=START= XMT: 11:41 Wed Jul 25 EXP: 12:00 Wed Aug 01 SCIENTISTS RECORD FLASHES AS MYSTERY C

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=START= XMT: 11:41 Wed Jul 25 EXP: 12:00 Wed Aug 01 SCIENTISTS RECORD FLASHES AS MYSTERY CIRCLES FORM IN ENGLISH CORNFIELDS LONDON (JULY 25) REUTER - Excited scientists said they recorded evidence on Wednesday that could solve the centuries-old mystery of circles in English cornfields which have aroused speculation of visitors from outer space. Experts filmed two big circles being made during the night amid a barrage of unexplained flashing lights in a field in the southern county of Wiltshire. It was the first known recording of the formation of symmetrical circles that have puzzled Englishmen since the Middle Ages. Theories of what causes them range from earthworms to whirlwinds to spaceships. In medieval times, countryfolk believed they were the work of the Devil. Scientists from Britain, Japan, West Germany and the United States monitored Wiltshire cornfields round the clock this week with thermal imagers and low-light cameras. On Wednesday, they recorded two circles being made, one about 100 metres (330 feet) across, the other half that size, said Colin Andrews, leader of the project coordinated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Analyzing their recordings hours later, they sent in helicopters to take daylight pictures of the find and said they had made a significant scientific discovery. ''We do have a major event here, very much excitment as you can imagine,'' Andrews said. ''We do have two major ground markings in front of all the surveillance equipment performing absolutely to form,'' he told BBC television. ''We had a situation at approximately 3.30 this morning on monitor -- a number of orange lights taking the approximate form of a triangle and within that triangular form was a second triangle,'' Andrews said. ''We had many lights, following that a whole complex arrangement of lights doing all sorts of funny things. It's a complex situation, we are actually analysing it at this very moment. But there is undoubtedly something here for science.'' Andrews said the circles could not be a hoax. ''We have high-quality equipment here and we have indeed secured on high-quality equipment a major event,'' he said. Asked what caused the circles, Andrews said: ''As you can imagine, this only happened some hours ago. We have experts arriving by the minute here now to analyze this. We do have something of great, great significance.'' Describing the circles, he said: ''One formation is about 100 metres in diameter, a circle with two satellites and two concentric rings, another brother nearby about 50 per cent of the size of its nearby neighbour.'' Andrews said the field had been cordoned off. ''We're doing nothing more now until we have helicopters over the top to film in detail what we have before anybody enters that field.'' The authoritative New Scientist journal published an article last month which said corn circles, more than 300 of which appeared last year, were caused by weather conditions creating whirlwinds and electrical discharges in the atmosphere. Author Terence Meaden said his theory could explain flashing lights seen by eyewitnesses and patterns of flattened corn. =END= [Comment added by David Bloomberg, Sysop of The Temples of Syrinx: Since this report came out, I have seen and read of it (or one EXTREMELY similar to it) being refuted on at least one TV show, and elsewhere. It seems that the "flashes" seen by the thermal cameras were caused by, of all things, the body heat and small flashlights of hoaxers. The investigators were apparently not very familiar with the use of thermal imaging cameras, and did not realize that such an effect could be caused by such "normal" means.]

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