I’m long in the tooth enough to have lived through several ends-of-the-world that weren’t, so eyelids were scarce batted when Report A Crop Circle Formation’s predicted ‘2015 Armageddon?’ did not come to pass.
RACCF’s banner image* is both hilarious and confounding, a collection of straw-men the likes of which have not been seen since the legendary Wiltshire Farmers’ Scarecrow Convention of 1989.
Let’s start with their “every truth” hyperbole, and note that ‘truth’ is one of RACCF’s favourite words. By any logical analysis this is flat-out incorrect. ‘Truth’ is entirely relative, and throughout human history there have been many commonly accepted ‘truths’ that were never “violently opposed”. This statement is an intellectual nonsense.
Next, we get to their analysis of 2014 – regular readers of my blog, and other “counter to RACCF” news pages, will know that every line of this is baloney.
What ‘truth’ – that word again! – has been hidden? Since the 1980s there has been a tremendous amount of investigation into and public exposure of circle making – not only via rent-a-rant Matthew Williams and the circlemakers.org gentlemen, but by crop circle researchers. To name but some – Jenny Randles, Paul Fuller, Ian Mrzyglod, Ken Brown, George Wingfield, Rob Irving, Jim Schnabel, John Macnish, Terence Meaden, Jurgen Kronig, Peter Rendall, Peter Sorensen, Terry Brown, Freddy Silva, Simeon Hein… I have little doubt that most of these names – let alone their work – are unheard of to RACCF.
Have circle makers been ignored? If RACCF’s feed is anything to go by, the buggers couldn’t shut up even if they tried, and silence should of course be the creed of any circle maker worth their salt in the first place. I’m reminded of ‘goatboy’ from The Crop Circle Connector Forum’s summation of the role of the circle maker (which I have also seen attributed to Rob Irving) as “Enter field. Make circle. Leave field. Shut the fuck up”. If anything circle makers should be ignored if they want their circles to be taken seriously, to stand and be considered on their own merits. If they don’t like this, and want artistic acclaim, they shouldn’t make circles. Simples.
As for “start selling tickets”, “farmers cut out circles”, and “act like not your fault [sic.]”, I shan’t go over these points again here as they have all been dealt with previously on this blog and I don’t wish to needlessly repeat myself. Instead I refer you to the articles Farmers, Lies and Videotape, The Boycott That Still Never Was, and “Sadly It Has Come To This”, amongst others.
Andrew Pyrka likes to imagine himself a shepherd of men, a table-turning messiah come to spread the ‘truth’ amongst the ignorant. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him – or any of his RACCF brethren – that anybody could possibly have ever considered crop circles to be man-made in the past, despite more than 20 years of extensive investigation into and documentation of this aspect of the subject before he bumbled onto the scene. His ignorance of the subject and its history is sometimes breathtaking. Oh how we laughed when for example he discussed the ‘malting stage’ of barley. Oh how we laughed when he accused for example Rob Irving (yes, the same Rob Irving who has publicly espoused a human origin since 1992, producing countless articles, two books, and numerous TV appearances) of distorting evidence in order to deceive others into believing a non-human origin of crop circles. Oh how we laughed again and again.
Like most messianic wannabes, Mr Pyrka’s world-view is depressingly black and white. In his mind, either one knows the ‘truth’ that all crop circles are made by human artists, or one believes that all crop circles are made by aliens. In reality, of course, different people believe a great many diverse things, and even those who entertain the view that some crop circles may have a non-human origin hold a wide and arrayed range of opinions as to the essence of that source. Only for a few is it aliens.
Let the people consider Exhibit # 1, the massively magnified to the point of blurring photographs of bits of field and hedge and tree-line, in which Mr Pyrka’s pareidoliac eyes see ‘aliens’. If we couldn’t see them too we were simply wrong. Here are some examples. Mr Pyrka claims to have never digitally manipulated his images. I don’t believe him.
Let the people consider Exhibit #2, the blog Andrew Pyrka Watch, which documents more examples of Mr Pyrka’s chicanery than I have the time, space, or enthusiasm for here.
Let the people consider Exhibit #3, #4, #5, and #6, Mr Pyrka’s own website and Facebook pages, Crop Circle Wisdom (a great deal of which has been doctored or deleted over the years though thanks to The Way Back Machine we can still read it as originally written), Report A Crop Circle Formation, the Crop Circle Wisdom Facebook page, and Crop Circles The People The Mystery The Truth (note that Mr Pyrka denies any association with this latter page. Note also that that its unique, ungainly, pidgin grammatical style is identical to those of himself and his RACCF colleague and close associate Sue Davies).
Let the people consider Exhibit # 7, Report A Crop Circle Formation Exposed, which, like Pyrka Watch, has done a great deal of work in uncovering Mr Pyrka’s and RACCF’s sleight-of-fact.
Let the people assess all the above evidence, and make up their own minds as to the ‘truth’, and as to whether Mr Pyrka is indeed the chosen one or merely a deluded Cheltenham taxi driver.
I’ve touched in other posts on the subject of control, which in my opinion is the real underlying message here. RACCF’s relentless silencing of any dissenting view via post-deletion and banning on their pages. The persecution of Monique Klinkenbergh, Steve Alexander, and Silent Circle, all of whom provide information and commentary on the circles which runs counter to RACCF. The inane ‘Wiltshire Boycott’ and the seamy ‘Wellygate’. The vile personal attacks on the above individuals, and against Suzanne Taylor, Michael Glickman, Francine Blake, Gary King, Terry Hall, and numerous others, simply because they happen to hold differing opinions on the subject of crop circles, all the while championing themselves as the only source of ‘truth’. They want total control of the subject. They want theirs to be the only views you hear. They want to be the one and only source of information for new circles, for commentary on those circles, and to know (and to have the right to sometimes hint at) the authorship of all circles. If they can’t have that, if they can’t shape the crop circle phenomenon into a product of their own management and guidance, they want to destroy it.
If there is to be an Armageddon, it is one of these chumps’ own making.
(Posted on CCPMT, October 2014)
*Note that in between the first draft of this article and my finalising and posting it, RACCF changed their banner image – here is the current version.
Money, money, money. Regular readers of RACCF, CCPMT and their ilk will know the stance these pages take on this aspect of the crop circle subject, though it’s less a stance and more an obsession. To them, croppiedom is brimming with sinister shysters who are only in it for the dosh, who will lie and distort to fleece you of every penny. Steve Alexander, flying and photographing circles, producing photo-books and running conferences? He’s only doing it to make money. Monique Klinkenbergh and her Crop Circle Access scheme? Your Wallet Access scheme, more like. Charles Mallett and Silent Circle? He’s just after your hard-earned, too. Circlemakers.org? The greatest sinners of all; they make crop circles for profit!
Part of the problem here is that RAPMT (as I will now collectively call them) cannot comprehend that others view the subject differently to them, and find it difficult to understand why people would want anything to do with it if there wasn’t a profit motive. Therefore it can only be the case that these people are hiding the truth from you in order to rob you blind. This says a lot more about RAPMT than it does about those it criticises. Whether it was RAPMT’s intention to profit from the subject themselves at one point or another in the past is also worth bearing in mind, though not the subject of this article.
Let’s look at this calmly, taking each of the criticised individuals named above in turn.
Steve Alexander does what he does because he loves crop circles and wants to document them. He has a passion for the subject, and wants to share that passion with others. Why does he use helicopters and not drones or microlights? Because the quality of the images acquired is far superior to images obtained using the latter. He’s a very skilled photographer who knows what he’s doing. And with all respect to the drone flyers (or droners, as I sometimes like to call them), Steve’s photos are far better than yours. Do the yearbooks and conferences make money? Perhaps a little, once all the costs are taken into account, not to mention the expenditure of time, but I’d imagine any profit goes into funding helicopter hire, which is far from cheap.
Regular readers of my posts will know that Monique Klinkenbergh has been criticised in some quarters since the very inception of her Crop Circle Access Pass scheme, which has degenerated to the level of bullying and harassment on the part of RAPMT. So why does she do it? Monique’s intentions are right, in my opinion. The situation in Wiltshire was a dire mess, with angry farmers cutting circles as soon as they appeared or were reported. Monique was not the reason circles were being cut. I’ve also covered this before. But to RAPMT, it’s always somebody else’s fault. Blame Monique. Blame Steve Alexander. Blame Team K Hole. Blame Charles Mallett. No. Blame yourself. Take some responsibility for once.
I applaud Monique’s efforts at building bridges with farmers. The Access Scheme, however, is unworkable in practice and doomed to fail in my opinion. Is she doing it for the money? No, she’s doing it because the situation in Wiltshire is in dire straits and somebody needs to save it. Does she make any money? I’d expect that once you take out her time and expenses any profit is non-existent. In fact I’d be very surprised if the access scheme hasn’t cost her far more personally than she’s made or is likely to make.
Charles Mallett and Silent Circle? Money-making scam? In what universe has that ever been remotely true? With apologies to Mr Mallett, let’s look at the Silent Circle’s history. Those of us who’ve been on the scene a long time remember when the Silent Circle began as a cafe along the side of the A4. We remember its constant closing, reopening, relocating from venue to venue. How could it ever be a profitable venture? Its target clientèle are only around for a few months of the year, and there aren’t exactly a great deal of them. It always functioned more as an information service and ‘drop-in centre’ anyway. Does anybody honestly imagine selling cups of tea and slices of cake and the occasional book or postcard could be a profit-making business? Try taking that one on Dragon’s Den; you’d be laughed out of the building. And each year Silent Circle got smaller, from dedicated venue to pub room to Yatesbury Village Hall to Barge Inn portacabin to Yatesbury Airfield. It wouldn’t surprise me if this year Charles is running it out of a deckchair in his front garden. So why do it? Because Charles is fascinated with crop circles. An information centre showing locations and images of the season’s circles is something Wiltshire has had for two decades, and a good thing for visitors, not all of whom check the internet every five minutes for the latest circular arrivals. Silent Circle and Monique, along with the Henge Shop in Avebury, are the only people currently providing this. Note also that Charles is often very critical of UK crop circles, especially those in Wiltshire, dismissing them as man-made. He’d hardly say that if he was trying to make money from the gullible, would he?
Circlemakers.org? These guys have been making circles commercially since the 1990s. And what of it? Anybody could have done what they’ve done. Anybody can present themselves as a commercial circle maker for hire. If you have the skill. That’s the thing. These gentlemen have formidable circle making ability. It’s too easy to sit on the sidelines grumbling, rather like musicians whose band never got anywhere while a similarly styled outfit had great success. If you can do it, do it. If you can’t, shut up.
Having written all that, I can’t help but feel a resounding “so what?”
Two reasons – first off, if someone makes a profit from the subject, good luck to them. There are many others who have done so, past and present, who I notice are not the subject of RAPMT’s ire. Colin Andrews, for example, oft boasts of how many copies Circular Evidence sold, which no doubt netted him a decent sum. The Crop Circle Connector charge a fee to access their archives, sell DVDs, and are one of the most advert-heavy websites I’ve ever visited. That’s how things go. Some farmers have profited from circles on their land, too, and nobody has a quibble with that. I especially applaud those farmers who donate profits recieved from circles visitors to charitable causes.
Second reason – this is crop circles we’re talking about. A rather minor interest subject, with far fewer dedicated followers than most and certainly compared to 20 or 25 years ago. There simply isn’t a large enough audience there for somebody to make stacks of wonga.
“The circle makers aren’t making any money”, Matt Williams has previously carped (with the exception of the .org chaps, of course). Well why the hell should they? What they do is illegal. They choose to do it, for their own reasons, and once they leave the field at the end of a night’s work that circle doesn’t belong to them any more. It’s out in the world, for all to see and visit and do as they wish with and have their own opinions on. “It’s yours because it’s free”, the Diggers famously said. And that is how it should be with crop circles.
So there you go. Money doesn’t come in to it, except in the case of a handful of individuals who are obsessed with the subject. More to the point, are disgruntled that they never made any. Whether they lacked the ideas, or the nous, or the skills, it never happened. And that makes them bitter. They see profit everywhere. Especially where there isn’t any.
I’ve been meaning to put up a post covering last season’s events on the bafflingly-named Crop Circles: The People, The Mystery, The Truth page for a while, but other things have intervened. Why ‘bafflingly-named’? By “people”, they mean “the half-a-dozen people we don’t like”. I don’t know what “mystery” has to do with anything, since the page admins seem to have convinced themselves they know the minutiae of everything circles-related, so by that definition there cannot be any “mystery”. By truth, they mean “ill-informed personal opinions, bigotry, re-posts from RACCF and whatever Matt Williams has pulled out from between his butt-cheeks this week”. Let’s have a look at what they have to say.
I’m not sure why CCPMT are so happy that Matt Williams has announced that all photographs marked Copyright Crop Circle Connector these days are taken by him, since it has severed the last threadbare strand of credibility the Connector still had as a cereological research body. Matt knows this, and seems content to let his friends fall on their sword – why else would the images be captioned with Connector copyright if not to obscure the fact that Matt took them and therefore knew about the circles before anybody else did?
Oddly, Matt has stated in the past that his images are free for anybody to use, so how can there be “large scale photo theft” taking place? He didn’t specify “they’re free to use, unless your name is x, y, or z”. The “Alexander… Database website” referred to here is www.cropcirclesdatabase.com, and despite RACCF/CCPMT’s allegations, I have yet to see any evidence that this site is run by Steve Alexander. Neither have RACCF/CCPMT, but they prefer to let their prejudice against Alexander make up their minds for them. Williams also seems confused as to exactly what “image theft” entails – all photos on said Database site are credited, with a URL to the site of their origin. Reproducing them without permission constitutes a breach of copyright, but is hardly “image theft”.
Personally, I consider the Crop Circles Database site an excellent and valuable research resource, whatever its legality or otherwise. Their images are taken not just from the Connector but from a number of other websites, including Steve Alexander’s Temporary Temples. Of all these websites, the Crop Circle Connector is the only one that charges a fee to access their archive.
While we’re on the subject of the Crop Circle Connector, what do Messrs Gibsone, Fussell, and Dike do, exactly, other than administer the page? They don’t take the photographs, they don’t draw the diagrams, they don’t write any of the reports or commentaries. All of this is given to them gratis by others, then disappears into the vaults and can only be viewed if you pay. Why do RACCF/CCPMT have no problem with this, when they are so vehemently critical of anybody else charging money for any aspect of the crop circle subject? Extraordinary, and extraordinarily hypocritical.
The majority of CCPMT’s posts are regurgitations from RACCF, despite their claim that the pages have no affiliation whatsoever (a claim that is utter hogwash, as anybody who studies both pages closely can easily deduce). This example is pitiful, and shows how slight is their grasp of the crop circle subject.Sure, circle 2 pictured here is a bit of a cock-up and looks incomplete. Circle 1 is fine if a little askew (many formations, including those acclaimed by RACCF on account of being made by their mates, are askew to one degree or another). Circle 3 is one of the finest of the 2015 season and a very long way from being “an absolute mess” (see my June 27 2015 post A Rose By Any Other Name for a more detailed look at this formation). Every week, month, year, the quality of crop circles varies. Your point is what, exactly? “Created by a bunch of amateurs”? Every circle maker, including your fabled “master”, is amateur. The only individuals who could be considered professional circlemakers are the .org guys, who you despise for reasons I’ve yet to fully fathom.
I’ve previously written an entire post addressing the allegation of Steve Alexander commissioning circles. Nothing has been “proved.. before”. No, “Stevie hasn’t been a naughty boy”. “Yet again hes [sic.] been caught out”? What were the other times, pray tell? Williams is not “100% correct”. He is “100% conjecturing”.
Not content to accuse Steve Alexander of commissioning circles – which is Bollocks with a capital B – it appears that other “business’s [sic.] in the Avebury area” are also now colluding in illegal activity for profit! If this is the case, CCPMT, your duty should surely be to take all the evidence you have gathered to the police. You do have evidence, don’t you? Thought not. You also have no proof whatsoever, despite “good suspicion” (i.e. guesswork), “that the owner of Silent Circle and others in the area and his shady friends are making crop circles to prop up their business’s [sic.]”. It’s a lie. If you have any proof, show it. You can’t, because you made it up. I know the circle pictured above had no connection whatsoever with Silent Circle or any other “business’s” because I know who made it. Do you? No, you don’t. You’re just talking cobblers.
Of course, everything Matty says about this squalid event is “all very true” and Gary is “a liar” and we should not believe “a word [he is] saying”. Thing is, for the most part their accounts of the event concur. Does that mean they cancel each other out,or connect and explode like matter meeting antimatter? Do tell!
Isn’t it uncanny how everything that was crummy about last year’s otherwise fine and business-as-usual crop circle season is gleefully proclaimed on this page and on RACCF? I do wonder why these people even remain on the croppie scene. They clearly feel no joy at a subject that has enriched and transformed the lives of a great many people.Their smug and bitter jottings exist only to mock. All who do not share their beliefs are considered fair game. Their only pleasure is in the superiority they feel over others. I sincerely wish they would just fuck off into the ether, and leave the rest of us to peacefully enjoy the circles in whichever way we choose to participate, be it researcher, observer, croppie, maker. Because despite everything there is still a great deal of wonder to be found, provided one puts in the effort, knows where to look, and trains one’s senses to shut out the fucktards shouting one down.
Sometimes when writing these posts, I feel like something of a lone voice in the wilderness. I know there are many others who share the same views about the current sorry state of the crop circle scene and those responsible for its downfall, but most seem afraid to speak out. Considering the dogged playground bullying inflicted on for example Steve Alexander, Monique Klinkenbergh, or Charles Mallett, to name but a few, this is perhaps unsurprising. I was therefore very heartened to read the following from Edwin van Mossel, which was posted on my Facebook page today. I do have Edwin’s permission to reproduce it here.
“Really enjoyed the counter texts from ‘Miles Challet’ towards the blatant lies and permanent bullying on the RACCF fb page. It completely amazes me that many people still believe what is written there, just like the complete nonsens written on the fb account of the CCCorrupter. They are the ones – together with some old school ‘researchers’ with a to big of ego and need for money to go with that – who are so very responsible for the fact that farmers started mowing out the crop circles. And them only. But they keep on twisting and distorting the truth. Something which would seem very obvious for those who look a bit closer at the mechanisms in the scene. Dominated by a bunch of evil and greedy nutters. Incredible. Probably this post will evoke – again – a ‘punitive expedition’ towards people who do not think like these social fascists…which will only show again how truly mentally sick they are. And I am not joking about this. I’ve spoken to and in writing interacted with these guys. Concerning two (in)famous men, one can only draw the conclusion that a serious mental illness is the only conclusive outcome. This sickness is clearly to be shown in their writings and/or behavior. Non of them ever took up contact directly with Monique about the why’s of her schedule, etc. Never ever. Which is understandable in that fashion alike, because they would have to change the content of their ‘criticism’ and rants and such. Because such a conversation would prove them completely wrong in all their insults and assumptions brought as ‘facts’ for the past 4 years. And that is not what they want to hear: they only want to hear their own truth – never mind how ridiculously wrong they are in a permanent matter concerning their outings. Together with that a combination of a very consciously orchestrated smeer campaign between RACCF, the CCC and some distorted minds who work together with them. Like I’ve said before in this reaction: truly sick in the head. And it will not get any different this coming year. They’ve completely destroyed the joy and wonder in cc land themselves, still pointing towards other people who are trying to do just the opposite. And blame them for whatever. Aside from the insanity it is also quite ridiculous. Like: hugely ridiculous.”
Thank you, Edwin.
Truth be told, I spend very little time on social media outside of crop circle season. I value my privacy too much, and have plenty of other things in my life. Now the UK season is underway, you can expect more articles from me. The first will be posted shortly. It was actually written late last season, and I intended to post it then, but… see point above about “plenty of other things”. Further posts will follow very shortly, now that the circus is back in town. Let the mayhem commence!
I’ve always been a great admirer of Steve Alexander. Although we’ve only met a couple of times, I’ve much respected his work – he is undoubtedly the best crop circle photographer out there – and, as regular readers will know, I’ve defended him on this blog a couple of times in the past against all manner of slanderous bile from the usual croppie window-lickers. I still stand by all I’ve said in the past in his favour. I was therefore rather dismayed to see a copy of an old Crop Circle Yearbook on sale on the Temporary Temples website and Facebook page for £150.
£150? For a yearbook? Steve,are you having a fucking laugh? You may consider this a ‘scarce collector’s item’, but what on earth makes you think it worth anything like that? I possess copies of most of the yearbooks myself, and recently filled some gaps in my collection via eBay for the princely sum of a couple of quid each. And as this photo below which I took a couple of days ago shows, most of them (albeit not the edition pictured above) are still available for purchase at the Henge Shop in Avebury.
Steve, much as I respect you and much as I’ll defend you again from bullshit allegations, stunts like this really don’t do you any favours. And you wonder why people think you’re only in it for the money?