of the Gods
Sub Figura Beta
Herein certain Very Smart Brethren
performed an Holy Scientific Analysis
on the Enigmatic Agriglyphs
- and -
Present their Astounding Conclusions
The Discovery of
Thirteen Short-Lived Radionuclides
Samplesfrom an English Crop Circle
(This version of the paper cometh without photos.
The authors may
be contacted at North American Circle, Box 61144, Durham, North
Carolina, 27715-1144, USA.
December 31, 1991.)
Marshall Dudley, Tennelec/Nucleus,
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA
Michael Chorost, Duke
University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
In this paper we report the discovery of
thirteen short-lived radionuclides (radioactive isotopes) in soil
samples taken from an English crop circle. We will explain the
significance of this discovery, rule out several mundane
explanations for it (including hoax), and propose that the
radionuclides were created by bombardment of the soil with
deuterium nuclei (also called "deuterons.") We will also consider
whether the radionuclides present a health hazard and conclude that
they probably do not.
A note on terminology: we shall use the terms "isotope",
"radioactive isotope", and "radionuclide" more or less inter-
changeably. Not all isotopes are radioactive, of course, but the
ones we are discussing are. The term "radionuclide" simply means an
atom whose nucleus is unstable and thus radioactive.
The oval-shaped crop circle (Photo 1) was formed the night of July
31 / August 1, 1991, near the town of Beckhampton.
(1) On August
5th, we gathered two soil samples inside it and took a control
several dozen feet away. Their emissions of alpha and beta particles
were measured with a Tennelec/Nucleus LB4000-8 gas flow counter on
August 18th. Their emissions proved to be markedly elevated,
compared to the control. One sample (1A) yielded alpha emissions
198% above the control, and beta emissions 48% above the control.
The other sample (1B) yielded alpha emissions 45% above the control,
and beta emissions 57% above the control. (2)
We hypothesized that these anomalies were too large to ascribe to
normal soil variation. This was supported by the fact that two
controls from another formation in the area (formed August 9/10, SU
076 679) yielded alpha and beta counts within 2% and 4% of each
other. By contrast, the two samples from within the formation
yielded alpha and beta counts 22% to 45% higher than the averaged
controls. In light of our subsequent discovery of short-lived
radionuclides in the Beckhampton oval, we think it reasonable to
believe that the samples' emissions were not due to normal soil
Our next step was to identify the specific radioactive isotopes
responsible for the elevated emissions. Thus we sent the samples to
another lab for gamma spectroscopy, which was performed on August
26th. Analysis of the output revealed the presence of thirteen
unusual and short-lived radionuclides in the samples. Two were found
in all three samples. Eleven were in either 1A or 1B but not in the
control. We list these eleven radionuclides in Table 1.
(An explanatory note: the number following each isotope's name
indicates its atomic weight, i.e. the combined number of protons and
neutrons in the nucleus. It is necessary to specify the atomic
weight to distinguish different isotopes of the same element from
each other. For example, uranium-235 and uranium-238 are different
isotopes of uranium, and have different nuclear properties, though
they remain chemically identical. Most elements have many isotopes,
some of which are common and long-lived, some of which are rare and
short-lived. The ones listed in Table 1 fall in the latter
Samples 1A and 1B But Not In The Control
||Present in 1A
||Present in 1B
indicates identification somewhat short of certainty, due to low
** "m" means "metastable." Rh-102m has the same number of
protons and neutrons as Rh-102, but its nucleus has a different
physical configuration. The two isotopes have different
half-lives but, for our practical purposes, the same ancestors
and decay products. We thus treat them as a single isotope.
It is of crucial importance that none of
the radionuclides in Table 1 appeared to be in the control, since it
helps rule out many mundane explanations. The control did have
long-lived, naturally occurring radionuclides such as uranium-238
and radium-226, and long-lived artificial radionuclides from
Chernobyl such as cesium- 137. But all three samples contained these
But the presence of the short-lived radionuclides is surprising.
To understand why, the reader should consider their half- lives (see
Table 1.) "Half-life" refers to the amount of time it takes for half
of a given amount of an element to decay into some other substance.
For example, it would take 17.4 days for half of a given amount of
protactinium-230 to decay. After twice that time, only 25% of the
original amount would be left, and so on. Therefore, any amount of
protactinium-230 will diminish to undetectable levels in a matter of
weeks. By contrast, naturally occurring uranium-238 has a half-life
of over four and a half billion years. It thus can be naturally
occurring whereas Pa-230 cannot be. Should scientists want to study
short-lived isotopes, they must synthesize them in cyclotrons or
experimental nuclear reactors; they can't just refine them from soil
or ores. Finding them in apparently ordinary soil from rural England
is almost as surprising as finding cut diamonds would be. It is
radically out of line with normal expectations.
Before going on with our discussion, we want to reassure readers
that the presence of the short-lived isotopes does not appear to
present any health threat. Even though the samples emitted higher
percentages of radiation than the control, their total emissions
were far below the danger threshold. This is because the
radionuclides were present in such low concentrations that they
could only be detected by exquisitely sensitive equipment. The
absolute quantities of the radionuclides were so low that one would
probably be exposed to more radioactivity by eating a banana (which
contains the natural radionuclide potassium-40) than by spending 24
hours in a fairly new crop circle.
Readers should also consider the fact that none of the leading
researchers of the phenomenon have contracted cancer or other
radiation-induced illnesses, despite having spent many hundreds of
hours in crop circles over a decade of study. Not only that, it is
far from clear that radiation anomalies are a general property of
crop circles. Of the six we examined for elevated alpha/beta
emissions, only two exhibited significant increases. Two others
exhibited apparently significantly lower emissions, and the last two
exhibited no significant differences. (3) Research in 1992 could
reveal that only a certain percentage of apparently genuine crop
circles exhibit radiation anomalies at all. This would further
reduce cause for concern.
To return to our discussion, where could the radionuclides have come
from? Let us first consider (and reject) eight mundane explanations.
Actually, the absence of the radionuclides in the controls
automatically rules out most of these explanations, but for
thoroughness' sake, we will consider them anyway.
We have already established that they cannot be naturally occurring
radionuclides, due to their short half-lives.
Contamination from the sample vials is unlikely. We used washed-out
plastic pharmaceutical jars. These could have caused some small
degree of chemical contamination, but not radioactive contamination.
Technologically unsophisticated hoaxers are out of the question,
since no amount of foot-stomping will form radioactive isotopes in
soil. It is not energetic enough by many orders of magnitude; it
would be like trying to compress coal into diamonds by jumping on
Atomic tests and Chernobyl are untenable as sources, since these
events happened years, not days, ago. But to be absolutely sure, we
checked Table 1 against inventories of the emissions from Chernobyl,
atomic bomb tests, and nuclear installations. None of the
radionuclides in Table 1 were found in any of the inventories.
Furthermore, we compared Table 1 to the decay products of each
radionuclide in the inventories, and found no matches. We therefore
feel reasonably confident that human- made radionuclides are not
responsible for the anomalies. (4)
Likewise, we have ruled out radionuclides which are the products of
bombardment by cosmic rays. We checked an inventory of cosmogenic
radionuclides, and none of them were or could have decayed into
anything in Table 1. (5)
Since the soil samples traveled by air, we felt it necessary to
consider the effect of airport bomb detectors. The sample set under
discussion was airmailed. The other (the one with two controls) was
packed in a carry-on bag. But we can rule out bomb detectors simply
because any detector would have affected the controls as well. In
any case, airmail is not screened, and X-ray machines are not
energetic enough to create those isotopes. They can't even fog
What about thermal neutron activators? These are experimental
devices being tested in several English airports. They bombard
checked luggage with neutrons from californium-252 in order to
activate and detect the nitrogen in plastic explosives. But many of
the radionuclides, such as Y-88, Bi-205, and V-48, cannot be made by
neutron activation. Thus even a TNA device could not have made all
of the radionuclides, even if by some miracle the samples had gone
through one. (6)
We believe we can rule out deliberate "planting" of radionu- clides
in crop circles by determined hoaxers using hospital low-level
First, hospital waste simply
does not consist of such radionuclides. Hospitals typically use
extremely short-lived isotopes like technetium-99m (half- life:
six hours) to minimize their patients' exposure to radiation.
They are generated from somewhat longer-lived long-lived
radionuclides like molybdenum-99, which has a half- life of 2.9
days. (Hospitals typically receive lead-encased shipments of
molybdenum-99 three times a week.) In hospital parlance, the
longer-lived isotopes function as "cows" producing short-lived
radionuclides which are "milked" when needed. Hospital "cows"
include none of, and produce none of, the radionuclides in Table
Second, we think it unlikely
that hoaxers would have been able to pour or spray any contaminated solution over the many thousands of square feet inside a
large crop circle. Third, most of Table 1's radionuclides are
very difficult and expensive to obtain. One must usually get a
license from the government to buy them, which takes months,
then commission a cyclotron to manufacture them, which costs a
great deal of money. Fourth and finally, any such heroic effort
for any given formation would almost certainly be wasted, since
only a handful have been tested for radiation.
Thus we have ruled out natural
radionuclides, cosmogenic radionuclides, sample jar contamination,
atmospheric nuclear tests, Chernobyl, airport X-ray detectors, TNA
detectors, and contamination with hospital waste by hoaxers. We must
now consider some less mundane possibilities.
Origin of the Radionuclides
Broadly speaking, there are two ways the radionuclides could have
got into the ground. One way is contamination, which would consist
of pouring or spraying a solution or dust containing the
radionuclides onto the ground. We think contamination unlikely for
the same reasons a hoax is unlikely: the difficulty of making the
radionuclides prior to placing them in the area, and the almost
equal difficulty of applying the contaminated material over a large
but sharply delimited area.
The other way is activation. Activation is the process of bombarding
atomic nuclei with energetic subatomic particles. The nuclei capture
the particles and are thus transformed into different nuclei. If the
number of neutrons in the nuclei change, they become different
isotopes of the same element. If the number of protons change, they
become different elements altogether. For example, it is
theoretically possible to change lead into gold by activating it
with the right mixture of particles. The only obstacle, aside from
its difficulty, is the fact that it would cost more than an ounce of
gold to produce an ounce of gold.
There are many different kinds of activation: activation by alpha
particles, activation by protons, activation by deuterons, and so
on. Each kind will have different effects on a given atomic nucleus.
But despite this complexity, activation enables us to produce an
elegant hypothesis about what happened to the soil. We have
discovered that the radionuclides in Table 1 have one and only one
common denominator, and that is activation of naturally occurring
elements with deuterium nuclei (deuterons.) In a moment we shall
undertake to prove this, but first it may be helpful to explain just
what deuterium nuclei are and what they can do.
Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen. Its nucleus is composed of a
proton and a neutron. (The rest of the atom consists of an electron,
which is easily stripped off to leave the ionized, bare nucleus.)
Since ordinary hydrogen's nucleus contains only a proton,
deuterium's extra neutron entitles it to be called "heavy hydrogen."
Deuterium is not a particularly rare isotope, since it exists in
small quantities in ordinary water. It is a useful one, however,
since it is used to control neutron emissions in fission reactors,
and constitutes much of the fuel in fusion reactors. Of course,
knowing these basic facts still tells us nothing about where these
deuterium nuclei (we shall henceforth use the term "deuterons") came
from. They could have come from any number of sources, including
ones not yet known. At the moment, we think it more useful simply to
assert that they existed than to speculate about their origin.
In any case, the deuterons we hypothesize are remarkable not because
they are rare, for they are not, but because they are highly
energetic. Most deuterium particles found in nature are relatively
unenergetic, such as the ones in ordinary water. An unenergetic,
that is, a slow-moving, deuteron cannot penetrate and alter atomic
nuclei, just as a bullet casually tossed at a television set will
not penetrate it. An energetic deuteron is a different story. A
deuteron accelerated to high speeds can penetrate an atomic nucleus
and "activate" it, i.e. convert it into a different isotope or even
a different element. Like a bullet fired from a gun, it can
radically alter the objects it strikes. But the energies would have
to be large. We think that to activate atomic nuclei, deuterons
would have to possess energies exceeding one mega-electron-volt (MeV).
That means, roughly speaking, that each deuteron would have to be
accelerated by an electrical field possessing a total potential of
not less than one million volts, which is a consider- able amount of
In this paper, we make no real attempt to figure out what could have
generated energies of that scale, nor do we analyze whether such
energies could arise naturally on planetary surfaces. For the
moment, our goal is only to convince readers that the energies
existed. To do that, we need to show that deuteron activation is
indeed the most plausible route of production of the radionuclides
in Table 1. For if deuterons that energetic existed, then so did the
energies. We will do this by accounting for each radionuclide in
terms of deuteron activation. The following discussion will be
fairly long and technical, but we think it necessary to defend our
thesis in some detail, since it is so unusual and surprising. The
nontechnical reader can skim the discussion without trying to
understand all of its details; the important thing to understand is
that we are showing that all the radionuclides very likely came from
a common source. To put it another way, we are showing that there is
considerable internal consistency to the data. If we can do this, it
will help prove that we have discovered something significant about
the actual physical mechanism which created this particular crop
circle. To be specific, it appears to have emitted quantities of
deuterons, which converted stable isotopes in the soil into
unstable, radioactive ones.
We shall forthwith account for each radionuclide in terms of
deuteron activation. Let us start with the easiest four to explain,
protactinium-230, iodine-126, rhodium-102, and rhodium-102m. These
four radionuclides have one thing in common: they can only be made
by activation. (To say the same thing another way, none are ever
generated by radioactive decay.) What atoms could have been
activated to make them, then? There are several possibilities for
each radionuclide (see Table 2.) The nontechnical reader should not
be intimidated by this table. It simply lists each radionuclide in
the first column, and each of its possible atomic parents in the
second column, along with what would have had to activate them in
parentheses. For example, protactinium-230 can be formed by three
different activation reactions: a proton impacting a thorium-232
nucleus, a deuteron impacting a thorium-232 nucleus, or a deuteron
impacting a thorium-230 nucleus. (8)
Possible Activation Parents
(activating particle in parentheses)
Which Are Not Decay Products,
Activation Parents For Them
Ru-102(proton), Ru-102(deuteron), Rh-102m
Pd-104(deuteron), Rh-103(neutron), Rh-103(deuteron),
Te-125(deuteron), Te-126(deuteron), I-127(gamma),
Note that all four radionuclides have one, and only one, common
denominator: deuteron activation. While this does not rule out the
other kinds of activation, it does allow the hypothesis that only
one kind was involved. Let us therefore focus on the parents which
can be deuteron-activated. Table 3 is Table 2 with the non-deuteron-
activated parents left out. It also asks an important question: are
the remaining possible parents naturally occurring? In fact all of
them are, which significantly enhances our hypothesis.
Hypothesized Activation Parents Of Pa-230, Rh-102, Rh-102m, and
Assuming Deuteron Activation
(% of All Naturally Occurring Element)
||Yes (decay product of U-234;
The percentages denote how much of that element is constituted by
that particular isotope. Most naturally elements are composed of
more than one isotope of that element.
Now let us consider another two radionuclides from Table 1,
yttrium-88 and europium-146. These are more complicated cases
because they could have been made by decay or activation. Let us
first consider the possibility of decay. Yttrium-88 has one decay
parent, zirconium-88. Zirconium-88 has a half-life of 83.4 days,
which means that some of it should have been left in the sample if
it was the source of the yttrium-88. However, the gamma spectroscope
detected no zirconium-88; we can thus rule out decay. Something must
have been activated, then, and there is only one candidate:
strontium-88 (82.6% of all naturally occurring strontium.)
Strontium-88 can be made into yttrium-88 either by deuteron or
proton activation. We infer the common denominator of deuteron
The europium-146 presents a case like yttrium-88's. One of its decay
parents, gadolinum-146 (half-life: 4.6 days) was not found in the
sample. Its other decay parent is terbium-150, but since only .05%
of it decays into europium-146, a fairly large amount of this rare
element would have had to be present in order to be converted into
detectable quantities of Eu-146. Activation is again the more likely
possibility. It turns out that europium-146 can be made by proton
activation of samarium-147 (15.1% of all naturally occurring
samarium), or by deuteron activation of samarium-144 (3.1%.)
reasoning is summed up in Table 4:
Radionuclides with Parents Not Present, And Activation Possibilities
Parents Naturally Occurring?
||(only 0.05% decays
Let us move on to consider five more of Table 1's radionuclides,
namely bismuth-205, vanadium-48, tellurium-119m, ytterbium-169, and
lead-203. These have more than one possible decay parent. None of
these possible decay parents were detected, however. There are two
reasons for this. One is that most of the decay parents have such
short half-lives that they would not have been detectable by the
time the samples were counted. The other is that there probably were
never any of those decay ancestors in the sample to begin with, for
all of the radionuclides can be much more easily accounted for by
Consider the bismuth-205 first. It has two possible decay parents,
astatine-209 (half-life: 5.41 hours) and polonium-205 (half-life:
1.8 hours.) Since 99.86% of polonium-205 decays into bismuth-205
whereas only 4.1% of astatine-209 does, the polonium is the more
probable decay parent. But polonium-205 is still not a very probable
parent, partly because it cannot be made by deuteron activation, and
partly because its parents can only be made by activation methods
which are far more exotic than the kinds we have been discussing. On
the other hand, bismuth-205 can be made by deuteron activation of
lead-206, which constitutes 25% of all naturally occurring lead.
Thus deuteron bombardment of the soil almost certainly would have
produced some bismuth-205.
Take the vanadium-48 next. Its only decay parent is chromium- 48
(half-life: 21.56 hours), but it cannot be made by deuteron
activation. On the other hand, vanadium-48 can be made by deuteron
activation of titanium-48 or chromium-50. The former constitutes
73.7% of all naturally occurring titanium, and the latter
constitutes 4.35% of all naturally occurring chromium.
To keep this paper from growing too tedious, we will not discuss the
tellurium-119m, the ytterbium-169, and the lead-203. However, our
reasoning for them is similar to the two radionuclides just
discussed above, and is summed up along with them in Table 5.
Radionuclides with Short-Lived (And Not Present) Decay Parents And
Parents Naturally Occurring?
This concludes our discussion of the 11 radionuclides of Table 1. We
sum up our analysis in Table 6, which shows how we accounted for the
radionuclides as producible by deuteron activation of naturally
occurring stable elements in the soil.
Summary: Most Likely Parents of the Radionuclides in Table 1
(Assuming Deuteron Activation)
||Present in Control?
||Believed Activation Parents
||Are Activation Parent(s)
Our analysis was not quite exhaustive. We cut through a maze of
isotopic parents in the belief that the simplest solution was the
most likely to be correct. We could be wrong: some of these radio-
nuclides could theoretically be end-products of a cascade of
decayings of extremely exotic and short-lived isotopes. Or proton
activation could have produced some of the radionuclides while
deuteron activation produced the others. But we think these
possibilities unlikely. The former requires much greater complexity
to arrive at the same result; the latter would probably have
produced radio- nuclides which could only be made by proton
activation, yet we have found none.
III. Loose Ends
No item of exploratory scientific research can answer all questions
and settle all difficulties. Ours is no exception. Let us discuss
what loose ends need to be cleared up with further research. (Nontechnical
readers may wish to skip this section, since it is not central to
our analysis.) The first loose end is the existence of two unusual
radionuclides in all three samples, including the control. They are
listed in Table 7.
Radionuclides Present in 1A, 1B, And The Control
||Present in 1B?
||Present in Half-Life
||Yes 1.65 days
||Yes 12.2 days
The gold-194 is puzzling, since it has such a short half-life --
less than two days. Either enormous quantities of it were initially
present when the samples were collected, in which case the field
would have been extremely radioactive, or something long-lived is
continuously generating it by decay. The latter seems the likelier
case. Gold-194 can be generated by the decay of mercury-194, which
has a half-life of 520 years. The mercury-194 could have been
created by a two-step activation process, whereupon the deuterons
activated platinum-194 (32.9% of all natural platinum) to create
gold-194, which was itself activated to make the mercury-194. The
deuteron stream would have to last long enough, and be intense
enough, to activate isotopes which had just been created by that
Assuming this is plausible, how do we explain the presence of the
gold-194 in the control? Consider the fact that the mercury-194 has
a half-life of 520 years. If the field had had crop circles in
earlier years, the mercury-194 could have been spread around the
field by wind, erosion, and plowing.
There are other possibilities, of course: the Chernobyl tables could
be incomplete, or a nearby reactor might have emitted some
mercury-194. Further research is needed to clear up the question.
Our analysis is similar for the other radionuclide, thallium-202. It
does not appear to be a product of Chernobyl or atomic tests. Its
only decay parent is lead-202, which has a half-life of 53,000
years. Lead-202 can be made by deuteron activation of thallium-203
(29.5% of all naturally occurring thallium.) Thus the thallium-202
could also be a remnant from earlier crop circles in the area, or an
unlisted product of nuclear reactors.
The second loose end is why none of the hypothesized parents are
abundant elements. If trace elements like titanium and samarium were
activated, it seems that abundant elements like silicon and oxygen
should have been also. To answer this question, we took each element
which composes more than 1% of the earth's crust and found its most
likely deuteron-activation products. It turns out that they are
either stable, in which case they would not have been detected by
our instruments, or they have such short half-lives that they would
have decayed off before testing, as Table 8 shows.
Most Likely Deuteron Activation Products of Elements Which
Compose More Than 1% Of The Earth's Crust
||Abundance in Crust
||Most Likely Product
* Calcium-41 has a half-life of 1.03 x 10 to the 5th years. It is
thus not truly stable. But it does not emit gamma rays, so it would
not have been detected by our instruments.
The iron-56 deserves further scrutiny. Deuteron activation of
iron-56 can also produce the radionuclides manganese-54 (half-life:
312 days) and cobalt-57 (half-life: 72 days.) But these would
require levels of energy perhaps higher than required to generate
most of the observed radionuclides. Our data did show peaks in the
region of manganese-54, but not at sufficient resolution to permit
positive identification. Clearly, in 1992 we will have to look
carefully for activation products of the soil's abundant elements.
Prompt testing will greatly facilitate the search.
Table 8 shows something else: the soil could well be dangerously
radioactive for a short time after the formation is made. Since
elements like silicon and oxygen (which exists as oxides bound up in
the soil) are so abundant, their activation products would also be
abundant. They would emit a large aggregate quantity of radiation,
albeit for only a few minutes or hours. Out of simple prudence,
then, fulltime researchers who enter a crop circle the morning after
it is made should carry a sensitive survey meter (a Geiger counter
is one kind of survey meter, though we would use other kinds) or an
electro- static film badge. Given the low amounts of radiation we
think we are dealing with, these tools will have to be highly
sensitive, and their users will have to be well trained; anything
less would risk yielding nothing but false negatives. These
instruments should reveal no cause for alarm, but if they do, we
shall adopt more cautious sampling procedures.
Additional loose ends derive from the fact that the size of our
sample set is too small to show that short-lived radionuclides are
part and parcel of the crop circle phenomenon. However, we think our
findings are so suggestive that further research is emphatically
warranted. If one takes a single bucket of rock from a mine and
finds gold in it, one is well justified in doing further digging.
We also need to take more controls in 1992. For this paper, two or
three would have been better than one. Even so, the radio- nuclides
are so unusual that finding them anywhere is cause for interest. The
difference between our samples and single control is qualitative in
an absolute, not a statistical, sense. The case would warrant
further investigation even without a control.
In addition, our interpretation of the data from the gamma
spectrometer needs to be confirmed by similar findings from
independent laboratories. Spectroscopic data is extremely complex,
and its interpretation is inevitably a matter of judgment. But our
interpretation of the data has convinced several of our associates
in Oak Ridge. We believe it will stand; and we would be glad to show
the raw data to those who wish to examine it for themselves.
IV. Where Might The Deuterons Have Come From?
So far, our hypothesis of a stream of deuterons suggests a possible
physical concomitant of whatever flattens the plants, but it
provides almost no clues as to the actual cause of the phenomenon.
We can only speculate on several possibilities.
One possible cause is the naturally occurring "plasma vortex"
hypothesized by some meteorologists. (10) The question is: is this
hypothetical (and never experimentally detected) plasma vortex
theoretically capable of generating the requisite number and density
of deuterons? Obviously, this is a question requiring very detailed
analysis, which we lack the expertise to perform. While we doubt
that the lower atmosphere can naturally generate deuterons with
energies sufficient to activate atomic nuclei, the possibility
cannot be ignored.
If our research in 1992 demonstrates the presence of short-lived
radionuclides in many crop circles, the meteorologists will have the
burden of proving that their hypothesized plasma vortex can produce
them. Also, since the radionuclides have appeared in at least one
complex formation, the meteorologists would have the additional
burden of proving that their plasma vortices can produce such
shapes. So far, they have proven neither assertion. In fact, they
have given up on the latter one. For example, Terence Meaden has
recently asserted, "It is obvious that most, perhaps all, complex
sets of circles seen in Britain in recent years have been made by
hoaxers." (11) Our data suggests otherwise.
The only other cause we can think of is a deliberately directed
stream of deuterons. It would be worthwhile to calculate the energy
required for such a stream, given the radionuclides observed, their
concentration, and the size of the area in which they are found. The
ballpark figures might help us evaluate theories of intentional
However, hypothesizing a stream of deuterons still does not explain
how the plants are actually flattened. The deuterons could not exert
enough force to press the plants to the ground, for if they did, the
plants would also be burned to a crisp. However, perhaps they heat
the plants to some extent. Since it appears from W.C. Levengood's
observations of plant cells that the plants are strongly but briefly
heated, it might be possible to compare calculations of the heat
experienced by the plants with the heat theoretically generated by
the deuteron stream. (12) Perhaps the deuterons heat the plants just
enough to make them pliable, while some other force bends them to
the ground in the intricate patterns often observed.
(13) Or perhaps
the deuterons are not directly necessary to the flattening process
at all, but are merely a concomitant of the overall physical
Our results point suggestively toward some radioactive source which
exposes the soil to a stream of energetic deuterium nuclei. To test
this hypothesis, we hope to perform these same tests on multiple
crop circles next summer. 1992's radiological research program
should include the following aspects:
Locating of financing for research, both from American and English
Use of survey meters and film badges to test for health hazards and
possibly to identify formations most deserving of detailed analysis
Harvesting of multiple samples and controls from each crop circle
Harvesting of samples across circle-less fields, to assess soil
Enlistment of U.K. labs with radiological equipment or, failing
that, transportation of equipment from the U.S., or mailing samples
overnight back to the U.S.
Obtaining permits where needed for soil and plant importation
Coordination with daily aerial surveillance, in order to sample crop
circles promptly after they are made
Regularization of sampling techniques
Training, where needed, in the methods of analysis
Improvement of the network for exchanging information.
The trail has grown hot, literally as well as figuratively. We must
follow it wherever it may lead.
The authors wish to thank the following people for their help and
advice: Kevin Folta, Tsahi Gozani, Conrad Knight, Jurgen Kronig, W.C.
Levengood, David Chioni Moore, Chris Rutkowski, Dennis Stacy, and
George Wingfield. The secondary author's fieldwork in England was
supported by a grant from the Fund for UFO Research.
Captions (Photo not included here)
Photo 1. The "fish" or "long oval" formation near Beckhampton.
According to John F. Langrish, it was formed on July 31 / August 1,
1991, at SU 0865 6810. Photo courtesy of Jurgen Kronig.
According to John Langrish, the Beckhampton oval's location was SU
0865 6810. (Eight-figure Ordnance survey references are accurate to
10 meters.) The date given in the text differs from the one given in
a preproduction version of Michael Chorost's report, The Summer 1991
Crop Circles (Fund for UFO Research, in press.) The change was made
due to more author- itative data supplied by Langrish.
Variations above 10% were considered significant. The data and
statistics may be obtained from the secondary author at North
American Circle, P.O. Box 61144, Durham, North Carolina, 27715- 1144
The six cases are discussed at length in The Summer 1991 Crop
Circles: The Data Emerges (Fund for UFO Research, Mt. Rainier, MD,
in press.) A condensed version of the report was printed in the Mufon UFO Journal, October 1991, pp. 3-15.
The inventory of Chernobyl emissions is in "Cleanup of Large Areas
Contaminated As A Result Of A Nuclear Accident," Technical Reports
Series no. 300, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1989, p.
104. The inventory of widely distributed human-made radonuclides is
in Environmental Radiation Measure- ments, National Council on
Radiation Protection and Measurements Report no. 50, Washington,
D.C., 1976, pp. 12-14.
"Environmental Radiation Measurements" (see note 4), 11.
We checked these facts with the primary designer of the device, Dr.
Tsahi Gozani of SAIC in California.
We checked these facts with Conrad Knight, a Radiation Safety
officer at Duke University Medical Center.
All of the decay/activation parents and products cited were obtained
from Edgardo Browne and Richard B. Firestone's "Table of Radioactive
Isotopes." New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1986.
The Browne and Firestone reference does not show a deuteron
activation which yields Eu-146, but another reference, the Gerhard Erdtmann one, does. We believe that one is accurate, because Eu-146
should be producible from a Sm-144 (d, nothing) reaction. Again, we
infer deuteron activation. (Gerhard Erdtmann, "The Gamma Rays of the
Radonuclides: Tables for Applied Gamma-Ray Spectrometry." New York:
Verlag Chemie, 1979.)
See, for example, "Circles From the Sky", ed. Terence Meaden.
Souvenir Press, 1991.
"Analysis and Interpretation of the Luminous-Tube Phenomenon."
Terence Meaden. Journal of Meteorology v. 16 no. 162 (October 1991):
See Chorost, The Summer 1991 Crop Circles, Section IIIB (see note
See, for example, Stanley Morcom's "Field Work: The Pictogram at
East/West Kennett Long Barrows." The Circular vol 2 no. 1 (March
1991): 10-13. Also Circular Evidence (Delgado and Andrews,
Bloomsbury, 1989), pp. 121-131, and Circles From The Sky, pp. 46,