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The Chilbolton Crop Glyphs:
A Message Finally Received --
 In Answer to Carl Sagan?

This Summer, precisely one year after a strange fractal "crop glyph" appeared in a field just outside the Chilbolton Radio telescope grounds, in Hampshire, England, another, even stranger glyph appeared (above).  According to Darcy Ladd, Manager of the Chilbolton Radio Observatory, in an interview with Colin Andrews, the image appeared “suddenly on the morning of August 14th.”  According to Mr. Ladd, “No unusual activity was seen that morning, in the field or [in terms of] aircraft overhead, etc ….”  According to the Manager, Chilbolton does have security cameras, but they are not equipped for night vision surveillance.  The cameras captured “nothing unusual.”

The image which confronted the Telescope personnel that morning bore a striking resemblance to the July, 1976 Viking image of the "Face on Mars" -- right down to the appearance of asymmetry and "erosion" on the right hand side.  Curiously (considering what was to happen next) this “Cydonia resemblance glyph” appeared just four days after our own publication of a provocative, new, comprehensive theory of Mars – our Mars Tidal Model Paper (that detail will become important later).  Though first noticed by the telescope employees on the 14th, the Chilbolton "Face" was not reported (and NOT by the facility staff) until Sunday, August 19th.

Its announcement in England caused an immediate worldwide sensation on the Internet – not the least, because it struck many observers as a deliberate effort to remind everyone of the infamous Face on Mars.  For one thing, the Face crop effort seemed to be designed to replicate the light and shading of the original Viking Cydonia image (below, right).  The Face turned out, under a "Gaussian blur filter" (thanks to Paul Lowrance – below, left), to bear a strong resemblance to a somewhat primitive human face -- not unlike the left hand side of the human/feline hybrid of the Face on Mars ... if the Face’s erosion was removed.  But, the Chilbolton glyph lacked a key feature of the Cydonia Face -- the distinctive "platform" around the base.  In place of this, however, it was obviously carefully placed within a frame (see above).  Was this done to underscore its connection to the prior Viking pictures?

But there were other, far more sophisticated aspects, which drew people to this glyph.  The whole thing seemed to be made up of cells, which bore a striking resemblance to the half-tone “dots” used to create newspaper pictures, or the pixels of a digital image.  These "pixels" were made up of a series of darker standing tufts of wheat, with the bright "pixels" created by the gently swirled down stalks between (below).

The deliberately-created illusion in this glyph (below) -– that the lighting is coming from the upper left (as in the original Viking Cydonia frame), when in fact Steve Alexander’s aerial photograph was taken with the sunlight on the field coming from the lower right – is further testimony to the superb optical physics embodied in this effort.  And, remember - -this was achieved in a waving field of wheat, not the most permanent medium to work with.  And there was another "cute" touch: the Face glyph was placed in the field in such a way that the “tramline” scanned across the “nose” cuts it almost exactly in half -- another subtle reminder of the dual-Face image at Cydonia?

Yet there are other reasons to take this possible "Chilbolton-Cydonia" link seriously.  As noted previously, precisely a year before the “Face glyph” was created in this English field, another glyph suddenly appeared (below).  Michael Lawrence Morton, carrying on the work of Carl Munck (first presented by Richard C. Hoagland at the UN, in 1992), found a stunning "geometric matrix" connection between these two sites – the Chilbolton field and Cydonia.  In fact, in decoding the location of the fractal glyph from the year 2000 (below), Morton determined an astonishing set of linkages on his grid system between Chilbolton and literally the Face on Mars itself.

This array of circumstantial evidence has led us to conclude that the Face-glyph, appearing in the same field on August 14th, 2001, a couple hundred feet away from the 2000 glyph, may indeed have been intended as a “reminder” of the Cydonia Face (below).

But why there … and why now?

Face/Glyph comparison by " style="color: yellow; text-decoration: underline; text-underline: single"> Andreas Müller

According to Manager Ladd, five days after the Face initially appeared, a second striking -- and strikingly different -- glyph suddenly materialized in the same field (below) -- only a few hundred feet from the "Face."  But this second glyph, at first dubbed the "Persian carpet," had a far more compelling story to tell than the mere appearance of “a “face.”  Crop circle investigators in England quickly realized that this second glyph was a near dead ringer for a “SETI” (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) message composed and transmitted from the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico in 1974 – 27 years before and thousands of miles away from this Chilbolton field (below, left).  That original Message, conceived by Frank Drake, the late Carl Sagan, and a few other colleagues at Arecibo, contained information about the human race, our solar system, and our means of communication.  Yet, after a second look, there were subtle but crucial differences between this historic SETI transmission, and the apparent “alien response” appearing at Chilbolton in 2001.

The obvious question that’s been on everybody’s mind is: “Are these for ‘real,’ or a just clever hoax?”  Since the first appearance of “crop circles” in England, in the early 1970’s, this question has hovered over every new appearance ... now numbering in the literal thousands.  Eventually, samples from “circles” compared with planets from unaffected fields, revealed puzzling physiological and molecular changes in “circle” crops that are simply impossible to attribute to “boards and chains.”  But, since there are no scientific studies of the plants from the Chilbolton glyphs as yet, what other clues can be used to ascertain the probability that something truly remarkable has happened there?

James Deardorff, former Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, Colorado has attempted to calculate such odds.  He begins by asking some very basic, common sense questions:

 [What is] the probability that hoaxers could:

(a) be creative enough to construct a new type of glyph like that, involving rectangular "binary units" in the "Arecibo" response, and no circles, (b) repeatedly practice making the Arecibo glyph first, in some field(s), without these practice attempts being spotted from the air and reported, (c) actually carry it out, producing all those right-angle corners in the Arecibo-like pattern, without making any mistakes, (d) do it all in just a few hours overnight, (e) do it without showing up on the security cameras there, one or more of which looked out towards the relevant direction …, (f) do it without leaving undesired trampled stalks or stake holes, etc., behind, from having accessed the location along some tram line and laying out the surveying lines, etc., which would be necessary, and (g) not claim credit for it afterwards and not offer to show skeptics just how they did it by being willing to quickly reproduce the same designs within a pristine area of a wheat field while under the watchful eyes of veteran crop-circle researchers.

Concerning the probability of (a), we have, on a couple occasions, seen the handiwork of crop-circle hoaxers in a contest.  Their patterns consisted of the same elements, and were of the same type, as in (genuine) preexisting crop-circle formations (circles, triangles, stars, and such).  Very little creativity.  Thus I would estimate the probability of (a) as being p(a) = 0.3 -- possible, but not very likely.  (Here, p=0 would mean no chance whatsoever it could be a hoax, and p=1 would mean absolute certainty it was a hoax.)

Concerning the probability of (b), since most of the crop-circle formations apparently do get noticed, including hoaxes, so would practice attempts be noticed and reported as either genuine or hoaxes.  Surely several practice attempts would be needed in this case, and this would give away hoaxers' final version unless they trampled down each practice attempt right away after making it, without being noticed. However, such trampled areas would themselves likely be noticed from the air and/or the perpetrators reported.  I estimate the probability of such going unnoticed and unreported as less than 50-50, say 0.3.

Concerning the probability of (c), I notice that there are some 700-1000 right-angle corners of standing stalk involved, on a relatively small scale, in all those binary units of the "returned" Arecibo message.  It would be difficult to generate even 30 of them without making a mistake -- and once a mistake is made, with the wrong stems bent over to stay, they can't be raised again.  If the chance for error was only 0.5 (50-50) for each succession of 30 corner units, then the probability of making just one right-angle corner come out right is quite high, 0.9782.  However, the probability of one or more persons continuing the process on 800 of them without botching any of the corners or trampling down the wrong spot would be this figure raised to the 800th power, which is only 2 x 10^(-8) = p(c).  Concerning (d), the time to attempt to accomplish this would be on the order of 20 seconds to correctly emplace each of some 2 x (23 + 73) = 192 tall stakes around the periphery (64 minutes in all); two minutes to string each of 23 parallel "grid" lines (cords) lengthwise and one minute each for 73 shorter parellel lines crosswise (119 minutes in all); 2 minutes each to flatten stalks around the roughly 800 "binary units" of wheat to be left standing (this includes the time necessary to identify where to move to next without trampling the wrong area in the dark, and ducking under the various criss-crossing lines to get there -- 1600 minutes in all); some 20 minutes for a couple of rest breaks; and 45 minutes to remove all stakes and cords and carefully exit without leaving access tracks behind in the field.  This is some 31 hours, suggesting the need for a team of 5 or 6 people, each knowing what their specific tasks are.  Since this seems possible, this consideration doesn't rule either against the hoax or against the "real thing," which means p(d) = 0.5.

Concerning (e): for a team of 5 or 6 people to do this at night would require a good deal of artificial lighting, along with walkie-talkies so that the head hoaxer could orchestrate the entire endeavor, directing each worker on where to step next or not to step.  The odds are not good that such lighting would not have been detected when the security-camera video tapes were examined.  Here I estimate p(e) = 0.2 that hoaxers could have done this without their night lights showing up.

Concerning (f), I believe that no stake holes were reported, but the probability that so many of them could have been filled in prior to the hypothetical hoaxing team's departure without the disturbed ground being noticed and reported later, and similarly for no disturbances along any tram lines showing up on the aerial photos, suggests a low probability of hoaxers getting away with this aspect, say p(f) = 0.1. (Bear in mind that if hoaxers get to a genuine formation prior to serious crop-circle researchers, such hoaxers could deceptively make stake holes, leave behind some string and cigarette butts, etc.)

Concerning (g), I believe the chances are less than even that, if hoaxers had made such unique crop glyphs, they wouldn't wish to claim credit for it (or them) within a couple weeks afterwards -- after a goodly number of paranormal researchers had offered their opinions that the formations were not man-made.  This hasn't happened.  So I would estimate p(g) = 0.4, with this value decreasing somewhat as time rolls on without any viable confession forthcoming.

… it turns out that there's a mathematical way of combining individual probabilities on a yes-no type of hypothesis, in this case a hoax or no-hoax hypothesis, to arrive at an overall probability, P.  That's because probabilities p(a)...p(g) involve independent elements all bearing on the same question of hoax or no-hoax.

 The simple formula is:

 P = M1/(M1 + M2)

where M1 = p(a)*p(b)*...*p(g)  and M2 = [1 - p(a)]*[1-p(b)]*...*[1-p(g)], where the asterisks denote multiplication.

Plugging in, we get:

 P = 7 x 10^(-11)

That is -- less than two chances out of 10 billion (U.S. billion).  So why is the “hoax” hypothesis given any credence at all?

I read somewhere on the Internet that our 1974 Arecibo message contained a few mistakes, and that these were replicated in the agro-glyph, from which the conclusion was drawn by some person that it must be a hoax, since true aliens would surely(!) both know better and would tell us the truth and nothing but the truth.  But aren't the aliens visiting us the past 54 years known for leaving a few crumbs behind for negative skeptics to glom onto?

E.g., UFOs that look somewhat like airplanes except the navigational lights are all wrong and perhaps no wings, or black "helicopters" flying way too low and perhaps making no noise whatever, or crop-circle formations that start out simple and become more complex (as if hoaxers were teaching themselves), etc.  Surely we have to allow that since they could be millions of years advanced over us in their evolution and science & technology, they could also be a bit smarter than us, and have a strategy of dealing with us that includes some feature(s) in their sightings/glyphs that will allow skeptics a way out from believing what they are incapable of believing without going berserk.  Hence, if such "mistakes" were indeed present in the glyph, they do not support the hoax hypothesis any more than they oppose it, and do not enter into the above probability analysis.  (If you include some item in the formula that has probability 0.5, it doesn't alter the mathematical result. If interested in the formula's derivation, you can find it at: http;//www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/cumulate.htm)

Obviously, the answer one gets with such a probability analysis depends entirely on the individual probabilities estimated for the independent components of the hypothesized hoax.  If you were to do it, your numbers would no doubt be different, yet still yield an outcome of very slim odds of success for a hoax, I'll wager.  But it is handy to have a formula by which you can obtain an overall probability estimate after the individual probabilities have been hashed over and agreed upon.

Colin Andrews, an electrical engineer now living in the United States (after formerly working for local government in Britain), has for over 30 years attempted to scientifically understand the baffling “crop circle enigma.”  Returning recently to the United States from a first-hand investigative survey of Chilbolton, Andrews reported the following observations:

“ … The 'face' and the 'message' at Chilbolton presented different clews [from the previous Milk Hill formation].  The farmer, at my request, when harvesting the field, lowered his harvester cutting boom to approx 1 inch above ground level.  In my experience, this is an excellent method of finding underlay.  What I found was VERY revealing indeed.  Each pattern was set out first using a very accurate grid on which the designs were then formed or made.  I will show photographs of the under lay later ….  What we saw was a beautiful grid, all visible after the overlay of flattened plants had been cut and removed by the harvester.  There is no doubt in my mind that we have a different hand at work in these last three designs and IF it is people, then they certainly have military style precision and even possibly technology.  Too soon to draw conclusions but its certainly dammed interesting working through the increasing volume of data ...”

So, leaving aside for the time being just “who” might have done this, what can we discern from attempting to analyze the “glyph message” itself?

The original "SETI Message" (below, right) shows a variety of binary images (colorized here, for easier visualization) –- composed of “ones” and “zeros” –- meant to tell a story to any ET civilization intercepting it.

To begin with, the digital “pictogram” (below, right) is the product of two Prime numbers: 23 and 73.  This sets the “raster” of pixels – 23 across and 73 down.  After (arbitrarily) assigning “black” to the “ones” and “white” to the “zeros” (below, left), decoding can begin.  The “zeros” and “ones” from right to left produce on the top line the decimal numbers 1-10 (representing the binary equivalents).  On the second line are atomic numbers of the basic elements which humans thought (in 1974) made up the foundations of Life -- hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus.  Below that, the formulas for the basic chemical make-up of the five main molecules of DNA; then, a vertical depiction of the DNA double helix wrapped around a central binary spine designed to reveal that we have about 4 billion nucleotides in our own DNA; below that, a humanoid figure [which comes with a code (to the right] depicting the correct average height of human beings, as well as the 1974 population of the Earth (to the left)]; then, on the next line, a map of our entire solar system (showing Earth elevated above the line of other planets, indicating our own “inhabited” planet of origin).

The last, curved symbol at the bottom of the array is our means of transmitting the Message: a schematic of the Arecibo radio telescope itself – complete with binary scale (below it) to communicate how large it is.

Here is how Sagan himself described the Arecibo Message, about four years after it was transmitted:

“The decoded message forms a kind of pictogram that says something like this: ‘Here is how we count from one to ten. Here are five atoms that we think are interesting or important: hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus. Here are some ways to put these atoms together that we think interesting or important - the molecules thymine, adenine, guanine and cytosine, and a chain composed of alternating sugars and phosphates. These molecular building blocks are put together to form a long molecule of DNA comprising about four billion links in the chain. The molecule is a double helix. In some way this molecule is important for the clumsy looking creature at the center of the message. That creature is 14 radio wavelengths or 5 feet 9.5 inches tall. There are about four billion of these creatures on the third plant from our star. There are nine planets altogether, four big ones toward the outside and one little one at the extremity. This message is brought to you courtesy of a radio telescope 2,430 wavelengths or 1,004 feet in diameter. Yours truly.’”

In the crop glyph “response” that appeared a few days ago (below), there have been some changes made to the original Message. This diagram and comparison are kindly provided by Paul Vigay, the founder of Crop Circle Research in England. Paul actually walked the remarkable “Arecibo Response” glyph (as it has now been termed), and his tabulation of the standing and fallen tufts of wheat, corresponding to the binary “ones” and “zeros,” we consider the most accurate because of this literal “ground truth.”

So, what about those changes?  To begin with, the first line -- the decimal equivalents of the binary code -- were unchanged.  But the atomic numbers of the elements composing the basis of Life had been altered: silicon, an element with an atomic number of 14, was added precisely in the correct sequence -- between oxygen (atomic number 8) and phosphorus (atomic number 15).  This was a most curious and significant addition.

However, additional work by other researchers – such as Dustin Brand, a software engineer highly familiar with binary coding who painstakingly compared both multiple aerial and ground photographs (below) to create a precise two-dimensional “grid” of the “Arecibo Response” – has revealed some basic errors in Paul’s original mapping and decoding.

So, for the sake of completeness, we also reproduce Brand’s Chilbolton grid (below).

So, what about those changes?  To begin with, the first line -- the decimal equivalents of the binary code -- were unchanged from the Arecibo original.  But the atomic numbers of the elements composing the basis of Life had been altered: silicon, an element with an atomic number of 14, was added precisely in the correct sequence -- between oxygen (atomic number 8) and phosphorus (atomic number 15).  This was a most curious and significant addition.

Because … in 1969, the late Ben Volcani -- a renowned microbiologist at the Scripps Institution for Oceanography -- discovered the crucial role of silicon in carbon based Life.  His work and that of his colleagues (like Charles Mehard, also at Scripps, and Edith Carlisle in the early 1970’s at UCLA) showed that the presence of silicon is critical in a variety of terrestrial life forms, as well as human cell structure: for instance, in the binding of the cartilage and mineral aspects of bones.  Without silicon, we would have rubbery, bendable skeletons -- and probably couldn’t even stand erect in Earth’s gravity at all.

The point is, unlike the claim made by the current SETI's Seth Shostak in his ‘Coast-to-Coast” radio debate with the author, that the presence of silicon in the response glyph is just "science fiction," silicon is a crucial but almost unknown ingredient in the terrestrial “soup of life.”  And it is a rock solid certainty that Drake and Sagan did not know this – otherwise, why exclude it from their own Message?  Moreover, whoever created this glyph was clever enough to add this crucial but subtle difference.

Paradoxically (for some), the coding of bases and sugars in the DNA section remained unchanged between both versions of the Message; significantly, the crop glyph version did NOT contain any references to “silicon.”  Some critics have used this apparent inconsistency to attempt to invalidate the entire Chilbolton Message, asking “If this is a valid communication of an alien DNA, why would silicon only be present in the atomic elements replication, and not in the associated sugars and bases as well?”  Our answer: because the terrestrial criticality of silicon is NOT represented in our DNA – but in other proteins and enzymes making up the molecules of Life.  Reading the original Arecibo selection, listing “hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus” as applying ONLY to the DNA itself, is just too limiting – as the Scripps research now proves.  It is our reading that whoever composed the “Arecibo response” at Chilbolton may have been gently trying to expand our 1974 biochemical awareness.  And, in fact, Neal Sullivan – a Scripps graduate student at the time – demonstrated (simultaneous with Volcani’s work) that silicon is essential in the production of DNA-polymerase – an enzyme required for DNA synthesis in diatoms.  And diatoms (which come in literally thousands of varieties – one of which is pictured below) are one of the photosynthetic marine organisms lying at the base of the food chain of all life on Earth.  In 1997, Mark Hildebrand, a marine biologist at Scripps, announced a critical extension of Volcani’s work – isolation of the specific genes responsible for the role of silicon in diatoms.  Hildebrand noted in the paper published in Nature on the new work, that the information learned also may be applied “to mammals, including humans.”

Moving on …

In contrast to the apparently unchanged listing of sugars and bases in DNA itself from the original to the glyph version, the center vertical column -- denoting (again in binary code) the total number of nucleotides in the human genome -- has been changed in the crop version: there are significantly more nucleotides in the “alien” DNA.  What does this meanThe difference has to be linked to another key change in this same section of the “message”: the twin DNA “double helix” strand depicted in the original, is asymmetric in the glyph; the left hand side appears to be a triple helix -- as if communicating some key differences in the sender’s genetic make-up.  But, another possibility also looms …

Last year, a US patent was issued to Enzo Biochem, Inc., of Farmingdale, NY.  The Patent (#5,958,681) announced a new process for modifying DNA, a technique that calls for the addition of a third strand to the classic double helix, making it a temporary triple helix.  The triple helix holds the desired new sequences in close proximity to and at a precise point in the original gene, long enough according to Enzo Biochem for “recombination, exchange or insertion to take place with a high frequency.”

 Is this “triple helix” in the glyph trying to tell us that some “aliens” performed similar “genetic engineering” experiments on humans … some time in the past?  This theory is consistent with the enhanced number of nucleotides in the “response” human DNA section (above the counterpart to the human figure in the Arecibo original); for this alteration in the crop glyph seems to refer directly to the humanoid figure depicted just below this crucial sequence.  In place of the “human figure” in the original Message, a small bodied, big-headed figure -- resembling a classic "gray”- has been carefully substituted in the glyph version … complete with a binary code denoting its apparent height (about 3.3 feet).

Or, if you can’t buy that idea, an alternative theory for this “altered” glyph DNA was posted recently, by an anonymous “research biologist.”

                               "Many people have been speculating whether the new Arecibo crop pictogram in Chilbolton is a 
                               hoax or real.  The purpose of this message is: (a) to explain why the DNA part of that pictogram was altered
                                from Sagan's original; and (b) to suggest a return message.  The central part of the Chilbolton pictogram 
                               shows that a DNA double helix as found on Earth, with 10 base pairs per turn, has been replaced on one side 
                               by a novel single-stranded helix with just 6 bases per turn [emphasis added].  I had to work hard for several 
                               days, to discover that the single-stranded helix with 6 bases per turn refers to 2', 5'-linked RNA or DNA, 
                               as opposed to the normal 3', 5' variety.  This is known to hardly any molecular biologist, and I found out only 
                               by making an accurate model.  Since the chemical formula of the 6-base helix remains the same as before, I 
                               guessed that any difference might be one of stereochemistry: change the sugar-phosphate connection.  A tiny 
                               single-digit change in the central "rod" of that pictogram, located between the two nucleic acid strands, may 
                               confirm such a change in stereochemistry once it is mapped accurately.
                                “In any case, there is no other plausible way of constructing a 6-fold helix as indicated.  (a) "Association 
                               of 2', 5' ligoribonucleotides," Nucleic Acids Research 1992, vol. 20, pp. 1685-1690.  This paper shows 
                               that 2', 5'-linked RNA will form double helices, but prefers to remain single stranded.  (b) "Synthesis and 
                               biological activities of 2', 5'-oligoadenylate," Nucleic Acids Research 1995, vol. 23, pp. 3989-3994.  
                               This paper explores the use of 2', 5' RNA as an antiviral drug; it seems we have been exposed to such strange 
                               molecules in the past, and have evolved an interferon-RNAase L system against them.  (c) "2', 5' linked 
                               deoxyribonucleosides: thermal stability", Nucleic Acids Research 1997, vol. 25, pp. 3310-3317.  
                               This paper shows that 2', 5' DNA will form a double helix with RNA but not DNA; hence any 2', 5' infectious 
                               agents would not be detectable by PCR.  
                               “Recall that origin-of-life experiments in the 1980's [?] by Leslie Orgel, found that RNA would often 
                               polymerize into two different forms, namely 2', 5' versus 3', 5'; and it was a mystery to chemical evolutionists 
                               why 3', 5' was favored on Earth.  Note that many abductees [remember, the central figure in the “response”
                        version of the Arecibo Message looks like a classic “gray”] remain ill with chronic fatigue, which generally
                                includes a high level of RNAase L; just as if their immune systems have been activated by contact with 2', 5' RNA.  
                               The clear implication is that 2', 5' RNA may represent an alternative system of genetic coding to 3',5' RNA or 
                               DNA as found on Earth; and that the makers of the Chilbolton pictogram wished us to understand that fact [emphasis 
                         added].  Whether a secret band of elite scientists could hoax such a result seems doubtful; since 2', 5' nucleic acids 
                               are mentioned rarely in the literature, and nowhere does it say that they form a single-stranded helix with 6 bases per
                               turn.  That I found only recently, by painstakingly constructing an accurate model. 
                               “If the message is authentic, one must wonder whether it was sent by radio some time ago, yet not made 
                               public?  Finally … let me suggest a ‘return message’ that could open communication rapidly.  I suggest that you ask 
                               people all around the world to write the following in deserts, beaches, forests, crops, and on all frequencies of 
                               amateur radio:  ‘2', 5' ---6 ‘… ‘3', 5' --- 10   ‘ Or simply ‘6  /10’ if they are lazy.  But the full message is better ...”

If the single/triple helix DNA representation in the Chilbolton glyph seems confusing, it is no more so than the Arecibo Message itself.  The intensive examination of Drake and Sagan’s original “binary message” by so many on the Internet has now turned up certain puzzling “errors” in the original 1974 Arecibo transmission.  Most (but not all) of these seem to be concentrated in the coded description of terrestrial DNA.


DNA is one of a vast group of organic (carbon-containing) molecules known as “polymers.”  The sub-molecules of DNA (monomers) are called “nucleotides.”  The entire DNA polymer, comprised of varying numbers of nucleotides (depending on the complexity of the life form) is known as a "polynucleotide."  Each nucleotide in this polymer consists of a 5-carbon sugar (deoxyribose), a nitrogen-containing base attached to the sugar, and a phosphate group.  There are four different types of nucleotides found in DNA, differing only in their nitrogenous base.  These four nucleotides are given one-letter abbreviations as shorthand for the four bases: A (Adenine), T (Thymine), C (Cytosine), and G (Guanine).  Two spiraling strands of this polynucleotide – like two spiral staircases climbing around each other, with the bases as the “stairs” -- form the well-known “double-helix” of DNA

Model of a double-helical DNA. One chain is shown in green and the other in red. The purine and pyrimidine bases are shown in lighter colors than the sugar-phosphate backbone. (a) Axial view. The structure repeats along the helix axis (vertical) at intervals of 34 Å, which corresponds to 10 residues on each chain. (b) A schematic "ribbon" representation of an axial view of DNA. (Courtesy of M. Meselson and F. W. Stahl) (c) Radial view, looking down the helix axis.

Some investigators have now claimed to have discovered serious errors in the binary coding of several of these crucial monomers in DNA in the original Arecibo Message.  They insist that “mistakes” seem to have been made in the basic binary codes for Deoxyribose, Adenine, and Guanine.  Deoxyribose (below) has five Carbon atoms, but the binary coding for it in the Arecibo transmission shows seven carbon atoms.

Similarly, Adenine has five carbons (below, left), but it’s binary designation in the Message shows only four.  Guanine (below, right) contains five carbons, but in the original Drake/Sagan Message there are again only four carbon atoms shown.  Because of bonding, within the polynucleotide DNA molecule itself (as opposed to it in isolation) Adenine contains only four hydrogen atoms (two attached to a nitrogen and one each attached to a carbon) – but, remarkably, the Arecibo Message illustrates it with five hydrogens.

What gives?!

These, if true, would not be trivial genetic errors.  Their discovery in the original Arecibo transmission, after 27 years, would be simply inexplicable.  Without knowing that these sequences were supposed to be describing molecules bonded in a polymer called “DNA,” it would essentially be impossible to rectify the apparent “errors” in the Message with that structure.


Now, if you’re claiming to send the genetic code of the life forms on your own planet to a completely alien species (which may have a genetic code based on molecular sequences completely different from what we know as “DNA”), such repeating nucleotide errors would simply make it impossible for any alien recipients to successfully unscramble your genetic code, let alone the basis of that code.  Yet this was supposedly a key objective of the entire 1974 Message: to send accurate genetic information about the human species, if not the foundations of all Life on Earth, into deep space ….


These investigators, on finding these perplexing “fundamental errors,” have gone on to claim that Drake and Sagan “deliberately included such mistakes” as a means of “catching hoaxers.”  Hoaxers?  For a radio transmission aimed at a globular star cluster some 26,000 light years distant?!  Just who could possibly successfully “hoax” any received radio response?  And when … in 50,000 years!?


To borrow a recent phrase from Seth Shostak (of the SETI Institute), this whole idea simply “fails the baloney test, as Sagan would put it.” 


In fact, these apparent “errors” in the Message are explained quite simply: they come from the fact that these nucleotides are NOT “free molecules” (as these investigators have erroneously assumed) -- but are bonded in the larger DNA molecule itself.  If their amalgamation into the DNA polymer is properly deduced (from other aspects of the binary), the apparent “missing atoms” in these “isolated” nucleotides is completely understood.


A real potential problem was discovered by Chris Joseph, who noted that the entire original Message was filled with “binary inconsistencies and counter intuitive symbolization.”  Not only did the binary notation change without warning from line to line (below), but interspersion of non-binary graphical elements – such as the “humanoid figure,” the “solar system line,” and the “curved schematic of the Arecibo telescope” -– added, according to his assessment, “non-mathematical symbols which would surely puzzle any genuine aliens who happened to receive this particular transmission.”


Talk about “mixing your metaphors” ….

A far more serious problem is the addition of “silicon” to the list of elements in the glyph.  As noted previously, one can’t help wondering – based on Ben Volcani’s and his colleagues’ work -- what happens if you now insert silicon directly into those “erroneous” nucleotide sequences?


At least one investigator -- " style="color: yellow; text-decoration: underline; text-underline: single"> Dustin D. Brand –-  has already published a remarkable answer to such musings: a plausible “alien” DNA chemistry, based on a careful tally of the information in the glyph, utilizing a silicon-oxygen tetrahedral molecule in place of the phosphate in our DNA (graphic, below).



His fascinating analysis, in part, reads:



   “Molecular DNA Structure - The formulae for the molecular structure that make up every single DNA strand remain identical to the human template, with one exception. In Alien DNA, the Phosphate->Deoxyribose (Sugar) Hydrogen Bond is replaced with a Silicon Oxygen 4 (Tetrahedron) -> Deoxyribose (Sugar) Hydrogen Bond. This is directly connected to the Aliens inserting Silicon in its proper place in the Atomic Numbers Grid. This indicates knowledge of the Deoxyribonucleic Acid strand, and the basic fundamental properties of life on earth. The exact formulas for the molecular DNA structure that form each link in a DNA strand are as follows. Deoxyribose C5OH7; Adenine C5H4N5; Thymine C5H5N2O2; Phosphate P04 (in Human DNA) - Silicon Oxygen SiO4 (in Alien DNA); Cytosine C4H4N3O; and Guanine C5H4N5O. The molecular structure of the DNA is demonstrated by the repeating pattern of DeoxyRibose and Phosphate (a Nucleotide) or Silicon Oxygen 4 on both the right and left hand sides of the templates. The Molecular DNA Bases each form a NucleoSide with the Deoxyribose, and then a Base Pair with each adjacent Base. The Alien DNA change is evident in the Binary->Decimal conversion of the Alien DNA Data, which = 4,294,966,110 DNA Sequences or links or base pairs. This is a + 524,288 from the human DNA number which is 4,294,441,822. The human genome project currently estimates 3.5 Billion Base Pairs or links in human DNA. This is an interesting fact because in 1974, and according to Frank Drake and quotes by Carl Sagan, we sent our human DNA base pairs number indeed as about 4 billion - NOT 3 billion. Again, in the Alien DNA, this number actually increases from 4.2944 Billion which we sent to 4.2949 Billion. The point is, had we wanted or intended to send our DNA Base Pairs or Nucleotides number as 3.5 Billion, we would have ….”


Why did Sagan et al. think (in 1974) that “our” DNA consists of about 3 billion more base pairs (4,294,441,822) than the entire genetic community at large acknowledged at the time?   And, why did they apparently choose to send that “erroneous” information into space in their historic Arecibo Transmission?


Before we open that very significant can of worms, let’s complete our tally of the differences between the Arecibo original and the Chilbolton “answer glyph” ….


Below the line containing the distorted “gray alien” figure in the glyph, lies the “solar system” code – also NOT in binary, but as a simple line schematic.  From right to left, the glyph version also has a “sun” and two “inner worlds” (below).  This is followed by three elevated icons, indicating that three worlds in the sender’s “solar system” are/were inhabited.  One of these is, in fact, not a “pixel planet” like the others but a blank space surrounded by four black pixels at right angles.  Then, outside this elevated group, lie two larger “twin” planets, followed by two smaller “twins.”

This is another controversial aspect of the “message in the wheat.”  Does this “alien solar system” represent a different star and planets … “theirs?”  Or, is it in fact, our own – but at a different time … the past?!

Again, leaving aside for a moment the sticky question, “Who sent this message – genuine extraterrestrials, or humans?,” we are tending to believe at this point that the “altered solar system” depicted in the glyph refers in fact to this one … but sometime before 65 million years ago.  There are several reasons for this inference.

First, it would be extremely coincidental to also have two inner planets, counterparts to Mercury and Venus, in our first “alien” communication of another solar system.  Recent studies of more than 60 extra solar systems have revealed, with only a couple of quasi-exceptions, NONE which even begin to resemble our own.  The second reason for believing this is our own system, lies in the “twin planets” in the glyph.  Since Pluto is thought by many astronomers now to be either an escaped moon of Neptune or merely an errant member of the so-called “Kuiper Belt” of outer solar system asteroids (which at one time wandered too close to Neptune and has been captured in a peculiar “resonance pattern” with that planet), if the depiction of the system is from before this “escape/or capture event,” then the remaining outer planets should correspond to the two “twin outer planets” in this solar system – Uranus/Neptune, and Jupiter/Saturn.  And that is what we find in the glyph: two pairs of outer ‘twins’ – minus an errant moon, “Pluto.”

A first impression of this schematic might be that these three elevated “inhabited” planets in the glyph correspond to “Earth,” “Mars” and “Jupiter.”  The four dark “pixels” at right angles to the “Jupiter icon” would then correspond to the Jovian moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.  The major problem with this initial interpretation is the “missing Pluto,” and the outer “twins.”

An alternative interpretation is that this line represents this solar system with additional, now missing members … including an unknown fourth and fifth planet, the latter orbiting where the current asteroid belt resides.  As noted earlier, the timing of this glyph is startling – and highly “suspicious.”  In our recently published “Tides” paper, the original fourth and fifth planets have been destroyed.  This destruction then releases Mars (a satellite of one of these former worlds) to become a new “fourth planet” on its own.

This identical scenario eerily seems to be depicted in the Chilbolton glyph.  Why?  And … why NOW?

It is the explosion/collision of the fourth and fifth planets 65 million years ago which, in our model, result in the literal vaporization of the bulk of these two planets, and the few orbiting fragments we see as current asteroids.  Of course, such a catastrophe would have been devastating to any life/populations of these former worlds (depicted in binary in the glyph as “upwards of 12 billion”).  In such a horrific scenario, these catastrophic events might have triggered a desperate attempt to survive by sending refugees to Earth (the only inhabitable planet remaining in the solar system).  So, is the glyph trying to tell us that an effort was made to implant the dying populations genetic code in terrestrial life forms here on Earth – thus accounting for the inference of “genetic engineering” higher in the glyph … ultimately resulting in ourselves?

Leaving aside further speculation on this delicate subject for a moment, the final section of the glyph “response” appears – in place of the Arecibo Telescope in the original -- to be the Chilbolton crop formation from one year ago (below) … with some important “differences.”  Again, the initial impression might be "this is our technological means of making the glyphs … the counterpart to your ‘electromagnetic radio wave transmissions’ …”  But, we suspect there’s more ….

If you compare the 2000 formation with the 2001 “schematic,” you’ll note some significant alterations.  In place of the central “dot and double ring” formation in the 2000 Chilbolton crop circle (below), the center in the “Arecibo Response” is another blank “pixel” – surrounded by four dark “pixels” at right angles … exactly like the last “raised planet” in the solar system line above it.  Coincidence?  Or, someone’s means of telling us that these two things somehow are “connected?”

It has been our supposition for some time that the exquisite array of real “crop glyphs” (denoted by altered molecular compounds, physiological changes in the plants, the appearance of rare radioactive isotopes, etc.) have been created by the technological application of some form of Hyperdimensional Physics to the living plants.  This suspicion has been reinforced by peer-reviewed papers scientifically documenting these mystifying phenomeno, published by among others, Dr. W. C. Levengood (“Anatomical Anomalies in Crop Formation Planets,” Physiologia Plantarum 92:356-363, 1994; “Semi-Molten Meteoric Iron Associated with a Crop Formation,” Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 9, N0 2, pp. 191-199, 1995), and Dr. Eltjo H. Haselhoff.

Our suspicion that these phenomenon were associated with Hyperdimensional Physics began with our discovery of the same geometric and mathematical information in the “crop glyphs,” as we had decoded at Cydonia and published many years ago in “The Monuments of Mars.”  This theoretical connection was backed up years later by our discovery of the experimental work of physicist Bruce DePalma.  As we have written elsewhere, HD Physics above all is a physics of rotation.  DePalma’s decades of remarkable experiments in basic science specifically focused on “anomalous rotation” … and its associated anomalous energy production.  But it was at a Tesla Society Conference in the 1980’s where DePalma first publicly described some remarkable rotational experiments involving living systems – and where the potential “connection” between his earlier work -- and the production of “crop circles” -- came together.  Correspondent Jerry Decker describes DePalma’s fascinating biological discoveries:

                               “DePalma also showed one of his original suspended gyroscopes which showed a distinct variation 
                               in the weight and movement of a spinning mass long before the Japanese experiment which gained so much 
                               publicity.  Bruce told of one of his experiments which used grass as a gravity detector [emphasis added].  He 
                               built a mount above a rotating phonograph turntable which held a pie pan with earth and grass seed.  When the 
                               turntable spun, it caused the grass to grow higher.  A large weight was added to the turntable, the grass grew 
                               even higher as if the gravity in the area were somehow reduced.
                               “Another experiment using a similar technique was to mount the pie pan holding the earth and grass 
                               seed directly onto the spinning turntable.
                              “As the turntable spun, the grass grew higher than normal and slightly in TOWARDS the axial shaft of 
                               the turntable, this EVEN THOUGH THE PAN AND THE TURNTABLE WERE NOT PHYSICALLY CONNECTED.
                               When a weighted mass was added to the spinning turntable and pie pan, the grass grew at a 
                               definitely increased angle towards the axial shaft of the spinning mass ….”shaft of the spinning mass ….”

These experiments effectively demonstrated the remarkable effects of simple rotation on living systems ... which began our own attempts to model the effects of a potential Hyperdimensional technology on biology ... a technology which (among other things) might be able to create “crop glyphs.”

If DePalma’s experiments demonstrated the natural flow of some kind of “unknown energy” into living plants, “gated” only through rotation, what did the 300-foot wide, 2000 crop glyph (composed of rotated wheat!) then signify?  Was someone attempting to communicate – in the virtual shadow of a large, terrestrial “electromagnetic device” (the radio telescope at Chilbolton) – that the physics which could create a genuine crop glyph was based on “their” equivalent of “electromagnetic radiation?”  And, why was the same glyph now carefully placed at the bottom of the “Arecibo Response” in precisely that same location in the field?  And why did this small replica appear to contain at its center exactly the same 90-degree arrangements of “pixels” as the planet in the solar system line above it? 

Was the “sender” of this “Arecibo glyph” attempting to illustrate schematically a deep connection between the Physics which can create a genuine crop glyph … and the same physics which can cause entire planets to explode?!

These are still in large part “educated guesses” – especially the interpretation of the “solar system,” the potential communication of “genetic engineering,” and the true nature of the “alien being” depicted in the glyph.  At the very least, the sudden appearance of these two remarkable formations in the field at Chilbolton – an archaic, human-looking “face” deliberately reminding us of our own evolutionary past … and Mars, followed by an eerie “response” to the 27-year-old Arecibo Message -- finally seems to be a not-so-subtle-attempt at direct communication of critical information about US – as many of us have noted, a startling departure from any previous “crop glyphs” of the past 26 years.  The key question is, of course: from whom?


Thirty years ago, Eric Burgess and I were fortunate enough to be in the right place, at the right time, to suggest to Carl that the first spacecraft from Mankind destined to escape the solar system – Pioneer 10 -- carry an historic “Message from Mankind” (below).  Carl kindly acknowledged that genesis in SCIENCE, March 1972.  Three years later, Sagan and Frank Drake created the second “message” to be deliberately sent into the Galaxy – the now famous Arecibo radio transmission of 1974. 


Then, in 2001 -- 27 years after that original radio transmission -- an “answer” suddenly appeared in a wheat field in central England …

Having had this experience with “interstellar messages,” it is my opinion – based on a careful review of all the evidence presented above – that the Chilbolton glyphs are NOT an “alien answer” to the original Arecibo transmission of some 27 years ago (or, even to their deliberate rebroadcast from a Russian Radio Telescope facility two years ago.  Colin Andrews’ first-hand report from Chilbolton (above) certainly supports this theory.  I also believe, however, that they ARE an important, new “communication” from “someone” who wishes us to consider (at this crucial moment in our history -- 2001 …) some very new important information about the entire field of “extraterrestrials” -- and who has known what … and for how long.


So, if they weren’t made by “ETs” -- who did create the Chilbolton glyphs … a literal “stone’s throw” from a 1960’s British radio facility, sitting on MOD (Ministry of Defense) grounds?  Who indeed ….  How about … “someone in the black intelligence community” … also equipped with HD technology, capable of making “genuine” crop glyphs?


There are elements here which make me want to say “Folks, we’ve been through this before: remember EQ Peg ..?”




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