In 2004 Mary Mapes, a producer for the CBS network show 60 minutes, researched a story on George W Bush and the discrepancies regarding his military record. The story came to be known as Rathergate, after the name of the TV anchor Dan Rather.
In essence Mary Mapes had obtained military documents in the form of memos and assessment records from 1972-73 which clearly showed that G.W. Bush had been AWOL for a year, and therefore couldn’t be evaluated for his flight proficiency. These documents were checked by several handwriting experts, and the content of them was also independently verified by another retired General.
However, after they were published, claims were made that the documents were fakes. It was suggested that the font and typeface that appears on these documents were not available in 1972, and that the documents had in fact been forged using Microsoft Word. What transpired was that the wider issue became lost in all this detail about fonts etc, together with the ensuing witch hunt against Mary Mapes own character and integrity. The publics attention was very quickly diverted by the dogged insistence on behalf of those representing Bush, that this fake document point and Mary Mapes motives were key to the whole issue.
Along with her team, including Dan Rather, Mary appeared in front of a panel of lawyers and was subjected to intense questioning that focused solely on the issues regarding the authenticity of the documents. Days were spent focusing on the small font characters, word spacing and other seemingly crucial inconsistencies, which whilst they do hold some significance when taken in a certain fixed context, they fall apart when you consider the wider issue.
In this case, the wider issue wasn’t the type of font or spacing etc, it was how difficult it would have been for anyone to have faked the documents!
It would have required the forger to have had an in depth knowledge of the 1971 air force manual including rules, regulations and abbreviations. He would have to have known Bush’s official record front to back to make sure none of these so called fake memos conflicted with it. He would have to have known all the players in the Texas Air National Guard at that time, not just their names but their attitudes and opinions, including how they related to one another. He would have to have known that Colonel Killian kept personal memos like this for himself, as well as how Killian felt at the time, particularly about his superiors and First Lieutenant George W. Bush. He would have to have known or learnt all of this, in order to fool everyone concerned in the authentication process.
Now the key point is this; would a man who took this amount of time and precision of detail to fake all of this, then go and type these documents up on Microsoft Word???
The main story itself was about whether Bush fulfilled his military service. But very quickly no one talked about that, all they wanted to talk about was fonts, forgeries and conspiracy theories. This is very typical of many stories played out through media today, everyone’s knows this, it’s called spinning a story. Because that’s what politicians or people in general do these days when they don’t like a story or version of events that conflicts with their own. They point and scream and question a proponents of the opposing views objectivity, integrity or sanity. And all the while they hope to God that the truth gets lost in the scrum. Because when it’s finally over and they have kicked and shouted so loud, no one can even remember what the point was!
The discourse around the Crop Circles is almost identical to the example of the Rathergate scandal. The wider issue constantly becomes lost in the controversy over the man-made issue. When an amazing new formation appears, people are often initially astounded by it’s size, beauty and complexity. For a brief moment there is a sense of awe and wonder. But as soon as someone steps forward to say they know someone who told them that it was man-made, then very quickly everyones talking about fakes and conspiracy theories.
Formations such as Ansty 2016, East Field 2007, or Milk Hill 2001 highlight this repeating pattern of behaviour. Details such as misreporting of dates, or accusations that researchers are tricking the public to sell books and tours. Even collusion with the farmer and alleged conspiracies of silence amongst the villagers become issues that the publics attention is drawn toward. It is a given that as soon as a particularly controversial formation appears, then the same small group of individuals step forward to shout and scream in this tired old fashion.
I have seen this happen time and time again, all discussion about what it would actually take for people to be going out and making the Crop Circles gets completely drowned out in all the noise.
So as with Rathergate, let’s step back and consider what it would take to have faked the 7000+ Crop Circles that have appeared in the past 35 or so years.
It would require the effort of multiple teams of people working internationally. Estimates of how many actual people are unknown of course, but given that it is said that there are more than 10 of these teams it is reasonable to speculate on more than 100 people. They would all have to be financially independent, without regular jobs, given that they work for free and fund themselves throughout the 5-6 month season. They would have to find the money for all fuel and travelling expenses, accommodation, food and sundries. This would be a tidy sum of money each year for 100 people or more to actually pull this off, especially if most of these people are travelling to the UK each year from abroad, as is claimed.
Contrary to popular belief Crop Circles are not easy to make! We don’t just see single formations appearing overnight, there have been numerous occasions when there are 3, 4, 5, even more in just one night! Then there are another 3 the next day, and 2 more the day after that! But if we are to accept they are all man-made, then we also have to accept that the people involved would have to posses an extremely high level of knowledge with regard to land surveying, mathematics and design. They would have to have highly detailed knowledge of Sacred Geometry, with the ability to solve geometrical conundrums in ways that have never been seen before. They would have to be able to work impossibly fast in 5-6 hours of complete darkness, often in the rain, without ever making mistakes! In the case of Milk Hill for example, they would have to have created each circle in just under a minute in order to have completed the design in 5-6 hours of darkness!!! They would have to be very fit and healthy. They could never be sick or be late for work, and they could never break the code of silence about how they achieve all of this without damaging the crop.
We have to also consider that this 100 people operation today would not be the same people that started the Crop Circle campaign over 35 years ago. We have to accept that people would have become too old and retired, which means that new people would have to have been trained, over the years. I don’t know what the attrition rate of the average crop circle maker is, but even if it were 10 years, we’re still looking at around 300 people! In fact, it would not be unreasonable to suggest a conservative estimate as high as 500 people over the years, none of whom have ever stepped forward to demonstrate how they actually do it.
They religiously maintain this silence we are told, to bring about an air of mystery. According to the long standing crop circle maker Rob Irving, their motive is to make people wonder. Several other man made claimants have said that they go to all this trouble to see if people like myself will promote it as a mystery, so that they can then attack them as frauds.
The real question that gets lost in all of this is would 500 independently wealthy and highly skilled people go to all this trouble and expense just so that they could then come out to tell people that there is no mystery?
In my previous blog I discussed Colin Andrews recent article in which he rather fantastically suggests that it is the researchers who maintain that the crop circles are not man-made such as myself who are the real phenomenon to be studied. (See Colin Andrews – A Mysterious Unknown Mind)
At the conclusion of his piece, he directs his readers to what he says is a “well researched” article written by Andrew Pyrka.
In order to avoid confusion I will now refer to Colin Andrews as (CA), and Andrew Pyrka as (AP).
AP’s article starts by suggesting that Crop Circle researchers are only in this to sell books and talks etc, to help with our ever “dwindling cash flow” apparently!
Right off the bat, AP links in with CA’s argument suggesting that researchers are fully aware that crop circles are all man made really, and that we are therefore nothing but fraudsters. Straight away his first move is to churn out this age old Red Herring. This is a classic conspiracy theory. AP is specifically saying that myself and others are aware that crop circles are man made and that we are conspiring together to lie to the public to make money! Where is there evidence for this outrageous claim? I find it noteworthy that Colin didn’t go quite this far in his own article though. Maybe this is because he has earn’t money himself from books and speaking engagements etc.
AP then moves on to pointing the finger specifically at myself and Michael Glickman regarding the Ansty formation. He characterises us as “a dying breed of researchers”. Referring to me specifically he says that i’m “wrong on all counts”. He points out that my problem could be remedied however, if I would just take his word for it that he’s seen the proof that convinces him that all Crop Circles are man made. Apparently my reason for refusing to accept his word is because I would miss out on all my world wide paid trips!
“Anyway, just recently Michael Glickman has written a blog about Ansty with a dying breed of researchers such as Gary King.
( Sorry Gary but you are all wrong on all counts – but will you listen?. No of course you wont as all the world wide paid trips would end, wouldn’t they ?. Hey Ho lets keep the truth hidden under a mattress – shall we ? )”
Aside from the obvious flippant tone of his discourse, AP is throwing out accusations without any evidence whatsoever to back it up. Only more accusations that i’m lying and keeping the truth under the mattress! Yes I have been on a few international trips over the years, but I would challenge him to demonstrate that any income I have derived over the years would represent anything that you could call earning a living. I don’t make my living from Crop Circles, the vast sums of money these people would have the public believe researchers earn simply isn’t there!
The fact is that my finances have absolutely nothing to do with the wider issue of the Crop Circles at all. These details can never explain how 7000+ Crop Circles can be made in around 5-6 hours of total darkness, without damaging the crop!
Individuals such as CA and AP assure us that they have seen the evidence that satisfies them that this can all be done, but they always refuse to share it. Instead they trot out the same old rhetoric that people such as myself are fraudsters, just out to get your money. Again, with no evidence to substantiate their allegations.
Let me just repeat what I have said on many previous occasions. I would be happy to change my views regarding the man=made issue when I see the evidence. I maintain my current view because in 20 years of research the public demonstrations of people making formations that I have witnessed, simply don’t compare to the vast majority of Crop Circles discovered!
It’s a nasty business all this “their only in it for the money” rhetoric. Firstly it’s fraught with contradiction, especially when you consider CA’s precarious position in this regard. Secondly and most importantly though, it’s wildly inaccurate and untrue. This accusation has been repeatedly made toward UFO and Crop Circle researchers for many years, justifiably in some cases sadly, but it really isn’t the general rule in my experience. Surly people can see that this has become a go to accusation randomly thrown at researchers, especially in this type of arena. It’s a Red Herring and needs to be treated as such, especially when no evidence is provided to back it up.
Instead of addressing the issues raised in Michaels blog regarding specific elements of the design at Ansty, AP attacks my own and indeed Michaels integrity. This is yet another perfect example of an ad hominem argument.
Any rational examination of the discourse produced by these individuals reveals nothing but ad hominem arguments and Red Herrings. It’s all just smoke and mirrors! AP’s also meta-gaming the issue by saying that it is myself and Michael who are leaving facts out to distract people, when he’s actually doing the very same thing he accuses us of!
For example, Andrew moves on to what he says are the significant points that myself, Michael and Steven Grant are trying to avoid.
First of all he focuses on the discrepancy of the date that the formation was discovered and the day was actually reported, being the 6th and 12th August respectively. He cites inconsistencies on dates that were initially reported and pays particular attention to Steven Grants interview with Jaime Maussan.
He’s right, there are inconsistencies in the initial reporting of these dates together with the first report on how K. Price first heard about the formation. Initial reports of having spoken to the farmer and his daughter were confused with having spoken to “the farmer”. However, this was cleared up later when Lucy Pringle and myself were granted a full interview with Karen.
The primary reason for these inconsistencies in the initial reporting lies in the fact that Steven Grant had never properly investigated a crop circle before. This was his first season visiting formations. He has no previous experience interviewing witnesses, and is a newcomer in assessing formations on the ground. In addition Stevens “on camera” interview with Jaime Maussan was the first time in his life that he’d ever taken part in a TV interview. He was understandably nervous and therefore made a few mistakes. But none of the mistakes he made are relevant to the wider issues!!
Ironically, AP goes on to vent his disgust at Michael Glickman’s reference to various individuals experience and “qualifications”, including myself and others that actually visited Ansty.
This is the full quote from AP, starting from his reference to what Michael says in his article:-
“The extraordinary event was visited and examined by several well-qualified researchers. One group of five saw the formation some days after its arrival. They have, between them, just under one hundred years of crop circle experience. They were all impressed with the quality, intricacy and lay of the formation.’
I’m dreadfully sorry as I’m about to swear!
WHAT THE FUCK – ‘ well qualified researchers! REALLY. Where on earth does one obtain a qualification please do tell me!.
Michael you live in LA LA land!
All these crop circle researchers have ever done is step into a crop circle and made assumptions and wrote books on nothing but fantasy. None of them have experienced or seen a quality crop circle being made by top artists, none of them ever made a crop circle and watched peoples reactions afterwards – we have! So to says they have a 100 years of experience is quite frankly embarrassing to say the least.”
First of all I would suggest that experience does count for something, as evidenced by Steven having made some mistakes on his first ever investigation. Furthermore, I believe that it would be fair to say that there are those within the research community with more experience, that would not have made the same mistakes.
Secondly, Michael is in no way suggesting that because experienced researchers found it to be impressive, that this is proof of it’s authenticity. In the whole context of Michaels paper he’s merely referencing our observations and experience as an addendum at most. AP’s little rant at the suggestion of “qualifications”, is once again avoiding the wider issues that Michaels blog points to.
The fact is that Michaels experience and indeed professional “qualifications” perfectly enable him to point out very specific intricacies in the design of Ansty. Intricacies that raise serious doubts about the man-made explanation.
In my view AP is expressing himself in an antagonistic, almost childish manner. He resorts to swearing, and throwing insults around suggesting that Michael lives in LA LA land. But his comment “Where on earth does one obtain a qualification please do tell me!.” is the most revealing. Everyone knows that there are no formal qualifications to be obtained in crop circles research, and so does AP. He’s clearly just being facetious! However, clearly experience does, otherwise he would not be criticising Steven for his inexperienced mistakes!
To add further irony to the situation, CA actually begins his article by informing people that he has 33 years experience. He also says this to back up his claim that the Ansty formation is man-made. In fact there aren’t many times when CA doesn’t remind people how many years experience he has. Such double standards here from both of them! Moreover, if AP’s article is such a “well researched” piece as CA suggests, then why does CA say that Ansty took 3 days to complete, and AP says it was done overnight???
However, as i’ve said, Michael Glickman is a qualified architect, working as a professor and designer during the course of his professional life. I would respectfully submit that these qualifications are very well suited to Michaels work on Crop Circles. Especially when combined with 25 years actual experience in the field.
It is clear to me that Andrew Pyrkas so called “well researched” article contains nothing more than blatant personal attacks, together with ad hominem arguments, Red Herrings, abusive language and unsubstantiated allegations. He also has the temerity to accuse us of avoiding what he considers to be pertinent details, whilst doing the very same thing himself.
Despite the obvious contradictions, when taken together both articles really do come across as though they could have been jointly written. CA’s piece essentially promotes the notion that researchers who claim that crop circles are not man made should be the subject of research. Stating that we are under the influence of a “trickster energy”. But at the same time we are also lying to ourselves and the public about it all. Whereas, AP’s piece goes straight into naming and accusing myself, Michael and Steven specifically of lying.
In all of this both of them have once again ignored the real issue surrounding not just Ansty formation, but the more than 7000+ formations worldwide that have appeared during the past 35+ years.
Their articles repeatedly ignore and sidetrack away from the sheer scale and size of the Crop Circle campaign, by dismissing researchers as nothing but fraudsters. They don’t want you to consider the design ingenuity it would take, or the superhuman skills that would be required to execute these formations in such a short time under the cover of darkness. Nor do they comment on how the crop is often undamaged when discovered, with no physical evidence to show that stomper boards had been used. These are the real issues that Messrs Andrews and Pyrka are actually avoiding.
In the final analysis, both Colin Andrews and Andrew Pyrka are following some tried and tested tactics used by George W. Bush and most of the mainstream media. Just like the Rathergate scandal, their constant screams are all about getting people to focus their attention away from the wider issues.
All of this irrelevant controversy could end however! All they need to do is simply provide a real demonstration by making a formation under the exact same conditions as the vast majority of them appear under. With no damage to the laid crop!!!
Images copyright Steve Alexander. http://www.temporarytemples.co.uk
Ansty Ground shot images copyright Steven Grant.
Thanks to Michael Glickman, Aaron King, Daryl King, Liana Crisolago and Steven Grant for help and advice.