Talk:Crop circle

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Balancing viewpoints[edit]

In my edits the past few months, I've tried to balance the scientific consensus with the alternate theories. The article is easier to read if we start off by saying human beings make crop circles - either as hoaxes or for artistic/commercial reasons. But we should not endorse this POV.

We must provide room for alternate ideas such as aliens from outer space or (as yet unknown) physical processes.

I'm even thinking it might be good to have a section on the controversy over whether the "hoaxers" are right or not. --Uncle Ed (talk) 17:56, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Fine, but try and be clear on what's going on. First, there is no scientific consensus. Scientists just ignore the phenomenon, they don't get together and agree on it. Second, practically no-one thinks crop circles are made by aliens. You are in danger of creating a false dichotomy. These competing viewpoints just don't exist in any meaningful way. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 149.241.0.56 (talk) 09:37, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
No - that's not "balance". Our rules on balance and weight (WP:UNDUE) require that we give most weight to the side of the debate with the most evidence...and since there is absolutely not one single scrap of evidence in WP:RS for the aliens-did-it theories - and very good evidence (confessions, videos, etc) for the humans-did-it theory - then the 'balance' point is to give very little mention to the 'aliens did it' theory.
If any serious scientist thought for a moment that there was a chance that crop circles were formed by aliens (or whatever bizarre non-human cause is currently popular) - then they'd be all over this, doing careful experiments and looking towards that nobel prize. The fact that they aren't doing that is clear evidence that they don't believe for a moment that this is a likely explanation.
Back when a typical crop circle was just a circle, it was perhaps plausible that some strange disease of cereal crops, or some weird wind vortex would cause this - but when the designs started to become more elaborate - and especially when the perpetrators not only came forward and admitted it, but demonstrated clearly how they do it - this ceased to be a mystery.
Claims that it's anything other than pranksters and attention-seekers are clearly WP:FRINGE and our article must consider them accordingly. In general, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...which we certainly don't have from any Reliable Source...and it's pretty damned obvious that the null-hypothesis is "Humans-did-it" and that Occams' razor agrees with that perspective. Putting anything other than that into our article would be to give Undue Weight to a fringe theory - and that runs strongly contrary to clearly established rules here at Wikipedia. So, IMHO, we should be saying the least possible about the fringe theory nut-jobs and concentrating only on the things we have solid evidence for...which is that people make these things.
SteveBaker (talk) 19:24, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. I'd like to add that WP:VALID specifically addresses the issue of attempting to given equal balance to all viewpoints, no matter how stupid. To be encyclopedic, Wikipedia needs to address the different points of view in proportion to their acceptance in reliable sources, giving sufficient context to allow readers to distinguish fact from fantasy. 73.223.96.73 (talk) 04:40, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Does not exist only one mechanism to create «crop circles».
Nature creates "crop circles" not only by human hands. Nature creates "crop circles" without human intervention by using natural physical processes. Image "crop circles", that nature creates without human intervention, can be beautiful and large:

Crop Circles: Theory of Anomalous Expansion of Nodes on Wheat Stalk (Fig.5) ; CROP CIRCLES OF AUSTRALIA: TULLY ‘SAUCER NEST’, CYCLONE ‘JOY’, UFO

Academic science does not study "crop circles" , because according to her "crop circles" have no practical application. Is not possible "scientific consensus" on the subject ("crop circles"), because this subject for academic science has not any interest.
Taking the definition of "A crop circle is a sizable pattern created by people…", should be honest in the title. The title of the article (Crop circle ) should be another - "Man made crop circle" or similar.

TVERD (talk) 20:46, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Blacklisted Links Found on Crop circle[edit]

Cyberbot II has detected links on Crop circle which have been added to the blacklist, either globally or locally. Links tend to be blacklisted because they have a history of being spammed or are highly inappropriate for Wikipedia. The addition will be logged at one of these locations: local or global If you believe the specific link should be exempt from the blacklist, you may request that it is white-listed. Alternatively, you may request that the link is removed from or altered on the blacklist locally or globally. When requesting whitelisting, be sure to supply the link to be whitelisted and wrap the link in nowiki tags. Please do not remove the tag until the issue is resolved. You may set the invisible parameter to "true" whilst requests to white-list are being processed. Should you require any help with this process, please ask at the help desk.

Below is a list of links that were found on the main page:

  • http://www.circlemakers.org
    Triggered by \bcirclemakers\.org\b on the local blacklist

If you would like me to provide more information on the talk page, contact User:Cyberpower678 and ask him to program me with more info.

From your friendly hard working bot.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 15:11, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Incorrect Statement on Microwave Ovens in 'How they are made'[edit]

The statement at the end of the paragraph on ‘How they are made’ states “Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens. “ and references articles in the British newspapers the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail as the source:

With regards microwaves being used to make crop circles these articles state:

“Professor Richard Taylor, a physicist, claims to be able to reproduce the intricate damage inflicted on crops using such a gadget developed by his team at the University of Oregon. – Daily Telegraph 1st August 2011

“An analysis of evidence in the Physics World journal reported that researchers had used magnetrons – tubes which use electricity and magnetism to generate intense heat – to mimic the physical changes in flattened stalks in some circles, which are linked to radiation.” – Daily Mail 2nd August 2011

For the source of both these articles the journalists reference a report by Professor Richard Taylor of the University of Oregon in ‘Physics World’ magazine August 2011 (see reference 67 in the Wikipedia crop circle article) and both newspaper items have incorrectly reported the ‘Physics World’ article. Also Richard Taylor doesn’t say that ‘Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens.’

Richard Taylor actually says:

“Independent studies published in 1999 and in 2001 reported evidence consistent with what you would expect to see if the crops had been exposed to radiation during the formation of patterns...... ................Intriguingly, a group of crop-circle enthusiasts called the BLT Research Team claims to be able to replicate the observed changes to pulvini using 30 s exposures to microwaves generated by magnetrons from readily available microwave ovens. Today’s magnetrons are small and light, and some require only 12 V battery power supplies. Haselhoff and Levengood used the Beer–Lambert principle, which relates the absorption of radiation to the properties of the material, to model the radial dependence of the pulvini swelling. For a typical 9 m circle, Haselhoff’s model indicated a radiation point source placed 4 m above the circle’s centre. Once superheated with this source, the stalk orientation could be readily sculpted, speeding up circle creation. Although this appealing hypothesis fits the published facts, biophysicists will clearly need to expand on these preliminary experiments if such speculations are to become accepted.”

So Professor Taylor says the basis of his microwave theory is the work of the BLT Research Team and their theoretical models. I contacted the BLT Research Team to ask for clarification. Amendment: I had reproduced the email here from BLT Research however they have asked that I don't reproduce the full email here (so I've removed it) which is fair enough but basically they've calculated that you'd need a huge number of microwaves (500+) to make an average size crop circle that this isjust not practical. Also the BLT research team have requested that people are made aware that members of the BLT Research Team have published 3 papers in the peer-reviewed literature presenting their findings regarding changes to the crop circle plants and soils.

Therefore unless there’s objections I’ll correct the misleading statement to:

“Richard Taylor of the University of Oregon claims its possible to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron which are commonly available in microwave ovens. However this theory is controversial because of the large amount of energy needed.” — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cardiff2015 (talkcontribs) 07:59, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

You'll need sources saying his hypothesis is controversial. The sources must mention him and crop circles. Dougweller (talk) 10:47, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Popular Mechanics interviewed the guy. [1] He says "In my article, I propose that people could be using portable microwave transmitters, called magnetrons, like ones that can be easily obtained from microwave ovens, to make crop circles." And where it says "my article" he links to Physics World [2] which is behind a paywall. I don't see anything about it not being possible because it'd need too much electricity. Anything in the article must be what reliable sources have said. Dream Focus 08:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


Thanks for the comments Doug and Dream Focus. Just to clarify my update, the statement that researchers at the University of Oregon had recreated crop circles using magnatrons is wrong. Richard Taylor did a piece in the magazine 'Physics World' in which he cited the work of the BLT Research Team to suggest it was possible to use magnatrons to make crop circles. The two British newspapers cited by the Wikipedia crop circle article then incorrectly reported the 'Physics World' article to suggest that Richard Taylor/University of Oregon researchers had developed/used a magnetron to mimic the microwave radiation effects found in some crop circles.

Next paragraph amended following request by BLT Research to remove r BLT Research suggest hand held magnetrons have not been used to make crop circles for the reasons described in their email. As Richard Taylor uses the work of the BLT Research organisation to support a theory they disagree with then surely Richard Taylor's theory is controversial? This is apart from the fact no one's ever been recorded of having made a crop circle with a magnetron (nor should be encouraged to do so as there's big health and safety concerns if using microwaves in an unprotected way).

Dream Focus - you said you couldn't access Richard Taylor's article because its behind a paywall. This is incorrect (at least in the UK). You can read Richard Taylor's article from Physics World by clicking on reference '67' at the bottom of the Wikipedia crop circle article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cardiff2015 (talkcontribs) 12:12, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

If you search through Google or Google News for "University of Oregon" "crop circles" you will find a lot of reliable sources do cover this information. That's what we go by on Wikipedia under the rules. And the website of BLT shows various pages where they do state microwaves cause crop circles. Whether any of them ever said you could do it with a handheld device or not, is up for debate. But he claims others at his university did this on their own, so it doesn't really matter. Richard Taylor is director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, so I doubt he'd lie about that, and the magazine he said this in surely does fact checking. Dream Focus 21:47, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the message Dream Focus. I did a search in Google for "University of Oregon" "crop circles" but they all seem to refer either directly or indirectly to the article in 'Physics World' by Richard Taylor and as mentioned above, his article doesn't mention that "Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron." only that hand-held magnetrons are available. The proposal that microwaves could cause the odd 'elongated pulvini' feature in wheat stalks in some crop circles is accepted (see the work of W C levengood and E H Hasselhoff). But to do this Richard Taylor quotes the theoretical work of others (not Oregon University researchers): Richard Taylor says "For a typical 9m circle, Haselhoff’s model indicated a radiation point source placed 4m above the circle’s centre. Once superheated with this source, the stalk orientation could be readily sculpted, speeding up circle creation. Although this appealing hypothesis fits the published facts, biophysicists will clearly need to expand on these preliminary experiments if such speculations are to become accepted." So the hand held devices would need to be raised 4m above the crop circle (the guys who make them must be very tall!).

Also Dream Focus, you mention that "But he claims others at his university did this on their own". I've looked through the article again but can't see where he says this. I would be grateful if you could tell me where he said this in the 'Physics World' article or if not there, where? 2.29.163.52 (talk) 08:19, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Can't find where I read that. Searching about, all I see now is Time magazine saying "Richard Taylor and his team from the University of Oregon" [3]. At LiveScience.com I see "In fact, another research team claims to be able to reproduce the intricate damage inflicted on crops using a handheld magnetron, readily available from microwave ovens, and a 120-Volt battery."[4] The Physics World article itself [5] mentions experiments done by others. Maybe I misread it. Doesn't matter though, WP:reliable sources, not personal WP:synthesis are the rules we must follow here. Dream Focus 12:49, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the information and links Dream Focus. With regards both the 'Time' magazine item and the 'Livescience' item they both are from July/August 2011 and reference for their information the Physics World article which came out at this time. So again, 'Livescience' the reference "In fact, another research team claims to be able to reproduce the intricate damage inflicted on crops using a handheld magnetron, readily available from microwave ovens, and a 120-Volt battery." is incorrect, Richard Taylor in his article in 'Physics World' doesn't say this. Perhaps Live Science got their information from the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph who also mis-reported the article? Similarly with the Time magazine statement "Richard Taylor and his team from the University of Oregon" is incorrect (don't believe everything you read in the papers!), the article in 'Physics World' is Richard Taylor's observations on the crop circle phenomenon and not his team's. With regards your comment that the article itself mentions 'experiments by others' the only reference I can find in the article that you may possibly mean is the 'experiments carried out by biophysicts' which relates to measuring the effects of microwave radiation but doesn't include creating crop circles with hand held magnetrons.

However to move forward, would the following be amendment be acceptable:

“Richard Taylor of the University of Oregon claims its possible to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron which are commonly available in microwave ovens.[6]"

Hope this allays your concerns.2.29.163.41 (talk) 07:04, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Update 3/6/2015:

Today I updated the page with the above comment, correcting the previous false information. However the person who looks after the page for Wikipedia didn't appear to like it and changed it to:

Cereologists discount on-site evidence of human involvement as attempts of discrediting the phenomena.[47] Some even argue a conspiracy theory, with governments planting evidence of hoaxing to muddle the origins of the circles.[47] When scientific writer Matt Ridley wrote negative articles in newspapers, he was accused of spreading "government disinformation" and of working for the UK military intelligence service MI5.[31] According to Matt Ridley, many cereologists make a good living from selling books and making personal tours through crop fields (they can charge more than £2,000/person), and they have a vested interest in rejecting what is by far the most likely explanation for the circles

Obviously disappointed my correction wasn't put in but at least the mistake has been removed even if the replacement text seems a bit of a rant at cereologists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cardiff2015 (talkcontribs) 11:24, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

  • That bit was already there. What you changed removed the referenced reliable sources, and thus JzG removed it. I have put it back in with proper sourcing. [7] Dream Focus 11:57, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
This is now totally unclear. The article states "researchers there were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron". The phrase, "patterns of crop damage" suggests we are talking about plants actually being flattened (damaged) into patterns - but no-one is saying that.
The Physics World article claims that certain biophysical changes recorded in flattened crop stems could be replicated with magnetrons (specifically, the expansion of the plant pulvini - ie nodes). The article implies - without any substantiation or references, incidentally - that if this were done to vertical stems, it would somehow make them more pliable. It states: "once superheated with this source, the stalk orientation could be readily sculpted, speeding up circle creation".
If you want to be clear about the research, it needs to be explained that this is just a theory about node expansion, not an indication of the means by which the crops actually get pushed down into patterns. 149.241.226.139 (talk) 13:14, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
@Dream Focus: The problem here is that there is no indication at all in the sources that this is actually relevant to crop circles as they are created. It's a theoretical exercise, nobody even pretends to present any evidence that this has ever been done. We're not quite in WP:RANDY territory, but not far off - the sources that are about crop circles do not include this speculative mechanism. Just because a thing verifiably exists, that does not make it notable or significant. There are also some paranormalist kooks who are saying that this proves the aliens used magnetrons to make the circles - and the other sources that claim lasers, GPS and magnetrons "may" have been used to make some of the more elaborate ones are either unreliable or admit that it's pure speculation. There is, bluntly, no evidence at all to suggest this is what happened. Guy (Help!) 17:39, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Actually, that is what all the sources are about. How the crop circles are made. Its even in their titles. [8] We have a section called "How they are made" which list various theories. Dream Focus 17:46, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
No, it is not. The ones that stick to the actual facts note that this is hypothetical and speculative. As does the primary source, to be fair. Not one source shows any credible evidence that a single circle has ever been produced by this method. Guy (Help!) 22:37, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Dream Focus, I'm surprised you still believe the Daily Mail and Telegraph sources are reliable. As I've noted above, if you read the articles they clearly say they are getting their information from the Physics World article, all were published in August 2011. I urge you to read all three articles and it will be clear. I also emailed Richard Taylor to ask for his view as to whether researchers had actually made crop circles using magnetrons/microwaves. He says absolutely not and confirmed he is ok with me reproducing the email in full here below (I've also put my email I sent to him below for clarity:

========================================
Message Received: May 28 2015, 06:57 PM
From: "Richard Taylor" 
To:
Cc: 
Subject: Re: Crop Circles Made by Researchers at the University of Oregon Using Magnetrons

Hi,

You are correct. Although the  "magnetron hypothesis" fits some of the facts, I didn't declare that this was the way that crop circles were made. The aim of  the article was to provoke people into thinking about how crop circles are made. 

There appear to be two sources to the story that magnetrons have been shown to replicate crop circles.

1) When the article was published, FOX news declared that a team of physicists were traveling from the USA to England to demonstrate the technique.

2) A number of people suspect that I created the Triple Julia set in 1996 based the fact that I was close to that location on the evening they were created. Of  course, if i deny creating the crop circles people will say that denials are all part of the crop circle artist's strategy!

Thanks for your kind words about the Physics World article. I enjoyed writing it

best wishes Richard

========================================
Message Sent: May 28 2015, 02:07 AM
From:  "Cardiff2015"
To: "Richard Taylor"
Cc: 
On May 28, 2015, at 2:07 AM, 

Dear Professor Taylor,

I enjoyed your article on crop circles which I recently found on the web from 'Physics World' magazine and dated August 2011. I thought it was a fair article.
One thing of concern, I noticed that the article is used on the Wikipedia 'Crop Circle' web page to justify the statement at the end of the paragraph on ‘How  they are made’ which states “Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a  hand-held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens. “ and references articles in the British newspapers the Daily Telegraph  and  the Daily Mail as the source:
With regards microwaves being used to make crop circles these newsapaper articles state:

“Professor Richard Taylor, a physicist, claims to be able to reproduce the intricate damage inflicted on crops using such a gadget developed by his team at  the  University of Oregon. – Daily Telegraph 1st August 2011

“An analysis of evidence in the Physics World journal reported that researchers had used magnetrons – tubes which use electricity and magnetism to generate  intense heat – to mimic the physical changes in flattened stalks in some circles, which are linked to radiation.” – Daily Mail 2nd August 2011

For the source of both these articles the journalists reference your report in ‘Physics World’ magazine August 2011 and, in my view, both newspaper items seem 
to have incorrectly reported the ‘Physics World’ article. Also you don't seem to mention anywhere that ‘Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to  replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron....’

For information I'm currently trying to get the statement amended on the Wikipedia crop circle page (see the item 'Incorrect Statement on Microwave Ovens in  'How They Are Made' in the 'talk' section) and  I would be grateful if you could confirm that this statement on Wikipedia have used your report incorrectly 
to  back up the statement "Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand- held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens."
 
Kind Regards

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

So couldn't really be clearer. Fox News, that bastion of accurate news reporting, got the story wrong and the web is now drenched in this bit of poor reporting.

Guy - you are correct, there is no record of anyone having made a crop circle with a magnetron, but the work of Hasselhoff and Levengood claims to have found microwave damage to crops. Therefore if their work is right then there is a case that crop circles have been made by some type of microwave gadget which the 'crop circle artists' at this moment are keeping to themselvesCardiff2015 (talk) 07:41, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

No they didn't claim to have found microwave damage - at least, Levengood (who did the lab work) didn't, I'm not sure about Hasselhoff's claims or what they are based on. Levengood found expanded nodes and cell wall pits, and noted the distribution of these corresponds with the Beer-Lambert principle (ie, they get fewer, the further away from the centre you go). There was then some conjecture about radiation, which behaves in a similar way. It's too much of a stretch to say "mirowave damage" or "microwave gadget".
Anyway, that wasn't my point - I was saying that the wording of the article wrongly implies that the circles can be made by magnetrons. It ought to be re-worded with a more accurate explanation of the type of damage being found. 149.241.80.50 (talk) 20:52, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Taylor[edit]

This para:

Professor Richard Taylor, the director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, claims researchers there were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens.[1][2] [3]

References

I do not think this belong sin the article. It describes a theoretical mechanism to create something similar to crop circles, but which there is precisely zero evidence has ever been used to create any. This is an article about crop circles, not about hypothetical mechanisms for creating them. As noted above, the originators make no pretence to have even tried to show that this has actually happened, there is no credible reason for including this non-sequitur.

Three "sources" are cited. One is a press release and not independent, one is the Daily Mail, a perennially unreliable source, and the third, which is an RS, merely regurgitates the press release. There is no independent evidence of the significance of this claim. This basically applies to all the sources discussed above: they are merely repetitions of the claim, they do not challenge it and none of them credibly establish relevance for this article. Guy (Help!) 15:05, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

And which ones show that this has ever been done? Until we have that, the claim has no place in a section on how they are made. It would be like including homeopathy in an article on arsenic. Guy (Help!) 22:34, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Crop_circle#How_they_are_made list various theories, including space aliens, and government conspiracies some believe in. This is something that got ample coverage in reliable sources, including legitimate scientific publications. It should be in the article somewhere. Other articles for things list different theories to how they were made. Sometimes there are so many, they split off into their own article such as Egyptian pyramid construction techniques Dream Focus 22:41, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a reality-based encyclopaedia. We dont state speculation as fact. Feel free to propose text that complies with policy. Specifically identifying that this is entirely speculative (which it clearly is). Guy (Help!) 22:46, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
So we can mention in the article that some believe aliens are involved, but not that some believe a magnetron from a microwave oven could've been used. Dream Focus 22:53, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
It's all about weight and how you say it. We say that some people believe aliens did it, because that is the principal reason the topic is notable. These poor credulous folks were trolled at an epic level, and that's essentially the story. The number of people who believe that any specific crop circle was made using magnetrons seems not to exceed two in any instance. Guy (Help!) 13:45, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Dream Focus, As noted in the previous section Incorrect Statement on Microwave Ovens in 'How they are made' your statement Your statement Professor Richard Taylor, the director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, claims researchers there were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens is wrong, Professor Taylor does not claim researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron.

I'm surprised you still believe the Daily Mail and Telegraph sources are reliable. As I've noted above, if you read the articles they clearly say they are getting their information from the Physics World article, all were published in August 2011. I urge you to read all three articles and it will be clear. I also emailed Richard Taylor to ask for his view as to whether researchers had actually made crop circles using magnetrons/microwaves. He says absolutely not and confirmed he is ok with me reproducing the email in full here below (I've also put my email I sent to him below for clarity:

========================================
Message Received: May 28 2015, 06:57 PM
From: "Richard Taylor" 
To: "Cardiff2015"
Cc: 
Subject: Re: Crop Circles Made by Researchers at the University of Oregon Using Magnetrons

Hi,

You are correct. Although the  "magnetron hypothesis" fits some of the facts, I didn't declare that this was the way that crop circles were made. The aim of  the article was to provoke people into thinking about how crop circles are made. 

There appear to be two sources to the story that magnetrons have been shown to replicate crop circles.

1) When the article was published, FOX news declared that a team of physicists were traveling from the USA to England to demonstrate the technique.

2) A number of people suspect that I created the Triple Julia set in 1996 based the fact that I was close to that location on the evening they were created. Of  course, if |I deny creating the crop circles people will say that denials are all part of the crop circle artist's strategy!

Thanks for your kind words about the Physics World article. I enjoyed writing it

best wishes Richard

========================================
Message Sent: May 28 2015, 02:07 AM
From:  
To: "Richard Taylor"
Cc: 
On May 28, 2015, at 2:07 AM, 

Dear Professor Taylor,

I enjoyed your article on crop circles which I recently found on the web from 'Physics World' magazine and dated August 2011. I thought it was a fair article.
One thing of concern, I noticed that the article is used on the Wikipedia 'Crop Circle' web page to justify the statement at the end of the paragraph on ‘How  they are made’ which states “Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a  hand-held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens. “ and references articles in the British newspapers the Daily Telegraph  and  the Daily Mail as the source:
With regards microwaves being used to make crop circles these newsapaper articles state:

“Professor Richard Taylor, a physicist, claims to be able to reproduce the intricate damage inflicted on crops using such a gadget developed by his team at  the  University of Oregon. – Daily Telegraph 1st August 2011

“An analysis of evidence in the Physics World journal reported that researchers had used magnetrons – tubes which use electricity and magnetism to generate  intense heat – to mimic the physical changes in flattened stalks in some circles, which are linked to radiation.” – Daily Mail 2nd August 2011

For the source of both these articles the journalists reference your report in ‘Physics World’ magazine August 2011 and, in my view, both newspaper items seem 
to have incorrectly reported the ‘Physics World’ article. Also you don't seem to mention anywhere that ‘Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to  replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron....’

For information I'm currently trying to get the statement amended on the Wikipedia crop circle page (see the item 'Incorrect Statement on Microwave Ovens in  'How They Are Made' in the 'talk' section) and  I would be grateful if you could confirm that this statement on Wikipedia have used your report incorrectly 
to  back up the statement "Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand- held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens."
 
Kind Regards

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

So couldn't really be clearer. Fox News, that bastion of accurate news reporting, got the story wrong and the web is now drenched in this bit of poor reporting.

Guy - you are correct, there is no record of anyone having made a crop circle with a magnetron, but the work of Hasselhoff and Levengood claims to have found microwave damage to crops. Therefore if their work is right then there is a case that crop circles have been made by some type of microwave gadget which the 'crop circle artists' at this moment are keeping to themselvesCardiff2015 (talk) 07:59, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

See WP:SYN. There is no credible objective evidence that this has ever happened, as far as I can see. Guy (Help!) 11:00, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I doubt that email or the last one this editor posted is real. As I stated previously, various scientific publications mentioned this information as well, including Popular Mechanics which interviewed the guy. [9] He says "In my article, I propose that people could be using portable microwave transmitters, called magnetrons, like ones that can be easily obtained from microwave ovens, to make crop circles." And where it says "my article" he links to Physics World [10]. Anyway, I have emailed him to verify if anyone has done this before, and what exactly he said. Dream Focus 15:51, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Emailing the source is the dictionary definition of original research. Guy (Help!) 16:47, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Its done to verify information. The article itself can reference what he said in Popular Mechanics, it a reliable source, or what many other reliable sources said, that microwaves from magnetrons found in microwave ovens, could be used to make crop circles. Dream Focus 17:05, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi Dream Focus, obviously its disappointing that you're saying I'm lying, I assure you absolutely I'm not and I'd suggest you email Professor Richard Taylor yourself. His email address is shown in the Physics World article: rpt@uoregon.edu. I've never tried to change anything before on Wikipedia so I'm surprised at your abuse when all I'm trying to do is replace/remove incorrect information.Cardiff2015 (talk) 11:56, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

You are lying, both emails you posted from different people are clearly fake. I have just received an email from the professor. Dream Focus 00:39, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

There appears to be confusion over wording. The wording used below in your email is incorrect. I'd summarize the views expressed in my Physics World article as follows:

"Magnetrons could be used to make crop circles. In particular, for crop circles accompanied by evidence of microwave exposure, the use of magnetrons remains the most likely scenario for how the patterns were defined."

best wishes Richard

GUY - You are underlining a problem which I tried to raise in the section immediately above this one. The article does say, "Professor Richard Taylor, the director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, claims researchers there were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens."
But "patterns of crop damage" means, in this context, swollen nodes - that's all. It does NOT mean making crop circles or flattening stems. That was the point I was making - the wording is so obviously confusing that I almost think it was deliberately made to imply this. Anyway, there is no such claim - no-one claimed to have made crop circles with a magnetron, and that's not what the article says. It should be re-worded for clarity. 149.241.80.50 (talk) 20:59, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree, there is no independent evidence of the significance or relevance of this claim. Guy (Help!) 21:31, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia judges significance by coverage in reliable sources, which this has gotten plenty of. Dream Focus 00:39, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi Dream Focus, again you're wrong I'm not lying, I'm informing you of the truth which you're having surprising difficulies understanding so I'll again try to explain. Your proposed phrasing at the start of this section is absolutely wrong. You say "Professor Richard Taylor, the director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, claims researchers there were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron, which are commonly available in microwave ovens." Nowhere has Professor Richard Taylor said that 'Researchers were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron'. Nor is there anyone else who claims to have direct knowledge of researchers actually going out and making crop circles with magnetrons. References on the internet all point to Professor Richard Taylor's work and he only says that 'magnetrons could be used to make crop circles' which is totally different to 'magentrons have been used to make crop circles'. Also in your partial quote from Professor Richard Taylor's email to you RT says "The wording used below in your email is incorrect." What was the incorrect wording you left out?Cardiff2015 (talk) 12:05, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

  • The entire email is as follows. I sent him

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Crop_circle

Someone has claimed you emailed them, and posted your response on the talk page for the Wikipedia article on Crop Circles.

He claims that you stated you never said that a microwave oven's magnetron could be used to make crop circles.

Can you verify this please? Has anyone ever done experiments to prove its possible to do?

  • And he responded

There appears to be confusion over wording. The wording used below in your email is incorrect. I'd summarize the views expressed in my Physics World article as follows:

"Magnetrons could be used to make crop circles. In particular, for crop circles accompanied by evidence of microwave exposure, the use of magnetrons remains the most likely scenario for how the patterns were defined."

best wishes Richard

  • Anyway, we just need to change the wording then. This should be listed as one theory on how they are made. It does get plenty of coverage, including Popular Mechanics and Discovery News. [1][2] [3] [4] [5] Dream Focus 12:58, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
No, it's not a theory of how they are made, it's a conjecture as to how they could be made, even the original author acknowledges this. Lazy journalism does not compel us to repeat the laziness. Guy (Help!) 17:21, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi Dream Focus - With regards your comment, firstly, I agree with Guy's statement above.

Secondly, you were wrong in your email to Professor Richard Taylor to say I claimed he 'never' said a microwave oven's magnetron could be used to make crop circles. I said the entry on Wikipedia didn't tie-up with what he said in his Physics World' article. Wikipedia had said (now removed) ‘Researchers at the University of Oregon were able to replicate the same patterns of crop damage found in certain circles using a hand-held version of a magnetron....’ and I queried whether researchers at the University of Oregon had actually replicated a crop circle with a magnetron and he confirmed to me they had not and, to quote from his email to me "Although the "magnetron hypothesis" fits some of the facts, I didn't declare that this was the way that crop circles were made."

Thirdly, you are wrong to suggest to use links to (1) the Telegraph and (2) the Daily Mail as they both were doing a story on Professor Richard Taylor's article in Physics World and both wrongly reported it (as explained above in this section and in the section Incorrect Statement on Microwave Ovens in 'How they are made' ). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cardiff2015 (talkcontribs) 07:42, 10 June 2015 (UTC)