Bumped up from page 12. Rob Irving was the founder of Team Satan, one of the early creative teams from the 90s. He was regularly and very personally attacked for exposing the wizards behind the curtain, of whom he was one. His attackers included many of those within British 'çereology' who were making tidy sums on the lecture and book circuits. hm
The whole thing is in 2 parts due to size
Mid 1990s, Rob Irving was the invited guest for two
conferences on CompuServe and discussed his well known
involvement in the art of making 'crop circles'.
At that time and with Rob's approval, I encapsulated
those essential online dialogues, with his permission to
It should be appreciated that there's very little time
during an online debate to provide detailed answers on
complex subjects - swollen nodes, for example. Rob asked
if I would also point out that in the spirit of a
conference, what may read rather flippantly later on, was
actually well-intentioned at the time.
With that in mind, Rob provides an interesting and
informative insight into the subject...
Q: How long have you been interested in the paranormal
and why did you become interested?
RI: I used to love taking detours through Wiltshire, and
was particularly intrigued by Silbury Hill. When I lived
in LA, I used to hang around at the Bodhi Tree bookshop,
looking at pics of stone circles and pining. When I
arrived back in the UK, in 1989, the circles phenomena
was breaking. I dived in... back to making those same
detours, but for other reasons.
Q: You have admitted hoaxing crop circles. How did you
get started doing that?
RI: I went to a circles meeting in Glastonbury where Erik
Bekjord was speaking... or shouting! He was playing
double-bill with George Wingfield - quite an
I went with open arms, hoping to embrace something
unusual, but it didn't take me, and one or two others,
long to realise that something was wrong.
Soon enough, it was decided that the only way to really
test this was to know exactly how some formations
arrived, by making them. Well, in the space of a few
weeks, we'd gone from stumbling hoaxers to superhuman
intelligences; our formations dowsed, people got healed
in them, and the rest is history.
Q: You said you realized something was wrong, what was
RI: That people were making extraordinary claims, while
giving the impression that they were the only ones who
could solve the enigma. While, deep down, they knew the
truth and went out of their way to conceal it. Just like
Q: What is about faking crop circles, etc. that you
RI: Enjoyed, past tense. I gave up circle making. At the
time I felt that it was entirely justified if you were
really concerned about finding the truth of many of the
claims that are made. If you got rid of people like me,
you'd perhaps be left with more fantastic stories to hang
your belief on which weren't actually true.
The circles scene is a fine example of that. Perhaps, in
that sense, it's a microcosm of the scene surrounding
other phenomena, like ufology.
Q: Can you give us some examples of famous (or infamous)
crop circles that you HAVE hoaxed?
RI: Cherhill '93, loads in 94.
Q: Care to tell us why Cherhill is infamous?
RI: The two Cherhill sites were connected. One of them
was the source of Dr Levengood's H-Glaze findings, the
other showed higher counts of radiation and was heavily
featured in books - the likes of Linda Moulton-Howe's,
Q: And you faked them?
RI: Well, made them would be more accurate.
Q: What percentage of supposedly "genuine" crop circles
in the U.K. have you made and what approx. percentage of
the rest do you *know* to be fraudulent?
RI: A lot depends on how you count them... but, since
1989, excluding Doug and Dave (whom I believe have been
entirely truthful), the vast majority can be accounted
for by circle makers who know each other, compare notes,
etc. I'm leaving some free because, again, there are
circles being made, especially now, by others,
copycats... which is simply a natural progression of what
happened in '89. I was a copycat once, too.
Q: What do you think about the latest crop formations,
from this summer? Like the 'double helix' and the
RI: I think they're intimidatingly brilliant... if you're
asking me if I think they're man-made, the answer is yes,
or some of my friends are psychic, as they told me about
them in January.
Q: How did they make them?
RI: Tools, planks and a considerable amount of skill,
experience, and expertise.
Q: Do you know of any others whom also create crop
circles in their spare time, and why?
RI: Many others, most of which are some quite well-known
circles "researchers". The current circle makers are
London artists who share a slightly different view of
"art" than others. Rather than seeing art as objects,
paintings, sculptures, etc., they see it as "experience".
There's no doubt that the circles create experiences,
some of which are seen as being "paranormal". I've been
saying for years that the circles should be looked at as
modern day devotional art and I still believe that.
Q: Wasn't there cultivated soil in New Mexico, in the
form of spiders, prairie animals, etc., formed to be seen
RI: With regard to the pre-indian designs (if that's what
they are), I'm satisfied that they could also be
described as devotional art, of some form or another. One
of the problems I have with the attitude that things like
that MUST be made by someone or something other than
human - apart from there being no evidence of that - is
that it falls in line with a general tendency to
underestimate human capabilities.
Q: Beyond the elegance, beauty and simplicity of your
designs, you have succeeded in stirring people to think
beyond themselves. Art has many subliminal purposes. A
single act creates results far beyond the obvious results
sometimes. Do you believe that your results match your
RI: Very much so, I'd have thought that was obvious.
Q: Colin Andrews talks about a formation that had the
crop bent a couple of inches from the ground. IOW, it
could not have been faked. He also talks about a circle
that some researchers documented the direction of the
crop, etc. and several hours later the direction was
changed. Also there are some formations that have crop
layered in different directions. In these formations I am
referring to, the crop is not broken, it ripens more
quickly than the crop outside the formation.
The people hoaxing formations cannot do these things. IMO
the fakers are just making things more difficult for us
to find out the truth.
Do you have any opinions on this?
RI: Firstly...as Colin knows... crop continues to grow
after it's been flattened, hence, in a day or so, it's
raising up. Colin knows better than to keep foisting that
one on his fans. Layering has been shown on many
occasions to be a natural artefact of flattening crop
with traditional methods. The story about the changing
direction of crop is false, as are many stories coming
out of the crop circles field.
Colin took many photographs over the years. If he had
documented evidence of changes in the direction of lay,
I'd be very interested to see it.
Q: What do you mean when you say layering is a pure
RI: If someone walks a roller through wheat, it spills
out, like water from a tyre. Multiply that by the amount
of times that person goes over the same patch, or,
imagine combing hair in layers, it's a very similar
process, just the size is different. The thing is, that's
what was discovered in making them, it's really the only
way to settle the arguments.