As the miserably windy, wet and cold autumn nights take hold, The Croppie has taken the time to recognise those names who have made an otherwise uneventful crop circle season something to write home about. Yes, it’s Top of the Croppies 2019 and, as you can probably guess, those involved in the Chinese TV affair all but make a clean sweep…

Colin Andrews

Perhaps book sales are down or he just wanted to appear relevant, but veteran croppie Colin Andrews emerged from the shadows to fire a broadside at retired circle maker Rob Irving whose past work deceived Native American elders during the 1990s. Colin seemed to forget that Irving hadn’t been the one to have alerted the Hopi to crop circles in the first place. Colin also overlooked how he’d been sat on the alleged identities of the 2002 Crab Wood circle’s makers for the best part of seventeen years without telling anyone! Double standards?

Something to think about.

Weirdly, Andrews also attempted to wade into a supposed falling-out between circle makers, oddly suggesting one particularly decent circle in Hampshire could have been better if everyone just got along. WTF?

Monique Klinkenbergh

Whether it was in a moment of publicity seeking vanity or a carefully timed act of revenge, Monique Klinkenbergh was at the heart of the Chinese television shambles. The show’s producers took on hoaxers Matthew Williams and Dene to make a crop circle that would honour the tireless commitment Klinkenbergh has given to the croppie world since opening the Crop Circle Information Centre. Did she really think that farmer Tim Carson would let Williams onto his land to make this paid for circle? If so, it was a naïve act, but Carson’s refusal to play along opened the gateway to a good amount of hilarity. How great it was to watch Williams’s livestreamed attempts to sabotage the circle’s construction.

Dutch croppie Monique Klinkenbergh and great artiste Dene share a special moment.

Maybe Klinkenbergh will emerge from this with a huge smile as Chinese tourists flock to Honeystreet to visit her exhibition in 2020, but you could equally argue that she’s damaged her reputation as a promoter of the mystery by becoming involved with known hoaxers. Remember when the Crop Circle Connector took on Williams as part of their team? It certainly hit their standing within the croppie community.

Andrew Pyrka

Having taken Matthew Williams’s place on the circle making team for the Chinese television show, Andrew Pyrka will probably regret having set himself up as an easy target for reprisals by the spurned hoaxer. Williams shamefully played on Pyrka’s heart condition, demanding he take down his Facebook groups Crop Circle Wisdom and Report A Crop Circle Formation. Pyrka complied but it is unclear if he forwarded the money Williams also demanded of him. Hopefully not.

Rob, Dene, Andrew and a Chinese team member anticipate the arrival of Manbabyzilla.

Interestingly, the Crop Circle Wisdom website is still online, although we know the reins were handed over by Pyrka to a mysterious character linked to a free graphics website, a man who goes by the name of Mike Farrow. It’s worth noting that Farrow and a ‘dedicated team of truth seeking researchers’ produced an interesting piece of research (and it was clearly free of the previous owner’s giveaway grammatical style) on the origins of the legendary grey alien formation at Crab Wood. Maybe it was based on a confession, or maybe it was a genuine piece of detective work. No matter, it’s a piece well worth reading.

Matthew Williams

There can only be one winner and it is an easy choice…

It has been a dreadful year for Matthew Williams and that’s excluding the occasion he demonstrated he’s no idea how many millilitres are in a pint. And the occasion he made a video whilst clutching a sex toy. And the time he got sent a nasty mug in the post.

Anyhow… After falling out with the Crop Circle Connector when they chose to utilise the services of another drone photographer who was (a) superior in his work and (b) quicker to publish his images, Williams vowed revenge. His plan was to link up with disgruntled land artists who would produce circles for a new website, the whiney, terribly named Crop Circle Disconnector. Everything that would appear here would be made at undisclosed locations, thereby stifling the Connector and Steve Alexander from getting their photographs … never mind the rest of the public. Fortunately, the entire scheme was a mess from the beginning. One bad circle was followed by another whose location was busted by the Connector‘s staff. A third formation was remade by its artist for public consumption after receiving less publicity than the average village fete. One final effort has never been fully disclosed to the public, though its ghost suggests it was meant to be a grey alien or a fish or an oompa-loompa. During this endeavour Williams turned on those circle makers who wouldn’t play along with his dumb scheme, not that it got him anywhere.

The summer came to a head as Williams became embroiled in the making of a commissioned crop circle for a Chinese Television show. It was never going to end well once farmer Tim Carson was chosen to host the venture in South Field. Williams and the Carsons don’t exactly get on too well for reasons that have been well documented elsewhere. Perhaps Carson’s involvement was deliberate by Monique Klinkenbergh and the show’s producers, an attempt to introduce some drama into an otherwise dull piece. The Croppie doesn’t know, but it put the circle making team of Williams and his buddy Dene in a tough bind. What would Dene do? Insist on relocating to another field or, if refused, walk away and leave the £1500 participation fee on the table? No, Dene set aside his loyalty to Williams and replaced him with Andrew Pyrka and Rob Martins. Williams exploded and tried his best to sabotage the circle making, live broadcasting his nocturnal drive around half of Wiltshire. When he eventually located the circle makers he stormed the barley field, irresponsibly throwing fireworks.

Matthew Williams really wasn’t happy at being sold out. But the question is, did he come from a rave, a goods yard or a far right yellow jacket protest? Or is the garment of a man who is married to a dog?

In the aftermarth an irate Williams couldn’t keep away from YouTube, growing increasingly redder in the face as he demanded his participation fee from the show producers — a full £1500 as opposed to the £300 he was offered and rejected. As if to deliberately pump oxygen directly onto a fire, the completed show included portions of Williams’s livestreams without permission or financial compensation. Williams began raving about American lawyers and jail terms for the production team as if they would care. Tencent responded by offering Williams a £500 settlement, but were rebutted with a rant asking for an additional £3000 for time, expenses and unauthorised use of footage. Maybe by coincidence or as an incredible piece of IRL trolling, Tencent have now — at least according to our YouTube personality — filed a copyright claim against Williams for using a piece of his own footage in one of his own videos! Presumably, this was a clip that also featured in the television programme.

Matthew Williams, step forward. You are deservedly Top of the Croppies 2019.