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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Crop circle secrets revealed
People in crop circle, Circlemakers photo
Matthew Williams lifts the lid on his inner circle
The only man in Britain convicted of making crop circles has made a video to prove they are not the results of alien or supernatural forces.

Matthew Williams, 30, of Devizes, Wiltshire, was fined 100 by magistrates in November 2000 after admitting damaging a farmer's crops near Marlborough, Wiltshire.

He successfully proved it was possible to create a seven-pointed star, but was prosecuted after publishing the results on the internet.

Mr Williams has now made the film revealing crop circle creators' secrets and experiences.


Just because it doesn't sit in a gallery doesn't mean it's not art - it's a living sculpture


Matthew Williams

The three-hour film - Circle Makers - interviews 11 experts who have created hundreds of circles using posts, tapes, planks and ropes, rollers and computer-generated designs.

The crop circle community is divided. "Plankers" such as Mr Williams, who say they are all man-made.

Others insistent the circles are the work of paranormal, alien or unknown forces.

Video editor and computer programmer Mr Williams said he made the film because he was frustrated by the constant focus on outlandish theories to explain the circles.

Increasing rivalry

"The people that make them are the real phenomena," he said.

There is increasing rivalry between the circle makers to produce ever more complex, intricate patterns.

Mel Gibson in Signs
Signs has renewed interest in crop circles

And some groups have been commissioned to produce commercial work for companies such as Weetabix and mobile phone firm Orange.

Although Mr Williams believes crop circles are a significant piece of public art, he understands people's need to attach a more spiritual meaning.

"Just because it doesn't sit in a gallery doesn't mean it's not art, it's a living sculpture - but for some people it forms a temporary religious site.

"It tells you a lot about religion and belief, how these cults are created.

"Some people get very angry when you tell them, because they really want to believe.

"And films, like Signs out at the moment, reinforce that," he said.


Click here to go to BBC Wiltshire
See also:

23 Aug 02 | England
16 Aug 02 | UK
05 Aug 02 | Entertainment
14 Jul 00 | UK
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