or she enters into an agreement with Paul Jacobs. Likewise, it is down to those parties to decide upon a fee and what will become of the monies raised. At Hackpen Hill in 2015 Jacobs helped farmer James Hussey raise a substantial amount of money for a charitable cause.

Perhaps it is the case that the Etchilhampton farmer has already entered into an agreement for the 2016 season, but this is no guarantee that any crop circles appearing there will be the work of ‘hoaxers’. As I’ve noted elsewhere, let’s assume a non-manmade circle appears on Etchilhampton Hill and is reported by a member of the public. Is it not throwing the baby out with the bath water to dismiss such a circle as ‘hoaxed’?