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upMy Reasons for Not supporting a Hoaxing Contest
By Carol Pederson | October 2000

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I have been asked to give my reasons for why I am against holding another hoaxing contest. The following are the answers to that request. I am concerned about this issue because, regardless of the fact I have been told that the idea is a rumor, has been tabled, forgotten about or dormant, it appears to me that the idea is still very much alive. I believe the membership has a right to be aware of it.

1. The whole proposition has been veiled in secrecy from the start. No one is saying exactly who offered to give a $l00,000 money reward. No one is saying exactly who came up with the idea for this "contest." No one is saying who are the persons making up the central core of this group who proposed it and would control it. The person behind it has yet to come forward and supply his/her motives. Yet this contest proposal was made to the CCCS in the hopes this organization would sponsor it. If someone came up to me and asked me to sponsor an event but they wouldn't tell me who was behind it, what their motives were, who put up the money or who I would be working with, it wouldn't appear to me to be an idea which I would consider exactly smart to get involved with.

2. This is not a "crop circle contest," it is a hoaxing contest. As near as I can figure out the British hoaxers are CON artists, they go out and vandalise fields without the permission of the owners. They rest secure in the knowledge that no one will prosecute them because hoaxing has been going on for at least 8 years with no prosecutions or court cases. The hoaxers continue to give themselves comical fear names such as Team Satan, hide under the cover of darkness and say they make certain designs, yet don't offer any proof because they don't want to go to court. As far as I have been able to figure out, these hoaxers would be admitted as CONtestants in this CONtest if they wanted to participate. Does the CCCS board really feel they would feel confortable for one of these criminals to possibly win $l00,000 or even a lesser amount? Is that what the CCCS is promoting in our statement of intent?

3. I don't think the CCCS, an organization whose intent is to study the real phenomenon and the truth, should be sponsoring a forum in which the criminal faction can step out onto the stage and flaunt their activities in the face of sincere researchers. I, as a member, would not appreciate my membership fee going to pay for a function that would support publicizing these vandals, however pretty some of their "art" may be. If the CCCS goes ahead with this idea then as a member opposed to it I will have to decide if I want to remain part of an organization that goes against what it's stated intent is.

4. Whoever this nameless, faceless person is who is behind the money for this proposed event is the person who would control it. The CCCS may say they want certain protocols for the event yet by offering money for a prize to entice the CCCS to sponsor the event, the organizer will succeed in using the CCCS as a front for their "unstated purposes" should the CCCS go ahead with the idea. The mafia does the same type thing....they entice a small business that has some reason to need to avail themselves of mafia money or support, then the mafia gets control of the company, and soon it becomes a front for their criminal activities and the original company owner loses his credibility and his job and is branded as a conspirator. The fact no one behind this event is comfortable to be in the open tells me that the CCCS would be used as a cover. From all indications this person/persons are Americans, and for that I am truly sorry. My opinion is that the event is no more than a way to plant firmly in the minds of the public that all the crop circles are man-made. This is interesting coming as it is at a time when strides are being made to make the the United States govenment documentation on UFO and related events more accessible to the public. What better way to deflect credibility than to make light of it.

5. This CONtest won't, regardless of opinions to the contrary, show definitively the differences between real and hoaxed circles. It will only show the results of man-made activity for this one event. These results could only be then weighed against what, up to now, has been gleaned through past observation of genuine formations, but which isn't the Final Answer in any case. This has already been done. We all know already that no hoaxer is going to come up with a formation containing split or elongated nodes, expulsion cavities, seeds which are shrunken yet which germinate four times faster and lusher than usual, and no post-menapausal woman is going to walk into these CONtest formations and come out having a period because their hormones have been affected. Do I fear that as a real researcher the people-made flattened CONtest plants might actually show the indications of genuine circles that I have listed above....well that is patently absurd.

6. If this is a legitimate contest that will, as some claim, once and for all show the differences between real and genuine, I want to see a copy of the invitation the genuine "circle makers-energy systems" have been sent to participate in the event. Perhaps it has been sent via meditation, is that it. Are the genuine "circle maker-energy systems" going to have to pay the same entry fee, if there is one, in order to be included, and who is going to sign them up?

A real crop circle experiment would include the genuine "circle makers-energy systems" as participants so when the time is up we can see a variety of man-made and genuine circles within the physical boundaries of the CONtests borders. Can the CCCS and the mystery persons with the money assure me that would happen or are they hoping that some glowing balls of light will just appear and genuine circles will be forthcoming without them even having to sign up at the registration booth?

7. Dr. Levengood and Nancy Talbott of the BLT have expressed complete negativity for this CONtest idea. In order for the event formations to be "tested" for conditions which would indicate real vs genuine (from what we know now) it would be important to have the one person who has continuously over-time analyzed more crop formations than anyone else to be the one to test the formations, and Dr. Levengood does not want anything to do with this proposal. Who else is the CCCS proposing to get to test the crops who has any consistent real experience over-time with this phenomenon as far as plants are concerned? Just who is the CCCS going to ask to come forward to be the one who will, by reason of their looking at crops from this one contest, establish protocols and say definitively that he/she could list a criteria for genuine vs hoaxed from their analysis?

8. If the CCCS wants to make a scientific study of the plants from both genuine and people-made formations, then a CONtest is not the way to go. I believe it vital to go more in the direction of what Terry Wilson has invisioned, something along the line of an experiment with no money involved as a "prize" and no involvement with sabatours.

Dr. Levengood has established already through ten years research much evidence of the changes that occur in the crops from genuine circles and more information will doubtless come forward from future study. He has also done studies on man-made formations. An alternative possibility to the CONtest idea is to use some CCCS funding to hire some scientists and field workers right there in Britain and pursue a policy of yearly gathering and testing of both known and hoaxed circles.

This would be an opportune time to make friends with the hoaxers. It has been said that some people think the hoaxers are spiritually inclined and beneficial, therefore, why not ask these folks to become field team members of the science unit of CCCS. After a field is vandalized they can sample it according to protocol and deliver their samples to the CCCS scientist. Then they can be arrested and taken to court by the farmer and fined. I admit in order for this to happen it would take a very advanced degree of cooperation and as such it is a highly unlikely situation. More likely, the really lawful CCCS field workers could make circles under controlled conditions and then have those formations tested....to see if they contain the known genuine indications. To set this up would include the cooperation of local farmers. Surveillance of the fields could reveal where a genuine formation occurred and the experiment afterward set up in an adjoining field, thereby making tests upon both formations possible at one time.

This proposition would be a straightforward science "experiment" under CCCS control but minus the involvement from wealthy mystery men/women with ulterior motive and hidden agendas. Such an experiment would cut out all the negative publicity potential as well. Such experiments could continue for years, building up a solid foundation. The BLT has been trying for years to get other scientists involved but without avail. The media most likely would not be interested in covering such an experiment without all the hype, money and high-profile people that accompanies a CONtest, but I think it would be much more valid way to proceed.

9. The issue of publicity is a major negative for this CONtest idea. The media isn't interested in proving genuine vs man-made, it is interested in covering the story...the money, the people, the designs. The previous CONtest produced nothing but grief for serious research and planted in the public's mind that the formations were all man-made. It was the major contributing factor to the development of hoaxing teams, no doubt being paid by someone to continue their activities and in league with some political movement, or else at least one of them would have been in court by now.

10. If this mystery person with all the money wants to really further crop circle research the prize money should be invested in a real CCCS sponsored science experiment. If the CONtest idea should go forward it should be without CCCS sponsorship. Let those wealthy people, whoever they are, sponsor their own show. There is concern that unless the CCCS sponsors the event that it would be even worse. Well, no one has control over what anyone else does in this world. Wealthy people can do most often what they like, in many cases regardless of any laws. Wealthy people could hold crop circle contests several times a year if they wanted. Why don't they??? They don't want to because they would have to crawl out of the closet and they don't want to be exposed. Far more fun to taunt everyone. That doesn't mean that the CCCS has to jump in and sponsor the event just because they think it will somehow keep the event under their control. Whoever controls the money controls the show whatever is being discussed, regardless of any such protocols set up in advance by a front organization.

11. The hoaxing situation seems to be a British event, not American, Canadian or any other country. It is, therefore, something that the British must deal with (although as concerned people the rest of us are involved in some respects) first hand, being, as they are, the focus of the CON men who are feeding off of and twisting the news of the real phenomenon. Concerned crop circle researchers in Britain aren't any happier with the hoaxers then the rest of us. I don't think it is American business to fund British hoaxers or give them publicity as it just hurts the efforts we all are making to discover the truth. I object to the stealth and secrecy that has cloaked this whole CONtest idea and lack of straightforwardness.

12. Those of us who are not on the CCCS Board do not have decision making power in this matter, but we all have a right to have this issue be brought out, now, into an open public membership forum. We can all take part in the discussion but it is the CCCS British Board who will make any decisions as they have the power to either let the CONtest be a CCCS official function or not. As a Representative from Oregon I am part of the CCCS USA Network but had nothing whatever to do with the presentation of this idea to the CCCS British Board and neither was the idea a CCCS USA Network organizational decision.

13. As to the motive for the CONtest besides the genuine vs man-made issues covered above, other examples could be given to support my contention that the contest just isn't necessary to prove anything. For example, take the United States Mint. Agents who work for the mint are aware that there are counterfeiters who make fake money, and the agents are aware there is a difference between real and fake money. Are they going to hold a counterfeiting CONtest with a huge dollor prize (real cash) so that they can prove to people that there is real and fake money being circulated.

Another example is oil paintings of the masters. Everyone knows that people have produced over the years many fake pictures by Van Gogh, Renoir and others. Does any major museum want to hold a CONtest to prove to people that indeed this is so. Do they really want to give one of the major art hoaxers a huge dollar prize prize and hang up the winning picture in their galleries thinking that somehow people will be able to tell by just looking at it that it's a fake?

Archaeological sites are pilfered of artifacts daily which are reproduced and sold on the market as real to unsuspecting collectors. Does any professional archaeologist really expect to be taken seriously if they propose a huge cash prize to be given to the person who can best replicate and sell a duplicate of some Anasazi pot.

Another example is the issue of whether there is or is not a Bigfoot. No one has captured one. The problem of whether a Bigfoot exists or not is even more precarious than the crop circle issue. People say they have seen them, and one man even taped a Bigfoot on video and others take plaster casts of giant footprints that are found. Yet, the Bigfoot Society isn't going to provide a huge cash prize to the person who brings in some replica of what they think is the closest thing to a real Bigfoot.

14. I also think that holding a CONtest will do more harm than good to all the previous hard work and research we field researchers, lab researchers, mathematicans, geometrical specialists, dowsing experts, and others have done to develop this subject into the serious matter which it is, concerning as it does, our major planetary food source. No publicity person is going to want to focus on that aspect because the big show would be going on in front of the cameras. The CONtest would make light of past work and deflect interest from the real phenomenon. It would also stop people from investing dollars in research. It would stop scientists who might be on the verge of wanting to help from going ahead with it because it would increase the taunting they would be getting from their "Carl Sagan" type colleagues who would brand them as somehow not academic enough to receive grants for their other interests.

15. The CONtest would make the matter of a possible extraterrestrial connection to the crop circle mystery into a bigger joke than some people already take it to be, whereas it is really quite a possibility in some form or another although we may not be able to prove or be aware of at this time.

16. I don't think the CONtest will eliminate the solid evidence for genuine formations that has been collected to date. It, of course, will not confirm testing that has been inconclusive up to this point, such as the new magnetometer readings and other tests that are ongoing. Other criteria will not be able to be said to be absolute either for every formation simply because not all genuine formations contain all the elements which have become recognized as indicative of a genuine formation. Not all genuine circles have expulsion cavities, nor do all genuine circles produce camera or watch battery failures, etc, but it seems to me that all genuine circles have some of the criteria that has been established to date, and these are not to be found in hoaxed formations. The CONtest won't give anyone a final solution or definitive answer, sorry.

17. My ego is not involved here. I usually keep a low profile but I won't stand by and watch ten years of hard work that many of us have contributed be trashed or thrown into question because of money, publicity seekers and people who wish to remain even more mysterious than the phenomena itself.

I have produced 17 rather solid and noisy reasons why I am against a hoaxing CONtest. For those of you who have read this far, thanks for hanging in there. Perhaps you have even better ideas than presented here.

(I am asking Terry Wilson to include this in the next The Circular magazine issue as either a letter to the editor or an article.)

Visitor Feedback:
All comments are the views of individual visitors and do not necessarily reflect those held by the author of the original article, other subscribers or the editors of cropcircleresearch.com
Wil Russell | 18th Mar 2001Why comission a circlemaking competitiion? Human circlemakers have produced circles throughout the history of the phenomenon with exactly the same results to each instance. The politics of perception always become foremost with the result of any case of circlemaking by humans - the people who don't want to believe always find faults to discredit the example and the people who do believe (humans are responsable) say I told you so. It will serve no purpose for either faction of this phenomenon, so do not worry it will not happen.

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