Crop Circles

Prepare to Meet Thy Drought

By Clive Nelson, Today, London, England on July 20th, 1990
Prepare to Meet Thy Drought

World experts will jet into Britain today to try to solve the cornfield circles riddle which has baffled the country.

British, European and Japanese researchers - armed with high-tech cameras - will attempt to capture on film whatever, or WHOEVER, has caused the patterns in the fields.

But, as the scientists stake out rural Wiltshire, TODAY - which broke the news of the phenomenon - tracked down experts who think they know what the circles mean.

Historians believe that the carefully-plotted lines and circles resemble the writing of the Su merians, who lived on the Iran Iraq border 5,000 years ago.

And. amazingly, the message could be a warning to save water.

Linked with other evidence, it could mean we are in for a long drought.

Charles d 'Orban, of London University's School of Oriental and African Studies, said: "The shapes in the field look like the work of the Sumerians, from late fourth and early third century BC.

"They had a relatively sophisticated system of writing with symbols which show a marked resemblance to those in Wiltshire."

In Sumerian. the world's oldest written language, two concentric circles means a well or cistern.

Two parallel lines mean double, or multiply (the signs are shown above).

So the message could mean:

Multiply your wells.

After examination of blown-up prints of the dramatic TODAY pictures, Mr d'Orban said: "The resemblance is uncanny. I cannot think of any other explanation for it."

Last night Britain's top weather experts backed Mr d 'Urban's theory that the symbols could be linked to the climate, particularly a spell of dry weather.

TODAY weatherman Philip Eden said: "Whoever or what ever drew these patterns cer tainly knows about meteorology.  They look just like the signs on the sort of weather chart I see every day."

Mr Eden said that the circles which appeared in a pattern in a field in the Vale of Pewsey on Tuesday were wind direction symbols.

Left to right, the key-shaped symbols show a Force Seven gale from the south-west, a Force Five Gale from the south-east. a calm area with no wind, fog and a calm area with no wind.

IT'S a real puzzle how they got the re," he said. "I can't think of an explanation but it's very exciting."

BBC TV weatherman Bernard Davey said: "I will be interested to see if we can find out for definite how these circles keep appearing."

Asked if aliens could have been responsible. he said: "I'm always suspicious when circles appear like this.

"I won't rule out men from outer space, just in case."

And ITV weatherman Alex Hill added: "I reckon the circles are a weather report.

"Maybe it's been put there to help those Soviet cosmonauts steer their spacecraft back to Earth.

"One thing's for sure. it wasn't me that put them there."

Experts at the British Museum last night refused to be drawn into the debate.

A spokeswoman said: "We really wouldn't want to get in volved with anything of this na ture."

But languages expert Peter Colvin of London University sup ported our message theory.

He said: "Some of the figures look like a system which is still used in parts of inner and Outer Mongolia.

He said, " Some of the figures look like a system of writing which is still used in parts of Inner and Outer Mongolia.

"I have seen it in books, but unfortunately, I am not able to read it.

"I don't suppose many people in Britain can do so either."

Our photographers flew across Wiltshire yesterday and sported eight new circles, including the one we've reproduced.(above left)

But as the mystery deepened last night. experts admitted they still do not know what has caused more than 200 Circle alerts in Wiltshire and Hampshire this summer.

Some believe that the phenomenon is caused by rare fun gus or soil disorders causing crops to collapse in bizarre patterns.

Others insist that animals such as hedgehogs or badgers many have run wild in the summer heat, causing havoc in fields.

Some say freak wind condi tions could be the cause of the damage.

Still more argue the circles are caused by aliens. landing their spacecraft or desperate to communicate with humans.

But cynics dismiss the pat terns as the work of practical jokers, using bricks Oil lengths of rope to flatten crops.

Perhaps there's a ring of truth to all of them. But last night there was no getting away from the weather.

The circles have appeared dur ing one the of the hottest and driest spells in Britain.

In other words the message could mean: Fill up thy wells and prepare to meet thy drought.

Those Sumerians knew what they were writing about.

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