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July 23, 2007


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Your picture-cropping test would only work if the picture was taken from the center of the circle. Since it's pretty clearly taken from an angle, you can't make a judgment about how circular it is (unless you have more information, like the exact angle of the shot).

Not that I disagree with the overall conclusion, but sloppy evidence is sloppy evidence.

Colin – I agree. It was the photo they supplied to back up their claim.

Let's imagine that there is something- a soul or whatever- that exists "outside" our "materialistic world-view".

There are two possibilities- it either, at some point, interacts with the physical world, or it does not. If it does not, we have no way of knowing about it, measuring it or experiencing it. It would not create crop circles, nor could it inspire a sense of awe and wonder in the credulous. It would, for all intents and purposes, not exist.

If it does interact with the physical world, we can measure those effects. We can quantify and witness them. This leaves us with two options- either it interacts with the Universe in a predictable, rational fashion, or it does not. If it does not, we're looking at a chaotic noisy force that is uninterpretable and meaningless. If it does behave in a predictable fashion- even one that is incredibly complex- we can create laws and theories to explain its behavior.

So really, I don't see what these people are complaining about. Either their "spirit realm" doesn't exist, is chaotic and meaningless, or obeys comprehensible laws like everything else. Given that, you'd almost think they don't want to muster the intellectual fortitude required to render the complex comprehensible. That they are more interested in feeling good than finding truth.

So, aliens come light years just to make pretty artwork for us.

Do they laser-cut detailed galactic maps on granite rock faces? Do they leave photo-perfect images of famous aliens on the walls of public buildings? Do they leave plans of their marvellous craft on indestructible plastic sheets?

No, they all leave abstract patterns in cornfields, made out of basic circles. Gosh, gotta admire those alien Picassos, but they do seem a bit limited in their schools of art. I guess this is some cereal analogue of pointilism.

The way these are done is by securing a rope at one point, and then walking along to sweep out the larger circular boundaries. It seems that the three larger circular boundaries were initially created, then dozens of smaller circles were swept out along these boundaries.

So, it's no coincidence that the centers of the larger circular boundaries happen to fall exactly along the rows pre-flattened by tractor tires. These pre-flattened rows are used by the pranksters to traverse back and forth without flattening any other stalks.

I love, love, LOVE that 'this black square proves there was no circle there' bit...

Just think what else we can do with this approach:

1) Yes, I know, people have been on and on and on and on about the 'grassy knoll' in Dallas for well on forty years now... But guess what?

(Holds up black square)

See? There was no one there.

2) However, as you can see from this (holds up black square) photo taken from inside his coffin, Elvis is not there. The King lives!

Thankya. Thankyaverramuch.

3) Finally: So you say you believe in a god, huh?

Well, we regret to inform you:

(Holds up black square...)

Oh, I love that, AJ.

oh, bloody hell, not these stupid wankers again...

i can tell you, in some pub down South overlooking a cornfield, there's a whole bunch of ornery prankers with poles and ropes, laughing their arses off.

"...even put it in the fucking papers! I owe you a pint, Jerry..."

(ashamed of its national press)

Nothing can be seen in this “light sensitive” picture. Nothing. And by that I mean there is no way to tell if there is a circle there already or not, or if people are there or not.

I think what they may have been trying to get at(albeit rather poorly,) was that hoaxters couldn't have possibly been involved, as no telltale flashlight/lantern-like light source was present to give them away.

...Or not. With the way some of these people reason, anything is possible.

This is ludricrous without some kind of daytime photo prior to this. How do we know the circles weren't there at sunset the prior day? Where's the photo?

I think what they may have been trying to get at(albeit rather poorly,) was that hoaxters couldn't have possibly been involved, as no telltale flashlight/lantern-like light source was present to give them away.

Sure, unless the hoaxers had night vision goggles (which is what I think the "watchers" meant by light sensitive). Even without NVGs, the human eye is sensitive enough to see by starlight. Especially if someone spends an hour or so in complete darkness, like the back of a van taking them there.

If they were going to do it right, a starlight scope hooked up to a video camera with a sensitive microphone would have helped. Taking a picture that only shows little points of light from what seems to be a town in the background is crap.

By the way, I love your reasoning, AJ. LOL

Even if the hoaxers had flashlights you wouldn't expect them to be recorded by a camera without some very specialised equipment, certainly not as dots on a landscape.

As for infra red, i guess they mean a camera with infra red film or a digital camera that is sensitive to infra red light. To record a picture these will both need an infra red source just as normal film needs a visible light source. The sources will be the same: flash or the sun. Infra red gives some interesting effects but it doesn't allow you to see in the dark (unless you use a flash with an infra red filter but that wont work for landscape photos either).

You stuck up skeptics won't be laughing when the aliens realize we haven't gotten the monumentally important message they're trying to pass on to us and come back to conquer us with their superior rope tied to a 2x4 technology.

I'm a photographer with 20+ years of experience with film and 10+ with digital. I've done plenty of night shots using cameras mounted on tripods for lengthy exposures.

The "all black" picture is a joke. It has to be. Anyone who knew anything (even beginner-level) about photography would have been able to register something on the camera unless the night was utterly black. You can get fairly beautiful images with just star-light, if you use 30-40 minute exposures with the aperture wide open.

The other image - well, how was that produced? If it was from the same light as the first picture it would be all black, too. Or did the "photographer" shooting that take his lens-cap off?

In fact, it would be very cool if a crop circle did "magically form" while you were doing a long exposure. You'd have PROOF because you wouldn't get blurry edge effects as the exposure built where the guys were bending over the stalks. Of course that would be easily faked with a double exposure.

Lastly - infrared cameras tend to be fairly slow; that's the last thing you'd want to be shooting with in the dark unless you were planning on illuminating the scene with infrared lights. (A very cool trick, BTW, with the new I/R LEDs you can buy)

This is a complete crock, just from a photographic standpoint. If these hoaxers are going to bring cameras they should learn a bit about how they work.

Now, if you had a military thermal-imaging scope on a tripod, hooked up to a camera, and did time-lapses of the field... That would be cool. You'd capture the little blobbies of the circle-makers going round and round... it'd look pretty cool if you animated it all together.

I'm a VERY amateur photographer and even I know more about night shooting than these guys!

"Light sensitive camera", my arse! I wonder if they used a sound-sensitive microphone into the bargain?

Marcus Ranum, spot on there. The infra red bit is funny. Anyone who has an infra red setting on their camcorder will know that it needs shine an infra red light onto the subject for it to be detected. They would have needed an enormous infra red light source to illuminate the whole field from that distance. What a bunch of pricks. If these people are for real and not part of the hoax themselves then their photography knowledge considerably reinforces their barkingness. (is that a word?)

Note on Infrared: There's more than one kind: Near, mid, and far/thermal.

Near and mid typically have to be reflected: Living things with a solid cell structure (healthy vegetation, especially) reflect near. Moisture reflects mid.

Far/thermal infrared is different in that anything warm emits far IR. This has lead to a misconception that all IR = heat.

If I had to guess: These guys had a near IR camera (which would pick up a lot of dark at night) and thought it was far IR "Predator" vision.

My guess (if anyone cares)...

The people who made the crop circle are the same ones who made the post.

I agree with you, TS, the inefficient "crop circle wake" was part of the hoax.

The set of circle on the left looks collectively like an abstract human form. The other doesn't look too much like anything.

At first I thought that it looked like a logo, or emblem, for a prescription drug, but I have a "theory" (the vernacular and not scientific term): It's an abstract representation of a human making a crop circle. If that's the case, then the figure is also laughing at gullible cereologists and other paranormalists.

Looks like Dame Ednas glasses is she/he promoting a new series?

My favourite part in all of this is the whole concept of the 'night watch' in the first place. These guys camp out in front of one field in the WHOLE OF THE UK and it just so happens that a crop circle appears there on that night. Hmm, my chin-scratching has gone into overdrive.

"I think what they may have been trying to get at(albeit rather poorly,) was that hoaxters couldn't have possibly been involved, as no telltale flashlight/lantern-like light source was present to give them away"

I watched a program on National Geographic Channel just a few nights ago, and it showed a crew of artist making one of these things in the dark, with just the moonlight. I'm sure the same can be done by starlight.

Straw Man indeed!

I have serious doubts about the timing of the second photo. It is claimed to have been taken at 3:20 am in England just a couple weeks ago. I live near Philadelphia, which is further south than England. I leave for work at 4 in the morning, and it is still pitch black. That photo shows pre-dawn light, and I would estimate it was taken at about 5 am.

NobbyNobbs: I think you've got it the wrong way around. Between spring and autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere, the day is longer the further north you go.

Using the sunrise/sunset calculator at http://www.sunrisesunset.com/, I got the following data for Philly, USA and Bristol, UK (closest city to circle site):

Twi: 05:15
Sunrise: 05:47

Twi: 04:31
Sunrise: 05:15

(All times in local DST, according to the website)

The 'twilight' listed is what the site calls 'civil twilight', which roughly translates to 'you can still see stuff'.

My conclusion, based on the above: A camera on a tripod, with a fairly long exposure time, could perfectly well have taken that picture on that day at 03:20. The article specifies that tripods were used, and that one of the cameras was: "[...] much more sensitive to light than the human eye".

who did it, and why? VERY SIMPLE, out of work thatchers guild members, sworn to secrecy! Oh yeah, and why? I don't know and obviously you don't either, but wow do you ever revere SCIENCE.

but wow do you ever revere SCIENCE.
You say that like it's a bad thing. You know of something better to "revere"?

People do crazy things.

Some people make these things as art. Or advertising. Or for the hell of it. Or to mess with the minds of people who think that humans are universally stupid and incapable of handling the equivalent of a compass and straight edge. Circlemakers.org.

And ya gotta laugh at the line about revering science. What it amounts to is eric making fun of us for looking.

Personally, I don't trust a so-called advanced civilization that apparently only communicates by destroying someone's lower 40. Just seems rude to me. We do have email, for cryin' out loud.

Let me get this straight. They went out, at night, with the hope of witnessing a crop circle event and lo and behold one happened right in front of them, right where they had their hyper-sensitive, tripod-mounted camera focused.

Damn, they're good.

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