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Crop circles:

Crop circles makers in their own words: Doug Bower.

Doug Bower

Doug Bower, the man who is at the origin of the crop circle phenomenon,
in one of the numerous interview he gave,
an interview that crop circles believers might not like you to read

How it all started.

[Interviewers asks why he started making the circles:]

"Well, actually we [Bowers and his wife] lived in Australia from 1968 to 66, it was eight and a half years, and me being always interested in outer space and er, UFOs and things, I saw an article in the Australian newspaper one day, about some circles in some reed and grass in Tully in Queensland."

"And, after reading it of course I forgot all about it, but when I returned home [U-K] in 66, I met David Chorley, and he was also an artist, so we had a common interest there. And for the next few years, we used to go out on Friday evenings, to have a drink in the pub and talk about paintings."

"And one day when we were walking out on Cheesefoot Head [two miles east of] Winchester, one summer evening, in the midst of the cornfields, we sat down there, and, trying to get a bit of inspirations for paintings, and I suddenly remembered this article that I read while in Australia. And I told him about it and I said we could have quite a bit of fun, if we could device some kind of way to make a circular mark in the cornfields here, and sort of arouse a bit of interest. People would think that a UFO had landed in the night, when they discovered it the next morning."

"So, after returning home, in my workshop I sort of thought about it the next day, as to what we could use to make this circle. So we started off by using my big heavy security bar that was on my workshop door. And out first few circles were made on our hands and knees with the security bar, we were kneeling down side by side, and my goodness, it was certainly hard work. But it was quite good fun because you were down below the height of the corn, and if a car was coming down the road and the headlights were surging towards you we would just say "down we go" and would just wait for the car to pass."

It worked!

"But for the first two years, our circles were not seen at all, except I suppose by the ploughers of the combined harvester, because we were doing them in fields that the public couldn't see from the roads. The ideal place of course would have been the Punch Bowl at Cheesefoot Head. But at that time, there were sheep in there and I don't think it would ever be ploughed for crops, until about the third year, my wife and I drove up past there one Sunday afternoon, and they were ploughing the Punch Ball, and I thought to myself I must go back to Southampton to tell that to Dave Chorley, and tell him that the ideal place to perform the circles was now under crops."

"So we patiently waited until the spring to see the first corn arrive, and we knew that this would be the ideal spot to do our circles. And out first circle in the Punch Ball was in the news the next evening, which pleased us quite a lot."

[Webmaster's note: This took place in 1983. Doug Bower and Dave Chorley did not know then that three of their 1980 circles appeared in a local newspaper.]

"And of course the other place which was ideal for the public to view them was the Whitehorse at Westbury. And Clay Hill, which we did quite a few there as well."

"It was all quite a bit of fun. And, being circular, and UFOs were circular, we just wanted people to imagine, to believe the next morning, that my god, somebody has landed there the other night, and thank that it was circular, they would immediately think that it was a UFO. Because flying saucers were circular, you see. There was no good doing squares or triangles or anything like that, because they would not put on anything from outer space."

"And, as I said, once the news broke, they gave us quite a feeling, you see, to carry on. Because Dave Chorley said to me one day, you see, "I'm not going on with this, I don't want to keep on, we're getting nowhere with this, we're getting no publicity" and I said 'you just hang on a minute, until the Punch Ball's ploughed, and then we're getting in there'."

"Of course, lo and behold, it was on the Television news the next night, and the news was rapidly spreading around that "something" was making these circular marks in the cornfields. And of course you know the story from then on. It just grew and grew, and of course the more publicity we got with the media and newspapers and things, it ate us on even more."

Left: One of the first newspaper articles about a Doug and Dave circle, on August 26, 1981. The "expert" says a UFO did it, the farmer says "rubbish."

"So the circles continued as circles for quite a while. But Dr. Terence Meaden, who is a very clever man as far as weather is concerned [smile], he really got us, because it was saying it was the wind, you see, and we didn't like that."

"So we had to change, from circles into something else."

[Webmaster's note: Terence Meaden had put forth the theory that crop circles were made by whirlwinds, and that a proof was that all circles were spiraling clockwise. Doug and Dave read that in the newspaper, and the next thing they did was to make an anti-clockwise circle. They alerted about this new crop circle they "found", and all the Press had a bit of a fun at Terence Meaden's expense.]

What are you really doing at night, dear?

"We were so secretive about all this, and we realized, when we started this, that no one, no one must know, what we were doing. Otherwise it was going to spoil the thing completely. Then we said to each other, "but what about our wives?" And I said, "well, the fact that we go out every Friday evening, they won't be any the wiser, because that's the usual thing, we used to go out on Friday evenings for a pint of beer. And it was seven years before my wife really found out about this, and she came to me one day and she said, "this car needs servicing quite a lot", she said, "with the enormous amount of miles you're doing." She said, "I'd like to know where you're going in these evenings."

"And I said "well, er, we are driving through the countryside quite a bit." And she wasn't very satisfied with this, so I had no alternative but to handle the huge album with all the Press cuttings, the publicity, and show her. But she said "this doesn't mean a thing to me, really, I know all about the circles," she said, but you're telling me that you and David are doing them!" She said "there's only one way to prove me this, you take me out one night and tell me what you're going to do." Which we did, and then, it was true."

"But of course it was nice then, because when she knew, although we were going out on Fridays and perhaps another night, once she knew about this, we could go out Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and we were doing more, that's when the circles started to increase!"

"Because up until then, we couldn't many circles, because we were only allowed out, so to speak, on Fridays nights."

"And someone even made a remark, I can't remember if it was Pat Delgado [crop circle expert] or not, but he said, it was very very strange, that these circles only seem to appear on Saturday mornings!"

"And of course, ha ha, that was quite true you see, because it was Fridays' nights that we were doing the circles!"

"But once our wives knew about it, then the circles increased, because we were out more nights then than on Friday nights."

Left, Dave Chorley, right, Doug Bower, 1991.

"You must remember that our circles were quite small compared to what's happening today. And although we were trotting down a lot of farmers' corn, we knew what we were doing as far as a bit of vandalism was concerned, but the bit of fun that we got out of the small circles we created, we didn't seem to mind that very much. And as I said, I would never dream of doing 700 hundred or 800 hundred or a thousand foot long patterns and things freely, because I mean, after all, it is a form of vandalism, it is vandalism isn't it?"

"As the years rolled by, it was getting more and more difficult. For instance, in the early days, you could back your car into the farmer's field, in his gateway, pop out, do the circles, get back in the car again and have a cup of coffee, still staying were you where all the time. But nowadays, the last few years, it would be impossible for you to leave a car, an empty car, if a police car came by and noticed an empty car at one o'clock in the morning they would certainly stop, but going back to these early days, no one seemed to take any notice at all."


"The money side of it doesn't come into, never has come into it really, because it was the fun and the laughs we had. We were aware of it, after a while, jewelry being made, and tapestry wall hanging and all the rest of it. But as far as we were concerned, we were just having a laugh from it. But there was no way, really, that we could make money out of it."

[Doug's wife Ilene says:]

"No, but we were angry, that people would using it, as a way to make money out of more gullible people. They were forming associations, they were doing as you said, making jewelry, posters, T-shirts, all this sort of things. They were using your creations, and people's gullibility, to make money for themselves."

[Doug Bower goes on:]

"And even today. I had a good laugh at some of the things they said, I mean, for instance, if you see people lying on their backs in the circles, joining hands, and doing a dance around, to me that was incredibly funny when I first heard of it. But after a while, I got a different way of thinking. If this is what they want to make of it, it is entirely up to them, I kind of can understand why it got so big, but I can see now that it's more or less uncontrollable. Because these people are going to do exactly what they want, and if they get pleasure from it, okay."

Threat letters.

"We were very surprised that we did receive two letters, from a group called "The Black Watch", and they said that we had to stop making circles in cornfields. It did worry us quite a bit, because the way you had to look at this is, if anything happened to us, in any form, then the suspicions would go to the people who sent these letters."

One of the letters by
the "Black Watch."

The grasshopper warble affair.

"I've been a wildlife sound recorder, and I have been for twenty years now, and I'm out most nights, recording the sounds of mammals and birds, and all that sort of things, and when I went at the meeting at the Guild Hall in Winchester one evening, which was on the subject of crop circles, they brought up this business about the grasshopper warble, er, the sounds that they heard on Cheesefoot Head in Winchester, and I knew immediately what this was, because I've already recorded this bird, several years before!"

"And this bird also sings at night, and when it came to questions time after the meeting, I walked up to the stage, and I spoke to Busty Taylor that happened to be there, and the other people as well, and I said, "The noise that you heard that night, was a grasshopper warble", cause I'm a sound recorder and I knew what it was!"

"And, er, they did everything but almost threw me out of the Guild Hall!"

[Webmaster's note: See also here. Later, French researchers of the CNEGU group investigated these "mysterious sounds", that they too recorded in the fields and that Colin Andrews still thought very mysterious although he was already informed that it was the grasshopper warble. CNEGU found out that it was the bird, and told Colin Andrews, but still today he claims these sound are "unexplained". He says that the sounds are "not the same", apparently ignoring or not willing to tell that the grasshopper warble actually imitates all sorts of different locusts sounds!]

Grasshopper warble.


"But of course, there again, you see, the more that you can add to this phenomenon, the more you will get interest from worldwide audiences. You can say that you got damages to your lenses and your camera and you got... I mean if you take... Get away from the circles a minute: people have their films developed every week of the year, they have "marks", and "things" on their films, which would... which more or less "can't be explained", but the fact that these people get some "marks" when they are photographing crop circles, they try to marry the two together. So, quite honestly, I think it is all imagination. And it is just to make things sound a little more important than they are."

[Webmaster's note: See here about BLURFOS.]

Paranormal phenomena in crop circles or just real bunk?

"There was one strange happening one night. We were doing a pictogram on top of Telegraph Hill. Dave was over one side of the pattern, doing his little bit, and I was doing mine, and suddenly, I was knocked down unconscious."

"And... only for a short time of course. Something hit me on the head. I immediately thought that the farmer or farmers were approaching us and had thrown a stone at me or something, but anyway, the next thing I knew was David was kneeling over me and he was saying 'what's the matter?", you know "what's the trouble?'"

"And I said "I don't really know", I said, "something hit me on the head", but there's nobody about, and then I started to feeling what I though was blood running all down the back of my neck, and all my hair was full of blood. But of course we didn't know that it was blood, but we had no torches and couldn't use torches of course, because otherwise we would be seen."

"And Dave said "we'd better get back to the car" and I said "no, we must finish the pattern", ha ha, we can't leave it half finished!"

"But anyway, I came to it after quite well and we had about 3 quarters of a mile of marching back to the car, and we can't see what it is until we get back to the car and put the headlights on. When we got back to the car and switched the headlights on, 'my God' he said 'what a mess you're head's in!'"

"I was covered in, like green slime, and er... plenty of "other things" intermixed with it, and I said well we get home now, but of course when I reached home, I opened the door, and I had to call to my wife from the door, and I said "don't be alarmed when you see me, but I've got some nasty stuff all over my head." And anyway, she had a look at it and my God, it was really terrible, but, what did happen, it was a chunk of ice, falling from an aircraft that was going over, and well there was a millionth chance that I got hit on the head, I don't know, but as it was a warm evening, by the time it hit me, it was just a soft piece of sludge, but it was just enough to knock me out for a minute or two, and of course, the Air people, from Heathrow, completely denied anything falling from aircraft, but you know, there's been plenty of reports since, of lumps of ice falling on people's roots, and into their living room."

"But thank God it was only a soft small piece that hit me that night."

[Interviewer asks: "And it wasn't of course the chemical toilet, was it?"]

"Yes it was! Yes."

Crop circles all over the world, impossible isn't it?

"Well, although I was an artist myself, it's a totally different art from what we created in the fields. As I say, the fact that it was circular to start with, and UFOs were circular, that was the whole idea behind it, and it's what has come of it as the years came by."

"But, the recognition that we had, I suppose we left their mark, and sadly, my friend Dave Chorley had passed away now, he is created circles up in the sky, but I'm still here, I'm not creating circles anymore, I'm retired now ha ha! Wah ha ha, you can believe that or not..."

"But, as an artist, I create watercolors, and oil paintings, and also in the fields... It's the largest canvas that we ever had, and, as I say, it pleases me that it's given pleasure to a lot of people. Well I was hoping to be knighted one day by the Queen, but I can't really see that happening because I think the National Farmers Union will create a bit of a fuss there, but, never mind, Sir Doug, he'll carry on as long as he can, and taking an interest in what other people are doing!" [smile]

"Sir Doug" oil painting in his workshop.

"Time and time again I've told people, er, lots of people say, 'how on earth could these two men create circles all around the world?'"

"And the answer to that is very simple. Because I've said it to the end of times, but no one seems to take any notice of what I say - not that they want to anyway - but let's take for instance... If we did a circle upon Cheesefoot Head an evening, we would go out on the next evening to go have a look at our handiwork, and there would be anything up to 50 or 100 people up there, viewing it, which pleased us no end, and of course we would then run shoulders with them and they would be from all different parts of the world on holiday, there would be people from Canada, America, Germany, France, and we used to get into conversations with these people, and they used to say to us "when we get home from holiday, we're going to do a circle or two."

"And there you are! They got back to America, they got back to Canada, to Germany, Japan, and they tried their own just the same like we did! And then you have the circles in all parts of the world. Not from "Doug and Dave"! But from the people that came over here on holiday, viewing the circles that we made, and then having a go on themselves! They're still doing it today, aren't they? [huge smile]"

[Webmaster's note: even today, if you check websites, books and conferences by crop circle believer, you can discover that they still lie about this, still claiming that "Doug and Dave claimed to have made all the crop circles in the world"!]

The experts.

"When we used to go out to view what we had done the night before, as I said, the only people that we knew were searching this was Pat Delgado, Colin Andrews, Busty Taylor, who was flying over, and Richard Andrews, and we used to get into conversation with these, and I mean, ha ha, they must know even up today that we were frequently there and talking with them all the time, and I will always remember one of Wednesday afternoon, at Longstock, I took my wife up to Longstock to have a look at the circle that we're made previously."

"And I met Colin Andrews, and he said that there was some connection between a rubbish dump up there and the circles that was out in the field, and he gave me his business card, and he said "if you hear about any circles roundabout, perhaps you could let me know", and I said "Yes I will, because I travel round quite a bit because I'm a wildlife sound recorder, and of course, Dave and I used to do a circle one evening and ring him up the next morning and say "Hello Colin, there's a circle in such and such" and he said "thanks very much, thanks for the information", ha ha, which made all the fun even better!"


"There's a little bit of a mystery attached to all this. Although we had our fun making the circles over the years, when we started reading reports that some of our designs and patterns we were creating had a connection with the Hopi Indians in America, er... Mongolia, ancient cave paintings etc., and what mystifies me most of all, where is the connection of this. I could sit down and in half an hour create a pattern on a piece of paper, it was just as if my hand was being forced round with the pen, to do this pattern, I don't know where it came from, but then you read afterwards in newspapers and magazines that it seems that there is a connection between what I drew that evening and what we were going to create in the fields, with the Hopi Indians and the Aborigines people."

"And it seems to me that it could be a connection between languages. But that mystifies me very much, because it makes me feel as if there is something, unknown to us, that we've no knowledge of at all."

"Looking back after all these years, I have come to the conclusion that it will never end. I'm rather pleased that thousands of people have found an interest and enjoyment from it, I hope no one ever gets caught doing it - we had some nerves squeaks - but I appreciate that lots of people are more or less depending on this now, for their interest. I suppose, really, it's a kind of religion, but I've got nothing against these people or what they've made of it."

"The bit that makes me most of all angry is the so-called "experts"."

"What they built themselves up as, what they say. They seem to "know it all", and the media goes to these people. But the people that find some enjoyment and pleasure from it, they are the people that I think are getting something from it and I hope it continues that way. But I don't think it will ever end, it will never end, it will go on forever."

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This page was last updated on July 30, 2006.