Taylor explained the name "crop circles" traces back to when the earliest shapes were in circular form. These mostly geometric patterns-some as big as two football fields-are flattened into crop fields. Taylor said plants being bent and not broken, biological changes to plants and chemical changes to the soil, failure of electromagnetic equipment, and even physical healings inside the circles are presented as defying explanation.
Her documentary was shot in an area of Southern England that is dotted with sites like Stonehenge and Avebury where the ancients performed sacred rituals. She called this the hotbed of circle activity, noting that thousands have appeared during the last thirty years, with evidence of the first one dating back to the 17th century.
And, although England gets a concentration of circles each year, the film shows they have cropped up in some forty other countries, including the United States.
In 1991, in a press release that ran in newspapers around the world, two farmers, still remembered as Doug and Dave, claimed to be the lone creators of the English crop formations. Taylor says her film exposes their subterfuge and deals with the activity of copy-cat hoaxers who followed in their footsteps.
Taylor says her approach isn't to look for the source of the circles, but to engage and document a culture that is riveted by a conviction that this land art is coming from non-human intelligent life. And that is one explanation Taylor is quite open to.
"Perhaps, if we knew we weren't the only intelligent beings in the universe," says Taylor, "it would humble us and unite us."
What on Earth? websites:
WHAT ON EARTH? - crop circle movie trailer from Suzanne Taylor on Vimeo.