The Alien Face Crop Circle

A second look

By Michael Barber 

On August 15, 2002 in Sparsholt, Hampshire, England, a crop circle was discovered that appeared to be a bitmapped “newspaper-like” image of an Alien holding a circular disc or record.  Learn more about this crop circle by watching this video.

It was later determined that the “record” furthered the bitmapped design by hiding a binary pattern within the circular tracks much like a compact disc (CD).  The message was later decoded by an IT programmer named Paul Vigay, by interpreting the patterns as an 8-bit ASCII text encoded cipher as read like any other CD from center to the outer edges of the record, however, in a counter clockwise fashion.  The message was decoded as follows:[1] [2] 

Beware the bearers of FALSE gifts

Much PAIN but still time.


There is GOOD out there.

cOnduit CLOSING\
(\0 bell sound)


Assuming for a second this is a legit crop circle created by some ET, a typical observer generally would have some questions. 

  1. Why use a record? 
  2. Why encrypt it in Binary?
  3. Why choose strange non-common words like “cOnduit”?
  4. Why is the message sort of obvious sounding?
  5. Why are some characters mid-capitalized incorrectly?
  6. Why is the middle word BELIEVE formatted differently (not 8 bit) as compared to the other characters?

I’m going to leave the reader to answer most of these questions.  However, making a few basic assumptions, I’d like to hypothesis why a record might have been used, why some of the words are strange, and why the middle “believe” is different from the rest. 


The first thing that I noticed when looking at the decoded text is that there seems to be a general pattern of decreasing characters.

Also, the choice of a record would be a logical choice if your intention was to use a record both to deliver a message but also as a mnemonic device for some secondary purpose. Compact Discs (CD’s) had gained notoriety during the time period of this crop circle.  They were becoming standard to store data, and the data was stored digitally in a bit wise pattern. 

Sometimes, a “record” or “disc” can be considered to have a double entendre meaning.  It can be considered as well to be a “record of time”.  Another unique thing about a record is that technically it can be played forward and backwards, clockwise or counterclockwise and it spins from the inside to the outside or the outside to the inside.  This is very similar to thoughts of time.  The decreasing characters and notion of a “record of time” got me to thinking about counting the characters of each translated line.  When I performed the count, I came up with the following results:

* �abnormal word formation
Last Line is 15 characters if you don’t count the bell sound or 16 if you do

Indeed, the characters consistently decreased except for the word BELIEVE which not only stood out as being in the center but also did not exactly convert correctly because of extra characters in the ASCII stream.  Originally, this was thought to be a mistake by the decoders, damage to the crop circle, or evidence of a man-made hoax.  The programmer who originally decrypted the record, decrypted this word originally as: [E-ELI- J-VE] .
He later admitted his interpretation of some of the bits could have been wrong, but even then, his best case to real world was: [BELIE-0101-VE].  In that interpretation, he still had a situation of the extra characters of 0101 that just had to be ignored.  So let’s set that word aside for a second and just consider it as some kind of anomaly which may or may not be significant. 

Is the character count significant?

Remember, this crop circle was found 8/15/2002. The US invasion of Iraq occurred just 7 months later.  Interestingly enough, there are also 7 cohesive lines or thoughts as has been shown.  Could it be that this is a “record of time” and the character count is simply a continuation of the last two digits of the 2nd and current millennia?  

Also, in such a case of time, we would naturally read the events in reverse order from decreasing to increasing character count and from the present to the future.   This would require us to make an assumption on the middle word believe because there is no whole year room for a character count between the years 2024 and 2025.  Also, at 8 total characters (7 characters for believe plus the period) this would form a non-linear year in our pattern.   Maybe, a viable assumption for this word, which was malformed (or used some other than 8 bit) and appears between two whole years is to assume this is a “month” count instead of a “year” count.   

If we do this, we come up with the following: 

Is this a Calendar of Events?

The bell at the end of a message is unique marking an end.  At the start of the message it is also unique marking an accomplishment or a wake up call.  It can be a notice that “someone’s at the door”.  The bell signifies an end, but it also signifies a start.  I’ve made an assumption that the bell is attributed to the time with which the crop circle was created and the beginning-the wake up alarm.  By so doing, it then gives us a “key” in that we have a known date and we have a known history of known events close to the creation of this crop circle.   

The invasion of Afghanistan by US coalition forces had occurred on October 7, 2001 just a year earlier.  In addition, the invasion of Iraq occurred on 3/19/2003, just 7 months later after the discovery of this crop circle.  The Iraqi invasion was believed by the US administration, to be a necessary task to stop Saddam Hussein and thus “closing a conduit for future terrorism / WMD to the US”.[3]  Also, if you notice in our message there is 7 years between some major event in 2026 and 2033, and the end of the message.   If you look at the last line of our 7 line message, you have the 7 letter word-CONDUIT followed by a space, and then the 7 letter word-CLOSING.  This reinforces the Afghanistan invasion 1 year later on October 7 as CONDUIT and the invasion of Iraq 7 months later as CLOSING and the crop circle message in between those two events.   Are all these 7’s a coincidence? 

Then, finally there is the fact that the number 7 and 777 is considered a “lucky” number in many religions including Judaism and Christianity.[4]  The seven (7) is considered a “perfect” number in Judaism and considered the antithesis to the antichrists’ 666.   This coincidence to our message and the 7 lined, 7 month premonition seems remarkable.  

Naturally, if we attribute the date of the crop circle to the first text translation line, it shifts all the translations by one.  Doing this leaves the last date with no translated text and only an ominous warning like the rest of the message infers.  The message translation ends up with just the last date and no text to define it besides the circular reference of the bell sound. 

Possible Calendar of Events and Translated Events skewed

8/15/2002….Ding (conduit closing).
7 months later 3/19/2003 invasion of Iraq.
One year earlier on October 7th, invasion of Afghanistan 

2015 (Opposing deception)
Iranian nuclear deal a deception?
Russia in Syria deceptively disguised as opposing ISIS?

2020 (Good still out there)

2024 (BELIEVE)

2024, 8th month (Much pain, but still time)

2025 (Broken promises)
Nuclear deal ends-freeing Iran to go nuclear?

2026 (Beware Bearers of False Gifts)

2033 (An End ?  Beginning? Unknown?)

 This timeline is more suggestive based on other things the author has reviewed.  However, let’s presume the other possibility just for good measure.  The other possibility would be no skewing for the beginning event.   This alternative leaves the dates and translations together.   

2nd Possible Calendar of Events without skew


2015 (conduit closing)

2020 (Opposing deception)

2024 (Good still out there)

2024, 8th month (BELIEVE)

2025 (Much pain, but still time)

2026 (Broken promises)

2033 (Beware Bearers of False Gifts)

 Footnotes and Other Resources  


The author is a software programmer who has been programming in BASIC, FORTRAN (WATFIV), C, C++, C#, VB, VB.NET, ASP.NET among others for over 40 years.  The author earned a BS in Chemistry from the George Washington University in Washington DC and as a chemist and environmental scientist has over 20 years of experience in bench and instrument chemistry. 

[3] Were Iraq to acquire a nuclear weapon (or a sufficient stockpile of ... that it was a potential conduit of WMD to terrorist networks intent on attacking America.



Mark Fussell & Stuart Dike

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