The Crop Circle 3-D Illusions - Part 1


The Ribbons At Stonehenge

I first became aware about June 2006 that some Crop Formations had a 3-D appearance. I saw this when I looked at the 2002 Stonehenge ribbon design. As I examined those pictures the ribbons seemed to jump off the page at me. This was especially true where I was looking straight on at a ribbon, as seen in the first figure below. The angle of the view had much to do with the illusion, not only the way the figure was rotated around its axis, but also the angle at which viewed from above. Given its six compass points, one need not be very far from a view that would cause the effect. I present three pictures, to permit the reader to assess this for himself. Plainly, a direct overhead view of this formation would not produce the same effect. Compare pictures below.

This formation is not only a mere one field away from the ancient monument of Stonehenge, it is also nestled among ancient burial mounds, just touching them. If a Circle Maker wished to direct attention to this design he chose an appropriate location.





The Dolphins at East Field

This formation near Alton Barnes was the next to attract my attention. When I looked at the photograph to the left I was quite startled how the two rings seemed to stand one upon the other. The way the grain was laid emphasized how one ring was separate from the other. The so-called dolphin wings were nothing more than a method to help separate the illusion of the two rings.

The separation seems to be exaggerated according to the elevated angle by which viewed. See photograph to the left below. Of course, when viewed directly from overhead this illusion disappears. See photograph to the right below.

The three small circles in the center seem to anchor the illusion.


At this point I decided to investigate all available photographic evidence on the 3-D illusions in crop formations. I chose Crop Circle Connector and the Lucy Pringle web sites as the best sources. I used other sources where helpful. I did not include such interesting formations as the amazing basket weave at Bishop Cannings , nr Devizes, Wiltshire, reported 6th August, 1999. I also did not use such formations as Nursteed, nr Devizes, Wiltshire, reported 11th August, the Avebury Stone Circle, nr Avebury, Wiltshire, reported 21st June, nor formations like Windmill Hill, nr Avebury, Wiltshire, reported 18th July. They did not qualify for what I regard as a true 3-D illusion.


Another interesting group shows a 3-D effect, but not because of the angle from which viewed. These are the small group that gives the illusion of 3-D when viewed directly from above.



3-D Illusion When Viewed From Overhead

The first of the group is the one from Windmill Hill nr Avebury, Wiltshire reported June 18 in 2000.

We can see how the pictographic elements get smaller as they approach the outer edge. The encompassing circle is merely to give the formation a context. The illusion is successful due to the ways in which shape and line are intermixed. The largest and least distorted shapes are in the center. The shapes become progressively thinner and smaller as they get farther away from the center, which makes them seem to recede into space. The lines also reinforce the illusion. The nature of the 3-D effect is more readily seen when this photograph is reduced to a thumbnail.

Another formation was reported the same day in 2000 from Bishop Cannings Down, nr Beckhampton, Wiltshire. This formation is more simple than the one at Windmill Hill, but gives a similar optical illusion.

This formation is emphasized by the lay of the grain within the spaces of the design, which helps with the illusion.

I show another photograph taken at an angle to show how the illusion is captured, even when not viewed from overhead.

This formation was reported from Browns Lane, nr Alton Priors, Wiltshire, 6th August, 2001. While it is not as interesting as the others it does show the effect of the 3-D illusion, as seen in this artistic rendering. A thumbnail is shown next.

This highly curious Ouroboros was reported from Hill Barn, nr Badbury, Wiltshire, on the 17th June, 2001. The Ouroboros is an ancient universal serpent depicting creation eating itself, or representing the eternal cycles of the heavens. It most generally symbolizes ideas of cyclicality and primordial unity.  While this symbolism caught the eye of many observers the formation also shows a 3-D illusion, as seen plainly in the original photograph and captured in the following drawing and thumbnail.