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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
Until recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kept its plans for its $70 million portion of the...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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Rockefeller Finances Crop Circle Survey
21 May 1999 7:00 pm
Chalk it up to millennium madness: Crop circles, like bellbottoms, are back in fashion. Billionaire Laurance Rockefeller is financing what is billed as a scientific survey aimed to sort hoaxes from the purportedly truly mysterious crop circles.
Since 1978, patterns of matted-down cornstalks, rapeseed, and other crops have been appearing in the fields of Wiltshire and neighboring areas in England. Enthusiasts attributed the so-called crop circles to UFO landings. Then, in 1991, two local artists owned up to having created the circles. Since then other circlemakers have gotten into the act (see www.head-space.com/circlemakers), and the patterns have gotten ever more elaborate--turning into fractals, complex geometric figures, and ancient symbols. But although it's clear that many are the creation of hoaxsters, a lot of people still believe that some of the patterns, because of the speed of their appearance and their perfect geometry, must have a nonhuman origin (see home.clara.net/lovely/homepg.html).
Last week, longtime crop circle researcher Colin Andrews, a former local government official in Hampshire now based in Connecticut, announced that Rockefeller, 89, has ponied up funds for an aerial survey of Wiltshire and Hampshire next month. He said global positioning technology has been used to help locate circles, which will be subjected to various measurements including magnetometer readings. He added he has already discovered that some circles have a "magnetic fingerprint" in the shape of a snowflake.
Rockefeller, who also supports UFO research, has given "thousands" of dollars to Andrews, admits Fraser Seitel, a spokesperson for the billionaire. But Seitel insists that such fringy concerns are not a "primary contribution thrust" in Rockefeller's charity portfolio.