I have some fascinating friends. Stephan Schwartz is one of them. For ten years, he has been publishing a daily news service, SchwartzReport, to which many influential people subscribe. Click here to get on his list.
On Stephan’s personal site, he says this:
“My life has been spent exploring extraordinary human functioning, and how individuals and small groups can, and have, affected social change. I’ve done this both as an experimentalist in parapsychology, and by being privileged to have been a part of several major social transformations: civil rights in the 1960s, the transformation of the military from an elitist conscription organization to an all-voluntary meritocracy in the 70s, and citizen diplomacy between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 80s and 90s. Both the experiences and the research have convinced me that all life is inter-connected and interdependent.”
A few days ago, Stephan posted my NY Times movie review on SchwartzReport. He led off with these remarks, which I like very much:
“What on Earth?” Probes Mysteries of Crop Circles
This is a new documentary by SR reader, Suzanne Taylor, who has been a friend for many years. I have seen the documentary, and think this is a very good assessment. As the reviewer notes, the images of the “circles” are stunning. And Suzanne is very amiable. She doesn’t condescend or make fun. So you get to hear from these people what they really believe, which is interesting. Skepticism gets boring. Agreement is not required, only a respect for sincerity.
I know some of you will write me and ask me what I believe about this. Here it is: I made a documentary on the circles myself in the 1980s, and came away from it feeling that while some were hoaxes, others could not be explained away so easily. Just writing this brings back the memory of talking with a British army officer who had been detailed to examine them. All night he and his crew stood on a hill looking out into the dark, seeing a field beneath them in the green glow of night goggles. They had all kind of instrumentation. As the day broke the officer said to me, “I turned around to take a leak, and there before me, in the other direction was a large and complex circle. I do not believe any method I know could have accomplished that without being detected.”
That and the interview with a young Mormon couple who had a circle appear in their field, just before harvest, which they did not appreciate at all. This is the other one that stands out in my memory. The young couple could not have been straighter. They had that integrity about being truthful that anyone who has Mormon farm friends would instantly recognize. I knew they were telling me what they had experienced.
If pressed to construct a scenario which would cover the observed phenomenon I would say this: Suppose at some future date some kind of retrocausal technology develops. You’re in a laboratory in the U.K. and you want to test the technology in some objectively verifiable manner but you have to be careful not to set some change in the past that could alter the future. Well, how about going back and leaving a design, randomly selected for you before you exercised this technology in the crop of a farm field. It would be sure to get recorded so, in the future, your present, you could go to newspapers or video of the era and see whether your design had been reported. Since the appearances were inexplicable, they would generate only short term local interest, and likely be dismissed as curiosities or fakes. Thus they would confirm, while producing few ripples.