Circle Makers and the Security Services
How many times have we heard the idea that circle makers work for the security forces as part of some government disinformation campaign? Well, The Croppie has lost count.
This is a myth that has been perpetuated by the members of Circlemakers.org who deliberately included ‘MI5’ as a meta tag on their website. But the origins of this one stretch back much further to 1991 and the tell-all confessions of Doug and Dave in TODAY newspaper. Copyright on the article was credited to MBF Services and this drove conspiracy minded cerealogist George Wingfield into overdrive. Through some detective work and tail chasing, Wingfield concluded the mysterious MBF were in fact a Somerset based consultancy business working with the British government. The following year circle maker Jim Schnabel and researcher Rob Irving fooled writer Henry Azadehdel into believing they were part of a disinformation plot with links to governments around the world. During 2010 broadcaster and conspiracy theorist Richard D. Hall released the documentary Crop Circles: the Hidden Truth in which it was alleged Jon Lundberg of Circlemakers.org had been recruited by MI5 prior to completing his art studies in the early 1990s. Lundberg’s task, apparently, was to make top quality crop circles — designed by the US Air Force! — so the public would be unable to tell the difference between these and the ‘genuine’ articles.
Stepping back from this insanity, it’s perhaps a little easier to examine claims of secret service links to circle makers from the perspectives of various people The Croppie has spoken to through the years: Who, in their right mind, would go into a field at night and flatten crops into a pattern? There’s a chance they could get caught and earn themselves a criminal record. Money could be an explanation for this madness, yes? And who would pay circle makers? The government.
As far as The Croppie knows, no circle maker is in the pay of any other individual or organisation (including photographers or farmers). The best we’ve seen to the contrary is a document released by the National Archives relating to plank-scuffing hoaxer Matthew Williams. The file mentions the possibility of duping Williams into becoming a useful idiot, but this is in the context of his interest in Ministry of Defence facilities rather than crop circles.