Sunday, 11th July 2010

To Celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the arrival of Alton Barnes first ever crop formation with a sky-watch and get together on Knap Hill, overlooking East Field, during the evening of Sunday, 11th July.

Meet either at The Barge pub Honey Street on 8pm, or later up on the hill itself, where faces old and new will gather for this auspicious occasion.

Andrew Collins the writer and researcher as well as Stuart Dike and Mark Fussell from Crop Circle Connector along with Julian Gibsone will be at The Barge at about 8 pm before moving on to the Knap Hill car park later in the evening. Stuart and Mark will be bringing some memorabilia from this early period. There is no charge to attend this event.


Image Lucy Pringle Copyright 1990

On 12th July, 1990 East Field, Alton Barnes, in Wiltshire, was graced with its first crop formation. At some 430 feet in length, it consisted of swirled circles, concentric rings, keys, spurs and coffin-like boxes, all linked together by a long corridor of flattened crop.
It was this mighty example, more than any other, that became a major turning point in the crop circle enigma. It marked a moment of transition into the next exciting phase of this unique mystery of our times.
Since then Alton Barnes and the surrounding area have become a Mecca for visitors from all over the world. They arrive each year hoping to catch sight of either the miraculous formation of a crop circle or a sighting of one of the mysterious lights that some believe play a role in the creation of these wonders of geometric art.

Alton Barnes, Nr Devizes, Wiltshire. Reported 12th July 1990

This formation within the heart of Wiltshire was to bring the world's attention towards the phenomenon.

Alton Barnes back in 1990 was your normal Rural sleepy picture postcard village in Wiltshire, it was situated at that time slightly away from the Crop Circles haunt, some two miles south of Avebury, on the borders of the Vale of Pewsey. Not a lot went on, but on the 13th of July 1990 all of that was to change, as this 400+ft long pictogram was to put Alton Barnes on the map, and to probably make it the most famous village in the world!

If you weren't able to visit this pictogram set within a natural amphitheatre, surrounded by Ancient Sites as Adam's Grave and Knapp Hill, then I would like to try and describe the events that surrounded this amazing formation at that time. The appearance of the pictogram took everyone by surprise, no one could have predicted a shape of this complexity and originality, the formations that had appeared in the immediate area at that time, were still resembling the designs of the late eighties, but here was something different from the norm, and was to capture the world's imagination.

Tim and Polly Carson are the Farmers of East Field and the surrounding land, but this was there first Crop Circle they had experienced on their Farm, and naturally they were excited about the event. Polly drove up the sloping road towards Napp Hill on the early hours of July 13th to view the formation, and was overcome by the shear scale of the design. She felt that a phone call was in order to try and find some experts to view the formation for themselves and called the local paper. By chance the lady on the phone knew of Colin Andrews and gave her his number. Well as you can imagine it literally spiralled from that point, and many of the leading researchers were astounded by its appearance, and its overall construction.
Many of the major formations throughout the years, have at times had unusual events that have surrounded their appearance. Alton Barnes was no exception, as many of the local residence's reported strange behaviours from their pets, and experienced an unearthly sound which seemed to have flowed at very low altitude over the village itself on the very night the formation was formed. They couldn't really describe it exactly, but it was as if a loud jet aircraft had flown directly over them, but this actually occurred in the early hours of the morning. Were the Military carrying out night movements over civilian populated areas, it would seem unlikely but Alton Barnes does lay within Military testing country. We'll never really know what happened that night, but it will always be part of the mystery of the phenomenon.

The Crop Circle Connector has included this additional report and further photographic record of this formation, as it will always remain a fond and magical memory to us, back in those heady days of 1990. In some way we are celebrating this formation, as it is quite hard to capture this particular event in July 1990. Many thousands of people came to visit the formation from all over the country and world, and from all walks of life.

Crop Circles are generally places where you can probably only connect with complete strangers with regard to their thoughts and experiences on life, and the meaning of it. This was the first formation to actually connect with other people, and that is one of the magical sides to this phenomenon, because it brings people together, who outside in the modern world wouldn't give each other the time of day. Its quite extraordinary, and Alton Barnes was almost the pioneer formation for this unorthodox gathering of people. Certainly the roadside to East Field was an indication of the power of this formation, it resembled at times a Car Park, as people scrambled for a place to view the formation, and even used their car roof's to get a better elevation for their photographic albums.

On to the actual floor construction of East Field, it has taken a time to each point, but I wanted to describe the events and experiences surrounding this formation.

The overall length of the formation was the largest in the world at that time, some 430 feet in length. It comprised of six main circles in a line, with two independent dumb bell designs, with one single outer ring circle creating the head of the formation. The crop itself was as flat as a pancake, I can't stress how flat it was (See Photographs) every part of the formation had the same applied pressure on the plants, even the main key feature on the head circle was the same, with the crop flowing perfectly into each fork segment. The main circles on the formation where flowing in a Clockwise rotation, and the boxes on either side of the connecting avenue carried on the same design from the Cheesefoot Head formation from earlier in the season.

The key features further down on the second Dumb bell displayed a forking feature into the standing crop walls, with gap seeking trails leading off into the unaffected plants. This was mirrored on the fork feature on the other side of the formation.

The 1990 East Field formation I hope has been placed within the Crop Circle Connected with great fondness, and will always be remembered by the most active 'Croppies' who where fortunate enough to experience the 1990 season, and the events surrounding this extraordinary time in our lives.  

wpeFD.jpg (36028 bytes)

An aerial shot by George Wingfield. Copyright 1990.

The Formation was used by Led Zeppelin for their Remaster album in 1990

Report by Stuart Dike


Mark Fussell & Stuart Dike

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