Crop Circles

Please NOTE that the content and photos on this page were contributed by Janet Ossebaard.
Copyright © 2005 by Janet Ossebaard. All rights reserved.
Licensed under a Creative Commons License.

What exactly is a crop circle?

A crop circle is a flattened pattern in a field of anything: wheat, grass, oilseed rape, rice, etc. The pattern can be anything as well: a circle, a ring, a combination of shapes, a complex mandala, but also sloppy scrawls. Sometimes the geometry is breathtaking, sometimes it's a mess.

The plants inside a crop circle are flattened to the ground, as if a stamp was pushed from above into the field. The plants however are not dead. They continue to grow, first horizontally over the ground and then, after several hours, they bend upwards towards the sun.

Are crop circles something new?

No. Crop circles have been appearing for at least centuries. In the Middle Ages for instance, the bishop of Lyon was summoned to the king of France in the year 800, in order to explain the weird patterns that kept appearing in the fields surrounding Lyon. People feared the work of the devil...

Another old document describes the forming of a ring in grass near Assen (in the north of the Netherlands) in August 1590. According to eyewitnesses the ring was formed by dancing, mythical, humanoid beings and it involved a swirling gust of wind. "The circle remained from the day after... till the next winter when the plough cut it out". (From Robert Plot's National History of Staffordshire, 1686).

In 1678 a crop circle article was published in Hartfordshire (England). The crop had been flattened in a way " mortal man was able to do the like". Also in this case people feared the work of the devil, as was written in the article with the appropriate title: "The Mowing Devil".

In 1686 Robert Plot's National History of Staffordshire was published, in which several pages were dedicated to the crop circle phenomenon, varying from circles and half circles to squares, hexagonals, squares surrounded by circles and circles surrounded by rings.

In other words, crop circles are not something new. Maybe they already appeared in prehistoric times and maybe that's why our ancesters built circular sacred sites.

There is something new about this phenomenon though. In the late seventies, the crop circle wave began. Both quantity and quality grew considerably...

Do crop circles only appear in grain?

No. Crop circles appear in many types of plants: wheat, barley, oil seed rape, mustard plants, maize/corn, and even in snow and ice.

oil seed rape



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Janet Ossebaard is a professional crop circle scientist and researcher that co-produced three video documentaries with Bert Jansess. In 1996 "Crop Circles, What On Earth Is Going On?" appeared. In 1998 "Crop Circles, The Research" (with an update in 2000), and in 2001 "Contact" was launched, which won an EBE-Award as best ufo-related video documentary during the conference and film festival at Laughlin, Nevada (USA).

She also participated in the production of "The Silbury Hole Enigma" (2001), another video documentary of Bert Janssen. In the summer of 2002, she participated in a research project set up by the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands), examining newly formed crop formations by means of infra-red thermography. In the same year, she won the Frontier Award - together with fellow researcher Bert Janssen - for her work in the frontier sciences in the Netherlands. In 2004 she was nominated once again for this award. Furthermore she is an active member of the DCCCS (Dutch Centre for Crop Circle Studies).

For more information about Janet Ossebaard and her work, please visit her homepage Janet Ossebaard or by clicking the banner below.

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