Since last writing, events have come and gone. My scientific research day was a bonus as the weather forecast was for rain, rain and still more rain but quite amazingly the evening before when checking the weather forecast, I saw to my astonishment I that the system had moved away and what was left was disintegrating. In fact it turned out to be one of the warmest and sunniest days of the summer. Living on an island must make life hell for professional meteorologists.
After conducting the first control tests, we went into the beautiful ‘Rose’ formation at Uffcott. I will be writing up the results in my annual article early next year, but suffice it to say, they will be very interesting. Despite being ten days old, the circle was full of energy, swirling vortices and other effects.
James Hussey is the only farmer this year who has allowed people to visit the circles on their land. They have always done this in the past as they found the visitors polite and interesting. We could not be more grateful to them. We were all so very sorry to learn of Gill’s death after fighting breast cancer valiantly for 14 years. I knew her well and she was a truly wonderful lady. James Hussey wishes all donations to go direct to The Radiotherapy Unit at Great Western Hospital via the links given here; Gill Hussey is fundraising on Just Giving for The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund rather than through any other fundraising agencies. So far he has raised a handsome amount and we are all eager to help in this very worthy cause in memory of Gill.
Next came the Glastonbury Symposium, its 25th year, being the oldest continuously running Conference relating to this subject. Initially it was based on crop circles alone but as the years have progressed and people have realised that crop circles and other subjects are closely allied, it has spread it wings to include other areas of interest. I attended the very first one held in a tiny room above the Blue Note Café in Glastonbury which was reached by going up very rickety stairs and along an equally rickety passage to the room at the end. This was organised by Bob and Glynnis who owned the Pendragon shop. Sadly many of the people attending are no longer with us.
As usual the symposium this year was jammed full of fascinated people and it has maintained its leading role in the Conference arena.
Another event celebrating 25 years of crop circle history is the really exceptionally well presented exhibition being held until the end of August at St Peter’s Church in Marlborough. Entrance is free and I strongly recommend a visit. Together with stunning photographs dating from the 1990 memorable Alton Barnes ‘pictogram’ onwards, the textual history is both instructive and absorbing.
The first of my crop circle tours followed close on its heels and we were blessed with a spectacular formation at Hackpen Hill, again on James Hussey’s land. To many it was the Thunderbird, a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples’ history and culture. It is considered a supernatural bird of power and strength. To others it represented the Egyptian Falcon God Horus. Indeed it seemed to linked to many of the ancient civilisations.
Lying on the ridge with the Hackpen chalk white horse close by, it was in a memorable setting. At the request of James Hussey, Paul Jacobs took up residence in his splendid yellow caravan at the edge of the field and collected donations for Gill’s charity at the same time as welcoming and chatting to the visitors. In the afternoon, after a splendid lunch at the Barge Inn at Honey Street, to everyone’s delight we visited the Rose circle. We ended the day with a wonderful private entry visit to Stonehenge. Having got up at 5.30 that morning, I got home at 10.30pm!
The second crop circle tour was this week and once again I took everyone into Hackpen ‘Bird’. Before entering, we had enormous fun as I was teaching people how to dowse. I always carry several pairs of rods with me so there were plenty to go around. To people who have never dowsed before, it is quite an amazing experience to see the rods whirling around of their own doing, in response to a question!
In the afternoon we visited a circle that had appeared just the evening before at Etchilhampton. The inside lay of the crop was extraordinarily complex. A series of swirling circles with a centre protected by tufts of standing crop. Unfortunately the lane approaching the field was very narrow resulting in very poor parking and indeed when the farmer came along with his tractor he was unable to get past (luckily none of my group were responsible for this). Being aware of the farmers and the access to their land is essential and I fear the farmer may soon cut out this circle. The day ended with several people taking microlight flights over the circles they had visited. They all came back with grins from ear to ear!!
There have been many more circles than the ones I have mentioned in this letter, so do please visit my web site. As flying is such a dreadfully expensive business any donations towards it would be just so very gratefully received.
At last the circles are appearing! I booked an early morning flight for Thursday morning and got up reluctantly when the alarm shrilled loudly in my ears at 5.30 am, only to find that instead of a gloriously sunny morning as promised by the Met. Office, it was dreary and cloudy. However, I am not an optimist for nothing, so I put on my flying kit and after breakfast set forth for the airfield. Little pockets of blue sky raised my spirits as I drove along – virtually no traffic at that time of day – bliss!
I reached the airfield early and was greeted by the pilot who suggested we should wait a bit in the hopes that the now overcast sky would clear. He had another flight booked after me so we waited as long as we could before venturing forth. Indeed the weather was starting to clear, but there were low whispery clouds scudding across the field giving us little chance of a good break of full sun. Low whispery clouds are death to photography, so we flew around at great expense grabbing our moments whenever we could and just hoping we would be in just exactly the right place at that particular moment (not easy when circling around, I can assure you).
As you can see, it is a strange formation consisting of numerous crescents, two kites in the circle (or an egg timer as some like to call them!) and two small circles with eccentric centres of standing crop. The formation lay between two masts and measured about 200 feet long.
As a bonus, we passed Stonehenge on our way back. You would never believe how unexpectedly small it looks from the air. We flew as close as we could (it is inside the military zone) and I took a picture of the megaliths gleaming like shining white marble in the sun.
If you would like to join in helping me with my quest to bring pictures of the circles to the world please make a donation safely and securely through the PayPal button at the side of my June 2015 crop circle page. I would be so grateful for any help in supporting my photography.
At last it is getting warmer as we approach the summer solstice; one of the few times when the Stonehenge inner sanctum is open to the public to celebrate and herald in the sun as it rises up over the Heel Stone and can be clearly seen through one of the giant megaliths. As the sun rises a roar of joy can be heard from the gathered multitude of Druids, musicians, poets and people from disciplines and traditions and all of walks of life.
I still have few tickets left for the private entry evening visit to Stonehenge on the 30th July. Closing date the end of June.
With very best wishes to you, and best wishes for a happy and blessed Solstice.
On the 30th May I was told about a new circle that had appeared somewhere south west of Blandford Forum in Dorset. I immediately booked a flight for the following day, which according to the Met Office was to have a cloudy start but with sunny intervals starting to appear from around six in the evening.
Indeed it was a cold, cloudy morning and afternoon until glimmers of brightness started to appear, and by the time I got to Thruxton Airport there were enough blue patches “to make a pair of sailor’s trousers”, as the old saying goes.
Hoping for the best, we set off on a very long flight. The wind was against us, slowing us down, but the lush green fields below, of all wonderful shades, captivated me and I thought “how enormously lucky I am to be doing this and living in this wonderful Isle of Albion”.
We found the formation quite easily. It was in barley, that beautiful, luxurious crop which sways in the wind, billowing out across the field, ruffling the crop as it goes, like sails on a boat.
Due to the wind, it wasn’t easy to take pictures, as the crop from certain angles was distorted by the wind and an arterial road running adjacent to the field prohibited low flying.
In addition, I had accidentally flipped off my autofocus on the wide angle lens camera. I didn’t spot what I had done for several minutes and as I wrestled with a camera I thought it had broken, as does happen quite often when flying over circles. It is very expensive to fly so every lost moment is a financial loss, and it wasn’t until we were flying away that I spotted what I had done and we returned for a quick circuit of the formation.
It just shows how rusty one can become and how the smallest error can be catastrophic. It is a matter of running through all the possibilities as quickly as one can to correct the malfunction without panicking!!! I wont make the same mistake again! Had I been at school, I feel sure my report would have read “Could do better”.
The weather (which has been so cold it seems like winter all over again) is due to pick up by the end of the week, so hopefully we will see more circles. I will keep you posted.
The crop circle tour on the 30th July is fully booked but there still places for the amazing private entry visit to Stonehenge. I can take more people into Stonehenge than on a crop circle tour, hence the difference in numbers for that day.
I will have to close the Stonehenge booking at the end of June so please hurry if you would like to join me on an experience of a lifetime.
There are still a few places left for the August 4th Crop Circle tour with the optional extra of a wonderful flight over the circles.
I have just returned from a fantastic holiday in Sydney courtesy of my elder son Sloane, who flew me out to celebrate one of his special birthdays. Looking back on it, I think without a doubt it rates as being amongst the happiest and most wonderful holidays I have ever had.
It was my first visit to Australia in the 13 years that Sloane has lived there, and my goodness what a lovely city Sydney is, with its myriad beaches and hidden coves; tree-lined streets and evergreen flowering trees; and winding hilly streets with spectacular views of harbours filled with boats of all sizes.
The temperature ranged from 24 to 30 degrees and above, but having lived in Jamaica during a period of my life for 14 years, I am accustomed to that heat and I can quite see why people love living there. Sloane swims twice a day, very early in the morning at a small wonderful beach called Nelson’s Port before going to work – and in the evening on his return.
Among a host of wonderful happenings, I flew over, sailed under and drove over Harbour Bridge! How about that!
Another special event was being taken to a spectacularly brilliant performance of Madame Butterfly at the wonderful Sydney Opera House – what a treat! One of the most memorable I have ever seen, with the added brilliance of Anthony Legge the famous Glyndebourne conductor. The renowned acoustics are indeed quite exceptionally good.
My younger son Angus, who works for the World Health Organisation, joined us from Bangkok for three days. This was just wonderful, as this was his first visit to Australia, and he too loved the whole experience.
I happened to read Bill Bryson’s book ‘Down Under’ whilst I was there, and whereas Bryson waxes lyrical about the Australian continent as a whole, he seemed beset by the terrors of the many poisonous creatures that he felt were lurking everywhere to get him and give him a long, lingering and agonising death!! He survived and so did I!
From Sydney I flew to visit a special goddaughter and her lovely family who live perched high above Wellington. Wellington is not as beautiful as Sydney, but it has its own unique charm and once again I was shown all the sights. I also visited friends of very long standing who live along the coast at Howard’s Point. They took me to South Island, docking in Picton. One of the most spectacular views of the whole trip as we approached Picton, was sailing through narrow high tree-topped gorges that had small white sand beaches at their feet.
It is surprising the weather in Wellington doesn’t reflect the fact that the nearest land to the south is Antarctica – but it certainly lives up to its name of ‘Windy Wellington’ – so forget any hair styles!!
I have suffered horribly with jet lag since coming back to the UK, but, after two weeks, I am just returning to normal!!!
The crop circle season approaches, though I have a feeling it will have a late start unless the weather picks up, but please get in touch soon if you would like to join one of my crop circle tours as the places are already being booked.
All very best wishes,