Crop Circles and Vibrational Resonance: A Link?

April 29, 2016

Earlier this week I got the following e-mail from a person named John who had read some of the articles I’d written about crop circles:

“Crop circles theory… Check out this website. Perhaps plate tectonics, the gentle curvature of the Earth’s surface, and an acoustic resonance source of very high frequency tones form the intricate patterns. I would like to work with scientists of various specialties to try and create the conditions to see if a given frequency or frequencies, can duplicate any of our documented circles on a plate with salt. Do you have any suggestions?”

He attached a video from Youtube which can be seen here.


I slowly removed my forefinger from the Delete button and decided to offer a reply, in the assumption that John was sincerely asking for advice on how to scientifically research the topic. I replied:

Hello John,

Thanks for getting ahold of me. Yes, there are many suggested explanations for what causes crop circles (aliens, unknown wind vortices, ley lines, and so on), but the only proven, documented cause is hoaxers. That doesn’t mean that there cannot be another explanation, of course, just that so far there is no good evidence supporting any of the other alternative explanations. The idea that frequencies might cause the circles is an interesting theory, and if you wish to pursue it I can suggest a few starting points:

1) You’d need to demonstrate that tonal frequencies occur at locations where crop circles have appeared (I’m not aware of any evidence for this);

2) You’d need to record and identify which specific frequencies you link to crop circles, and identify their source;

3) Once you have done that you’d need to propose a mechanism by which those frequencies can create crop circles;

4) Then you’d need to test your hypothesis by conducting an experiment by broadcasting those frequencies to germinating crops, ideally using a control group which is being subjected to frequencies you have NOT identified as causing circles;

5) Once those studies have been done, you might be on your way to proving that theory, and I’d be happy to look at your results or help you with research design.

As for the video, it’s not clear to me what the connection is between the patterns seen in a vibrating plate of salt and crop circles. First of all, the patterns are very different than those seen in crop circles; second, the ground obviously does not shake and vibrate under wheat and other crops; and third of course there’s a huge difference between loose salt granules on a plate and flattened crops–the crops are laid down and rooted in soil and thus cannot move freely. So I’m really not seeing any comparison, but perhaps you are seeing it. Good luck with it, and if you pursue this, please let me know.

all best,

Ben Radford


I’ll let you know if I hear back.