Nineteen ninety six has been a very fruitful, even reflective, year for crop circle research. The year started very slowly with a couple of formations appearing in Cambridge (see Enigma 9), but soon got underway in full swing in mid June when the (arguably) best formation of the season appeared in East Field on the 17th.
With the arrival of the massive 700 foot 'DNA' formation coiling it's way across East Field, one could almost sense the awe and wonder of the early 1990's returning. I shall never forget the sight of nearly twenty parked cars alongside the field when I re-visited the formation after media coverage sparked new enthusiasm into the subject, rejuvenating it and introducing a new generation of 'croppies' to the mystery and puzzlement of the continuing enigma.
As this issue goes to press over one hundred formations have been logged in my database and reports are still being collated.
However, we are still no closer to solving the elusive meaning behind the circles. True, hoaxers have claimed some - albeit with no evidence - and scientific research continues to find new anomalies. Sceptics still desperately try to debunk the subject whilst true believers rant and rave about how ALL crop circles are totally genuine.
What is genuine though? Sure, all crop circles are genuine - if we're talking about flattened corn yielding artistic shapes in farmers fields. However, most croppies would agree that the term "genuine" refers only to those formations made by some non-human entity.
Sceptics and closed-minded scientists pour scorn on the mere thought that even one circle may be non-human in origin, but to date not a single hoaxer has ever been caught, despite years of organised night watches and the threat of prosecution by irate farmers.
On the other hand however, still no 'smoking gun' evidence has been forthcoming to demonstrate that crop circles are of paranormal origin. We have numerous reports of anomalous events and strange sightings and feeling associated with crop circles, but we still haven't had the unequivocal mothership landing or the nuts and bolts alien artifact recovered.
With the discovery of each new crop circle, researchers and enthusiasts eagerly meet and discuss theories at The Barge or other meeting places. The sound of eager voices discussing quantum physics, spirituality, the raising of consciousness and alternative, possibly even free, energy echoes around packed bars and backrooms, but where are we at the end of the day when the door is closed and the croppies have returned home?
There are some that would argue, myself included, that the subject is still as wonderful as it's always been, with new theories to discuss and new research experiments to carry out, but also some people who find themselves getting depressed at the lack of solid answers.
"Why aren't they landing on the White House Lawn?", "We know they exist, why don't they show themselves?"
The crop circles are still elusive and enigmatic, yet still provide a plethora of new ideas and theories. What do we actually want from the subject?
One cannot argue that an untold number of people have obtained great personal enlightenment from the crop circles. It is an undeniable fact that the circles have added a new dimension to peoples lives, promoting greater communication and spirituality amongst those who choose to believe in the subject.
Why then is there an occasional feeling of despondency amongst believers? Is it a time to re-evaluate our understanding of the subject?
It is my belief that the crop circles are a form of communication. Not necessarily between us and the circle makers but within ourselves. They help us communicate with our higher selves. We think more, we study new subjects and learn new physics and mathematics.
I think we are all on a path to a higher level of consciousness, a thought many now seem to agree with, and the crop circles are merely acting as catalysts to our own awakening.
The answers lie within our own awareness, but the problem seems to be that accessing the ultimate answer is not as easy as we would like it to be. We often catch a glimpse of it, but when we focus upon it, it slips away into the deeper realms of our soul.
This seems similar to meditation - in that the harder you concentrate and try to meditate, the harder it actually is. It's almost as if it's teasing us. Take your mind off it and temporarily forget about it and up it pops. Stare at it straight on and instantly it's invisible.
The whole crux of the phenomena lies in our embedded belief systems. What we perceive to be the origin of the crop formations. Some people have likened the subject to religion. This is actually not a bad analogy, for religions are also based entirely on beliefs. Some people believe there is a God, some people don't. Either way, there is no proof of either scenario so at the end of the day it's whether you believe that your thoughts are right or wrong.
Beliefs are also the foundation of many a heated argument. This is because there cannot be a right or wrong objective outcome. It is always down to what the individual believes to be the case. A subjective decision 'in the eyes of the beholder'.
For example, some people would argue that Network Marketing schemes such as Amway work. Others would claim them as a con. Again, unless you have personal experience to help you decide, any individual comment is as good as any other.
This is exactly the same in the world of crop circle research. Hoaxers claim they are all man-made, researchers claim they are not. Unless you have first-hand experience of anomalous events, the only way to form an opinion is to weigh up all the available research material and decide which scenario 'feels' best to you.
At the end of the day, hoaxers cannot prove that crop circles are man-made any more than researchers can prove that all are genuine. The only outcome is to follow research and decide that some may be man-made whilst some may be genuine. Any more than that, again comes down to individual belief.
Here we are down to a stumbling block again. Belief, being built on experience, has a habit of changing now and again. This is perfectly normal and is a sign of an open-mind.
However, when you start to build faith in a particular belief system, you can start to 'expect' things to progress at your own rate. For example, you may believe that crop circles are a sign from extra-terrestrials. You may then feel that you are ready for something else - the elusive 'landing on the Whitehouse lawn'.
When this fails to happen a shift in belief can occur which can cause depression or disillusionment. If this occurs, I believe it is worth taking a step or two backwards and re-evaluating the scenario.
What is the origin? Are we in control of it? Obviously not. If crop circles are a sign from ETs then why should they proceed at the pace of human thinking. We don't know their plans and aims. Perhaps things are happening but we are unaware of them because we are looking for a different kind of sign. Whilst we are busy looking at the Whitehouse lawn, the aliens are busy preparing awareness and higher consciousness.
While we are meditating, the ETs are probably flying around the Whitehouse lawn, but we don't notice them.
They could be merely playing games. If, as many people believe (myself included), that the extra-terrestrials are preparing the people of Earth for a new level of consciousness to ascend, what right have we got to assume that we have reached the top of the ladder when we don't know what the final message is, or will be.
If you think you've witnessed and understood everything there is, and you now want something 'more' to happen, then you should re-evaluate your belief. This has always been man's misunderstanding:- That of thinking he knows and understands it all. In reality we don't even know what 'it' is.
I think we will instinctively know when the time is right, but we are growing impatient. Have we missed something? is there really a message? Are we on the right path after all?
This is the mistake religious teaching had made throughout the centuries; that the answer lies from without, the outer; God, Jesus, the Messiah. People have been taught not to think for themselves but to behave well and worship 'someone' who will come to save them from themselves.
New Age teachings however, suggest that we look to ourselves, the innerself for the answers. This always causes disagreements between proponents of the two sets of teachings. We must learn to look within and without for the answer.
Those who seek the elusive 'mass landing' should perhaps look to their inner tuition more and those who look too much to meditation and consciousness, making themselves depressed if progress isn't as rapid as they would like should perhaps try examining some of the more physical evidence to re-assure their inner belief structure.
We are all seeking answers to many questions, but we are also all at different points along the path. We didn't even all start at the same time or place, so why should everything slot into place just when we want it to.
The crop circles are a sign for all of us. The message is quite often a personal one and is interpreted by different people in different ways. Make of the subject what you will, and don't forget that at the end of the day it's the circle makers who are defining the learning curve.
At the end of the day I would like everyone to enjoy the subject as much as I do, and to accept it for what it is. Don't bother arguing with people who hold different views. Simply agree to differ and say you'll meet up with them again at the end of the path. Happy travelling!