No. 98: Mar-Apr 1995
Crop-circle articles that appear in scientific journals, when they appear at all, are usually of the debunking variety. But here follows the abstract from a recent paper printed in a European journal. It presents data that could lead to a technique for separating "real" crop circles from hoaxes!
"Crop formations consist of geometrically organized regions ranging from 2 to 80 m diameter, in which the plants (primarily grain crops) are flattened in a horizontal position. Plants from crop formations display anatomical alterations which cannot be accounted for by assuming the formations are hoaxes. Near the soil surface the curved stems often form complex swirls with 'vortex' type patterns. In the present paper, evidence is presented which indicates that structural and cellular alterations take place in plants exposed within the confines of the 'circle' type formations, differences which were determined to be statistically significant when compared with control plants taken outside the formation. These transformations were manifested at the macroscopic level as abnormal nodal swelling, gross malformations during embryogenesis, and charred epidermal tissue. Significant changes in seed germination and development were found, and at the microscopic level differences were observed in cell wall pit structures. Affected plants also have characteristics suggesting the involvement of transient high temperatures."
(Levengood, W.C.; "Anatomical Anomalies in Crop Formation Plants," Physiologia Plantarum, 92:356, 1994. Cr. N. Talbott)