Update – Nancy Talbot of theBLTResearch Team has announced that the National Geographichas refused to affirm that it will provide an unbiasedapproach to the crop circle phenomenon in its upcomingdocumentary. The National Geographic has had a documentarycrew in the fields of England this summer, apparently attempting toprove that crop formations are manmade by commissioning one or more to bemade by artists. Researchers entering the circle pictured here, which was commissioned by the National Geographic and is, indeed, manmade, were immediately aware of the fact that the lay of the plants was shoddy and the plants themselves were full of clear evidence of mechanical manipulation. This crop circle season has exhibited many extraordinary formations, but because crop formations in southern England have become such a tourist attraction, researchers are now having difficulty getting into them before the crowds, to get a good idea of whether or not the lay is genuine.

Early in the season, though, it was much easier, and an example of a formation that is almost certainly anomalous is the “flaring sun” formation that appeared in a field of blooming rapeseed on April 23. Researchers, including Lucy Pringle, were able to reach the formation without any disturbance from tourists, and the only marks in it come from their movements. This crop would be all but impossible to create a formation in using conventional techniques, because the stems are so tough and brittle. Like a number of other formations, this one has been related by researchers to possible intense solar activity in thefuture. At present, there is no evidence that any such activity will take place, and solar scientists are not able to predict solar activity with more than a few days accuracy.

In June when a formation appeared at Mill Hill representing a Phoenix and pointing in the direction of sunset on July 7, many researchers incorrectly predicted that there would be a solar event that day. In fact, there was a substantialone on July 4, which faded away on the 7th, disappearing at about the time the sun set in England. While the formation was being laid down on June 12, a meeting of solar scientistswas taking place in Denver asking the question: is the sun going into hibernation? The only suggestion that this might not be thecase seemed connected to this formation. There are many proficient hoaxers in the fields of England. Crop formations have become a valuable tourist industry. But the hoaxed formations can usually still be detected if researchers have time to enter them before the inevitable stampede. Nevertheless, as the National Geographic formation reveals, many of the hoaxed articles are obvious to a trained eye.

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Photos copyright Lucy Pringle

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