Recently the Huffington Post and other news outlets have covered a report on crop circles in Physics World by Richard Taylor, director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon. The headlines claim he can explain how the mysterious circles are made using lasers, GPS, and microwaves.
This has frustrated many who believe that crop circles cannot be created by humans, but by forces much more mysterious. However, I think it is great that scientists have acknowledged the evidence that microwaves are involved with crop circle creation. Granted, Taylor's speculation on how this is done is highly speculative.
In his report, Taylor cites the work of BLT research, which has researched crop circles using scientific techniques for decades. Initially attempting to discover what was assumed to be a natural phenomenon, BLT found a host of anomalies that lead many researchers to rule out natural phenomena or human involvement. One of these anomalies is the discovery of microwave radiation in some of the crop circles. Usually the media and scientist ignore these findings, however in 2002, as part of a history channel documentary, students at MIT attempted to create a circle in one night replicating the anomalies found by BLT.
To reproduce the microwave radiation the students created a large elaborate device using parts of a microwave oven plugged into a portable generator for power. According to BLT director, Nancy Talbott, the circle did not accurately replicate the microwave effect. The other problem is that if this were the method used, this elaborate and loud setup would have been discovered.
Every summer dozens of these circles are discovered in England, and thousands of people flock to England to see them. Often researchers sit up all night on hilltops filming with night vision cameras to discover how these circles are made. Although occasionally people are filmed with boards and ropes making the circles, no one has ever caught anyone dragging large microwave contraptions attached to generators. The human crop circle makers need to be very stealthy as they do not have permission by the farmers to make these circles, and farmers who find crop circles in their fields are not amused. They stand to lose a lot of money from lost crops.
In his report, Taylor does not claim this to be the way the microwave effect is achieved. He speculates that perhaps they are using a microwave device to soften the crop so they can lay them down easier, possibly making their job more efficient. He says some of the parts to create the radiation can be powered by 12-volt batteries. He doesn't claim to know for a fact that this method is being used. However, he does plan to test his theory in the coming weeks near Stonehenge, an area known for nearby appearances of crop circle formation.
I have always been impressed with the work done by BLT Research, and disappointed that it hasn't been taken more serious. It is great to see Taylor tackling the issue. We will have to see if he is able to produce the microwave effect, and discover if indeed crop circle hoaxers have been using this method for the many years BLT Research has been recording it. I recently spoke with Talbott, and she has not been invited to participate in the experiment, which would be important to be sure the effect is reproduced in the manner in which it has been recorded.
If Taylor should be successful, he will have to attempt to recreate the rest of the anomalies BLT has discovered, which he neglected to include in his report. You can see a list of them at the BLT crop circle plant abnormalities page.
A video of physicist Michio Kaku on Fox News discussing this theory: