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Behind the Scenes Look at UK Crop Circle Researchers with Producer William Gazecki

YOWUSA.COM, 11-October-03
Marshall Masters


Bob Gates, Educator

Bob GatesThere is a very revealing scene in the program where researcher Michael Miley is driving to a formation with guests, and one of his back seat guests is artist, Bob Bates who expresses some wonderful and enlightening views of the phenomenon.

In the video, these two express ideas about the crop circle makers and their intentions and abilities.  Yet, when these same researchers are standing in a formation, we see a completely different focus.  They quit wondering and start measuring.  It is an odd duality, in that there does not seem to be an intellectual connection between the two.  It is as though one minute they are looking at the forest and in the next, looking at the trees in a rigidly compartmentalized manner.

Nancy Talbott, BLT Research Team, Inc.

Nancy TalbottThe interviews with Nancy were fascinating because of her technical depth.  One cannot also help but notice her chain-smoking habit, arcane filing system, plain dress and lack of makeup.  She reminds one of a scientist so drawn up in her work that she has become oblivious to the more mundane and vain aspects of life.

Another interesting aspect to this is that her 2003 book, Crop Circles: Signs and Science (Simon & Schuster ASIN: 0743462696) was first published in January 2003 and that according to Amazon, the title is already out of print.

The sense one gets of Nancy Talbott is that there is a reclusive side to her nature, as though she is reticent about sharing her findings on an ongoing basis until she feels that she has finally amassed the body of evidence needed for a definitive body of work on the phenomenon.

Bert Janssen, Author & Producer

Bert JanssenWhen it comes to the issue of who or what is creating crop circles, Janssen comes across like the quintessential cocktail part skeptic spewing entertaining by half-jelled notions.  He begins in the video by saying he first believed that all crop circles were made by hoaxers.  Then he begrudgingly admits that this is not so, but in the same breath, denies the possibility that they are made by aliens.  He then seems to postulate in an illogical and fragmented manner is the notion that crop circles are somehow created by human thought. What is clear about this man, is that he is more mainstream in that he is obviously conflicted and in denial with the whole phenomena at deep personal level, while being drawn to it at the same time.

Exclusive Interview with
Producer William Gazecki

Marshall Masters posed the following questions to William Gazecki via E-mail, and his answers offer a truly unique behind-the-scenes perspective.

YOWUSA: The feedback that YOWUSA has received from members of noteworthy crop circle research groups outside of England is that the English researchers are rather tight-lipped about the data they collect. Furthermore, they often complain that the English researchers often ignore their requests for additional information on critical formations.

WILLIAM GAZECKI: I'm not so sure the English researchers collect that much actual hard, scientific data.  They definitely have an edge over many in terms of access. And in that, there is certainly an abundance of experiential data.  So yes, there is data, but I think it varies in character and content.  In my experience, the amount of scientifically valid and usable "hard data" collected by the English researchers is certainly not what it could be with a bona fide, academically oriented and appropriately funded research program.  I have heard each of them express a similar sentiment, consistently.  Everyone I have met, including the usual suspects like Colin Andrews, Lucy Pringle, Paul Vigay, Michael Glickman, Charlie Mallett, Busty Taylor, Nick Kollerstrom, etc. have each expressed that there should be far more legitimate investment into crop circle research.  These people do their best in the sort of research and analysis they each excel at.  Certainly, their effort and commitment are most exemplary.  But their methods are not necessarily consistent, nor wholly scientific.  The entire field is experimental, and by its very nature includes more than physical phenomenon only.  As such, there is a degree of reliance on creativity, opinion and intuition.  None of these researchers has the time, or the money to really do the kind of research that could be done.  Rather than being "tight-lipped", I suspect many of them just don't have the energy or the resources to archive, document and appropriately present what they have accomplished (other than the occasional conference lecture, etc.).  Certain exceptions are in the fine books that have been published by, for example, Andy Thomas, Freddie Silva, Lucy Pringle, Colin Andrews and Michael Glickman.  These publications are wonderful to read, and very informative.  But I would hesitate to call any of these books purely scientific.

YOWUSA: Did you sense a cliquish or clannish sense of ownership amongst some or all English crop circle researchers, wherein they tend to view the phenomena as something that ‘belongs' to them as opposed to the rest of the world.

WILLIAM GAZECKI: I do think there is a degree of cliquishness among the English researchers.  But then again, there is a sense of cliquishness among the English in general. It is a cultural trait that need not be too harshly criticized.  I have found the English researchers in general to be most forthcoming, assuming their material would not be plagiarized.  Plagiarism is a relevant issue in any research, and crop circles is no exception.  Also, there is a substantial degree of in-fighting in the U.K. crop circle scene. As such, I would not be too quick to generalize about them as a cohesive unit or group of any kind.  Clearly, they are all on their own path, as we all are. I also think there is a certain amount of pride among the British -- that their countryside is home to the world's most elaborate and sophisticated formations.  This pride could be interpreted as something else, like cliquishness.

YOWUSA: After watching your program, one cannot help but ask the question: How many of these researchers cannot see the forest for the trees?

In other words, many of them seem preoccupied with one specific aspect of the phenomenon to avoid the larger human issues vis-à-vis a myopic specialization.  Is this a fair assessment?  If not, why?

WILLIAM GAZECKI: I do not think it is a fair assessment. It is a fair observation, though. Much of what you are referring to is driven by perception.  One thing I have found about crop circles is that as a research topic it seems to greatly engender specialization.  I am not certain why that is, exactly, but it does seem to be a consistent pattern. Having an informed overview of the crop circle phenomenon, with an objective and comprehensive perspective and sophisticated data set, is quite uncommon.  Involvement with the phenomenon seems to encourage a certain sort of personal journey.  I think there are many reasons for this that is not simply the result of some sort of narcissistic myopia.

YOWUSA: Keeping in mind all of the crop circle researchers you interviewed during the filming of your program, who would you believe without reservation, were they to say, "This formation is genuine.  It was not made by man" and why?

WILLIAM GAZECKI: That is and has always been the "trick question."  So far, there is no completely reliable "litmus test" with which to judge the authenticity of a formation.  Certainly, from the biological end of things, the possibilities are stronger than from a purely empirical point of view.  In my opinion, the argument about "man-made versus authentic" is overvalued.  In considering the total number of formations worldwide, and the degree of beauty and sophistication of construction, I think it just as wise to use one's "gut" as it is to try to formulate a third-party system of some sort for verification.  The entire phenomenon seems to encourage and support the value of the individual, and the marginal importance of the institution.

The people whose opinions I would tend to rely upon the most (and who know better by now than to get into these sorts of arguments), are the ones who are actually in the formations the most, and in particular the ones who are in them the earliest.

YOWUSA: Overall, what did you find to be the most interesting aspects of English crop circle researchers in terms of their personal beliefs, education and professional background?

WILLIAM GAZECKI: I have tremendous respect for the English researchers.  Their commitment and dedication deserve acknowledgement .  In general, I have found them to be a well-educated group with decent capabilities and overall good intentions.  I think the crop circle phenomenon has a tendency to catalyze one's self.  Strengths can become accentuated, as can weaknesses. Feelings, perceptions and one's sense of relationship to the greater whole of life are all heightened.  As are one's sense of internal risk in allowing a subject with such a depth of "the unknown" to fully associate with one's psyche.  It does take a certain personal risk to embrace crop circle research.  The combination of these various elements, on an intra- as well as inter-personal level, can make for some charged interpersonal conditions.  The entire crop circle "scene" is like a microcosm of human social interaction.

YOWUSA: While sitting in the post-production editing room as you assembled your finished work, which scenes, issues or people did you miss in hindsight?

WILLIAM GAZECKI: Such a question makes me laugh! There are millions of things I wished I'd had available in the editing room.  Michael Glickman's best geometric analyses, for one.  And I never met or had the chance to record Freddy Silva, which I greatly regret.  The best material on crop circles I have ever encountered happens spontaneously when researchers come together and compare notes.  To try to capture some of those moments was the original intent of the film.

On the flip side, "Crop Circles: Quest for Truth" captures a group of people who will forever be the initial core group of crop circle researchers. I felt that that they are, and my respect for their involvement, is as relevant to what the movie is as the research data.

YOWUSA: Compared with newer crop circle programs, your production misses the newest formations that have occurred since then.  With this in mind, if someone is just now becoming interested in crop circles, what would they get out of your program that they would not see in newer productions? 

WILLIAM GAZECKI: If you want some idea of what the crop circle phenomenon is about, "Crop Circles: Quest for Truth" is the best overview available.  Many of the aerial shots of formations prior to the early 1990's have never before been seen.  The people who appear are a sort of "family," and in that, they are a unique group whose intimacy with the phenomenon is unequalled.  An historical perspective is important to understand the evolution of the phenomenon. The "what's the latest design" approach is really only one very small aspect of what there is to study.  Yes, each year the designs develop.  That in itself is entertaining.  But the symbolic development does not necessarily equate to anything new or significant in terms of advancing one's research.  Crop circles offer the most delightful of enigmas. The usual objectives in research, the "who, what, where, when, and why" of them tactfully and elegantly evade everyone.  And therein is the core of crop circle research.  In the midst of beauty, wonder and awe is a chasm of the unknown and the unpredictable. Early in one's involvement, the temptation is to demonstrate one's intelligence by formulating some sort of reasonable hypothesis as to how the formations are made, or why, or by whom. Such attempts have so far remained somewhat futile.  Crop circles are a titillating temptation to exercise one's intellect, insight and deductive powers.  The fact is that all of it has managed to remain a mystery.  Huge physical manifestations in plain public view, for years on end, that no one can fully define or decipher.  Now that is clever.

Only the Intellectually Brave Need Apply

After you finish watching the video, you'll sense the trepidation, awe, fascination and disbelief of the very people who have devoted so much of their energy and time into the research of crop circles in England.

Like the formations that mysteriously appear in the fields, no two researchers are alike.  However, where they differ is that while you never see an incomplete crop circle, you do see complete intellectual denial of this phenomenon in all parts of the world.  Hence, only the intellectually brave need to apply themselves to the study of crop circles.

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