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Is The Crabwood Formation a Hoax?

YOWUSA.COM, 7-September-02
Marshall Masters

Is The Crabwood Formation a Hoax?One of our readers, Charles Fuqua recently wrote to us in regards to our August 18, 2002 article, Crabwood Formation Offers Clear Evidence of Contact Event.  In his E-mail he asks: "What is the chance that these crop circles are anything but a hoax?  This last one with the alien, I have to admit, was quite disconcerting." 

In two simple sentences, Charles has driven straight to the real crux of the Crabwood formation and crop circles in general. Ergo, if it is not a hoax, then it certainly must be a "disconcerting" reality.  As the publisher of YOWUSA, I also sense the same question amongst many of our other readers and so I want to address these issues as I feel that the Crabwood formation is in fact a true contact event.  Further, it appears that the true meaning of this formation is already under attack by disinformation operatives.

The goal of this article is not to make you the reader believe nor disbelieve that crop circles are being created by an alien intelligence.  This is because this decision, by virtue of necessity, is one that must be made by you and nobody else.  With this in mind, I ask you to read Mr. Fuqua's letter to me and to see if you can identify with his interests, concerns along with his desire to understand something new.

YOWUSA.COM Mail, September 4, 2002
FR: Charles Fuqua
TO: Marshall Masters

Mr. Masters,

At one time, I followed the Millenngroup quite closely, and I currently read all of your articles listed at yowusa.com.  I have several questions...

What is the chance that these crop circles are anything but a hoax?  This last one with the alien, I have to admit, was quite disconcerting. However, it would appear to me to be next to impossible for a human to make in such clear detail.  What puzzles me is why none of the main stream media picks any of this up?  If credible, this should be front page news all over the world.  Do you have the time to help me out?

Secondly, and more of interest to me, is the World Trade Center bombings.   I suddenly put two and two together, and I was struck speechless at the thought.  And, later, another person, independently, came to the same conclusion that I did which is this...

All of this early talk about Phobos being the King of Terror and that war would reign after his arrival was all wrong.   It seems to my elementary knowledge on the subject that the King of Terror was/is Osama Bin Laden and/or Saddam Hussein, and he/they struck in the ninth month of the first year of the new millennium which would fulfill Nosty's predictions would it not????   If true, is there a chronology of events listed by Nosty?   If so, what is next and when?

Charles Fuqua

Charles, for you and the benefit our readers I'm going to examine this whole issue of crop circles general and in somewhat personal terms.  This is because you are beginning your own search for knowledge and I want to share with you my own search and how it led me to a point where I now see crop circles as being something much more than intermittent curiosities.  

Let's begin this short odyssey by using an apt title from an old Clint Eastwood spaghetti western classic, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good

For those who still wonder if crop circles are hoaxes perpetrated by midnight pranksters racing about farm fields with planks and ropes, yes, there is some of that.  Further to that, there is clear and increasing increase in government disinformation about crop circles that corresponds to the increasing complexity of the crop circles, themselves.  These disinformation attempts are highly effective and will be discussed in greater detail later on in this article.

However, before we talk about disinformation, let's talk about real crop circle information from credible sources as there are proven scientific protocols for determining the authenticity of crop circles though independent scientific evaluation.

Dr. Eltjo H. HaselhoffOne such protocol has been developed by Eltjo H. Haselhoff, a Dutch Ph.D. (and a snappy dresser too.)  He chairs the DCCCS, the Dutch Center for Crop Circle Study; the oldest research group in The Netherlands on this topic.  It was established in 1994 by ex-chairman Herman Hegge and has a current number of 25 active volunteer members.  The group's objective is to study crop circles using the most scientifically sound methods known.

Dr. Haselhoff, is a native born and educated Dutch physicist with a strong interest in this phenomenon, albeit a criticizing one. When comparing his background with a crop circle debunker, please keep the following in mind about this leader in the field of true scientific crop circle research:

  • He holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Experimental Physics and has worked at many research institutes, including Los Alamos National Laboratories.
  • He has been examining the crop-circle phenomenon for over a decade and has personally investigated hundreds of crop circles. 
  • He is well published in several peer-reviewed scientific journals, to include the Journal of Applied Physics, The Physical Review and the prestigious, international scientific journal, Physiologia Plantarum, an International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology Published by the Scandinavian Society for Plant Physiology. 

In order to truly appreciate the man's dedication and sincerity, I strongly urge all of our readers to listen to an interview of Eltjo by Whitley Strieber on August 24, 2002. The clip is the third one down on the link page and Eltjo's interview starts at 91:00 into the Live386 media clip. After that, I also urge you to read his book, The Deepening Complexity of Crop Circles: Scientific Research and Urban Legends.

With specific regard to the Crabwood formation, Jacco van der Worp of YOWUSA contacted Eljto shortly after the formation had been reported by the Crop Circle Connector web site.

Crop Circle Connector, August 15 2002
Field Report from Winchester, Hampshire

How did it look and feel?  Very much like the 2001  Chilbolton 'Face' and 'Message' formations.  Subjectively there were very strange and oppressive feelings within the new arrival.  

2001 Chilbolton 'Face' and 'Message' formation

One could almost say feelings of foreboding and awe were the overriding flavours of this event, as indeed was the impression we both felt almost exactly one year earlier over at Chilbolton, just nine miles away.  It really did seem that the same agency had been at work, only this time the finished product is utterly staggering, above and below, the 2001 events seem positively crude in comparison to this masterpiece, that alone is quite a statement when one considers the reaction to those events at the time.

In their native Dutch language, Jacco corresponded with Dr. Haselhoff, who happened to be vacationing at the time; he sent me the following summary of Eltjo's initial impression of the Crabwood formation.

YOWUSA.COM Mail, August 18, 2002
FR: Jacco van der Worp
TO: Marshall Masters

In brief: Eltjo says he'll dive into this himself, not any of his co-ops at DCCCS.  Other than that, he's pretty much blown away by this latest formation.  He thought he'd seen it all after some years in this field, but no..  He'll keep me posted.


Thanks to the immediate efforts of the good folks at Crop Circle Connector, money was raised to pay the farmer to postpone the plowing under of the formation and we eagerly await the Eltjo's published findings.

In the final analysis, when trying to identify "the good" the sole measure should be the scientific credentials and proven research background of those investigating and reporting on crop circles like Dr. Haselhoff.  Likewise, as we mentioned in our first article on this formation, we again ask our readers to support the Crop Circle Connector site by becoming members or with a direct contribution.

Or in other words, carefully consider the source before you accept his or her findings, theories or pure unsubstantiated dribble.  There are many good and dedicated crop circle researchers doing good things, but there are also those who through their own self-serving motivations doing bad things as well.

The Bad

The critics loved it and by August 23, 2002 the summer hit Signs, starring Mel (Mad Max) Gibson had grossed $14.3 million as the audiences poured into theaters everywhere.  M. Night Shyamalan who made his bones as a blockbuster director on Sixth Sense and Unbreakable and now he was going to tackle the timely issue of crop circles.

Signs the Movie

Mel GibsonM. Night Shyamalan

One had to admit, the trailers were certainly enticing with their haunting refrain of "Don't be afraid,"  and I too plunked down my cash for ticket in hopes of seeing a film that would be a serious film.  However, Shyamalan who also wrote the screenplay for Stuart Little treated the whole topic in a naive manner.

The film was entertaining and thrilling but in terms of crop circles it was 50's era brain-sucking aliens cinematic abortion that played on our fear of the unknown.  Markedly absent was any attempt to demonstrate a scientific understanding of the phenomena of crop circles.  However  it was interesting to note that the densest concentration of formations was in India.  Given the drought conditions that country suffers, even this is a long stretch for creative license.

What we saw was Mel Gibson playing his umpteenth inner-conflict and emotionally repressed character and aliens who could do as they pleased with the Earth and everyone upon it.  The thrust of the plot is that the aliens intend to abduct humans for nefarious purposes reminiscent of the "How to Prepare Man"[I believe that was "To Serve Man." LOL] of Twilight Zone fame. Instead of beaming people up to their spaceships (ala Guess Who's Coming to Dinner) they actually invade peoples homes completely unarmed.  In the end, they are defeated by simple water as in, "I'm melting" from the Wizard of Oz.

While the critics may have loved it (which proves nothing), everyone in the audience  walked out of the theater the moment the final credits began to roll. Out of curiosity, I turned at the door to look at the faces of the other audience members as they streamed out. There was no excitement.  Rather, they all looked as though they had been standing at home plate with a bat in hand and that nobody had bothered to pitch a ball to them.  They had come, like myself, hoping to see a realistic scenario and not brain-sucking 50's era aliens that eventually melted like Wicked Witch of the West from the movie Oz "I'm melting!"  Frankly the film should have been titled, Stuart Little Passes Kryptonite.  That would have made sense.

Nonetheless, in these days of predicable, cut-to-the-chase blockbusters, depth and seriousness is something most folks can live without, though I seriously doubt this film will ever become a science fiction classic like Blade Runner.  Nor will be likely to see a directors cut either.

All Shyamalan did was demonstrate his ignorance and disregard for crop circles by making mockery of the phenomenon, simply for the purpose of scaring teenagers out of their allowance money.

OK, so Signs was a bad movie in terms of crop circle science (and reality.)  So what's the beef?  To answer that question, I need to back up to January 2001.  I had just finished taping an interview segment for the PAX TV presentation of, Is There a Doomsday Asteroid?, which first aired on March 20, 2001.  After shooting the interview, producer Gail Fallen took my wife and me out to dinner. Over baskets of beer batter calamari, we talked about a wide range of phenomena when she began recalling her experiences during the shooting of a crop circle program for PAX.

At that time, crop circles were an unusual oddity for me -- one that I was aware of, having seen them in the media.  Like most folks, I simply did not know enough about them to decide whether or not they were the result of pranks or something genuine.  In simple terms, Charles Fuqua's question pretty much summed up my impression of crop circles at that time: "What is the chance that these crop circles are anything but a hoax?

However, as Gail recounted her experience of walking through a recent formation in England during her location shoot, I became fascinated by the sensations she said she felt.  Given all the of the exhaustive pre-production planning I'd done with Gail prior to our shoot, I knew she was cool customer who likes to get the facts straight.  She told me how this experience changed her entire outlook on crop circles and that she had begun a serious study of the phenomenon.  This piqued my interest and I decided to go beyond the tabloid reporting we now see.

As many of our readers already know, YOWUSA is a privately funded, all-volunteer operation.  So how do we pay rent?  I for one work in the Silicon Valley and each day I'm working with computer scientists and engineers.  Consequently, taking the hard-nosed scientific route seemed natural to me, and the first step I took in my own research effort on crop circles was to , search for trustworthy sources.  Ahabit I picked up back when I was producing science features for CNN.

While some may take offence to this, I, like most folks in the media am turned off by web sites using numerology and pyramid fractals to understand crop circle phenomena.  For underpaid news producers, the whole matter boils down to keeping you from thumbing the remote while their network sponsors are doing their level best to get you excited about feminine hygiene, jock itch preparations and junk food.

Since I'm no longer in the cable news biz, I have the luxury of taking a higher road and following my own personal philosophy: The greatest truths in the universe are -- by and of  necessity simple.  Otherwise, they do not endure. 

The same also applies to wild-eyed conspiracy and tin-foil hat theories because at the crux of the matter there has to be a simple and straightforward truth to all of this.  And I'm not talking about brain-sucking 50's era aliens who melt like the Wicked Witch of the West and are in serious need of a good dental plan.

In the course of my personal investigations, I found to my surprise that there is as much disinformation about crop circles as there was truth, if not more.  The majority of it comes from unscientific and self-interested people like Shyamalan; "the Bad" if you will.  However, the most damaging disinformation comes from government disinformation operatives bent on distorting the public perception of crop circles with fear and doubt.  But what does disinformation look like?  In a word ugly!

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