"Paul Speaks on Crop Circles at Marlborough College".
I was kindly invited by the Head of Politics dept. at Marlborough College to speak on the subject of crop formations. I am especially interested in the socio/political aspects of this subject so I was happy to accept. Received with a very warm welcome to a well attended audience on Sunday I attempted to sensibly and objectively educate both students and masters alike on this very real conundrum that is the CF phenomenon. All who attended seemed interested but a quick survey suggested that most were, as usual, still under the impression CFs were hoaxes with others remaining neutral. People usually follow the social morés of their group. I presented an overview as well as the biophysical empirical proof which may have come as a bit of a shock to some as there were some fairly serious faces in the audience. After the presentation I took Qs and As when some very intelligent questions were asked.
As well as being of huge educational value this event demonstrated a willingness by a high-end institution to engage with a subject usually not taken that seriously. Marlborough College is without doubt an educational centre of excellence having taught some very famous people in the past including Katherine Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Eugene, Pippa Middleton and Mark Phillips ex husband of Princess Anne to name but a few. I certainly felt it something of an honour to have been invited to stand up and speak there. It is one thing to speak to the usual, already familiar, regular loyal visitors which has been the norm in the past but to address the subject to non-associated 'new blood' who came along voluntarily is a real step forward. It felt a little bit like being an ambassador for the subject. The very fact that this occurred at all bodes so well as a public relations positive which can only do good for setting the subject up in more of a better light in the future. Remember, this is primarily a sociological subject...to do with people....it is not just about patterns in the landscape.
As you may know from some of my previous articles, the matter of INTEGRATION as in public relations (PR) is very close to my heart when it comes to crop formations. I know that we would all love to actually field-visit the CFs in the summer but we mustn't lose sight of the underlying reasons why they are most probably here in there first place. My view is that the patterns are merely signals, albeit very elaborate ones, designed to attract and engage us. This could possibly evolve towards something with a much much more significant aspect in the future...perhaps towards further CONTACT... at last. This seems logical. After all, they send us unambiguous messages sometimes and so it may well be that this idea of integration will extend to something far more of an exotic nature later on.
This 'talk' event represents great headway in our subject in my view and should be regarded as something of progressive significance within the sociological context. The more we can encourage respectable establishments such as Marlborough to engage the more likely others will follow suit and the subject will become gradually more accepted and respected.
Within my talk I tried to stress the importance of what CGI is currently doing to bridge the social gap between the community and the events. Showing that crop formations can actually enhance the community through charitable works with projects like the 'Brighter Futures' fund for a cancer facility in Swindon which has to be a good thing. Well behaved and respectful visitors is a key part of all this and will in turn no doubt be respected by the farmers.
I hope my relationship with the College will continue as there has been an expressed wish from Masters to continue an interest and will visit us again this summer season. Indeed, I genuinely believe this subject should be part of the curriculum as it promotes lateral thought, encourages vigorous debate and enthusiasm, especially when in a field setting. Maybe that wish is about to be realised!
For any school to embrace this topic is quite a bold move in truth as it steps out of line with common thinking. That is one reason Marlborough College is so special. It is not afraid to challenge difficult subjects. A well rounded education has to be inclusive and lateral in approach. Marlborough is a leader in its profession, setting high example and standards for others to follow.
So, next stop Oxford... and maybe even Cambridge???
NB. I would have loved to have spoken to Steven Hawking RIP about crop formations!