I recently saw some amazing photographs of colossal geometric patterns created in the snow by British artist Simon Beck.
Beck meticulously pounds the white, fluffy alpine ice for days, with his thick-soled shoes, to create these huge, beautiful and spectacular designs at the Les Arcs ski resort in France, that look like giant snowflakes.
The photos of Bek’s artwork are truly dazzling, and they couldn’t help but remind me of “crop circles.”
Like the Sasquatch phenomenon that I discussed in a recent column, many “crop circles” or “crop formations” remain a genuine mystery.
Crop formations are large, complex, geometric and fractal patterns--sometimes imbued with what appears to be messages or meaning--that quickly appear across agricultural landscapes, and can only be viewed properly from an aerial perspective.
Despite the claims by some vocal skeptics, that these strange and beautiful crop patterns are all a massive human-perpetrated hoax, or the result of known natural phenomena, there is ample evidence that no one really understands where many of these mathematically-based forms come from.
Despite careful scientific study, admissions of hoaxes, and attempts at replication, the origin of many crop formations remain a huge unsolved mystery.
A large number of the complex formations--generally found in English farm fields of rye, barley, wheat, and corn, but with other agricultural plants as well---are documented to appear quickly, sometimes in the space of only a half hour, and over 10,000 cases have been reported around the globe to date.
How is this possibly done, so quickly, with such precision, and without anyone ever having been caught doing it?
Crop circles that were admittedly constructed by human beings with ropes, wooden, planks, and bar stools, fall short of the near-perfect execution and complexity that emerge from the unexplained phenomenon.
Regardless of what one thinks about their origins, one simply can’t help but marvel at the complex beauty of these formations.
Additionally, and even more puzzling, is that many of these crop formations appear to be messages, as though someone or something, were trying to communicate with us.
Some of the more striking examples of this appear to actually be messages from an advanced extraterrestrial civilization, seemingly responding to our communications sent out through the Arecibo Radio Telescope and the Voyager spacecraft.
In 1974, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), transmitted 1,679 pulses of binary code toward a globular star cluster called “M-13,” via the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico, as a message, in an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence.
When reconstructed, the binary message contained information about human biology, genetics, chemistry here on Earth, and a visual representation of our the solar system.
Then, in 1977, when we launched the Voyager Spacecrafts to study the outer Solar System and interstellar medium, NASA engineers included golden records onboard, that had instructions printed on them.
The instructions were supposedly in universal symbols--such as drawings, sound wave pattern imagery, and binary coding--that, hopefully, an alien intelligence might be able to decipher, and be able to play the records.
When played, on the accompanying phonograph, each golden record contained sounds expressing the cultural diversity of human beings and other life on Earth, along with abundant video images from our world.
They also contained data detailing our location in space.
Strangely enough, in 2001 and 2002 three crop formations appeared that seem to either be extremely clever hoaxes, or actual responses to our attempts to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence.
What has become known as the “Chilbolton Arecibo message formation” are two patterns that appeared close together in 2001, in the fields in Hampshire, England, near the Chilbolton radio telescope.
One pattern looked like a humanoid face, and the other one resembled the reconstruction of SETI’s binary code radio transmission to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence.
The crop formation pattern followed the same binary formatting as the SETI message, with a number of distinct biological, genetic, chemical, and astronomical differences.
Then, in 2002, another pattern formed in the fields of Hampshire, England, depicting what appeared to be a large-headed, big-eyed alien.
The alien seems to be holding up a disk, that looks like it could be a record, with patterns on it that spiral inward, along with a cryptic, but intelligible, binary message.
Who knows what to make of these formations?
While skeptics tend to see hoaxes, UFOologists tend to suspect an extraterrestrial influence from the stars, some people in the spiritual community have suggested that the formations stem from a more terrestrial source, and think that they may be the Earth itself communicating with us.
Because the crop formations appear to show evidence of creative design, geologic or meteorological influences seem unlikely as the cause of the phenomenon, unless one entertains the notion that the Earth itself is alive and intelligent.
According to the Gaia Hypothesis, proposed by NASA biologist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis, the biosphere of our planet functions interconnectively like a huge super-organism.
The Gaia Hypothesis proposes that our oceans and atmosphere are seamlessly self-regulated by the biosphere, so that it maintains the delicate balance of chemicals and conditions that support life on our pale blue dot.
A number of online forums discuss how some people suspect that crop formations are messages from Gaia, Mother Earth, about spiritual transformation, in response to our ecologically destructive patterns.
In my column about the possible existence of Bigfoot, I theorize that some unexplained phenomena may be understood by considering the possibility that an advanced race of otherworldly beings, often referred to as “daimons,” may be toying with us.
It sometimes seems as though a race of highly-evolved pranksters are providing us with compelling evidence for strange phenomena, that stands outside the boundaries of our known science, yet maddeningly, never definitive proof of what’s actually happening.
In other words, could it be possible that crop formations are a hoax after all, but not one being perpetuated by human beings?
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This column originally appeared on Santa Cruz Patch, where David Jay Brown posts weekly on cannabis and psychedelic culture.
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