Date: Thu Sep 16 1993 09:39:14 Subj: Crop Hoax revealed UFO - Everyday story of a crop cir

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Date: Thu Sep 16 1993 09:39:14 From: Sheppard Gordon Subj: Crop Hoax revealed UFO ------------------------------- Everyday story of a crop circle hoax 09/08/91 THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH London SERIAL OR CEREAL? Two of the longest-running rural sagas to grip the public's imagination coincided this weekend, fittingly at harvest time. As hundreds of devotees of the mysteries of crop circles met in Glastonbury, to discuss the issue at an aptly named "Cornference" so the millions of listeners to BBC Radio's The Archers were coming to terms with the fact that just such a circle had materialised in a field belonging to two of the soap opera's most celebrated characters, Joe and Eddie Grundy. The fascination the circles exert was reflected in their appearance in Ambridge. "The story created one of the most heated debates we've had in our scriptwriters' meetings for a long time," the Archers' editor, Ms Vanessa Whitburn, said yesterday. "We've already had letters from listeners about it. The mystery of crop circles seems to appeal to all sorts of people, both those who believe they can be scientifically explained, or those who get into the realms of the supernatural or paranormal. "There's also the element of humour - in the Archers story, the circle in Joe and Eddie Grundy's field turns out to have been made as a practical joke by two of the village youths, 'Baggy' and 'Snatch', using tennis rackets and some rope." Before the hoax was revealed, Ms Whitburn said the Centre for Crop Circle Studies had written to congratulate the programme for its even-handed approach. "I hope they weren't too sad after hearing the outcome," Ms Whitburn added. The Archers was, however, exempted from a denunciation of crop circle hoaxes made yesterday at one of the biggest gatherings yet of the phenomenon's disciples. "There is a campaign of mis-information and hoaxing about the circles," Mr Colin Andrews told the Glastonbury gathering. Mr Andrews recently gave up his job as chief electrical engineer with Test Valley borough council to work full-time studying the circles, after nearly a decade's fascination with the subject. Most controversially, Mr Andrews and his research colleague Mr Pat Delgado, a former computer engineer from Alresford, believe the circles are created by some form of intelligence manipulating an unknown form of energy. "We haven't a clue what form of intelligence this is, where it comes from, or its purpose," Mr Andrews admitted yesterday. The energy employed is probably some form of electromagnetism, they believe. "There is absolutely no correlation to support any meteorological basis for the circles whatsoever," he said in riposte to scientists who believe freak wind activity may be responsible for the patterns. Both Mr Andrews and Mr Delgado believe, however, that the changing shape of the circles in recent years in some way reflects a concern for the earth's ecology. "Mother {Earth} is crying," Mr Andrews told the meeting, to vigorous applause. The spiritual message was reflected in the Cornference organisation. "Due to the fragile and changeable quality of our earthly existence, this programme is subject to flux", an announcement read. While Mr Phil Goulstone, Glastonbury's assembly rooms' caterer, planned to meet the gathering's material needs - "I thought about providing cornflakes for breakfast and corn-on-the-cob for lunch," he grinned - cultural needs were met last night at a "Corncert" featuring the folk singer Julie Felix and Chris Jagger, brother of the Rolling Stone. Across the road, rival attractions included shops such as the Goddess and the Green Man and the Rainbow's End Cafe. The Cornference was organised to celebrate the first anniversary of The Cerealogist, a magazine set up to chronicle the phenomenon. "From a first issue of 1,000 copies which we had to reprint twice, we've grown to a circulation of 5,000," said Mr Richard Adams, one of the publishers. "I've been looking forward to seeing what our readers are like in the flesh." --- Maximus/2 2.01wb * Origin: UFOria (Clifton, VA) 703-803-6420 (1:109/369)

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