Ground Report – Devil’s Den, Clatford Bottom, Wiltshire, 17/06/05
This magnificent crop circle is located on the hill opposite the Devil’s Den. It comprises three ‘swallow’ shapes similar, although not the same as those which appeared below Walkers Hill in 2003. A brief glimpse can be had from the A4, and due to its hilltop location, this is possibly the viewpoint from which you can see most of the formation.
Entering the design it was immediately apparent that the laid crop was in very good condition. It is impossible to accurately describe the direction the crop is laid in as there are many changes in direction throughout the whole formation and even within each of the flattened sections. The crop appears to flow effortlessly and fluidly through narrow pathways and into larger open spaces.
Where the laid crop changes direction, or flows in opposing directions, it is not always obvious before closer inspection, such is the fluidity and gracefulness of the lay.
Along many of the tramlines within the formation, there are standing ‘curtains’ of crop, one or two stems thick like we saw in the first Milk Hill design. Again at these points the crop flows around the standing crop, or alongside it. Throughout the formation there are many standing tufts forming swirled ‘centres’. These are present in all of the largest ‘swallow’ shaped areas and many of the smaller shapes making up the inner part of the design. Due to much of the crop having recovered during the week since its appearance, the swirled crop surrounding these standing tufts is even more prominent.
The central circle measures 48ft in diameter. At the centre is an area approximately 2ft in diameter, where the crop has not been flattened to the ground, but instead has been bent about half way up, and then woven very tightly down on itself.
This is not the most elegant or refined centre I have ever seen, but what is interesting is that the crop has been woven so tightly it would be very difficult to pull it apart. There are also what appear to be enlarged nodes in some stems making up this interesting feature, as can be seen in the image below.
The triangular ‘beak’ of the ‘swallow’ shape nearest to the adjacent field is aligned directly north, meaning that from this angle the Devil’s Den is to the west of the formation. The crop at all three of these points flows outwards towards the standing crop, and none of the main flow follows this direction.
As I mentioned previously, the crop shows very little sign of damage. In comparison with the ‘vesica pisces’ design which was first discovered the day before this one, the condition of the crop couldn’t be more different. There is no evidence of the ‘kinking’ found in the previous formation, and despite being visited all week, the fine grey/blue coating which is present at this stage of growth on the stems of the plants is present on laid stems throughout the crop circle.
Another visitor to the design at the time I was there, called Deidre, mentioned that in the northern most section of the crop circle she had heard an ‘electrical clicking’ sound, so distinct that she even looked around to check for nearby power lines. Although I was only a few metres away I could not hear it myself. Deidre later helped me out of a very tricky situation with the car – so thank you!
As I was leaving the crop circle, walking towards the tramlines in the lower part of the design, I experienced a sudden and severe feeling of nausea, so much so that I made a very quick exit leaving some of my equipment inside. The second I stepped out of the formation and into the tramline, the feeling ceased, and I was able to go back to get my stuff with no other ill effects.
I did not spend as long inside this crop circle as I would have liked due to failing light, but despite this I feel that in quality on the ground, design and variation, this one is really something special!
A final note
I did speak to the farmer after visiting this crop circle and he assured me that although there is a collection tin, he is not particularly happy about people entering the field. The track leading up to the field where the crop circle is located should not be driven up and is not suitable for most vehicles. Please bear this and the farmer’s wishes in mind before visiting this crop circle.
Crop Circle Summary