Circle Makers Speak #9: What Have Been Your Most Magical Moments In The Fields?

Jan 15, 2024 | Circle Makers Speak | 0 comments

INTRODUCTION

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

Everyone always wants to know about the weirdest and most troubling moments circle makers have had under the stars, but sometimes things can be much more positive. So we asked our circle makers: just what are the most magical moments you have experienced in the fields?

Everyone always wants to know about the weirdest and most troubling moments circle makers have had under the stars, but sometimes things can be much more positive. So we asked our circle makers: just what are the most magical moments you have experienced in the fields?

ONE

My favourite circle making moments have usually been linked to the natural world. The most memorable event came after a really wet day. We went into the field at 11pm to find the crop full of slugs. They got everywhere; on our stompers, the tapes and into our bags and clothes. There were literally thousands of them and I dread to think how many we killed whilst stomping. At around 1.30 the mist went and the clouds cleared to reveal the most beautifully bright moon. It lit everything up in a surreal, bleached glow and cast unforgettably ghostly shadows. You could see all of the water droplets shimmering on the wheat heads, as well as on the spiders’ webs on the perimeter of the circle. I realised that we would have been completely exposed if anyone had walked along the adjacent road, but I wasn’t worried by that. I was loving every moment of a situation that has never repeated itself and probably never will.

In some locations I am able to experience a feeling of timelessness. I remember reading an interview with either Dave Chorley or Doug Bower in which he said something along the lines that, under the stars, you can’t tell if it’s the present day or hundreds of years ago. It’s true. If you’re in a quiet place then it’s just you, the people you’re working with and the natural world around you. You encounter foxes, badgers and birds in a way that few people do in the 21st century.

One other thing that never stops amazing me is that feeling of disorientation I always get at some point when the stomping has begun in earnest. You’ll suddenly turn around and you’re inside large areas of flattened crop. A crop circle has appeared around you. At that point I tend to briefly lose the other visual reference points around me and become totally consumed by the experience of being in an unfamiliar place. It passes once you’ve walked around a bit, but each of these moments is special and I remember them all.

TWO

One time I was out in the field, mid summer and a large moon. The atmosphere was quite heavy with pollen lowering as the night cooled slightly. It almost made the fields look like they had mist over them, but it was fine dust. It gave the moon an orange tinge. We don’t get much time to stop and admire, but I had a few moments to look. Stunning and quite a magical feeling.

It can be odd at times. A field or place to one person can feel different to another. Sometimes the whole team get a good vibe of the location or it can feel a bit odd. I remember being in a field with friends. I know the other members had unsettling feelings but I was a little out of sync. It may have been because of the beautiful thing we had created but I felt a real feeling of calm when we finished.

I also get a bit of a tingle that goes down my spine as we leave the field. The last glimpse back over the shoulder at the shadows

There are a few things that catch the senses at night. You might spot a shooting star, the call of a deer, the luminous flash of a glow worm. These are things you cannot witness in the day and all bring a second or so of their own magic. They may only be a brief moment, but they leave an imprint on the memory of the night.

I feel at home in the country and surrounded by nature. Being in the fields at night sharpens the senses a great deal. At night, there is magic in the air!

THREE

It is after a circle has been made that I’ve experienced my most magical moments in a field. Not as we’re leaving or being lucky enough to grab a ten minute rest after we’ve finished, but in the days afterwards should I go back and look at things on the ground. Unless the farmer isn’t playing, it’s incredible to see that people are visiting something I’ve made and getting a positive experience out of it. Maybe that doesn’t seem particularly magical to other people, but I think it’s something of a miracle we still have crop circles given that Doug and Dave told the whole world how crop circles were made [in September 1991]. That says a lot about the power of belief and the nature of mystery. It is humbling to be part of that. 

FOUR

Magical moments? Most circles are fun to make and magical in their own way, but some stand out. Notice I say ‘most circles’; some are a taxing slog and not very enjoyable at all, let alone magical for me. Every circle maker will appreciate exactly what I’m talking about here. I know the public want big formations with mind-bending geometry but those ones are often the least fun for the maker. You need to be on the ball at all times making sure everything goes to plan and are usually working flat-out throughout the night to get the job done by dawn. You’re too focused on the task to appreciate it, or to notice much beyond what is immediately in front of you. I’ve put down some big and iconic circles in my time which are much-loved by croppies but I can’t say I particularly enjoyed the construction of them. They were required to be done.

There is something inherently magical about circle making by its very nature. The secrecy, the uncertainty, the interaction with landscape, the taking of something that exists only on paper or in the imagination and putting it anonymously into a field under cover of darkness and then walking away, leaving others to freely make what they want of it. It’s in that ambiguity that circles come alive. Mystery is key, as a wise man once said. Sometimes a plain design can look fantastic when you put it down, and the converse is likewise true; a design that works brilliantly as a diagram can look bland or uninspiring in the field. Symbolism and number and geometry count for a lot, but as a circle maker you never know how it’s going to turn out until the job is done.

The circles’ ephemeral character can also be a source of magic. Gone with the harvest, existing only in photographs and stories and memories. They are experiential above all. Since we usually only see them from aerial photos it’s easy to think of them as flat, and not the three-dimensional objects within a living environment that they are. Only those croppies who take the time to explore them on the ground experience their true essence. When I first began to study crop circles, as a croppie and before I was a maker, visiting and interacting with them in real terms was vital. Armchair croppies miss out on so much. They only get a small part of the picture.

The paranormal and other mythologies that circles can attract also add to their magic. One circle I made for example had a well-documented UFO sighting nearby on the night we put it down. We didn’t see a thing, but the two are now inextricably linked in the croppie consciousness. Other circles have been constructed under hills where croppies were conducting night watches; that they didn’t notice us again only enhances the circles’ mystique.

There are some circles I can’t believe I made. I look at the aerial photos, read the accounts of visitors and analysts, and they wow me. I’m humbled to be a part of that, that we managed to take marks on paper and create something that has awed and continues to awe many people. It makes me very happy.

I mentioned interaction with landscape. A well-positioned crop circle can take on a whole other level as opposed to one that’s just plonked down randomly wherever you can find, and we’re careful with where we put them. We deliberately place circles in landscapes considered spiritual or of historical or cerealogical significance, or which contain a profusion of sacred sites. They all feed off of each other. A formation beneath Cley Hill for example will automatically have attached to it sixty years of circles and ufological lore. Half a maker’s job is done for them by virtue of mere location.

When making a circle you’re undertaking something few people ever do or even know about. For most of the night you’re too engaged and too focussed on the task at hand to really appreciate it, but often towards the end when you see the formation take shape in the darkness around you, you can’t help but have a moment of wonder, especially towards dawn when the light is spectral and nature is just starting to stir again after the night. It can be enthralling.

All that said, some circles in particular are memorable for me. To give a few examples, I remember making a formation years back in the shadow of Silbury Hill and the silhouette of the hill looming on the horizon, ever-visible over the undulating landscape as we worked. It felt as if we were transformed to another time. A different season in Hampshire, we were just completing our work for the night and a red moon rose over the field and bathed all in a transcendent glow. It was a truly inspiring moment. Another year, another formation, one comprised of multiple small circles. I got lost in it! I was finishing an outer area and my team members returned to the centre to work on another section. Could I find my way back to the middle? Eventually I did, wandering from circle to circle and following my intuition. It was like being lost in a labyrinth. My first ever circle also springs to mind. It was small and simple and made solo a long way from the usual stomping grounds, but it was like an initiation into a secret society. I knew as I stepped out of the field that nothing in my life would ever be the same.

Some formations are magical for reasons you don’t expect. I remember another night in prime Wiltshire circles territory, a few hours in the heavens opened and deluged upon us and didn’t let up til sunrise. We couldn’t leave the formation half-made and had to carry on. We left the field at dawn drenched but feeling utterly exhilarated and thinking, who in their right mind would choose a hobby as insane as this one? But in such moments is the magic made.