by Dave Yanko
Harold Fisher bends down and plucks a head of wheat from one of
the flattened stalks lying in a counterclockwise spiral.
farmer rolls it firmly between his palms, deftly separating the
grain from the chaff while pondering the mystery at his feet.
large circle at Viscount is only a whistle away from the town.
"I have no idea what could do this," says Fisher, pointing out
the wheat within the crop circle appears to have matured normally.
"Some say it's wind. But I've never seen the wind do this."
The location is a stubble field several hundred metres (yards)
south of Viscount's one remaining grain elevator. The largest circle
is about 12 metres in diameter (40 ft). The other one is slightly
smaller and located 30 metres to the south.
Although the circles have been much visited since their discovery
more than three weeks earlier, each retains a distinct circular
form and nothing connects them but the combine tracks created by
the farmer who found them during harvest. Fisher has a good point:
If the circles were created by a whirlwind or twister, it behaved
in a most unusual manner.
He reported the circles to the StarPhoenix
newspaper in Saskatoon, located 70 kms (40 miles) to the west of
Viscount on the Yellowhead Highway. He thought doing so
might help solve the mystery. What it did, however,
was bring ribbing from neighbors who told him the circles are much
more prevalent than Fisher realizes. Most people just don't report
them for fear of being ridiculed.
In the 10 years ending in 1999, 38 of the 109 crop circle incidents
reported in Canada (many reports involve more than one circle) occurred
in Saskatchewan, according to statistics compiled by the Canadian Crop Circle
Research Network (formerly Circles Phenomenon
Research Canada). In 1999, 10 of the 20 Canadian reports involved
Saskatchewan circles and half of those came from Midale, a town
located midway between Estevan and Weyburn in the southeast part
of the province.
website says Saskatchewan has become the ‘Wiltshire or Hampshire'
of Canada, a reference to areas of Britain where crop circles seem
to sprout like dandelions. And so, too, do the allegations of trickery
Circle investigators acknowledge some of the incidents are faked,
but contend most are not created by pranksters. People who've taken a first-hand
look at a crop circle would be hard pressed to disagree. A ‘real'
crop circle reflects too much complexity and precision to be the
product of a hoax, and no natural phenomena are known to leave such
‘footprints'. Where views may diverge sharply is in some of the
theories that purport to explain the mystery.
Wayne Kingdon, who farms in the southeast part of the province
near Rocanville, was involved in one of the more interesting crop
circle incidents in recent years. It was August, 1996, and he and
employee Bob Langley had been putting in long hours during harvest
when Langley came across two circles in a field 11 kms (7 miles)
spiral weave of a crop circle can vary in complexity and number
"Everybody said: ‘You guys made them just to get publicity'," Kingdon
said in a phone interview. "Well first of all, it was right during
harvest. Who in the hell would have had time to do it? And for them
to be that perfect? I don't know how that could be done."
Kingdon said wheat within the circles was bent down to
the ground and woven into a counterclockwise spiral. He said stones
and pebbles underneath the compressed plants showed no signs of
being subjected to weight or movement. And although he can't be
positive about this, he believes the circles were no more than a
day old when discovered. That would mean the wheat stalks were straw,
rather than the flexible stems seen in spring and early summer,
when they were bent.
"We went by there the night before. Mind you, we weren't looking
for anything," he said, adding it was a clear and moonlit night.
"But they were in a spot that it would have caught your eye."
Kingdon knew the circles were investigated by a crop circle researcher,
although he never heard the results of the testing. According to
the report now posted on the CCCRN website, soil from the Rocanville
circles contained a much higher magnetic content than soil samples
taken from outside of the circles. Researchers say the higher magnetic
readings are common features of crop circles.
Nine circles found a year ago in two fields in the Outlook-Conquest
region reveal physical changes to plant stalks also said to be common
to the circle phenomenon. Three of the circles were discovered by
Linda and Ken Mann while swathing on land owned by Ken's father.
Linda recalls it was about 6 on a pleasant August evening when she
drove to the field to help Ken fix some machinery and deliver supper.
"Afterwards (Ken) said ‘You may as well come for the first round
with me'," Mann recalled in a phone interview. "We came up over
a little rise, a little knoll, and there they were. They were beautiful.
They were perfect. Perfectly round."
The other six circles were discovered around the same time by members
of the nearby Dinsmore Hutterite Brethren. One circle in each group
bore a ‘tail' that made it resemble the biological symbol for woman.
Mann, a high school history teacher in the region, took an interest
in the circles. She did some research of her own and even helped
the CCCRN gather samples for testing.
|-- courtesy Judy Arndt ©
|Deformities in barley stem nodes
from a crop formation in the Edmonton, AB, region.
Gord Sopczak, the CCCRN representative in Edmonton who investigated
the Outlook-Conquest circles, says tests carried out in the United
States show plant stalks in the circles suffered damage to their
growth nodes, or joints.
"There were definitely blown nodes in the formation on the Hutterite
land," Sopczak said in a phone interview.
He said circle researchers believe this damage is caused by a quick
burst of microwave radiation that heats the plants when the circle
is being created. ‘Plasma vortex' is the term he uses to describe
the dynamic involved in the creation of crop circles.
Mann thinks the circle phenomenon could be connected to the Earth's
electromagnetic grid. And while she knows some circles have been
shown to be fakes, she doesn't believe that's much of a problem
"I know one thing: I know I didn't do it. And I can't see anybody
in Saskatchewan doing it. . . Ken and I took a good look and as
far as we could tell there was absolutely no path, there was nothing
leading into (the vicinity of the circles) and nothing leading out."
Around the same time the circles in the Outlook-Conquest district
appeared, a very large and curious circle formation was discovered
near Esterhazy, in the southeast part of Saskatchewan. Reporter
Terri Eger was working for the Esterhazy Miner-Journal when
a woman came into the paper to report the find.
of the Esterhazy triple dumbbell formation
"I'm a skeptic," says Eger, now with the Yorkton Review. "So
I was wondering about this. But it was so perfect. Everything was
woven down just so."
The largest circle in the triple dumbbell measured 23 metres (75
ft) in diameter and it was surrounded by a ring less than a metre
(3 ft) wide. A three-metre pathway connected the large circle
to another one about four metres in diameter, which in turn was
connected by a longer pathway to a third circle slightly larger than
one metre in diameter.
Esterhazy is home to a large potash mine. Eger knew potash mine
shafts can run horizontally for miles and miles.
So she checked with mine officials to see whether any mining activity
was occurring beneath the circle site. There was no shaft in the
She said in a phone interview the entire experience gave her ‘a
very eerie feeling'. She says she found herself thinking ‘maybe
this was created by some sort of spaceship or something'.
The CCCRN's Sopczak would not disagree.
He believes the energy creating crop circles belongs to ‘an intelligent,
creative force that's controlled from another dimension'.
Crop circles, according to Sopczak, are a form of communication
from this other dimension.
What are they trying to tell us?
"I believe what they're trying to tell us is to focus on the higher,
love vibration,' he says, adding that's the only way for humankind to progress.
Whether sentient beings or natural phenomena are responsible for the creation
of crop circles, some form of energy is creating designs in farmers' fields. And
observing one first hand can't help but leave even the skeptical among us feeling
As reporter Eger puts it: "I was almost looking over my shoulder
and wondering if there's some sort of alien behind the hill, watching
Saskatchewan crop circles can be reported to Beata
Van Berkom, Saskatchewan representative for the CCCRN.
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