A sign from above?
08/17/04 - The
South Washington County Bulletin
Gene Smallidge noticed these crop circles in his oat field along 100th Street and Ideal Avenue in Cottage Grove. He says they weren't there a week earlier, and doesn't know how they were made.
crop circles appeared in late July
on a farm in Cottage Grove.
Photo courtesy: South Washington
spotted on Minnesota farm
08/17/04 - KSTP-TV
COTTAGE GROVE -
A Minnesota farmer can't explain a strange
phenomenon in one of this fields.
found five crop circles that were made
sometime July 24 on his Cottage Grove farm. He
said he made the discovery the following day,
and did not find any evidence that this was a
still grain in the heads," Smallidge
said, referring to his flattened crop.
"If that had been done by people using a
board to drag across they would have pulled a
lot of the grain out of the heads and off the
stems and it's still there today."
As soon as word
spread about Smallidge's discovery, a research
company in Massachusetts came calling.
Volunteers with BLT Research took samples and
offered a scientific explanation for what
one they're looking at is possible plasma
vortices that would be formed high in the
atmosphere and create and have a different
charge than the lower atmosphere," said
volunteer Dean Deharpporte. "Somehow this
plasma would be transported to the ground like
hot gasses could form a swirling pattern to
create the circles without breaking the stems.
crop circles a sign from above?
08/02/04 - The
South Washington County Bulletin
When you ask Cottage Grove farmer Gene
Smallidge how five “crop circles” got into
his oat field, he shrugs. All he knows is that
the five circles in the oat field were not
there a week ago.
Mysterious circles in crop fields were first
reported during the 1980s in England.
Researchers have been documenting them since
the early 1990s.
Speculation includes that the circles come
from the exhaust of spacecraft from outer
space. On the other end of the spectrum are
those that label them as “hoaxes.”
Various researchers, professional and
otherwise, say there are higher radiation
counts in the circles than surrounding areas.
Smallidge would like to know how the circles
got into his fields on Ideal Avenue and 100th
Street. He is leaning toward a man-made
But it does seem odd, according to his son,
Scott, a geography teacher in Hastings, that
the circles are 1/2 mile from where anyone can
access the fields because they are fenced.
If the circles were made by a 2-by-4 board,
someone would have had to anchor the board in
the center of the circles and there is no sign
of that from Scott’s observations.
All-terrain vehicles make paths in fields that
can be easily seen by most anyone, but there
were no tracks near the fields, which were
harvested last week after Smallidge allowed
photos to be taken. Now evidence of the cirles
is gone, but the field is full of downed oat
straw that will be baled when fully dried.
The oat field was ringed in hay baled a week
earlier, long before Gene started combining
the oats on July 29.
Scott said there are more frequent swirls of
wind in and near the oat field than there are
in other fields on the Smallidge's farm.
“Bob Julen found some hay on his deck once
and that’s a quarter mile away,” Scott
Scott made a rough measurement of the circles
at about 27 feet each.
Gene’s wife, Louise, came out to the field
to take pictures of the circles. Louise teased
Julen, who sometimes helps with the harvest.
“We think the neighbor did it,” she said.
“After I saw how to do it on Channel Two?”
Julen responded in jest.
“We’ve been growing oats here for 40
years,” Louise said, “and it never
At the end of the day, Smallidge still had no
idea where the circles came from and his focus
was instead switched to hoping it rains
because his crops could use the moisture.
Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2004
Article comment by: Nancy Talbott, BLT
Research Team Inc.
These 5 circles on the Smallidge farm look
(from the photo printed in the paper)as if the
event may be the "real McCoy." The
only way to tell for sure is to carry out
field-sampling (in this case of the soils,
since the plants have been cut), which our
group would like to do if the farmer will
allow us access. For details of the plant and
soil abnormalities which have been documented
in crop circles over the last 12 years (these
results published in peer-reviewed scientific
journals), see the BLT web-site: www.bltresearch.com.
Hope we can add this event to our current
study-in-progress (an analysis of soil
chemistry and examination looking at the
mycorrhizal fungi in the plant roots) led by a
mycologist/soil chemist at the Univ. of
California, Davis, for the BLT Team. Nancy
Talbott President, BLT Research Team Inc. (www.bltresearch.com)
circles attract interest
08/09/04 - The
South Washington County Bulletin
If things get any busier at Gene Smallidge’s
farm, where “crop circles” were reported
two weeks ago, Gene won’t have any time to
look after his crops.
After the Bulletin reported five crop circles
were in the fields of the Gene and Louise
Smallidge farm at 100th Street and Ideal
Avenue in Cottage Grove, the phone messages
started appearing on the answering machine.
Crop circle news travels fast.
Circles of downed crops in unharvested fields
of cereal grains such as Smallidge’s oat
field were first reported in England during
the 1980s, but according to the many Internet
sites, they have a long history.
Some people said they are from exhausts of
alien space ships. Others were proven to be
hoaxes perpetrated with lumber swung in
circles. Still others remain unexplained.
The current prevailing theory is that some
crop circles are associated with meteor dust
that is constantly coming in from space that
are drawn together by magnetic forces,
according to BLT Research in Massachusetts.
There is research that demonstrates the
molecular structure of the plants in circles
is altered. Seed from circles grow plants that
are hardier, more drought resistant and yield
healthier and taller plants. Radiation has
also been reported in crop circles.
All this information is news to the Smallidge
family, which has heard about crop circles,
but were not aware of the details or the
curiosity their circles would generate.
On a sunny and warm July 29, Smallidge was
harvesting the oats when the circles were
discovered. After they were photographed, Gene
harvested what he could, anxious to get the
most out of his crop and deter anyone from
walking into the field that is under-seeded
BLT Researcher Nancy Talbot called the
Smallidges, expressing interest in the five
BLT volunteers Dean and Margaret Deharpporte,
Eden Prairie, and Joel Henry, visited the
field last Sunday to take soil and plant
samples. They measured what was left of the
circles and took magnetic readings.
The day before, Talbot called Smallidge and
asked him to take seed samples from the field.
She was concerned that rain might damage the
seed that was left in the field.
Louise said they were told to ask neighbors if
they have pets. “Nancy said that cats and
dogs do things they don’t ordinarily do when
there are circles,” she said.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have harvested the
circles,” Gene said. “They have told me
that the circles are the real thing. All the
grain is going in the same direction. These
people are serious. If I had known the seeds
might be more hearty, I would have saved them
for next year.”
Greg Moynaugh, Afton, is a University of
Minnesota student with a strong interest in
crop circles. He got permission to visit the
Smallidges on Saturday and helped the
volunteers gather information on Sunday. He
thinks the circles are a phenomena and not the
result of vandalism.
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