Lovely weekend with the family. Sister, Father, Uncle and I went a-walking and a-drinking in Southern England, along the Test Way. Most enjoyable, though more beer than I’m used to.

(So, if I spent a long weekend rambling through the countryside, drinking plenty of real ale, wearing a beard, what does that make me? Don’t answer that.)

Anyway, one of the things we got to was Chilbolton, and its Radio Telescope. Now if you do a Google search on that, a few odd things pop up about crop circles. Some really amazing designs appear each summer in English fields, especially in Hampshire and Wiltshire, and most sensible people would agree that they are man made, mostly by the group that takes responsibility, Circlemakers.

Many, many sites persist, however, in maintaining that humans couldn’t have done it. The circles are either too complex, or there are weird effects around the area, or dowsing rods show a change… all stuff which can be easily debunked. The Circlemakers are actually pretty clever, practised, quick moving guys (here’s an answer to some criticism) who are more than ready to encourage the “researchers” by, say, adding iron filings to a circle they’ve just created. These iron filings are hailed by crop circle researchers as evidence of meteoric dust, impossible for “hoaxers” to obtain. Dowsing I’ll leave to James Randi.

There is no hoax. There really are a bunch of humans who enjoy making art with fields, and it looks great.

(Lastly, if you want a laugh, you may enjoy this analysis of the Chilbolton “Arecibo reply” formation. Wow.)