Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!
As many people know, claims of
hoaxing are a perpetual nuisance. Ever since 1991 when beer-loving English pensioners Doug
Bower & Dave Chorley stepped out of total anonymity and onto the world stage to sing
their "We Done em All" duet, claims of hoaxing have hounded the circle
scene like a bad smell stuck to the bottom of ones sneaker.
Unfortunately, no media sleuths
ever asked the former picture farmers how they made three or four in a single night, 50 or
more miles apart, occasionally in appalling weather or how they got into the crop between
the tram lines so as not to leave a trail (they later claimed they pole vaulted), or why
they were suddenly many thousands of dollars richer shortly after the story broke in the
Of course nowadays, a younger and
more sociopathic gang of thugs has taken over bragging rights from 79 year old Doug and
dearly departed Dave to continue the tradition of audacious claims unencumbered by the
nuisance of having to provide an iota of evidence.
Magic In The Moonlight
Enter 1999s "Avebury
Formation". On the night of July 28th, my wife Gwen and I joined 3 friends at the
Avebury megalithic site under the full moon. We arrived at 10 PM and found the site
deserted, bathed in the golden glow of the moon. It was a perfect night for contemplation
and meditation. We walked the length of the site several times with our friends Dr. Chet
Snow, his wife Kallista and Barbara Lamb until about 11:00 PM, at which time they left.
Gwen and I decided to stay on our own.
We were in a long, narrow grassy
field through which ran a double row of giant megalithic stones called the "Avebury
Avenue". Along the length of one side of the field was a paved road travelled by the
occasional car. Along the other side, a hill sloping down toward us, covered in wheat. We
wandered the length of the Avenue several times soaking up the atmosphere under the full
moon. When Gwen sat down to meditate at a large sarsen stone, I busied myself with taking
time exposures of the stones with stars in the background. At 12:30 AM, we left the site
but drove twice along the "Avenue" as well as nearby Silbury Hill and
Beckhampton before heading back to our room in Alton Barnes.
Next day about 2PM, we happened to
be driving back through the area. As we came around a corner past Silbury Hill, the Avenue
came into sight. What we saw made us gasp. Right there, 200 feet from where we had stood
the night before was a huge circular crop formation crawling with curious admirers. The
hair stood on the backs of our necks.
We stopped and entered it with a
great deal of excitement but that excitement soon turned to disappointment. Although a
fabulous 400 foot design featuring six 3-D cubes, the ground features were a mess. In
fact, it was one of the most unsightly lays we had seen in ages. That is not to say untidy
ground lay is indicative of hoaxing but it does generally generate a healthy sense of
caution. The public was mostly enthusiastic but those of us with experience remained
guarded. What to make of this one?
Blind Sided By Six Cubes
An answer seemingly came 10 days
later. On Aug. 7, 1999 the British tabloid "Daily Mail" ran a three page special
entitled "The Night Those UFOs Didnt Land". In elaborate and often
sarcastic detail, reporter Sam Taylor described how on the night of July 28, her newspaper
commissioned hoaxers John Lundberg, Rod Dickinson, Will Russell of "Team Satan"
(this is for real folks) and two helpers to execute a sensational pattern to prove they
could pull it off PLUS fool everyone.
At 11 PM, with farmer Tony Farthings
permission, Team Satan, reporter Taylor, photographer Nick Holt and farmer Farthing, eight
in all, entered the field commando-style to begin the assault. Taylor describes the
operation step by step from the moment they ditched the cars in the nearby village, stole
through the shadows along the edge of the field by the Avenue, dove over a gate into the
wheat and then lay low for six hours while Rod and the lads worked their talents. They
finished about five hours later just before sunrise.
Their handiwork was discovered
about 5 AM next morning and Taylor and Holt, not letting on they were involved, hung
around the field to prey on the unsuspecting curious. Quite a few people, encouraged by
Taylor and Holt, volunteered exotic theories allowing Holt to take photos for their
upcoming news story.
Most of the public, no matter how
enthusiastic they may be, are not well versed in the intricacies of this phenomenon. To
draw them into making statements they would later regret was a cheap trick. When the
article came out there were a lot of red faces, embarrassment and concern. Another
clear-cut case of fooling a lot of people?
But wait a minute, something
smelled fishy. After reading the article several times, we noticed a lot of problems and
(1) Would my wife and I not have
seen and heard eight people a mere two hundred feet away diving over a gate, hiding in the
brush and then working for the 1 1/2 hours we were all there together? Would we not have
heard or seen anything on the side of a hill, sloping toward us, on such a bright, still
(2) Since they had a photographer
with them all night, why was not a single photo taken of the formation in the process of
construction? Shades of Doug and Dave! Of the more than two thousand creations Doug &
Dave claimed to have made over a period of 13 years, they forgot to take one single photo
which would prove authorship.
(3) Two flash pictures appearing
with the article shows the team sitting in a field looking at plans, but one can not tell
where the picture was taken. It could have been any field, any night. And if they did take
it there would the flash not have been a dead give-away to anyone in the vicinity such as
ourselves, passers-by or people living in the village?
(4) Why dive over a gate along the
"Avenue" when the closest and simplest access to the field is along the road
where there isnt even a fence? Surely farmer Farthing would have been aware of this.
(5) A number of people walked along
the field at 3AM and 4AM. All swore there was nothing in the field at that time.
(6) For four consecutive days I
phoned the newspaper attempting to reach reporter Taylor and photographer Holt for some
clarification. Neither would respond. As well, veteran investigator George Wingfield spent
many months trying to get a hold of the pair using different names and pretexts for
wanting to talk to them. To date he has heard nothing. The paper refuses to give out their
phone numbers and will not even confirm whether or not their names are real. Messages
still go unanswered. The official response from the paper is "no comment".
Further investigation has revealed
that the name of "reporter" Sam Taylor is fictitious. Likely that of
photographer Nick Holt is also fake. As well, persistent prying into the whereabouts of
the pair led to Graham Brough, the "Today" tabloid reporter who masterminded and
printed the infamous "Doug & Dave" scam back in 1991.