August 31, 2006 Geneseo, Illinois – When I first learned about the Geneseo, Illinois, soybean formations on Monday, August 21, I immediately wanted to get aerials before the field deteriorated from visitor traffic and weather. So, I talked with the farm’s owner, Jim Stahl, who recommended Steve’s Nursery in Geneseo, which hires out for landscape photography. Later that afternoon, Mike Belovicks at Steve’s Nursery photographed for me the soybean circles from north, south, east and west. He also got a clear close-up of the southern circle which showed the downed soybeans there were still pretty fresh and green, without much feet damage from visitors. That contrasted with a close-up Mike was able to get of the far eastern circle where most visitors had entered on the original path made by farm owner, Jim Stahl on Saturday morning, August 19. In all five circles, the soybean plants were circling clockwise, with the exception of anomalies in the eastern and center circles discussed below.
FLYING SOUTH Over Soybean Circles along Middle Road,
Geneseo, Illinois, August 21, 2006
CLOSE-UP EASTERN Circle with Visitor Path in Upper Left,
Geneseo, Illinois, August 21, 2006
CLOSE-UP Southern Circle, Freshest Plants of Five Soybean Circles,
Geneseo, Illinois, August 21, 2006
Three days after seeing the helicopter images, I arrived at the Stahl farm with Ted Robertson around 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 24. Severe thunderstorms in Chicago had delayed my flight and more storms and rain were forecast for Friday. I worried that heavy rain could go through Geneseo. So, after talking with the Stahls about the history of the week-old soybean circles, Ted and I set to work to look for anomalies, to sample plants and soils from inside the circles and to gather normal controls from far outside the circles. We worked into the darkness and were very glad we did since booming thunder and heavy rain moved in Friday morning.
Anomalies In Geneseo Soybean Circles
Ted Robertson had worked in soybean crop formations back in 2003 when extraordinary patterns were reported at the Serpent Mound near Peebles, Adams County, Ohio, on August 24, 2003, and at the Seip Mound near Bainbridge, Ohio, reported the end of August 2003. See: 090603Earthfiles and 100203Earthfiles. Based on those previous investigations, Ted was looking in the Geneseo soybean circles for what he and his ICCRA colleagues called “leaf base necrosis.”
Jeffrey Wilson, Director of ICCRA, explained to me during their 2003 investigations that “we normally would look at the growth nodes in cereal crops. But in this case, soybeans are a little bit different. They don’t really have analogous growth nodes like on a wheat plant where you would see elongation of the growth node or see expulsion cavities.
“In this case in soybeans, what we did find though is where those branches stem off at the side of the plant that’s called a leaf base we found there was a collapse and what we are calling necrosis setting in of the surface layer of cells called the parenchyma tissue. We’ve done a couple of cross sections where we’ve looked at that leaf base versus controls. There is a clear layer of damage from whatever energies hit the plants and heated up those cells.”
“What typically happens in the field crops is that the vessels that carry the moisture through the plants those heat up and it creates a pressure that explodes out of the growth nodes of the plants. But in this case, the layer of parenchyma cells is much thicker in soybeans and acts as a kind of cushion and doesn’t actually reach the vessels that would carry that moisture. So, it’s only that layer of damage that we see in these plants, again suggesting heating.”
Leaf Base Necrosis and Anthocyanin Concentration – North and South Circles
Challenged by time, darkness and impending weather, Ted and I agreed that I would sample my way across from the edge of the north circle through the middle larger circle out to the south circle. Ted worked his way from east to west through the bigger circles. The Stahls had originally noticed many downed soybean stems that had one side colored reddish-purple. Ted began picking up the reddish-purple affected plants to look for leaf base necrosis.
As I bent down at the edge of the north circle, I saw a vivid reddish-purple color. At the leaf base on the stem was a brownish deterioration that I thought looked like the leaf base necrosis from Serpent and Seip Mounds. I photographed it below and put the stem in one of the sample bags for biophysicist W. C. Levengood. He received plant and soil samples by Fed Ex on Saturday morning, August 26, from all Geneseo circles. He examined the discoloration and said it is “anomalous concentrations of anthocyanin,” a pigment found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. But anthocyanin is not supposed to saturate the stem surfaces of soybeans. We also noted that only the sky-facing surfaces of the downed plants in the circles were discolored with anthocyanin, suggesting that some kind of energetic interaction had come from above downward onto the crop.
Compare Geneseo Anomalous Anthocyanin Concentrations
to July 5, 2004, Corn Formation, Hillsboro, Ohio
Unusual concentrations of anthocyanin were found in a rectangular pattern laid down in Hillsboro, Ohio, corn and first reported on July 5, 2004, to Jeffrey Wilson and ICCRA.
See 090404Earthfiles and 090504Earthfiles.
Anthocyanin is a pigment that reflects the red to blue range of the visible spectrum. It is often observed in the plant kingdom, where it serves to color anything from fruits to the autumn leaves. It can be used as pH indicator because it changes from red in acids to blue in bases. In the Hillsboro, Ohio, corn rectangle, the anthocyanin discoloration was only on one side of the corn plants – similar to the Geneseo soybeans in which we found the anthocyanin concentrations only on the sky-facing sides of the leaf and plant stems.
Jeffrey Wilson, ICCRA, told me in 2004, “The reason we say it (presumed energy impact) was directed from one side is that the color only appears on one side of the stalks, as if some of the plants shaded other plants and you can see where the exposure of the exposed part of the plant turned red, but the shaded part is still left green. That’s essentially what has happened to the corn in this field – in one section, the plants have turned a brilliant red. But there are shadow marks that leave no doubt that something shadowed them or protected them from turning red.”
Soybean Stem Pulled from Geneseo Circles Curved Without Creases or Cracks
Ted Robertson pulled up several soybean plants from the five circles and the roots hung from curved stem bases that did not have any crease or cracks, similar to the “magical bent stalks” found in British cereal crop formations since the early 1990s.
Some Geneseo Soybean Plants Diverted from Clockwise Swirl Straight to Center
Ted was studying the lay of the Geneseo soybean circles as he began to sample from east to west. He noticed that not all the plants in the eastern circle were going clockwise. Sections of soybean plants diverted from the clockwise swirl and went straight to the center, as the white arrow indicates in the photograph below taken in the eastern circle. Ted also found the same odd deflection of crop straight to the center of the central circle. But those were the only two of the five circles that had the sudden diversion from clockwise swirl to straight almost 90-degree angles to the centers.
Geneseo Plant Swirl Centers Not Geometric Centers of Circles
Ted also found in measuring the Geneseo formation that in each of the five circles, the soybean plants had been swirled from a central point that was not the geometric center of the circles. In the eastern circle, Ted said the discrepancy from the plant swirl center to the geometric center was about a three feet difference.
That off-center anomaly throughout the five circles also applied to a mysterious hole Ted found only in the central circle. The hole measured about one-half inch in diameter and was about three inches deep, off center from the geometric center. The hole was there on Thursday evening, August 24, when we first arrived in the formation with farm owners, Jim and Chris Stahl. But the next afternoon after all the morning rain, Ted could not find the hole. When he pushed his finger around in the wet dirt, finally his index finger penetrated again what seemed must be the same hole we photographed the night before. Was the hole a soil sample by someone else who had been in the formation between August 19 and August 24? We don’t know. Why was the small hole only in the central circle and none of the other four circles?
Measuring the Geneseo Soybean Circles
On Friday afternoon, August 25, Ted was measuring the standing soybean “wall” between the center circle and the northern, smaller circle. The width was 12 feet. Then he measured the standing soybean “wall” between the center circle and the southern, smaller circle. That measurement was 12 feet 10 inches. None of the five circle pattern measurements were exactly geometric. None of the measurements were diatonic ratios.
Using a GPS, he found the axis of the five circles was 19 degrees east of magnetic north. The total length of the circles from east to west was 154 feet; the total length from north to south was 127 feet 10 inches. The three larger circles averaged 52 feet in diameter; the north circle diameter was 27 feet 2 inches; the south circle diameter was 26 feet 10 inches.
As Ted worked with his professional long measuring tape, I asked him to comment on the measurement discrepancies and plant anomalies.
Ted Robertson, Harpsichord-Maker and Investigator, Independent Crop Circle Research Association (ICCRA), Bloomington, Indiana: “The biggest discrepancy so far is that the southern circle has 12 feet 10 inches of standing crop between it and the center circle, while the northern circle has 12 feet of standing crop between it and the center circle.
THAT’S THE 12 FEET WIDTH OF THE STANDING SOYBEAN PLANTS BETWEEN THE CENTER CIRCLE AND NORTH CIRCLE THAT HAD NEVER BEEN WALKED THROUGH WHEN THE SHERIFF’S DEPUTY AND JIM STAHL GOT THERE?
Yes, 12 feet exactly from this edge (big circle) to the northern circle edge. That means the ‘wall’ of plants going to the southern most circle is almost a foot wider (12 feet 10 inches). That’s a lot of difference for something that looks like it should be symmetrical.
DOES THAT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU AS A GEOMETER?
If people were hoaxing sloppily, it might be lopsided. But genuinely odd formations have also been lopsided. If measurements are really off, it tends to mean that people messed up. It appears the center circle is about 52 feet 6 inches. It appears that the two smaller circles are about 27 feet. So 27 x 2 would be about 54 feet. So, these smaller ones are not exactly half of the bigger circles. They are almost half. I don’t know what that means. You hope if there were diatonic ratios (as found in other formations since the early 1990s), that it’s a clean ratio like 1:2. But in this case, it doesn’t seem exact.
SO THE SLOPPINESS COULD BE CAUSED BY?
Like a rope that’s been pulled too far, or one of the buddies got out of place. What will be interesting is to see if that suspicious hole (only in center large circle and not in any of the other four circles) that’s about one-half inch diameter by about three inches deep into the earth is truly in the center of the circle, which might be a way to make the circle. Or maybe it’s offset. I don’t know. (He later learned the hole was off center.)
But we didn’t find that hole in the center in any of the other four circles – just in the middle circle. It could have come at any time after the circles first appeared, because we don’t know who has been in here since then.
More Pristine South Circle
In the southern, smaller circle, it appears to have the least amount of damage. It’s more pristine. It’s really moist back there, too, and there’s no mud on the plants. This is the least visited circle. It’s the most intact. I see red streaks on the tops of the plants, only in the flattened plants and not in the surrounding normal crop. There also appears to be light brownish discoloration, perhaps leaf base necrosis, in some of the downed soybean plants, but nothing compared to what we saw at the Serpent Mound in Ohio in 2003. We think the leaf-based necrosis is a desiccation of the most rapidly growing part of the plant. It definitely has a lot of soft tissue I can feel in there, like necrosis.
I see minimal damage that we look for if there was damage from (man-made) boards. There are hardly any scrapes and scuffs at the base of the bent stalks. Lots of these plants are smoothly curved over at the base and not broken or cracked. The majority of the soybeans in this southern circle look healthy and growing.
THE SOYBEAN LEAF BASE WAS THE MOST VULNERABLE PLACE IN THE SERPENT AND SEIP MOUNDS IN 2003 WHEN YOU (ICCRA) INVESTIGATED?
Right, this leaf base gets damaged easily by whatever makes the formations. We saw a cross section of the leaf-base necrosis we found in the formation at Serpent Mound. The entire organ, or structure, was shrunken. It was not just a surface irritation that did it on one side. It was right to the core, as if some energy heated the entire thing. I would not say maybe one out of every eight plants (in Serpent Mound, 2003) had leaf base necrosis. Perhaps the energy here in Geneseo, if this is authentic, did not hit quite the same way at the same time. This Illinois pattern (first seen on August 17, 2006) is earlier by a week or two compared to Serpent Mound. This is a more northern latitude, so these plants have a slower start to them, compared to Serpent Mound.
It’s important to remember that expulsion cavities found in cereal crop formations indicate an energy heating of the growth node water and they are not found in every cereal crop formation. Sometimes they are found more in a satellite circle, or in certain parts of the formations.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENESEO AND THE SEIP AND SERPENT MOUNDS OF 2003 MIGHT BE THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY THAT WAS APPLIED TO MAKE THESE FIVE CIRCLES VERSUS THE MORE COMPLEX OHIO PATTERNS?
That could be true, it’s a reasonable hypothesis. Soybeans are so new in the history of crop circles, there have been only a handful of them and they are usually in the United States, I think, because we grow the most soybeans. So, this is rather new plant territory to investigate.
IT’S INTERESTING THAT WE’VE FOUND THE REDDISH-PURPLE PIGMENT IN ALL THE FIVE CIRCLES FACING UP TO THE SKY.
Yes, and way over in the shade on this south circle end, deep along this edge where not a lot of sunlight comes in, there are reddish-purple – probably anthocyanin pigmentation – from unknown cause. We find a lot of this in this Geneseo crop formation and we’ve seen it before in other crop circles that we thought were authentic (example is Hillsboro, Ohio corn). This formation might have been hit with some sort of energy that brings this out. We don’t find this in the rest of this soybean field. And in known man-made crop formations, we rarely see this reddish pigmentation on the stems.
It’s also interesting that the lay is so peculiar in the eastern and center circles where sections leave the clockwise curve and go straight for the center. But the centers of the soybean swirls are not in the centers of the circles. What appears to be the soybean center in that eastern circle is shifted about three feet.
WE HAVE SEEN THAT ANOMALY IN BRITISH CROP FORMATIONS ALSO. PEOPLE HAVE WONDERED WHY PLANTS ARE SWIRLED OFF CENTER?
Yes. I don’t know.”
To be continued in Part 4 – Other Crop Strangeness