Who’s Up For A Circle Making Competition?

On Crop Circles UK croppie Richard Skerman has written of his wish to conduct a circle making competition in 2022. Apparently he’s going to cover the costs himself with Bitcoin. Yeah yeah. But let’s give the man a chance.

The last time something like this occurred was in 1992 when plant physiologist and parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake and The Cereologist magazine organised such a competition. Twelve entrants — both teams and individuals — took part in a field near High Wycombe, each assigned the task of reproducting a given pictogram design. The challenge was won by a team from Yeovil led by Adrian Dexter. His better known peer Jim Schnabel came second.

Front cover of The Cereologist following its crop circle making competition.

It sounds like a fun event although researcher Montague Keen was keen to stress the competition was held for a genuine reason; ‘To help cerealogists in the difficult task of distinguishing the spurious [man made circles] from the genuine [non-man made circles]. Keen had hoped it would be possible to compare the products of the competition with what he believed to be the paranormally created formations found across Wiltshire and Hampshire in preceding years. No matter how misguided you may consider Keen was, or how flawed his methodology, the circle making competition had a purpose.

Those competitors in full. Reproduced from The Cereologist.

By contrast, Skerman has yet to provide any sort of motive for his proposed competition (let alone any evidence of the money that would be necessary to hold it). Assuming the contest would be held simply for the aim of producing pretty, tidy artwork you have to wonder what the judging criteria will be. Why would anyone bother? Who cares? Which circle maker actually feels they have something to prove to anyone else? None, surely? Oh, wait…

Ever wallowing in the pity of self-inflicted retirement, deluded plank dragger Dene Hine has said he’d ‘love’ to take on the current crop of active circle making ‘loosers’. It has all the makings of a croppie tragedy up there with the tales of Matthew Williams, Terence Meaden, Pat Delgado and Enzo Brabazon and the subsequent meltdown and whining would be golden. However, the thought of spending the night in the same field as Hine shouldn’t fill anyone with emotions other than trepidation and guarded amusement.

Perhaps the only real opportunity to arise from a new circle making competition would be that for a collective deliberate fail of epic proportions. It would be reminiscent of what Circlemakers.org mulled over when invited to take part in the Crop Circle Challenge by actress Sarah Miles: produce circles so bad, so clumsy, that the outside world would conclude humans couldn’t possibly make the real thing. The Croppie suspects Richard Skerman would consider an outcome like this to be unworthy of any prize money up for grabs.

Yes, you tell them, Count Spudula.

Should Skerman press on with his plans to hold a circle making competition he will find The Croppie wishing him luck. Something tells us we’ll have an extraordinarily long wait for that day.

Note: The Crop Circle Challenge was founded by Sarah Miles as a little more than a means of disproving people can make crop circles to a high standard. She proposed participants reproduce the legendary Milk Hill ‘galaxy’ formation to ridiculous, near stalk-by-stalk scrutiny.