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From the Files of the RJ's Surrealist Research Bureau

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Fairy Rings, Mowing Devils and Tully Saucer Nests - the prehistory of crop circles

Re-readings of Shakespeare continue to amaze me. It was during a recent hookah-driven review of his “Mid-summer Night’s Dream” that I came across a fairy speaking the lines, “I do wander everywhere/ swifter than the moon’s sphere/ and I serve the fairy Queen/ to dew her orbs upon the green.”

Even during Shakespeare’s times crop circles were both prevalent and mysterious, often attributed to “mowing devils” or to the actions of fairies and the wee folk. Though today they are often usually attributed to UFOs, they are equally denizens of the realm of the marvelous and unknown.

As far back as 1880 the noted British Scientific Journal “Nature” devoted numerous articles and examinations to studies of the phenomena and though today most are easily dismissed as the work of hoaxers, there is a small core that have peculiar properties scientists cannot understand. Most “non-hoax” circles have been found, after lengthy examinations, to have been subjected to an intense blast of heat similar to that of a microwave oven and are left covered with a glaze-like layer of iron oxide, an effect that only occurs with temperatures above 930 degrees. There’s also a wide range of anomalous electromagnetic mutations in the stalks themselves. (The Sandpoint library has a number of books on the subject.)

In the 1920s a number of researchers also documented magnetic fluctuations inside the circles, then commonly called “witches rings” and supposed to have been created by covens in the area dancing around in magic rituals and incantations. By the 1960s they were finally called “Tully Saucer Nests” after a January 16, 1966 sighting in Queensland, Australia where a farmer named George Pedley was driving a tractor about 25 yards from a lagoon when he heard a loud humming sound rising above the noise of the tractor and saw an object rise out of the swamp; he saw something large, grey and saucer-shaped some 25 feet across and 9 feet high which spun around faster, tilted a bit, and shot off into the sky at a 45-degree angle, disappearing “at tremendous speed.” He told the owner of the field what he’d seen and they returned to the area and took pictures of the matted-down vegetation and called police. (There were a number of anomalous features in the matted circle of vegetation which space forbids my going into here. Simply Google Tully Saucer Nests and a few good websites should pop up.)

In another trace landing case 16-year-old Ron Johnson was doing chores on his family’s farm near Delphos, Kansas in 1971 when he saw a glowing, mushroom-shaped light hovering in the trees some 75 feet away about 6 feet in diameter only about 6 feet off the ground. He moved in for a closer look but the object’s brightness precluded further details and made a loud noise “like an old washing machine when it vibrates.” He ran back to the farmhouse to get his family and his parents arrived back at the area in time to see the object, now as big as a full moon, shoot off into the sky.

The Johnsons were surprised to find a large, glowing ring on the ground where the object had been and took a photo of it with the only remaining shot on their film roll. Ron’s mother touched the glowing ring and her hand went numb “like I’d been given anesthetic.” Over a month later the ring was still there and the Johnsons finally told their story to a local reporter who’d heard about it; she, in turn, notified authorities who found the ring still glowing as well as finding nearby tree limbs broken off apparently from when the object took off or landed. (Analysis of the soil and broken tree branches yielded some further anomalous results. Google “Delphos Landing Ring” and a few sites should appear.)

Still more landing traces were found in France in 1981 where farmer Renalto Nicolai, 55, was working on his property. He heard a whistling sound and saw a small ship descending to the ground where it rested for a second; the whistling changed pitch and the craft took off quickly. He stated, “I went to the spot and found a circle about 7 feet in diameter. The ship itself was the color of lead and about 5 feet high. Thinking the craft was an experimental air force prototype in trouble, I notified authorities who came and took samples.”

The investigation found a large object had left a heavy indentation in the ground and “traces still apparent after 40 days, thematic heating to soil, and leaf samples nearest the circle had a 50 percent drop in chlorophyll. On all factors examined of photosynthesis, lipids, and amino acids, there are great and marked differences between those samples fartherest from the circle and those nearest to it.”

I sure as heck have no answers to Shakespeare’s “Fairy Rings,” Tully’s Saucer Nests, The Devil’s Mowers or anything else; perhaps the scientific analysis of France’s Trace Landing Case should provide the final word: “While we cannot give a precise interpretation to this combination of results, we can, however, confirm that something significant and unknown occurred within this circle.”

‘til next time; “Beauty will be convulsive or it will not be at all!”

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Jody Forest Jody Forest When he's not hidden behind the palatial gates of his Dover estate, Casa de Bozo, Jody is out using outdated and corny pickup lines on various gullible women.

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Mowing Devil Delphos Ring at 10 Min. Delphos Ring at 42 Mos. Tully Saucer Nest

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