Short Introduction to the FGK

by Hans Herbert Beier

Deutsche Version

About Crop Circles

The Forschungsgesellschaft Kornkreise:

About Crop Circles:

Since the early 70s areas of flattened crop were observed mainly in the southwest of England. In the beginning, basically circular areas in fields of cereal crops and oil-seed rape were affected in which the plants were laid down overnight. In later years the appearance of these circular areas increased. By combination of a number of circles, rings and - later - rectangular shapes with paths, the shapes became more complex. Since then the shapes have been called 'formations' and in even more complex cases 'pictograms'.

While early circles and rings had a limited size of up to 30 metres in diameter, the size and complexity increased annual. Some formations reached dimensions of more than 100 metres.
These 'crop circles' began to attract worldwide attention with the publication of the book 'Circular Evidence' by Pat Delgado and Colin Andrews in 1989.

The attributes (see below) of the crop circles mentioned by these and other authors seemed exceptional, and this caused an annexation of the crop circles to New-Age theories. Additionally, the geographic area of their appearance (mainly Wiltshire) was an area well known to UFO-believers. Because of that a connection to UFOs was soon proposed.
The so-salled unexplainable attributes were:

In the years 1990 and '91 the first reports arose of 'hoaxers' who mechanically made crop formations in silent foggy nights and even fooled the 'experts'. At that time the phenomenon had already appeared worldwide. Reports on these 'crop circles' came from the Netherlands, Germany, USA, Canada, Hungary and other countries. Even similar formations in snow were reported from Asiatic mountain regions.

During those years organisations of people interested in the phenomenon were founded and established, e.g. the CCCS (Centre for Crop Circle Studies) with more than 1000 members in England, and the FGK in Germany.

In 1991 two retired Englishmen told the public they were the ones who had made all these crop circles in the past years. Indeed, it could be proven that many of the registered circles of the past had been made by these men, but not anything like all of them. Later it turned out that there were several well-equipped and dexterous groups of hoaxers in Southern England.
During a "Crop Circle Making Competition" in 1992 some of them, but not quite all, demonstrated their ability to create those formations.
The years 1994 and 1995 brought up a kind of contest among these groups: who might be able to create the most beautiful and difficult pattern ?

Since then the discussion of whether there ever was or still is a number of 'genuine' formations has never ceased.

History, Results, Particulars, Structure

The Forschungsgesellschaft Kornkreise:

  • History:

    The alleged attributes (see above) were still unexplained in 1991 when a group of 23 members of the Ancient Astronaut Society (German site) (an Erich von Däniken style organisation) decided to have a systematic, objective and serious look at these attributes.
    A project was launched which enabled to have members in England for the summer season of 1991 permanently. About 20 formations which appeared during that time were documented meticulously. At the same time contacts with British circle-investigators were established.
    Subsequent to the presentation of the results, the group came to the conclusion that further methodical organised research should be carried out.

    It seemed appropriate to form a legally constituted organisation.
    A pre-fondation meeting was held in autumn 1991 and the official establishment of the association took place in October 1992 in Northeim, Germany (still the official residence of the organisation).

  • Results:

    The number of members soon grew. At the height of the crop circles' popularity it reached almost 300. The association began to fulfill its aims of systematic research with sufficient finance and competent personnel. Basically during the summers of 1992 and 1993 individual members of the FGK started several projects which had the aim of investigating the mentioned anomalous attributes with technical equipment methodically, so that results could be acknowledged scientifically. These activities were suitable to comparable projects launched by a science-orientated circle inside the British CCCS and American groups.

    As a result the following attributes could be classified non-significant to the 'genuine' crop circle phenomenon:

  • Particulars:

    After simple newsletters to inform the members in the beginning, individual members later worked to launch the association's journal, the "FGK-Report", which has been pulished four times a year since then.

    In order to gather crop circle reports in Germany the FGK, with it's members all over Germany and beyond, established a reporting stucture as well as a telephone hotline.
    Publications and reports on crop circles are collected in the FGK-Archives.

    Most of the research is organised in 'projects'. Any member can propose a project and it will be launched if a conductor for it can be approved at the association's General Meeting and if there is enough finance and manpower to support it.

  • Structure:

    The FGK is a public utility association registered at the Lower Court Northeim, Germany. By the end of 1995 it had about 150 members. It is represented by a board of managers and assessors, elected for two years.

    General meetings take place twice a year (Spring and Autumn). Every member is invited by letter by the board. He/she is entitled to vote and to be elected. General meetings do not necessarily take place in Northeim: they might also be held in other central areas in Germany.

    Generally, anyone can become a member of the FGK, but admission depends on the formal consent of two board members. The consent can be declined without specification of reason. Not welcome, for example, are people known for unscientific publishing on crop circles and related topics.

    The statutory declared aim of the FGK is the incontestable and complete explanation of the crop circle phenomenon with scientifically justifiable methods. The FGK accepts - for the present - generally every tolerably tenable hypothesis even if it does not represent the view of the majority of FGK members. But it does not deal with clearly refuted claims.
    Recently the FGK widened its activities by making contact with groups of hoaxers with the aim of gaining an explanation of their motives.

    The FGK is the largest competent organisation for crop circle research in Germany.

    (-> see FGK-Membership and FGK-Constitution (German only) for more details)

    About Crop Circles

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