1997 - 1

When examining the circles for 1997 I found that most where man made, and did not reflect the neat geometry of those that came from celestial sources. They were off symmetry, irregular in formation, shabbily executed, or simplistic in their patterns. Many also repeated the designs of previous years, without attempt to produce the awe and grandeur of true circles.

Barbury Castle, Nr Wroughton, Wiltshire. 

Reported Sunday 20th April 1997

(A neat way to start the season.)

A most impressive and the largest formation to be seen in Oil Seed Rape to date. Certainly the earliest, and formed on Sunday morning the 20th of April, which surprised many. The formation resembles Littlebury Green in Essex of 1996, incorporating six outer half moon crescents that fan out from a large inner ring.  A standing ring surrounds a central circle some 20ft in diameter, that lies within the central sections of each crescent.

The floor construction is clockwise. This also includes the central circle, with many stems still intact, and with no bruising visible. Some of the stems were snapped at the base of the stem, but we must take into consideration the brittleness of this delicate crop! The floor pattern with each crescent was directed towards the crescent walls, with an almost 90 degree angle. The whole design is some 170 feet in diameter, with small pathways which link each crescent as it fans from the central section of the formation. The crescents themselves merge into each other, creating a Catherine wheel effect!

Winterbourne Bassett, Nr Avebury, Wiltshire.

 Reported 2nd June

 

As with the following formation this one may be man made, although intricate in design. Because of the earliness of the season, it quickly showed relapse in the grain stalks.

Upham, Nr Eastleigh, Hampshire.

Reported 14th June 1997

 

I include this formation because it appears to be of celestial origin, except for the difference in diameter of the two single accent circles at one end of the frame. If these two were man made they exhibit no treading of grain, and would have been difficult to execute without such entry to their respective areas. The distance between the other areas of theirs is about 4 feet.

 

Barley. Grapeshot 6 & 8 feet. Largest circle c.34 feet. Middle circle c.26 feet. Smallest c.18 feet. Largest standing ring c. 44 feet Middle c.34 feet, smallest c.26 feet. Path c.3 feet wide.

 

Morestead, Nr Winchester, Hampshire.

Reported 21st July.

Located within the village of Morestead, some 5 miles south east of the town of Winchester is this very well defined formation resembling a Maltese Cross.

This design incorporates eight semi circles completing the outer perimeter floor construction, with an inner ring flowing anticlockwise in rotation. The diameter is approximately 100ft across, and covers three tramlines.

 

Bourton, Nr Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire.

Formed 13th July.

As with the preceding formations, this design could be man made, although showing more imagination.

The floor construction was extremely neat, producing a very flat floor pattern, with waving directional flows in the surrounding ring. The lay within the paths creating the Star, had a fluid construction. Also the two avenues either side of the central avenue entering the outer ring were flowing towards the centre of the formation, not the other way around.

The centre circle had a clockwise rotation, as well as the outer ring. The overall design was extremely neat, was well made, and was well received from those people visiting it.

Alton Barnes, Nr Avebury, Wiltshire.

Reported Friday 11th July

 

As Peter R. Sorensen stated: Discovered July 11th by farmer Tim Carson at Alton Barnes, Wilts., in wheat, across the road from the East Field . It is 300 feet in diameter. The lay of the crop looks like it was smoothed down by flowing water - BEAUTIFUL! The placement of the rings is slightly irregular - approximately as shown.

Crop Circle Connector offered this (edited) commentary:

What a breathtaking formation this is! The shear complexity of design is quite remarkable, and is positioned high on the hill overlooking East Field, towards Adams Grave. I have stated in the past, about how the location and positioning of the formation's, is part of the phenomenon. Well this was no exception, the deliberate position of this formation on the brow of the hill, produces a 3D effect from the air, and is spectacular in its execution. There is no doubt that the CircleMakers wanted this effect from the location, producing a powerful image, and is already having a wonderful response from the people visiting it.

The Central circle itself, wasn't a classic spiral pattern, seen in many formations. It had two centers, a main centre slightly offset to one side, and a small eddy, situated a number of feet away. The outer perimeter of the circle, included the floor pattern running into each pathway, was responsible for the rings. The floor pattern also faced inwards towards the main flow of the circle, and at certain points there was multi-layering, almost fluid like in its construction.

A number of standing stems were also present, some bunches of stems were still standing, with the flattened effected crop flowing deliberately around them. Also the pathways making the intersecting rings had a floor construction that was not parallel to the standing walls. The crop in many of them, was directed to one side, this was not due the maturity of the crop I felt, but was part of the design for the floor pattern.

Overall the design was magnificent, and was a great achievement by the CircleMakers, set within The Sanctuary (as I like to call it) for the Crop Circles. I recommend, that if you live within one to two hours drive of this area, to come down and see it, it's a marvelous site, in a beautiful location.

Headbourne Worthy, Nr Winchester, Hampshire. Reported 7th July.

 

This excellent formation is in wheat at Headbourne Worthy on the Northern outskirts of Winchester. The 200 footer was discovered 7th July.

 

Some irregularity in the paths may be seen, suggesting it was man made.

Etchilhampton (1) , Nr Devizes, Wiltshire. Reported 30th July.

 

This grid pattern, as a square set within a circle, certainly was original in concept. The lines are extremely fine, not possible with simple man-made tools. The number of lines is 32 in each direction. The companion formation is reminiscent of the formation that appeared on April 20, a swirling pin-wheel that imitates cutter wheels in wood and metal fabrication shops.