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No. 76: Jul-Aug 1991

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Subterranean "circles"

As if we didn't have enough problems with crop circles on the earth's surface, it now seems that whatever agency (or "entity") that is responsible for them also plies its craft underground!

"Sets of concentric rings, similar to those found last summer in British wheat fields, have been discovered in a Japanese subway tunnel.

"Many sets of concentric rings were found drawn in dust that accumulated on the ground and walls inside the tube. The metro versions of the mystery circles are much smaller -- up to 8 centimeters in diameter -- than the British ones, the largest of which measures scores of meters."

Y. Otsuki, a professor of physics at Waseda University, discovered the rings and believes that plasma generated in the air creates them. Subway tunnels, he says, create conditions similar to those in the plasma generators he uses in his fireball research.

A photo of the rings accompanying the article shows six neatly-formed, concentric rings around a central crude circle. (Anonymous; "'Mystery Circle' Found in Tunnel," Asahi Evening News (Tokyo), April 5, 1991. Cr. Y. Matsumura via L. Farish)

Speculations. Apparently, plasmoids can be of any size: crop circles may be 100 feet in diameter of just a foot or two, and now we may have centimeter-sized expressions of plasmoid activity in the unexpected locale of the subway tunnel!

Building upon these observations, it is not unreasonable to ask whether plasmoids (including plasma vortices) may not exist on larger scales, say, astronomical and geological. We are drawn to those strange swirl markings on the moon. These loop-like patterns are 1050 kilometers in size and are associated with strong magnetic anomalies. (See ALE5 in The Moon and the Planets.) And right here on earth we have the devastation of the Tunguska Event sans a gaping crater. And how about the shallow Carolina Bays, some of which are associated with magnetic anomalies? Could such phenomena be the handiwork of plasmoids rather than meteorites or comets? Plasmoids could also be involved in such phenomena as ball lightning, the cookie-cutter holes, and even spontaneous human combustion!

Reference. For ordering information on The Moon and the Planets, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #76, JUL-AUG 1991. 1991-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987