The Laguna Canyon Crop Circle formation was first noticed by Tom Ross, a local resident of Laguna Niguel on the 9th of March as he was driving toward the first 'toll road' overpass on the Laguna Canyon road (route 133) heading to Laguna Beach. (Laguna Beach is approximately 50 miles south of Los Angeles on the Californian coast.) Four weeks later we were notified by Ruben Uriarte (Colin Andrews 'CPR' representative living in Northern California) and on the same day we travelled to Laguna Canyon, to photograph, survey and collect samples of the formation.
The formation was comprised of three glyphs and appeared on a steep, weed covered construction embankment, adjacent to the toll road overpass, under construction. A close look at the formation revealed that the rings and lines were made up of bare earth, with very few plants growing inside them.
This was interesting because the embankment was evenly covered with weeds otherwise. There was no sign of any plants having been removed, such as soil disturbance or uprooted plants lying around. There was an absence of foot and hand prints where there would need to be with a manmade formation.
The texture of the soil was powdery, crumbly, and dry, and with the angle of the hillside, impossible to step on without leaving an impression.
Numerous plant species covered the hillside but only two: English Plantain and Wild Oats were found to be bent, the latter discovered in a single ring terminating one of the 'spokes'. The overwhelming majority of bent plants were English Plantain, found throughout the formation inside and along the edges of the rings and lines. Was the glyph making agent being selective? It seemed more than coincidental. Both the Plantain and the Oats were clearly bent 90 degrees just above ground level without a break or crease, the affected node varying in the Oats. Plants were not pressed into the soil or damaged in any way, continuing to grow horizontally with their heads and delicate seeds intact. We also noticed that the bent plants found in the outer part of any ring were spayed outward as if by centrifugal force.
We sent plant and soil samples to Dr Levengood, a noted biophysicist and expert in crop circle plant analysis. He made a preliminary statement after receiving the first sample package, saying that he was very impressed by the bending. He went on to say that English Plantain is a 'dicot', a species of plant that sends two initial shoots through the soil, a characteristic it shares with another plant: Canola or Rapeseed, well known for hosting English crop circles early in the season.
Dr Levengood has now completed both the soil and plant analysis and confirms the authenticity of this formation. Although the soil testing revealed nothing unusual, the cell walls and pits of the bent plants were, he said, "abnormally large, well beyond the control samples sent and statistical explanation. Their appearance resembling cells that had experienced internal heating".
The location of the formation was interesting for it's proximity to both above ground and underground water sources. Within a few hundred feet was an artificial pond used by the construction company, and a marshy area known as a 'vernal pool' or 'Spring pool', extending into the canyon. Also lying across the embankment and crossing two of the glyphs was an irrigation pipe for the seeded hillside.
On our second visit, on the 7th of April, we met a security guard working for the Irvine Construction Company. When asked if he or any of his colleagues had witnessed anything unusual in the area, he told us that both he and his co-workers had seen 'strange lights' and what he called 'ghosts'. One worker had been so frightened by what he saw that he wouldn't work any more in that area. UFOs are another feature of the genuine crop circle phenomena, and frequently sighted near water sources.
To conclude we would like to share some information concerning the possible meaning behind this intriguing formation, that is very Native American in its design. We have discovered that the indigenous people of the area, the Gabrielino or Tongva, and their friendly northern neighbours the Chumash, both have rock art (petroglyphs) and a sacred object known as a 'Sun Staff' that are strikingly similar to the three glyphs. The sun staff is a steatite stone surmounted on a stick often incised with rays, or geometric designs representing the declination of the sun, or the cardinal points of the Gabrielino compass. Churmash shamens used these sun staffs in their all-important solstice ceremony, where the shamen would tap the stone three times and then symbolically pull the sun back in a northward direction, signifying the end of winter and the beginning of the suns return. Suspecting the "spoked glyph" to represent a sun staff we measured the angles of the 14 spokes and discovered a spoke aligned to each of the following: Winter solstice Sunrise, Winter Solstice sunset, and Summer Solstice Sunrise.
There are some interesting accounts of a Tongva hero by the name of 'Chingichnish', a spiritual leader said to have appeared hundreds of years ago to teach people how to live in harmony with 'Nocuma' (the Great Spirit). He said that Nocuma would give three warnings to people who failed to respect the land, beyond that nature would take its course. this is the third crop circle formation to appear in California and appeared at a site where there was considerable local protest against the toll road construction, making a wide path through the last small piece of remaining wilderness of Laguna Canyon. Another coincidence? We don't think so.
Its timing to the appearance in the mid March sky of the Comet Hyakutake is interesting, which was most visible on the 25th of March in Southern California. In 1995 in England we had crop circles in the form of our Solar System, depicting the sun, planets, orbits and Asteroid Belt. In 1994 we had the Shoemaker/Levy comet ('The String of Pearls') crashing into Jupiter formations. It is interesting to see how past and present themes run together. At Laguna Canyon, like in Hampshire '95 we had many circles forming a ring around a common centre. We have a continuation of theme, Asteroids/Comet, planets and orbits.
Scientists warn us about asteroids colliding with Earth. One of the 'Asteroid Belt' crop formations of 1995 depicted the Earth missing from it's orbit. We showed a photograph of the Laguna Canyon crop formation to a Chumash Elder who instantly recognised it from his own peoples rock art. After looking at the spoked glyph he said, "something within us is bringing destruction from out there" in space. Could this be the meaning behind the Laguna Canyon formation? Could it be a warning, that we need to change or change will be brought to us?
The Laguna Canyon crop formation was the first genuine formation of 1996, to appear in the Northern Hemisphere, truly embodying the now familiar characteristics of a genuine phenomena.
Ed & Kris Sherwood are crop circle researchers with more than 15 years combined experience studying this profound and evolving phenomenon. Ed lectures widely in the US/UK and shares his experiences and research on US/UK television and radio. If you would like more information about forthcoming presentations, TV/radio appearances and publications, please send a S.A.E. to: Ed & Kris Sherwood, Millenium Research, P.O.Box 2084, Santa Monica, CA, 90406-2084.