People Who Definitely Don’t Make Crop Circles
Listen in to croppies sharing the scuttlebutt and you may be lucky enough to hear them naming those they think are responsible for making this or that crop circle. Sometimes the name of one particular individual comes up, but it is treated with increasing derision (which is fair enough as to be a circle maker you have to make crop circles, not cry about everything from the sidelines). But, more often than not, they offer up a generic group of people as the guilty parties. Some of these suggestions are so AWOL that The Croppie has decided to compose a list of those groups who most definitely do not make crop circles, despite public perception.
Overtaking the old alcoholics as the usual suspects are farmers. 2023 has seen them named as complicit in the production of crop circles more than any other time The Croppie can remember. We’ve seen them blamed for making crop circles to lure the gullible to non-existent farm shops. We’ve seen them accused of making deliberately crooked tramlines (tractor paths) in their fields to assist them later in the year when they make crop circles. Such accusations reveal an unprecedented cynicism that does nothing to build bridges between croppies and the farming community.
Yes, those students from the local agricultural college … or those members of the local Young Farmers organisation … are out there making crop circles as a joke. No they’re not. It’s just another lazy assumption by people looking to explain away the appearance of a crop circle in a certain place. You know the score … That amazing alien with the binary disk, up at Crab Wood in 2002; that was students from Sparsholt College that was. The ones who’d never picked up a plank before in their lives. Indeed, those students are really going to foul on their own doorstep.
The public image of Doug and Dave lingers to this day in an inaccurate and insulting manner. If you recall, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley were the two men who claimed to have started the whole crop circle thing in Hampshire during the 1970s. Unassuming sixty-somethings clad in white shirts and dark grey trousers when they came clean in 1991, they both represented the everyman you’d see in pubs across southern England. It’s well-known that the pair would frequent the now closed Percy Hobbs pub (now a Neptune home furnishing store) on the outskirts of Winchester. It’s equally well-known that Dave once drank one-too-many and a pictogram he worked on ended up with a rather droopy but cute appearance which made Hopi elders weep. Nonetheless, this public perception seems to have mutated into an erroneous acceptance the pair were both aged alcoholics.
Today’s circle makers are neither elderly or, outside of Somerset, alcoholics. They tend to be rather unexciting people with normal jobs and an interest in experiential art. It remains to be seen how elderly men with alcohol addictions could produce some of the elaborate crop circles seen in the fields in recent times.
UFO CLUB MEMBERS
THE ARMED FORCES
We’ve all heard claims that mysterious black helicopters have been involved in the making of crop circles in the Vale of Pewsey. The Croppie has even heard rumours that members of the military have been seen close to particular crop circles, ordering croppies to stay away. Yet again, this is something that doesn’t happen. However, what The Croppie does possess are anecdotes from people who have been employed by the armed forces in the fairly recent past. One involves an individual who was a pilot in the Army Air Corps. This person explained that the Vale of Pewsey was then a well-frequented training area at day and night. It was apparently far from unusual for pilots and gunners to observe the shapes of circle makers on night vision equipment. This source explains that pilots would sometimes, on rare occasions and for their own amusement, spook circle makers by flying low over the fields in which they were working.
SOCIAL MEDIA WALTER MITTY TYPES
Humanity is a curious species and some people are so desperate to impress others that they make the most bizarre claims.
Through these pages and our Instagram account, we’ve encountered a fair few wannabe circle makers who’ve talked the talk without having ever made the walk. They used to work with this or that team or individual. Funny how they never worked with people whose names have not made it into the public domain. They’ve made Milk Hill 2001 (a popular claim with bullshitters, it must be said), the 1996 Julia Set … you name it, they’ve done it. We’re not exactly sure who they’re trying to impress, but it isn’t working.
‘Pranksters’ is another label unfairly attached to the memory of Doug Bower and Dave Chorley. It reduces their work to a joke, when they were artists in their own right, surprised at their success as they led their audience on a dance via an ever evolving phenomenon.
The tag is still slapped on contemporary circle makers. None of them that The Croppie knows are jokers. Instead, they enter fields, perform their work and stay silent. They are not attempting to convince the world that any one particular thing or another made their crop circles. Rather, they leave their work open to individual interpretation. That’s experiential art, not a prank.
THAT BLOKE IN THE PUB
Yes, we all know the man in the pub who sits on a stool at the bar, sharing his experiences of the crop circles he’s made. If it’s not him, then we hear all about ‘my mate who makes them’. Invariably, these tales are utter crap and are tantamount to a cry for attention, something a circle maker known to The Croppie can attest to:
‘I’ve experienced it on a few occasions now where I’ve been sat in a pub garden and I’ve heard people claiming responsiblity for crop circles I know were nothing to do with them. How do I know? I was there in the field that night when they weren’t. I sometimes want to call them out but I never do. It’s more interesting to just listen and let the legend grow.’