Circle Makers Speak #4: Have You Experienced Any Strange Events Whilst Making A Crop Circle? (Part 2)
Since our Instagram account Crop Circle Explorer ran a brief question and answer session with a human circle maker, we’ve had a fair few messages and emails from readers wanting to know more about the motivations and experiences of the makers. With time and persistence we’ve convinced some of the makers we know to fill us in on their experiences for a new series of articles. These aren’t people who regularly give interviews and they have asked to remain anonymous.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION
It’s part two of our circle makers’ answers to the always intriguing question: Have you had any strange experiences whilst making a crop circle?
The giant shadow people is a good one which a few circle makers have talked about. I have seen them a couple of times myself. Pretty sure I’ve worked out what they are from the experiences I’ve had. Your eyes become super sensitive after being out in a field at night, and the lights from passing cars in the distance can create shadows that are super long. The times I’ve had this experience were always very high up in the landscape, with roads clearly visible way off in the distance and low lying cloud cover. The second time this happened, as something caught my peripheral vision, I looked around and saw a huge black figure that seemed to move around in the sky. Just as I noticed it, I became aware of a distant car passing behind me with the headlights skimming the crop, catching my body. I worked out that it was the car headlights hitting my body and casting a moving shadow on the low cloud cover. It scares the living crap out of you at first, until you suss it out. This is very subtle and most probably enhanced by the eyes’ super sensitivity in low light.
Another time I was making a circle, I could see a thunderstorm way off in the distance with lightning hitting the ground. I carried on working but could not help noticing that the electrical storm was getting nearer and nearer. It soon started raining really hard and the thunder and lightning were becoming a lot louder and closer. I thought, shit my formation is unfinished but I need to take cover. Standing up in a massive field has got to be an ideal attraction point for one of those cloud-to-ground lightning bolts, so I laid down in the crop, hugging my board with the rain and lightning smashing down all around me. It must have gone on for at least half an hour. At one point it was so close that I could smell the lightning as it hit. It was very frightening, but incredibly exhilarating at the same time! I was completely soaked through. After the storm passed, I got back up and finished the formation, thanking the gods that I was still alive. Wow. What an experience, one which I will never forget!
On another occasion, I remember a snorting sound that got closer and closer to me as I was working. I stopped and looked up in the direction it was coming from. I could not see anything, but the snorting sound kept getting louder until whatever it was stopped, had some final sniffs and snorted and ran off. I’m guessing that it must of been a Badger. The thing that freaked me out though was that the crop did not appear to move as the animal got closer to me. It wasn’t coming down a tramline either.
During a stay in Wiltshire in 2009, a couple of friends told me about an eclipse of the moon that was happening in the early hours of the morning. We all decided to try and view it from the Mayan crop circle formation opposite Silbury hill that someone had created. It was very quiet and still up there, a beautiful night, there was no one else in the formation and we could see a long way all around us. The moon was full and bright. We must have been there for approximately 20 minutes or so. All of a sudden, I could hear the sound of horse’s hooves galloping and the sound was getting louder as if it was coming towards me. It became frighteningly loud, then all of a sudden it stopped. My friend, who was by now standing some ten feet away from me, looked at me with the same expression of disbelief I must have had! Later, we both agreed that what we had heard was definitely the sound of a horse galloping, but this seemed impossible as we were in the middle of a field of wheat and, from our high vantage point in the formation, we could see a long way all around. Some days later, my wife read A Faerie Treasury by Jacky Newcomb and Alice Geddes-Ward. On pages 86-91 the authors refer to Sil, a legendary king who some believe was buried in the area. Local folklore says the best time to connect with King Sil is on a full moon. He still rides the perimeter of Silbury Hill wearing his golden armour and riding his golden horse.
Weirdness and the night go hand in hand. When you’re out in a remote field in the darkness your brain can struggle to interpret the information passed to it by your ears and eyes. I regularly hear strange murmurs and see moving figures, shapes and short-lived dots of red and white light. These can be extremely surreal events, particularly when I’m very tired. I have learned to pay them little attention, although complacency isn’t always the best approach to take. On one occasion I discounted a moving black shape in a tramline as just another visual artefact. A few seconds later I’d had my leg swiped and the end of my shoe bitten by an extremely agitated badger.
My favourite odd event involved hearing a strange, metallic churring noise that seemed to be emanating from different directions at the same time. Around us and above us, sometimes distant, sometimes close by. It came and went for a good two or three minutes. It was reminiscent of the weird noise heard by Colin Andrews, Pat Delgado and other crop-watchers at Operation White Crow in 1990. They suggested the sound was paranormal in origin, the noise of the real circle makers, although Doug Bower subsequently identified it as the call of a grasshopper warbler. Whilst I’m convinced the sound I’d heard definitely wasn’t anything supernatural, it wasn’t identical to that species of bird. Having listened to some field recordings, I suspect I had been fortunate enough to have been in close proximity to a nightjar. They’re able to throw their call by changing the direction their head is pointing. It’s a peculiar effect. The more I think about it, the more appropriate it is that a circle maker should attract a nightjar. We both benefit from our abilities to remain hard to spot in the darkness and we also have unreasonably sinister legends attached to us.
Some events are more difficult to rationalise than unexpected meetings with animals, at least in my own head. The one I will share here involved an attempt by two of us to make a circle in ripe crop. One of the surveyors tapes we were using became tangled and snapped on the drooping heads of the plants. A second tape then repeatedly snagged. As a consequence, the construction circle we put down had a significant dent in it. Out of good habit, and to avoid further entanglement, I wound in the full tape on its reel and left it in the centre of the circle. We then walked around the perimeter to inspect the damage and decide what to do next. At this point both of us simultaneously developed a peculiar sense of foreboding and an uncomfortable feeling that someone or something was in the field with us. Our surroundings became eerily quiet despite being close to a road that is fairly busy at all times of night and day.
We returned to the centre of the circle and found our tape had been wound out to its extremity, a length some 15m or so longer than we had utilised. Neither of us could explain what had happened and we hastily covered up our error before departing. It was an unnerving experience and one that still puzzles me. Perhaps someone had followed us out there, but I find it unusual that we didn’t see or hear them, especially as there was a fairly bright moon at the time. Whilst we still jokingly blame the night’s events on mischievous pixies or imps from rural English folklore, I do occasionally find myself asking if something was annoyed with our presence in the field that night. It felt as if the location, perhaps a spirit of place, was working against us. On the other hand, I’ve had nights where I’ve felt weirdly protected by nature itself. I vividly remember one night spent in a location blanketed with thick fog. We could hear unsettled animals making a lot of noise on neighbouring farms. That field was an unnerving place to be, but it was near enough fog-free inside the perimeter of our circle. We couldn’t figure out why it was clear in there, but visibility was next to zero outside. Out there couldn’t see past the end of your own toes. It stayed that way until we left the crop and quite openly traipsed back through the dense gloom, to safety, with our equipment in hand. Maybe the pixies had been kind to us that night.
What do I make of it all? Well, the fields can be strange places at night although I can’t say I’ve experienced anything that is definitely beyond a rational explanation. Certainly, I don’t think I’ve been singled out to experience weird events. We’ve seen plenty of crop circle prophets and messiahs through the years and I’ll leave that indulgent line of thinking with them.