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Crop circle:

My findings:

What follows is not the proof of anything else than what is indicated in conclusion. Any other point of strangeness is or will be approached elsewhere, that is, here.

An alleged strangeness of crop circles:

W.C Levengood claimed that one strangeness of crop circle is:

"Point 8) The involvement of microwave radiation was confirmed by the application of the Beer-Lambert model for the absorption of electromagnetic energy by matter."

This is generally expressed as:

"How can stems show nodes that are more lengthened towards the center of the crop circle than on the edges?"

This can be quite simply because there are statistically more people who walk in the inner parts of the crop circles than in the outer parts.

The lengthening of the nodes of plants with rigid stems occurs very naturally when they are mechanically tramped. The plant tries to stand straight again. To stand straight, it cannot curve its rigid stem. To do this, it has "nodes", that the plant can grow more on one side that the other, which lengthens the nodes, to change the orientation of the stem.

Nodes

I explained all this at this page, using samples of stems taken by proponents of crop circles "exotic" causes, from crop circles they claim not to have been made by people.

It is verifiable, as explained in my page, and people who made fun at me initially verified it. You thus do not need to believe me: it is so easy to check by yourself, even if you do not have a PhD!

As often, mysteries are better approached "on the field", as we ufologists use to say, than by just reading proponents websites claims that generally do not explain anything at all but entertain the mystery.

Although the above explanation is already to be considered instead of being ignored, it is probably not likely to completely account for this alleged strangeness: it is not obvious, nor demonstrated, and probably hardly demonstrable, that there are more people walking in the inner parts of crop circles than in the outer parts. In fact, as often, there is not inevitably a single factor, not inevitably only one cause, but an accumulation of causes, and I still know another cause, which does not require a demonstration that more people pass by the inner part than the outer parts of crop circles.

It was shown by the Dutch scientist Eltjo Haselhoff when he wrote:

"My paper proves that the extension of the nodes in several crop circles corresponds perfectly to the effect that would be created by a ball of light..."

Now, isn't this stunning?

Let's specify what he meant. He meant to say that there is a more important lengthening of the nodes towards the center of the crop circle than at the edge; which corresponds perfectly to the action of a ball of light.

Then, a ball of light, a "UFO", maybe even an extraterrestrial spaceship or device would cause this?

At last, a valid argument for the cause of the extraterrestrial crop circles, that I fail to explain away? Am I writing that mysterious balls of light or other so-called "paranormal" phenomena, or the aliens, are really drawing those crop circles?

Not so fast.

I claim what Eltjo Haselhoff claimed: a ball of light can cause this effect.

Does Haselhoff say what this ball of light is, where it comes from, whether it is alien, or paranormal, or natural?

Not at all!

He wrote:

"My article does not try to explain where the balls of light come from, nor does it explain how the crop is flattened."

Of course not! Light that flattens crop, that's totally unheard of!

Just try it, take your flashlight, or a halogen blowtorch, or a microwave generator, whatever you want, go light a field with it, and check if it creates a crop circle...

You see, if this works, you will reach, guaranteed, world-wide fame: indeed, all you have to do then is to organize some public demonstrations of creation of crop circles by the use of light.

But see the nonsense that you are often told, such as:

"Young Dutch physicist Eltjo Haselhoff proposes a model of creation of a crop circle, from a radiation source located at a few meters of the ground."

Source:

Black on white, you are required to believe that according to Haselhoff, "balls of lights" create crop circles!

You are told that this is true, since this is scientifically demonstrated, since the author is a scientist and the paper published in a scientific newspaper.

And you are told at that website, about me: "Precision: the author of that website is not a scientist."

Is it required to be a scientist to spot nonsense? I do not think so. I do not think that "scientist" some sort of divine grace that settled on some chosen ones and left the other in idiocy.

Don't buy such crap: there are really no "scientific people" as opposed to "unscientific people". There are people who follow a scientific methodology, and others who do not follow any methodology at all, and still others who follow a methodology occasionally, or often, but not always. Science it is not a divine grace, it is a methodology that everyone can follow - or not follow!

For example, the scientific methodology imposes not to distort what a scientist wrote, not to project one's desire on reality, not to make up thing, it asks to reading correctly. It is not a simple matter of having a PhD or to belong to some clan of "people gifted of scienticity." Let's compare again:

Haselhoff, the scientist:

"My article does not try to explain where the balls of light come from, nor does it explain how the crop is flattened."

Crop circle mystery proponents, to make you believe that science is on their side:

"Young Dutch physicist Eltjo Haselhoff proposes a model of creation of a crop circle, from a radiation source located at a few meters of the ground."

I, all deprived of the grace of science:

No, absolutely not, Haselhoff never wrote and even less demonstrated that balls of lights MAKE crop circles.

Once again, because I am the only one to say it, while you will be still lead to believe the contrary in 10 years:

Light that flattens crop, this was never demonstrated!

Again, just try it, take your flashlight, or a halogen torch, whatever you want, infra-red, ultraviolet ray, 50 Watts or 50.000 Watts, go light some crop, and check if this creates a crop circle...

On Anne Moro's website, Haselhoff's paper is also presented like this:

How could this study be rebuked?

  1. He is a Docteur,
  2. He published these discoveries in a serious and famed scientific journal,
  3. Nobody yet came up with a different and more convincing explanation.....

Debunkers are rather interested in ignoring this study to try to convince that NOTHING happens in the crop. Or then, it remains up to them to show that the journal Physiologia Plantarum is not serious.

Let's see:

  1. "He is a Doctor": there we have the very traditional argument of authority. Haselhoff must inevitably be right since he is a Doctor, and everyone knows, a Doctor is always right and all non-doctors who would disagree are inevitably wrong.
  2. "He published these discoveries in a serious and famed scientific journal," here again the traditional argument of authority. All that is published in scientific journals must be true, because it is in a scientific journal, and scientific journals publish only the true.
  3. "Nobody yet came up with a different and more convincing explanation", says Anne Moro. I do it in this page. But watch out for the trick: this is not just a different and more convincing explanation. First, the fact that I am urge to explain better must be correctly understood. Don't forget: Haselhoff does not say at all that balls of lights make crop circles, whereas the proponents want us to believe that this is what he says. So this is not a matter of showing that crop circles are not made by ball of lights, since Haselhoff never claimed that at all in his paper. It is only a matter of showing that when, in a crop circle, there are plant nodes longer towards the center than towards the edges, this has one or more explanations that have nothing to do with anything "extraterrestrial" or paranormal or otherwise uncommon. For Haselhoff, an explanation is that a ball of light hovered above the crop circle. I have another explanation, indicated higher, and I have also an explanation which confirms a presence of a ball of light, and gives the nature of this ball of light, this explanation is given low.
  4. It must be clearly understood that I am not providing a "better" explanation than Haselhoff: Haselhoff provided no explanation. Allotting some empirical observation in plants to a hovering ball of light is not an explanation. An explanation would be to tell what this ball of light is: a spaceship? A ghost? A blowtorch? Haselhoff does not know. Anne Moro is wrong, he has no explanation. He only made an observation. I have an explanation. I will tell exactly what this ball of light actually is. Thus, I do not have just a "better" explanation, I have an explanation. The first ever.

Let's see this other sentence:

"Debunkers are rather interested in ignoring this study to try to convince that NOTHING happens in the crop. Or then, it remains up to them to show that the journal Physiologia Plantarum is not serious."

Nice try, nice trick, so usual in croppies literature. You are requested to demonstrate that the journal is not serious! No, you do not have to. The question is not about the journal being serious or not. The question is only to check if the use that proponents make of the paper really corresponds to the paper's content, and to check if what is written in the paper is valid or not. There is no need at all to demonstrate that the totality of all the articles ever published in this journal is false!

In the same manner, there is no obligation to demonstrate that "NOTHING" (the capitals were intended to impress) happens in the fields. This is not the issue. Many things happen in the fields. For example, people make crop circles! The question is to check whether or not Haselhoff's paper is a valid proof that aliens or paranormal forces or "powers" - whatever is meant there - make crop circles.

As of what "the interest of the debunkers" would be, namely "to ignore" this study, this is again a good joke from beginning to end. For example, Anne Moro does not remind you that the first in France who presented Haselhoff's paper in French language by translating its presentation from English, is no other than... I! So of course I did not "ignore" it, I was the first to tell about it in my country. And yet I actually do think that all crop circles are made by people: which makes me one of the pesky debunkers. So the assertion that "the debunkers" are ignoring the paper has no worth. And of course, as I show in this page, I am not at all the only one that has criticized paper. Who ignores what, then? Quite simply Anne Moro, and the other proponents, who omits all the existing critics of the paper.

The ever-boring attacks of intents is behind all that. Each word shows this. "To try" to convince? That implies that it would be a priori impossible, that any explanation by pranksters or artists is an "attempt", condemned to failure in advance. The "interest"? But what "interest"? What do I win when I solve the mystery? Do I get money? No. Do I get a medal? No. A larger office with the CIA then? This is all very childish, bad rhetoric, do not buy it, stay focused on the argument, forget about so-called hidden agendas. I don't have any. I do think that we have space visitors, by the way.

Or should I tackle the question of who has an "interest" in crop circles affairs? Ok then: interested people are those who sell books about the "crop circle mystery". For example, Eltjo Haselhoff, and so much others. They are those who can attract large audience, avid of crop circle "mystery": TV shows, movies such as "Signs", that's where the "interest" is, big interest. Also interested are the so-called expert who make a living out of the crop circles: crop circles guided tours in England, books, DVDs, CDs etc. Let's not mention Tee-shirts, crop circle jewelry, etc.

This necessary preamble done, let's go back to Haselhoff.

So, there is an effect by light, a light that is not identified, and this effect is more pronounced on the stems of the center of the crop circle than those of the edges. This effect is not to make the crop circle appear, but to lengthen the nodes of the stems of the plants.

It's scientific. It is true. It is even appeared once in one scientific newspaper with supposedly a reading panel, and I am often told that this proves that it is true (*).

(*) Don't believe anything of this! I insist: think for yourself, work, learn, search, and be cautious in any circumstance, "scientific paper" or not! You should not be impressed by people claiming something is true because the writer has some title. There are many talented and brilliant scientists, most are, but there are also scientists who do not know what they are speaking about, and they are published all the same, if only because there isn't really a reading panel really able to check what they tell!

Well I do not even dispute it, Haselhoff is indeed a scientist, he did not invent his PhD like biologist Levengood did. Some skeptics told that he dropped science, that he is now a guitar player, apparently skeptics too believe that science is a divine grace, a temporary one that washes away if you play some chords.

What I am really interested in, is to identify this famous ball of light. This is right in my field, ufology, which very often consist in identifying balls of lights, in checking whether they were a meteor, Venus, a balloon, a plane or an extraterrestrial spaceship.

As this is ufology, therefore in my field, it was easy to me to identify this ball of light.

It is indeed extraterrestrial. It even functions with the energy of nuclear fusion. But it is controlled by no intelligence.

This ball of light approaches the crop circle from the horizon. It is hot, very hot, and it has an effect on the growth of the plants. A proven effect.

The ball of light is initially low on the horizon. There is a zone of shade in the crop circle, in "1".

Early in the morning, it approaches from the side. at this time it does not light certain parts of the internal surface of the crop circle, because these parts still remain in the shade of the plants which are outside the surface of the crop circle, the standing plants.

As the day advances, this large ball of light slowly goes higher and higher above the crop circle, and moves from East to West all the same.

The ball of light rises, more and more, the zone of shade, in "1", decreases in surface.

At the end of a few hours, the ball of light is higher in the sky, and lights and heats the crop circle much better.

The ball of light is increasingly high, at one time there is practically no more shadow area.

But the large ball of light does not remain there for long. Almost immediately, it starts to go down again towards the horizon, and in fact then the opposite edges of the crop circle are now in the shade.

The ball of light "goes down" again towards the opposite horizon. There is again a zone of shade, but on other side.

And thus, because of this displacement of the ball of light, the surface in the middle of the crop circle was much longer subjected to its light than the parts that are towards the edges.

This is indeed the effect measured by Eltjo Haselhoff.

On the other hand, he does not tell us how light can lengthen the nodes of the plants.

I do.

So that the nodes lengthen, it is necessary that the plant gets the required energy. At the places where it receives this energy, provided by the ball of light, it will grow better than towards the edges, where the ball of light gave less light, as shown above.

For it is really light which makes the plants grow. It is an extraterrestrial light, as I said, and it functions by nuclear fusion, and I identified it.

Got it yet? Nope? Let's go on.

Its existence is indisputable, is supported by scientific evidence and billion eyewitnesses. Its presence above the crop circle itself is indisputable all the same.

Still didn't get it? On we go.

Its effect on the growth of the plants, in the same way, is totally proven. The plants which are deprived of it decay, and finally die. In fact, this ball of light is so important that if it did not exist, plants as we know them would not exist on Earth.

Here is your ball of light:

Errors in interpretations by proponents of the study by Haselhoff:

The first is the use of the argument of authority: he "is" a scientist, therefore he can make no mistake under any circumstances. Personally, when I read such arguments about people "being" scientists and thus immune to any error and knowing everything about everything even when they are not at all in their own field of expertise, as in this case, I laugh.

The second error is to claim that because an article was published in a professional scientific newspaper, then it is inevitably "valid" since, as they inevitably believe, scientists colleagues must have checked the presented work and must have established that it is correct. But actually, I challenge anyone to show me that any collaborator of the scientific newspaper checked it. Actually, every day, ill-founded and non-verified scientific papers are published in the professional scientific journal. Much less than in tabloid newspapers, of course, but to believe that professional scientific journals are some kinds of book of truths containing only verified claims is totally naive: it is on the contrary a matter which makes the headlines regularly: inaccurate studies, erroneous results, false thesis indeed appear in scientific journals. Moreover, I must recall that the same people who applaud such or such "scientific journal" when they like some thesis, are making a big fuss about "official science" which "denies" their "Truth" when the thesis is not in their liking.

The third error is to read in a paper things that are not in it. Haselhoff never said that some unspecified waves make crop circles, but his worshipper act as if he had proven that. The same error is made, besides, with pretty regularity about studies by W.C. Levengood, which according to crop circles buffs would have proven an extraterrestrial or paranormal or technological origin of the crop circles, whereas he occasionally gave "his" explanation for the crop circles (which does not hold, I'll come back to that), namely that in fact ionized meteorites cause the simple round crop circles, those having complex drawings being made by pranksters.

The delirious interpretations completely overstating those of Haselhoff are a constant of crop circle proponent "documentaries" and books. For example, in the "documentary" Contact, a Bert Janssen production, the host claims:

"It is now a scientifically accepted fact that at least some crop circles were generated by balls of light."

Michael Miley, in UFO Magazine, writing about a CCCS convention which took place in Andover from 20-22 July 2001:

"Haselhoff's research into light distribution, analogous to that of a light bulb, supports the thesis that it's the BOLs that are creating the crop circles."

The fourth error is to assume that a "ball of light" must necessarily be something paranormal or alien. In theory, any ufologist gifted of some reason knows very well that a ball of light isn't inevitably something alien or paranormal.

The fifth error is to almost never mention any contrary opinion. On the skeptical side skeptic, there were indeed some answers, and these answers, no matter what one thinks about it, are practically systematically ignored by the crop circles "experts", and practically never mentioned at all on web sites that claim to offer the "Truth" about extraterrestrial or paranormal crop circles by claiming that "Science" is on their side.

I also want to point out something in W.C. Levengood's statement. It read: "The involvement of microwave radiation was confirmed by the application of the Beer-Lambert model for the absorption of electromagnetic energy by matter." Of course this is a very weird reading of Haselhoff's paper: he never once said it has anything to do with "microwave radiation" or even less "electromagnetic energy". such terms are sure to please the crop circle proponents, but what Haselhoff talked about was a bit less romantic even if it can be pompously called electromagnetic radiation. Basically it was: light.

And finally, it is obvious that none of those who claim that Haselhoff's paper "proves" whatever they claimed it proved read this sentence which appears in conclusion of his paper:

By no means does the author pretend to present a 'lithmus test' for distinction between a 'genuine' crop formation, whatever it may be, and a hand-flattened area of crop. Much more data would have to be analyzed and thorough statistical studies will be necessary before such a criterion can be defined.

This is purely and simply the reason why the paper was accepted: since it claims to have proven nothing, and indicates that the work carried is insufficient to prove anything, there was no reason to refuse it or to take time for thorough checking!

Errors by critics who say they are on the skeptic side:

The objective of these people is to critically examine all that they consider extraordinary or "paranormal" or "improbable" a priori (a variation on the theme "it is new, it is largely unrecognized as already established") and to find the errors in the evidence and claims. This is a sound attitude. But they too make errors, or hasty assessment that are more ideological than well-thought - generally, their "trick" is to speak only once they think to have a suitable explanation, and to remain silent as long as they do not have it, so that nobody notices that they only have little success; which gives the readers the illusion they have great competence or general "success" when they actually don't.

A critic of the paper of Haselhoff by Joe Nickel, of the CSICOP, was to reproach that he did not make his study as double blind tests. But Nickel meant by this that it was a matter of avoiding "cheating". No double blind test, therefore possibility of fraud: "they always know which plants come from the crop circles and which do not come from the crop circles", he wrote. It is true, yet, it misses the true matter. Admittedly, it is difficult to say his a priori charges of cheating are illegitimate. But his implicit charge of cheating was useless: the true "double-test" in the scientific meaning of the term is not so much a "guarantee of non-cheating" - it is easy to cheat differently anyway! - the true fault in the test is to have compared seedlings of the crop circle and seedlings out of the crop circle and not to have compared seedlings of the crop circle claimed to be "non-human" with seedlings guaranteed to come from a human-made "control" crop circle.

I of course also found answers by "skeptics" completely beside the point. On an English speaking forum, a participant asked what to think about Haselhoff's paper, the answer was that "eyewitness testimonies are not scientifically valid", whereas there is absolutely no relationship between eyewitness testimony (of what?) and the core contents of Haselhoff's paper. As the reader insisted, the chap then argued that he can't say what the paper was worth as himself is not qualified with regard to plants, but that there is nothing scientific in Haselhoff's paper, period. Another skeptic added, "I persist, it's made with stomping boards." This is the general tone on skeptics forums: there is no real research or real argumentation, just denial without arguments, with the usual dismissal such as "there is no evidence", "they lie" and other "It is not up to me to prove my point."

A critical article in French was shown to me recently by a zetetician:
http://esprit.critique.free.fr/Dossiers%20en%20ligne/IEC%202006/IEC_2006_N_04_Crop%20circles_Dobremez_Duret_Montagne.pdf
It is about three coeds in Pharmacy, as a work within the framework of an initiation to critical reading, "to analyze the relevance of his (Haselhoff's) scientific approach." The thing is sometimes naive or easy. A weak example of criticism - there are also good things! - is "he signs his foreword with a very serious-sounding 'Dr' Eltjo Haselhoff." It is pushing the envelope a bit too much to criticize this: if he did not tell that he has a PhD, who would go beyond "it's no science, he's an amateur?" As critical work, the three coeds simply refer to and summarize the text of the CICAP I will discuss below, indicating that "in this criticism the latter suggest that the data would have been selected so as to match the conclusions of the author..." and "cheating with the data" is declared. Sometimes, criticism is frankly absent where it should be. The authors for example write, "to come to this conclusion, he based himself on many testimonys of people claiming to have seen balls of light moving above the studied fields." No, it is quite worse than that, and the skeptic stance on "testimonies" always presented as unreliable or un-scientific does not have to be brought up here: there is quite simply not even one testimony presented in the book! There is only one claim of their existence - certainly - but without the least work at all to present some of these testimonies and even less to evaluate some of these testimonies (I will show my work on this topic in the forthcoming weeks). The three girls conclude: two of them say that the book does not hold its promises to respect the scientific methodology, the third "admits that there are disconcerting elements difficult to explain by a human origin. However, difficult does not mean impossible..." I do not want to sound too grumpy but I must note the absence of any "added value" or true "work" in the article.

A critic from the "skeptic side" that his silenced in the "proponent side":

A little more consistent but largely ignored by the two "sides" is a article published in the magazine of the CSICOP, the Skeptical Inquirer, by members of the CICAP, the Italian branch of the organization which "checks the claims of the paranormal": "Italian skeptics debunk crop circle electromagnetic radiation claim". The other side could of course reject it immediately as they might believe it was not published in a scientific journal, and they could thus claim it is of no value, however the article was actually also published in the very open-minded Journal of Scientific Exploration, a scientific journal with a reading committee, and it was accepted. They thus might want to assert with disdain that the authors are not "True Scientists." Having read that paper, I can say that the argumentation is essentially based on the insufficient number of samples or their weird sampling plan (more samples "in" than "out", different from one circle to another circles that composed the formation), of unjustifiable arrangements with eliminated data, arranged data, the absence of sampling protocol, and that the study thus lacks "scientific relevance", and an insistence on matters of "reproducibility." It is also shown that the studied crop circle does not corresponding to that shown in photograph in Haselhoff's famous book.

They also noticed that paper does not show that "balls of light" make the crop circles. They criticize Haselhoff for not having shown a difference between "non-human" crop circles and "human" crop circles, but it is very clearly shown that what should have been done was the same study by comparing alleged "true" crop circles and "control" crop circles, which is to me the fundamental methodological error in this work - and all other similar works. There is no particular explanation concerning the nature of the "ball of light" either.

The errors in Haselhoff's study:

It must be noted that a most important point is that Haselhoff withdrew the totality of his articles on the Internet. His admirers refer to his articles by linking to archived pages made by www.archive.org such as http://web.archive.org/web/20060208065532/http://www.dcccs.org where this company purely and simply files a good part of what had appeared on the web at one time or another, whether the author likes it or not - and in this case, Haselhoff had closed down his web site entirely. And I can add, since I was criticized by some ufologist for not having "contacted Haselhoff", that I actually tried but never could make contact with him or his "DCCCS". This withdrawal, some lunatic fringe ufologists could allot to some CIA attack, I rather see is as a probable realization by Haselhoff that he believed too much in the crop circles "experts" and thus failed to correctly consider the more ordinary explanations of the anomalies that he thought he found.

The DCCS web site recently reappeared ( www.dcccs.org ), but there is nothing in it except a few, short, obsolete, anonymous claims such as "skeptics didn't who how to make crop circles". No science there, just an empty "discussions" page ( http://www.dcccs.org/discussies.htm ) and a few links tpo commercial crop circles websites.

The first error is not to have sought which kind of "ball of light" could explain a disparity of lengthening of the nodes.

The second error is that the correct use scientific methodology in such a case was not at work. Indeed, as "everyone knows" except Haselhoff and proponents of a "mysterious", paranormal or extraterrestrial origin of crop circles, it was absolutely necessary here not to just note an "anomaly", but to check that it is indeed an anomaly specific to what they call the "true" crop circles.

The true scientific problem to solve was not to show that there is this or that difference between the plants "inside" and "outside" of the crop circle. It is obvious that there must be multiple differences between flattened plants and standing plants!

The true problem was to check that this difference exclusively appears in crop circles that are "mysterious", "not made by men", and crop circles made by men. It was necessary to go make some experimental crop circles, and to check if in these control circles, which are sure to be made by men, one does not find the same "anomaly". Not to follow this process is a major scientific mistake.

To compare a crop circle made in one country and a crop circle made in another country, a crop circle made on a certain date and another made on very different date, is no valid control methodology. What must be compared is the allegedly paranormal or extraterrestrial crop circle and several crop circles made on purpose in the immediate surroundings of the first one and the same period of time, at least roughly. This obvious correct methodology was never followed in any "scientific papers" neither by Haselhoff nor by any proponent of the crop circles "mystery".

The third error is to have interpreted as obviously due to proximity of the ball of light the fact that the lengthening of the nodes would be more pronounced towards the center than towards the edges. It should have been realized that there is another thing which is more pronounced at the edges than in the center: shade.

Conclusion:

Consequently, the proof that the crop circles are not all made by very human land-artists or pranksters must be found elsewhere.

About the witness:

Dr. Haselhoff and the people he convinced do not particularly insist in telling about the testimony claiming luminous phenomena were seen doing these two crop circles in Hoeven in 1999.

You can read about it here.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2008