The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-22-2001, 04:08 AM
Dignan Dignan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
I saw the story on Headline News, can't seem to find a link, so hopefully some others saw the story too.

It was very elaborate and there were a lot of them, it had been raining the night before, but there were no footprints, or signs of humans being there. Of course it was in England

I'm almost totally skeptic, but that little voice in the back of my head is saying, "maybe?"

So I wanted to hear what others thought of this story, and give me explanations so that stupid little voice will shut up.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-22-2001, 04:25 AM
Aghris Aghris is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
If you find that interesting, I have another story for you. Note that I don't believe this myself.

Last week I heard a newsreport on the Dutch radio here about a man who saw a crop circle appear right in front of his eyes. The man was a Dutch 'scientist' out there to investigate the phenomenon for a US agency of some sort. He told that while investigating one of the circles with a few of his colleagues, he felt a vibration in the air and when he looked around, there was a completely new circle only a few hundred metres from where he stood.

I'm trying to find a news article or cite of some sort for you but haven't had any luck yet.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-22-2001, 05:06 AM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Have a look at this site.

Situation: Geometric designs, starting with simple circles but working up to much more complex forms, have been apearing in crops for years.

Possible theories: 1) they are the work of hoaxers, 2) they are the work of extraterrestrial aliens.

Evidence in support of theory 1: crop circle makers have come forward, explained the techniques, demonstrated them before observers, shown videotapes of themselves making crop circles.

Evidence in support of theory 2: none.

Conclusion? Up to you.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-22-2001, 08:23 AM
glee glee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
What Steve Wright said.

And here is some more logic:

1. Why would anyone claim that crop circles were the work of aliens? Clearly they would be pestered by the media, and might have to put up with getting their name in the paper, or even appearing on TV. And who wants that?

1a. How to spot an urban myth:
- An (unnamed) Dutch 'scientist' working for an (unnamed) US agency claimed ...
- no sign of the confirming news report yet

2. "Captain, we have completed our interstellar journey of 8 light years from Alpha Centauri."
"Very good, Mr. Spick. Please review what we know about the inhabitants of this planet."
"Captain, they have a world-wide broadcasting network called Television. Also many of their computers are permanently linked.
Each grouping of people, known as Nations, has a leader. The most important is known as the United States, and they have a President, who is authorised to make decisions, and skilled in the art of media announcements.
Alternatively there is an organisation called the United Nations. Much less power, but at least 99.9% of the planetary population are represented there.
Which one do you want to contact first?"
"Neither, Spick. Instead we will cunningly announce our presence (and our advanced technology) by crushing some local plants in a circular pattern in the countryside."
"Excuse me Captain, but that is not logical.
The local inhabitants can already do that with just string and some planks. Why do we not reveal our wormhole and gravity control instead?"
"Execute my orders, Spick!"
__________________
Arnold Winkelried:
'glee, I take my hat off to you.... at first I thought you were kidding with your cite but I looked it up and it was indeed accurate. (Still in awe at the magnificent answer)'
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-22-2001, 08:30 AM
Aghris Aghris is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by glee
What Steve Wright said.

And here is some more logic:

1a. How to spot an urban myth:
- An (unnamed) Dutch 'scientist' working for an (unnamed) US agency claimed ...
- no sign of the confirming news report yet
Jup, I realised that. Suffice to say is that I did hear this on the radio, but that I also don't believe the claims. The name of the 'scientist' was mentioned, but I don't remember it. It also had an interview with the guy in question. I'm not sure if the US agemcy was mentioned.
So, this is only an urban myth insofar of his claims. He actually did make those claims on the radio.

I'm still looking for a news article of some sort.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-22-2001, 11:20 AM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
Uncharted
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 26,888
I don't think we'll ever really know what's causing them. A pair of British hoaxers have stepped forward but I doubt they can be responsible for every single UK circle. Circles have also been seen in US fields and in the sand of a West Coast beach. Take a look at the circles pictured here, if these are hoaxes then some people were extremely busy!

This may be the source of the Dutch scientist story.
__________________
Why become a fourth Yeti?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-22-2001, 12:47 PM
glee glee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Crop circles are made by hoaxers using string and planks. They enjoy the publicity.
There are far more than 2 UK hoaxers, and since you will get a lot of attention from pseudo-scientists, people try this game all over the world.

Some quotes from the Dutch link:

"Jan Willem used dowsing rods to determine energy ley lines."

Ah, yes. Dowsing is that psychic ability that never works when you ask to see it demonstrated.
(See http://www.randi.org for details.)

"When I entered the 8th circle, I was stupefied to see that there was a brand new circle added to the tail! I counted and re-counted the circles of the tail. There were 9 circles instead of the 8 we counted before. During our research, there was an extra circle added. Just like that, and we didn't see or hear anything. About ten minutes before, Jan Willem had taken some samples from the last circle, the 8th of the tail, and he didn't see a new circle. He is 200% sure that there wasn't a new circle at that time."

1. He has to count to 9 twice?
2. Obviously a mathematician, using the phrase '200% sure'.

"My nephew, Jan Willem, he felt (the crop circle) with his hands and he told us that it felt warm. I tried, but I was completely astonished so I didn't feel it. But he told me it felt warm. "

No point in using a measuring device like a thermometer. One guy says it feels 'warm', another doesn't. Conclusive proof then.

"And then the next step is a lot of clues to make a crop circle without entering the field. ... If we succeed making a crop circle without entering the field and we find the blown nodes and all the other stuff, then we know which technique the crop circle makers use. After that, we want to try making formations without being in the field."

Now we already know you can make a crop circle using just string and planks, without leaving any traces like footprints.
But these guys think there must be another 'technique'. Occam must be spinning in his grave.

"The next step after that is communication and maybe in the future, we meet some of the 'guys' (crop circle creators). I don't know, but that's a far away future."

Ah, so you're going to e-mail the English hoaxers, then?

"Eltjo's research connects spherical energies above the crop to plants going down in formations. I don't know what the balls of lights are. Maybe it's intelligence that is controlled? Or maybe the lights are on their own. I don't know that. But there is a relationship. Absolutely."

No, apparently not.
__________________
Arnold Winkelried:
'glee, I take my hat off to you.... at first I thought you were kidding with your cite but I looked it up and it was indeed accurate. (Still in awe at the magnificent answer)'
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-22-2001, 01:14 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
A friend of mine bought a wooden medallion with a crop circle pattern on it. She would go around and, jokingly, ask people if they knew what it said, figuring that anybody who knew what it meant must be an alien.

I told a friend of mine about her, and the next time he ran into her, she asked what it said, and he said, "No services this exit."
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-22-2001, 01:27 PM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
I have to say that, if I'd been responsible for any of those designs, I'd feel a real sense of accomplishment looking at those aerial photos.

But I don't think I'd feel anything like as proud if i'd done them in ten minutes with a Gravitational Wibble Ray...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-22-2001, 01:38 PM
casdave casdave is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,564
I note that the farmer in this and in many other cases charge people 1 a time to go and have a look at the phenomenon, not a bad sideline and I bet the taxman doesn't get to see his share of it.

It must have been a good earner too as the crop circle expert said that there had been so many visitors that he could not make out any potential evidence.

This crop circle group of around 400 circles in a nice pattern was alledgedly formed overnight but I would like to have proof that this is the case, so far all there is is a farmer saying so, and he is making money from it.

I find it interesting to note that this formation is on the highest part of the ground in the area, so anyone working there could not be observed from elswhere, and the only way to see it is either to go by air or to pay the farmer to walk on his land, it just seems very convenient that it is not is down in a valley where you would not have to do this, in fact this is true of most crop circles.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-22-2001, 01:50 PM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
This one just registered with me. (I'm very tired today.)

Quote:
Originally posted by glee
Some quotes from the Dutch link:

"Jan Willem used dowsing rods to determine energy ley lines."

Now, believe it or not, properly conducted trials have been carried out here, by some 80s-era BBC1 series on the paranormal... dowsing rods do not detect ley lines. They had dowsing "experts" wandering across fields, some of which were crossed by ley lines, others of which were not... and the dowsers could not tell the difference.

Wish I could remember the name of the show...

It doesn't prove anything, of course... but a workable explanation would be 1) there is no such thing as a ley line, or 2) there is no such ability as dowsing, or 3) both of the foregoing. All three would fit the observed data...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-22-2001, 07:48 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 52,082
Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Wright
Now, believe it or not, properly conducted trials have been carried out here, by some 80s-era BBC1 series on the paranormal... dowsing rods do not detect ley lines. They had dowsing "experts" wandering across fields, some of which were crossed by ley lines, others of which were not... and the dowsers could not tell the difference.

Wish I could remember the name of the show...
Wasn't Tomorrow's World was it? I seem to remember something about that experiment.


Anyway, I can prove crop circles are the work of mysterious aliens, in fact I will do so in my book, which will be expensive.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-22-2001, 08:23 PM
glee glee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Don't believe everything you read

Mangetout,

you're going to prove it in an expensive book?
It must be true!
I'm sorry for my sarcasm earlier.
Would you autograph my copy?

I look forward to the follow-up 'How psychic powers can be profitable'.
__________________
Arnold Winkelried:
'glee, I take my hat off to you.... at first I thought you were kidding with your cite but I looked it up and it was indeed accurate. (Still in awe at the magnificent answer)'
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-23-2001, 04:23 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 52,082
Re: Don't believe everything you read

Quote:
Originally posted by glee
Mangetout,

you're going to prove it in an expensive book?
It must be true!
I'm sorry for my sarcasm earlier.
Would you autograph my copy?

I look forward to the follow-up 'How psychic powers can be profitable'.
Of course I'll autograph it, for a nominal fee (I have to charge this so that I can empower the book with mystic energies (or vibrations or something, whatever).

I hadn't realised that you'd seen the Advance Information sheet for my next book, I was torn between that title or 'Mysterious Powers; fleecing the gullible', but my publisher made the decision for me.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-23-2001, 04:26 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 52,082
Of course, there's a third book in the pipeline, the working title is 'Credulity; pushing the envelope'
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-23-2001, 05:22 AM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
The programme wasn't "Tomorrow's World"... it was in that sort of time slot (half an hour, pre-watershed), but it was all about the paranormal - ran six episodes, I think the dowsing/ley lines one was number four or five...

Does anyone else remember it? Did it happen at all? Have I been unwittingly brainwashed by the Men in Black? Help!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.