The Truth About Crop Circles

And all this time I thought demons were just having fun with us.

  • Michael

    I really respect National Geographic for giving reliable information along with great footage. Unlike many channels in similar positions (e.g. Discovery, History), their TV channel doesn’t cater to fringe or paranormal beliefs in the interest of boosting ratings. They do address them, but they take a fairly scientific and balanced stance. They contrast “expert” or “researcher” statements with actual evidence.

    Also, they put full episodes like this on Youtube, which is pretty cool.

  • dutchhobbit

    Not available in my country :(

    • JK

      Same here…

  • Arkonbey

    WAIT! What about the black helicopters?


    I like the announcer’s emphasis on the word “researchers” when he said, “Crop circle enthusiasts who prefer to be known as researchers.

  • http://- Stephen Gray

    The program was very good. They did not succumb to the temptation to say the circles are made by aliens or that they are all made by humans. But they did not address major problems with the human-made theory: 1) the circles have been appearing for decades; 2) Sometimes several appear in one night (or at least are reported on the same day); 3) There is no money to be made from creating them; 4) No crews or trucks have been spotted before a circle appears (so far as I know); 5) If it is true that some appear within minutes, the human explanation is out; 5) In spite of what the admitted hoaxer said, I find it unlikely that there is enough reward, psychological or otherwise, to spend all night many times each summer; 6) The lay of the downed crop is an additional complication which NatGeo did not mention; 7) No mistakes are found in the genuine patterns. Finally, the program did not supply closeups of the deliberate hoax so we could see if the accuracy was typical of genuine circles. But NatGeo deserves praise for not coming to a definite conclusion. I have no pet theory, but remain literally agnostic about the cause.

    • Michael

      1 and 3 are basically irrelevant. We know for a fact that some circles are made by humans (including many from decades ago), despite the fact that it isn’t profitable.

      2 is particularly irrelevant. Since some crop circle groups are known to the public, it stands to reason that many more are known to each other, and they might coordinate their efforts. Besides, there’s no reason they couldn’t pick the same night without colluding due to external factors making that night particularly good for mowing or even a simple coincidence.

      4 is simply false. Hoaxers have been caught creating crop circles a number of times.

      5a is pure speculation. There is only a single crop circle for which that claim has any evidence, and that evidence is extremely tenuous at best.

      5b is absurd personal speculation. Again, we already know for a fact that many groups do this. You seem to be suggesting that they simply must be too lazy and few to create this many circles, as if hundreds of circles were showing up each day.

      6 needs much more elaboration. Specifically, which circles are inconsistent with known methods of mowing and in what way?

      7 is simply a statistical mistake. Some circles are more accurate and detailed than others, as we would expect of a large set of circles made by a diverse group of people using different methods. That said, I doubt any of them are completely free of errors, despite what you may have been led to believe.

      8 is simply an argument from ignorance. You can (at least in principle) analyze details of many crop circles yourself to determine how precise the “genuine” ones really are.

      Your agnosticism on this issue is frankly absurd. Every circle for which we have determined a definite origin (or even have any significant evidence for a particular origin) was created by groups of people. Those circles for which we have no proof of their origin are consistent with this explanation. No other explanation has ever been proposed that does not invoke entities whose very existence is pure conjecture.

      It’s one thing to say more than one explanation is possible, but quite another to say they are equally likely. You might as well say that the puddle at my doorstep could have come from collected rainwater (since we know some puddles form that way), but it also could have formed when a thousand passing angels wept when they saw how ugly my house was. We really don’t know.

    • UrsaMinor

      I am bothered by the fact that people so readily divide crop circles into “fake” (i.e., demonstrably made by humans) and “genuine” (which seems to mean nothing more than “I can’t personally think of a way that humans or natural processes might have created this particular crop circle”). The very classification puts the cart before the horse and betrays an agenda to find evidence for a non-natural origin.

    • Yoav

      Doug Bower and Dave Chorley started making crop circles in 1978 and had kept at it until the 90′s when they came clean. For over a decade they made hundreds of them just for the LULZ, you can find the full story in Sagan’s Demon haunted world. I think the video of some crop circle experts going apesh*t over a circle made by the producers of the TV show Q.I was posted on this site in the past

    • Noelle

      1. How old are you? Humans have been doing stupid things for millennia, decades is nothing.

      2. Yep. Threre are a whole lotta people everywhere that do stupid things. Sometimes it overlaps on purpose, sometimes coincidence.

      3. People do stupid stuff for free. Sometimes they pay to do it.

      4. Been spotted and taped on numerous occasions.

      5. People do stupid stuff fast. And again, for free, even when they could be doing better stuff with their time.

      6. Some people are skilled and creative with stupidity.

      7. They would be flattered to hear you say so.

      You don’t have to be agnostic about something stupid that people have admitted to doing, and shown millions of other people how they do it on tv.

  • Robert

    I can’t see it in Denmark.

  • vasaroti

    I’m surprised insurance companies haven’t gotten to the bottom of it. The cost of the crop losses must be enormous.

    • Michael

      Not really. There are certainly costs, but they are hardly enormous, at least from an insurance company’s perspective. There just aren’t that many crop circles relative to the number of policyholders, and even then the damage caused by these circles is far less than typically would be caused by hail, flooding, blight, or a huge number of other natural causes.