Crop circles: From witch trials, to the devil, fairy rings, and extraterrestrials

One of if not the most frustrating things for people who have an open mind about extraterrestrial life is that we never seem to have definitive proof. Sure, the abundant grainy and blurry video shows UFOs, but aside from that, there is little evidence to go on. That’s one reason why crop circles remain so compelling: They offer physical proof of something mysterious going on, not just a glimmer on video.

Right up front let’s recognize that these elaborate formations can be a hoax by sneaky and amazingly creative people, but when you look at all the real-world evidence, it’s not easy to brush aside crop circles in all their complexity – unless you are genuinely quite cynical and skeptical, to begin with.

And that may be the real message of all crop circles, hoax or otherwise:

Look at the big picture and above all – open your mind. After all, if there is a message there, only those with an open mind will ever be able to make sense of it. Most will dismiss the notion of any message without a second thought.

On the other end of the spectrum, Bert Janssen, a crop circle researcher, believes that the formations are a subliminal message meant to guide people toward evolving and understanding their place in the universe. After looking at countless examples, he sees a connection between many of them. (see video below)

“I’m convinced, and I’ve studied it as well, that crop circles in itself are not separate events,” he said. “When you look from higher up, from a bigger picture, you’ll see they are all connected, for you to discover. Look at the bigger picture, go over it; Don’t look at the details, don’t get lost in the little things, don’t be on your knees, but try to get wings and fly over it and see the big picture.”

“Look at the bigger picture, and then you’ll see it’s actually one. There’s only one message there. One signal,” he explains.

In the documentary, New Swirled Order, by NuoViso, photographer Steve Alexander described his choice to stay openminded after witnessing and filming glowing orbs traveling in and around a crop circle on the Downs on July 26, 1990, at 4:00 p.m.

“I think the door is open to believe it if you wish that they are all manmade, which is the easy option. The more difficult option is that they’re not manmade and it’s something else that we don’t understand,” said Alexander.

Although interest in crop circles picked up in the last several decades, the first incidents occurred as far back as 1519, when “crop circles” of a sort were alluded to during witch trials in Lorraine, France. Then, the “crop circles” were a form of protest by the poor who would trample crops in their wooden shoes called sabots. These protests were part of hundreds of uprisings as the church, and the aristocracy led a lavish lifestyle at the expense of the poor, who sometimes found themselves conveniently accused of witchcraft.

“In fact, the word sabotage itself has French origins and literally means ‘to clatter with sabots (wooden shoes)’, referring to peasants trampling crops as a form of protest.”

From these beginnings involving the persecution of witches by the church, we see crop circles mentioned in fairy tales and folklore. One of these stories consists of another protest by a poor laborer who asked for a higher wage from a rich landowner as he harvested his field of oats.

The story is from 1678 in an English leaflet with a woodcut print titled, “The Mowing Devil.”

The landowner objects to a higher wage, suggesting he “would rather pay the Devil himself” to do the work. That night, the field mysteriously glowed, and by morning the crops were flattened reminiscent to what we now call crop circles. Each blade of grass was laid neatly next to the other, a feat that seemed unachievable by a mortal man.

Image via Wikipedia

Another early reference to crop circles comes from the Brothers Grimm, who referenced fairy rings in Irish fairytale lore. People noticed circular formations in the woods, not necessarily mushrooms, and thought they were made by fairies who could change shape and dance in circles creating the impression in the grass. The shapes were sometimes considered portals into another dimension and given names like the Sorcerers or Witches’ Rings. Across the world, the rings can signify either a curse or a blessing, depending on geography. (see more below)

Today, we generally attribute these fairy rings to the natural growth pattern of fungi instead. Unless you are a believer in the fairy folk, these formations are considered merely the activities of ordinary earthly lifeforms.

The fairytales are way more fun…


See more about Fairy Rings below:


Today, we usually credit the ever-more-elaborate crop circles to extraterrestrials and hoaxers instead of terrestrial supernatural beings. However, like fairy rings, crop circles are often associated with glowing orbs which fly around the fields where crop circles appear. Those orbs have been frequently captured on video, though as usual, we can’t arrive at any proof of what they may be.

Nevertheless, crop circles continue to fascinate us. Crop circles even inspire some to think the message they contain will one day revolutionize society, delivering free energy, new technology, or a paradigm shift helping humanity evolve to the next level. If the message is to remain openminded and look at the bigger picture, then that’s a positive reminder, whatever the true origins.

Watch New Swirled Order, by NuoViso below for more:

Featured image: Screenshots via YouTube with painting by Gustave Courbet, “Poor Woman of the Village” via Wikimedia Commons


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