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Vital Signs: A Complete Guide to the Crop Circle Mystery and Why It is Not a Hoax Paperback – December 16, 2002
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"...these beautiful and joyous creations not only transcend our ordinary understanding of the material world, but confront our sense of the spiritual, too. To learn about the formations is remarkable enough, but to see and enter and savor them is truly awesome…poised as we are on the brink of ever more mind-blowing formations and hidden messages, it is a blessing that we have a guide as inspired as Andy Thomas."
—from the Foreword by Mike Leigh
"One of the best books on crop circles to emerge in years...Highly recommended."
About the Author
Andy Thomas was born and bred in the south-east of England at Lewes, East Sussex, an area where he still lives today with his wife and son. A founder and member of the Southern Circular Research team (SCR), which carries out much active cerealogical work and has been holding regular public meetings since 1991, Andy is now editor of the popular website www.swirlednews.com, renowned for its outspoken and insightful reporting. He previously produced SC, the globally read bimonthly crop circle journal.
Andy has made numerous international radio and TV appearances, including television spots on The Learning Channel, The History Channel, and NBC's Today Show. He has been featured in many programs in his home country, the UK, as well as in overseas productions in places as diverse as Italy, Denmark, Japan, and Germany, and has appeared in various crop circle documentary videos.
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Thomas - although a believer in the non-human origin of many of the circles - does a good job of addressing the issues raised by the hoaxers and skeptics. He avoids the pretentious, messianic tone of some of the "true believers."
The book has many illustrations, including many in color, but these are in a relatively small format; those people who are interested in large, dramatic photos - or photos of post-2001 circles - should look elsewhere. What "Vital Signs" gives you is a balanced - yet affirmative - introduction to one of the great mysteries of our time.
The crop circle community comprises a variety of opinionated individualists, with much squabbling and in-fighting, yet Thomas is one of the few who rises above that. Thomas is not a milquetoast, and is willing to defend his own point of view, but does so with a grace and humor that many others cannot maintain.
(Dr. Simeon Hein is the author of OPENING MINDS: A Journey of Extraordinary Encounters, Crop Circles, and Resonance and PLANETARY INTELLIGENCE: 101 Easy Steps to Energy, Well-Being, and Natural Insight)
Vital Signs begins with a painstaking presentation of the ground-level data, including the unusual layering and swirls of the downed crop, while providing important details of the scientific work that's been done analyzing the effects on the stalks and soil, establishing the reality of the phenomenon beyond all the hoaxing. It then goes elaborately into what's seen from up above: the pictorial shapes and beautiful geometries, uncovering the mathematics encoded in the shapes. Along the way, we also learn of the strange balls of light (BOLs) seen hovering over the fields and of the effects of crop circle energies on electronic equipment and the biological systems of humans and animals. We're treated too to eyewitness accounts of crop circles forming, including the important recent case in Amsterdam when Nancy Talbott-a key scientific researcher and member of the BLT Research Team-along with Robbert van der Broeke, saw three powerful tubes of light descend into a bean field outside the van der Broeke home, only to discover a few minutes later that a structured crop circle had appeared in the field. It's stories like these that lead one to believe that crop circles are a key part of the worldwide UFO phenomenon.
One of the great strengths of Vital Signs is the year-by-year chronology it provides, as well as the beautiful photographic gallery that accompanies the text, including a central color section. It's a chronicle that not only describes the fascinating evolution of the crop formations over the years, but also the rabid atmosphere of controversy that has grown up around them: are they manmade, anomalous, or a mixture of both? How can you tell the real from the hoaxed and what's the percentage of each? Are the simple ones the true phenomenon, or are some of the more complex formations real as well? As Thomas juggles the assertions and denials on both sides of the fence-as well as the natural, supernatural, and ufological theories as to how they're made-what finally emerges is that, if any of them are not manmade (and much evidence supports the idea that many, perhaps most of them are not), then we have a genuine mystery that's growing in scope around the world. However, it's only ongoing, careful research that has the power to cut through the fog of disinformation. Vital Signs is a great introduction for those confronting the crop circles for the very first time, as well as a primary resource for long-time researchers still dazzled by the mysterious signs in the fields.
-Michael Miley is a contributing editor to UFO Magazine (US).
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