Pair share enthusiasm for crop circles

Thursday, February 18, 2010



WILTON – Crop circles are those large, intricate designs of circles and lines that appear overnight occasionally in English grain fields. They are the objects of much interest and investigation, but with no real answers.

Between 50 and 100 of them appear each summer. Some have been proven to be “hoaxes,” that is, created by local people using boards and other implements, and speculation about the origin includes aliens and UFOs.

Each summer for the past 15 years, Cameron and Glenn Broughton of Shelburne, Vt., have led tours of England’s sacred places, which include visits to the current crop circles. On Saturday they presented an illustrated talk on the circles to about two dozen people at Zaanti Studio. Reaction was generally amazement at the intricacy of the designs, if mixed with a little skepticism as to how they were created.

“It makes you feel a little creepy,” one listener said.

The circles appear between April and September, beginning in the bright yellow fields of rape seed (known here as canola) and continuing through the wheat and barley. The designs can cost the farmer hundreds of dollars in lost harvest.

Do they know, or even guess at, what causes them?

No, Glenn Broughton said, and declined to make a guess.

Geographically, they are clustered in southeast England near such ancient sacred sites as Stonehenge, Avebury Circle and Glastonbury Tor. They have also appeared in other parts of England and in Europe.

Geologically, they appear over areas that are mainly chalk with a deep buried aquifer. “Strong flows of water,” Broughton said, and spoke of the electromagnetism of such movements.

Mystically, they are in places believed by the ancients, and many moderns, to be the points of magnetism, or “earth energies” where such forces cross or emerge from the Earth.

“We believe that is why such places as Stonehenge were built there,” Cameron Broughton said.

The aerial views of the circles show intricate patterns spread across several hundred feet. Close up views show the grain stalks bent at a node near the ground and, in some places, woven together to form complicated patterns. Last year’s designs included animal figures such as birds and jellyfish.

This year’s crop circle tour is July 25 to Aug. 3 and includes Stonehenge, West Kennet Long Barrow and Glastonbury Abbey. For information visit

From April 9-11, the Broughtons will host the 2010 Earth Spirit Conference “Conscious Living in a Sacred World,” at All Souls Interfaith gathering in Shelburne, Vt. For information call (802) 922-7507.

To view the latest information, speculation, and other aspects of crop circles, visit

Jessie Salisbury can be reached at 654-9704 or

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