2011 - the Evolution of Crop Circles

  Over the years crop circles have gone through different evolutions. The simple circles became circles with pathways and boxes and then they took a quantum leap towards very complex mandala like shapes. Although there is a strong belief that the shapes are becoming more complex every year, in reality they have not gained any new intricacy for at least the last decade. That is until now. It looks like the phenomenon has taken the next step. Starting with a relative ‘simple’ design based on a totally new concept.

Every now and then people send me photos of rice paddies containing art. Already since the early nineties this kind of art, called tanbo, has been constructed in a paddy just outside Inakadate, Aomori, Japan.

It reminds me a lot of the work of Julian Beever, the English chalk artist who has been creating chalk drawings on pavements since the mid-1990s. He uses a projection technique called anamorphosis to create the illusion of three dimensions when viewed from the correct angle. It is often possible to position a person within the image as if they were interacting with the scene.

Both art forms have one thing in common. You have to look at it from a certain angle to fully appreciate the image, to see it 100% ‘correct’. Any other angle would generate a skewed image.

In 2011 there were some issues with taking photos while flying over the crop circles. This had to do with licenses. Many photographers were grounded because of this.
During that time I wrote an email to a friend scientist in Holland telling him that all the problems with the flying would be solved if crop circles would start to appear that only would make sense if you look at them from a certain angle. A hill for example. Very much like the rice paddy art and the chalk art. This would eliminate the necessity of flying. It would take it even further. An aerial photo would give an undesirable skewed image!
Only three days after I had sent the email, on 6 August 2011, a crop circle was discovered at the foot of Morgan’s Hill, near Bishops Cannings, UK.
2011 Morgan's Hill crop circle

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. In the field was exactly what I had described to my friend. There was only one line of vision under which you could see the crop circle in its full glory. The crop circle could only be seen ‘correctly’ from one angle! You had to look straight at it, and you had to look at a certain angle down at it. Fascinating!

front view (incorrect angle)

correct angle

top view (incorrect angle)

from the left


from the right

But there was more. The Morgan’s Hill formation was placed in the field under exactly the correct angle to the hill. From the top of the hill you looked straight at the crop circle.

Unfortunately the hill was not high enough and was too far away to make the ‘one line of vision’ effect happen to its full extent. Although you still had to fly to see the whole picture for this formation, can it be that this new step in crop circles will reflect itself in the days and years to come?

Are we looking at the next step in the evolution of the crop circles? Will we see more and more crop circles that meet all conditions? Crop circles that can only been seen ‘correctly’ from a hilltop? Will flying become obsolete in crop circle research? The future will tell, but for me it is an fascinating idea, and I wouldn’t mind to take flying off my list of ‘things to do’.

© Bert Janssen, 2011.