Clay-Mineral Crystallization Study:
In 1996 local geologist Diane Conrad carried out preliminary X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) examination of illite/smectite clays in soil taken from a crop formation at Logan, Utah. Having written her Master's Thesis on heat effects on clay minerals and aware of W.C. Levengood's discovery of abnormalities in crop circle plants, some of which he attributed to exposure of the plants to heat, she wondered if certain expandable clays in cropcircle soils might provide additional evidence of this heating effect.
Ms. Conrad's results showed a pronounced decrease in the Kubler Index (KI) of the illite peak in the Utah cropcircle sample (S), as compared to the control (C) [S=0.11; C=0.25], suggesting increased crystallinity in the circle sample. She then took the 3 remaining aliquots of the control sample and heated the first in a conventional oven for ten minutes at 93ºC and the second for ten minutes at 287ºC. The third aliquot was microwaved for two minutes to determine the effects of energy of different wavelengths on the crystal structure. In these three heated control samples the KI consistently decreased (from 1.0 to 0.07), with the microwaved aliquot producing a KI most similar to that of the circle sample.
These results, although preliminary, were intriguing. Increase in crystallinity (greater ordering of the crystal structure) in these clay minerals is normally found only in sedimentary rock which has been exposed--for hundreds, if not thousands, of years--to both heat from the earth's core and the massive pressure of tons of overlying rock.
In 1999, funded by New York philanthropist Laurance S. Rockefeller, we initiated a study to examine more thoroughly the possibility of increased crystallinity in clay minerals in crop circle soils. In order to lessen any possible experimenter-bias the scientists who worked on the project were ascertained to be totally unaware of the crop circle phenomenon prior to their involvement in the study. Additionally, one scientist carried out the XRD/KI work, a second the statistical analyses of the XRD/KI results, and a third the interpretation of these results. Finally, this work was reviewed by a highly respected expert in clay mineralogy and the X-ray Diffraction technique, who has determined that the work is competent.
A paper presenting the remarkable results of this study is in progress and will be submitted for publication soon, after which we will post the entire study on this site.