|Occurred : 8/4/2002 02:00 (Entered as : 8/4/02 02:00)
Reported: 8/15/2002 4:09:18 PM 16:09
Location: Gardiner, ME
|((NUFORC Note: We express our gratitude to Nancy Talbott for following up with this report, and for reporting back to NUFORC. The BLT Research website is <www.bltresearch.com>. PD))
A triple-ellipse "thought-bubble" crop formation found in rural Gardiner, ME, investigated by BLT Research Team Inc.
At about 2 am August 4th Witness #1, who had gotten up to get some water, observed a bright white flash of light followed by a small (perhaps flash-light sized) BOL down low over a hayfield across the street from her house. The BOL bobbed around over the crop for several minutes, then seemed to come closer to her location, then "went straight up in a beam of light" and disappeared. At approx. the same time a neighbor (Witness #2) whose house is approx. 75 yards away from the hayfield, got up because her dog was barking loudly and repeatedly; she observed that the dog was facing the hayfield as he continued to bark for about 5 minutes. Witnes #3 (the wife of the hayfield's owner), who lives several hundred yards distant, woke up sometime after 12 midnight and heard a strange "metallic-type" noise which lasted only a few moments: "I have never heard that kind of noise before." At about noon on August 4th the hayfield owner's 16-year-old son went to visit his grandmother whose house is immediately adjacent to the hayfield and discovered the new crop circles. The boy notified his mother and step-father, who called the local police; the officer who examined the field told the family that he did not think the circles were "man-made" and suggested they notify UFORC ((National UFO Reporting Center--PD)), which they subsequently did. UFORC then notified the BLT Research Team Inc. of the event.
On August 5, 2002, a BLT field-team arrived at the relatively rural location; both team members have investigated crop circles in the U.S. and in Europe, and one has extensive experience in many countries over 10 years. A thorough examination of the circles and extensive interviews were carried out.
The hayfield is on a dead-end street with perhaps 8 houses along it. The field is about 2 acres in size and goes up-hill into a large, partially open area; the house of Witness #1 is immediately across the street from the field. Witness #2's house is about the same distance away, but behind a row of trees which border the field on that side. Three contiguous, flattened, ellipses were discovered in the lower (2-acre section) of the field, with their edges just touching, creating what crop circle researchers call a "thought-bubble" design. Largest ellipse was 65' at its widest point; middle circle was 35' at its widest point; smallest circle was 25' at its widest point. The centers of all three ellipses were considerably off-center. There was a slight curve to the overall design, perhaps 20 degrees.
The plants (grasses and fescue with goldenrod, Queen Anne's Lace, clover and milkweed) were fairly gently laid over, with the thicker-stalked plants such as milkweed clearly showing bending at the base. No broken stalks were found. All plants were swirled clockwise and it could not be determined whether the swirls had begun in the centers or ended there. The initial impression of the crop lay was of fluidity, with a clear undulating character to the flow of downed plants.
The majority of the flattened plants were grasses (not the cereal crops most typically involved) and the stem nodes of these plants are so small that no real evaluation in the field can be made of stem-node change (such as elongated apical nodes and/or expulsion cavities in the lower plant stem nodes). The only visible significant change in any of the flattened plants was the bending at the base of most of the larger-stalk plants, such as milkweed. No plant or soil samples were taken in this case, largely because of the plant species involved.
No compass deviations were noted inside the 3 ellipses and no cell-phone failures or camera malfunctions occurred. A stop-watch check (where one stop-watch is left outside the formation and the other taken in with the field-team) revealed no time differences.
Photographs taken with flash cameras the evening of the 5th in the now 2-day-old event produced multiple "anomalous" light phenomena (recorded on several different cameras) typical of those seen in flash photos taken at other crop circles around the world.
The field-team's evaluation here leans toward this event being "genuine" (not mechanically produced) because of the following factors: (1) Node-bending at the base of the thicker-stalked plants and no breakage at the base of any plants generally (especially the hay, which was dry and ready for harvest); (2) the fluidity of the overall crop lay, with at least two layers noted in several places; (3) the fact that all three downed areas were markedly elliptical, rather than circular; (4) the fact that all ellipse centers were markedly off-center; (5) the presence of a double-center in one ellipse; (6) the animal disturbance; (7) the eye-witness reports of unexplained light and noise phenomena at the same time during the night the formation occurred; (8) the remoteness of the location and our character-assessment of the people in the near vicinity. However, without actual in-depth sampling of the plants and soils and subsequent laboratory evaluation, no firm assessment can be offered.