Saturday, July 26, 2003

Crop Circles – “The Missing Planet” - 1995

Crop circles have held the imaginations, fears and attention of humans for more then a few years now.

After watching M. Night Shyamalan’s SIGNS late one night, Duncan and I decided it would be a fun pet project to find out a little more about Crop Circles. So, next time we were at the library, I picked up a book about it. Surprisingly, the topic is full of controversy and intrigue that encompasses a field of study that includes a large array of academics: Astronomy; Engineering, Anthropology, History, Math (fractal geometry), Weather experts; Bio-whatevers; Archeo-Astronomy, Psychology; etc; and other people that have now become known as "crop circle researchers".

Crop circles in the British Isles (and likely worldwide) have occurred since mediaeval times, especially around Stonehenge, but they began to create a stir in the early 1970’s when they began to attract public attention when two witnesses claimed to have watched a circle appear in less then one minute. Every new circle since August 15th 1980, has been scrutinized to determine which “type” of formation it is. The determinations are as follows: "Authentic Crop Circles" are formations that can’t be proven as hoaxes. These formations exhibit certain criteria and characteristics that have been determined to frequent formations that are considered authentic and can not be replicated by humans outside of labs. These include: perfect geometric symmetry; bent stalks without breakage (stalks appear to be super flash heated), no evidence of human intervention, results from soil and seed samples, among others. "Fake Crop Circles" are crop circles purposely made by humans (in an effort to reproduce, or in some case, communicate). "Hoaxes" are considered to be crop circles obviously made by humans in an attempt to pretend or present an apparent crop circle.

Crop circles come and crop circles go, but every once in a while one particular formation grabs at the attention of the world. In 1995, a recognizable 240-ft wide depiction of our inner solar system appeared in a field in England. It has been dubbed the “Missing Planet”. Both Mathematicians and Astronomers have been curiously involved in trying to unravel the inner meanings, if any, of the Missing Planet crop circle formation. Interestingly enough, the depicted planets and our sun were placed with exact orbital ratios using thin bands of upright crop, and the sizes were to scale, except for the Earth which was notoriously missing from the illustration. Professor Gerald Hawkins (from Boston University) was one of the people who worked on the formation, utilizing the significant mathematical equations as pertaining to the diatonic ratios that the design contained and eventually posited that it was referring to a specific astronomical date – by considering the planetary positions over the period of one hundred years he found the following dates to be contenders: November 1903 (correlates to the first flight of the Wright Brothers), and July 11 1971 (when Mariner 9 was on its way to Mars). Further, the difference in years between these two dates is 67, also the exact number of asteroids depicted orbiting in the design.


Why is the Earth missing?

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