[Amid widespread claims of crop circle fakery, there are also claims that some people experience strange, sometimes painful physiological effects upon entering a crop circle, effects that seem highly unlikely if the circle were made by human pranksters. ISCNI*Flash acknowledges Stuart Dike and the Crop Circle Connector, an online information service based in England, for this story. The Crop Circle Connector can be accessed on the Worldwide Web at http://www.hub.co.uk/intercafe/cropcircle/connector.html]
by Simon Burton
December 28, 1995
There seems to be growing doubt in the collective consciousness of cereologists as to whether crop circles are always safe places to be. This may just be a backlash against an initial euphoria or it may be wisdom born of maturity.
Reports of negative effects have ranged from the psychological -- feelings of panic, oppressiveness, general unease -- through to the physiological -- aches, pains, headaches, nausea etc. My own reaction to a 'bad' circle is usually a lingering ache in one leg, although I have twice now had the alarming experience of waking up 'the morning after' to find a square grid of clearly defined circular welts caused by broken blood vessels on my back. Fortunately such physical symptoms seem to be rare. Most physical effects seem to be limited to equipment malfunctions, 'gremlins' etc.
There is a well-documented precedent for many anomalous ill-effects similar to 'circle sickness' to be found in the records of the 'Oranur Experiment' of Dr. Wilhelm Reich in the early 1950s. They are well worth reading, and have the benefit of being entirely consistent with the 'Orgone Hypothesis' of circle formation.
The disasterous Oranur Experiments - so named because they set Orgone Radiation (OR) Against Nuclear Radiation (NR), were conducted at Reich's ranch in Orgonon, Maine with the stated aim of proving whether a degree of immunity against nuclear radiation in living creatures could be achieved by prior exposure to concentrated orgone energy. However, before beginning the experiment proper Reich decided to run a preliminary experiment to explore the effects of orgone energy on radioactive material itself. On January 5, 1951, Reich began the fateful experiment by placing just one milligram of radium, in lead shielding, inside a powerful twenty-fold orgone accumulator. He intended to see if the accumulator could neutralize the effects of the radium as compared to a control sample. In fact something entirely opposite happened.
After five hours the gauges on the laboratory's Geiger-Muller counter persistently jammed when brought near to the accumulator, showing that the radiation count in the room was more than the meter could measure, and an oppressive feeling of heaviness with symptoms of headaches and nausea built up in the laboratory to such an extent that all work had to cease. Reich, who lest one forget was a qualified medical doctor by training, listed some of the typical symptoms of the 'Oranur Sickness' experienced by himself and colleagues as: malaise; pressure in head, chest etc.; cramps and twitching of muscles and other organs; hot and cold shivers; fatigue; return of old or latent disease symptoms; inflammation of conjunctivae; dryness of throat; severe thirst. More severe symptoms included chronic fatigue and fainting spells. Typically each person was attacked at their point of greatest weakness.
However, Reich was not psychologically suited to giving up easily, and unwisely persisted with the experiment for a further six days. By this time the atmosphere in the laboratory had become clouded with a purple haze and many of Reich's staff and family were in states of seriously distressed health.Finally, sick to the pit of his stomach and dizzy, Reich gave up and buried the orgone-charged radium in a field half a mile from the laboratory. Reich had all the accumulators on the site dismantled and banned all radioactive materials, even down to luminous watch dials, from the vicinity.
It was not enough. By March 1952 Orgonon was evacuated. Ludicrously high GM counts persisted and trees in the area were reported to be bending over 'like rubber hoses' and covered with strange blackish deposits which came to be know as 'melanor'. During this period the laboratories were frequently overflown by what we would now call Unknown Aerial Phenomena, but what were then called flying saucers, and plagued by equipment gremlins.
Much of the above has a familiar ring to it. Some, perhaps all, of the symptoms of Oranur sickness seem similar to 'Circle Sickness'. The description of trees bending over like rubber hoses must also strike a chord of familiarity. Indeed Wilhelm Reich's son Peter in his autobiographical 'Book of Dreams' describes once finding on his father's ranch 'a big place in the grass we hadn't mowed where it was all matted down'. When giving the explanation that that must be where a deer had been sleeping, his companion comments, 'She must have been a pretty big one'. Sounds familiar? (Incidentally, I once tried to [question] Peter Reich on the similarity of what he saw to modern-day circles, but received only a non-committal reply -- perhaps the persecution of his father by the authorities has made him understandably wary.)
As to the 'melanor' -- Peter Sorenson described finding something remarkably similar in the Cherhill pictogram in August 1993. Analysis by Dr. Levengood describes it as being an 'extremely unusual' glaze of partially fused magnetic spheres, each a fraction of a millimetre across, of iron and oxygen. [See Linda Howe's comment on this below - ed.]
So, should we avoid crop circles? I think we should at least treat them respectfully as potentially harmful to health. Reich came to believe that in an atmosphere of concentrated orgone radiation, which is basically the 'stuff of life', even minuscule amounts of nuclear radiation have the effect of causing the orgone in living systems to turn against itself. It is not the nuclear radiation that destroys, but the effect is has of turning healthy orgone into DOR, deadly orgone, attacking each living system at its point of greatest weakness, that does the damage. Hence 'Circle Sickness' may not necessarily manifest in the same way in two different people, or in the same person at different times.
Andy Collins proposed that circles may in effect be 'flat plan' accumulators. If this theory is true, or if for any other reason we are dealing with concentrations of orgone in circle formations, then Reich's experience teaches that we should be very careful about what we take into them, even down to ourselves. Hopefully nobody is going to deliberately take radioactive materials into the fields, but Reich came to ban even luminous watches, and who knows the effect that the electrical circuits in all our modern cameras may be having.
Of particular interest must be the health experiences of those who have regularly entered formations over long periods of time, particularly the dowsers who of necessity are 'tuning-in' to an unknown energy that may not always be compatible with good health. Perhaps I am just getting cautious as I get older, but personally I have made the decision for the moment not to foolishly rush in 'where Angels fear to tread'.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In answer to a question on claims of "crop circle sickness" from CNI News, researcher Linda Howe responds: "The crop circle sickness issue has come up periodically since at least 1990 or 1991 when several people complained. Four of us inside Cherhill [see above] all developed the same tight band of very dull headache at the same time in 1993. Dr. Levengood is convinced that microwaves are part of the energy [that forms crop circles], combined with a plasma. Would such an energy have a residual affect on us after it's created the formation? I don't think anyone has a clear answer yet.
Original file name: .CNI - Crop Circle illness
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