Paul Anderson
Canadian Crop Circle Research Network
July, 2002

Web version of this article with photos, illustrations and links:

This short article is essentially a personal summary of some of my thoughts on the nature of the crop circle phenomenon as of the summer of 2002 and how are conciousness may be connected to or involved in the creation of formations, a possibility that I have become increasingly interested in.

When I first heard about crop circles around 1990, after seeing an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, the first thing that came to mind, as for many people, was the idea that these were communications from another intelligence, possibly containing an encoded message of some sort. The nature of the long pictograms of the time seemed to suggest that, resembling an unknown language. They did not however seem to be simply landing marks left by UFOs as some had suggested. Something else was going on. Having a graphic arts background, I was immediately hooked and fascinated by these 'signs' appearing overnight in farm fields worldwide. This phenomenon was like no other.

Over the years however, the phenomenon evolved and changed, in unexpected ways. The patterns still suggested intelligence, the more complex ones at least, but now a wide range of symbolism was showing up in fields worldwide, from advanced mathematics to astronomy to icons of the oldest religions and beliefs. This no longer seemed to me to be a straightforward attempt at communication by 'aliens' in the conventional sense, but perhaps something deeper. Of course, the prevailing notion took over that all of these formations were merely human artwork, nothing more. To a point, I believe there is some truth in this, that human hoaxing and 'land art' have become more prevailant in recent years and for many have frustratingly clouded the issue.

But many formations, both simple and complex ones, continue to provide evidence for another, genuine phenomenon. It was the overt physical nature of the phenomenon, plus the scientific evidence, that drew me to it initially and still does. I am actually fairly conservative, wanting evidence or better yet proof, for things unexplained. I consider myself to be an 'open-minded skeptic' or 'skeptical believer' as such. I grew up watching and reading Carl Sagan and similar leading thinkers of our time, who while waxing poetically about the nature of the universe, took a dim view however, at least publicly, of any such 'fringe' topics like crop circles. Early on, I had no idea I would become as involved as I have in the study of this phenomenon, I couldn't have predicted it, although I was doing research in other areas (and still do) and had life-long interests in unexplained phenomena or anything that challenged our pre-conceived notions of how the universe worked. After all, we're essentially talking about nothing more than flattened field crops! For me however, I became more fascinated the longer I looked into the subject. I was already open minded about such concepts as quantum physics, life elsewhere and so on, so why not crop circles? There appeared to be only two main possibilities, either they (the non-manmade ones) were the product of an alien intelligence (as in non-human, not necessarily aliens from another planet) or they were a not yet understood natural phenomenon. The phenomenon seemed suited for me it felt like, as the prairies had always been in my blood with many in my family coming from or living in Alberta and Saskatchewan (and some still do) and I had always had a love of the open country as well as a good mystery. I had even worked as an assistant curator for the BC Agricultural Museum in the early 90s. Bingo, the perfect mystery!

The reports from many people of other, stranger experiences, threw a twist into many of the conventional theories floating around. The classic story back in the early days from veteran UK researcher Busty Taylor being a prime example; while flying near Cheesefoot Head in August of1986, Busty stated 'All we want now is to find all the formations we have seen to date wrapped into one, like the Celtic Cross'. The next day just such a formation was there, seen when Busty flew over the same spot again. The previous night had been wet with heavy rain. Similar accounts have come from many over the years, even from self-professed hoaxers. The experiments of the Southern Circular Research team in the UK, of attempting interaction with the circle-making intelligence(s) or force(s) and creating a formation with their own minds, are compelling, as outlined in the book Quest for Contact by Andy Thomas and Paul Bura. The phenomenon seemed to exhibit characteristics seen in other phenomena such as UFOs, of 'playing games' with people such as always staying one step ahead of the latest hypothesis (as soon as a new conclusive answer to the mystery would be provided, the phenomenon would then seem to do something to demonstratably nullify it) or of even interacting more directly with people. What did this all mean?

One of the most dramatic and unusual such occurrences was the witnessing, by well known and respected researcher Nancy Talbott, of a formation apparently being made in August of 2001 in Holland, while staying there for research purposes (Holland being a country of frequent crop circle activity). After expressing frustration from a difficult day and weeks of tiring work in the fields, Nancy asked 'why can't this phenomenon be more obvious, more direct'? shortly before retiring to her bedroom. At about 3:15 am, while reading in bed, Nancy reported hearing bauling cattle outside, then seeing a bright beam of white light hit the ground outside the house through her bedroom window. Although she still had the bedroom light on to read, the light was bright enough to light up the room. This was quickly followed by two more similar shafts of light, also witnessed by Robbert van der Broeke in the house, the whole event over in only a few seconds. To their surprise, a new circle with attached 'T' shape was now in the bean field where they had seen the beams hit. Upon inspection, the plants were still apparently 'steaming'. The account is similar to others over the years; is it only a coincidence that the new formation occurred where it did (within a couple hundred feet of the house, in full view), and when it did?

Full report:

Almost everyone I know who has become involved in these studies have had unusual experiences in their life they can't explain. Whether more than average, I am not sure, but it seems so. I've also had many such experiences since childhood, including premonitions, synchronocities (many, even in the circumstances of close family members passing over, such as when my grandmother told me matter-of-factly one day a few years ago that she knew her time had come, only about a week before she died, and had still been in ok health when she told me, until she went into hospital a few days later for heart problems), detailed lucid dreams, shared dreams, and even possible PK (or poltergeist?) occurrences such as when a heavy glass ashtray literally blew apart in half right beside me for no apparent reason on a quiet day while watching TV when I was in my early teens (my mother also witnessed it happen). These seemed to increase after 1988, when I first started getting actively involved in more serious research. One of the books that got me thinking more 'outside the box' as such was The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, offering the concept of the universe as a sort of giant hologram, containing both matter and conciousness entertwined together. Also coming from a conservative Christian background in terms of my beliefs, this phenomenon seemed to challenge views I had since childhood; I now see this as a learning curve, not necessarily negating my or anyone else's beliefs, but perhaps expanding upon them in a positive way. I had always believed in God, but also that our understanding of the Who, Why and How may be far beyond the reach of our human brains to fully comprehend. My experiences caused me to ask many questions.

Relating to the crop circles, one of the strangest experiences I had so far was a very vivid dream I had one night in August of 2000, of looking down on a pattern in a field which appeared to have two circles in it, one a bit larger than the other. The whole 'scene' was in vivid colour, orange-red, like looking through an infrared filter or something similar. Inside each circle was what I could only describe as bright glowing 'twisting bands of energy', like coiling snakes. I had many crop circle dreams before, even apparent premonitions in a couple instances, but nothing so vivid as this.

It was the next day that I received a message from Nancy Talbott of a new formation at Moosomin, Saskatchewan, reported to her by a contact of hers. When our (CCCRN) Saskatchewan coordinator Dennis Eklund, in Saskatoon, went to the site shortly after, he was surprised to find that many of the plant stalks inside the formation, a 250 foot classic dumbbell with two attached circles in wheat, were deformed with 'somatic developmental abnormalities'; the stems beneath the seed heads were twisted around, almost 'knotted'. Other seed heads themselves were bent at about a 90 degree angle. If a coincidence, a most unusual one. Similar anomalies had been found in a formation at Whitefish, Montana, USA in 1999 and later in the huge Milk Hill formation in England in 2001. I initially interpreted this as a basic premonition of sorts, although it is not known precisely when the formation itself was actually made (the condition on the ground did indicate quite recently however). Was this an indication that the phenomenon can and does interact with us, or that we are 'tapping into it' somehow or both? The dream felt like a piece of the puzzle being viewed or presented for unknown reasons. Does it relate to how the formation was made (the scientific evidence for microwave and electromagnetic-like energies being present inside some formations, particularly soon after creation, has grown and others have even reported plants still feeling warm to the touch or even steaming after a new pattern has formed in a few cases)?

Another time a few years ago, I had a dream of a number of random circles in a field of grass. Again, it was the next day that I received a report of a similar set of circles farther north in BC, on an Indian reservation. Another coincidence?

In late August of 2001, before going to Saskatchewan and Alberta for Crop Watch 2001, I had expressed a private thought or 'request' of wanting the phenomenon to produce formations near enough to where our team would be staying, which would be primarily Estevan, Saskatchewan, and perhaps more complex than what is usually seen in Canada. I later repeated this while in the formation at Drayton Valley, Alberta. The next day, our pilot assistant in Estevan, Saskatchewan, John Erickson, notified me of three new formations he had just found there near Midale, a hot spot in recent years. These were the first of seven formations in all to appear within the following six day period. Some of the formations were indeed a 'notch or two' more complex, in terms of design, size and ground detail (complex layering, bunching and 'weaving' of stalks, etc.). Before leaving to go to the prairies, I had been pessimistic as to having many formations that year, expecting few if any due to a widespread drought. Another case of a request granted?

Shortly after this in early September, the largest known crop formation so far in Canada (422 feet across) was found near Red Deer, Alberta. What was unusual was that it was a stylized version of a Middle Eastern Star of David or hexagram. When the terrorist attacks in the US happened on September 11, some people wondered if the formation was a warning or foreshadowing? While the formation itself was actually less impressive on the ground than most others seen here, it is still an interesting coincidence in terms of its timing, as such symbolism has rarely been seen in Canadian formations before, although circles with Crosses attached have previously appeared and a number of formations have been found on Native Indian reservations over the years.

So what does this all mean? Before dismissing such experiences, it may be worth noting the directions that studies in quantum physics and related fields have taken us in recent years; how is it that atoms have been observed to 'respond' or alter their behaviour in relation to the scientists observing them? What is thought? What is conciousness? Recent experiments such as those for the Global Conciousness Project at Princeton University have provided more evidence of 'mass conciousness', reflecting current ideas like those in The Holographic Universe, demonstrating how key events such as major disasters can trigger strong measureable responses in the collective psyche among many people worldwide more or less simultaneously, even shortly before those events happen (relating to premonitions, shared dreams, etc.). Does the crop circle phenomenon play a part in our undertanding of these issues? Rather than being an independent phenomenon, I am coming to the conclusion that the circles are but one part of a larger puzzle, a physical manifestation of perhaps many things, even our own knowledge, beliefs and fears; this may be occurring as direct interaction in tandem with an unknown external intelligence or is it also possible the humanity may be communicating with itself, in ways not previously thought of? As long as the circles continue, so will the search for answers.

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The Canadian Crop Circle Research Network is a non-profit research organization which has been investigating and documenting the crop circle phenomenon and other possibly related phenomena in Canada since 1995, creating a liason between researchers, farmers, the public, the media and scientists in trying to solve this ongoing enigma.

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