Home / Circlemakers’ Designs Still Cropping Up

Circlemakers’ Designs Still Cropping Up

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Since the eighteenth century, the world has been fascinated by the nocturnal phenomenon of crop circles – strange, inexplicable patterns appearing in farmer’s fields overnight. Explanations for these occurrences have included everything from cyclonic wind action to alien interference.

In the 1970s, these circles became more prominent in the media and the patterns began changing from basic circles to more complex and obscure patterns. For instance, a 200 foot replica of the face of the Japanese cartoon character Hello Kitty was pressed into a field in Wiltshire, England in 2004.

This rather commercialized crop circle is not the result of alien involvement, but of John Lundberg and the circlemakers.

The circlemakers are a group of cereologists, or crop-circle scientists, who plot and craft crop circles in farmer’s fields all over the world. By using carefully plotted blueprints and simple materials like wooden planks and rope, the circlemakers are able to bend, not break, the stalks of the crops and form complex and intricate patterns which were formerly believed to be impossible to create by human means.

The circlemakers group was founded by Lundberg in the early 1990s. They began by covertly creating crop circles to emulate the elaborate hoaxes of earlier decades, but eventually word got out. They became infamous for their subtle methods and intricate designs, and eventually the group was approached by companies who wanted circles made for them, either for television and movies spots or for publicity stunts and advertising. Over the years, the group has crafted circles for companies such as Red Bull, Shredded Wheat, and NBC-TV.

The circlemakers’ activities were inspired by the efforts of Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, who began circlemaking as a prank thought up in a pub in 1976. They began with simple circles, but when newspaper articles began doubting the circles’ supernatural origins, the pair began making more complex patterns. For years, the duo covertly made circles without taking any credit for their work.

The ruse might have gone on, had Bower’s wife not grown suspicious of the high mileage in his car. Bower became concerned his wife suspected he was having an affair, and he confessed what he and Chorley had been up to. Shortly thereafter, the circle-crafting duo informed a local newspaper of their activities. Chorley died in 1996, but Bower has been making crop circles as recently as 2004 and continues to inspire other circlemakers to greater mischief and more ambitious experiments.

The circlemakers operate out of England, but their work can be found in a wide variety of locations across Europe and the United States. For instance, a 2006 campaign, which was sponsored by Microsoft to promote the release of the Xbox 360, resulted in three identical crop circles across the United States. Two were printed into beaches on the California and Florida coastlines, while the third was mowed into a grassy field in Oklahoma.

The circlemakers maintain a website to showcase their escapades and provide information about their activities. The website boasts details about the group’s history, as well as photographs of their works and a beginner’s guide to becoming a circlemaker.

While the circlemakers may be demystifying one of the world’s oldest mysteries, they are simultaneously developing a unique and competitive new art form which is always pushing itself to new levels of complexity and madness.

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  • duane

    Aw, you’re no fun. A logical explanation? Damn.

    Just when I had finally resolved that crop circles were Earth’s way to send warning messages from its crystalline core about all the negative energy we’ve been generating, in preparation for the end of the world in 2012.

  • Luis A Torres

    Okay, I’ll buy into that, but how do you explain the circles where there are no groups of people around that can “Bend” stalks.

    Who made all the circles before the 20th century? They get paid for the advertising, what about the circles that are not advertisement?

    Do they normally work at night? Why? Are they ashamed of their artistic work?

  • JM Blake

    Knowing a famous crop circlemaker, who actually is named in the above article, I sort of have a behind the scenes type of view.

    Based on what he has told me, yes they always work at night when doing crop circles that they are not being paid to do. The reason being that technically it’s illegal for them to be on someone else’s property without permission to do these crop circles. In fact he’s told me of having been shot at by farmers whose fields he was working in, but thus far as escaped being shot in the arse.

    They are not ashamed of their work. In fact they are quite proud of it. However when they make a crop circle illegally part of the reason they don’t acknowledge it is because technically they could be arrested for trespassing and property damage. The other reason is to allow the mystique to be present in there work for those who do believe.

  • CMB

    “The ruse might have gone on, had Bower’s wife not grown suspicious of the high mileage in his car. Bower became concerned his wife suspected he was having an affair, and he confessed what he and Chorley had been up to. Shortly thereafter, the circle-crafting duo informed a local newspaper of their activities. Chorley died in 1996, but Bower has been making crop circles as recently as 2004 and continues to inspire other circlemakers to greater mischief and more ambitious experiments.”

    LOL.Right.For 15 years, they went around the world making crop circles for no apparent reason.

  • Fine defense lawyer you’d make, CMB…

    JUDGE: So, your client admits he murdered the deceased?
    CMB: Yes, Your Honor, but he’s lying. It must have been a chupacabra!