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Milk Hill, Wiltshire 01
Signs Movie

A-maize-ing crop circles?
By John Lundberg
maizeI know it's Hollywood, and call me pedantic if you like, but, when was the last time you saw a crop circle in maize? We've had 102 crop circle formations here in the UK and 177 worldwide to date in 2001, appearing in oil seed rape (canola), barley and wheat, but did any appear in maize, nope. Ok, I admit there have been a couple of crop circles in maize during the 25 year history of the crop circle phenomenon, but that's exactly what they were, small rough circles or rings, we've never had a 500ft majestic pictogram in maize. So why is it that "Signs" is being filmed in maize fields? Maybe it's the result of those little cultural differences between the British and America usage of certain words. As I'm based in London UK, if I was a smoker I might buy a pack of fags, but, if I was to do the same whilst holidaying in San Francisco... (!) you get the idea. The same applies to the word 'corn'. Over here in the UK corn is a generic term for any type of cereal crop such as wheat, barley, oats, maize, etc. But in the US corn refers specifically to maize (pictured above right).
maze maizeThe location finding scenario probably went something like this: Andrew Ullman the movie's location manager places a call to the UK based crop circle researcher who's been helping out with general background material for the movie and making sure they don't drop any crop circle clangers. Said researcher says to Ullman "you'll need to find some huge corn fields to create the formations in", and a month later - following the instructions as he understood them to the letter - Ullman finds 100 acres of prize maize fields, see how easily these things can happen! Or maybe Ullman was just confusing maize mazes with crop circles (see photo right). Whilst we're on the subject, when was the last time you saw a huge complex crop circle in Bucks County? This is Hollywood and we all know that's about as far away from reality as you can get.

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© John Lundberg / 2001