Crop Circles: A Curious Case-File
by Nick Redfern
For years (decades, actually), rumors have circulated to the effect that government agencies – primarily those of Britain and the United States – have, since the 1980s, taken a deep and wholly secret interest in the Crop Circle phenomenon. And, there does seem to be evidence in support of this notion, as Colin Andrews’ 2009 book, Government Circles, makes very clear. There are, however, other, much earlier examples where it seems the British Government was actually quite disinterested in the phenomenon, even to the point of spending their hours, and tax-payers money, laughing about – and writing limericks in relation to – such affairs. Yes, really!
As many readers of Mysterious Universe will undoubtedly know, the British Government has, for a significant number of years now, been declassifying into the public domain its many and varied files on UFOs – chiefly under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, and prior to that via the Thirty Year Ruling. One such file – covering more than three hundred pages and the period from 1963 to 1964 – includes a series of memoranda on the discovery of what might be termed an early Crop Circle.
As the file demonstrates, on 23 March 1964, T.E.T. Burbury, the Rector at Clifton Rectory, Penrith, Cumberland, wrote to the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington describing an encounter which had occurred some days previously. I quote from the rector’s letter: “Dear Sirs: Does an apparent column of blue light about 8-feet in diameter and about 15-feet high which disappears and leaves a mark of very slightly disturbed earth, the same diameter, mean anything to you?