The Goldmine Of Nonsense
Here at The Croppie we spat our drinks out and rolled around laughing when we read a Facebook post discussing the now defunct Crop Circle Wisdom website. A ‘brilliant truthfull [sic] goldmine of information’ one person called it. Having picked ourselves off the floor we think it’s best to brand such a glowing testimonial as, at best, delivered with one foot in the realm of fantasy or delusion.
Croppies unaware of CCW should know it was a website that ran between 2008ish and 2019. In brief, it centred around one man, Andrew Pyrka, and his take on the crop circle scene as he turned from devout true believer to messianic messenger of ‘truth’ — a saviour with the mission to repeatedly scream ‘wake up’ and tell the world that ‘crop circles are made by people’. Fair enough, but these types forget some people will not want to listen, or are incapable of doing so.
Pyrka was always fighting the losing battle but, upon reflection, he didn’t really help himself. The ‘truth’ he constantly championed was one riddled with disinformation and lies as egregious as those he claimed to rail against.
Most were built around fanciful story telling, the biggest con involving a tethered blimp that Pyrka attempted to pass off as a UFO. Then there was an ambush Pyrka supposedly sprang on circle makers busy at work on the Marlborough Downs. And who could forget the weird poltergeist activity that plagued Pyrka’s otherwise pleasant suburban home after the Wickham Green ‘Turin Shroud’ circles were made? It was almost as if the latter was a carbon copy of what happened to Colin Andrews after he’d inspected Doug and Dave’s work at Wantage all those years ago.
On occasions the stories were accompanied by photographs of extremely dubious quality. Lens flare UFOs. Close encounters of the third kind with aliens were common. Detailed examination of the alleged extraterrestrials revealed them, on at least one occasion, to have been added with the pencil tool on Photoshop. (Circle maker Rob Irving even mentioned an example, at Martinsell Hill, in his PhD thesis.) Criticism was countered with the publication of anonymous expert witness ‘emails’ bearing Pyrka’s grammatical and linguistic oddities! Other supposed space beings were people or, in one memorable event, a pole upon which a camera was mounted (remember those things?).
Then there were the dumb accusations stemming from Pyrka’s nonsensical interpretation of what goes on behind the scenes in the crop circle world: countless tales of money making collusion involving circle makers, photographers, farmers, conference organisers and, weirdly, the Crop Circle Connector; media blackouts; Satanism; law enforcement drones patrolling fields and details of supposed co-operation between the police and helicopter pilots to catch circle makers in the act. All imaginary but outlined as fact.
During 2018 CCW attracted the attention of a third party who began a critical blog called The Crop Circle Messiah. Pyrka wasn’t happy that he received a taste of his own medicine; albeit one flavoured with facts rather than speculation. He responded by flailing around, pointing the finger of blame anywhere other than those actually involved. It’s maybe no coincidence that ownership of the CCW site then changed hands; the new proprietor being a mysterious character called Mike Farrow. Again, like those expert witnesses, Farrow’s writing possessed the same quirks as Andrew Pyrka. Farrow also seemed to hold the same grudges as his predecessor.
Few can truly say they were genuinely saddened when CCW ground to a halt in 2019. Yet sympathetic individuals will note there was a human element to the closure; Pyrka had developed heart problems, likely unaided by the constant conflicts he stoked and his tireless struggle to spread what he outwardly claimed was the ‘truth’. It just goes to show what effect bickering over some flattened plants can have.