“People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance. I’m sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good.

“But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they’re on their own. And that fills them with fear. But there’s a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they’re looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever’s going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope.

“See, what you have to ask yourself  is: What kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or, do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?”

(a quote by the movie character Graham Hess from the film “Signs” . . . written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan in 2002)


During my freshman year of college, I decided to take a course in Astronomy. My heart was both intrigued (and awakened) by the idea of studying the stars— those bright, brilliant dots of light in the sky that turn passive gazes into intense trances.

Scientifically, we know what stars are. As the animated character Pumba (from the film “The Lion King”) would tell us, they are: “big balls of gas, burning millions of miles away.”

It makes no logical sense to believe that the stars bear unworldly powers. And yet, every night, thousands (if not millions) of people entrust them with their deepest wishes, secrets, and desires.

The night sky inhabits an inanimate state in our universe; and still the wondrous and mystifying beauty of the stars makes them “magical” and therefore capable of miracles.

My astronomy professor often argued that the world has no room for the magical, spiritual, or religious because life (harbored by our earthly plane of existence) functions strictly through scientific means, the proven laws of scientific theory.

But I am very much inclined to disagree.

From my own perspective, the magical and factual, the indescribable and definable (or mathematical and improbable) successfully co-exist to create something unique.

Because we are surrounded by statistics and numbers on a daily basis (and because our society puts so much stock in the emergence of scientific discovery), we (as individualized societies and cultures) seek to keep these extremes (our devotion to the miraculous and our belief in the scientific) entirely separate from one another.

Our modernized brains want to believe in science while the hopeful, spiritual and imaginative side of our souls works to extend our beliefs beyond the physical realm.

Whether we admit it or not, there is a Mulder and a Scully— a believer and realist— in each of us. And, we are constantly struggling to bring a delicate balance to both of them.

The crop circle phenomenon is a great example of this.

The unexplained existence of crop circles disturbs the restless coexistence of the realist and the spiritualist inside of us. It also represents a prime example of the two extremes—the scientific and the spectacular—coming together to create something truly extraordinary.

Written records of crop circles—large shapes formed by the sudden and spontaneous bending of crop stalks in various patterns— date as far back as the 1600s. For centuries, people have tried to make sense of this awe-inspiring phenomenon, assigning the blame to extraterrestrials, cultish scapegoats, and other theories.

A well-known crop circle legend is that of Doug and Dave, two English men who (in the 1990s) claimed that they alone went about the English countryside flattening the crops to form shapes . . . using only their imaginations, balls of string, and planks of wood.

To this day, there are uninformed observers who firmly believe that this may be the only explanation for the intricate geometrical shapes that have appeared in fields spanning twenty-nine countries throughout the world!

Thankfully, it’s beginning to look like science has finally caught up to the real facts. And frankly, I would say that its discoveries have been pretty astounding.

So what (or whom) is the true culprit behind this agricultural art?

While some explanations may (at first) leave you scratching your head and wrinkling your nose in confusion, at least one data-based theory doesn’t seem so big of a stretch once you hear the science behind it.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, a Swiss scientist named Hans Jay captured the effects of varying frequencies on surrounding liquids and powders. As the frequencies rose, not only did  the number of rings grow in number, the points in the resulting geometric shapes (within the liquids and powders)  increased as well.

In the case of crop circles, some sort of ultra-sound (remember, dolphins use a kind of ultra-sound to communicate and navigate) is thought to be an aspect of the force-field creating these intricate geometrical patterns.

Interestingly enough, reports from multiple eye-witnesses state that a strange “trilling” noise is often heard just before the appearance of crop circles. (These sounds have been caught on tape by researchers and even unsuspecting reporters whose cameras were rendered useless by the exposure to the unusual sound waves.)

Some researchers believe that clues to the mysterious trilling noise may be found by examining similar sounds that are part of  Aboriginal spiritual ceremonies. During such gatherings, the same kind of sound is produced by an instrument made of wood and string. Crop circles are also part of Aboriginal myths, and have also been seen in Australian fields. (Drawings representing the circles have been found in Aboriginal art.)

George Smith, an agricultural researcher, discovered that exposure to different sound waves increase the temperature of tested soil. In crop circles, the soil is always drier than that of the still-standing crops, and the crops are slightly charred just above the point where the stalks have bent.

It’s been noted by researchers that after a crop circle manifestation, the stalks are permanently bent and remain that way forever after. In 1968, scientists subjected growing plants to different tones and discovered that certain types of Hindu music caused the stems to bend at a  sixty-degree angle towards the stereo speakers.

Even with the extensive amounts of data that have been gathered on the subject, there are still plenty of questions to be asked. For instance, what exactly is the cause of the trilling noise  . . . especially in places that aren’t populated by aboriginal tribes?

It has been suggested that the images we see of extremely complex crop circle designs (such as that of the famous jellyfish crop circle as seen here on the Web: http://www.alienresearchcorp.com/crop-circles/2009/jellyfish/jellyfish.jpg) were created by computers and elaborate prank artists. But is that the whole story?

Crop circles have also been tied into the Gaia hypothesis, the understanding that “Gaia” (the earth) is actually alive and that crop circles are symbolic messages to us. The Global Brain idea (the Gaia hypothesis) asserts that the earth may be a single super-organism and that earthly components (e.g. biota, climate, temperature, sunlight, etc.) influence each other and are organized to function and develop as a whole, like a breathing body. Some researchers have expressed it in greater, more accessible detail: Gaia is an living, intelligent organism of which we are part: the earth is her skin, the rivers are her veins, and perhaps, just perhaps, human beings and other conscious earthly life forms are part of Gaia’s neural network, an aspect of her CONSCIOUSNESS.

Perhaps, crop circle symbols are  Gaia’s response to disease-causing stimuli such as global warming and human pollution. Perhaps, crop circles are more important than we know. Perhaps, Gaia is speaking to us, Earth’s own brand (albeit crucial) of a Post-It Note.

A relevant side-note: there are those who claim to have been healed by their encounters with crop circles.  Sufferers of cancer and Parkinson’s disease have (reportedly) been cured after witnessing a crop circle’s creation.

The executive editor of DOTS saw a video (presented at a conference she attended many years ago) in which the mathematical elements of a crop formation were converted to music. The resulting music was loudly played near/for a dying forest in Russia …. and the forest healed; the researchers that presented this data believe that it was the musical tones (sound waves) that healed the dying forest!

What does the majority of the academic, scientific world have to say about miraculous events like that? Not much. Such healing stories (of humans and forests) are merely dismissed as anecdotes.

When all is said and done, the research that points to the theory of sound (as related to the overall phenomenon) is by far the most solid evidence that we have to date. However, the anecdotal data should not be dismissed without a closer look. Perhaps the clues intersect. Before the puzzle pieces can be fitted together, somebody with the know-how of scientific protocol (and academic gravitas) must first integrate them.

It’s frustrating, but as it is with many of life’s greatest anomalies, science does not always give us the closure we seek.

Those who have experienced the up-close and personal manifestation of a crop circle have described it as spectacular, jaw-dropping, spiritually moving, and beyond belief. I can only hope to experience it myself some day. Those kinds of  moments, those seconds that pull the breath from your lungs, are pivotal to our spiritual journey.

Those magical times also remind us of a basic truth: some may believe that pure science makes the world go ’round, but it is not what allows our spirits to dance.




[NICOLE MILLAR is a contributing writer for Dance of the Spirit. Nicole obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative writing from the University of Central Florida in 2010. She worked as the production manager and as a fiction editor for the university’s Cypress Dome Literary Journal and has taken a year off to pursue various internships and writing opportunities before returning to school for her Master’s Degree. Nicole believes that the most important thing to remember, and the easiest thing to forget, is that we must always live for our own dreams and never let the disbelief of others overpower the magic that we are capable of.]

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