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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.

Q: How do circle makers make expulsion cavities?
A: By flattening crop.
Q: How do circle makers make node elongations in wheat?
A: By flattening crop.
Q: So sometimes the circle makers like to make expulsion cavities and sometimes node elongations, do they have that much control over the wheat?
A: Yes.
Q: So if they wanted to give a stem of wheat expulsion cavities AND node elongations, they could do it right?
A: Yes.
Q: This happens naturally then?
A: Yes.

Source: A crop circle maker answering "believers" question on a web forum.

The 14 evidence of weirdness reported by W.C. Levengood - point 2) Exploded nodes on plant stems:

W.C. Levengood and Marilyn J. Ruben wrote in 2003 that there were fourteen unusual features in crop circles [1]. The second feature is given as:

"The presence of "expulsion cavities" or exploded, penultimate nodes, due to a rapid build up of pressure caused by microwave heating."

In his papers, W.C. Levengood gives a more conservative version of this by pointing only to the possibility that expulsion cavities are caused by a heating by microwaves.

Examination of plants showing this characteristic:

In a discussion relating to the work by W.C. Levengood, someone claimed that I had denied the existence of this anomaly. This is entirely false, the existence of the anomaly was never denied by the serious researchers nor myself. The approach is not a denying of these anomalies, but the search of a better explanation than that of the action of microwaves.

I had started by examining the photographs of plants taken in the crop circles and showing this anomaly.

This image is captioned as showing "a large expulsion cavity" in a corn stem node taken in a crop circle in the US. Obviously there is no expulsion cavity, but a bursting of the outer tissues in several places, that show no signs of burn or heating by microwaves, but signs of mechanical action. It is apparent that the stem was crushed (red line).

It should be noted that the " Circle Zététique ", French a skeptic group, said they "have no knowledge of crop circles in the corn", but there are.

This other image relates to barley stems taken in a crop circle in Edmonton in Canada (The same image is on another source, that seems to doubt this origin), and is captioned as showing expulsion cavities. Actually there is no expulsion cavities here but abnormal growth of the nodes due to phototropism of the stems after being flattened: it is apparent that stems 1,2 and 4 from left to right are bent, that stem 5 does not show an expulsion cavity but an elongated node, and that stem 4 shows a mechanical tear. Also, stem 1 was split in two places, stem 2 with seems to "widen", which can be explained by the stem havein been flattened. Stem 3 shows a light abnormally growing node, nothing indicates that there are no tearing on the other side.

This image shows the base of a colza plant taken in a crop circle made in an oil seed rape field. The headline is about a "return of the genuine crop circles" and the comment suggests that this resembles "expulsion cavities" and invites the reader to provide his opinion by comparison with an expulsion cavity of a corn stem also shown. There is no expulsion cavity caused by microwaves there, but the effects of a mechanical action of flattening and torsion of the stem at he base and reaction of the plant by phototropism.

The same source shows burst nodes from another formation. The damage caused to the plant is visible: the two stems were folded, that of the bottom clearly shows a damage on the stem, the one on the top does not show it well but the widening of the stem is clue that the stem was flattened. This image shows at the same time the honesty of the photographer who did not seek to hide the damages to the plants, and lacks investigation of natural causes of the burst nodes.

This stem photographed by an Italian researcher also shows mechanical damage.

This image of a stem node, obviously dessicated for a long time and resembling any old stem is presented as "proof" on a Internet site that claiming crop circles are done by the "Illuminati", an oldBavarian esoteric group at the base of many moderm fantasies.

Additional remarks:

Another factor also makes the plants more fragile to mechanical attacks: the fields are sometimes overfertilized.

Maybe I will be criticized for not showing the "correct images", and it could be said that Dr. Haselhoff would be a source of "correct images". However, his web site is currently forbidden (, his book does not show photographs of expulsion cavities. The images I presented here come from sources that do believe crops circles are not all done by men and that "some" crop circles are done by the aliens or "psychic forces" or "military agencies using laser" etc. Thus, they are all images that have been shown as "proof" or, at least, as "evidence" that all crop circles are not made by men.

It is a simple fact that researchers little by little abandon the field because they end up realizing that the alleged "evidence" was not valid, and the images which that were shown as "evidence" disappear little by little.

It is also very difficult to find images comparing stems of crop circles showing expulsion cavities and stems outside the same crop circle not showing them. In rare such examples, the "exploded" nodes are shown, but without showing their entire stems, and this dissimulates most traces of mechanical action on these stems, as the damages re not necessarily just a few millimeters of the exploded nodes.

Misery also reigns as regards documentation on these anomalies: most of the time a single stem is shown instead of a statistically significant sampling, comparison samples are practically never shown, when shown they are only of intact plants instead of man-flattened comparison plants, it is also almost never indicated how much time after the discovery of the crop circle the samples were taken or photographed, neither how they were transported, nor for how long they were stored. The "scientific reports" much ado is done about are summaries of lab reports of private initiatives, seldom published, and not "scientific papers published in professional scientific journals with peer reviewing" as we are often told. This lack of serious and available documentation is in contradiction with the claims by cereologists about "25 years of scientific research". The fuss is produced to make believe that such research was intensive, serious and convincing proof of alien or paranormal cause for the crop circles.

To compare stems coming from inside crop circles with intact stems makes "experts" claim there is an anomaly. This is pseudo-science of the worst kind, because the only valid comparisons here would be to compare plants from inside crop circles with plants that were flattened by stomping boards. It is not the existence of anomaly which is denied, what is wrong is only that this anomaly could be explained only by microwaves, which the "pro" scientists do not really say as in their articles they only write that this could be "possible." But it is true that in interviews, this "possible" sometimes become a certainty - maybe because the interviewer distorted what was said.

Few comparisons of stems from crop circles with intact stems make some "experts" claim that there is an unexplained anomaly. This is pseudo-science of the worst kind, for the only valid comparisons here would be to compare plants from crop circles with plants having been flattened by men. It is not the existence of anomaly that is denied, the error is only that this anomaly is supposedly only explained "maybe" by microwave heating, while there are natural explanations of these anomalies.

In interviews, the "maybe" sometimes disappears.

Here is an example from an interview of Dr. Haselhoff:

"...after some straightforward research, it was discovered that the plant stems inside these formations had increased in diameter, as an effect of intensive heating, with an astonishing circular symmetry."

Actually, there never was anything about inflated stems, only elongated or exploded nodes. These errors may be due to poor transcriptions by the interviewer, or to careless explaining by interviewed people. This is difficult to find out, so it is better to refer to the writings, for example by Dr. Haselhoff:

The node lengthening effect may be caused by the involvement of heat, possibly caused by microwave radiation.

The "maybe's" and "possibly" that void the validity of the mentioned study as proof that men did not make the crop circles is later distorted by lecturers and authors who do not know how to read properly or do not want to read properly into : "it is proven that the crop circles are made by mysterious waves (by the aliens or military agencies or "psychic powers")."

These anomalies are actually natural anomalies, expected anomalies, logical anomalies entirely compatible with the human manufacture of the crop circles; they have several natural mechanical causes: the accumulation of sap in the folded stems which ultimately make a node burst, and the mechanical folding of the stems that splits the nodes. All this is visible on the photographs, but the "experts" were not able to see that in more than 10 years of "scientific research", or for some reason did not thought it wise to explain this to their audience.


There is a natural explanation to the nodes "explosions" of the plants of the crop circles. This explosion is an expected consequence of flattening and trampling the plants with boards, feet, garden rollers. It is thus useless to call upon alleged microwaves emitting devices, that nobody saw making crop circles, and that would have cause visible damages to the field without being able to flatten the stems.

And thus, W.C. Levengood's point 2...

"2) The presence of "expulsion cavities" or exploded, penultimate nodes, due to a rapid build up of pressure caused by microwave heating." not valid.

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

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This page was last updated on May 24, 2006.