copyright Jonah Ohayv 9/2004
2. It's no good to presume in advance that a formation is hoaxed (or is genuine) until otherwise proven, because presumptions will often skewer an on-the-spot or minute examination. Better to investigate the simply found, real, raw evidence with an open mind. Meticulous examination of each case is more in line with discovering truths.
Unless a formation is witnessed while spontaneously appearing (since demonstrably real photo-documentation of this ultra-short process never seems to happen), or unless hoaxing is unequivocally documented (for instance while it's in progress, in an identifiable location), we can almost never reach surety about a crop-circle's origin, but only argue for relative degrees of probability.
3. We usually feel a natural mental and emotional unease at not quickly finding the answer to a basic question or search. Since we therefore prefer to make easy fast conclusions, there have arisen very many over-generalizations which have become myths, about criteria for judging both crop-circle genuineness and hoaxing.
A crop-circle visitor's usual first question is, "Is it hoaxed (and to be dismissed), or genuine (and to be reverently examined)?" We can instead aim at working from the empirical top-level down (using as a research-base the limited number of historically most-likely genuine formations) instead of from the bottom level up.
Until now, being afraid of embarassment at treating a hoaxed circle as real makes the first practical concentration regarding a new formation: "Is it real?" Which truthfully should usually give the answer, "I don't know yet." But our often strong emotional response while personally visiting or looking at pictures of the formation won't wait for that answer - so we jump to a hasty conclusion which helps justify our already felt reactions.
4. Historically, by our collectively over-fixating on the "genuine/hoax" question, hoaxing is stealing the spotlight, and thus distracted, we're most often inordinately missing the higher points of the whole crop-circle phenomena.
Which are? For example, that a direct co-creative connection to an other-dimensional intelligence-filled source has large repercussions and implications for present humanity.
If anyone seriously takes these limitations into consideration, and their comparative data are consequently collected in an appropriate nuanced way, the following objections could be mostly overcome. So, here's a series of my overgeneralized thoughts (tentative assumptions, or if you prefer, prejudices) about several categories of claims for genuineness:
1. We need to humbly accept that both hoaxed and genuine formations often trigger subjective strong emotions, resultant psychosomatic responses and mood changes, and spiritual experiences from excited expectation. So these reactions in themselves are not reliable evidence of a crop circle's actual origin, perhaps unless many individuals have similar experiences unbeknown to each other.
2. Spontaneous precognition shows that a crop circle appears in the future present, or popularly speaking, will appear. It doesn't usually remark on the formation's genuine or hoaxed nature.
Private visualization of a specific geometrical form or landscape placement, when discreetly guarded until the crop-circle soon afterwards appears, I however find to be good evidence. Three well-known examples of such synchronicity are:
Busty Taylor's statement while flying, that a crop-circle combining the shapes of formations until then would convince him - and then the ringed quintuplet appearing in the same field beneath him the next day. And the Steven Greer led meditation group, which by consensus agreed on a visualization symbol (an equilateral triangle with circles at its apices), which appeared close-by soon after. And Nancy Talbott's exasperation about if she should continue her detailed crop-circle work or not, then a brilliant column of light shooting down outside her window that night, forming a vegetable-circle outside. Besides numerous lesser-known instances of this sort.
Channelling travels through the subconscious mind and personality of the receiver - their level of awareness of their own traits plays a role in their own accurate filtering of material. While their messages can deeply inspire listeners, if their statements also turn out to be uncheckable, how to determine reliability?
3. Historical esoteric philosophy or mathematical symbols can be found in books and reproduced, so a previously known symbol's sophisticated connotations is not itself evidence for a crop circle's origin.
4. There are no corroborated genuine photos of the source behind balls of light or descending light columns. Yet there are plenty of anecdotes about UFOs in the general vacinity, descending black clouds and mists which obstruct the view, etc. My suspicion is therefore that such a necessary initiating source behind the scene, doesn't choose to be photographed as yet.
Balls of light are a tricky matter, because they're often so demonstrably responsive to the emotions and thoughts of their witnesses. This co-creative quality might make them open to appearing at hoaxed circles too, if these become power-places or the people involved there are charged enough.
5. Untamed animals' reactions to electro-magnetic changes or radiation in the crop circle are convincing evidence: A flock of birds aloft in Canada dividing and flying around the crop circle's extended form in the air; the mashed porcupine cases; the many dead flies connected by their wings to crop-circle stalks, while the field's other flies buzz around as usual.
6. Likewise the consistent drainage of electric batteries and the magnetic distortions upon all sorts of automatic equipment must serve as trustworthy evidence. Since dowsers are using their own bodies as a tool, different dowsers might get contradictory subjective results in the crop-circle field. Do they, or are their measurements complementary?
7. The changes of chemistry in tested crop-circles' underlying soil, the microbiological changes in the cell-structures of stalks, germination differences, and so on, are unfakable evidence.
8. The tendancy in recent years of elevating the status of hoaxers into being humanistic artists or inspired oracles ignores their several-layered efforts to deceive, their exaggerations and often proven untrue claims - which, all in all, disillusion many people and considerably slow down the stream of open and reliable research results.
9. A basic rule-of-thumb: Don't base your trust on the reputations or brief conclusions of experienced researchers - because they differ vastly amongst themselves, and people often use individual short-cut judgement criteria, to save the lengthy time and wearying efforts of investigating all the possible factors in a crop circle. So by doing your own research of all available material, articles, etc., your own conclusions will be coherent.
Most important, we need BLT to openly publish a succinct database of which formations contained anomalies to a significant degree. This is easy to do, and no one else has that data! Then we can compare those formations. Not doing this is like hoaxers not telling which formations they've made. The degree of released lab-found details for the individual cases is a less urgent issue initially.
Secondly, it's pertinent to test materials from a number of complex, European, documented hoaxed formations. It's not a sufficient control, for BLT to flatten some simple circles themselves and test them. Everyone needs to be sure that blown nodes, for example, are indeed never found in British hoaxed formations.
Some biology and agriculture experts, including long-experienced farmers, need to corroborate that blown nodes, etc. do not spontaneously appear in normal fields. Seems obvious? An older farmer told me that decades ago, it was well known that the downwards twisted mal-growth stalked kernals occasionally found just beneath seed heads (half-claimed in recent years to be a new crop-circle energy-caused anomaly) are an after-effect of insects, but that younger farmers mounted on highly industrialized machinery don't notice or know that.
2. Let us gather all the known eye-witnessed "genuine" cases, and examine and compare their details. What can we learn from them?
3. Carefully checking out and prioritating higher the combined lay details. Finding those formations where these details' construction order or intricacy is too minute to reasonably reproduce by stomping and handcraft. Examples being: those crop circles with a row of single stalks, or with unpracticable types of systematic several-layered weaving, or with the necessity of making arcs from fulcrum-points within an untouched area of the field, or with the lack of any underpaths to the centers of large off-tramline circles, or with stalks bent throughout at knee-height.
Again here, it's important to carefully examine and compare both the lay-details, the condition of the stalks, and the specific geometry of known hoaxed crop circles. They're an unintentional gift of comparision!
Allan Brown's idea of promt on-the-site, detailed analyzing of the lay at the key construction points necessary for hoaxing, is wise, just as I suggest searching for necessary underpaths etc. shortly after a formation's harvest.
4. In summary, the fast-food and me-first mentality of our times, obvious in the rushed descent upon and gobbling up of new Wiltshire crop circles, repeats itself each summer, and a number of stereotyped quick-breathed dialogues and hasty judgements do likewise. The cross-disciplinary study of a few crop circles agreed from many criteria to be most-likely genuine would give us deeper results - as did for instance the Chilbolton code and face of 2001, chewed over for months by many.
5. We can choose a new starting-point, and to move from there in the direction we find most important. One useful goal would be to collect a great many crop circles which have convincing evidence for genuineness - found by interrelating the field-work in them, their photos and videos, report details, lab-work, eye-witness accounts, etc. In each case referring on all the known public documentation and sensible literature about them, so that anyone can check the argumentation.
I've made a very humble start by collecting 14 good candidates for genuineness with their evidence in brief (but lacking a comprehensive source-list of documentation for each) at http://www.korncirkler.dk/cccorner/realthing.html. When some more comprehensive "positive" list of in-all-probability genuine cc's has been combined, we can analyze in depth those we concur with, singly and as a body. Each interested investigator with their own expertise can compare for example, the symbols' levels of meanings, geometry, lay-photos, placement, sizes, chronology, etc., to see where this leads us on.