Crop Circles Do Not Predict Solar Storm on July 7th…

Stunning art, UFOs not included (© Lucy Pringle)
Stunning art, UFOs not included (© Lucy Pringle)

Alternative title: “Jumping to Conclusions and Bullshit”

Crop circles are amazing. They are, quite literally, works of art. And like all other known forms of art, they are constructed by people with time on their hands. No UFOs have been braiding our crops, no aliens have been playing let’s-confuse-the-stoopid-humans-with-this-cryptic-message-we-travelled-hundreds-of-light-years-to-deliver. Crop circles are made by hoaxers and enthusiasts.

So yesterday, I read a terribly fascinating, yet terribly painful article that seamlessly combines three disparate facts to arrive at a terribly flawed conclusion: a coronal mass ejection (CME) will hit us on July 7th, possibly causing global damage, according to a crop circle prediction.

This may seem a little shocking, considering this equivalent of a micro-doomsday is only two days from now, but the “Exopolotics Examiner” Dr. Michael Salla discusses it with great excitement:

The Alert is for Sunspot 1024 which suddenly appeared on July 3 and 4 […] It typically takes CMEs, traveling at around a million miles per hour, three to four days to reach the Earth. So if Sunspot 1024 does generate CMEs towards the Earth, they would arrive right on the predicted date of July 7.

Apparently, we now have an infallible space weather prediction method. Sunspot 1024 could generate a CME directed toward Earth, therefore fulfilling the prediction that we are going to get hit by a CME in two days. Amazing right? Obviously Salla is referring to the work of a solar physicist, with a new hi-tech computer simulation, or with access to cutting-edge observational data. Wow, it looks like we have found the Holy Grail of sunspot characterization methods!

(Guess again)

Actually, the July 7th prediction is purely based on crop circles at Milk Hill, in Wiltshire, UK. How do we know these flattened fields of corn predict a CME? Actually, they don’t. Even the crop circle experts make no convincing connection with crop circles and the Sun, apart from pointing out that the patterns resemble an orrery — but even if it is an orrery, the corn has been flattened by a team of hoaxers, they could make it mean anything. (I’m still waiting for a massive Micky Mouse crop circle.)

Although I find all this highly entertaining, the thing that made me laugh the most was the point that the Milk Hill patterns were made in “3 Phases.” However, looking at the incredibly beautiful design of that thing, it’s little wonder the aliens had to build the design in shifts. After all, extraterrestrials need tea-breaks too… perhaps their little feet got tired stomping all that corn… or perhaps it was constructed by slacking crop circle hoaxers who couldn’t get it all done in one night?

My money is on the latter.

So, there is a dubious link between the crop circle and the Sun (apart from ‘it faces that way,’ directly along the tractor tracks… hmm, interesting), what could Salla be talking about? Oh that’s it! The Earth’s magnetosphere has a hole in it! Hell, dig your lead-lined bomb shelters now!

Now this is one point I’m actually a little annoyed about. Apparently Dr. Salla is also qualified in solar-terrestrial physics, as he seems to dredge up some pretty compelling science recently published by NASA. Salla says:

Importantly, scientists will be able to directly study the impacts of large amounts of solar plasma penetrating a breach in the magnetosphere first reported by NASA scientists in December 2008 […] If the interpretations of crop circle researchers are correct, then we will shortly directly observe the impact of solar energy from CMEs passing through the magnetosphere breach. –Dr Salla (emphasis not added by me, used for dramatic effect I suspect).

Now this is good stuff, perhaps this guy is on to something. In summary:

  1. The Milk Hill crop circle predicts a solar storm on July 7th (but it’s not very clear where in the corn this is printed).
  2. An active sunspot has appeared at a high latitude on the solar surface (this is true, although only B Class solar flares have been detected… not in Earth-killing leagues I’m afraid).
  3. This sunspot could generate an Earth-directed CME (this is true, again, but the odds are pretty damn low).
  4. The CME will hit us on July 7th (read #3).
  5. Now that NASA has detected a hole in our magnetosphere, deadly solar particles could penetrate our atmosphere!

In other words, Salla has strung together some dubious “signs” from a crop circle, tied it into this new sunspot, gotten all excited that it could generate some pretty feeble CMEs, somehow assumed they will be Earth-directed and then chucked in a very incorrect opinion as to what this “hole in the magnetosphere” means.

Although the magnetospheric breach is certainly an amazing discovery — made by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) satellites in 2008 — I think Salla misses the point. The magnetospheric breach hasn’t just appeared, it wasn’t caused by human activity (like the hole in the ozone layer, which I think he thinks this is), it’s always been there in some way, shape or form.

NASA’s five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth’s magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. Solar wind can flow in through the opening to “load up” the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of space physics.NASA release.

Obviously overcome with the NASA terminology “giant breach,” Salla assumes this is a new hole in the magntosphere leaving us open to the ravages of the Sun. Actually it doesn’t, it’s simply an observation of a previously unknown piece of magnetospheric dynamics. Yes, the breach is linked with solar storms and the aurora, but there’s every likelihood this phenomenon has always existed, even when the Earth’s magnetic field was battered by X-class solar flares and jumbo CME’s during the last solar maximum (are we still here? Yes, I think we are). To think we are going to even notice a make-believe low-energy CME produced by a feeble region of the Sun generating B-class solar flares is laughable.

So the physics is flawed, the prediction is totally far-fetched, and apparently you need a PhD in exopolitics to understand how crop circles come into it. It’s just a fear-mongering article that is becoming all too common on the Examiner these days.

No, this is another huge FAIL for the Examiner… where are all the Skeptical, Science and Common Sense Examiners?

Thank you @mactavish for reminding me to finish this article!

67 thoughts on “Crop Circles Do Not Predict Solar Storm on July 7th…”

  1. Well argued. You set clear limits to the claims; proffer useful debunking of probable fear mongering, but where is the romance? Crops circle aren't common graffitii! Glad you acknowledged them as art, even beautiful. But apart from the artistry of it, and the apparently unbroken line of successful stealth in the operations of ..whoever they are .. the fascination of the general public with circles is based on something else entirely: a stunning lack of scientific education or even training in rational thought processes throughout our educational institutions, from grade school forward. Ignorance is scarier than crop circle sophistry, or even solar flares. You might be a modern variable of Sagan; a really smart genuinely interesting real scientist, who is attractive enough to play one on TV. You want to take a whack at this for real? Go for it. @OregonMJW

    1. Aww thank you! I agree I LOVE crop circles, in fact, when I look at some of the designs, it looks impossible that a human could create such a thing. They really are works of art. I just get annoyed when some authors decide to link “signs” like crop circles with scientific phenomena… that's when I write angry articles ;)Cheers, Ian

      1. I loved the article. I also love how people seem to think that crop circles are made by none other than “Extraterrestrials”, but everyone has there own view that we must respect. Remember kids, believe in only truth and facts, not fiction and fairy tales.

  2. i am confused as to why you wrote this article. I got angry with this article as you kept stirring yourself up over silly things. you wrote an article about a crop circle. and you are getting angry at a person who has done the same. You wrote an article about a crop circle. pathetic. it has to be obvious that the scientists, astrologists and engineers who create these circles are paying the land owners enough to be quiet, and the community does not want to reeallly find out because their economy booms in the summer because of these installation pieces. I like art, and that's why I stumbled upon your site. You are as silly as Dr. Salla or you are just trying to reap the benefits of many hits for writing a popculture article.

    1. Actually, Salla uses this crop circle to jump to a very startling conclusion: crop circle predicts CME > NASA has found a breach in the magnetosphere > We should be worried for July 7th. Unfortunately, these fears are unfounded due to the reasons given above.If you have a look around my other articles on the site, you'll see I tackle this kind of thing a lot. It's not about gaining hits for writing about 'popculture,' it's about exposing the real science behind these stupid claims of impending doom. If you are happy not to question the facts behind the nonsense, that's your choice.And this article wasn't really about the crop circle, now was it. Read it again and check the facts I mention, you'll see that Salla is the inaccurate one. Why shouldn't I reply with an opposing opinion with some real science? Should I have stayed quiet? I'll be sure to get your permission before writing these silly articles in the future.Thanks, Ian

  3. I would challenge anyone to create a crop circle of great complexity within one night, in the dark. Sure there are crop circle hoaxers out there for sure, but through my investigation there is a lot more to this phenomenon than meets the corn. Sure the media has sold the world on the idea that they are all hoaxes but if look further and deeper into the science of electromagnetism, what you thought previously to be 100% hoax will begin crumble away. 'Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance' – Albert Einstein. How much have you personally investigated this phenomenon?

    1. Actually, this crop circle was created over 3 nights. The science of electromagnetism? I will admit, of all my years of studying electromagnetism, I have yet to come across a lecture called “Electromagnetism and Corn Bending.” I suddenly feel uneducated, please share.As we are into quotes, here's some more for you, plus explanation:“It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” — Carl Sagan.To think crop circles are created by anything other than humans, is delusional. Fun, but there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” — Carl Sagan.Aliens did it = extraordinary claim. Electromagnetism did it = extraordinary claim. A herd of elephants did it = extraordinary claim. Where's the extraordinary evidence?“Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.” — Occam's razor.In other words, usually, the simplest answer is the correct one. Don't you think the simplest answer here is “humans made the crop circle”? I'm all for investigating the facts behind crop circles, but there is far more evidence that suggests people make them. Take this website for example: — self-professed crop circle makers who compete during 'crop circle season'.Amazing eh?Cheers, Ian

  4. We KNOW it's just pranksters making crop circles. They've been caught in the act. Many of them admit to doing it. As pointed out, there are web sites devoted to the hobby of circle making. There is not one shred of evidence to indicate that circles are caused by anything other than bored locals, and yet dingbats like Dr. Salla still cling to fantasies. Thank you for taking the time to disassemble this particular “theory” for the benefit of those who are too dim witted to see it for what it is.

  5. The Earth is Flat, The Solar System revolves around the Earth. There is no such place as America.Let's ridicule anyone who challenges current thinking! Until its confirmed as reality of course, then that will be our new truth to hold ontoLets all live in a box! Yay to ignorance!C'mon dude, open your mind…that is always a good start

  6. These kind of stories keep rolling and rolling because there's always out there eager to believe in them. As we can't possibly predict our future we look for outside signs that tell us what's going to happen tomorrow.

  7. Very beautiful work of art! Seems the Brit farmers have a lot more free time than the American counterparts? but I sisn't realize just how oh my gawd important it is! why I better go put on my tin foil hat!

  8. I feel sorry for you. You are not a mathematician, an astrophysicist, an astronomer, or an historian yet you presume to determine the origin and the intent of these highly intricate formations in crops??? Really?? There are people who are actively involved with these extraterrestials and the coming Earth changes. These circles are our warning. We are just too “stoopid” to recognize the language.”A mind is like a parachute. It only works when it is open.”I highly advise you to research, research and research BEFORE you make any determinations about things we collectively know so little about. I'd hazard to say that you know squat about the world in which you inhabit. Denial is the modus operandi of the homo sapien.

    1. Please tell me you're being sarcastic. If not, this is definitely the best comment I have read today.I highly advise you to research, research and research BEFORE realizing that, in fact, you are talking to an astrophysicist. “The mind may be like a parachute, but try not to sound too bonkers when you open it.” — I just made that up 🙂

      1. My apologies. You are an asstrophysicist. That does not make you an expert in truth or the dissemination thereof. You come across as arrogant and sarcastic which are code for, ” I know everything therefore I know nothing.” No, I was not being sarcastic just hasitly posting before I read your bio. Actually, I am astounded that you have formal education. Usually when someone wants to convert others to their mind set they first invoke ridicule, mockery and lastly disdain for opposing points of view. You are merely a proselytizer, dear child. Please, for the sake of the evolution of mankind, “purchase” a parachute. Nicolaus Copernicus argued that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the Universe, challenging the standing, official belief of his time. He was branded a heretic for suggesting such a theory.My dear friend, history has a way of repeating itself as time is a loop rather than linear. As everything is in a state of evolution theories are only as relevant as the environment from which they were spawned. Nothing is static.You could be a force of much good….if you so choose.

      2. Now Jamie… tell me how you really feel. Don't hold back, think of this as a therapy session.Asstrophysicist? Ahhh, I get what you did there. Obviously one of your comedy brain cells are working. Thanks for that.Okay, you really are spewing rubbish now, so I don't think any of your points are really open to debate, as you're not really sure how to be open to debate.As jamerz3294 points out, “You crackpots can continue to go off half cocked, but really your not providing any real information (quantifiable, remember that concept) that adds to the conversation.” – I couldn't agree more.

      3. Why is it that that people who are *not* scientists, try to impress the rest of us, by using as much verbiage as possible? As if the more they rant, they “righter” they are? Gimme a break. Yes, there are mysteries in Science, in each and every discipline. That's why we do research… using the Scientific Method… to produce verifiable results… duh. You crackpots can continue to go off half cocked, but really your not providing any real information (quantifiable, remember that concept) that adds to the conversation. So let the adults here talk, and go play in traffic.

    2. Erm… Jamie… just thought you'd like to know that as Ian noted above, he is an astrophysicist. You should really read the about pages of the blogs you visit…Oh and this comment is being made by someone who had a pretty good background in statistics since you invoke math. From a mathematical standpoint, this picture has nothing but cool geometric patterns in it. If it was a code, it would've come with a key. However, I don't see anything that would look like a meaningful key there.And just to be clear on the history, there are hundreds of hoaxers who not only admitted that they made certain formations, they recreated them for TV crews with stunning ease, replicating every possible effect a crop circle should have.Then again, if you'd like me to calculate the odds of an advanced alien civilization coming down from the sky and draw circles in crops, I can do that too but I should warn you not to get your hopes up…

      1. hello, gfish. I find it so very odd that some people cannot understand there is an alternative reality to the one we have been given. I have personal knowledge that gives me a very different perspective than what you currently have. It does not make me better, smarter, or faster than you. It merely provides me a lens that is perhaps sharper than yours.There is so much evidence and information concerning visitation that I am astounded that so many are ignorant of it. They have been visiting for millenia and continue to. This is a very complex and profound story unfolding before our very eyes but few are conscious enough to grasp the vastness of it.There are many who are experiencing visitation, but, my friend, it goes much deeper than just a “visit”. I do hope that you might take the time to read Erik Von Daniken's books as well as, Harvard trained Psychiatrist, John E. Mack's work with “Abductees. Zecheria Sitchin's work is invaluable in this genre. A story of Astronauts visiting Earth 400,000 years ago are carved into stone tablets. These tablets were found in Iraq in the 1940's ( over 10,000 ) and were recorded by the “ancient” Sumerian.There are hundreds of other works by esteemed authors. John Anthony West, Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, Stanton T. Friedman, Paul Von Ward, just to name a few. They have always been here. Your warning is in vain, my friend. It will be your kind that will have to readjust your mindset.I bid us peace and the ability to “connect the dots”.

      2. “I have personal knowledge that gives me a very different perspective than what you currently have.”Ah yes, personal knowledge that no one else can replicate. What if I told you I have personal knowledge of a six inch pink elephant living in my closet? It give me a very different perspective than you currently have, therefore, you can't possibly deny my overwhelming evidence for six inch pink elephants, evidence only I have access to since it's all my personal experience.“It does not make me better, smarter, or faster than you. It merely provides me a lens that is perhaps sharper than yours”Well, that was a contradictory statement. You just said that your mysterious super knowledge doesn't make you any better or smarter than me, it just makes you more perceptive and better at spotting things than me.“I do hope that you might take the time to read Erik Von Daniken's books as well as, Harvard trained Psychiatrist, John E. Mack's work with “Abductees.”Done, done and done:“It will be your kind that will have to readjust your mindset… I bid us peace and the ability to 'connect the dots'”Yeah, right after the warning, your sign-off seems really peaceful and understanding…

      3. Jamie, you are a damned disgrace to your own beliefs. For myself, I keep an open mind. There's evidence for and against crop circles being “extraterrestrially-made”. I know plenty of them are hoaxes, but I also keep an open mind that maybe some of the unexplained ones aren't. In any case, the way you handle yourself on here is deplorable. You are condescending, resort to name-calling, and demand that everyone accept your “personal knowledge” of things. That's hypocritical. You know what? I'm a Wiccan. I have “personal knowledge” that the gods called to me, and that my belief system works for me. However, I not only don't expect everyone to share my beliefs, I don't impose it on them and tell them they're wrong (like certain religions do). You are doing just that, claiming your own beliefs are right, everyone else is wrong, and we should just acept you as right on principle. It doesn't work that way, “friend”. I suggest YOU readjust your mindset to the fact that there are many paths out there, and while you can invite someone to walk a path with you, there is no call to berrate them until they do. You owe the author an apology, but I know you are too blinded by your own righteousness to do so, so I hope you find enlightenment with the rest of us “earthbunnies” donw here as to how to behave in polite society….”child”.

  9. Its so laughable…….there are in fact crop circles that cannot be attributed to humans. There are styles that have never been reproduced.I agree that it more than likely is not an alien life form from someplace in the universe coming down to give us tid bits of cosmic graphiti. However, the world and existence itself is not as uniformly black & white as science would like to think. There are circles that are not human created, that is fact. Its something science just can't seem to deal with, nor does it want to deal with it. Thats fine. A majority of Science has laughed at many things throughout human history that its been 100% wrong about, so why stop now. The only thing laughable is the way the mainstream holds onto the major media and the major science outlets like they are gods, its almost cult like, how ironic.

  10. “not in Earth-killing leagues I’m afraid”You scientist…. always trying to destroy the world just to get your data! bah! ;-)Great article, it's amazing how these “predictions” never pan out and yet people continue to fall for the next prediction… and the next. Also, have you spent a lot of time at ? So, so, so gorgeous. It's art and engineering.

  11. you are retarted my friend and sooo blind that i hope you fucking trip and fall into a manhole and never come back

  12. Oh my. Here it is the 7th of July… and we're all still here. What a disappointment for those Doomsayers. Now they can't tie together Crop Circles into CME's and 2012. Well, I'm still gonna wear my tin foil hat for the rest of the day…

  13. Nice article followed by some sad comments. It's quite maddening and pathetic that so many people equate “opening your mind” and “discovering the world ain't whatcha think it is” to the quackery of a Michael Salla. I think too many of you are forgetting the other half of the cliche. The whole thing goes:”Open your mind… but not so much that your brain falls out.”

  14. Excuse me………..sorry to change subject……….can anyone here (who is educated thusly) tell me if the CMEs that have occurred could have been predicted prior to or by June 23rd? I will explain why I am asking if anyone answers this question.Thank you

  15. Thank you for debunking a large truckful of horse apples (I'm being polite). I don't know what guys like Salla are smoking, but I wish I could get some in Punta Gorda, FL! Apparently it's only available to “Examiner” writers who make their daily quota of horse apples. If you really want a laugh, read Michael Cohen's stuff. He's got it all figured out! It's the Athadaxans, of course, from another galaxy. What, can't they find any suitable planets to invade in their OWN galaxy? And those tricky Athadaxans… shouldn't somebody be calling Dr. Who?BTW, I am NOT a “debunker,” just a former investigative reporter who has not let his critical thinking skills atrophy.

  16. I am a firm believer that a group of people didn't get together in the middle of the night to make perfect 3D shapes in crops without damaging them just to pull off a hoax. This article is thinking like a small minded person that can't stretch past what is in front of them in plane site.

    1. Actually, the group of people that gathered to make the crop circles were quite determined artists, who made a very beautiful sculpture on the face of the planet. Not aliens, not Mayans 2012 Doomsayers, not anything supernatural. Just people who love art, and have a sense of humour! Duh.

    2. Not really, all I'm asking is “where's the proof?” So… where's the proof? Got any? If you do, I'll publish an article about it and give you full credit.

      1. I'm an artist and this doesn't work for me. Every artist knows that the bigger the picture, the father back you have to look to actually see your work. Crop circles are hundreds of yards long, the crops are not damaged, and there are no signs of footprints and the work is perfect. Come on guys! I do admit there are some crop circles that are man made but usually those are simple. Some crop circles are 3D images that show signs of texture. How does a group of guys make this without having a vantage point high in the air?

      2. I know a little bit about art too, and perhaps these circles are designed before the hoaxers even stand in the field? Once the design is planned, it's a case of carefully planning the dimensions and then keeping to the plan. I'll be honest, I think crop circles are incredible — anyone who can create fractals in a crop really are amazing designers. This is one such website where circle makers show off their designs:, yes, there really could be a supernatural explanation too… perhaps aliens like to etch cartoon characters into the hills of Wiltshire:'s a nice story to believe crop circles might have some paranormal origin, but the reality is a little more pedestrian.

      3. It's called a GPS, and you can buy them for about 75 bucks. That is all you would need to create the c rop circles of your dreams…

  17. Entertainment for the rich has become available to all! Eternal life in exchange for 6318 Great British Pound- PayPal simplyiizi@yahoo.comWho has got new state of mind can celebrate the 250-year-old anniversary in 2129

    1. Don't make me use science on you. That was a collection of really nice photos put to some cool tunes with the ramblings of a psychic predicting bad cellphone signals. (Hint: there was no solar storm on that date… in fact there was little solar activity… wild, huh?)

  18. Many unusual features are found in crop circles, such as bent (not broken) stems resulting from bending, stretching, and scorching of plant nodes; stems laid down in multiple layers often facing different directions; shapes perfectly laid to the cardinal directions; undamaged seed heads, leaves, and stems, so that the plants continue growing as usual; geometric shapes overlapping and converging at a point that is defined often by a single stalk; crisp, sharp edges rather than blurred and irregular ones; and on and on.When self-proclaimed hoaxers are asked to replicate any or all of these and many other complex features, suddenly they are unable to do so. Their attempts on public television are laughable. I do not believe that little green men from the planet Boojam or wherever are coming down and making messages in crops, but it is quite obvious that the hoaxers are not responsible for ALL of the thousands of crop circles around the world–especially ones dating back to the mid 1500s! Now, if someone reading this is willing to make a crop circle with the features listed above, feel free to do so.

  19. this blog is bull shit you got the wrong crop formation in your image the crop formation that made the 7 7 prediction was the jelly fish formation mate …

  20. A crop circle is a sizable pattern created by the flattening of a crop such as wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rapeseed. Crop circles are also referred to as crop formations, because they are not always circular in shape. While the exact date crop circles began to appear is unknown, the documented cases have substantially increased from the 1970s to current times. Twenty-six countries ended up reporting approximately ten-thousand crop circles, in the last third of the 20th century, and 90% of those were located in southern England.[1] Many of the formations appearing in that area are positioned near ancient monuments, such as Stonehenge. According to one study, nearly half of all circles found in the UK in 2003 were located within a 15 km radius of Avebury.[2] Formations usually are made overnight, but have also been made during the day. The most widely known method for a person or group to construct a crop formation is to tie one end of a rope to an anchor point, and the other end to a board which is used to crush the plants. More recent methods include the use of a lawn roller.

  21. Crop Circles – formations, usually found in grain crops, where the crop has been mysteriously found laid flat, in patterns, that did not exist in daylight the previous day. Although thought by many to be a phenomena of the 20th Century, crop circles and formations have been around for a very long time, and records even date back well before the invention of the camera.

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  24. A lot has been made of these solar storms in the news and conspiracy sites are full of chatter about it.  Personally, I remember from my ham radio days that the solar cycle goes in 11-year increments.  I don’t think this is anything out of the ordinary.  It just so happens that it takes long enough to heat up again for everybody to forget about last time.

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