research

Was it aliens? SFU professor weighs in on crop circles

October 30, 2017
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SFU geography professor Paul Kingsbury, whose research focuses on the growth of paranormal investigation cultures, attended a recent crop circle conference in Wiltshire, England, where most of the world’s crop circles can be found. He says enthusiasts are drawn more for the circles’ beauty than the unknown phenomena that cause them.

"Crop circle enthusiasts believe the circles resemble a form of sacred geometry," says Kingsbury. "They really appreciate the circles' complexity and are drawn in the hopes of becoming more intimate with them."

Un exchange for visiting the circles, enthusiasts offer compensation to farmers, which is donated to a charity chosen by farmers, for their loss of income as a result of crop damage caused by the circles and enthusiasts.

"The enthusiasts report feeling a surge of energy that is emitted by the circles and react differently upon visiting them," says Kingsbury. "Because it is very emotional for them, some people lie in the circles and mediate while others might embrace a family member and cry."

Kingsbury says hoaxers are never able to prove exactly how many crop circles could be created by humans. More than 20,000 crop circles have been documented around the world since the first reported one in 1678. They usually appear overnight and no one has been caught in the act of secretly trying to create one.

As a part of his Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded four-year research project on paranormal investigators, Kingsbury has interviewed alien abductees, attended UFO and Sasquatch conferences in the U.S. and participated in a dozen ghost investigations in Metro Vancouver.

Kingsbury will speak about his crop circle research at a public lecture hosted by SFU’s geography department on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Crop circle