“They have been a source of mystery and amusement to students of the bizarre for years, but yesterday crop circles attracted the attention of a new audience – the long arm of the law. A 29-year-old Wiltshire man last night became what is believed to be the first person in Britain to be accused of the novel crime of raiding a field and creating patterns out of flattened wheat.
Matthew Williams, of Bishops Cannings, near Devizes, was arrested after photographs allegedly showing him working with another man were sent anonymously to detectives. He will appear before Devizes magistrates on Monday charged with causing criminal damage to an unspecified area of pasture near Marlborough in July this year.
The case threatens to blow the lid on what has long been believed to be the prime cause of crop circles well-equipped and highly adept hoaxers.
For years, fans of the paranormal had sought to explain the weird and wonderful patterns of interlinked circles, squares and diamonds as the work of aliens or freak weather conditions. But some crop circle creators have recently come forward to confess to their activities, carried out under cover of darkness using an array of ladders, tethered barrels and ropes to work “magic”.
Police arrested Williams earlier this week after searching his home and recovering pieces of equipment allegedly used to sculpt circles. A second man was also detained but later released without charge…” The Independent 4,11,00
There is an interesting footnote to this report, one that adds an entirely new dimension to the story.
On Thursday 2nd of November I was shopping in the local Devizes Safeway when a figure sidled up to me. “How’s the magazine doing”? He asked, in reference to The Seeker. In fact it was Matthew Williams, mentioned in the above report, and one of this publications first buyers. He had arrived at my front door the day the first advertisements for the Seeker had appeared. When I asked how he had found my flat when the address was not in the advert, only a PO Box number, he had replied cryptically that: “There are ways to find out, you know.”
“It’s a really good little publication,” he continued now in his broad Welsh accent. I thanked him and explained that we planned to go online with material from earlier issues; not exactly headline news but real news that everybody needs to know about and which the mainstream media seemed intent on ignoring. I concluded by saying that anyone who was interested in what was really going on would probably be interested in the Seeker and then just carried on shopping. However something I’d said had obviously given Matthew some pause for thought. As I stood in line at the checkout he came behind me and said quietly and almost in passing: “I’m not really part of MI5 or MI6 you know.”
Which seemed a bit strange because although I didn’t think he was an MI6 agent I suspected that maybe these agencies used him every now and again to do there bidding, thus making plausible denial seem even more convincing. It’s a standard in covert operations where outsiders, either individuals or other agencies, work under contract consequently making it all the more difficult to establish who the real perpetrators are.
Even stranger was the fact that I had told no one about my suspicions, only a trusted friend over the phone. So either Matthew was a mind reader or else he had access to transcripts of my telephone conversations. Either way I wasn’t particularly worried so I bid him farewell and made my out of the supermarket; leaving the check out girl looking bewildered and little realising myself that Matthew would be arrested within the hour.
As I left the supermarket I heard his broad Welsh accent call out after me: “Team Satan,” he said, referring to the alleged circle makers: “they’re really nice guys, you really ought to meet them.”
Of course not everybody involved in the study of crop circles is like Matthew or Team Satan. For example in complete contrast there are people like Francine Blake, from the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group, quoted in Nov/Dec 2000 UFO Magazine: “Walking into the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group’s Conference on 5-6 July,” she wrote, “felt like stepping into another world, a world of light, peace and serenity.”
Which sounds very nice, or at least it was, once the police had been called and promptly removed Matthew Williams and his friends from the conference for refusing to pay their entrance fees.
This writer arrived at the scene shortly before the police and found Mathew and his friends stomping around and generally intimidating the conference organisers who looked tense and tight lipped. So despite what you may have imagined the world of crop circle research is not entirely one of “light, peace and serenity.”
And in the latest bizarre twist in this saga comes a report that could almost have come from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” We are reliably informed that Matthew Williams and Francine Blake were seen dancing together in a crop circle last summer. Yes we know, it almost beggars belief but our source is at the heart of the crop circle community and we have no cause to doubt them. Which simply underlines the fact that nothing is the way it appears to be . . . at least not in the world of crop circle research.
See ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ by Charles Mallet for some further perspective: