Crooked Soley — A Crop Circle Revelation

By Allan Brown and John Michell
Facsimilie Edition, Squeeze Press (2017) – £6.99

Lead photograph by Steve Alexander / Temporary Temples

On a late August night in 2002, an extraordinary crop circle appeared close to the West Berkshire hamlet of Crooked Soley. The disjointed arcs of 72 circles crossed within a space defined by two simple rings. The majority of the resulting latticework was flattened, leaving behind something resembling a circular, infinitely repeating strand of DNA. The formation was consumed by the summer harvest in hours, but contained startling messages in the form of placement, dimensions and symbolic number sequences.

Geometers Allan Brown and (the late) John Michell first shared what they had found in 2005, this new edition of Crooked Soley being a facsimile copy of the much sought after original. It’s reissuing comes at a very important time with the circles world seemingly gone to pot under a wave of New School egotism and wreckless indifference.

Although Michell elaborately explains the numerical wonder of the Crooked Soley masterpiece, it is the magical prose of Allan Brown that illuminates the book’s 76 pages. Brown’s understanding of the circle’s placement in an area rich with both duality and liminality is stunning. It is this meaning, supplemented by Patrick Harpur’s afterword (taken from a 1990 edition of The Cereologist) that reveals the thinking, brilliance and warmth of the anonymous Crooked Soley circle makers.

Crooked Soley – A Crop Circle Revelation is a vital addition to the library of any croppie, and, more importantly, everyone with ambitions of dabbling in circle making. It demonstrates that cerealogical texts don’t have to cover ‘who’ or ‘what’, just ‘why’. It is a truly priceless book has returned in time to show that genuine magic can still be found in the cereal fields of southern England.