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SEPTEMBER 2001 - 18/09/2001

The Voice of Reason considers the significance of the Milk Hill and Chilbolton formations…


The Milk Hill and Chilbolton formations are of unparalleled significance and indicate a profound shift in the crop circle phenomenon.

I had predicted the arrival of the number 13 for this season. I communicated it publicly, though not widely, and certainly not within earshot of the dysfunctional young men who would have become overly excited. 13 is considered to be the Number of Transformation and it was clear that we were approaching a season which would bring great change. There are many, I believe, who will look back with regret and see that the changes of 2001 brought their personal nemesis.

The Milk Hill giant arrived on 12th August. Each of its six arms had thirteen main circles. There were 409 circles (itself a 13 number) in the formation.

The crop circle community has, since 1996, called anything with lots of circles a fractal and, of course, Milk Hill – though similar in many respects to, for example, Stonehenge of 1996 – was emphatically not a fractal. Nor was it a Julia Set.

The 13 main spinal circles in each arm at Milk Hill were disposed on a single, simple arc of curvature. The circles increased in size from the first to the seventh and then decreased as they curved away. The seventh, largest circle – about 72 feet in diameter - was the point of junction with the neighbouring arm. There were six of these and they were the same size as the central mother circle, making seven. (As each arm curved to join its neighbour at number seven, circle six lost one side of tiny satellite circles to accommodate the junction.)

If these seven large circles were to be joined by straight lines, they would show six equilateral triangles packed together to form a hexagon.

Like the renowned major formations of 1996, Stonehenge, the Alton Barnes ‘DNA’ and Windmill Hill triple spiral, all the arms of circles were developed along a preliminary and continuous tracer path, which, again, was about eight inches wide. This might also be called a hospitality path, for its main function seems to have been the formation of access gateways from circle to circle.

Charlie Mallett measured this formation. It was 780 feet across. This is certainly not the largest LINEAR dimension we have had (the Etchilhampton ‘Druid’s Cord’ of 1996 was 8/10 of a mile long), but it was by far the biggest area ever covered by a crop formation.

But apart from this, it might be called a conventional formation. Its design and geometry proposed no new ideas or strategies. It was simply the scale, the raw hugeness, that took the breath away. I visited it one Thursday morning. There must have been 70 or 80 people inside, but they all seemed so tiny, so far away, dwarfed by the majesty of this thing. It drew – probably – more visitors than the previous record holder, Stonehenge ’96. By the weekend of 1st and 2nd September it had been completely and unrecognisably stomped. (It is ironic that, after ten years or so, we have shown ourselves to be deeply underwhelmed by beauty, subtlety, geometry or synchronicity. The Circle Makers, perhaps with a little sadness, decided finally to give us BIG. Maybe we would pay attention to that!)

What then might be the significance of Milk Hill?

I suggest that this was the huge wax seal at the bottom of a Proclamation. “Claim THIS, you small people!” it said. “Doubt THIS one, faint hearted ones. Debunk it, discredit and slander it to your heart’s content. You discredit and slander yourselves. Anyone with eyes in their head will see this as a marker, a marker at the end of one chapter of the narrative and the start of another.”

With this declaration, delivered with the intensity of a fist slammed down on an oaken table, we were left to ponder.

And then, around the 14th August, the inscrutable Chilbolton Face arrived, followed on the 19th by the Arecibo response. Was there ever a more startling opening? Was there ever a more undeniable sign that things had changed?

The Face gazes at us enigmatically. We are given few clues. Who is this being? Is it male or female? We are stared at through a rectangular frame, ten feet in width on the ground. Is this a window, a picture frame, or perhaps a mirror?

I have suggested often that the veil between dimensions was wearing thin and that the crop circles were events breaking through tears in the cloth. The Chilbolton face looks at us through a woven, and now slightly threadbare, screen of fabric.

But perhaps the most arresting characteristic is that we are seeing a rather coarse ‘Half-tone’. The Half-tone is a system, invented at the end of the Nineteenth Century by Frederic Eugene Ives, to allow photographic images to be quickly and easily rendered into print. The vast majority of photographic images we see are Half-tones. Take a magnifying glass and look closely at any newspaper photo and you will see that a white, through grey to black, photographic image has been produced entirely by the use of pure black dots (of varying sizes and proximity) on pure white space. Our brain works, within the limits of our visual acuity, to make a smooth, realistic image of the random blobs. And so it is with the Face. But how telling that the opening of this new dialogue starts with the adoption of a technology which, for over a century, has been so fundamental a part of our visual language.

I would argue that the recent history of the circles has been moving towards this. If we look back, starting perhaps with the Etchilhampton Grid of 1996, we can see a purposeful movement towards the realistic half-tone of the face. The Windmill Hill ‘Pillow’ of last June was moving into three dimensions, while the enigmatic East Kennet grid played with the possibilities of dot-matrices, as did the enigmatic Yorkshire design of 1999 which held the figures ‘08’ within a similar square of pixels.

The original SETI transmission was blasted into the universe from the Arecibo radio telescope in 1974. The scientists, as always confusing the limits of their own imagination with the limits of the universe, assumed that it would take 20,000 light years to reach its target, the M13 zone of the milky way. The response took 27 years!

There are many possibilities, but I offer three.

First, and, of course, much favoured by SETI and others desperate to maintain calm in a rapidly changing world, the Chilbolton events are a hoax, or as SETI prefers, a ”prank”.

Second: The original transmission took 13 1/2 years (oops, not 20,000!) and the reply was sent by return of mail.

Third, and my personal favourite: Our cousins live outside our earthly time constraints and not only did they get the original transmission immediately, they probably understood what it would say before it was dispatched. It was returned to us NOW because, within the trajectory of the evolving crop circle programme, we need it NOW. It is – emphatically – not a “message”. It is another piece of a continuing conversation.

Think about it! This is what we are expected to do.



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