91Sep08 4:17 pm from Cyberelf @ C-86 Test System _ MN Hello, Backfence. 91Sep09 7:22 pm fr

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

91Sep08 4:17 pm from Cyberelf @ C-86 Test System _ MN Hello, Backfence. 91Sep09 7:22 pm from John Logajan @ C-86 Test System _ MN Dominic Duvall -- debunking is the proposing of alternate explanations. The kind of debunking I object to is when the alternative explanation requires additional evidence that is not forthcoming. i.e. when J. Allen Hynek called some Michigan UFO sightings "swamp gas." He had no evidence at the time that it was swamp gas. He should have either said it *could* be swamp gas or that he wasn't sure what it was. By saying it *was* swamp gas, he over-stepped the line of skeptic to debunker. (He later changed his thinking on the whole UFO question, this was just an example that you requested.) 91Sep09 7:25 pm from John Logajan @ C-86 Test System _ MN Also Dominic, when I say "drew broader conclusions" than are waranted, I mean that one assumes that since two incidents, say, of UFO pictures are hoaxes, that all other pictures of UFOs are hoaxes. Each incident stands or falls on its own. You cannot take the status of one to determine that status of another. 91Sep09 11:44 pm from Loveless @ C-86 Test System _ MN Michael Armstrong pointed out to me a little-known practical joke in the field of lexicography. It seems that about half of all standard dictionaries deliberately omit the word "gullible" -- some sort of academic in-joke. ' 91Sep10 7:43 am from Excaliber @ The Quest _ IL Ok, lets here what every body has to say abowt cropcircles. K saw a thing in toodays paper about two 60 year old men claiming they did all the crop circles. pppppffffffllllllllgggggggggggppppppppppffffff!!!!!!!!!! 91Sep09 5:17 pm from Mike Greer @ The Flamingo _ Il Seed 91Sep10 8:26 pm from Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum _ IL The two chaps from Britain are simply jumping on a subject which has no easy answer. They demonstrated one way to duplicate the crop circles but have not satisfied those asking how the pair replicated their hoax at the same time, continents apart while evading the detection of a great deal of scientific monitoring. 91Sep11 2:28 am from Dylan Fenley @ Data Drum _ IL How did they supposedly make the cropcircles? And did they acount for the animals inside the circles that had all the flesh picked off their bones? 91Sep11 6:11 am from Dominic Duvall @ The Quest _ IL I find this all rather amusing. We are presented with two possible explanations for the crop circles. (There are others, but we'll just look at these two for the moment.) 1. Extraterrestrial beings climbed into a spaceship, travelled many light years to earth, then flew about the planet under of cover of darkness so that they could land in fields, leaving behind circles. Also, since these circles are of varying sizes, that implies multiple spaceships. 2. Two men made the circles. Why is the second explanation labeled "ludicrous"? 91Sep11 9:47 am from Mike Greer @ Data Drum _ IL Wouldn't local people see someone making the circles ? If they are man made, it seems like it would take quite a lot of time. 91Sep11 2:17 pm from Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum _ IL Dom, Fringe elements of the crop circle debate (it's a regular cottage industry in Britain) talk about aliens. Others are simply gathering whatever data that can me found. Whether the cause is spacemen or a natural act that has yet to be understood, the phenomena is too wide-spread as to be created by tricksters throughout the world, acting in unison and evading some detection. 91Sep11 8:32 pm from Dominic Duvall @ The Quest _ IL Ed, Nobody is claiming that those 2 men made ALL of the crop circles. They made the first ones and copy cats jumped on the bandwagon. Mike, RE: Local people would see them First, they were made at night. (Gee, UFOs can only land at night.) Second, they were made in fields -- generally not too close to watchful eyes. RE: It would take quite a lot of time They demonstrated it for reporters, so I guess it didn't take too long. Ed, RE: It could be a natural phenomenon Right, a natural phenomenon which quite suddenly began occuring with great frequency, whereas just a few years ago it seldom if ever occurred. RE: "tricksters ... acting in unison" There's no claim that this was a coordinated effort. A couple of guys hear about these crop circles, go out and make some of their own -- no coordination necessary. Dominic 91Sep11 8:54 pm from Dominic Duvall @ The Quest _ IL Just to clarify one thing -- I do NOT say that I am 100% convinced that those two guys started the crop circle thing. They could well be publicity seekers. However, that explanation is far more likely than any other I have heard. 91Sep11 6:38 am from Jimbo @ Backfence _ MN Leave it to the English to come up with such a grand hoax. They explained that people visiting England took the scheme home with them. I am surprised it never showed up in America. They even showed how they did it. It isn't to difficult to throw in a animal skeleton for added effect. 91Sep11 10:24 am from Loveless @ C-86 Test System _ MN How do we know those old guys aren't really from Sirius the Dog Star? 91Sep11 7:36 pm from Nowhere Man @ C-86 Test System _ MN Well we know you* are, Loveless. 91Sep11 11:49 pm from John Logajan @ C-86 Test System _ MN I have a book called the "Sirius Mystery." Its about a tribe somewhere in nothern Africa that celebrated the rotational period of a white dwarf (21 years?) around Sirius. Supposedly they were celebrating this before the existance of the white dwarf was detected by man made telescopes. 91Sep11 7:58 pm from Laser @ The City of Brass It would be nice to think that the "cropcircles" are some kind of new phenomenon. I happen to be skeptical . I thought, though, that the paper said that the two men could, in fact make circles like the originals, but were unsuccessful in being able to cover ther tracks, or at least were unable to leave evidence behind...excuse me... unable NOT to leave easily detectable evidence behind. So, in my mind, at least, the puzzle still exists. 91Sep12 7:47 pm from Lord Kalvin @ The Quest _ IL RE: Crop Circles Looking at the available evidence (slim- all the facts have not yet been published) it would appear that there is specific and quantifiable cellular changes that have occured in the plants. One) None of the plants have demonstrated any exterior damage from force. Two) the cellular polarization is definite under a microscope. Three) This is not the first time that crop circles have occurred by a long shot. Look at the magnetism angle. Although magnetics have been studied for a while, large scale i.e., billions of guass scale have only recently been able to be reproduced. Serious investigation is still under funded. However, if you consider just the case of piezo-electric fields from crunching granite (plasma balls and the like) then you can possible relate this to a natural phenonenom. England, of course is well know for its multiplicity of "microquakes". The guys who claim to have made the circles. Okay - I hadn't heard about them. However, do they REALLY want to be slapped with lawsuits for all the damage the crop circles have done? Stupid. Notoriety is not worth billions in damage payments. Just thought I'd throw it in. Skeptical? Sure. Interesting designs so, don't you think? Taking the designs as only the output of a planar section of a three-dimensional object, what would the object look like? Hmm. Kalvin 91Sep12 4:13 pm from Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum _ IL Dom, The two men could have made the circles in Britain. But other areas have reported the same shape and design. Could copy cats be so coordinated as to use the same method? It seems the hundreds of samples would include some slight variation. 91Sep12 4:24 am from Gnorman @ Mars Hill _ BC I do grow skeptical of a program about UFOs when they use pictures of UFOs that were proven to be fakes and haven't done enough research to find that out for themselves. Other things that they show may be real, but the false photos used tend to tell me that they are not very good for the research done on the show. __/The Gnome\__ 91Sep12 3:10 pm from Sifu @ Mars Hill _ BC Dominic: In responce to your post about two possible explainations for the circles ... first, you have managed to sort thru all the possible explainations for the circles and pick out the second worst one and then, having picked one of the least likely causes that have been preposed, you compare THAT one vs the 2 men making the circles ... this seems to me to be a case of putting more than a little 'editorial slant' on the whole thing. That aside though, there is a good and simple reason why it is ludicrous that these 2 men could have made the circles ... first of all, they claim they did it with a board which they pulled behind them ... sorry, that idea is as old as the topic and was one of the earliest proposed explainations and it was tried and it doesn't produce anything even close to the observed phenominum. They method they are claiming to have used will flatten the corn it is true, but it does so by braking the stooks, and that's the whole reason there is a mysteric at all is that in the genuine circles the staooks are bent but not broken. In fact, there are a lot of hoax-circles made each year, ones that the 'circle-researchers' and the 'Suffield Sceptics' _both_ agree are fakes, and those are generally done in the manner these two claim they have succeaded to do the 'real' artical. Then too, let us not forget about the numbers ... there are several hundred new circles each year ... more than one per night on average and sometimes as many a 7 or more ... and NOT generally close together, and this has been non-stop ... that's a LOT of circles, more than 20,000 of them! And we are to believe that 2 men started making these EVERY night from the time they were in their early 40s? Add to that the fact that when asked to demonstrate they refused, flat out. They laughed and said it was stupid ... well, although I'm not about to believe that UFOs have anything to do with them I also find the claim of these two to be totally unbelievable ... it might well be a hoax, but these two didn't pull it and it wasn't done that way. ---Sifu--- 91Sep12 8:46 am from Jimbo @ Backfence _ MN I wish those guys that started the "Crop circles" never let on to their stunt, the world needs more of this kindof stuff. 91Sep12 8:55 pm from No. 6 @ C-86 Test System _ MN Why did crop circles start in England? What better thing to do after closing time at your local local? .(6) 91Sep12 11:30 pm from Maid Marion @ C-86 Test System _ MN Only in the UK...... 91Sep12 4:52 pm from Laser @ The City of Brass Jimbo: there are a number of crop sculptures in the US. However, they are not even rumored to be extraterrestrial in nature. Have you seen any of them? The last one I saw was an ad for Tanqueray Gin. Really neat. 91Sep13 10:06 pm from Dominic Duvall @ The Quest _ IL Sifu @ Mars Hill, RE: I chose one of the least likely explanations to compare to the hoax theory of crop circles On the contrary, I chose what I consider to be the 2nd most likely explanation, after hoaxes. I'll write a message tomorrow explaining that. Also, my original post on this subject was in response to Excaliber's message, in which he gave the hoax theory the raspberry. In the Alien Workshop room, he had written some messages in which he was stating his support for UFOs. Thus, he apparently considers UFOs worth consideration, while claims of fraud are rejected outright. Anyway, I'll write FAR more about this tomorrow, as well as replying to Lord Kalvin's and Ed Sutherland's comments. 91Sep13 2:08 am from Gnorman @ Mars Hill _ BC Do we truly know how many circles have been created or that the stalks were not broken. 91Sep13 2:24 pm from Sifu @ Mars Hill _ BC They _could_ just be touched up photos ... no circles at all ... but I think there might be limits to skepticism 91Sep13 9:25 am from Dr. Lute @ C-86 Test System _ MN Mary and I wrote a flying saucer / scorched circle of radioactive grass story once: "Night Light", Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine for March of '87. Quite applicable to this discussion, and if any of you happen to dig it out I'd appreciate a review. 91Sep13 8:05 pm from Nowhere Man @ C-86 Test System _ MN Little note on the "crop circles": Claiming to make them might not make them liable - as I understand it, although the crops were flattened, they were not killed, and were harvestable. I may be wrong though, but that is what I thought was the weirdness of it all. 91Sep14 11:27 am from Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum _ IL Sifu @ Mars Hill -- Re: touch up photos of crop circles Yeah, either that or another case of mass delusion. ;-) 91Sep14 5:58 pm from Dominic Duvall @ The Quest _ IL RE: Crop circles First, a disclaimer. So far I haven't located any material about the crop circles that was written by what I would consider an objective, reliable scientific source. I also haven't read any of the books that are considered by believers to be authorities on the subject. The latest issue of the magazine "UFO" (Sept/Oct 1991, Vol. 6, No. 5) features crop circles, so much of my information comes from there. Those who study crop circles have given their study a scientific-style name, "cereology". Their publications include: * "Crop Circles, the Latest Evidence" by Pat Delgado * "The Cereologist", a quarterly publication * "The Crop Circle Enigma", edited by Ralph Noyes * "The Crop Watcher", a newsletter * "Circular Evidence", by Pat Delgado and Colin Andrews * "Circles Phenomena Research Newsletter" * "The Circular", a periodical There seems to be a misconception among many that crop circles are just that -- circles. While it is true that the first ones were simple circles, as time has passed and they have received more attention in the media, they have become more and more complex. Here is my attempt at showing what some of these look like. (Apologies to those with screen widths less than 80.) XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX A circle with a XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX curved offshoot XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and 3 "fingers" XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXX Called "The Hand of God". XXXXXXXXXX XXX-- XXX-- XXX-- XXXXXXXXX A smaller XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX circle linked XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX to a larger XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX circle by a XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX curved swath XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX ---||| A circle within a circle. -----||||| In the outer circle, the crops ------|||||| are laid in opposite directions ------XX|||||| in each quarter -----XXXX||||| |||||XXXX----- Aug. 12, 1989 ||||||XX------ Winterbourne Stoke, near ||||||------ Amesbury, England |||||----- ||||---- This next one is a "theory buster". It appeared in the summer of '91 in Wiltshire, England. It is an extremly complex formation. There is a solid inner circle, surrounded by two concentric rings. Overlaid on top of that is a triangle, with each corner bisected by a line. At each corner of the triangle is another figure. One is a circle containing curved spokes. Another is a circle containing a single line from the center to the perimeter. The third is a spiral formed from arcs, each offset slightly, such that the appearance is similar to that of a cog or ratchet; in the center of the spiral is a solid circle. Here's my best attempt at drawing this thing. XXXX XX X XXXXX X XXX XX XX XXXX XX X X X X XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX X X X XX X XXX XXX X / X XX XXX X----------XX----------------------------XX----------X/ X XXX X\\ XX XX // XX XX X XXX \ \ X X / / XXXXX XXXXX \ X\ XXXXXXXXXXXXXX /X / \ X \ XXX XXX / X / \X \ X X / X/ X\ X \ / X /X X \ X \ XXXX / X / X X \ X XXXXXXXX X / X X \ X XXXXXXXXXX X / X X \ X XXXXXXXXXX X / X X \ X XXXXXXXX X / X X \ X XXXX X / X X \ X | X / X X \ X | X / X X \ XXX | XXX / X X \ XXXXXXXXXXXXXX / X X \ | / X XX \ | / XX XX \ | / XX XXX \ | / XXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX \ | / \ | / \ | / \| / XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXX X XXX XX X XX X X XXXXX X X X XXXX X X XX X XXX X X XXX X XX X X XXX X X X X XXXXXXXXX X X X X XXX X X XX X XXX X X XXX X XX X X XXXX X X X XXXX X X XX X XX XXX X XXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX There are many more, but I think those are enough to give you an idea of how complex they get. (CONTINUED) 91Sep14 5:58 pm from Dominic Duvall @ The Quest _ IL (CONTINUED) Creating something that complex seems to require an intelligence. I find it unlikely that some type of natural phenomena could create something like the theory buster above. Perhaps a natural phenomenon could create a circle, or a line, or a spiral, maybe even a triangle, but I haven't heard of one that would create them laid out and joined together so precisely. Furthermore, whatever makes these things tends to take into account the field in which they are placed. For instance, we don't see a crop circle near the very edge of a field, such that it lies partly in the field and partly outside of the field. We also usually (but not always) find that the formation is made parallel to the lines of the field, following the tractor tire paths quite precisely. A random, naturally occuring phenomenon would have a random placement. Then there is the rate at which these CCs (crop circles) have been appearing: 1985 17 1986 17 1987 75 1988 110 1989 305 1990 1000+ If it were a natural event, one would not expect to see such a sudden "blooming" of occurences. Crop circles may well have been reported in the past, but not with anything approaching the frequency of the last few years. Given all of the above, I find it extremely unlikely that some type of natural effect causes these crop circles. The weather also seems to play a role. Estimates for the number of circles we could expect to see in the summer of 1991 were as high as 1,800. However, it has been a very rainy season in England this year. (Remember the problems they had getting Wimbledon finished?) As of the end of June, only a dozen had been reported and two of those were confirmed hoaxes. I find it rather unlikely that aliens would be put off by something as trivial as rain after having travelled several light years to get here. Geographic location also seems to be important. Although crop circles have been reported all around the world, they are by far most common in England, where they were first reported. Why would aliens choose England as their preferred landing area? There are other theories, however. Here are a few. (Note that these references are taken from "UFO" magazine. I haven't checked them myself.) 1. Gaia, the entity we call the earth, is creating the images to send messages to us. I find it unlikely that Gaia would be put off by rain, or that Gaia would wish to post the vast majority of her messages in the fields of England. (ref. "The Crop Circle Enigma", by Michael Green) 2. The circles were formed by "organic energy". I have no idea what that means. (ref. "Organic Energy" by Simon Burton in "The Circular", vol. 2, no. 1, March 1991) 3. Psychics report that the crop circles are the result of an inflow of energy to the earth and that it is of a spiritual nature and significant for humankind. There is, of course, no way to verify this, nor is there any indication of what it means. (ref. "Where Two Worlds Meet" by Haddington in "The Crop Circle Enigma") 4. Dowsers report that there is a dowsable line along the major axis of the formation. That's no surprising, since dowsing is demonstrably the result of the dowser's expectations. Since one would expect the axis to be important, that's where they come up with dowsable lines. What the importance is of a dowsable line is not explained. (ref. Delgado, "CPR Newsletter", April 1991) 5. The crop circles are somehow linked to fairy rings, the Mother Goddess, and similar elements of Celtic mythology. That would explain why the circles appear primarily in England. The recent revival of pagan beliefs would also tie into that, if one presumes that increased belief among the people would result in increased manifestations of that belief. Would rain make fairies less likely to cavort in fields? Incidentally, the logo of "The Cereologist" is a picture of Pan and his pixies dancing in a crop circle. (ref. "Clutching at Straws" by Robert J.M. Rickard in "The Crop Circle Enigma") 6. In Irish mythology, there is the story of "The Shining Ones". According to this tale, about 5,000 years ago (3,000 B.C., the late Neolithic period), the Priests of Light entered ancient stone structures called Cairns, never to emerge again. The speculation is that the priests are now emerging and that the crop circles are their messages to us. (ref. "Cairns and Crop Circles" by Michael Poynder in "Kindred Spirit" magazine, vol. 2, no. 1, Winter 90/91) (CONTINUED) 91Sep14 5:59 pm from Dominic Duvall @ The Quest _ IL (CONTINUED) 7. Jon Erik Beckjord proposed that the crop circles are messages written in the ancient Tifinag script. For instance, he examined the crop circle at the Hazely farm in Hampshire, England. He decided that the formation was made up of the following images: crescent, crescent, circle, circle with bar, two bars, circle, two crescents, circle, vee, two spurs. He then converted those images into Tifinag letters. Next he "reduced" them by dropping some of the letters. (No explanation is given as to why.) Then he added vowels. (Again, no explanation is given as to why. Nor does he explain why a "K" is added in this step.) Now he "translates" the words into English, then clarifies the translation, then clarifies it again. Tifinag: M M R B LL R M M R D Reduced: M---R LL R----M R---D Add vowels: ORM LIKI RUM DIRE Translated: WORM (serpent) IS (is like) THIS PLACE BAD or EVIL Clarified: THIS IS THE PLACE OF THE DEVIL (serpent) IS EVIL PLACE Final: THIS IS THE PLACE OF THE DEVIL, AN EVIL PLACE. Other translations he has made include these: * At Barn field, Hampshire, England: "This is a dangerous place to camp." * Near Avebury, Wiltshire, England: "Thor - God of Thunder" * Same location, nearby: "Spurting out upon" He says that these three, taken together, may be an alien warning of the war that was to begin a week later in Kuwait. Again, there is no explanation as to how he leaped to this explanation. I don't see how a warning against camping in a field in Hampshire, England can be taken to have some relationship to a war in Kuwait, which isn't exactly next door. Also, one wonders how the aliens would have been able to predict what would happen in the future. Of course, predicting the past is much easier than predicting the future. I think Mr. Beckjord's description of this method says quite a lot: "It can take a book to explain this; perhaps a degree in linquistics. However, in brief, one takes the principles of Tifinag and Ogam (often used together in the same rocks) as found in Dr. Barry Fell's book, Bronze Age America, and using that method, one treats the agriglyphs as if they were petroglyphs. Each part of the pictogram represents an ancient Norse or Celtic constant. Once these are chosen as appropriate, vowels are added, to select words that make some sort of sense. Nonsense words are rejected. The words are then translated by using the Dictionary of Old Icelandic (Old Norse) used by linguists. The sentences can run forwards or backwards. The most appropriate and meaningful choice is selected, and scholars can debate for years over this choice. This is an inexact science. It is more like an art or craft than science." (ref. "'Decoding' the Agriglyphs" by Jon Erik Beckjord, "UFO", Vol. 6, No. 5, Sept/Oct 1991) Amen to that. So, you can throw out any letters you don't like, add any letters you need, throw out entire words if you can't come up with something that makes sense, rearrange the order, etc. Uh-huh. I think I'll look elsewhere for an explanation of crop circles, thanks. One more thing: How are the crop circles formed? According to Mr. Beckjord, "it is simply invisible UFOs that are using force-beams to 'write' the crop circle pictograms, in all countries they occur." Simple. To their credit, "UFO" magazine ran a "counterpoint" article called "A Faulty Translation" by Dennis Stacy in the same issue. Mr. Stacy opens his article by quoting Virginia Woolfe: "Interesting, if true." (A wonderful quote! I'll have to remember that one!) Lastly, Barry Fell, author of "Bronze Age America", which Mr. Beckjord is using as his source of knowledge of Tifinag, has disavowed attempts to Tifinag to interpret the circles. 8. A woodcut dated 1678 shows a little devil cutting a crop circle. Fine, what of it? Also, CUTTING a circle is quite different from what is happening here. (ref. "Clutching at Straws" by Robert J.M. Rickard in "The Circle Crop Enigma") 9. The symbols present in some of the crop circles have been related to the Sacred Marriage, the Sun God, the Great Turning, the Earth Goddess, the Cosmic Egg, and the Divine Hermaphrodite. I don't know what these symbols are, so I can't comment on them. (ref. "The Rings of Time: The Symbolism of the Crop Circles" by Michael Green in "The Crop Circle Enigma") 10. The "dumbbell" shapes of some of the circles are similar to the Vajra, a Buddhist religious tool. (ref. "The Year of the Vajra" by John Haddington, "Global Link Up", Autumn 1990) I'll write more later, but I'm going to go ahead and post this now. Dominic Duvall 91Sep14 6:07 pm from Dave Drum @ Data Drum _ IL I think it's all related to Stonehenge. As soon as they figure out what Stonehenge means the "crop circle" mystery will clear itself away. ENJOY!!! 91Sep14 6:09 am from Fanchon @ Mars Hill _ BC Circles again? Was I not reading this in anpother room? 91Sep14 11:28 am from Sifu @ Mars Hill _ BC Fanchon: there is sometimes a bit of overlap in topics. Dominic: I never saw the start of this topic, so I didn't realize that there had been a suggestion by one who discounted hoaxes that UFOs were a good explaination. One point though, personally I would not be surprized if the circles appearing in the cornfields, etc, were a hoax but I find the claim of _those two men_ to be totally unbelievable. The method they claimed to use is one which was examined long ago and even the scientists who are trying to prove the circles are hoaxes rejected that method because it simply does not work. That doesn't mean that it isn't a hoax but it DOES indicate that the two claiming to have done it are liers seeking a bit of fame. ---Sifu--- 91Sep14 10:02 pm from Cyberelf @ C-86 Test System _ MN I wasn't aware that the USAF held grain futures. 91Sep15 12:23 pm from Lord Kalvin @ The Quest _ IL Dominic: great piece of research. Nice amount of information set in there. Now, having given you plaudits, I will proceed to disagree/digress. You see no reason to believe such complex patterns are natural, and that they only occur at certain times and conditions. One) consider the snowflake. Mankind has yet to duplicate the vast geometric designs (although fractals are getting close) on the time scale necessary. 2) still the snowflake: never seen in tropical rainforests. The analogies are not precise, but you see the gist. The cropcircles (which of course are documented in myths of england, and some in the US western myths) go back a long time. One of the theories that I heard was that due to the persistent recurrence in England in the "pre-history" times, a lot of the monuments which are laid on the ley-lines were designed to calm the energy flows that produced such things. England is and has been in the process of changing or destroying many of the cairns that were placed across the country. A number of the "fairy mounds" have been excavauted and the evidence suggests that they were formed in deliberate layers that would emulate a large (VERY large) capacitor system - layered rock (a large proportion of which was quartz bearing - transistors anyone?) organic compounds (insulator) and mineral deposits (traces, comparable to those used in layering VLS micro-electronics). One such area, after having been dug up, was literally bulldozed back together, with no regard as to composition. The area residents are now suing to have it dug up again and put in RIGHT. They have witnessed a decrease in fertility in their livestock and vegetation, and an increase in the bad weather cycle. We are talking about a tokomatic ring size shape here. One of the theories that presently exist is that we are concentrating on too small an area of phenomenom. England, with its' quartz-bearing strata and the continual microquakes could be considered the equivelant to the medulla obongatta, and the activity the nueron firing. Which is harder to accept: 1) Natural occurences - on the order of snowflakes transferred to 3-dimensional effects, 2) UFO's trying to communicate 3) random output from a monolithic computer network 4) the earth is alive and trying to communicate (Gaia hypothesis). Personally, I'll take 1,3,4. Much as I like the UFO idea, I tend to doubt it because of the growth cycle of star fairing civilizations. Doubtful we'd be interesting. England has always had unusual myths. With the unstable tectonics and plasma theory of piezoelectric, with the socio-cultural matrix being overlaid upon each massive guass-magnetic experience (it has been relatively proved that massive magnetic field wipe the human mind, allowing the reptilian hindbrain to fill in the gap with the appropriate "experience") it is no wonder that so many of our favorite myths come from England. Now we are starting to receive a lot from California (land of the crazies) and the direct relationship between tectonic instability and human mental instability should not be ignored. Think I lost the original point. Dom - my disagreement was only on the point of the crop circles being a natural phenomenom, the rest of your post was brilliant. Thanks Kalvan 91Sep15 9:20 am from Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum _ IL Dom, Quite interesting research. Many points seem to lead to human planning or design of "crop circles." I remember reading the wire service story about the two Britons who claim to be responsible for the acts. It said a local farmer had begun charging people interested in seeing a "circle" on his land. But the one question that lingers is how such a hoax done on a massive scale, could escape attention? I can't see people trampling around with a board and rope in the dead of night hurriedly creating large circles or complex patterns. The only answer I can think of is a collusion among the land-owner, the hoaxsters, any visitors and outsiders. Has anyone checked how the British view these incidents? Maybe they are seen as pranks and not much more. 91Sep16 2:10 am from Dylan Fenley @ Data Drum _ IL Kalvan: Aie, mate. Good point indeed. Dom: Chew on the Fibinache series. 91Sep15 8:09 am from Laser @ The City of Brass To: Dominic Duvall. That was an excellent discourse on the crop circles! Thanks! 91Sep15 2:45 pm from Kagemusha @ The City of Brass great 'un, Dominic....that last diagram looked like some Hover-Car prototypes I've seen.... 91Sep16 11:29 am from Sifu @ Mars Hill _ BC Ed Sutherland: oh yes! How could I have forgotten mass delusion? I believe that if one looks at reports officially explaining strange phenominum they would find that mass delusion is the single most common cause of anything scientists can't explain Dominic: Interesting, though it doesn't overly surprise me. Let us assume for the moment that there was in fact some simply natural explanation for the circles which didn't involve hoaxs ... until the answer was found and poroven absolutly I'd fully expect that for each intelligent word on the topic there would be 50 or more words of non-sence ... and with time this should get worst since any serious-minded scientist who might think of examining the circles to figuer them out is going to be leery of them simply because the more quacks and crackpot that come along the harder it is to do scientific research without getting tarred with the same brush as the quacks. Thus as time goes on, fewer sane, serious researchers will get involved and more off-the-wall crackpots will until most crackpots won't want to be assosiated any more. BTW: there is a group of scientist who call themselves the Suffield Skeptics who are involved in research of the circles ... they are generally certain that the circles are a hoax, but they feel that this needs to be proven and not just claimed ... silly fellows believe that it's unscientific to discount something you can't explain simply because you don't feel like believing in it ... personally I thought that was the mainstay of modern science ... just like the thing with continental drift ... the scientist who first proposed that idea was rejected without cause because the established minds did not like his theory, when he set out to prove it, he was branded a crackpot and lost all respect and possition in the scientific community ... he became a laughing stock because he believed an unpopular theory ... of coarse he eventually proved he was right, but only because he refused to bow to the Scientific Establishment and insisted on seeing proof before forming his views. Still, if you want a scientific view of the circles from a bunch of scientists who believe them to be a hoax but who are insisting on real proof, well, the Suffield Skeptics are the people you want. ---Sifu--- 91Sep17 12:24 am from Gnorman @Mars Hill Have you ever seen a drifting continent? 91Sep16 3:06 pm from Cyberelf @C-86 Test System Fibonacci. 91Sep16 4:24 pm from Philosophicus Dixie @C-86 Test System Dominic: Thank you for the information and taking the time to post it. It was fascinating, fun, furrilous stuff. 91Sep16 12:03 am from John Barleycorn @C-86 Test System Last I heard, England's crop circles are hoax. Oddly, some scientists (supposedly critical thinkers) are still toying with the idea of the para-normal. Refusing to accept a rational explanation... From the air, many old barrow outlines are visible. Countless were built across Europe since the Bronze Ages -- and like in North America -- were usually destroyed by farmers. There's only so far you want to stretch a theory. I've been trained as an archaeologist and I have to admit the fairy mound/capacitor system has never been presented in a scholarly work to me. Of course, the fallacy of that theory lies in its obvious contradiction: capacitors (for all practical purposes) did not exist prior to the industrial revolution, the Neolithic to Bronze Age burials mounds preceeded them by millienia. So I tend to be very skeptical of any theory so obviously rooted in the present -- which tries to explain the distant past. Historians are always part of their present paradigm, but a tad more self-conscious about it. The technique we're striving for is called hermeneutics. In other words, a theory to explain past lifeways which is so 20th century paradigm-dependent is as inaccurate as it is removed from known technology of the period you're trying to explain. The British love to plot Stonehenge on a computer, running complex calculus equations in order to explain it. That's fine -- but the Bell Beaker people (probable architects of Stonehenge) used neither the computer or calculus (wasn't invented until a couple thousand years later). So some of the British "lunatic-fringe" are producing data which looks interesting, but certainly isn't what the original builders had in mind... As a disclaimer: most scholars agree that Stonehenge was an observatory and/or calender of some kind -- and I agree. But to call it an "astronomical computer" is misleading. Leornard Nimoy's "In Search Of" program did far more harm than good to the scholarly disciplines of archaeology, psychology, radio astronomy, and so on. If people want to speculate about the para-normal, the Whitehouse and CIA provide ample data. 91Sep17 6:00 pm from No. 6 @C-86 Test System You don't need a computer to build Stonehenge; you need things like string and sticks in the ground (and a lot of back-breaking labor shoving those rocks around.. To position a slot between two rocks so it marks the position of the sun at dawn on the summer solstace, put a stick in the ground. Every morning at dawn get up and see if the sun passes to the north or south from your viewing point. Move the stick a bit and wait for the next dawn. A couple weeks after the solstace you can start hauling rocks and looking elsewhere for the next celestial event. So it takes you a few years of constant checking. It takes that long to shove the boulders around. 91Sep19 10:14 pm from Dylan Fenley @Data Drum And then there's those spiral stair cases that aren't supposed to be able to support their own weight. There's one in NM or AZ thats really famous, but there's several of them around the world. 91Sep20 2:05 am from Mike Greer @Data Drum Dylan: I saw a story on a staircase on Unsolved Mystery's about a man that came into a convent and made a staircase for them for free,it was a incredible spiral staircase that amazes even the professional stairmakers... 91Sep20 8:58 am from Ed Sutherland @Data Drum Re: Staircases Their are examples in nature of things that go contrary to the laws of physics. How a Humingbird can hove or a bee fly have always run counter to what we know.There are several bridges that seem much too long and light to support weight. But they use common techniques. Might the carpenters that built such mysterious stairs used methods firmly planted in the real world but not conventional or not used today. Sometimes, if something cannot be explained it will be said to be paranormal. But in this instance, I believe we are dealing with something like the two instances in nature, simply unexplained till we gain more knowledge. 91Sep20 7:53 pm from Dominic Duvall @The Quest All, So far this room is carried by The Quest, Data Drum, C-86 Test System, The City of Brass, Beach, and Mars Hill. Not bad for a room that I haven't advertised outside of Mail. I'll post some ads this weekend and see if we can get it to expand further. Judging by the level of activity in here so far, I expect there will be interest. I've recently been inundated by chaoticism (ie. life) and thus haven't been able to reply to or comment on many of the messages entered in this room. I'm going to try to get caught up now, so this will be a rather lengthy message. (Dydap, you can press ext now.) This includes replies to John Logajan, Loveless, Ed Sutherland, Dylan Fenley, Mike Greer, Jimbo, Laser, Lord Kalvin, Gnorman, Sifu, Dr. Lute, Dave Drum, and John Barleycorn. Here goes! John Logajan @ C-86 Test System, RE: Debunking To some extent, I agree. Dismissing a theory without any reason is a danger that should be avoided. However, I must point out two things. One is that not everyone who calls themselves skeptics are truly qualified. (The same caveat applies to those who call themselves scientists.) The other thing is best illustrated by a "let's suppose". Let's suppose that I come to you on Monday with a thousand dollar bill. You run some tests on it and determine that it's a forgery. On Tuesday I show up with another thousand dollar bill. You run some tests on it and determine that it's a forgery. On Wednesday I show up with another thousand dollar bill. You run some tests on it and determine that it's a forgery. This continues for a month. If I then come to you with yet another thousand dollar bill and you declare, without even bothering to test it, that it's a forgery, I think most people would understand. That's one of the problems with debunking -- it is generally impossible to prove the non-existence of something. If it were proven that every single crop circle made in the last 5 years was a hoax, and then one appeared tomorrow, there would be those who would claim that the new crop circle required investigating. RE: J. Allen Hynek as a debunker (and then believer) of UFOs Unfortunately, I think you chose a poor example to illustrate your objection to debunking. Most skeptics would probably consider Mr. Hynek to a less than shining example of proper skepticism. Hynek was an astronomer who helped on Project Blue Book. He began as a skeptic, then became a believer. But I think Hynek's skepticism is a bit questionable. Here's why. Hynek was also a believer in the "astral journey" made by Ingo Swann to report on Mercury and Jupiter. Targ and Puthoff, the professional believers of the world of the paranormal, conducted the experiment, with Hynek joining in the cheering about the results. The idea was that Swann would astrally travel to Mercury and Jupiter, report what he saw, and then the results would be compared to the results found by Mariner 10 and Pioneer 10. Hynek said, "These are matters which Swann couldn't have guessed about or read. His impressions of Mercury and Jupiter cannot be dismissed" and "I was fascinated by the Jupiter findings of Pioneer 10 when I compared them with Mr. Swann's. His impressions of Jupiter, along with his experience with Mercury, most certainly point the way to more experimentation." Isaac Asimov examined what was reported by Swann, as well as another "astral traveller", Harold Sherman. Here were the results: Fact, but obtainable from reference books ............. 11 Fact, but obvious ..................................... 7 Fact, not obtainable from reference books ............. 1 Probable fact ......................................... 5 Unverifiable due to vagueness or lack of data ......... 9 Probably untrue ....................................... 2 Wrong ................................................. 30 == Total 65 Among the more dramatic wrong information reported was that Jupiter has a surface with an enormous mountain range. (Swann later declared that he had overshot Jupiter and had reported on a planet in another solar system.) That Hynek would praise Swann's findings in such glowing terms throws more than a little doubt upon his credibility as an objective investigator of UFOs. RE: Drawing broad conclusions On the one hand, yes, each report must stand on its own merits. On the other, after you have come to me 30 days in a row with thousand dollar bills with are forgeries, the burden of proof is on you when you come to me with yet another thousand dollar bill. It would be nice if every report of something weird could be investigated carefully to determine whether it was true or false. However, most skeptics have other interests and grow tired of investigating yet another claim. It is simply common sense to learn from past experience. That doesn't mean that significant evidence should be ignored. It simply means that the burden of proof is not on the skeptic. Again, it is virtually impossible to prove the NON-EXISTENCE of something. Loveless @ C-86 Test System, RE: Half of all dictionaries omit the word "gullible" I've also heard that most cartographers put an intentional mistake in their maps as a "signature", so that they can tell if someone else has copied their work. (CONTINUED 91Sep20 7:54 pm from Dominic Duvall @The Quest (CONTINUED Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum, RE: How did the two men make the crop circles continents apart at the same time? Easy. They didn't. There were probably MANY people out there making crop circles. The more media attention they got, the more people made them. People are generally VERY willing to join in on a hoax. Here's an example. This comes from James Randi's book "Flim-Flam!": "I had the great satisfaction, many years ago, of proving to myself and to the listeners of 'The Long John Nebel Show', a radio program in New York, that most people just love to get in on a good thing. Nebel and I planned in advance to perform a minor experiment, and as we settled in for a long evening of talk about the wonders of a subject very much in demand on that show - flying saucers - we made sure that the telephone lines were cleared for action. It came thick and fast. "I breathlessly described how, earlier that evening, I had been driving through the Perth Amboy area of New Jersey and had seen a V-shaped formation of triangular orange objects going overhead in a northerly direction. I said I wasn't sure whether there had been any noise, because of the traffic sounds around me. Immediately the station switchboard lit up like an electronic Christmas tree, and John's secretary began taking down reports from callers who had also been witnesses to this remarkable sighting. Some were even switched through to the studio and told their stories on the air. Within half an hour we had established the exact number of triangles and the speed, altitude, and precise direction of the formation, and had discovered that I had seen only one pass of the 'saucers' when there had been several! "As I look back on it now, I think it was unfortunate that we 'blew the gaff' right there on the show about an hour after going on the air. Otherwise the reported sighting would undoubtedly have gone into the vast literature about 'unidentified flying objects' and would have been by now one of the unassailable cases quoted by believers. As it was, we mercifully terminated the hoax to show listeners just how easy it was to create from nothing a full-blown flim-flam that would be supported and built upon by willing conspirators." (ref. James Randi, "Flim-Flam!") I find it quite easily to believe that there were plenty of copycat hoaxers out there. The cereologists say that hoaxes were easy to detect. True, they did detect some of the hoaxes. That doesn't mean that they detected all of the hoaxes, however. RE: Evading detection I find it easier to accept that two men avoided detection than I do that a UFO, a wind storm, or a massive electromagnetic pulse avoided detection. Furthermore, I read that, after monitoring one field overnight, investigators discovered while leaving that a crop circle had appeared in the field BEHIND them! Chance? Perhaps. But it sure sounds like EXACTLY the type of thing a practical joker would do, doesn't it? Dylan Fenley @ Data Drum, RE: How did they make the crop circles Someone here said that they dragged a board around behind them. I don't know where they got that information, because it wasn't what I read. My information was that the used a board with a rope tied to both ends. They would then stand on the board, hold the rope in their hands, and then "walk" it about. Here's my attempt at a picture: O /|\ .---. <--- rope held by man, / / \ \ tied to each end of board --------- <--- board Avoiding any footprints was easy -- they just walked along the tractor tire lines of the field. In the pictures I saw, not a single structure appeared that wasn't reachable by walking along the tractor tire lines. Most of the structures, in fact, were formed to lie directly along one of the tractor tire lines, which presumably made it easier. RE: Animals in the circles that had all the flesh picked off their bones I'm not aware of this aspect. Did this occur at all of the sites or just some? What kinds of animals? Just as a wild guess, I'd say that it wouldn't be too difficult for a couple of hoaxers to come up with such a thing. (It would be significantly more difficult for a wind storm or a massive magnetic pulse to do that, I would presume.) Mike Greer @ Data Drum, RE: Wouldn't local folks see the hoaxers? First, as I said, I find it more likely that a couple of men could avoid detection than that a UFO, wind storm, or massive magnetic pulse would avoid detection. Second, if you were driving down the road and saw a couple of men walking through a field, would you think anything of it? Third, since these circles were made at night, chances are they could quite easily avoid being seen. How many people look at fields at night? RE: It would talk quite a lot of time Depends on what you call "a lot". They began as very simple circles, which would take very little time. It was only in the last year or two that they became so complex. Presumably they became faster, which made the more complex patters possible. Also, if the more complex ones were made by other hoaxers, they might have been the work of, say, a dozen hoaxers, rather than just two, which presumably would reduce the time required. (CONTINUED) 91Sep20 7:54 pm from Dominic Duvall @The Quest (CONTINUED) Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum, RE: Fringe elements of the crop circle debate talk about aliens Well, that "fringe" is probably a bit larger than you think. RE: It's too widespread to be created by tricksters throughout the world acting unison and avoiding detection Again, there's no reason to think that it was an ORGANIZED effort. Consider the Randi radio show UFO hoax I mentioned earlier. No concerted effort was involved there, people just spontaneously joined in the hoax. Yes, some of the crop circle hoaxers did a poor job and some were caught. I have a feeling that it's kind of like roaches -- if you find one, there are probably LOTS that you don't see. Jimbo @ Backfence, RE: Crop circles never showed up in America A crop circle was found in a rye field belonging to Floyd Steinert, owner of a cattle ranch near Fargo, Oklahoma on June 16, 1991. There have been others, most appearing in the last two years. John Logajan @ C-86 Test System, RE: "The Sirius Mystery" I recommend that you pick up Randi's book, "Flim-Flam!". He talks about that, along with other space stuff, in a chapter called "Into the Air, Junior Birdmen!" "The Sirius Mystery", written by Robert Temple in 1976, reports on the Dogon tribe in western Africa. He reports that they knew about the companion star, Sirius B, which was discovered relatively recently (1862). He says they also knew that it orbits the main star every 50 years. Temple reports that a diagram shows an elliptical orbit containing two symbols representing Sirius A and Sirius B. However, Randi reports that consulting the original source reveals that the diagram is somewhat different than what Temple reported. First, it does NOT show an elliptical orbit. Instead, it shows an egg-shaped orbit. Secondly, the orbit isn't an orbit -- it CONTAINS the other objects in the diagram, without any of the objects resting on the orbit itself. Thirdly, the Dogon don't call it an orbit, they call it "the egg of the world", and they often use an egg-like shape to represent mystical objects. Fourthly, rather than simply containing two symbols representing the two stars, the diagram contains NINE symbols. In addition to the two symbols which Temple says represent Sirius A and Sirius B, there is a symbol called "the sun of women" and another called "the star of women". That's right, the Dogon don't know that "sun" and "star" refer to the same thing. Fifthly, although the orbit of Sirius B around Sirius A is fifty years, the Dogon say that it is SIXTY years. Lastly, Sirius B was detected in 1862. The Dogon have had contacts with the Western world since the late 1800s and have been attending schools in Europe for decades. Even if they were a bit closer to being right about Sirius, it isn't inconceivable that they could have somehow learned about it from more mundane sources. Laser @ The City of Brass, RE: "I happen to be skeptical ." No need to apologize for being skeptical! Certainly not in THIS room! RE: The men could create the circles, but couldn't cover their tracks I've read three versions: (1) The men could create convincing circles and could cover their tracks by walking along the tractor tire tracks. (2) The men could create the circles, but couldn't cover their tracks. (3) The men refused to create a demonstration circle. I find that latter (that they wouldn't demonstrate) quite unlikely. I suspect that they demonstrated their abilities, then someone later wanted to see another demonstration, which they didn't want to do, since they had already done one. That's just a guess. I suspect that "covering their tracks" was a rather subjective thing. If you come upon a crop circle and have no reason to suspect that it's a hoax, two things will happen: (1) You'll be less likely to find tracks because you won't know where to look; (2) you'll be less interested in looking for tracks because you don't expect to find any. In the case of someone examing a hoax which they saw done, they would: (1) be more likely to find tracks because they DO know where to look; (2) be more interested in looking for tracks because they DO expect to find some. Lord Kalvin @ The Quest, RE: None of the plants have shown external damage A few comments about that. One is that "external damage" is a bit of a subjective term. If someone isn't expecting to find external damage, the chances are increased that they won't. Also, the investigators can't examine every single plant for damage, so they presumably take a sample or two. If the method used damaged only 10% of the plants, for instance, there is a rather good chance that the investigators would not detect it. Also, I have a suspicion that "bending without breaking" is not as difficult as most people think that it is. When you hear that phrase, you immediately assume that it must be difficult to do. How many people have actually TRIED bending plants without breaking them, and what methods have they used? Again, there is the problem of subjective interpretation and expections in examing the plants for damage. The test plants would be examined more closely and less liberally than would plants taken from a normal crop circle. RE: "cellular polarization is definite under a microscope" Yes, I had heard something said about changes to the plants, but I've never heard an explanation of what those changes ARE. What is "cellular polarization"? Also, do you know who detected this polarization? There have been ample examples in the past of self-declared "scientists" (and even legitimate scientists) announcing the discovery of some weird effect which nobody else can see. There have also been plenty of cases in which people have REPORTED that scientists found something, when in fact the scientists deny having been involved at all. (Example: The famous Loch Ness flipper photograph which was computer enhanced by a lab. When The Skeptical Inquirer checked with them, they were told that the photo that was released was NOT the photo which their computer enhancement had produced.) (CONTINUED) 91Sep20 7:54 pm from Dominic Duvall @The Quest (CONTINUED) RE: This is not the first time crop circles have occurred I didn't say that they were. I said they occurred seldom in the past. It has only been in the last 5 years or so that crop circles have exploded into such prominence, similar to the way UFOs, which were reported from time to time in the past, suddenly became all the rage in 1947 and have been popular ever since. RE: Magnetism Several comments. Why would this magnetism produce very few circles in the past, then produce more than 1000 in 1990? Why would it produce very simple circles a few years ago, then become ever more complex? RE: England's microquakes If this is related to seismic activity, wouldn't California be a hotbed of activity for crop circles? RE: Hoaxers being hit with lawsuits What would they be charged with? About the only thing I can think of is trespassing and possible some minor damage to private property (not enough dollar value to be a felony). As for lawsuits, that's the typical American way of thinking. ("Your Honor, these men forced me to spend hours and hours in a field. I'm suing for one million dollars in damages and three million dollars for the pain and suffering of realizing that I had been a fool.") Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum, RE: Could the copycats be so coordinated as to use the same method, produce the same shapes? First, how do we know that the copycats used the same method? Second, why couldn't the produce the same shapes? The see a photo of a shape in England, they run out and produce it. Nothing mysterious about that. In any case, there's been LOTS of variation, so I'm not sure where you got the idea that they all looked alike. Gnorman @ Mars Hill, RE: UFO shows that use photos of known fakes Alas, the facts seldom get as much air-time as the initial exciting story. The same old things keep coming back over and over again. Martin Gardner's "Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science", written in 1952, talked at length about the claims of L. Ron Hubbard, dianetics, and the Church of Scientology. Hubbard is now gone, but the latter two remain with us. Sifu @ Mars Hill, RE: The 2 men said the dragged a board behind them Not according to what I read. See the diagram above. RE: It flattens the corn, but it breaks the stocks Ummm... So far as I know, no crop circles have appeared in corn fields. Most crop circles appear in fields of cereal grains (eg. wheat). Bending wheat is significantly easier than bending corn. RE: Hoax circles are found Again, SOME hoax circles are detected, but that does not mean that ALL hoax circles are detected. RE: The "Suffield Skeptics" Are these "true" skeptics? Do you know if they are a branch of CSICOP? RE: 20,000 circles Not according to my information. 2-3,000 is closer. Again, I doubt that these two men made them ALL. RE: They refused to demonstrate That's not what I read. Quite the opposite, in fact. Jimbo @ Backfence, RE: The world needs more of this kind of stuff Personally, I think it needs MUCH less. Fortunately for you and unfortunately for me, there is PLENTY of this type of thing going on all the time and no sign of it stopping. Dr. Lute @ C-86 Test System, RE: Mary's and your story "Night Light" in March '87 Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine Interesting! I wonder if our library has back issues? If I can remember to do so, I'll check this weekend. Dave Drum @ Data Drum, RE: Stonehenge Actually, some people DO think that the crop circles are related to Stonehenge and similar structures. They believe that the crop circles appeared in those areas in the past and that the stone structures were built there for that reason. Sifu @ Mars Hill, RE: Crop circles might be a hoax, but not by those two men You may well be right. I said earlier (before you joined in the discussion) that I didn't think we had proof that those two had done it. I was just amused that their claim was instantly rejected as being ludicrous, while other far more bizarre explanations were met with an "open mind". I've heard three different versions of their story, so until I find out which version is true, I can't really give a definite true or false. (CONTINUED) 91Sep20 7:55 pm from Dominic Duvall @The Quest (CONTINUED) Lord Kalvin @ The Quest, RE: Snowflakes Yes, but those are tiny crystal formations. It's quite a mighty leap to go from that features which cover hundreds of square yards. Also, snowflakes are quite complex, but they are also symmetrical. Crop circles are not. A complex symmetical shape would make more sense to me than what we're seeing in crop circles. And, again, there's the question of why the crop circles of a few years ago were simple circles, while later crop circles were ever-more complex. RE: "ley lines" What exactly are "ley lines"? Are they simply the lines which dowsers find, or does orthodox science recognize them as something? Once you start talking about "energy flows" and "fairy mounds", my eyes start to glaze over. If you're going to invoke "transistors" from quartz rock, "insulator" from organic compounds, and "VLS micro-electronics" from mineral deposits, then presumably you're talking about a non-paranormal phenomenon which non-paranormal equipment should be able to detect. I've heard of nothing. If the phenomenon is NOT non-paranormal, then there's no point in trying to give it the gloss of orthodox technology. RE: Residents suing to have a "fairy mound" put back "right" Reminds me of the "psychic" who sued because she had lost her "powers" after a treatment of some type. Has this decrease in the fertility of their livestock and vegetation and increase in the bad weather cycle been confirmed as being outside of the normal variations? I hope you'll excuse me if I remain skeptical for now. RE: "With the unstable tectonics and plasma theory of piezoelectric, with the socio-cultural matrix being overlaid upon each massive guass-magnetic experience" I've noticed in philosphic conversations with you that you have a tendency to become more and more incomprehensible the longer we talk. This isn't a particularly good example, since I can just about understand what you're saying there. I remember in particular a message you wrote in reply to a question I had about Tarot cards. I read it, re-read it, then stored it for later translation (but never got back to it). This is just a plea to avoid becoming too carried away. :-) RE: "It has been relatively proved that massive magnetic field wipe the human mind, allowing the reptilian hindbrain to fill in the gap with the appropriate 'experience'" Reference, please? RE: "the direct relationship between tectonic instability and human mental instability should not be ignored" Ummm... I think you're making quite a huge leap. England has eccentrics and microquakes. California has "crazies" and many earthquakes. You're basing this theory on just TWO examples, and rather weak examples at that, in my opinion. First, there are MANY areas of "tectonic instability" throughout the world. In picking two prime examples, England would not example leap to the front of my list. Second, while everyone talks about how "crazy" everyone is in California, I'm of the opinion that this is partly a myth and partly a self-fulfilling prophecy. For instance, if some weird craze starts up in Illinois, it makes virtually no headlines. If it keeps up, it finally makes national headlines, but not with any particular mention of Illinois being the source of this craziness. In California, on the other hand, if some weird craze starts up, it quickly is proclaimed "The Latest Craze from Wild and Wacky California". Thus, the perception that California is weirder than elsewhere is partly just a stereotype. Also, if you are a rather strange person, or like strange people, you're more likely to travel to California than to Ohio, because you've heard that California is a good place for strangeness. Thus, California's earthquake activity had NOTHING to do with your "mental instability". Also, while it is true that England has some eccentrics, England also has quite a few stuck-in-the-muds. I'm not sure that Englanders are really all THAT unusual. Ed Sutherland @ Data Drum, RE: Why weren't they caught? Again, why WOULD they be caught? Why is the idea of them doing it at night so hard to accept? Other hoaxers WERE caught in the act. Since we don't know how many of the circles were created by these two men, we can't really say how lucky they were to not get caught. Dylan Fenley @ Data Drum, RE: "Chew on the Fibinache series" Okay, I've chewed on it. Now what does that have to do with anything? By the way, it's spelled "Fibonacci", if I remember right. Sifu @ Mars Hill, RE: Respectable scientists will avoid the crop circles I'm not sure exactly what your point was. Were you blaming someone for something, or just making an observation? RE: The Suffield Skeptics feel that it should be PROVED that the circles are a hoax, not just claimed Bravo for them! I have a feeling that you've misinterpreted what I've written and are chastising me for having declared "they're a hoax, end of story". That definitely is NOT what I said. For some reason, whenever a skeptic comes along, people immediately jump to the conclusion that "skeptic" means "one who has made up their mind that you're wrong". In the Alien Workshop room, it took me about 4 messages to get across to Larry Trutter that when I said we had no evidence that life existed on Mars, I did NOT say we had PROOF that life does not exist on Mars. Yes, making decisions based upon the evidence, rather than upon declarations of faith, is "the mainstay of modern science". I suggest you go back and re-read what I wrote. (CONTINUED) 91Sep20 7:55 pm from Dominic Duvall @The Quest (CONTINUED) RE: The scientist who proposed continental drift was called a crackpot Yes, True Believers always like to talk about that one, about the meteorites that astronomers said didn't exist, etc. First, I'd like to point out that continental drift and asteroids are now accepted by the scientific community. Why? Because despite the fact that they went against what was accepted theory, the scientific establishment which you apparently despise was willing to reconsider once sufficient evidence had been presented. It's a common trait of True Believers to rail against the "Scientific Establishment" and to portray themselves as martyrs who are being persecuted because they're outsiders. Yes, there are some great minds and some great theories which were laughed at. However, there are FAR MANY MORE imbeciles and crackpots that were laughed at. Everyone who has ever invented a "perpetual motion machine" has compared themselves to Galileo and Copernicus. Galileo and Copernicus had evidence which eventually proved their theories. We're still without a perpetual motion machine. Yes, mainstream science resists radical theories presented by outsiders. There are reasons for that. One is that 90% of these theories are so riddled with errors that it isn't worth a scientist's time to attempt to explain why it's wrong. (The True Believer then claims, of course, that his theory is unanswerable.) Another is that, as much as True Believers like to rail against the "Establishment", going through established channels means that new scientific theories get reviewed and tested by others along the way. Incidentally, as I understand it, when continental drift was first proposed, there WAS NO EVIDENCE to support it. It was just a matter of faith whether you believed it or not. It wasn't up to the scientific community to prove the theory wrong. The burden of proof was on the scientist who proposed it. It's kind of like me saying that I can jump 30 feet and then demanding that you either accept my claim or prove me wrong. It doesn't work that way -- it is up to ME to prove my claim. Furthermore, it seems to me that it is a myth that scientists don't like new ideas. One physicist, when asked how a conference on physics was going, said something like, "Great! Everything we knew about physics last week is wrong!" Consider, for instance, Einstein's theory of relativity. It met initial resistance, simply because it was so strange and counter-intuitive, but it quickly became a popular topic of debate and within very few years was an accepted fact. John Barleycorn @ C-86 Test System, RE: Some scientists are refusing to accept a rational explanation for crop circles Keep in mind that there are no restrictions on calling oneself a "scientist". Targ and Puthoff, for example, call themselves scientists. There are MANY examples (I can cite some, if people are interested) of "scientists" proposing the most LUDICROUS theories (and, of course, getting very upset when the "Scientific Establishment" wouldn't take them seriously). Dylan Fenley @ Data Drum, RE: Spiral staircases that can't support their own weight I haven't heard of these, but it has the "feel" of those tourist traps where the water runs up hill. (It doesn't, of course.) All, *whew* Well, I warned you, didn't I? :-) I have much more that I could write, but I guess that's plenty for now. Dominic Duvall 91Sep21 1:34 pm from Robert Judd @Data Drum Is that right, magnetic fields can destoy all memory? Wouldn't that kill you? Also, About cellular polaization. Something about at the base of the plant wheeit is bent at the cells have been 'taken apart' and put together in a verryrrrrrodd systematic way, almost crystaline I believe. It is possible that they have always existed and until lately we have not been able to see them frorm the air so many may go unnoticed. Stonehenge could have been a verrry larrge circle or was a symbol veryrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr important to them. So they contrrructed Stonehenge as a contrrrrrrrrol place for the power which makes these things. Also I think it is possible that they made a mile wide underground capactor out of those materials. It is known that the prirnrcmicples of eleccctriity have been knowwn since the Babylonians and Sumerrrians. Maybe these primitive people could actually conctcrorl the weatherrrrrrrrrr etc.. Maybe its just a calendarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. We may neve r knowwwwwww. (sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry about the rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr 's but my comccomputer is dying. 91Sep21 2:08 pm from Ed Sutherland @Data Drum Dom, I have to admit that my opinion on the origin of 'crop circles' has changed with the introduction of so much information. The one-sided reporting does give true investigations a black eye. I would very much like to see the paranormal escape its reputation. There are many events that simply cannot be explained and they deserve better than the current looney tunes tags. As for people going along with the crowd, when it comes to UFO reports, such behavior can be seen at other times. A sociologist conducted a famous ruse where s/he came before an audience and, using the authority figure, said everyone with blue eyes were better than others. You would think such an insane statement would meet with only jeers. But audience members began speaking out and agreeing with the experimenter, ascribing all sorts of negative values to different eyecolor. Had it been one-one-one the test would not have worked. The same reaction was shown when callers began confirming a non-existant UFO sighting. 91Sep21 2:54 pm from Dylan Fenley @Data Drum Dom: urfda! That was a long series of messages. Anywaylais: I had heard something about animal skelletons that had all the flesh picked off them that were found near the circles or in the circles. These skelletons when tested were freshly dead (they could tell by the bone marrow I guess) and they showed no signs of any damage (burning, cutting, ect). But no that I think of it, that may not have been crop circles. That may have been the burn marks (a thing where there were some giant perfectly round circles burned into the earth). 91Sep21 1:54 pm from Sifu @Mars Hill Dominic: I made a bit of an assumption with how they used the board and rope ... sorry, careless of me. In any case, as to the Suffield Skeptics, they are most certainly skeptics, they are a group of scientist and professors who have been trying to prove that the circles are hoaxes. The thing is that they feel that unless they can _prove_ by scientific methods that the circles are hoaxes, they are no better than the hoaxters ... I saw an interview with one of them ... he stated that one of the reasons they were bothering is because they felt that science was to filled with people who look at something and feel certain that it must be a hoax and thus dismiss it without examining or proving it to be a hoax ... this is NOT proper scientific approach, and HAS lead to mistakes in the past when the wrong things were dismissed. As to the guys refusing to demonstrate ... they did refuse at first, I know because when I first heard of it they were on the noon news here and they were asked and refused right there on camera ... I gather they thought better of it later on, perhaps even the same day. As to bending wheat or other grain ... still can't be done in that manner ... it has been tried by more than one person in various ways and it has failed everytime. I believe that they are a hoax also, but I have seen nothing to make me believe that those two did it nor that it was done that way. If I might supply you with an answer to something you asked about ... ley lines: there are many explainations for them, but what is fact is that if you look at a map showing ancient churchs and monuments such as the henges over Europe you will find that they line up quite close to perfectly along various lines. These are ley lines, and many believe that they are natural lines of some sort of force which was detectable by the people who build these shrines. Some say that they are lines that can be dowsed for some reason, though I have seen some suggestion that dowsers only find these lines when they know they are on them ... I don't know about that ... others suggest that they are an interference pattern in the electromagnetic fields of the earth and are detected in the same way birds can navigate and some humans always know where north is ... no comment on that one. Still others say that they are lines of magical energy that mystics can tap for power, and some try to explain them as just being a matter of good surveying technic. I know that last is tempting, but not so easy to except. It would require that surveying accuritly was possible at a time that we do not believe it was ... one of the major ley lines in England can be extended thru the center of 6 or 7 Brittish sites and then if you continue on you will find several Roman sites in a direct line in Europe ... the error in the line is something like 1 second of arc in 1000 miles ... to be counted as a ley line requires a minimum of 3 'holy' sites in a direct line, though that would be viewed as quite minor. I believe that someone has been trying to prove that ley lines are actually surveyed by astronumical occurences that were believed aspicious as that is how they could be so accurite, because the sites were surveyed not with respect to each other but rather with respect to the occurences. I don't know how they are doing. Back to Crop Circles: I believe that largely I was just observing that it is an unfortunate but true thing that scientist always distance themself from things like this so as to avoid being labled as crackpots and thus we often have no real scientific evidence at all, just unscientific denials. At the risk of stirring up trouble, I shall repeat something I said in another room any true scientist is called a crackpot - those who are called scientists are always so careful to avoid anything that is curently unpopular that they reject anything that sounds odd without thinking or examining ... those who honestly apply the scientific priciples to each thing and do not reject things without thought simply because it doesn't fit the popular view are labled as crackpots sooner or later. I see as I read on that you have already responded to that in a sence, but I think you mistake me here ... yes, I point to continental drift and I do so not because I disipe science, but because these things show that science is not always what we get. I am a lover of science, not an attacker of ... and for that vary reason I gladly attack a significant percentage of the so-called scientists in this world. In the case of continental drift, there was at first a lack of hard proof ... so? There is a lack of hard proof for EVERYTHING until you get the funds to experiment and prove or disprove it. As it happens there was a lot of soft evidence. This included a solid workable explaination that fit perfectly with all know facts as well as a variety of things that were suggestive. The theory did a nice job of explaining several natural phenomina for which there was at that time no good explaination. There was EVERY reason to support experiments to examine this new theory, except for the fact that it directly defied the theories that were popular Yes, it was accepted in the end ... after the fellow financed years of reseach by himself and gave up his entier career. And even after he proved himself right, the scientific comunity just patted him on the head and tried to get him to go away because he was embarrassing. I would not speak names like Galilao in the same beath I spoke about modern science. Oh, we still have our Gallilao's today, but they are people who now no longer fight a narrow-minded church, but rather a blinkered scientific community. But it is obvious that we do not agree on this point. Still, for the record: I am a believer in science who just feels that he doesn't see a lot of it around. ---Sifu--- 91Sep21 7:48 am from Phluffy @C-86 Test System Beautiful, Dominic! Superb! Thank you. 91Sep21 9:42 am from Dr. Lute @C-86 Test System RE: "Corn". Linguistic problem, here. In the Americas, the word corn equates to maize, one humungous plant that indeed is difficult to bend. In England, homeland of the crop-circles, "corn" means any old grain. As witness the well-known name "Barleycorn", from days long before the Americas were discovered. RE: Small animals with all the flesh stripped off their bones. Yes, insects will do that. Museums toss carcasses into a (carefully-controlled!) chamber of dermestid beetles. A week later, they pull out polished skeletons. It's much easier than taking the flesh off by conventional human means. 91Sep21 12:20 pm from John Logajan @C-86 Test System I think Hynek had his flaws, definitely. I believe he advocated the position that UFO's were "other-dimensional." As for the Sirius mystery, I don't even remember why I mentioned it, but I believe I suggested that it could be explained by cultural "contamination." 91Sep21 12:51 pm from John Logajan @C-86 Test System Continents adrift are susceptible to get cited for vagrancy. 91Sep21 12:57 pm from John Logajan @C-86 Test System As for "justifications" of drawing conclusions too broadly, I sorry to say that there is no easy answer. If I get three bogus 1000 dollar bills from you, I may suspect the fourth one is also bogus. But suppose the reverse is true, I have gotten three good 1000 dollar bills. To believe the fourth is also good sets me up to get conned. Similarly, it would be drawing too broad a conclusion if, after getting three bogus 1000 bills from you, I claimed *all* 1000 bills are bogus. Drawing conclusions too broadly is a short cut -- one that can lead to trouble no matter the initial justification for wanting to do so. 91Sep21 7:46 pm from Hue, Jr. @C-86 Test System Dominic: A magnificent response to everyone. Congratulations -- I enjoyed it and it gives me new sources (which of course I'll never remember to use) for researching ridiculous claims. I wonder if you can get them on CD ... it'd be kinda neat to setup a CD on Test System with various references (say, the collected journals of SI, Flim-Flam!, etc), then I could laugh some of the sillier claims off. 91Sep22 10:03 pm from Dylan Fenley @Data Drum Ahem! You say that the way that these crop circles got all over the world in such huge numbers is because after these two guys started doing it then a bunch of copy-catters started up. Well, if the scientists and the press couldn't figure out how it was done, then how did the copy-catters? Also, I've never seen a continent drift, but I have felt a continent drift. 91Sep22 11:06 pm from Niniane @Mars Hill anybody read the current Time magazine? Two english artists admit to creating the circles in england and say they have inspired copycats everywhere. 91Sep22 11:40 am from No. 6 @C-86 Test System John Logajan -- re: bogus $1000 bills; all $1000 are counterfit. Aside from the (very vew) $1,000s in the hands of collectors, there aren't any in 'circulation'. If someone handed me a $1,000 bill, I would be wise to assume it to be a forgery. If it were proven to be genuine, I should be glad to trade 100 $20s for it. (Redeemable for silver/gold, verrry rare, etc.) 91Sep22 11:00 am from Piouhgd @Reality Cheque Dominic.. I am receiving from Test System. I logged onto there one day and saw it - asked if he could pass it to me. 91Sep23 4:05 pm from Excaliber @The Quest O K. I haven't even rread this room since I started it. So now there are way too many to read. So I will simply post what I have come to believe. I think Stonehenge definately has something to do with it. Ithink that these are not the work of humans aliens or and especiclly 2 80 years old men running around with boards on their feet. Besides, there is no way they could have made several circles in several countries over rnight. And they said they made all the circles. If your really curious as to how they happen, go buy a ticket to England and get ya a little tent and go sit in a field somewhere until you find a couple of senior citizens running around dragging some pressboard behind them. (not!) Seriously though: A circle formed right in front of a scientific investigation teams instruments. And they detected NOTHING. (i think this was on Unsolved Mysteries one time). I know that one supposedly formed here in central IL at a corn field but was called a hoax. But just because they called it a hoax, doesn't mean it rrreally is. 91Sep23 6:29 pm from Dominic Duvall @The Quest Excaliber, Oh, VERY nice. State what you believe, but don't under any circumstances read any of the evidence which I posted in here. Incidentally, you didn't start this room, I did. Are you taking lessons from Malcolm? 91Sep23 11:23 pm from Dominic Duvall @The Quest The latest issue of the Skeptical Inquirer, the Journal of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), arrived today. Here is the table of contents: /********************************************************************/ SKEPTICAL INQUIRER Vol. 16, No. 1, Fall 1991 ARTICLES Near-Death Experiences: In or out of the Body? .................................... Susan Blackmore Multicultural Pseudoscience: Spreading Scientific Illiteracy Among Minorities ......... Bernard Ortiz de Montellano Science and Commonsense Skepticism ......................... John Aach Spook Hill: Angular Illusion ............................. Guss Wilder Lucian and Alexander: Debunking in Classical Style .................................. Walter F. Rowe 1991 CSICOP CONFERENCE Exciting Science, Hypnosis, Urban Legends, Pop Psychology ... and a Controversy .............. Lys Ann Shore Further Notes, Observations, and Comments ........... Kendrick Frazier NEWS AND COMMENT Biodynamic Baloney Exposed by Possum Pepper Test / P&G Cleansed of Satanism Charge / OBEs Found Common Among TMers / Weird Science Taught at Steiner School / Media Moguls Cowed by Chain Letters / Green Party Founder Enthralled with New Age NOTES OF A FRINGE WATCHER Reader Feedback, from Urantia to Titanic PSYCHIC VIBRATIONS The Stamp of Pseudoscience, the Army of Saucerers .... Robert Sheaffer BOOK REVIEWS Arthur Lyons and Marcello Truzzi, "The Blue Sense: Psychic Detectives and Crime" ................... Robert A. Baker Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt, "UFO Crash at Roswell" ............................... Philip J. Klass Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum" ..................... Erik Strommen James Randi, "The Mask of Nostradamus" ................ Hugh H. Trotti NEW BOOKS ARTICLES OF NOTE FOLLOW-UP Unfinished ESP-Teaching-Machine Business / More on Jahn's Statistics / More on Hi-Fi Audio Claims FORUM Talking with Fast Talkers LETTERS TO THE EDITOR /********************************************************************/ Want to subscribe? Here's the info: 4 issues (1 year) for $25 to: The Skeptical Inquirer Box 229 Buffalo, NY 14215-0229 1-800-634-1610 (In NY, 716-834-3222) Dominic Duvall 91Sep23 5:30 am from Laser @The City of Brass and of course there is always the incontinent drifter. :) 91Sep23 5:52 pm from Wolf @The City of Brass I would swear I've seen this EXACT SAME crop circles discussion elsewhere(Not the Elsewhere of Terry Pratchett's books) 91Sep23 7:07 am from Dr. Lute @C-86 Test System Simple, Dylan Fenley: the scientists didn't want to figure out how it was done; or if they did, didn't feel it worth the effort to go out and abuse somebody's grain to prove it. Hoaxters did. "You can't make things foolproof -- fools are too ingenious." 91Sep24 9:56 am from Ed Sutherland @Data Drum Dom, The Skeptical Inquirer looks like an interesting read. Do any of the articles ever conclude with "Gee, we haven't the foggiest what caused this?" I find some sign of fallibilty in scientists better than a desperate search to prove everything can be explained. When someone (or a group of people) report seeing a UFO, the standard response by debunkers is A) Say the witnesses are crazy; B) If the people are clearly sane, say the "UFO" was a weather balloon, airplane lights, or some swampgas. Almost never do you read scientists saying "well, he saw what he saw" and leave it at that. It is like any strange happening must be explained to the benefit of science before stories reach the general public. I'm not down on science, but it would be refreshing to hear "I don't know" a little more often. The evil 'Unexplained Mysteries' had a story about strange sightings within a military base in Britain. A couple men were patrolling a forested area and came upon a craft hovering among the trees. The object was followed and later zipped away when approached. A few days later, the base's security chief set out to disprove the event. Large lights were brought in to flood the forest. The equipment - nicknamed 'light alls' - malfunctioned over and over. The security officer, along with a few others from the base, went out and saw something that looked like what had been reported earlier. During a long 'recon' mission, the people tracked the object, all the while recording what they experienced. Later, when the security person made a report to headquarters about what had occured, the letter vanished, was said to never exist, and then was released. Like before, debunkers claimed the event could be explained, but the witnesses refuted each explanation. Now, the television show has an obvious slant, but so do skeptics. 91Sep23 4:06 pm from Excaliber @The Quest Oops. I meant to say since I started this stupid arguement about Crop Circles. I know i didn't start this room. And who is Malcom? 91Sep24 5:43 am from Laser @The City of Brass I certainly hope the Skeptical Enquirer is a little higher caliber than another "Inquirer" that comes to mind! 91Sep24 4:23 am from Evan Emswiler @Brazil Ooooh. I always wanted to know where to subscibe for the Skeptical Enquirer, ever since I read "Flim Flam" by James Randi. Has anybody else read it? 91Sep24 6:56 pm from Drox @C-86 Test System The way I understand it, Stonehenge was built as an observatory. The stones are nicely aligned with certain positions of the moon and the sun at auspicious times of the year, like solstices and equinoxes. This does not mean that Stonehenge or its builders were in any way magical or gifted with special powers. It only means that the builders of Stonehenge (and the numerous other henges) had some knowledge of astronomy. No big deal, really. Lots of so-called primitive people have that knowledge. But the Druids, who later lived in the area around Stonehenge, did not know their astronomy. They did know that Stonehenge was a place of some importance so they centered much of their religious worship around the big circle of stones. 91Sep24 9:42 am from Buddy Bradley @Beach Dom: Yikes. Nice start to this room. In response to your "it's impossible to prove the non-existence of something". We had a fun argument going (facts versus emotion) here a while back. The Facts side said, "You can't prove a negative." The Emotion side said, "That's sophistry." Seems sound to me, though. The LAW (in America) certainly recognizes it. That's why, if I call you a whore, it's not up to you to DISprove it - it's up to ME to PROVE it - because as the one who made the accusation, the burden of proof is on ME. If you challenge my statement, and then I fail to prove it satisfactorily, it's generally accepted by all that the statement was false. 91Sep25 7:16 am from Sifu @Mars Hill I was asked yesterday about the Japanese expedition to search for Nessie ... they were supposed to be going out last summer with some sort of special new equipment and my friend was wondering if I had heard anything about what happened ... I had not, has anyone else? ---Sifu--- 91Sep25 2:23 pm from Nikolas @Mars Hill Almost like that comment I brought up last night, Sifu. :) What had happened, was my mom was watching TV, and they interrupted the show to say that Elvis was indeed alive, and that one of the reporters at KSTW (the station she was watching) was interviewing Elvis right now. What had happened was Elvis and Ronald Raegan staged his death (just.. just bear with me here), and that Elvis went Underground disguised to find a ring of drug smugglers (or something similar), and now the ring was exposed. Elvis, if he goes back into music, will go into religion, rather than Rock 'n Roll. I, for one, am skeptical about this. Why? 1) It would have been on MORE than one station, and probably a notice every hour would have been posted 2) Newspapers. Heard of them? They seem to be attracted to rumor and popularity. 3) IF Elvis were alive, all his records, all the paraphenilia, would be worth ZIP. Nothing, except maybe a few cents, or whatever the cover price is (maybe more), but much less than if he were dead. C'mon, humans! We have to accept deaths all the time. Hell. yesterday, Dr. Seuss died in his own home. L. Ron Hubbard? Dead. You have to say, that one is only dead when he is forgotten. I don't say you can't worship the memories, but accept the fact that they do not live in the physical world anymore, or just the possibility. 91Sep25 11:41 pm from Gnorman @Mars Hill Long ago when I was very interested in the UFO phenomina and read much about it, there was a different perspective used when explanations like swamp gas happened to be used. Organizations like Project Blue Book at the time would investigate UFO stories to discover what exactly was the cause of the sightings. In many of the cases indeed the supposed UFOs were found to be weather balloons, swampgas, Venus, aircraft and the like. Their were very few sightings that could not be routed out. Then there came people who would dismiss outof hand that a sighting was real and just say, without any investigation that the sighting was swampgas or a weather balloon without realling investigating at all. This does not mean that many sightings aren't just mundane things seen form a different perspective or that all sightings can be explained away. It just means that there are some lazy people out there who will just wave their hand and pronounce what was seen without actually looking at what happened. I saw DR. Seuz the other day at Burger King talking with L. Ron Hubbard! It is interesting to note that it is possible to create a crop circle with a garden rake without breaking the stocks of grain. This was demonstrated in Southern Alberta a number of weeks ago for either some paper or news show. The fellow who demonstrated also did not leave any tell tale footprints from what I read. __/The Gnome\__ 91Sep25 5:23 pm from Cyberelf @C-86 Test System Ed: Some good points there, though the reputable debunkers don't do things like that, hopefully. 91Sep26 12:28 am from John Logajan @C-86 Test System Applying the tests of law courts to scientific questions is not a good idea. Law courts are often called upon to guess the unknowable, and then act on that guess. It is not science -- it is a random walk. 91Sep26 2:21 am from Lunatic Surfer @Beach "Weird Science Taught at Steiner School"? "More on Hi-Fi Audio Claims"? Tell me more. 91Sep26 10:00 am from Ed Sutherland @Data Drum Sifu @ Mars Hill The sonar sweeps of Loch Ness have come across with some results but nothing that proves or disproves the ancient legends and modern sightings of a "monster". There is a growing trend of belief in the idea of some animal that has escaped being logged by man. We have examples of very old species in nature. Nessie just might be another instance. 91Sep26 5:45 pm from Dylan Fenley @Data Drum Ed: Indeed it is possible the an animal could have escaped our notice so far. Only about 30 years ago an Austrailian fisherman caught a live fish that had supposedly been extinct for like 15 million years (dinosaur age fish). Unfortunately by catching it he killed it, but the museum people studied and stuffed it. They don't know where it came from, but there obviously must be more than one of them. So it is entirely possible that their really could be a loch ness monster, or rather a race of large amphibians that lives in that lake that has never been discovered. 91Sep26 5:33 am from Laser @The City of Brass regarding Dr. Seuss: What a real sad occasion, his death, that is. Where wouls America be today without "The Cat In The Hat"? 91Sep26 6:52 am from Dr. Lute @C-86 Test System I've given up reading Skeptical Enquirer -- I cannot describe the exact change, but the flavor shifted about two years back. I think, maybe, they lost their sense of humor and started taking themselves seriously. 91Sep26 1:15 pm from No. 6 @C-86 Test System I thought that how to make crop circles was semi-public information _years_ ago. At least someone told me how to years ago -- It's like this; you need two people, some rope, a few pints of beer... 91Sep26 1:54 pm from Loveless @C-86 Test System I think there is a government booklet you can send off for. 91Sep26 4:51 pm from ghoti @Beach My friend claims to have cured HIV thru homeopathic methods. Any thoughts? 91Sep27 8:10 am from Ed Sutherland @Data Drum Re: Crop circles It would be fascinating if someone researched the history of reporting on such occurances. Re: The death of Dr. Seuss Yes, that is a blow to readers young and old. I noted how reports of his passingwere very unlike the usual, a clue to how well Seuss was remembered.

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank