Zen Rabbit’s Holistic Guide to Crop Circles: A Journey of Revelation

By Rob Buckle
Kindle Edition (2017) – £3.99

Many a crop circle by the A4 at West Kennett has attracted a cerealogical prophet. I sometimes wonder if there is an underground colony of them. Perhaps there is; Rob Buckle’s Zen Rabbit is the latest in a string of these characters, sharing his his view of how it is with a one-man audience known as The Seeker.

But let’s do away with the corny Truth Movement type role play; the bunny is merely sharing Buckle’s own perspectives with an audience he assumes has been suckered by the long-running idea it’s the extraterrestrials who make crop circles. Buckle is, alongside the patrons of the notorious Report A Crop Circle Formation, one of the post-Chisbury New School of crop circle researchers. The narrative is what you’d expect, a revisionist delve into crop circle history used to prop up an overarching theory of why crop circles are still, at core, a quasi-supernatural, albeit alien-free phenomenon.

Buckle’s case for the mystery power, best interpreted as a type of collective consciousness between all living things and possibly the Earth, is pleasant. There are echoes of John Michel in how Buckle highlights the sacred geometry apparent in many crop circles, from the most basic to the most complicated. In an era where flashiness seems to override elegance, it’s good to see someone understand the symbolism and power of a simple circle.

However, Buckle’s case for his collective consciousness is hampered by a Hancock-esque reliance upon speculation and pseudoscience. Anyone who incorporates the shaky sham science of dowsers, Masaru Emoto’s emotive snowflakes and Rupert Sheldrake’s ‘morphic resonance’ is going to have a hard job proving their line.

Moving on, Buckle’s views on modern, rural Wiltshire are as warm as his thoughts on interconnectedness. He sees it a Keelian style window area for all sorts of weirdness. Criss-crossed by leys, it attracted the human circle makers who are inspired, protected and guided by a mystical force.

Inevitably, temperatures cool as the divisive subject of certain, unnamed, contemporary researchers is discussed. Some of them are making money. Yes, but Buckle’s book isn’t free. Some researchers are certainly withholding information as to what they know about the extent of human circle making. I understand this, but Buckle makes the error of reducing their motivations to a false dichotomy: they’re either money-grabbers or inept. Sorry, but there is also the possibility some of them sincerely believe there is a genuine, non-human crop circle phenomenon. Even Zen Rabbit won’t say 100% of crop circles are man-made!

Buckle would also have been better off staying away from criticising researchers’ pseudoscientific methods as his own reasoning, outlined above, is no better. It’s a bit like when Pat Delgado scoffed at Terence Meaden. Both were, as history reveals, well off the mark.

An additional irony is the reverence in which Zen Rabbit holds Colin Andrews; hasn’t Buckle read Circlemakers and John Macnish’s assessments of how the veteran cerealogist has had a bumpy association with facts? This ignorance, whether accidental or otherwise, betrays Buckle’s failure to understand the weight of history. Another concerns Dave Chorley and Doug Bower, the two men who, in history, are widely regarded as the human instigators of the phenomenon. When he isn’t near enough dismissing them as bullshit artists, Buckle overlooks the role they had in bringing crop circles to Wiltshire. It was they who made the 1980 Westbury circles in a successful attempt to play upon the locality’s close association with the Warminster UFO flap of the 1960s. In subsequent years it was their Wiltshire based imitators, the annoyance of Hampshire farmers and an ideal circle-making landscape (one rich in history and legend) that established the area between Swindon, Marlborough, Pewsey and Devizes as circles central.

Whilst Zen Rabbit is flawed, the book succeeds in putting thought provoking ideas on the table. It will receive plaudits from similarly minded individuals and may entice newcomers to follow The Seeker down the ‘rabbit-hole’ of Truth Movement cliches. And why not? It’s full of gooey, thought provoking ideas. However, if you’re tired of truthers and a stickler for demonstrable facts, you’ll likely give Zen Rabbit the once-through, keep it in the Kindle Library and allow it to gather pixel dust.