This article is in response to those by Colin Andrews, Michael Glickman and "the SC team" about the "Oliver's Castle Video", recently featured on the Crop Circle Connector web site.
I have to comment on a couple of points made by Michael Glickman. He claims in his piece, "I spent more time in the Oliver's Castle formation than anyone else." How could he know that? I know that the group I was with spent a very long time in the formation - almost half a day, in fact. I don't know how many other visitors went to it or how long they were there - and neither does Michael. He also claims, "I measured it, which nobody else did." This is definitely wrong, since I measured it myself as well. (I also videotaped every square inch of it, including a considerable amount below the surface level of laid crop.) I witnessed others also measuring it. I don't know how many people altogether measured the formation - and neither does Michael. But he certainly wasn't the only one.
Michael also states, "...it is my opinion that the formation was real. there is much evidence to support that view and very little to contradict it." I would like to know what the evidence is FOR the formation's authenticity, since AGAINST that possibility is the state of the actual crop: it was kinked and creased, even at the very perimeters, and had "construction lines" beneath it. In one circle (visible in even the aerial photos) was some green vegetation. On the surface, it looked healthy enough, as if it had "escaped the circle-making force". But underneath, it was dry, brittle and dying, because it had obviously been physically crushed. (It is simple enough to conduct experiments based on observations made in crop circles.)
What I do know for certain - from studying both the formation itself and the "John Wayleigh" video - is that the video does NOT show the sequence of the formation's appearance as evidenced by the lay of the crop inside it. I also know that the shadows in the video are in exactly the opposite place to where they should have been, had the video been made at dawn, as claimed. That piece of footage must have been shot - as was one comparable segment of my own - in the late afternoon/early evening. There are other questionable features (such as the lack of jitter in the "balls of light" between fields in each frame when frozen), but the above examples are evidence enough for me, gleaned from solid ground investigation, that the video is a fake.
In the light of this, I am surprised at the comment in the "Open Statement From 'SC' Journal", "We have sat on the fence all along, but have been a little more open-minded than some who were willing to write the whole thing off without any sensible evidence at the time." Without going into all the details again here, enough "sensible evidence" has been there all along, from the day the story broke. A curious point about the "SC" statement is the contradiction in it: "Individual members of SC, such as Michael Glickman, may have voiced an opinion on it, but this does NOT reflect any corporate view on behalf of SC" - yet the statement is signed - corporately - "The 'SC' Team". Since Michael Glickman is a "member" of "SC", this statement must also speak for him, but it can't, since he states, "As far as the Oliver's Castle video is concerned I believe it to be real."
In an article in Issue 5 of "Sightings" magazine, Andy Thomas (editor of "SC"), wrote with reference to the OC Video, as if it were an undisputed fact, "A student from Bristol...videoed several glowing balls of light dancing purposefully around the field at about 5.00 am." (further details on http://www.abel.co.uk/~sayer/sightings.htm). This article was highlighted on the cover of "Sightings" with the headline "Fields of Dreams - Startling new evidence on the crop circle phenomenon". This does not sound much like "sitting on the fence".
It is a shame that open discussion and debate and sharing of information and data seems to have given way to personal attack as a substitute. Michael Glickman claims that the term "hardened believers" is "a term of abuse used exclusively by hoaxers". This is incorrect on two counts: "hardened believer" is not necessarily a term of abuse and neither is it used "exclusively" by hoaxers. The "hardened believer" is the opposite number to the "hardened sceptic" - both are intransigent in their views, in spite of evidence before their eyes which should make them at least question honestly the certainty of their positions.
For the record, since I am so often attacked these days by certain parties trying to portray me as a "debunker", I wish to state quite categorically that I believe there is a genuine crop circle phenomenon. Since I am convinced of this as a fact, I am extra careful about what I include as evidence of the phenomenon, since false leads only make meaningful research more difficult and frustrating. I have included some comment about "debunking" in the latest issue of "The Cereologist" (due out before the end of March), which I reproduce here:
'A most effective way to debunk or sabotage a belief system (other than showing it to actually be wrong) is to stage an event that will convince people of its truth, then reveal that event to be a fraud, a hoax. This means, incidentally, that our infamous hoax-claimers are not themselves debunkers, since they do not reveal any information, let alone actual evidence, to PROVE this or that formation to have been made by them (except, of course, in the case of publicly acknowledged "commissioned works").
'So who are the real debunkers and what are their motives?...
'Discussing the hoaxing problem is not debunking. Having a different opinion - or no opinion at all - is not debunking. But building something up that can be knocked down again - this is where we ought to be careful, if we really think there is something important about the crop circle phenomenon.
'There are also those whose actions amount to debunking, even if that is not their primary intention. As with any popular belief system, there will be someone ready to cash in on it somehow. As a possible example, we had the "Oliver's Castle Video", which purported to show balls of light moving around over a field, shortly followed by the appearance in the crop below of a formation. Along with the "Alien Autopsy" video, whatever the status of this footage, so many copies of it were flying around that someone, somewhere was making a good deal of money out of it.'
When it comes to crop circle "product", such as the Oliver's Castle Video, perhaps one of our first questions ought to be, "Who is going to profit from this, and how?"
Return to ARTICLES