crop circles such as those seen on Led Zeppelin album covers and in M.
Night Shyamalan movies starring Mel Gibson (Signs)
the product of superior alien
intelligences or mere hoaxes?
Well, if you apply Occam's razor -
the dictum that if two explanations
explain the same set of data, then the simpler one must be the correct one
then it's an obvious hoax. Especially since a lot of people came out in
the early 1990s to admit to the hoax and demonstrate to the media just how
easily crop circles can be made.
However, the set of "experts"
dragged in front of the camera to be
interviewed by director William Gazecki never seem to have to have heard
of old William of Occam (died 1349).
Instead this two hour long documentary ends up being agitprop for
self-styled Fox Mulder-type "believers"
rather than its own purported
quest for truth.
Apparently a shorter 88-minute version of this movie is (quite aptly)
being broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel.
The shorter version is probably the better one as I found my eyes glazing
over in dull incomprehension at the hour-and-a-half mark as some woman
droned on endlessly about something that sounded like real science (it was
certainly dull enough), but was probably pseudoscientific gibberish. Oh
well, if you can't convince them, confuse them I suppose.
Anyway, Gazecki's documentary is aimed at debunking the idea that the crop
circles are created by self-confessed hoaxers, but rather by "intelligent
or something. The words extraterrestrial or UFO is seldom mentioned, but
we do get a lot of New Age synonyms for them. However he ultimately
undermines his own case by never giving a voice once to any dissenting
viewpoints or those of any of the hoaxers -
what is he afraid of? That his own viewpoints will look silly then?
Anyway, it's sort of sad when people persists in believing in something
when it has been as thoroughly debunked as is the case with crop circles.
They are either extremely self-delusional or maybe that upcoming book deal
is just too damn lucrative to let something like truth get in the way (Gazecki
Also, believing that humans are incapable of producing something as
elaborate and sophisticated as crop circles betrays a low opinion of
humanity and what it's capable of. (It's all very similar to those
who believes that Martians or whatever built the pyramids. I
suppose that great achievers from Beethoven and Goethe to Einstein and
Cezanne are all aliens too then . . .)
Later this misanthropic view becomes apparent when a bearded "expert"
becoming more animated as he goes on,
better get back on the medication
there, dude! -
tells us that crop circles are actually an attempt by
aliens to warn us against our own destructive impulses. Someone has seen
The Day the Earth Stood Still one times too
many, methinks . . .
DISC: If you do get anything out of this one-sided documentary it's at
least that crop circles are a legitimate form of art. They are quite
amazingly complex, impressive and beautiful. Hats off here to Doug Bower
and David Chorley who began making them after an evening at the local pub
back in 1978. Crop Circles -
Quest for Truth
has a lot (and I mean
a LOT) of shots of them. As if that isn't enough, there is also a photo
gallery of the world's most famous crop circles.
That's good. What is also insightful is the extra footage cut for length
reasons from the movie. I however suspect that Gazecki didn't include
these sections because here we get to the dark underbelly of the whole
UFOlogist thing, namely paranoia dealing with government cover-ups and
conspiracies, unmarked black helicopters and so forth. All this may make
for a typical X-Files episode but here it
just undermines the credibility of those interviewed.
Gazecki isn't a particularly honest film-maker and unlike, let's say, the
searching Bowling of Columbine one never gets the impression that
he is actually interested in finding out the truth behind the whole
phenomenon. Gazecki seems to have made his mind up in advance.
Other extras include a trailer. The menu itself is quite professionally
done, especially for such an independently-produced documentary. Sound and
image (shot on high-end digital camera) is also adequate. There is audible
hissing during some interviews, but that is also to be expected.
WORTH IT? If you're a believer, yes. Then you'd find Crop
Quest for Truth
essential viewing. Personally I think you'd
be better off reading journalist Jim Schnabel's level-headed book titled
Round in Circles about the whole phenomenon instead, but that's just me.
If you're not interested in the topic, it is doubtful whether this
over-long documentary will trigger any life-long obsessions.
RECOMMENDATION: The crop circles
themselves are quite spectacular and for them alone I am not quite
sorry that I actually
watched this movie.