By Clas Svahn
At Harplinge north of Halmstad a woman sat down in the middle
of a rye field to meditate. At Skyllberg south of Hallsberg
curious people walked about in something that looked like a map
of the sunken Atlantic. At Bräcke near Höganäs a dowser decided that it was all due to the position of the planets.|
"I never thought that people could act in this way",
says an 18-year-old from Borlänge, who together with two school
friends created a huge pictogram near Orsa.
When the circle phenomenon came to Sweden the summer of 1993 it did
so with a bang. But maybe it was no surprise after all that
Sweden would be "hit" by the circles. In several
lectures and TV programmes the general public was informed of the
phenomenon. A major programme on the circles was shown on the
commercial Channel 4 in March. Then "Night Cafe" on
National television (TV2) invited people to discuss the circles
on July 29th. Following this there are few Swedes who are unaware
of the phenomenon.
Whereas almost a dozen crop circle cases were reported in
Sweden not a single case was reported by UFO groups in Norway and
Denmark. However one case was reported from Finland. At the
beginning of August a circle was found at Luumäki. A fake
pictogram was made here last year. This year's Finnish formation
consisted of three circles, each six metres in diameter, forming
a triangle. Two of them were connected by paths, half a metre
In England the number of circles is down to about forty this
year. This compares with 600-800 at their peak. The Grand Old Man
of British cereology - Pat Delgado - has become tired of the
phenomenon, as have many others. Delgado has made a lot of money
from the phenomenon with his three books, Circular Evidence, Crop
Circles, The Latest Evidence and Crop Circles, Conclusive
Evidence? - the first two written with Colin Andrews.
Now Delgado has retired from cereology, Colin Andrews has
emigrated to the USA to write about cattle mutilations and other
mysteries. I gather that in a telephone conversation with Terence
Meaden earlier this summer Pat Delgado accepted Doug Bower and
Dave Chorleys' claims and that he now considers most circles to
The interest of the British media has also dropped to almost
nothing. "As far as I know only some 40 circles have been
reported this summer", reports the Editor of The Crop
Watcher Paul Fuller, to UFO-Aktuellt. He believes that every
one of them must be fakes - and that includes the circles
appearing in Sweden too!
UFO-Aktuellt is the first Swedish source to talk to an
18-year- old high school student who admits that on the night of
September 4th he and two friends created the big pictogram
outside Orsa. He prefers to remain anonymous, but his name is
known to UFO-Sweden. Just in case he and his friends from S:t
Mikael School in Mora have apologised to the farmer, Erik Sundin.
"When we heard people who had seen our circle talking
about how it could not have been made by human beings - well, we
didn't know what to think," he told me on the phone.
It was about 11 pm on Saturday September 4th that the three
18-year-olds went into a rye field at Knarrholen near Orsa.
Equipped with some torches, a short plank, an iron lever and a
compass they parked the car and entered a field belonging to Erik
Sundin. It was wet and damp, which later turned out to be to
"I would say it took us one and a half hours before we
were satisfied. It was rather tough on our backs as we didn't
think of attaching the plank to any strings so we had to crawl
about. The place was rather secluded, but if we saw a passing car
we turned our torches off".
"Later, when we saw the articles in the papers and heard
people speculating about everything from earth radiation to
aliens it felt kind of strange. I am interested in UFOs myself
and have seen a few programmes about crop circles on the
satellite channels. I guess that we got our inspiration from
The 18-year-old hoaxer says that what is most surprising is
how naively everyone acted. Some people visited the circle with
dowsing rods and reported feeling earth energies. Others stood
inside the circle and told how an unknown energy surged through
"I've learned a lot about psychology these last
weeks," he said.
A few days later Bertil Kuhlemann had been interviewed by
Barbro Hellberg from Radio Dalarna. He explained that it was his
firm belief that the pictograms at Orsa represented messages from
space. Kuhleman, who worked for many year with the contactee Sten
Lindgren, believes that the circles are absolute proof that
aliens are here on Earth.
There has certainly been no inspiration for circle conmen this
year. In late Spring one of the remaining enthusiasts held a
series of public lectures in Sweden. With his angled branches
ready at hand Richard Andrews described the formations of 1992
and presented his own thoughts on the subject to fascinated
audiences in Stockholm and Gothenburg. Andrews and his colleagues
believe that the circles have a direct connection to field lines
of earth energy and prehistoric sites.
I met Richard Andrews during my visit to England in 1991, when
the circles were at their peak. Besides giving us a lesson in
dowsing he told us that the phenomenon would develop into
"bigger, more complicated formations". In fact it
turned out to be quite the opposite. (According to recent quotes
in a Swedish newspaper he has now changed his mind, "There
will be fewer circles in England and more in Sweden").
As far as Sweden is concerned it all started very quietly
around July 6th 1993 when two brothers in Sala discovered a couple of
circles beneath a high-voltage transmission line. One of the
brothers told UFO-Sweden that he saw a light shifting in the sky
and felt static electricity in the air early in the morning as he
was out walking his dog. Later the other brother went to the
place out of curiosity and discovered two circles in a rye field.
After a lengthy discussion the younger brother decided to call
A thorough investigation showed that the two circles (6 and 12
metres in diameter) had no traces of clay in them, though the
surrounding ground was very muddy. Neither could the
investigators from UFO-Sweden find any traces leading to the
circles from the edge of the field. Both circles were swept
clockwise and Mats Nilsson, who investigated the site on the
evening of July 6th, described the interior of the circles
"as smooth as a ballroom floor".
But this is only the beginning. UFO-Sweden has since learnt of
ten other locations in Sweden where crop circles appeared:
In the case of the Hamnas rings both the farmer and the
investigator Karl-Erik Johansson from the Gävleborg UFO Group
"unmasked the villains" as roe-deers.
The following circle formations have been exposed as hoaxes:-
Skyllberg, Asperud, Säve depå, Orsa and Tjärna Ängar.
As for the circles at Harplinge, Bräcke and Ljungby everything
points to the fact that they were made by the same group of
hoaxers. They were almost all identical in size, their location
(by the side of a road) was chosen for maximum exposure and the
sweeping (counter-clockwise) swirl is typical of a man-made
The circle at Wärö Norrgård was in such poor condition that it
was impossible to investigate it.
The two circles in Sala are the only ones UFO-Sweden consider
to be potentially important. We have found no traces of clay
inside the circles, although the field was very muddy and we were
there before anyone else.
Whether genuine or man-made the circles have attracted a lot
of curious people, each with their own favourite theory.
The most inured person is probably farmer Olle Johansson at
Harplinge, whose almost 15 metre diameter circle became known all
over Sweden following his appearance on the "Night
"Lots of people have been here," he told UFO-Aktuellt, "A woman even ate the rye believing it held supernatural powers".
When Inga-Lill Wallin from UFO-Sweden visited the site another
woman was meditating in the middle of the circle. The woman had
flown down from Stockholm and taken a taxi out to Harplinge with
the sole purpose of spending an hour or so in the circle.
"What if it is not genuine ?", Inga-Lill Wallin
suggested to the woman.
"I really hope it is", she answered.
When a circle is discovered, reports on other events - which
are quickly linked to the circles, inevitably pop up. In several
cases, including those at Harplinge, light phenomena have also
been reported. But on closer scrutiny it can be demonstrated that
these light phenomena were not seen when the the circles
In the case of the fake circle at Säve depå, north of
Gothenburg, a man claimed to have seen mysterious lights in the
sky on the same night as the circle appeared. When Anders Persson
interviewed the man it turned out that his sighting could not be
linked to the circle as the man had probably seen spotlights
reflected off clouds.
Also, the fake circle at Orsa has been linked to observations
of lights in the sky.
This kind of linking of two unconnected events - "guilt
by association" - is common in UFOlogy. Frequently the only
common denominator is the fact that the two events concerned
something unidentified. It is so easy to see a link which is not
The link between UFOs and circles is very weak, all things
considered. Not on any occasion has an unidentified object been
observed at the same time as a circle has formed.
A detail often presented as evidence that a circle is genuine
- that is not made by humans - is the fact that the the stems are
not broken. It is hard to understand this argument since stems
only break when they are very dry. In moist weather, particularly
like this, the straws are soft and lithe. The fake circle in Orsa
is a good example of this.
The problem is that even the most hardened sceptics soften at
the sight of a circle. Many are sheer works of art. Even if most
of the Swedish specimens this summer have been relatively simple
and lacking the English extravagances, there have been
exceptions, like the "Atlantis" circle at Skyllberg.
Investigations conducted by UFO Sweden showed that the
neighbouring circles at Skyllberg and Äsperud were made by the
same persons. In the latter circle obvious traces of the hoaxer's
tools were found.
There is all the reason in the world to keep your cool as far as the crop circles are concerned. The most probable explanation is that almost all of them are made by men in order to deceive other men. Maybe a few of them are caused by some natural phenomenon, but after this year's crop of hoaxes I am no longer ready to bet on it.
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