Directed by William Gazecki. USA. 2002.

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Complex geometric linear and circular patterns in which vegetation is squeezed flat against the ground have appeared overnight in wheat and cornfields in 70 countries worldwide over the last 25 years. These designs, generically referred to as crop circles, seem to be created out of nothing and originate from nowhere. They are exquisite works of art but who is the artist? In his documentary, Crop Circles: Quest for Truth, Oscar nominee William Gazecki (WACO, The Rules of Engagement) interviews researchers, scientists, philosophers, and laymen in an attempt to unravel the mystery of their origin and nature. Gazecki does not approach his subject from a journalistic framework, presenting pros and cons in a conventional matter, but as a filmmaker who is telling a story with astounding implications. There are no easy answers. The formations seem to reflect a Sacred Geometry incorporating the Phi or Golden ratio that exists in ancient architecture and art and throughout terrestrial biology including human body structure. As one researcher states, "there is a force or energy at work that is governed by principles that are beyond the capacity of human beings". 

Crop Circles: Quest for Truth begins with archival footage of single circles from the 1980s, and then continues through the next decade, showing the deepening intricacy of the pictograms. The patterns have now evolved to the point where in August 2001 a formation appeared at Milk Hill, Wiltshire containing 409 circles making up a wheel design that is larger than two football fields. The film displays the largest collection of crop formations ever seen on screen and includes footage of strange balls of light hovering above the ground in areas where crop circles later appear. Though the documentary is a bit academic in places, tending toward the scientific and technical, the formations themselves are so breathtakingly beautiful that the film becomes an awesome experience. 

Gazecki interviews scientists who look at changes in the plants or soil that are both physical and molecular, characteristics that have yet to be reproduced by man-made designs. They also discuss germination anomalies, cellular anomalies, intricate and well-structured lengthening of the nodes, exploded nodes, burn marks, and even unnatural radioactivity, all of which cannot be the result of simple mechanical flattening. The documentary considers alternative theories such as plasma vortex, the circles as three-dimensional shadows of a four-dimensional object, and electromagnetic energy from the Earth but does not spend much time with them. Also mentioned but not probed is the possibility that the patterns are man-made. It would have been interesting to hear from those who openly create circles and see how and why they do what they do. One researcher mentions that if crop circles were to be hoaxed, they would all have to be done night after night without any mistakes or partial designs and completed in five hours. This is without being discovered, leaving footprints, or being detected in any way. 

Gazecki is not in doubt that some kind of conscious intelligence is at work, dancing with us, playing with us, allowing us to confront what is possible in the universe. The film, however, does not support oversimplified hypotheses like ETs or UFOs but prefers to view the phenomenon as simply an unknown. As one researcher explains, whether or not we ever succeed in unraveling the code, the very act of asking "why" allows us to expand our consciousness, and this may be the real purpose behind it. The crop circles may indeed be "mandalas of the mind", a term that Buddhists describe as "a representation of the universe, a consecrated area that serves asa collection point of universal forces guiding man towards a state of enlightenment or awakening". 

Whatever its ultimate source, the appearance of the formations has made us aware that we live in a universe that is full of mystery and wonder, that science and conventional religion may not have all the answers, and that we all have a cosmic source that is now beckoning to us. Crop Circles: Quest for Truth is not a slick entertainment package and it does not flow smoothly, but it is an intelligent and probing look at one of the most intriguing mysteries facing our planet. If you see this film and I recommend that you do, please watch it with an open mind. It may be the most important film you ever see.

Howard Schumann

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