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Posted by Michael Glickman on June 28, 2012


Frome 17th June 2012

Frome 17th June 2012

The 2000 season was an astonishment for the variety and quality of its offerings. For me the months following that brilliant summer were to be immersed in an unhealthily obsessive examination and consideration of its spectacular formations. That work produced a DVD, number 7, The Pi Hypothesis and The Big Triangles and it is appropriate (as will be made clear) to re-examine some of that material here.

Among the myriad shapes, forms, numbers, geometries and sundry clues of the summer I found that my winter attention was repeatedly snagged, like clothing on a thorn-bush, by the number twenty-nine. What was 29, why was it so widespread and what might it mean? I had no knowledge or familiarity with this number. I consulted several friends, including the venerable John Michell, but nobody seemed able to help me.

Fig.2 - Silbury Stars 24th July 2000

Fig.2 – Silbury Stars 24th July 2000

The beautiful and enigmatic Silbury Stars [Fig.2] formation of 24th July 2000 was a prime example. Six stars each with five points made thirty. But one was conspicuously and inexplicably torn away. Leaving 29!

Going back one year there was the seminal Bishops Cannings basket [Fig.3] of 6th August 1999. It had seven arms, each formed of four circles (making 28) with an additional central circle. 29 again!

The Avebury Trusloe formation of 22nd July 2000 [Fig.4] was the formation that truly opened the door. The geometry was based on a 60-fold radial division of the circle. There should be sixty spikes around the perimeter but the form is divided into two almost brain-like hemispheres and, at each end of the division, a spike or point is removed. Study the photograph for a moment and see how the removal of these two points helps to give the formation the appearance of a twin-lobed entity. And each of these hemispheres now has twenty-nine points!

Fig.3 - Bishops Cannings 6th August 1999

Fig.3 – Bishops Cannings 6th August 1999

Fig.4 - Avebury Trusloe 22nd July 2000

Fig.4 – Avebury Trusloe 22nd July 2000

But perhaps the narrative was advanced by another, more crucial, feature of Avebury Trusloe. The date was the twenty-second of July or 22/7. Now anyone familiar with the simplest mathematical ideas will recognise 22/7 or 22 over 7 or 22 divided by 7 as the most popular formula for Pi or π, the constant used in all calculations involving circles or circularity.

Graphic [Fig.5] shows the difference between “pure” Pi and the conventional working 22/7 version. Arithmetically, they are very close to each other. They are both irrational or “endless” numbers. Apparently, the pure version has been calculated to over six million digits. The diagram [Fig.6] demonstrates the relationship between circumference (22) and diameter (7).

Fig.5 - Two versions of Pi

Fig.5 – Two versions of Pi

Fig.6 - Circumference and diameter

Fig.6 – Circumference and diameter

The authors of the crop circle phenomenon regularly display prodigious inventiveness, but I can see the difficulty in signing, “divided by” in the wheat. They simply added the 22 and the 7 together and assumed that, sooner or later, we would work it out.

The dazzling Picked Hill formation [Fig.7] of 13th August 2000 brought clear support to the Pi theory. This beautiful and elaborate design had 44 radial elements and 14 concentric rings. 44/14 = 22/7 = π. In diagram [Fig.8] eleven of the radial elements are numbered in red for clarity while the green triangles show a unit from each concentric circle.

Fig.7 - Picked Hill 13th August 2000

Fig.7 – Picked Hill 13th August 2000

Fig.8 - Picked Hill diagram

Fig.8 – Picked Hill diagram

On the 1st September 1999 at Avebury Manor [Fig.9] the Pi symbol itself was positioned, seemingly almost as an afterthought, by a complex eight-fold formation. I believe that this was the only time π has been imprinted in the fields.

Fig.9 - Avebury Manor 1st September 1999

Fig.9 – Avebury Manor 1st September 1999

I believed in 2001, as I believe today, that the authors and engineers of the circles are playing fair. They seem to me to have consistently demonstrated a rigorous integrity. There is wit, but there are no tricks.

How then was I (were we) to respond to this? Here was a clear demonstration of will and intent. These events were too consistent and too clear to be brushed under the carpet as “coincidence”. I felt that the reiterated references to Pi were undeniable and unchallengeable. What
might this mean?

I have referred often to the ancient conundrum of Squaring the Circle but I want here to consider it more in philosophical and symbolic terms than in relation to number or geometry. If the Square is the token of the world and of material reality and the Circle is taken to be the symbol of God and the spiritual realm then the Squaring of the Circle, or, as I prefer, the Circling of the Square is emblematic of a marriage, or at least reconciliation, between the two.

Pi, the constant in the ordering of all things circular, might thus be seen as the master-key; a symbolic toolbox to aid us in our endeavours to manifest heaven (or a small part of it) here.


Fig.10 - Barbury Castle 1st June 2008

Fig.10 – Barbury Castle 1st June 2008

A large and intricate formation [Fig.10] appeared on 1st June 2008 in a field of barley below the Barbury Castle hill fort. Barley is a graceful crop, which seems always to add glamour to a crop circle but this formation was almost shockingly good looking. Beneath the beauty was a hint of purpose in its elaborate stepped spiral.

The pattern was ten-fold radially (that is, like a pizza it was divided into ten slices of 36°) and ten-fold concentrically (that is the path was made of several arcs, each of which was a part of one of ten concentric circles). It took many long hours to work out the meaning embodied in the formation.

The path was swept outwards from the central black circle. Using diagram [Fig.11] we move onto the first red arc and we see that it covers three 36° slices. We then see the small red circle representing the decimal point. We note 3. (three point…) before we move out on to the next, lilac arc (one slice) and then to yellow (four slices). We have now established 3.14… and the diagram will continue to build the Pi number.

Fig.11 - Barbury Pi Diagram

Fig.11 – Barbury Pi Diagram

The wedges, the pizza slices, were exactly 36° and the concentric arc pathways were precisely 10’9” centre to centre.

This remains for me one of the most beautiful crop circles that I have seen and it is an astonishment that, beneath this charm, lies an elegant and innovative method of encoding the Pi number.

This would have been enough, but after some days, Bert Janssen a researcher from Holland, discovered that the bridle path (on the right of the photograph) formed one side of the square which squares the circle. This is a miracle of precise placement. The intelligence and foresight required to achieve this accuracy of juxtaposition is breathtaking.

Four years later, I look back on the Barbury Pi formation with respect and wonder. I can recall few crop events that integrated beauty and meaning with such assurance.


Fig.12 - Frome 22-fold Johan Andersson

Fig.12 – Frome 22-fold Johan Andersson

Before we continue, I must tell you that Frome does not rhyme with “home” as you might reasonably suppose. It is pronounced Froom or even Frume. Don’t ask me why, as Bob Marley used to say!

I believe this was Frome’s first formation and it was immediately intriguing.
It presented a confident and knowing assembly of a few simple elements, but geometrically it revealed little. There was something indefinably inviting about this neat little crop circle. My friend Daniel Rozman was an early visitor and he was particularly moved. You can read about his visit on cropcirclecyclist.com.

It was through Daniel that I first saw the crucial diagram [Fig.12] by Johan Andersson. Johan had been running through polygonal geometries when he noticed an interesting synchronicity with eleven-fold. Intuitively he doubled it to twenty-two and found that the two elements within the broad flattened ring were impeccably held, sized and positioned by the geometry.

Whenever I see or hear the number 22 I assume it will refer to one of two things. Either the second number of the Master Number Series that deals with our relationship with other dimensions, or 22/7 the simplified working Pi formula.

I found that a heptagram, a seven pointed star, exactly fitted and located the small circle at the centre of the formation [Fig.13]. I sent Johan a copy of my drawing and we agreed we have a Pi formation.

Fig.13 - Frome 7-fold Ofmil Haynes Jr

Fig.13 – Frome 7-fold Ofmil Haynes Jr

It only remains to find that Frome squares the circle. I cannot do it. I have asked Allan Brown to help. Anyone out there?

In 1999 at Avebury Manor we received, for the first and only time, the Pi symbol. Through 1999 and 2000 there were many references to twenty-two over seven. In 2002 at Barbury Castle we had an amazing transmission of the Pi number. Now, at Frome, in an unassertive little crop circle we are given, undeniably and inarguably, yet another Pi reference.

I am certain of nothing but I still feel that my 2001 Hypothesis is good until something better comes along. I also challenge those who have time for the tired old hoax nonsense to read this and comment. Abusive responses or those sent under stupid fake names will not even be read.

Acknowledgements and thanks
Photography: Steve Alexander, Ulrich Kox
Diagrams and graphics: Johan Andersson, Ofmil Haynes Jr