Presentation to the annual meeting of the Independent Crop Circle Researcher's Association Woodland Altars, Locust Grove, Ohio
15 -17 May 2009
Icky (ICCRA) Science: what should ICCRA be about?
© 2009 Gene S. Thomas
As I tried to explain during last year's annual meeting, what the members of this organization seem to be doing with respect to crop formations falls into a class of activity that I labeled, Gallilean. To wit, we are getting pretty good at making basic measurements of certain parameters associated with crop formations. These measurements allow us to determine whether or not a formation was formed by human activity, to a reasonable degree of certainty. Much is still unknown, however, even in the realm of basic measurements. To this day there are people on both sides of the issue of which way the energy flows, up or down, in the making of a formation. Also, to my knowledge, nobody has shown what frequencies or intensities of energy are involved in the making of a formation, although some attempt is made to measure residual energy in a limited portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Key questions are answered with speculations and it would be good to move beyond that. I repeat my call to move into the Newtonian phase of our understanding of this phenomenon. We should consider the principles and laws that govern crop formations.
The tasks before us include the following:
Replace speculations with hypotheses. Hypotheses structure our (educated) guesses in such a way that they can be tested and shown either to be correct and we should proceed to the next sequential hypothesis or to be incorrect and we should try a different avenue of exploration. So, if you are interested in developing the body of knowledge relevant to formations, try structuring a question you might have about them in the form of a statement that can be tested. If you are not really interested in the science of formations, you might be interested in moral or ethical issues around them. You might wonder, for instance, whether they might be intended for good or evil or whether they are 'intended' at all. I believe these 'wonderings' are testable and could be put into the form of hypotheses. If you need assistance with formulating a hypothesis, you should feel free to ask any of us with science backgrounds. It would be good to see those hypotheses on the ICCRA website along with descriptions of progress in their testing.
Move measurements, in the time dimension, closer to the actual seconds when formations are made. This has two aspects: one, how soon can we get to a formation after it appears; and two, how can we predict when and where a formation will appear in order to make real time measurements during the event.
Broaden the range of measurements made on formations. I think we are not even certain that the formations are the primary result of the event that leads to the formations. They are simply the most obvious manifestations to we humans. If we didn't have eyes, would we care about formations; would we be sitting at a meeting like this? What if we could hear in much higher registers and during the passage of energy that creates a formation we heard a beautiful symphony, highly compressed in time. What would we think more of: bent grass or musical genius?
Establish the language of formations. I think it was back at the ICCRA meeting of 2005 when I used the term 'multidimensional, structured power imprint (SPI)' to describe what, until then, had been called a 'crop circle'. My intent was to more accurately describe the objects of our interest. Rather than the initialism SPI, more recently, it was thought better to use the acronym SPI, or in our case, multidimensional SPI for this phenomenon.
What we have known for some time is that SPIs occur in a wide range of vegetation not limited to crops; that they are often not circles or just circles; that more than vegetation is affected, including the ground below the 'circle', insects and animals below, at and above the surface of the ground of a 'circle', vehicles anywhere in the energy path during the making of a 'circle', and the very air, with its own chemical constituents and electrical properties, in the energy path during and for some time afterwards of the making of a 'circle'; and, that the formation can extend horizontally beyond what we see in terms of affected plants as has been shown by the distribution of seed vigor with distance from a supposed 'center' for a formation and by the distribution of magnetic material within and without the formation. The SPI is all of that and more. And, it changes over time. When we see pictures of 'formations' we should understand that what we are seeing is a small subset of the SPI, limited, typically, to part of the visible spectrum, looking, at best, partway into only the solid, physical form, and at a specific moment in the 'life' of a SPI.
Next we examine responses to each of the four tasks. There are an unlimited number of other responses so do not think that any of these sketches closes a door.
Responses to tasks:
- Hypothesis: The energy that makes an SPI is measurable using common tools of science. To test this hypothesis, appropriate tools need to be in place when creating energy is present. Until we are able to predict when and where SPIs will be made, the best place to put appropriate measurement tools is in an existing formation. They will not be used to measure residual energy but to measure energy of formation if it should return to the SPI. We know of limited situations where energy of formation returned to an SPI so experiments along the line suggested may not be ideal. Until we can predict the time and place of an SPI, however, this may be the best way to choose a monitoring location.
- Moving in the time dimension with respect to making measurements on SPIs, the path divides into two sub-tasks. If we must work with SPIs after they have been formed we should consider building a more proactive network of farmers and other citizens who will forward information on the occurrence and location of a SPI to ICCRA or any of its researchers as quickly as possible. To grow the number of participants, it might be necessary to make presentations to farmer's groups during which 'we' would present material on SPIs and ask for farmer cooperation in notifying us of their occurrence and, hopefully, allowing researchers on their property to make measurements. Each crop has its support organization. For instance, the National Association of Wheat Growers and US Wheat Associates in the case of wheat. They have websites and an ICCRA researcher might be able to write a piece that would be included on their website making the case for cooperation or to make a presentation at their special or annual meetings . Even more impressive, to both farmers and scientists, would be the capability to predict when and where an SPI will occur. As an additional hypothesis under Response item 1 (that is hinted at in that item) I propose the following: The location of SPIs is randomly distributed on the land. The test of this hypothesis consists of placing measuring instruments in existing SPIs and observing whether or not energy of formation returns. This is a negative test because instead of testing for randomness it tests for non-randomness. There may be a problem with this hypothesis that has to do with our understanding of the parameters of a SPI. It could be that SPIs are created over some period of time that is much longer than the time for what might be termed the initial event. While it may take only a few to tens of seconds for the initial event, the conditions that allowed the SPI to initiate may persist for days or weeks during which other energy events occur that add to or overlay the initial effects. At this point, we do not know if multiple events at one location are related.
- To possibly determine the nature of the energy of formation of an SPI, one could place an electromagnetic energy spectrum analyzer in the vicinity of an existing SPI and await the return of the energy of formation (or related energy). One could also place an audio spectrum analyzer in the same location. Care has to be taken to isolate the analyzers from excess energy without that interfering with the primary objective.
Another potential method for determining some information about energy of formation would be to string wires, in which electrical currents might develop, in and near existing SPIs in case a repeat event occurs. The wires would be connected to a recording device or run through a series of fuses that would give some indication, if blown, of the magnitude of the current that was established in the wire(s).
Maybe there is an inexpensive ozone detector that could be left at a SPI in case a repeat event occurs. An increase in ozone levels could serve as an indicator of the passage of energies with particular characteristics.
It would be interesting to know if the location of SPIs is related to micro-poles, local perturbations of the earth's magnetic field that result in magnetic lines of force coming down to the earth's surface rather than running parallel to it (far from either of the two major magnetic poles). At present, government lab data related to the earth's magnetic field is sparse equator-ward of about 60 degrees North or South latitude. A spinning compass in the vicinity of an SPI may indicate the presence of a micro-pole (think of the way a compass spins when one is near either the North or South poles). It could be hypothesized that the structured power that creates SPIs rides magnetic lines of force down to the earth's surface from some higher level in the atmosphere (or perhaps above it). If such micro-poles are involved in SPI formation, it would be good to learn how long they last and why they established where they did (and why they went away). They most likely establish where and when subsurface conditions are appropriate. What are those conditions?
To determine the extent to which physical matter, such as fine grained, magnetic particles, is brought into an SPI as part of the formation process, one could distribute particulate traps in and around a recent SPI and analyze the material collected in cases where it is known that 'follow-up' energy events occurred (one should also examine recent particulate matter collected from older SPIs not involved in 'follow-up events' as a related kind of control). It would be interesting to learn if there are energy events that primarily involve particulates, perhaps events with lower energies than those required to affect plants. At present, it is assumed that plants and particulates involved in an SPI are brought together during a single energy event. That needs to be formulated as a hypothesis and tested.
Given our poor understanding of the actual numbers of SPIs and their geographical distribution we might consider one or more of the following approaches to improve SPI statistics: Follow-up interviews or surveys (standard MUFON forms?) of farmers who have seen SPIs on the property they farm whether or not they saw them being formed. We could develop questions that would identify if other SPIs have occurred on the property farmed by a particular farmer and, if so, when and where were they seen and what were they like (and why didn't they call us about it?); have there been any effects observed in farm animals, potentially connected with the occurrence of formations; any rumors of formations on other farms?
Visual inspection of satellite images for SPIs could improve statistics. Landsat imagery is now available free of charge from the EROS Date Center and software is available from other sources that will allow individuals to view that imagery. For this task, one could pick an area, learn what crops are grown there and what the harvest time is for those crops and then, find the satellite images that are available for that place and dates prior to harvest and check them for SPIs. In the meantime, use GoogleEarth to inspect the set of images it provides for SPIs (bearing in mind that GoogleEarth has images from January thru December and that some of them are from early Landsat satellites that produced coarse resolution images).
Given the paucity of researchers with science training who are looking at SPIs (globally, let alone in the US), how many other researchers are available to this group (ICCRA) within 3 degrees of separation? 6 degrees? What are their specializations? Capabilities of interest include the skill to perform autopsies on animals and insects; training to do complex soil analysis or to be able to determine if seismic energy contributes to SPI formation; electrical engineering knowledge relative to microwave engineering or building electronic instruments and designing good experiments. I don't know if we all receive email posts from Bert Janssen but I would caution anyone who visits his website (or others like it) because it does not provide any evidence as to whether or not any crop formation shown on the website has been created on the ground vs having been created by energies arising elsewhere. If that doesn't matter to you, you might as well look at books of general patterns as look at pictures of SPIs (or to visit them).
- This task is already begun. I suggest that the words 'crop circle', and by extension, 'crop formation' are tainted both by past experience (remember Doug and Dave taking credit for creating most of the 'crop circles' made in England for nearly a decade – people I speak with in this country link the words 'crop circle' with words like 'made by people' ) and, in that each is to a great degree inaccurate and insufficient to capture the complexity of the phenomenon. I offer 'multidimensional structured power imprint' or multidimensional SPI as a more suitable and historically untainted term to capture some good part of what we know of this highly complex occurrence. As we learn more about SPIs we will need words to describe their characteristics. For instance, if we learn that the time of formation of an SPI spans the beginning of the initial energy event and the conclusion of a final energy event, what do we call the whole duration? If we determine that there is something unique about the initial energy event do we give it a special name? For example, if the initial energy event always generates the 'central' portion of a SPI and subsequent energy events 'fill out' the pattern, possibly with additional rings or circles or edge parts do we, perhaps, assign those different names? In some, albeit rare, cases, it is possible to determine the path of the energy of formation. We might want to distinguish between energies according to their angle of incidence relative to the ground surface. A related task has to do with the need for a system that permits searching for SPIs with certain characteristics. Even if we do not take the effort to name distinguishing characteristics of SPIs, it would be useful if those characteristics were in a database so that one could search for SPIs with a given set of them. For instance, I might be interested in SPIs composed of circles and rings: one central circle surrounded by three rings that on themselves have no circles and I want the 'circularity' to be less than 1 (the circle and rings are actually ellipses). I hypothesize that the degree of circularity determines the angle of incidence of the energy of formation. It would be extraordinary if we learned that the two were not related and the implications would be startling.
I have described what I believe to be some of the tasks of ICCRA and have suggested possible approaches to them. In no way does this limit what might be considered by members of the organization. My approach has tended to use electronic and mechanical tools and that has its own limitations. Psychic and spiritual realms may offer expanded opportunities to explore the complexities of SPIs and hypothesis development and testing can play a role here as it did in the instances I've described above.
ICCRA Conference Attendee Hypotheses