Saturday, March 3, 2012

Crop Circles - QI and the absent Why?

Hmm... crop circles, eh? They were something I never bothered pursuing. Certainly they were curious but nothing I saw or read about them ever gave me pause. Maybe they were real, maybe they were fake - who knew? Thus I'd filed them under the category 'things about which I have no opinion'. And then QI lobbed up.

I hereby confess to being an absolute QI tragic. I've downloaded every single ep (nine seasons' worth) and have watched them all at least twice. For those who don't know, QI stands for Quite Interesting and is an English post-modernist quiz show hosted by Stephen Fry. It's post modernist insofar as: no one gives a bugger if you get the right answer; the scoring system is by way of I Ching; and the only thing that counts is being funny. With Fry at the helm, it's all very English Public school, which is to say lots of classical references to Pliny the Elder, Euclid, Linnaeus etc. and all of it interspersed with more lavatory humour than you could poke a toilet brush at. I don't know about proper intellectuals but for smutty-minded pseudo-intellectuals like yours truly it is the only show worth watching.

But adoration aside, this is the BBC we're talking about and what with QI's insane popularity there's no way it was ever going to be left alone as a mechanism for propaganda. Thankfully they keep it to a minimum but every now and then it goes into overdrive, and its Hoax episode in season eight was a perfect case in point. I'll skip their flings at Apollo loonies apart from saying that between footprints and flapping flags, and the fact that NASA lost: all the plans of Saturn V; all the telemetry records; all the astronauts' biofeedback records; as well as all the original footage, we got the f-words. I'd have thought that the absurd and otherwise impossible loss of all historical data from mankind's single greatest moment was Quite Interesting. But at Auntie's animal farm some animals are more Quite Interesting than others it seems.

But never mind, hardly surprising really. Somewhat more curious was their treatment of crop circles, or more specifically the three blokes who allegedly make them all. What with having been commissioned to make a crop circle of the QI logo they were brought in so that Stephen Fry could ask them to enlighten us all.

Fry - Can you tell me how you did yours? Without giving away too many trade secrets. What's the most technological item you need?

Bloke - We need something called a stalk stomper, which is a plank of wood and a loop of rope that you put under your foot to flatten the crop. And to actually mark out the design you use a surveyors' tape so it's very, very, kind of simple techniques and very simple tools.
That may not seem too radical but I thought the use of the words 'trade secrets' curious, particularly in light of the obviousness of the answer. But we'll let it pass and likewise the idea of 'simple techniques and simple tools'. I'll be breaking this up into several pieces and come back at it later. They go on:
Fry - So how many do you do a year, in the season?

Bloke - We don't say how many we make but we've made hundreds over the years that we've been doing it.

Fry - And do people, are there still people who believe, who refuse to believe that it's all hoaxers like you?

Bloke - Absolutely... the panel takes it sideways into inanity with Fry finally bringing it back to the topic of thanking the blokes for coming, with the audience giving them a big round of applause. Hurray.

Nowhere in amongst this was the obvious question, why? Why, do these blokes do this? What's the point? Week after week, year after year (!), these three go and spend all night crashing about in complete darkness to make an endless series of what are essentially glorified geometric doodles.

And there's Sean Lock on the panel, who's funny in spite of being a nasty piece of work, and for whom 'get a life' is never far from the tip of his tongue, and he just sits there schtum. Hmm... okay, so why don't I write his lines for him?
"Yeah, boys, you ever heard of Spirograph? Yeah? I had one when I was ten but somewhere along the line I'm not sure what happened but... I got over it. But not you blokes! You're the only guys I ever heard of who embraced it all the way through to adulthood. Have you ever thought of, I don't know... getting a life?"
But seriously though, huh?! Me, I'm speechless. As far as I'm concerned the three of them may as well have just stood up and declared, 'We don't make a lick of sense'. In Urdu! Morris dancing makes more sense than this. And you'd get laid more often. Okay so, seriously - who are these guys?

Bear with me for a second here as I take a detour with the wrong blokes. This came about by way of me missing the spokes-bloke's name during the show and instead looking it up at the episode's wikipedia entry. There, (and you can't blame me for being confused) our three chaps aren't mentioned but two others are, they being Doug Bower and Dave Chorley. So off I go to hunt down the wrong people. But, as luck would have it the legendary Doug and Dave were exactly the chaps I was looking for - I just didn't know it yet.

This is a longish piece and so I'm going to split it into several parts. Next up, Doug and Dave and another truckload of 'Huh?' And following that, don't worry - I'll be coming back to the right bloke as it were, Doug and Dave's annointed successor, one John Lundberg, next. I swear it just gets weirder.


kikz said...

wb noby :)

y, i've been mostly in your camp.. the hmmm. no real opine other than... yeuh, they look fab on the zep album :) but.. there is one that piques my interest.. i'm betting you sort it. or take a gallop at it anyway... nassim harrimein mentions it. it was supposedly an answer/reply to one we'd been sending. i'll see if i can dig up a link.... it's not a circle though, it's more of a rectangle. i'll get back to ya..

kikz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kikz said...

here's another better video..

sorry for the 3 separate posts...operating on no caffeine here :) pls forgive :)

gallier2 said...

Hi noby, nice to have you back blogging. Just to belabor again the point (you put it to bait me, didn't you?), now that I'm working in a big gouvernemental body, I have no problem to believe that the data was lost of the moon mission (and much more).

As for the crop circle, I'm waiting for your theory because I don't have really an opinion on them. I don't believe in aliens, so that explanantion falls short from the start. The trolling of some strange guys as explanation indeed begs the question of why.

Charles Edward Frith said...

Worth bearing in mind is that MI5 pays people to make patterns as a disinformation strategy. The Royals and Rockefellers keep a very close eye on the subject. It spooks them.

Charles Edward Frith said...

P2P said...

this whole interview is worth a listen, but for those of you with not the time at hand the third part has in it terence's view of crop circles and MI5. you'll like this charles, though I bet you've heard it already.

nobody said...


Charles, you're spoiling my punchline mate. And people have sent me emails doing the same things. Bloody spoilsports! Yes, you, John.

I've been pursuing trails for this bloody thing all day and it's a proper rat's nest. I've slowly nuanced my position on what comprises obvious man made circles, and other ones which I, as an ex-FX guy, consider unmakable at night. There ain't many of them though.

My position here is that I have no intention of making any definitive statement on what's going on or what it all means. It's just too messy. Instead I'm just going to wonder at certain players and their unlikelihood and see what we can glean from that.

Oh, and thanks Kikz - lovely to have you pop in. Speaking of the likes of Harrimein, Terrence McKenna has crop circles pegged as a total spook psyop.

And Gallier! Yay. As for lost - what, like the ark of the covenant in Raiders? Ha ha ha. If it's any consolation mate I'm not concrete on Apollo but I do find it tedious that the debunkers only ever seem to knock down Aunt Sallies. I still think Hellene was on to something really good with his battery power / aircon argument.

Ha, I just installed a really expensive 100 amp/hour deep cycle battery in my van and flattened it in one night using nothing more than a tiny car fridge. And that ain't nothing compared to two blokes and their climate control in +100c/-100c for three days.

But whatever, I'd go either way if I saw a killer argument.

But back to crop circles, I think 'why' will be the perpetual question.

nobody said...

P! That was spooky! Off to check it out. And Kikz's link. And Charles'.

Edo said...

Hey Nobody! Been looking forward to the next blogpost...

I think the 'why' question must be asked, or rather,

Why crop circles? Why not some nice designs on the grass in country parks? Or why not some nice marks in fresh snow? Or sand?

Personally believe all crop circle related shenanigans is spook/hoax associated, even the so called unfakable ones.

A Hellene said...

The Earth-Moon distance is about 385,000 Km from center to center. Subtracting off one moon-radius and one earth-radius, the surface-to-surface distance of those two objects becomes 375,000 Km. Given that the speed of light (which can be expressed as a radio wave of a very specific wavelength range in the electromagnetic spectrum) is not infinite, but only 300,000 Km per second (or 300e+6 m/s), it is obvious that any radio transmission from the Earth surface will need an amount of time of about 1.25 seconds (= 375,000Km / 300,000Km/s) to reach the Moon surface, since radio waves travel at the speed of light.

Alright, you will tell me, so what? Well, transmitting a 'ping' from here, it will be needed 1.25 seconds for it to reach the Moon surface and another 1.25 seconds for us to receive its echo back. So, the time needed by a transmitted 'ping' to reach the Moon surface from here and to return back to our antennas, will be 1.25 sec * 2 = 2.50 seconds!
This is the fastest reply we can have from the Moon when we send a mere ping towards it.
This is the absolute minimum time needed for us to receive the echo of a radio signal we transmit to the Moon.
This SHOULD be the absolute minimum time needed for us to receive a radio response from a transmitter located at the Moon surface, which will send us a 'pong' the very instant it will receive a 'ping' from us.

BUT what we have on record is this:
1. We transmit: “Columbia, Columbia, this is Houston, AOS, over.”
2. We wait: [1.07 second pause]
3. We receive: “Houston, Columbia…”

Well, if Columbia was really at the Moon, 300,000 Km away from us, the pause [2] above ought to be 2.5 seconds, minimum. That is 1.25 seconds for the message to go out, and 1.25 sec for it to come back, IF AND ONLY IF the astronaut replied instantly, before listening to the whole message Huston sent, forming an answer and finally transmitting it back!
Here is more on the Earth-Moon radio transmissions delay.

Once again, thank you for your most expensive lies, NASA!
And, Nobody, welcome back! :)

End of part 2 of 2

nobody said...

Hellene! Good on ya! Or as they say in Greece - Μπράβο! Another cracking argument.


If only you'd been my physics teacher in high school instead of that dull Mr. Hicks. Never mind.

As for circles and straight lines, exactly. Well, not quite. Certainly there is the nature aspect, but there's also the flipside: If my brief was to go out and make one of these things (this is me with my SFX hat jammed on my head) in a field, at night, how could I make something really tricky looking but actually be easy to make. I think I might declare this the 'what' question.

So first up will be Doug and Dave. Then Lundberg. Then the circles themselves, ie. the 'what'. There's a lot to be gleaned from commonalities amongst the various designs that we might describe as 'ease of manufacture'. Or to put it another way - if you could just zap these things into existence as UFO's are meant to be doing then why wouldn't you...

Ayah, and there I was railing at Charles for killing my punchline and here I am doing it myself.

Later Later.

And Edo! It's nice to see the old faces back. And exactly mate. In fact, why don't I add 'or concrete?'

ciao regazzi

slozo said...

Nobody . . . dude! Welcome back to writing!

I looked into crop circles way back when I was unsure about aliens and the many layered hoaxes pervading our propaganda-sphere. I had always thought there might be truth to the notion that some were by real aliens, and disinfo gov't guys were obfuscating by making fake ones, etc.

Turns out, after all my research . . . nothing came up as anything close to definitive to make it alien at all.

Just part of the future alien visit, methinks.

Anonymous said...

In one of Stephen Fry's novels Ned Madstone is grabbed by the spooks.

"Maddstone is ... pumped full of drugs and taken away to a remote lunatic asylum ... It is impressed on him by a Dr Mallo that his memories of his life as a person called Ned Maddstone are false... He begins regularly playing chess with ... Babe who was also imprisoned in this hellish place by the British Government..."

Anonymous said...

The Stars' Tennis Balls is a psychological thriller novel by Stephen Fry, first published in 2000. In the United States, the title was changed to Revenge.

- Aangirfan

wikispooks said...

Nice to have you back Nobby.

On the Moon landings thingy, those inclined to a bit of research should find this link useful. It's got more FI references than you can shake a stick at - though not, it seems, the precise radio signal timings posted by A Hellene.

PS - Sabretache persona no longer used (though Google account remains active).

A13 said...

Hi Nobs, great to be back in church again ;) those crop circle things have always been suss..i'm still not sold on the idea of some guys prancing around in a field with a board, nor the ufo stuff, i have a very weird DVD here, that some old friend gave me called "crop circles Quest for truth" which is very bent.
(made by the guy who did the "doco" Waco:rules of engagement..his last name is Gazecki so, go figure..
I had one of those spirograph things but it made me dizzy..and did something like that with nails on a board with string, i think we did that for maths at long ago now..but moving on..QI gives me the shits sometimes, .I find them pompous and up themselves..but each to their own, i'll give it a try again and watch with a different frame of mind..
Good to see you back and all the best..more coffee for A :)

kikz said...

have only seen a few epi's of QI, but love the regulars...
bill bailey :) fry :) hate i missed tennant on it.. guess i'll try to utoob it sometime and get caught up ;)

uk has such better offerings on telli... even their crap is better than most of proffered best in us....

Anonymous said...

I have been fooled about so many things, thank goodness the BBC turned me on to the fact that water wasn't wet, fire doesn't burn, masons are a charity, nobody was on the grassy knoll and crop circles are all done by a clown show. Now I know where to find the answers, the BBC. LOL

M15 is a busy bunch too, just look at all the stuff they are pulling off. I still can't figure how they are energizing the pyramid and how they built them all, especially the ones on the bottom of the ocean. the solar flares and those doctored pics that make it appear the solar system is caught up in the milky way are hard to doctor up also. My hat is off to those boys, the answers were right in front of me all along, thank goodness for the BBC.


nobody said...

Sorry boys and girls, I've been inattentive. Who did I rudely not acknowledge here? Scrolls down...

Jesus, bloody everybody. Sorry folks. I got all hellbent illustrating all the old text-only pieces that I did prior to 2009. I'm a sucker for the photo editor gig and it was all too much fun. Mind you, I did write a load of guff back in the early days and I don't know that they were worth illustrating but I slapped pix in them anyway.

But I made myself stop and since then I've nearly finished Doug and Dave but just now it occurred to me that maybe I shouldn't post anything until I've done the whole crop circle thing in it's entirety. Hmm... leave it with me. I'll have a think.

As for illustrations, here's the pick of the bunch.

Anonymous said...

Nobody being serious, if the BBC is making fun of crop circles, that is all we need to know they are legit and worrisome to somebody. In the Orwellian world of 2012 we have to know how to read the tea leaves.

There are discussions of this dating back to 1678 in the U.K. and they appear in 29 different countries as of this date anyway.

English mowing devil.

Those boys at the BBC could be that industrious but it is very doubtful. Wisconsin is a hot spot in the U.S. but they appear in many states. I had some pics at circles from the 1800s here at one time, I will have to see if I can still find them.

"Further, Y. Ohtsuki, a Japanese scientist, has been able to reproduce some of the characteristic corn-circle patterns by dropping plasma fireballs into a plate dusted with aluminum powder. Even double rings can be created around central circles in this way. So, the simple crop circles could well have reasonable explanations."

So do I know what is causing it, hell no but I am smart enough to know when something is up. It could well be standing waves emanating from the sun mentioned in the earlier link and could involve the underground mineral content of the area, the distance to the 33rd parallel and the distance to pyramid structures.

There are loads of people now on the web who are magnificent in pointing out the absurdities, political insanity and other things of the times we live in but in my opinion often overlook some of the things that may change the earth forever, that being the earth and sun itself. I do think these patters emanate from the sun. It doesn't take much imagination to realize snow flakes also have geometric patterns. Does the BBC claim to be behind this also?

We recently had the creaking groaning sounds all over the world, which in some instances on youtube were legit and then we had the hoaksters move almost immediately to begin making spoofs. The lesson seems to be just stay stupid and don't investigate anything.

The sounds to make a long story short are all involved with our earth reversing the magnetic field along with more solar emanations and the production of standing waves. In effect it all ties together.

We are entering the milky way spiral and that is what the Mayan pictographs are saying with the symbol of the snake eating it's tail.

One of my favorites to describe the goings on.

And another group that point out many relevant facts.

Anyway whatever is making these will continue to do so regardless of what I think about it but I can assure you it has very little to do with yokels from the BBC.


nobody said...

Thanks Mick,

And sorry, I did mean to say earlier that I appreciated those links. I found the sites somewhat impenetrable but still, it's all good.

As is, I'm going to continue tearing down these hoaxers for a bit - it's not like they don't deserve it - but then I'm going to tear down the other side as well. It too is not without it's... well, let's not say 'flaws', let's just say it has its own 'huh?' aspects.

But don't get too upset. On a continuum with spook-resembling sceptics at one end and UFO embracing believers at the other, I'm certainly not with the spooks. You'll find me chiming in with most of what you're saying. Anyway, it's good that you're here and I look forward to your future comments.

Back soon with Doug and Dave.

Anonymous said...

Not totally unrelated to crop circles but an indirect link. One of my favorites to what is going on.


A13 said...

Maybe these crop circle things are a practice run for bluebeam type operations scheduled for December 2012???...i have read it's the same type of technology running these themes..

slozo said...


The problem with reading the tea leaves, is that, sometimes they aren't real tea leaves. In fact, some aren't even leaves at all.

My point is, that there has been a fierce and concerted effort for the illuminati types to covertly support all the "sun worship" nonsense . . . the solar flare that will knock out power everywhere or cause the endtimes; the alien threat/influencing politics/come to save us/etc etc; the magnetic reversal of the poles; and the list goes on.

All of those could be real, but because of the way they are openly promoted through various mass media streams . . . 99% false.

Mass media streams NEVER promote truth, let's put it that way.