Monday, April 11, 2011
Cracking the Crop Circle Code
Wikipedia Commons, author or photographer unknown.
(Our unknown source has requested anonymousness, and he has since disappeared anyway. -ed.)
'So what happens is you strap on your Bergen, which includes plenty of bottled water, because you will be out until near dawn. Then you climb out of the lorry, and your mates hand out your stilts.'
Q: Stilts? Bergen? You mean like, 'a gunny-sack?'
'These stilts are not skinny poles, but wide, flat boards, with a kind of toe-clamp for your boots, remarkably similar to those worn by cross-country skiers.'
'You snap your boots into the clamps, and two friends help you up. Then you walk out into the field, using the stilts. Arriving at a pre-surveyed GPS point, you locate the stakes previouly placed there by others. The stakes have a steel pin on top.'
Q: Stakes? Steel pin?
'Unlocking the 90-degree feature of your specially-designed boot bindings, you can sort of carefully let yourself down to the ground, where you now have footwear that looks like a pair of water skis.'
Q: Water skis?
'Snapping the reel onto the pin on top of the stake, you begin walking around in circles while the line feeds out from the reel. When you reach the end, you carefully go to the centre of the circle. The spring-loaded line rewinds itself automatically, and then you remove the reel from the stake.'
Q: And then?
'Then you move on to the next location.'
Q: Tell us about the truck and the rest of the film crew.
'Meanwhile, the last two friends have taken the truck, oops; I mean 'lorry,' back to the parking lot behind the nearest pub where they will await a simple cellular phone call.'
Q: Alien film crews have cell phones?
'Those in the field never have to leave a single footprint. Each has to do, at most, ten or twelve circles in a night. They do the biggest one first. They carry plastic shopping bags to take a dump in; and the only real hard part of the job is not breaking out in hysterical laughter. However, with the adrenalin pumping and the hefty fines for pranksterism in Great Britain, not to mention a long, sustained, physical exertion, it's actually pretty quiet out there after a while.'
Q: So that's why no alien crap in the field!
Sound advice from an old hand: "Don't try to take a leak while standing on stilts, I once lost it in a gust of wind and fell in a clump of brambles. It was a jolly humbling experience."
Q: So then you pull up stakes and move on! I get it.
(Editor's Note: Since publishing this four or five minutes ago, we have begun to get quite a few death threats, (a couple, anyway,) from documentary film-makers. Coincidence? I think not, ladies and gentlemen.)