Date Occurred: Early June, 2008
Crop: Field Grasses (hay) & Reintroduced
Native Prairie Species

Nancy Talbott
BLT Research Team Inc.

All formation photos donated by local photographer

Although this very interesting formation was cut during the first week of July it was carefully documented photographically on June 29th by a local academic. His photos provide evidence of a very fluid ("like water rippling down a mountain stream") lay throughout the formation, a characteristic which is most distinct when formations occur in grasses, but which is also observed regularly in crop circles in other plant species.

It also seemed to me that, since these photos were taken 3-4 weeks after the formation is known to have been present in the field, the grasses were in remarkably good condition. There is no evidence of them having been broken or mashed, no dead plants -- which one would expect to have seen this long after the circle was created if it had been mechanically flattened. Instead the grasses appear lush and quite vibrant.

In particular, in some of the small circular areas we can see that the grasses are often only partially flattened (again with no evidence at all of damage), not lying flush to the ground. And again, since the formation is known to have been present for at least 3-4 weeks, how could these partially flattened areas fail to reveal signs of bruising or heavier damage had they been mechanically flattened originally? It might also be expected that these areas would have recovered fully—be standing upright again after 3-4 weeks--if they had been created by mechanical means but not damaged during that process. Instead, they seem to be entirely intact, as originally formed.

In the background of the photo above, behind the partially-downed clump in the foreground, is a large circular area of standing grasses surrounded by a flattened ring—the large diameter of the standing plants being uncommon in most crop circles. The small circular components of the formation which are quite flat to the ground are also interesting. In this small circle it is clear there has been no plant damage; note also that the circle "center" is decidedly off-center (not in the geometric center), a characteristic often observed in many crop circles determined to be genuine through scientific analysis of the plants and/or soils.

In the half-circle pictured above I also see evidence not only of an off-center "center" but also of a radial lay in the plants outside this particular component. A hint of the radial lay (a relatively unusual lay design) is again seen in the photo below:

There is more to be noted in this most intriguing crop formation. The field in which the crop circle appeared is part of a nature preseve, an area that was years ago wild prairie. According to the two individuals with whom I've spoken (who visited the field before the formation was cut) reintroduced clumps of once-indigenous prairie species (photo above) could be seen scattered throughout the formation. And as best I can tell from these anecdotal reports (and from Michael's photographs), it appears that these reintroduced indigenous species were not flattened—it was only the field grasses (sown by farmers once the prairie had been settled and ploughed), which had gone down.

If this is actually what occurred in this field it could account for the overall "patchy" appearance of the formation in the aerial photographs. It might also have significance for those of us trying to understand just what the crop circle phenomenon "means." In an age when environmental pollution may have reached critical levels (in this case perhaps calling attention to the possible deleterious effects of pesticides and genetically-modified seed), could this formation be an indicator (either as a spontaneously-occurring result or even as a deliberately created message) that we should be thinking more carefully about our food sources?

A final note. A local woman who discovered the formation while out on a walk reported elongated (lengthened) apical nodes in the flattened grasses throughout the formation. She gathered sample plants from various areas inside the circle and control plants from the edges of the field, and provided BLT with the following photos--which clearly show massive lengthening of the top nodes in the flattened grasses.

Photo: BLT Research Team Inc.


extreme apical node elongation
Extreme apical node elongation (and moderate bending) in sample plants from within the Quamichan Lake, B.C. formation
Photo: BLT Research Team Inc.

Apical node elongation is the most significant and most thoroughly documented visible plant change found to-date in crop circle plants; see:

It is thought to occur as a result of microwave radiation (one of the energies hypothesized as being part of the causative energy system which creates crop circles) instantaneously heating up the moisture inside the plant stems, turning it to steam. As the steam builds up in the upper nodes (apical nodes) the tissues—being the youngest and most elastic in the plant stem—stretch and elongate, allowing the steam to dissipate. Once the steam has evaporated, the top nodes are left permanently in this stretched, elongated condition.

Although this was the first formation this fieldworker had personally investigated, she reported that enormously stretched nodes were immediately apparent in all areas of the formation she examined (an observation subsequently corroborated by a second, more experienced, investigator who visited the site the following week). She also observed, and photographed, a possible node change at the 2nd node beneath the seed-head, one which she thought might be the beginning of, or some version of, an expulsion cavity. [Expulsion cavities are holes literally blown out at the nodes, usually in the lower nodes of the plant stem--caused also by microwaves heating up the moisture inside those nodes. As moisture in these lower nodes turns to steam is cannot escape by stretching the much tougher fibers lower down the plant stem--exploding the external fibers instead.] Expulsion cavities do not occur in all formations exposed to this microwave heating, due (we think) to varying intensity levels of the microwaves themselves from event to event and also to varying amounts of moisture inside the plant stems at any given time.

extreme apical node elongation
Possible steam effect at 2nd node beneath seed-head in crop circle plant stem
Photo: BLT Research Team Inc.

We do not have the data to know for certain whether this particular node change is related to exposure of these plants to the energy system responsible for creating this crop formation or not. The darkened area around the node is an indication that a common opportunistic fungus called ustilago (the spores of which attach themselves to exudate from inside the plant stem and then turn the tissue dark brown or black as they multiply) is present ­ which suggests that there is at least a very small hole through the external fibers of the plant stem into the moist interior. But in this case we do not have enough evidence to be certain.

Overall, a very interesting and complex crop formation. I wish we had known of its existence in time to have carried out a more intensive evaluation, but am grateful to everyone involved in helping us gather the information we do now have.