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NHNE News Update:
Crop Circular Responds to NBC Special
Monday, April 6, 1998


Hello Everyone,

An NHNE News Update last week (4/5/98) contained information about an upcoming television expose' on crop circles that NBC is planning to air in May ( Tentatively called, "Unmasked -- Revealing the Secrets of Deception," the NBC special will be showcasing the tools and talents of a group of well-known English crop circle makers who claim responsibility for many of England's most famous crop circles. Last week's update also included comments from the supposed "circlemakers" themselves.

This week, we've got a rebuttal and call to arms that is presently posted on "The Crop Circular," a popular websites for crop circle news, research and art. The Crop Circular article is followed by a story that appeared in the March 9th edition of THE SOUTHLAND TIMES, a New Zealand newspaper that reported on the filming. While the Crop Circular's primary request for fair and balanced treatment of the crop circle controversy is admirable, it is important to note that some of the information originally reported in THE SOUTHLAND TIMES is misconstrued and/or editorialized in the Crop Circular article.

Although we do not have enough information to draw any conclusions about this newest crop circle episode, we will do our best to keep all of you informed of the unfolding story...

With Love & Best Wishes,
David Sunfellow

P.S. The FRONTLINE Special on Jesus begins tonight on most PBS stations and today is the day that NASA's Mars Global Surveyor is scheduled to begin photographing the Face on Mars area.


The Crop Circular:
(The website also contains crop circle photographs)


As the 1998 crop circles season begins, the detractors of the phenomenon are at it once again. And this year they come better prepared and better financed than ever before.

As with the Doug and Dave episode -- which made two elderly pub chums responsible for the entire crop circles phenomenon in 1991 -- this time it's the turn of Californian television company TRI-CROWN PRODUCTIONS to sponsor events.

The American company flew known hoaxer Rod Dickinson to New Zealand's South Island, along with two accomplices, to create a large design on farmland well away from the objective eyes of seasoned researchers, in what can only be seen as yet another attempt by the media and their backers to discredit the research community, and further dupe the public into accepting a human hand as responsible for the 10,000 or so crop circles worldwide.

The event, along with other man-made efforts, will be broadcast during May by NBC, possibly under the title "Unmasked: The Secrets of Deception". It will then be shown around the world.

According to the hoaxers, "We were asked to design a complex crop formation that could be made at night in under four hours. The formation we designed had over 100 flattened circles and a diameter of 300ft, putting it on a par with some of the most complex formations to appear in the fields of England over the past few years."


That the formation made by Dickinson and Co. is an excellent, if imperfect, work of art is acknowledged by myself, and I'm sure by many other researchers in this field (despite the inaccurate representation of a Mandelbrot Set in the centre). Despite many poor hoaxes each year this one is by far the best man-made effort to date.

But as always the problem for hoaxers is that not one of their attempts has ever passed any tests of authenticity, most of which were standardized by 1989, long before man-made formations were in vogue. In fact, much of the hard, uncontaminated evidence was collected prior to that time when even the media were rarely aware that any kind of phenomenon was taking place.

It has only been in response to a dramatic rise in the complexity of the phenomenon, followed by mass public appeal, that the authorities made concerted efforts to debunk the issue with well-orchestrated hoaxes. Fortunately, researchers have been fortunate in the past at discovering that behind each televised incident lay the British government, with the knowledge of foreign intelligence agencies. In several incidences, leaked documents were made available that proved a multi-government backed debunking campaign. This evidence was published or reported by and credited to George Wingfield, Michael Hessemann, Jurgen Kroenig, and others.

What will be interesting to see in the upcoming "expose'" is whether any tests were carried out at the site by neutral parties, post-construction, which indicate any signs of authenticity. In the past this has met with aversion, even a retraction of statements by hoaxers (they have also been known to claim genuine formations as theirs, yet they rarely provide conclusive evidence to back their claims).

No hoaxed crop circle has ever produced the singlemost characteristic associated with the genuine phenomenon: plants whose stems are bent, not broken. Other anomalies include alteration in the crystalline structure of the plants themselves, also unfakable, and a mathematical spiral swirl of the plant lay, often with layers of counterflow.

Then there is the ability of the plants to grow after being laid, indicating they are alive and have not been trampled; electro-magnetic discrepancies of up to 300% between affected plants and surrounding crop; possible alterations in soil chemical composition; distorted and more rapidly germinating seeds; and severe loss of groundwater, just to mention a few.

Some hard evidence that has surfaced comes from an article in THE SOUTHLAND TIMES which described the episode [see below]. Apparently the team had to employ the services of two 40-ton cranes just to lift the lighting which enabled them to work in perfect visibility, something that would be impossible to do in the real testing grounds of England due to the higher density of population, not to mention the hundreds of people out watching the fields every night (it also makes one wonder why they didn't just make it during the day and save themselves the expense). This action alone was reported to have attracted large crowds of fascinated viewers not to mention the local police; again, an action impossible to get away with in England, where 90% of the world's crop circles appear.

One has also to wonder what excuse the team made to get the farmer to cooperate into giving up such a large expanse of land for experimentation. Apparently they approached it as "an inquiry into Food and Crop Research." Note the inclusion of "food" which, of course, this prank has nothing to do with.


One has to wonder what on earth possessed the small film company to go half way around the globe to find a wheat field in which to do all this. The answer is very simple: there have never been crop circles in New Zealand, there are no crop circles researchers in New Zealand -- certainly no one capable of identifying any physical features pertaining to a genuine crop circle; it is a country conveniently located as far as possible from all those capable of analyzing the situation, and sparsely populated (sheep outnumber the population 10-to-1). The farmer, who was paid handsomely for his trouble, is so remotely located that it will take some time to find him and question for particulars. In short, if you are going to attempt to construct fake crop circles for TV cameras, in this large a scale, do it in a truly remote corner of the earth.

Had they chosen Kansas, Alberta, or any place in Europe, there would simply have been too many researchers available on-hand, to go on-camera and give a fairer side of the story, pointing out in the first instance that all plants in man-made formations are crushed underfoot, nullifying the very first criteria of authenticity. One can only imagine what editorial sleight of hand will be used to hide this feature in the New Zealand crop circle. A cut to a shot of a genuine formation from a separate location perhaps? It has been done in similar documentaries by A&E and THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL.

I have made preliminary contact with the reporter and editor or THE SOUTHLAND TIMES but no reply has been forthcoming. I strongly urge you to contact the newspaper and politely ask them to investigate the matter further.



We may never know just how long it really took these hoaxers to create this work because it will be expensive for any research party to physically go to New Zealand; our hope is to locate names of individuals, phone them, and hope they can give us unbiased information.

The hoaxers claim four hours was the time limit imposed for construction, which is the absolute maximum given time of darkness in the English summer, typically when crop circle season is in full swing. To construct 104 circles, the three men would have therefore taken no more than 2.3 minutes to make each circle. Just to make, mind you. No breaks, no allowance for the exact placing of the design or movement of planks, poles and string, not even a toilet break. This in itself should have been a supernatural achievement for three fit men.

In the past, during monitored events, it has taken a team of two people up to an hour to make a not-too-disheveled 70ft circle. But I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume that 2 minutes for a circle is achievable, no matter how poor the outcome. But this now leaves no time to survey the area and place poles on the exact spots where one would lay a circle according to a pre-planned blueprint -- the simplest and most accurate means possible for executing a complex design; and in this case it was a fairly complicated design (even though all the elements were copied from known genuine crop circles -- funny what people can achieve when they have a reference point).

For this I will draw from a recent study by Rod Bearcloud Berry in Arizona who took the trouble to ask two engineering firms how long they would take just to plot a survey on the ground for the design of 1997's awesome 264ft Star of Solomon fractal at Milk Hill, which boasted a record 204 circles along its perimeter (which would have allowed just 1 minute per circle alone, and in a far more densely populated and monitored location). The estimate came in at 6.5-7.5 days IN DAYLIGHT, with an additional 4 hours should the work be carried out at night.

In a similar episode in 1994 it took five men two full days, working in bright daylight, to produce the simple, but pretty flower crop circle for Arthur C. Clarke's television programme, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES.

You will also note from the aerial photo that the center of the formation has two incriminating marks either side of the tractor lines, presumably where the central poles were attached in order to plot the large circle, if not the entire design. In the highly complex Milk Hill formation from last summer, the center lay in the middle of pristine standing crop. But you probably won't hear this in the documentary.

From this evidence alone any intelligent person can deduce that it required far longer than "four hours of darkness" claimed by Dickinson to produce this formation from initial surveying to final execution. It remains to be seen how this point will be handled on NBC.


It is well known that Dickinson has made several claims of ownership in the past to other impressive formations in England, without substantiating his claims. His biggest boast concerned the Julia Set Fractal which appeared beside the well-attended site of Stonehenge in 1996. Two eyewitnesses flying above the field at 5pm noticed nothing, yet just 45 minutes later a traffic jam had blocked the road as people clustered around the field to see a perfect computer fractal pattern in the field, composed of 149 circles, 900ft in length down the spine. Furthermore, its flux points were precisely referenced to the ancient monuments' which would have required precise surveying ability while standing in the middle of a wheat field and without leaving a mark. No one was seen by the security teams patrolling the higher ground at teh monument, nor by several thousand visitors.

It has to be said that from the air the circles of the New Zealand hoax look messy, specifically the central one -- not a good start for a new formation; especially incriminating are the lack of spiraling vortices normally associated with genuine circles, where the plants are tightly rotated to imitate mathematical spirals. Had this masterpiece appeared as a fresh formation in England any seasoned researcher would have had no trouble labeling it a hoax just on sight alone. Of course, the same cannot be said here since there were no witnesses in this remote corner of the world. And just in case any were tempted to fly there, the formation was hastily mowed down after it was photographed.


Which brings me to ask, what is motivating the media to plan, year after year, programmes containing unfair, biased accounts, when it would make more intriguing viewing to have both sides tell their story? There are enough people who have researched this subject first-hand to fill several hours' worth of footage. Yet all their evidence is systematically withheld, manipulated and ignored.

Perhaps the most important question we should be asking is who is behind this colossal manipulation of the public's trust?

Researchers know from people who have successfully infiltrated hoaxer gangs in the past that they are being paid an enormous amount of money for their disruptive techniques. In the case of Doug and Dave, the duo's origin was tracked down to a secret military establishment in Somerset, England. Other known government infiltrators, such as Robert Irving and Jim Schnabel -- collaborators with Dickinson in the past -- admitted in a secretly taped conversation that the hoaxing and debunking is being carried out with the total support of the American, British and German secret service, ironically the countries which have made the only concerted efforts at debunking the whole phenomenon in their respective countries. Schnabel also went on to reveal how a supernational organization is behind the whole scheme. (Ironically, Schnabel later admitted in his book he was certain that despite the hoaxes there was still a real phenomenon behind it all.)

It was also revealed by an ex-police Sergeant-turned UFO researcher that farmers in England were asked by the military to cut down any crop circles on their land the moment they were discovered, whether the crop was ripe or not; and they were well paid to do so. This story was corroborated by a number of farmers who naturally wish to remain anonymous. In a similar incident in upstate New York, a landowner was approached by a Highway Patrol officer and offered money to cut down a fresh crop circle (although the resilient person told the officer where to stick his money, the brave soul).

Have crop circles become such a threat to the establishment? Why?


Certainly this situation is not too late to change. Networks today may be manipulated by all sorts of hidden strings but at least they will listen to mass dissension from their audiences. The only people who will change this situation is you.

If you feel strongly about what you have read here, please contact NBC and declare your disgust at their attempt at portraying a one-sided argument against the crop circle phenomenon, and that unless they are prepared to address both sides of the issue in a balanced and honest approach they should not air a program full of distorted facts to a public who, for the most part, will not know any better. Like Gandhi, it is always more effective to complain politely.

Mail NBC via The Nightly News (this is the closest e-mail selection on their site with regard to this topic): ""

Copy this article, email it to friends, fax it to relatives, pin it up by the vending machine.

My fellow colleagues and I dedicate our time and money to the honest, objective and unbiased research of crop circles for the public good, but we cannot convince people that they are being duped by the media on our own. We need your active help so that the true facts may be shared with all good citizens of this planet.

Then, at least, they can decide for themselves.


By John Cutt

The Southland Times, Local News
March 9, 1998

Crop circles appeared in Central Southland on Saturday but UFO fears proved unfounded.

An eerie glow lit up the night sky over much of Central Southland on Saturday and large circles appeared in a wheat crop.

The glow centering on Robert and Janice Saunders' Dunearn property attracted police from Nightcaps and Winton and a large crowd of people.

The lights were not the work of aliens but a United States TV company filming a documentary on crop circles.

Californian television company TRI- CROWN PRODUCTIONS producer Jeff Androsky said the filming on the Saunders' property was for a one-hour show, in a series called "Unmasked - Revealing the Secrets of Deception".

Mr. Androsky said his company had discovered three professed crop circle makers in Britain who had agreed to demonstrate how the circles were made.

Because of his company's long involvement with New Zealand, this country was chosen to film the feature. An inquiry to Crop and Food Research suggested the Saunders might help by providing a suitable wheat crop.

They readily agreed.

"They've been great," he said.

"They set aside a paddock for us, Janice has fed us and they opened up their home and farm to us.

"We've had unbelievable cooperation. You never would get that in the US."

The assistance of other local people had also been much appreciated. Ascot Park Hotel manager Peter Ridesdale loaned a caravan, which was used as a control centre during the all-night shoot involving crews from Queenstown and Wellington.

Two 40-ton cranes from Southland Crane Services were used to haul in and lift the powerful lights needed to film the all-night shoot.

Helicopter Line pilot Dennis Edgerton provided the aerial filming platform.

The original Friday night shoot had to be abandoned because of heavy rain, which forced the production to move to a second paddock for a second attempt on Saturday.

The programme is scheduled for showing in the US in early May with release in New Zealand through TVNZ about six weeks later.


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