JournalArchivesForumMapsResearchSuppliesLodgingAbout Us

Editorial | Fragments | Shasta II | Sea Serpents II | Atlantis II
Register for our new Hall of Records Newsletter!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Advertising? Press Releases? Contact us!

Crop Circles | Silbury Hill | Chinese Sea Serpent | Yonaguni | Books | Video

Barbury Castle, Wiltshire Formation May 31, 1999

This menorah appeared in the fields of southern England, in Wiltshire, near Barbury Castle in 1999. Almost certainly man-made, this menorah is relatively simple compared to some of the incredibly complex patterns, many of which appear to be beyond the ability of man to create. Image copyright © 1999 Steve Alexander.

The mystery of the "crop circles" is an old enigma that has exploded in recent times. Highly contoversial and frequently debunked, crop circles are circular areas of flattened wheat, corn, and various types of crops and grasses that have been found in many places all around the world, but are found most frequently by far in southern England, in the same mysterious area that contains Silbury Hill (q.v.), Stonehenge, Avebury, and numerous other sites of historical and archaeological interest.

The oldest known recorded crop circle event occurred in the 9th century in France, where the Bishop of Lyon sent out a prohibition to the recently converted locals against using seeds taken from crop circles for pagan fertility rituals. Another historical crop circle event occurred in Hertfordshire, England in August 1678. The information comes down to us via an old pamphlet telling the story of a "Mowing Devil". The pamphlet tells the story of a farmer who, bargaining with a mower to mow his field, became so angry at the price the mower was asking that he swore that "the Devil should mow it rather than he". That night, a bright light appeared over the farmer's crops, and in the morning, the farmer found that his crop had been neatly cut, "so neatly mow'd by the Devil or some Infernal Spirit, that no Mortal Man was able to do the like."

In the 1970s crop circles began to appear again in force, at first forming relatively simple circular patterns that are easy for man to duplicate. The 1980s and 90s, however, saw progressively more and more complex designs that grew more and more difficult to explain away as the acts of pranksters. The years 1997, 1998, 1999 saw an explosive growth in the quantity and intricacy of crop circles, and 2000, 2001 and 2002 proved to be particularly interesting, with extremely intricate crop circles and even one crop circle "face". Though many if not most crop circles can be explained away as the work of pranksters, some crop circles display attributes that cannot be explained by the simple "board and string" technique used by some. These include, among others, evidence of rapid heating, brittle stalks that are bent, and not broken, as are those found in circles devised by pranksters, and interweaving of and swirling of stalks to such a degree that mechanical procedures are not able to replicate them.

There are many theories on how and why crop circles are formed, ranging from "plasma vortexes" to extraterrestrial communications. Most recently, Colin Andrews, Britain's leading researcher on the subject of crop circles, has come out with the theory that as many of 80% of all crop circles are manmade, and the remaining 20% are created not by aliens, but by shifts in Earth's magnetic fields. These 20%, he believes, are the simpler circles, not the complex ones, as one might assume.

Other factors that make the Silbury Hill area such a prime candidate for geomagnetic effects include the predominance of subsurface water in the area, and a convergence of what are called "ley lines", natural lines of geomagnetic force believed by some mystics to be a "vital current" which flows through various parts of Earth. In the case of the Silbury Hill area, some theorize, the large amount of water running through underground chalk deposits may cause electrical charges to build up, which manifest themselves in the form of "fairy lights" that are often seen around crop circle formations. These will o' the wisps then discharge themselves into the ground in a swirling pattern, creating the swirling "crop circle" effect as the opposing electrical charges between sky and ground neutralize each other radially.

Though crop circles can be found in most parts of the world, by far the majority of crop circles appear in the County of Wiltshire in southern England during the summer. The Wiltshire area is rich in history and legend, so there is plenty to do while waiting for the next crop circle, and they have been coming fast and furious, particularly with the release of the movie Signs. Be sure to visit the Silent Circle Cafe open during crop circle season, starting June 1. - Click here to travel right!

The International Crop Circle Database
Crop Circle Expert Colin Andrews' Site
Fortean Times: The "Mowing Devil"
Swirled News: The Silent Circle Cafe
Mysterious Britain: Will o' the Wisp
Colin Andrews: Crop Circle Info
Paranormal News: Crop Circles
Lucy Pringle's Crop Circle Site
BBC News: Crop Circles
Crop Circle Connector
The Silent Circle Cafe
Art Bell: Crop Circles
The Wiltshire Web
Crop Circle Central
The Crop Circular
Crop Circle Quest
Swirled News

Silbury Hill, located at the epicenter of the crop circle (q.v.) phenomenon in Wiltshire, in southern England. Silbury Hill is believed by some to be the centerpiece of a series of ancient religious structures to be found in southern England, including, among others, Stonehenge and Avebury. Image copyright © 2001 Current Archaeology.

Silbury Hill is a massive, ancient earth mound that sits at the heart of a sprawling religious metropolis that had dominated southern England for thousands of years before the coming of Christianity. At 130 feet, it is the tallest man-made mound in Europe. Silbury Hill dwarfs Wisconsin's Aztalan primary mound, and even rivals Illinois' Cahokia primary mound in size. However, unlike the squared Aztalan and Cahokia primary mounds, Silbury Hill is perfectly round.

Silbury Hill was built on top of a large chalk outcropping from chalk bricks covered with layers of earth to prevent its rapid dissolution from wind and weather. It was built in stages, the first stage built around 2500 b.c. of chalk brick covered with chalk rubble. Various other phases added additional layers of chalk rubble and earth, finally being covered with Earth and grass which proved to be an effective protection against the elements, but not from humans.

Silbury Hill's exact purpose is still unknown. One writer by the name of Moses B.Cotworth, writing at the beginning of the 20th century, stated that "Silbury [is] a giant sundial to determine seasons and the true length of the year." Others believe that it is a burial mound for a great ancient king name Sil whom, legends tell, was buried in golden armor, sitting on a golden horse. Perhaps like Cahokia's main mound, it was used primarily as a ceremonial center from which, it was believed, the deities of heaven and earth could be reconciled and the natural order kept in balance. Some believe Cahokia also was used as part of a solar calendrical system, lending weight to Cotworth's "giant sundial" theory.

The prevalence of other calendrical structures in the region (Avebury, Stonehenge) would tend to point towards the latter conclusion, but there is also evidence that the mound was used for burial purposes. According to William Stukeley, the first excavation of the mound took place in 1723, which uncovered some bones, and an ancient horse's bridle, perhaps the basis of the legend of the golden horse and rider buried within the mound. The fact that no intact skeletons were found, only some bones and a bridle, may indicate that the mound had been plundered long ago for its legendary gold, but one can only speculate. A second excavation took place in 1776 under the auspices of the Duke of Northumberland, who used miners to sink a hole straight down deep into the hill, apparently to look for the fabled treasure. Other holes were dug from the side of the mound in 1849 and 1967 with no success. In May 2000, the hole dug by the Duke of Northumberland reopened, as the Duke's cap of the hole gave way, exposing the Duke's excavation. The hole was covered and fenced off, but some misguided crop circle researchers allegedly broke into the mound and unintentionally caused a great deal of damage in the process. Here are some of their images of the interior.

The controversial crop circle phenomenon (q.v.) appears to be centered around the Silbury Hill area. Many crop circle researchers ("Cerealogists"), and related researchers believe that Silbury Hill lies at the convergence of multiple ley lines, lines of geomagnetic force that lie at the heart of the practice of geomancy known in the East as feng shui. Practitioners of feng shui (lit. "wind and water") and geomancy believe that powerful currents of magnetic force run through the landscape over the entire surface of Earth. Through proper alignment with these natural currents of magnetic force, they believe they are able to harness these energies for their own use. Further scientific study in this area may not only solve the mystery of the crop circle phenomenon, but also the meaning of Silbury Hill.

To avoid additional intrusions and erosions due to excessive traffic on its slopes, unfortunately, Silbury Hill is closed to the public. The area around the mound is accessible, however, and parking is available. Silbury Hill is located on the A4 between West Kennet and Beckhampton, Wiltshire, and can be viewed any time of the year. - Click here to travel right!

Visit Wiltshire: Official Tourism Website
English Heritage: Silbury Hill
Mysterious Wiltshire: Silbury Hill
Earth Mysteries: Silbury Hill
Current Archaeology: Silbury Hill
The Heritage Trail: Silbury Hill Silbury Hill
Welcome to Southern England Silsbury Hill
Britain Express: Silbury Hill Silbury Hill
Megalithic Mysteries: Silbury Hill
Stones of England: Silbury Hill
Go Brittania! Earth Mysteries: Silbury Hill
BBC News: "Scanners Probe Stone Age Mystery"
Only In Britain
Lonely Planet: England
All Travel England

Sea serpents and dragons are popular elements in the folklore of China and throughout the Far East. There are various different types of dragons in Chinese folklore, each of which has control over various natural phenomena. Image from The Circle of the Dragon.

A mysterious, serpentlike creature has recently been spotted in the Tianchi Lake, a deep, volcanic lake in the north-eastern Jilin province in China, near the China/Korea border. The creature, which appears as a long, black serpentine creature with a horselike head, has been seen leaping out of the water as close as 30 feet from the shoreline. Hundreds of people claim to have seen the mysterious creature, but no photographs have surfaced as yet.

Rumours of a serpentlike creature in Tianchi Lake have been circulating for close to a century. However, scientists are skeptical of the possibility, largely because there has been volcanic activity in the lake as early as 300 years ago, which would have made life extremely hazardous for anything living in the lake. Despite this, local fans of the creature have organized the "Tianchi Monster Society" in hopes of finding the creature.

There are two different types of dragons in Chinese mythology: the Kiao, and the Shan. The Kiao are a cross between a dragon and a serpent. They have a smaller head, a thinner, more sinuous body and live within lakes and rivers. The second kind, the Shan, are like the Kiao, but they have ears, horns, and a red mane, and live in the sea. Chinese dragons are considered to be the most powerful of all creatures, but are generally benificent to man. Most Kiao are believed to live in opulent palaces at the bottom of lakes and rivers. Both types of dragons were believed to control the weather, and were able to fly without the aid of wings with the help of a special organ on their head called the chi'ih-muh. Male dragons are distinguished from females by the fact that their horns are slightly undulating, and thicker at the top, whereas the female is distinguished by a rounded mane, straight nose, thinner scales, and a very strong tail."

Jilin province is located in the northeast region of China, on the border with North Korea. During World War II it served as the "puppet Manchukuo State" that the Japanese used to administer the conquered regions of China. Other interesting points of interest besides Tianchi Lake and its monster include the Manchukuo Imperial Palace, Jingyue (Clear Moon) Pool, the Changchun Film Studio, the waterfront city of Jilin, the rimed trees of Jilin, Songhua Lake, and many more beautiful natural and manmade attractions. For more information on visiting China, check out the China National Tourism Administration Travel Tips page, or check out the links below. - Click here to travel right!

Travel China Guide: Tianchi Lake
China National Tourism Association
Travel China Guide
China Travel Service
Imperial Tours "Chinese Nessie 'Alive and Well'"
ABC News Online: "China lays claim to its own Nessie"
Independent Online: "Chinese 'Nessie' Emerges from Volcanic Lake"
Far Eastern Sea Serpents
The Circle of the Dragon: Eastern Dragons
The Circle of the Dragon: Famous Dragons - China
Illiana the Golden Dragon: Chinese Dragons Shachihoko
Sea Serpents Origami

Image © 1999 Santha Faiia

The "Yonaguni Monument" southwest of Okinawa, Japan. "Yonaguni", as it is typically called, takes its name from the small nearby island of Yonaguni, the westernmost of the Ryukyu archipelago of islands that stretches from Kyushu to Taiwan. Image © 1999 Santha Faiia.

In July of 1986, Kihachiro Aratake, a diveshop owner on Yonaguni Island, a small Japanese island southwest of Okinawa, strayed outside of the safety perimeter to dive the unknown areas west of the island. What he found was nothing short of astonishing, something that has baffled geologists, archaeologists, and historians alike ever since.

Not far outside the perimeter, only 200 feet off of a set of sheer cliffs called Iseki Point, he stumbled across a low, rambling, monolithic structure that appeared, at least at first glance, to be a large, manmade temple complex or similar structure. The structure itself is roughly 240 feet long, 90 feet wide and is apparently only one of a complex of structures that dot the sea bed for hundreds of miles. Masaaki Kimura, a professor at University of the Ryukyus, Department of Science Faculty, has dated it as being anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 years old, based upon fossil remains found on the monument. Since Earth's oceans have risen over 120 feet in the past 10,000 years, from 6,000-10,000 years ago the Monument would have been well above water.

Most historians, archaeologists and geologists, including Robert Schoch — who is known for his redating of the Sphinx — have dismissed the "Monument" as purely natural. Schoch believes that the sharp right angles to be found throughout the site are part of the natural process of erosion, where the soft stone of which the "Monument" is composed tends to flake off along parallel lines, over time creating the angular features of the Monument.

Kimura and others disagree, however, pointing out that numerous features around the monument, including what appear to be "post holes", clearly defined stairways, and the structure's similarity to other aboveground structures on the island of Yonaguni, make it unlikely that the structure was purely natural. In the end, both Schoch and Kimura come to the conclusion that the structure was most likely "terraformed", where the builders worked around the Monument's natural features to adjust it to suit their needs.

Yonaguni Island offers excellent, year-round diving opportunities, both for the monument and for the sealife. Note: Only licensed divers with experienced guides should attempt to search for the Monument. For more information on visiting Yonaguni, please consult the following links: - Click here to travel right!

Atlantis Rising: Japan's Underwater Ruins
Okinawa Summit 2000: The True Value of the Undersea Ruins
Okinawa Summit 2000: Map of Okinawa
The Morien Institute: Yonaguni
Cybermike: Yonaguni
Temple of Mu
Laura Lee: Yonaguni Yonaguni
DiverNet: Lost World of Okinawa
Asian Diver: The Sunken City at Yonaguni
The Okinawa Scuba Connection
Xpeditions Magazine: Yonaguni
Fathoms Diving Okinawa
Dive Japan: Okinawa
Torii Training: Okinawan Dive Instruction
Team Atlantis: Yonaguni
Silent Network: Yonaguni

Crop Circles | Silbury Hill | Chinese Sea Serpent | Yonaguni | Books | Video

Editorial | Fragments | Shasta II | Sea Serpents II | Atlantis II
Register for our new Hall of Records Newsletter!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Advertising? Press Releases? Contact us!

The Deepening Complexity of Crop Circles: Scientific Research and Urban Legends
Eltjo H. Haselhoff
Eltjo Haselhoff has written the first book on crop circles based on scientific evidence. His research, as intoduced in the first chapter, "A Great But Most Tangible Mystery," addresses some of the most concrete crop-circle phenomena: the dead fly enigma, curious deposits, germination anomalies, and balls of light. Studies with mathematical formulas allow any reader to analyze and verify, or dispute, the author�s findings. For those interested in a more metaphysical approach, the author provides "The Psychic Perspective: Earth Forces, Aliens, Gate to Another World, and Messages from the Cosmos." Diagrams and color photographs throughout the book guarantee a fascinating journey through the world of crop circles even for those not inclined toward laboratories and numbers. (Review by
Click here to buy this book.

Opening Minds: A Journey of Extraordinary Encounters, Crop Circles, and Resonance
Simeon Hein, Ira Liss (Illustrator)
Opening Minds is about a social scientist's voyage into the world of non-ordinary, multidimensional energy phenomena. The book is both an examination of the limited belief systems intrinsic to existing mechanistic worldviews and an exploration of emerging new paradigms based on subtle-energy sciences. New discoveries in physics, combined with a greater awareness of extraordinary phenomena that surround us, challenge our traditional beliefs in the mechanistic universe of Sir Isaac Newton. Research into remote viewing, crop circles, and extraterrestrials shows our world to be vibrant, multidimensional, and mysterious. The author shows us how we can connect with this infinite universe. Read how many crop circles are made from first-hand accounts! (Review by
Click here to buy this book.

The Secrets of the Avebury Stones: Britain's Greatest Megalithic Temple
Terence Meaden
Avebury, less than 20 miles from its more famous neighbor, Stonehenge, is rich in symbols linked to pre-Christian Goddess religions. This book reveals the wonders of the site, the largest and most complex prehistoric monument in Britain, through a lavishly illustrated guided tour encompassing history, archaeology, spirituality, and art. (Review by
Click here to buy this book.

The Book of Sea Monsters
Bob Eggleston and Nigel Suckling
For millennia, humankind has been fascinated by the awesome power of the sea and the creatures sheltered by its depths. In the past, ocean crossings toward new horizons were not just challenges of the physical elements, but defiances of the perils which the human imagination projects onto the unknown. Now, in The Book of Sea Monsters, these mythical creatures of the deep are vividly brought to life by award-winning artist Bob Eggleton. Exploring the myth, legend, scientific documentation and fiction inspired by the creatures like the serpent of Midgard, the biblical Leviathan, the Kraken and the infamous monster of Loch Ness, The Book of Sea Monsters will thrill and fascinate all lovers of mythology, legend and the many secrets of the sea. (From the back cover)
Click here to buy this book.

The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty & the Beast Tale
Laurence Yep, Kam Mak (Illustrator)
Grades 4-6, younger for reading aloud. A small, harmless water serpent that is saved from death by a young teen changes into an immense dragon and threatens a poor farmer's life. The farmer's only chance lies in convincing one of his seven daughters to marry the dragon. Readers familiar with fairy tales may guess that the youngest and prettiest daughter, who was the serpent's savior, will agree to the marriage to save her father. In this Chinese variant of "Beauty and the Beast," dragon and girl soar into the night sky and then plunge into a deep sea, where the girl's courage and character are tested again before she discovers that her future husband is a handsome human and ruler of the sea kingdom. After spending some time in her husband's kingdom, she visits her family's home, where both her inner and her outward strength are further tested. Mak's illustrations dramatically combine realism and fantasy. The suspense of the story and the charm of its language should appeal to readers of different ages. A good choice for reading aloud. (Review by
Click here to buy this book.

Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization
Graham Hancock
From the author of the bestselling Fingerprints of the Gods comes a fascinating voyage of underwater discovery that will forever change the way we think about the birth of civilization. Fans of The Sign and the Seal and Heaven�s Mirror will delight in Graham Hancock�s Underworld, his latest work of archaeological detection. In this mesmerizing book, Hancock merges cutting-edge science with historical myth to come up with a new explanation for the origins of civilization as we know it today. At the end of the last Ice Age melting ice caused sea levels around the world to rise by approximately 400 feet, radically changing the shape of the world. Hancock, steeped in the ancient flood myths that speak of early civilizations, sets out to discover whether these myths have any basis in reality. Using the latest computerized "inundation maps" that show the shape of the world�s coastlines as they looked at intervals throughout the meltdown, Hancock finds astonishing correspondences with the ancient flood myths. And, when he starts to explore these areas underwater on several diving expeditions, he actually discovers ruins beneath the sea exactly where the myths say they should be. Hancock offers dramatic accounts of his explorations of the waters of the Arabian Sea, the Mediterranean, and the sea of Japan. This entertaining and provocative book of discovery presents the first hard evidence of these ancient cities, and gives all of us stunning insight into the origins and development of civilization. (Review by
Click here to buy this book.

Voices of the Rocks: A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations
Robert M. Schoch Ph.D, Robert Aquinas McNally
Everything changes. The great 19th-century battle between catastrophists and uniformitarians seemed to end with the notion of global cataclysms being dismissed as a back door to the supernatural. But the catastrophist theory has gradually become more and more plausible, so that now, less than a hundred years later, it is widely believed that mass extinctions are linked to meteor strikes. Geologist Robert M. Schoch believes that if a large meteor or comet could extinguish most of our planet's complex life (just ask the trilobites), then a smaller one could destroy a civilization, and perhaps did. In Voices of the Rocks, he tells us how it may have happened.

Asked to investigate the Sphinx at Giza, Schoch was troubled to find evidence of a much greater age than the 4,500 years suggested by Egyptologists. This led him to examine the possibility of a lost civilization dating back to at least 10,000 B.C. Looking at linguistic, geological, and archaeological evidence from around the world, he proposes an outline of prehistory that differs markedly from our received wisdom--after all, if the Lascaux cave paintings really are star maps, then we've got a lot of catching up to do. Schoch's willingness to dismiss implausible evidence and to use Occam's razor to cut away unnecessary complications is admirable and refreshing in a field in which credulity pays and skepticism is viewed with deep suspicion. Ending on a note of warning, Voices of the Rocks reminds us that by weakening the planet, we have made ourselves much more vulnerable to the next global cataclysm, which may come at any time. (Review by
Click here to buy this book.

Ultimate Crop Circles - Signs from Space?
Colin Andrews
Format: DVD
This DVD has a long documentary-interview between two crop circle experts and researchers, who appear to be friends and supporters of each other. They make a good team as they talk over various photos and films. Nothing fancy, but it felt like a great evening spent in the presence of interesting people, who know a lot about this fascinating topic. The photos and other data files are amazing, if you are interested in the phenomenon - they really make you stop and wonder why we don't hear more about this in the news. No Hollywood editing and razzmatazz, though - just a serious, well-presented film with a lot of research materials so you can make up your own mind. (Review by
Click here to buy this video.

Quest for the Lost Civilization - Boxed Set
Graham Hancock, Santha Faiia
Format: VHS
In this set of three videotapes, writer Graham Hancock traverses the world and explains his controversial theory that an ancient civilization, highly intelligent people who sailed the planet as early as 10,500 B.C., spread advanced astronomical knowledge and built ancient observatories. Skeptics may scoff, but Hancock earnestly points out similarities in giant stone structures in the Egyptian desert and Cambodian jungles, and on Easter Island and in Micronesia, he points out what he considers evidence of an ancient society of seafarers. His ideas may seem utterly bizarre at first, but Hancock presents them in an understated and good-natured manner, and he also makes clever use of computer graphics and aerial photography to illustrate the startling similarities in ancient structures found from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific. At times the three documentaries overlap, and at times they seem like one long program rather than three separate presentations. But throughout, Hancock raises some puzzling questions, and even if you don't buy his arguments, bolstered though they are by mathematical equations and astronomical diagrams, the Quest for the Lost Civilization is an entertaining mixture of archaeology, astronomy, and speculation. (Review by
Click here to buy this video.

Search: Enter keywords... logo

Editorial | Fragments | Shasta II | Sea Serpents II | Atlantis II
Register for our new Hall of Records Newsletter!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Advertising? Press Releases? Contact us!


Mysterious World