Lucy Pringle reports:
This event is especially noteworthy for several reasons; a pilot flying a light aircraft from Exeter to Thruxton flew over the field opposite Stonehenge at on the afternoon of Sunday 7 July with a passenger taking photographs, at which time the field opposite on the A303 was unmarked.
Veteran researcher Colin Andrews tells me "The formation was first spotted from an aircraft at 6.15 PM. The pilot crossed over the field with a passenger (a medical doctor taking photographs) at 5.30pm"
There was nothing in the field at that time but “When the pilot returned at 6.15 PM he saw the formation in the field."
"At about the same time (6:30 PM) his previous passenger drove past Stonehenge to see cars pulled off the side of the busy road."
"When I interviewed the Wiltshire Police I was told that the police emergency lines received several 999 calls just before 6.00 PM reporting a large number of vehicles pulled off the road causing a hazard."
German researcher Andreas Mueller has also supplied some vital information as a result of when he visited the formation after its appearance . He wrote telling me that he had listened to a man he took to be the farmer telling a group of people that he had had farm workers working in the field mending the fence until approximately 17.30 hrs that day.
This report has remained one of the most important in the history of the crop circle phenomenon as rarely do crop circles appear during day light hours.
In April this spring of 2009, I had been giving a talk at Alton College in Hampshire. Shortly after that a friend telephoned me to say that a friend of hers had been in a taxi and had mentioned to the taxi driver that she had just been to a fascinating talk on Crop Circles. M, the taxi driver said "I saw one appear opposite Stonehenge."
Thinking she meant this year, my friend telephoned me but after making extensive enquiries, I realised that here was no circle anywhere near Stonehenge. I was given M’s telephone number and told her what I had heard.
“O dear me, no, it was years ago.”
I mentioned that only two formations had appeared close to or opposite Stonehenge, 2002 and 1996.
"It was 1996 as my son who was in the army was on holiday and I was driving down to see him."
I eventually managed to arrange a mutually convenient date to meet M and get her story down on tape.
"M and Tim (her son's friend) were driving to Somerset in July 1996 to see her son who was in the army and driving down the hill towards Stonehenge she saw a lot of cars pulled in on the grass verge on the A303 opposite the stones. She mentioned that when people see maybe two cars or more pulled in and looking down into the field, other cars stop and gradually the traffic builds up and more and more cars draw in to have a look."
As she drew nearer Tim said, 'Mrs M there's a corn circle there'.
There was an apparition, an isolated mist over it and as the circle was getting bigger the mist was rising above the circle. As the mist rose it got bigger and corn circle got bigger.
There was a mist was about 2-3 feet off the ground and it was sort of spinning around and on the ground a circular shape was appearing which seemed to get bigger and bigger as simultaneously the mist get bigger and bigger and swirled faster.
It was gradual and you are standing there and you are thinking what is going on and everyone is discussing it and more and more traffic is building up and everything and you just think that all the time you don't really realise what is happening and then you think then that's it and the thing is getting bigger and you are thinking of the beginning and end. But you don't realise what you are looking at. I didn’t understand what was happening.
"The mist wasn't anything from the ground as there was a clear space between the ground and the mist. There was no wind and no dust (she is an asthmatic). It was strangest thing I have ever seen. It was a calm summer’s day."
When I asked her how long she stayed looking at the event, she said it was hard to say, but maybe 20 minutes or so, but she couldn’t say as she had lost track of the time as she could not believe what she was seeing. The mist was still there when she left but whether the formation was still expanding she couldn't say.
What colour was the mist?
"Well it wasn’t brown or blue or pink; it wasn’t coming off the ground. And it didn’t go far up into the sky."
Did you feel strange?
"I felt My God what is going on, look what’s happening, are we going to see a leprechaun or the men for Mars or a Sputnik in a minute or something."
When I asked M which date it had appeared she thought a bit and then took my pad and wrote Sunday 7 July, 1996. She said she remembered this particularly as being a Sunday she was driving against the traffic.
"Why haven’t you heard about this before? There were so many people watching what was happening, not just me. Why didn’t the other people talk about it?"
Indeed it was only by chance that I got to hear about it some thirteen years after it happened due to a passenger in M’s car who had been to my lecture!
M hadn’t mentioned it herself except to her family and friends.
So why had this one taken so long? Was it due to the fact the other circles had just been small single circles whereas this one was large and complex?
I made several enquiries and I understand that it is generally accepted that as a result of work conducted in the 1990’s, it is possible to calculate the time a formation takes to appear based on the size and number of circles.
The method relates to the earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields. This predicts a velocity of the resulting vortex filament of some 10ft/sec. The filament propagates not unlike a solar flare, repeatedly looping through the earth’s surface `embroidering` a gradually evolving pattern.
To create the 151 circles in the 915.2 x 508 ft pattern would take of the order of 20-25 minutes to create.
The descending force emits an electrical discharge which releases bubbles from the underground aquifers which rise up through the surface of the ground and patterns are formed. The anchor point of the force is always off centre.
This aspect as been observed many times over the years in certain complex crop circles.
These patterns develop like `embroidery`, half about the ground and half under the ground in a sort of looping manner.
There is significantly less pressure inside than outside, therefore there is a sort of sucking motion from inside which bends or `sucks down` the crop at the base.
The mist would appear to be as a result of cool water vapour rising from the aquifer (underground spring) beneath and behaves in a manner similar to what happens in the lab when electrical discharges are created through water and different patterns emerge on the surface.
Mist forms a little distance from the triggering point, which would support what occurred in this case, M could see the circle growing. It is when the hydrogen atoms re-combine that all this happens as it draws in ambient energy.
This is where the excess energy appears from. As for height, it would be no higher than the radius of the formation created and the mist cloud would grow as the formation grew.
However the more complex patterns have additional information contained in the sphere and who or what presses the button to make these is not within our present knowledge or understanding.
Indeed not only does it appear that M was correct is every aspect but it also corroborates the report by the pilot, the guard at Stonehenge and the gamekeeper. A truly remarkable event.
By Lucy Pringle