WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CROP CIRCLES, CATTLE MUTILATIONS,
ALIEN ABDUCTIONS, AND ANGEL HAIR?
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2023)
The UFO "mysteries" of Crop Circles, Cattle Mutilations, Alien Abductions and Angel Hair all seem to have gone away. Why? Because all of these "phenomena" were fabricated fads. History offers us the benefit of hindsight. And better information available today shows us that we must be wary of crazes and trends when it comes to things paranormal. They come into being because we want them to, then become "contagious" and go viral because they satisfy our want for the fantastical, and finally leave us when they outlive their appeal.
But such fads are not without detriment. They minimize the efforts of serious UFO research and make silly of a very real subject. They waste time and resources to investigate them, give fodder to knee-jerk UFO skeptics, pollute the public consciousness with nonsense, and in some cases even cause psychological harm.
THE DEATH OF THE CROP CIRCLE CRAZE
The first known use of the word "Crop Circle" was over 35 years ago. A Crop Circle is a large geometric (and generally circular) pattern of flattened stalks in a field of grain on farmland. Their appearance, which initially was concentrated in southern England, first took the form of simple circles, then a series of circles, and finally evolved into more intricate designs. Because they can only be fully viewed from above, it was thought that their origin was "from above" and likely from hovering UFOs. And the simpler initial circles that began to appear in the 1980s resembled the "saucer nests" of circular flattened stalks reported in the 1960s that looked like landing spots. Many believed that UFO occupants were trying to impart coded "messages" to humanity through the more complex patterns left on the land.
Last year’s recorded crop circle "season" ended on November 1st, 2022 (when crops begin to die.) According to recently reported figures by the paranormal news publication Nexus Magazine, the year 2022 was, activity-wise, the quietest year for crop circles on record since they began in force and being formally tracked in the mid-late 1980s. There were just 20 recorded formations, 11 less than in 2021. The phenomena’s global outreach also ground to a near halt, with just one European crop circle outside the UK, appearing in France. Unless something occurs in 2023 to dramatically reverse the trend, it appears that we are entering the twilight years for the crop formations.
This tends to support the idea that crop circles are all just human field art. This huge and progressive reduction in the number of crop circles in recent years points to it having been a resilient fad that is now finally fading, with just a few dogged perpetrators persisting for reasons of their own.
That is, people have grown tired of the crop glyphs. Nothing new in decades, just an endless repetition of swirled markings in fields. The "interpretations" of these circles is now wearisome and nothing new or actionable has been learned from their ‘meaning’ after all these years. No formula for free energy has ever been given nor cure for disease provided by a crop circle.
Instead we got Spirograph-like ground images, occasionally representing such things as a chemical symbol or a depiction of the position of a celestial body. Though often stunning in appearance, they have never imparted anything to us that we did not already know.
Like leopard print and black light posters, crop circles have revealed themselves as a trend that has fallen out of vogue. We can now understand crop circles by who really caused them: an underground artist-prankster movement that combined mathematics, surveyor’s tape, stalks and whimsey.
In all the time crop circles were "a thing", there has never been any genuine film of a UFO beaming down on crops and etching a circle. Never has a "ball of light" been caught on tape swerving around a crop field and impressing circles upon it. Nor are there any credible multi-witness accounts of UFOs creating crop "messages." In fact, there is no demonstrable evidence of any type that such circles were ever created by a flying object. The association between saucers and crop circles is a strained one indeed. The two are associated with one another only in people’s minds. And we also need not invoke wind vortices, plasma vortexes, or "earth energies" to account for the formations. The word "hoax" is derived from "hocus pocus." But everything loses its magic over time. And that includes the Crop Circle.
The scenario was at one time captivating and bizarre. It has now become familiar and repetitive: An individual reports having been asleep in their home only to be awoken by alien humanoids. They somehow take the person up into an awaiting UFO spacecraft where they are submitted to a medical examination that often involved scanning, probing, extraction of bodily fluid, and/or the insertion of a small "implant," often into a limb. Occasionally, "abductees" pointed to "mystery scars" and "scoop marks" on their bodies Sometimes communication was exchanged between the abductee and the alien, and nearly always mentally. The individual was then returned to their home, generally with only a vague recollection of what had transpired until the memory was "recovered" later. In some accounts, the ET abductors raped women to impregnate them in attempts to "breed" aliens and humans to produce a "hybrid" race.
Reports of alien abduction began in the late 1950s and 1960s with people such as Antonio Vilas-Boas and Betty and Barney Hill, and continued in the mid-1970s with people such as Travis Walton. But unlike these early rare and isolated incidents, there were later, for a time, thousands of people reporting having also been taken by aliens. There was an essential difference though: the earlier abductions were initiated outdoors. But the later craze of alien abductions of the 1980s and 1990s involved people that were indoors, in their beds sleeping when they were "taken". During that time period, due to best-selling books and TV movies about alien abduction, public awareness of the "phenomenon" ran high. And so were the numbers of people suddenly "remembering" (either consciously or through hypnosis) that they too were "abducted" by aliens. This "mass remembering" was facilitated by both self-taught and professionally trained therapists and hypnotists who had emerged to take advantage of the perceived need to address the trauma resulting from such abduction.
It is now certain that alien abduction has far more to do with Inner Space than it does with Outer Space:
Vivid Dreaming with the theme of abduction often indicates strong feelings of stress or of being trapped by a relationship or by responsibilities. These highly realistic dreams may also happen as the brain works to process a disturbing or traumatic experience.
Sleep Paralysis is a condition that can affect anyone. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. Episodes are often frightening and involve not being able to speak or to move. These episodes can include paralysis of the limbs, a sense of someone pressing against the body, panic, helplessness, and hallucination or waking dreams involving attack.
Social Contagion effects cannot be overlooked. It is the subtle, spontaneous, and sometimes unwitting spread of emotions or behaviors from one individual to others. People find solace from stress or past trauma and a sense of "belonging" when they are with others who find themselves in a similar way. They could join local "abduction experiencer" groups, chat through online social networks, read books and articles, and view TV documentaries and movie productions on the subject.
Suppressed Trauma. Vulnerable individuals with heightened suggestibility transfer the actions of their human transgressors onto the "alien" because it is somehow safer that way and makes it easier to cope. When listened to by a sympathetic "therapist," they could point to the aliens that abducted them as being the cause of their sense of loneliness in this world, or for their feelings of inadequacy or for the childhood or adult physical or mental traumas that had been inflicted upon them.
Fabrication of the abduction experience was most certainly used by needy people for either fame, attention, money or for the simple joy of a prank. And undoubtedly there were also mentally unwell people suffering from delusion who, through cultural conditioning, mimicked the experiences that they read about or saw on TV or in movies.
And we know now that not one "alien implant" that has been surgically removed has ever been shown to be comprised of a chemical or material unknown to science or to perform any action, such as giving off a signal. Wood, metal, or glass shards that enter the body and embed in inner tissue, after a period of time, can take on unusual shapes and features. As the body adapts to the foreign object, it spins collagen fibers and biomaterial to ‘defend’ against it.
Patrick Huyghe, journalist and editor of the Anomalist website, wrote in a 1995 article entitled "UFO Crime Lab" that crime-scene investigative and forensic techniques should be applied to these cases, as these were supposed bedroom abductions. Despite the excellent suggestion, no alien hairs, fibers, prints, fluids, or DNA were ever recovered from a spacenapping.
The reported mystery body scars and "scoop marks" may have been unconsciously self-inflicted during fitful sleep by scratching or digging into the skin--a neurotic excoriation called dermatillomania. Such marks may have also been consciously self-inflicted, akin to the self-harm behavior of skin "cutting".
Reports of alien rape and becoming pregnant with a hybrid child are caused by pseudocyesis, or false pregnancy in which a woman has such an intense desire to be pregnant that she convinces herself she is, including imagining the scenario in which she became impregnated. In some cases, women who have phantom pregnancy have experienced some type of emotional trauma or sexual abuse in the past. Such female abductees explain that the child is not on Earth because it was delivered and taken by the aliens.
It is not coincidence that the reports of alien abduction are far, far fewer today than they were in prior decades. This steep decline began with the deaths of three of the most prominent figures in promoting the concept of Alien Abduction. Harvard Professor Dr. John Mack passed away in 2004, and author Bud Hopkins in 2011. Dr. Roger Leir, the well-known "alien implant" surgeon, died in 2014. Now approaching 80, Whitley Streiber, author of the popular books Communion in 1987 and Transformation in 1988, released his last book in 2011, Solving the Communion Enigma. It made virtually no public impact and today can be found in bins.
It’s been at least a decade and a half since there have been any new alien abduction stories that have gotten any traction or press coverage. People no longer go on talk shows to discuss their experiences. There are no more bestselling books on the subject. Did the aliens suddenly stop abducting us, or did we tire of the idea that they were? Did ET decide not to take us anymore, or did we decide that we were not going to take any more talk about abduction?
We should be grateful that such alien abduction fervor has died out. Because unlike other fads, this one was harmful to the mental well-being of many. The fantasy of alien abduction dangerously played into the psyches of the fantasy-prone and may have prevented real and effective treatment of those who were psychologically disturbed.
CATTLE MUTILATION MANIA
The appearance of cow or horse carcasses on ranchland in various parts of the United States under "unusual" circumstances with incision-like or "surgical like" cutting and "bloodless" tissue removal began to be reported in the late 1960s. Such activity seemingly "peaked" in the mid-late 1970s. The idea that aliens were somehow conducting these mutilations for unknown biological purposes entered into the narrative. Today, we rarely hear of such "cattle mute" reports.
Legitimate film or photographs of a cow being killed and cut up by a beam of UFO-generated light has never surfaced. No credible multiple-witness accounts exist of people having seen such a mutilation in action. The association between UFO energy beams cutting up cattle is curious. It has never been made clear why certain people put the two together. For inexplicable reasons people suddenly and bizarrely perceived normal occurrences as mystery mutilations.
According to farmingbase.com, the cow is a prey animal and dangerous predators are always looking for a way to hurt or kill them. Because of their big size, it is hard to attack them, but they are naive animals who know few tricks to save themselves. The biggest cow predators are feral dogs, coyotes, wolves, bears, cougars, and bobcats. Importantly, these predators never hunt in the presence of humans, only when they find the cows alone on the ranch. This is why no one has ever seen a "cattle mute" in progress.
The fact is that "mutilated" animals die of natural causes and are subject to known terrestrial phenomena, including by predators, scavengers, and parasites. There can be "waves" of predatory activity if there is a particularly large population of a certain predator species in given regions in given years.
Missing mouth, anus, and genitalia are caused by the contraction of missing/damaged areas due to dehydration. The actions of small scavengers and burrowing parasites seek to enter or consume the body in areas where skin is thinnest. Missing eyes or soft internal organs can be caused by the action of carrion feeding insects like the blowfly or carrion birds like the vulture. They are known to direct themselves toward an animal's eyes, and to enter the body through the openings of the mouth and anus in order to feed on internal organs. Those reporting alien cattle mutilations point to an absence of blood. But blood pools in the lowest points in the body where it will break down into its basic organic components. Blood that is external to the body soaks into porous soil, is consumed by insects, reduced by solar desiccation, and washed out by rain.
Cattle Mute promoters often mentioned the "surgical precision" of the "incisions" on the cattle skin. But tears in bovine skin are created when it is stretched by postmortem bloat and by dehydration. It causes the animal's hide to shrink and split, often in smooth linear cuts.
The Washington County (Arkansas) Sheriff's Department conducted a very relevant experiment on this many years ago. In the experiment, the body of a recently deceased cow was left in a field and observed for 48 hours. During the 48 hours, postmortem bloating was reported to have caused incision-like tears in the cow's skin that matched the "surgical" cuts reported on mutilated cows, while the action of blowflies and maggots matched the soft tissue damage observed on mutilated cows.
The ten or so active years of cattle mutilation were apparently enough for ET. The aliens seem to have had their fill of things bovine. Today, ranchers no longer involve law enforcement when they find one of their cows lying dead on their land. The whole topic has seemingly fallen out of fashion. Not because it stopped happening, but because it never really existed. It is now clear that the outsized reaction to these cattle death episodes appears to have been a classic case of mild mass hysteria.
"ANGEL HAIR" HOOPLA
"Angel Hair" are filaments of a sticky, cottony substance reported in connection with some UFO sightings. They were supposedly seen to "shed off" of objects seen in the sky like some sort of floating mystery residue. The first report of the "phenomenon" was in Oloron, France on October 17, 1954. According to one of the witnesses, high school superintendent Jean-Yves Prigent, there appeared a "cottony cloud of strange shape" from an object slowly flying in a straight line toward the southwest. He said that "a sort of plume of white was escaping from its upper end." Others reported that when gathered and lit, the fallen fibers "burned like cellophane."
The early UFO organization National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) concluded in a 1964 report that the case was one of airborne cobwebs. Some spiders actually migrate on such airborne cobwebs, and sometimes in large groups. These webs can rain down in fine filaments, singularly or in a "blanket" and occasionally in unusual shapes. The coincidental fall or appearance of such filaments to the sighting of an unusual light or object in the sky was the cause of the original "Angel Hair" reports.
It turns out that it is common for spiders to seek higher ground during the onset of cooler temperatures. Spiders (sometimes of considerable size) will climb to the top of the nearest tall object, stick their abdomens in the air and release silk. When the air current is strong enough the spider simply lets go, and gets carried along in the breeze until they either drop the line and fall to the ground or the breeze drops. They can travel along in that way for miles and can haul themselves up like a hot air balloon.
UFO angel hair that had fallen to the ground and collected seemed to "defy analysis" as it supposedly dissipated before proper analysis could be applied. This is because cobwebs, which are made up of thin, silky strands of spider silk, are subject to degradation. The exact lifespan of a cobweb will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of spider that made it, the humidity and temperature of the environment, and whether the cobweb is exposed to wind or other elements. Cobwebs that are in more exposed or unstable environments, such as outdoors or in a location where there is a lot of movement, may not last as long. They appear to dissolve into "nothingness".
By the mid-1960s, reports of Angel Hair had diminished and today we do not associate such fallen filament with flying saucers.
THE INEVITABILITY OF UFO FADS
Fashions and fads are everywhere--in things as diverse as food, clothes, children's names, haircuts, disease symptoms and surgical operations. And now, in retrospect, we can see that even the world of UFOs is replete with fads. Fads are not real and substantive, they are fleeting. They tickle us for a time. But no real good ever comes from them.
We must keep an open mind, but not so open that our brains fall out. We must resist the temptation to make mundane things mysterious. And we must be ready for history repeating because the next UFO fad is awaiting its creation.