by Andreas Muller
31 August 2013
"The world in
which we live is more miraculous than we know.
There are things which
go on in our world about which we know nothing."
In late 2002 I read the book "Secrets
in the Fields" by crop circle researcher Freddy Silva.
On page 303 the author
"If contact with non
human life continues to follow the U.S. military's example of
researching UFOs - shoot them down and analyze them - then it's
no wonder contact needs to be made in more subtle ways with
people who appear to have every inclination of behaving like
Yet compare this
attitude with that of "pagans" in South Africa in response to
circle appeared in the fields, the people rushed to erect a
fence of poles around the circle. They would dance and
perform other sacred rituals honoring the Star Gods and the
All the kings
and chiefs awaited the arrival of these circles.
would be cause for celebrations that lasted several days.
The celebrations were accompanied by prayers to the gods to
watch over the people and talk to them through the sacred
(MUTWA 1996, 23 /
SILVA 2002, 303)
As the bibliographical
reference Silva gives:
Mutwa, Credo. 1996.
'Isilwane - The Animal.' Cape Town, S. Africa: Struick.
To be honest, I'd never
heard of this book or its author before. I soon learnt more about
this astonishing man, when doing an online search for his name.
The following is an abstract of his biography taken from Stephen
Larsen's editorial notes of Credo Mutwa's book "Zulu
Shaman" (originally published under the title "Song of
the Stars" in 1996):
Mutwa was born in the Natal area of South Africa on July 21,
His very name is a
composite of his cultures of origin. "Vusamazulu" is a Zulu
honorific, meaning "Awakener of the Zulus" and came through his
initiation as a Sangoma (Traditional Healer, Shaman).
But the name "Credo"
was given to him by his father, a Christian. It is from the
Latin "I believe". "Mutwa" is Zulu for "little Bushman" - "Vusamazulu
Credo Mutwa" then may be rendered to "Great Awakener, I Believe
(in) Little Bushman".
Credo was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church his father
having held the position of "catechism instructor".
His mother Numabunu,
however, was the daughter of the shaman-warrior Ziko Shezi, who
had survived the awful battle of Ulundi, which ended the
Zulu-Wars. Shezi was a Samgoma, and custodian of Zulu relics.
The split in religion was to prove decisive for his parents'
relationship, and they never formally married, separating soon
after Mutwa was born.
Fortunately, Mutwa received early training from his grandfather
Ziko Shezi, and memorably the child would carry his
grandfather's medicine bags, full of sacred objects, to various
Credo Mutwa from an early time showed a proclivity for art,
especially sculpture. (...)
In 1928 his father entered the picture again and obtained
custody of the child over the objections of his mother. The
young lad was obliged to go to the Transvaal with his father,
stepmother and their three children. The family moved around to
several different farms, and finally settled near Johannesburg.
Credo was educated in mission schools, taught in English about
Western history and civilisation, and confirmed as a Christian
in the process. His goal in those years was to become a
schoolteacher, and hence he studied his lessons very well. (...)
In 1943 there began a time of sickness and disorientation for
the young man. He was afflicted with dreams and visions, and a
strange malaise would often come over him. He was experiencing
the sickness that often comes to future Sangomas, initiating
Now there are several kinds of traditional healers among the
Zulu. An "Inyanga" may inherit the profession from relatives.
But a "Sangoma" must receive a "call" from the spirits, which
seemed to be happening to the young man.
At the urging of his
mother and grandfather, Mutwa would undergo purification
ceremonies, renounce formal Christianity, and begin to prepare
himself to receive the training of the Sangoma. (...)
wearing his sacred
relics and holding an ancient statue
Credo Mutwa was to prove to be a very successful Sangoma, and
eventually was elevated to the rank of "High Sanusi", like the
Indian "Sannyasin", a holy man who has taken vows.
In his way he came
to be the leader of well over 500 other traditional healers.
"When I was made
into a Sanusi, I took a vow never to reveal my knowledge,
never to tell people about my profession or about the sacred
artefacts (...) that I am entrusted with.
But I feel that
this vow is a hindrance, and some years ago I decided to
break it. The result of this has been that my people have
ostracized me and many people have bitterly blamed me for
what I had done."
Credo Mutwa very
much believes in the value of tradition, but also affirms that
we live in changing times. The traditions are to be kept, but
their influence is to be made open to a larger audience than the
dwindling faithful among the Zulu people.
The keepers of traditional stories are called "Guardians of the
Umlando (tribal history), a different but overlapping role with
that of the Sangoma. This role also Credo has embraced.
To become this kind
of traditional storyteller requires and aptitude for precise
memorization and also the dramatic and artistic recitation of
the stories. (...)
In the foreword of the aforementioned book "Isilwane
The Animal - Tales and Fables of Africa" Mutwa recounts
(...) At harvest
time, we left some of our corn standing so that passing birds
could share in the bounty of our fields and, by sharing, bless
us and ensure us of plenty of food. Sometimes large fields of
corn and millet were planted.
These were sacred to
the goddess and were offered to the vast armies of birds to eat.
No human being could enter the sacred cornfield.
The sacred fields were ploughed far from the ordinary millet,
maize and corn, as they were left unfenced. Over centuries,
people had discovered that the star gods sometimes communicated
with human beings through these sacred fields. Time and again,
strange circular depressions were seen in the centre of these
were called "Izishoze Zamatongo", the great circles of the gods.
These circles were an amazing sight to see. The gods never cut
the stalks of corn or millet when they form these depressions.
It appears as though a great circular, disk-shaped force has
descended on the field. It pressed the corn firmly into the
ground, without breaking the stalks or damaging the plants.
Then the force
appears to spin, resulting in the strange spiral appearance of
the fallen stalks. Words cannot describe such a phenomenon,
which I have seen more than thirty times in the course of my
life as a traditional healer. Whenever a circle appeared in the
fields, the people rushed to erect a fence of poles around the
They would dance and
perform other sacred rituals honoring the star gods and the
All the kings and chiefs awaited the arrival of these circles.
The appearance would be cause for celebrations that lasted
several days. These celebrations were accompanied by prayers to
the gods to watch over the people and to talk to them through
the sacred circles.(...)
(MUTWA 1996, 23)
When I read this I was
struck by the way this description matched what we call
the "Crop Circles"
and I wanted to
learn more about this phenomenon on the African continent, currently
unknown to Western crop circle research.
It took me quite a long time to gain access to this holy man but
finally in 2005 he invited me to visit him on the farm where he
lives, in the hills between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
My meeting with Credo
Mutwa on a humble farm
between Pretoria and
Johannesburg in April 2005.
(Photo: Müller /
Credo Mutwa in April of the
same year and was astonished to find a man of his wisdom and high
ranking living such a humble life; his simple dwellings incomparable
to the palaces his different religious equivalents reside in
After a short
introduction and viewing pictures of European crop circles that I
brought with me, we started our conversation and I learnt my first
lesson: I was prepared to conduct the interview in a traditional
Western manner with a numbered list of questions. However, when
confronted by a "Guardian of the Umlando" like Credo Mutwa I soon
realized that things would not unfold in the usual manner.
When a man like him
starts to talk to you about his folklore and traditions, there seems
to be no beginning and no full stop - everything seems a single
tale, enriched here and there with parables, references and
comparisons to related stories. I have to admit, it was a good
lesson to learn.
The following is a compilation of Credo Mutwa's answers, regarding
his knowledge about the crop circles in Africa.
At some points I have
taken the chance to add some notes that compare Credo Mutwa's
information to the crop circle phenomenon, at least as far as we
currently understand it in the west.
"What you call ‘Crop
Circles' is the same that what the Zulu call 'Izishoze Zamatongo'
and which means the designs or the writings of the Gods. We have
known about them for more than 4000 years."
In other parts of the
world, recent research has also shown that the crop circle
phenomenon is not a contemporary enigma but has probably always been
The oldest record of a
European crop circle dates back to the year 1590 and was found
documented in a French witch-trial case. (MÜLLER / ANDERHUB 2005,
Much older reports of
discoveries of flattened circular areas of crops and grass have also
been found in European and North American folklore-tales, legends
and myths (MÜLLER 2001, 10).
"I have seen these
things hundreds of times before.
comment: The alert reader will note that we have a
discrepancy here in the numbers given between what is said in
the aforementioned book "Isilwane - The Animal" and in our
conversation: In the book Credo Mutwa mentions that he had seen
crop circles himself "more than thirty times" and now he talks
about a "hundreds of times". This discrepancy can be explained
in several ways. On the one hand the book was published in 1996,
some nine years prior to our conversation and on the other - due
to the editing process - there is a difference between a written
book by Mr. Mutwa and a vital conversation with him.)
These things are
very funny... they don't like the miellies (maize /
They appear on our
millet, they appear on our sokka, these are two different
kinds of crop. The crop circles like to appear on millet and all
sorts of small grain plants. The Gods choose their kind of
grain. They don't like the corn (maize) - Why? - Because with
that grain you cannot make a good crop circle on it like you can
So they choose these
grains that are native to the country in which they appear.
Corn is not native
This might deliver a
clue to the question why there have been indeed so very few crop
circles in corn/maize in England, Europe and other parts of the
world, while a great part of the phenomenon in American countries
like USA, Canada, Mexico etc. used just those fields for its canvas.
"If the land is too
flat you cannot see what the Gods have been telling us unless
you go to a nearby mountain (to have a good vantage point from
which to view the design). They don't destroy the plants.
They bend them so
that after a time the plant can recover - they don't want to
destroy. This is why those men who say that these are all
forgeries are wrong. How can somebody fake something like this
without damaging the plants? You can't! It also takes those who
try it many, many hours to do so.
This is not the way
the Gods make Izishoze."
What is the
"These things they
happen to pass important messages to the people through the
The Izishoze happen
to appear many times when our people are planting the African
crop that they called mabele - or sorghum in English. The
Gods used to flatten the plants and not to break them. So that
after a time when the people have read the message, the plants
would stand up again and grow."
"I have always wanted to have a farm of my own. To watch out for
the writings of the Gods because this is intelligence very, very
big and whatever these powerful beings are telling us even means
that our minds are to stupid to understand.
Our modern minds
have been corrupted by western civilization that is refusing to
believe that things like the crop circles could be real and
important. This is why we do not understand the simple messages
"The crop circles also tell us about the situation of the Sun.
But why - you may ask - is the Earth Mind telling us about the
The crop circle
phenomenon talks of a time of great activity of the sun. But
why? Why does this great intelligence, this Mother Spirit, why
does it tell us about this thing?
When there is
trouble in the sun - then what happens to the human beings down
here? When there is trouble in the sun there will be also
trouble down on earth. And this is why the crop circles are
appearing. They even tell us things that will happen in the
They can also be
warnings. For example if there is going to be a war - the crop
circles tell us."
"In the old days,
when the Gods put crop circles in our fields the people used to
run quickly to take sticks and stones all around the design to
mark it out. We wanted that the Gods should say again what they
are telling us.
This is therefore so
that the crop circle does not die and that the Gods will then
again respond with another crop circle nearby. This is why
sometimes there will be a new crop circle next to an old one.
"This is how the African stone circle monuments came into
existence. And this happened all over the worldwide as with
Avebury and the like. The
Stonehenge monument you can see today, there used to be a crop
This would have been
regarded as a very holy thing so the ancient people marked it
with earth, stones and wooden sticks. They are a sort of saying
'Thank you' to the intelligence that is behind. They were not
built just for decoration.
The ancient chiefs,
kings and holy people were not fools. They were in tune with the
Great Spirits of the earth. They were in tune with the mysteries
of the world. They knew more that we give them credit for but
they kept the knowledge away from us. Deciphering it in their
Therefore you can
see so many similarities between the crop circles and ancient
sacred art. This is no coincidence."
The hypothesis that
ancient stone circles and henges mark the locations of ancient crop
circles, regarded by the people of that time as a scared sign and
therefore marked out as a future place of ceremonies, has also been
considered by Western crop circle researchers, most notably by
research pioneer Dr. Terence Meaden in his book "The
Stonehenge Solution" (MEADEN 1992, 62).
"Here (pointing to a
so-called "grapeshot" circle on a picture of a formation) the
Gods have given us a sign: This is where they have signed off
like a signature.
They are saying:
Here is the message, over and out. We have to acknowledge the
design from here. This is where we have to respond."
Small outside circles
as the one marked red in this diagram (Cliffords Hill, Wilts. UK,
According to Credo
Mutwa they mark the spot from where to view,
interpret the designs
as well as the spot to respond
to the intelligence
(Diagram: A. Müller)
"We have to measure
the new formations from one to the other side. The bigger the
formations, the more important the message and the closer the
"This is one of the holy things. It is teaching us about the
human mind. It also teaches us about the world-mind. We say the
earth has got a brain and the brain passes knowledge to the
people (through the sacred fields)."
"These crop circles are created by a power which is
compassionate. The spirit who makes the crop circles guides
human beings, it tells them important things that human beings
are not aware of yet."
Here (as well as with
the above discussed idea that the "natural message" of the circles
is too simple for our complicate minds) Credo Mutwa agrees with
other traditional and native representatives.
Aborigines people of Australia share this very same view.
"Long time ago, when
all my sacred items were given to me, I was told that we must
always look out for those things, always because this is what
the God Spirit - which is the mind of the earth - is telling us
about important things about the universe... about what is going
"These are things that we Sangomas are called to investigate. I
have always wanted to have a farm of my own. To watch out for
the writings of the Gods (...)"
"I remember that my grandmother used to say that we must show
respect for the crop circles as well as we have to show our
respect to the standing stones."
"The signs do prophesize. They tell us about the future. This is
why Sangomas must plant millet because this is the plant the
Gods prefer to speak through."
Circles in Africa
"If there is going
to be a war - the crop circles tell us. These things are
"Our crop circles in Africa are not only circles; they are just
as complicated as the English ones, even more complex sometimes.
Our biggest crop circle appeared in Zululand, it was made up of
four of them inside a big square and in the centre was a
picture, a picture of a gun, a picture of a gun canon.
That was just before
Battle of Ulundi in 1879 where
the English used artillery pieces and Gatling guns (the first
highly successful rapid-repeating firearms) on the Zulus for the
very first time."
A basic graphical
reconstruction of the 1879 huge crop circle formation in Zululand,
but Without the
central standing design.
The central circle
was said to have shown something
that was seen as a
depiction of the later used canon guns.
(Diagram: A. Müller -
based on description)
The true central
design was obviously open for speculation.
However, the photo on
the left shows a Royal Navy Gatling Gun Team in 1865.
This is the kind of
canon-gun also used during the Battle of Ulundi in 1879.
National Archives and Record Administration).
Right: An artistic
interpretation combines the described
formation's basic design with a Gatling gin symbol.
(Diagram: A. Müller)
Back home in Germany I
was checking out the available sources for information and data on
the Battle of Ulundi.
Whilst reading through
the various documents I stumbled upon a detail that had not even
been mentioned by Credo Mutwa: Apparently the British troops,
consisting of some 17.000 men, marched to the battle in the form of
"hollow square and
halted on a low hill about 3km west of Ondini".
The crop circle
formation appeared to not only predict the weapon used but also the
way the British troops were fighting on the top of the hill, firing
Gatling guns from inside their protective hollow square of soldiers.
Compare these features
with the above shown diagram in Fig. 3 and 4.
"They look similar
to the English crop circles but sometimes also slightly
different. In African crop circles you can sometimes see faces
of animals with horns. There are sometimes four: one facing up,
one down, one left and the fourth to the right."
It was kind of hard to
understand what this formal description would indicate.
Finally it seems unclear
(at least to the author) if those "animal faces" were more of a
direct pictorial character or made of geometrical elements, like
described in the following figure:
Faces of horned
animals - from a crop circle point of view this could mean
On the one side (l.)
it could mean a truly pictorial picture of a horned animals face,
like for example the face of a bull.
On the other side
(m.) such a bull's face can also be created in the way of a
geometrical figures only.
The diagram on the
right side shows an artistic interpretation
of what the above
described formations with four of such animals faces
looking in each
direction might have looked like.
(Diagrams by A.
"They like grains which are soft and another kind of crops where
you see African crop circles is the 'Monkey Nut'.
This has gentle
leaves, they are beautiful and there you can see very beautiful
crop circles as well. In the Eastern Transvaal I saw such
formations in Monkey Nuts (Peanuts - not to be confused with the
Cashewnuts and Paranuts that also have this epithet).
According to Credo
Mutwa, formations like the ones we call "Pendulums"
a typical crop
circle variation in England during the early 1990's
Crawley Down, Hampshire, England 13/07/90),
are also typical for
crop circles in peanut plants as they appear
in South Africa's
Eastern Transvaal region.
(Diagram by A. Müller)
"But here in South
Africa we can also see crop circles in the Sand.
Near Cape Town there
is a place called "Cradock", a village, and a small town of
white people. In Cradock there is no crop but even now you can
see crop circles in the sand."
"In the Kalahari in Botswana you will see crop circles in the
sand. Here the sand is blown away but some of them stay for
weeks so that you can still see them long after but not as
beautiful as on the millet. Also in Johannesburg where the mines
are we find very white sand. This sand is very poisoned - and
here we used to see crop circles there - especially after
rain... very big ones."
"They also appear in the sand of the North African deserts, as
for example in Egypt."
In fact German
UFO-researcher Michael Hesemann reported the very first
formation in sand in his book "The
He reported of an
observation of air passenger Mrs. Charlotte Wüsthoff of Düsseldorf:
On November 11,
1992, she was flying with "Egypt Air" from Cairo to the Dead
When they were at
the height of Port Safaga she looked down onto the desert and
saw a mysterious design in the sand. A circle with a
mirror-inverted "F" appendage and a smaller ring around the
shaft of the "F" - a classical crop circle design (HESEMANN
However, it is not
known of what the strange design in the desert was made of.
Was it carved or blown
into the sand, was it painted or marked in any other way?
Diagram of the
described "Key" formation
in the sand desert
near Port Safaga, Egypt, 1992.
(Diagram - based on
description - by A. Müller)
A desert circle also seems to be visible on a satellite image
presented by GoogleEarth.
What crop circle
researchers would call "a ring with a small satellite circle" can be
seen in the sand just about 2 kilometers south of the famous
Pyramids of Giza, outside of Cairo.
However, so far there
has been no ground inspection to this interesting feature in the
sand and it is yet unknown when this satellite image was taken.
A "ring with an outer
with a diameter of
about 50 meters can be seen
of the famous Giza
pyramids near Cairo.
(Satellite immage by
GoogleEarth / DigitalGlobe)
"We also find crop
circles in the African grass or in the African savannah like in
Kenya where there is a lot of good grass. If you want to see
good crop circles - go to Kenya. In Massai Mara were the animals
run plenty, plenty.
You will see circles
in the grass there - just as beautiful as these (pointing to the
picture section of my book I brought to him a present)."
Kenyan crop circles seem
to be confirmed also by other reports unconnected with Credo Mutwa.
The mother of English
crop circle researcher Allan Brown, for example, was raised
on a farm near the capital Nairobi in the 1950's. She recalls
playing inside flattened circles in her father's grain fields, a
source of great annoyance to him.
"In the Southwest
Africa, there the Owambo people of Namibia they plant millet,
plenty of millet and there you see crop circles, really funny
"There is a thing which the Egyptians plant. It is called Bhali
and there you see crop circles as well. But the people there
they don't like them."
A Mrs. Sharon, another
visitor to Credo Mutwa at that time, who was also with us during
parts our conversation, added:
"If you fly from
Johannesburg to Kruger National Park at this time of the year
(April) when you look down the whole area of Lyndenburg you will
see circles all over."
Unfortunately the author
was unable to take an aerial reconnaissance flight over the
Credo Mutwa Saw Himself
"I saw my very first
crop circle in the Natal region in 1949. It was made of three
circles inside each other placed in a field of potao
The first crop circle
Credo Mutwa saw himself:
circle in potato plants (r.)
in the Natal region
of South Africa, 1949.
(Diagram: A. Müller,
based on Credo Mutwa's sketch)
"In 1958, again in
Natal I saw a huge crop circle in the shape of two circles
inside of a triangle"
seen by Credo Mutwa in 1958 in the Natal region.
Left: Credo Mutwa's
Müller / Sketch: Credo Mutwa)
"On farms in
Botswana there appeared a number of crop circles - many of them.
I was called to go there and that was in 1959. I remember these
were on sand and they were on the millet."
"In the same year when I visited England and saw the large
threefold Galaxy crop circle near Avebury (Triple Julia-Set at
Windmill Hill, 1996) I also visited a beautiful one in the
Eastern Transvaal. It showed a symmetrical pattern inside a ring
made of two crescents and inside of each a five-pointed star."
crop circles similar to
the patterns we know
from England but
investigated by Credo
Mutwa in 1996 in the Eastern Transvaal.
(Diagram: A. Müller,
based on Credo Mutwa's sketch)
"Also our people
have observed the crop circles in the making. This is when they
have seen the lights, balls of light spinning in the air and on
But then the people
moved away because they don't want the Gods to get angry - they
hide in their houses while the Gods are finishing making their
messages. These light-phenomena also happen in other places of
Flying lights and things
we would call UFOs are also known in the Zulu and ancient African
They are called "Abahambi
Abawutayo" and Credo Mutwa writes about them also in his book "Song
of the Stars":
"There are things
that fly through the night, those
you call UFOs, which we in
Africa call 'Abahambi Abavutayo', 'the fiery visitors'.
Oh yes, Africa has
had her own share of UFOs, and she has for many, many centuries,
long before they were even heard of on other parts of the world,
we, the people of Africa had contact with these things."
(MUTWA 1996, 121)
observations are known to be connected with crop circles worldwide.
So-called "Balls of Light", "Orbs" or "Luminosities" were seen by
many crop circle enthusiasts over the years.
The most spectacular
event include even the forming of crop circles as some sort of
interaction with the light-phenomena - just as described by Credo
"Try it one time if
a crop circle is still new: Sit right in the centre of it and
you will realize funny things.
(If it is a genuine
crop circle) you will feel as if your head will be pulled
upwards and you will feel it to your heart by lying on the
ground on your back you will see that your heart is beating
strong against the breastbone. Try it."
"Cameras do also fail inside African crop circles as well, just
as I heard it happens in English crop circles... if the crop
circle is still fresh."
Very similar things to
the ones described above are also known from crop circles in other
countries and continents.
"Funny enough 'crop
circles' are not only made by crops. If you put a lot of cattle
in your village and they are in a big place you will sometimes
find animals forming strange circles and patterns as well."
Without Credo Mutwa
knowing, his strange tale of "cattle circles" have indeed also been
observed and documented in Europe.
explanation is still awaited. (DAMERELL 2002)
Specific Crop Circles - According to Credo Mutwa
"This formation is
horrifying me. That (American) star and the pentagon forming a
crop circle... What on earth happened that day? Was it a war?
The "Bythorn Mandala"
was discovered on September 5, 1993
at Bythorn in
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.
(Photo: Lucy Pringle)
There has been no war directly connected to the date when the
formation was formed.
However, also Credo
Mutwa wondered about the used symbolism: A five-pointed star - a
pentagram - inscribed within a pentagon. Both symbols are today
deeply connected to
The most direct martial
intervention the USA was involved in at this time was the "Second
"This is the string
of the women because we use the exactly symbol to symbolize the
menstruation of a woman 'Indambo Ghamamba' (correct spelling
unclear) . When an African Woman is having trouble with
menstruation she had to have woven such a string in skin and it
is exactly the way this is made."
The so-called "DNA"
discovered on June 7, 1996
in the East Field,
Wiltshire, United Kingdom.
"To me this is an African stitched knot. It is also the
so-called "Grass Basket" and this a game between chiefs and we
call it 'Murambarabathi' (The Game of God) was only used by the
chiefs and not by ordinary people.
It is made of grass
and I am very surprised! What is an African design doing in an
formation, discovered on August 6, 1999
at Bishops Cannings,
Wiltshire, United Kingdom.
(Photo: Ulrich Kox)
About Hoaxing and Hoaxers
"They (the Gods)
don't destroy the plants.
They bend them so
that after a time the plant can recover - they don't want to
destroy. This is why those men who say that these are forgeries
are wrong. How can somebody fake some thing like this without
damaging the plants?
You can't! It also
takes those who try it many, many hours to do this..."