[An excellent article looking at the scientific body of evidence gathered by BLT Research from Crop Circles, Mutilations and UFO Landing Trace Cases - Christopher O'Brien]
By David Perkins (published in Western Spirit Magazine May 1998)
"Reports recently issued by bio-physicist, W.C. Levengood, have provided tantalizing scientific evidence which may link three of the greatest mysteries of modern times. It appears that many animal mutilation sites, crop circles and UFO landing traces have at least one common characteristic: "the evidence of high heat apparently originating in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum."
Dr. Levengood is baffled by his own findings and freely admits: "We have no [scientific] model that should connect these events." Currently head of Pinelandia Biophysics Laboratory in Grass Lake, MI, Dr. Levengood was formerly a faculty member at the University of Michigan's Institute of Science and Technology. His papers have been published in dozens of scientific journals, including the prestigious Science and Nature.
Certainly no "UFO buff," Dr. Levengood didn't set out to "prove" anything when in 1989, he agreed to analyze plants from the mysterious "crop circles" in England. The samples had been sent to him by British researcher, Pat Delgado, who wanted to determine if they had any distinguishing characteristics. In the late 1970s, a number of oddly swirled patterns began to appear in the fields of southern England, centering around Stonehenge and the megalithic sites of Wiltshire. As their number and complexity grew, the crop circles became a national obsession. Legions of "croppies" scoured the fields for clues and mounted all-night vigils in an attempt to witness the handiwork of the elusive "Circle Makers." Theories in the media ranged from rutting hedgehogs to "Mother Earth speaking to us" to space aliens to sophisticated experiments of "Star Wars" technology.
In the summer of 1990, an unprecedented 1000 circles miraculously appeared in pastoral British crop lands. Over 2000 circles have now been reported in some 30 countries. In 1992, Dr. Levengood joined forces with researcher Nancy Talbott and businessman John Burke to form the BLT Research Team. The group now claims several dozen research assistants and field samplers throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada. A well-known financier, impressed by their work, has now agreed to provide funding for BLT's next round of testing.
I recently met with Nancy Talbott, BLT's field research coordinator and spokesperson, to obtain a summery of the group's findings. According to Talbott, Dr. Levengood has now done extensive testing on "over 200 crop formations, five or six possible UFO trace sites and about a dozen animal mutilation cases." Almost 90% of the samples tested showed significant physiological changes "at the cellular level" compared to normal or "control" samples obtained in the same vicinities. Among the anomalous findings in the crop formation samples, Dr. Levengood immediately noticed "altered embryo development." Many seed-heads were stunted, malformed or entirely devoid of seeds. When seeds were present, they were smaller and weighed less than the control seeds. Germination tests revealed that many of the seeds did not germinate at all or, when they did germinate, "exhibited grossly depressed seed vigor and root and shoot development." Under the microscope, Dr. Levengood noted "charred epidermal tissue" and an abnormal enlargement of cell wall pits in the thin membrane which surrounds the seed head. Also of interest was the "gross enlargement" of the plant stem nodes. Most puzzling of all was the marked bending of the stem nodes often in conjunction with "expulsion cavities." These cavities were actual holes blown in the nodes from the inside out. Apparently the water in the plants had been heated to steam temperature and literally blew a hole in the nodes. In the redox test, a procedure devised by Dr. Levengood to measure plant respiration, it was found that the mitochondria (the tiny organelles that regulate respiration) were "burning themselves up biochemically." According to Dr. Levengood: "We're seeing a lot of indications of microwave damage, a transient, very rapid, high-heating energy."
So where is this microwave energy coming from? The "chief candidate" for its origin, in Dr. Levengood's mind, is an ion plasma vortex. According to his theory, these vortexes (rotating whirlwind-like systems) most likely form in the unstable regions of the upper atmosphere. The highly charged and thermodynamically unstable plasmas are then drawn to earth and shaped by variations in the Earth's magnetic field. Microwave radiation, known to be associated with ionized plasmas, emits intense bursts of heat. This would account for the physical changes in the crop circle plants. An English wheat crop formation in 1993 seemed to strengthen Dr. Levengood's plasma vortex theory.
A "magnetic glaze" was found on the plants which Dr. Levengood and John Burke determined to be of "meteoric origin." Iron oxides (magnetite and hematite) had become fused and apparently impacted the ground in a semi-molten state. Since the event happened within a few days of the Perseid meteor showers, Dr. Levengood hypothesized that the meteoritic dust had been sucked into a plasma vortex system where it had been heated by microwaves to form "spherules." Intrigued by these findings, the BLT Team devised a more sophisticated protocol for gathering soil samples.
In 1994, "a plethora of magnetic particles" showed up in samples from a crop circle in a cornfield near Blaine, Minnesota. The black beads of magnetite appeared again in a ringed circle in Butte, Nebraska in 1996. At first, the formation was thought to be the work of kids pulling a hoax. A local woman told reporters: "I don't know any kids around here smart enough to do that."
On July 4, 1996, a crop formation in a wheat field near Paulding, Ohio drew national media coverage. Dr. Levengood and Nancy Talbott personally investigated the site. Local reporter Melinda Krick, estimated that 10,000 "croppies" and curious locals made a pilgrimage to the location. Again, Dr. Levengood found the shiny black spheres of magnetite, ranging up to 40 times greater concentration than found in control samples. Damage to the plant nodes was also consistent with that noted in numerous other formations. Dr. Levengood told the media that he had been able to duplicate the physiological changes in crop circle plants by exposing normal plants to a commercial microwave source.
A spectacular UFO sighting in the early morning hours of July 6th, 40 miles away in Berne, Indiana was immediately linked by the media to the Paulding circle. While driving home from a friend's house, 19 year-old Dawn Sprunger's car was paced by a triangular object with red and blue lights. She returned home shaken and dialed 911. Both the mayor and the police chief of Berne also saw the weird object. That same evening near Middletown, Ohio, Bode Gibbs watched a red glowing object as it "dumped a burning liquid." Pauling was not the first case that the BLT Team had investigated with "UFO implications."
In early 1995, the producers of the TV show Sightings had asked Dr. Levengood to analyze grass samples from four reported UFO landing traces near Qadima, Israel. One local Bedouin family was terrified when "small whitish entities" suddenly appeared in their house. Dr. Levengood's report noted collapsed nodes and expulsion cavities in the plants suggesting "a rather prolonged localized heating." He concluded that the "twisted nests" within the formation and other alterations to the plants were "similar to those observed within many crop circle formations." A second circle in the grass he analyzed contained pure silicon crystals. Since silicon does not occur naturally in this form, and is very expensive to produce, Dr. Levengood had "absolutely no idea" what it would be doing there. Meanwhile back in the States, a double circle formation was found near Inman, Kansas in June, 1995. At the time the circles were believed to have been formed, Inman resident Chad Thiesson observed 8 to 9 strange lights hovering about 10 feet off the ground and stirring up dust where the circles were later found. Once again, Dr. Levengood examined the plant samples and found evidence of "transient heating."
Throughout the 1990s, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada have been popular "hot spots" for the Circle Makers, averaging between 12 and 20 incidents per year. Researcher Lindy Tucker has uncovered evidence that the first North American crop circle may have occurred near Bowden, Alberta in 1967. At the same time, train operators in the area reported being buzzed by UFOs which interrupted their radio transmissions. Animal mutilation aficionados will of course recall that 1967 was the year of the first widely-reported animal mutilation, the "Snippy the Horse" case and concurrent UFO sightings in Colorado's San Luis Valley.
In August, 1992, near Milestone, Saskatchewan, farmer Joe Rennick was surprised to discover a three circle crop formation in his wheat field. He was even more astonished to find a dead porcupine in the center of one of the circles. The animal was "smashed flat as a pancake." The porcupine's quill's appeared to follow the same swirl pattern as the wheat. At about the same time, another dead porcupine was found inside a crop formation near Kyle. Its remains were "very black as if covered in soot."
In 1996 Dr. Levengood tested soil from a formation near Rocanville and found high levels of magnetite particles. In 1996-97, several crop formations were reported in the Logan, Utah area. Locals debated whether the designs were "made by the devil to corrupt our minds," or "angels sending a blessing." Dr. Levengood issued a report on the 258-foot-long formation found near Providence in August, 1996. The results were typical: "significant node expansion, expulsion cavities, alterations in seed weights and seedling growth" caused by "local transient heating."
So what about the animal mutilations? In 1994, author/filmmaker, Linda Moulton Howe, began submitting soil and plant samples to Dr. Levengood from so-called "bovine excision sites." One of the first sampled cases occurred on June 21, 1994 near Garnett, Kansas. Farmer, Dennis Clayborn, found one of his heifers dead and showing "bloodless incisions." In a nearby wheat field, Clayborn discovered a 50-foot "ovoid" formation of downed plants. Dr. Levengood's analysis found the plant node abnormalities and expulsion cavities indicative of the ubiquitous "rapid heating." Prior to finding the mutilation and crop formation, Clayborn heard the sounds of one or more "helicopters" coming from the direction of the wheat field. Dr. Levengood ruled out the possibility of "helicopter downwash" as the cause of the formation.
In September 1994, Howe investigated an even more bizarre case near Chacon, New Mexico. On September 13th, a cow was found in Luhan Canyon showing signs of a "classic mutilation." Flesh had been removed in a neat circular excision around the front jaws. The tongue had been cut out deep in the throat and the rectal and vaginal area had been bloodlessly removed. A local carpenter Larry Gardea, had discovered the dead animal at 4 p.m. while he was hunting. As Gardea was examining the scene, he heard a strange noise behind the trees, which he described as sounding like "an arc welder." At this time his attention was drawn to another cow in the woods bellowing "like it was being tortured." Gardea thought the animal was "being dragged or floated" toward the arc-welder sound by some invisible force. He fired two shots in the direction of the sound, became terrified and fled. The "dragged cow" was never found. As Dr. Levengood reported to Howe: "Whatever the energy is that causes the rings and circles at mutilation sites, it is producing a profound change in the respiration cells of those affected plants. Both samples from the head and the rectal area in the Luhan Canyon cow showed the same changes I have seen in the Michigan rings, circles and the Garnett, Kansas mutilation case."
In late October 1994, rancher Erminio Andrietta reported three of his pregnant cows mutilated near La Veta, Colorado. During the same time frame, a neighbor saw a bright beam of light sweeping Andrietta's pasture at 2 a.m. Howe investigated and found several "rings" pressed into the grass, measuring about five feet in diameter. Samples were sent to Dr. Levengood, who observed the same grass cell changes noted at the previous mutilation sites. In November 1995, Dr. Levengood issued a series of reports detailing his findings on the samples obtained from five bovine excision sites that year (four in Saskatchewan and one near Susanville, California). He concluded: "These studies clearly suggest that microwave energy is a major component of the energetics involved in the plant alterations at bovine excision sites. These findings are in agreement with crop circle formation results, which also point to a microwave energy component."
In 1996-97, the tiny magnetic beads that had been noted in crop circle formations, started showing up at animal mutilation sites. Imbedded beads of magnetite were found in plants near a mutilated calf in Red Bluff, California. The magnetite concentration around the animal was about 10 times higher than the control samples. A similar case in Papoose Meadows, California revealed "higher concentrations within proximity of the excision points around the animal." In April 1997, researcher Christopher O'Brien (author of The Mysterious Valley) sampled a mutilation case in Colorado's San Luis Valley. The magnetite sphere concentrations around the dead cow were the highest yet recorded (over 500 times greater than what would be expected from normal soil). In a January 1997, mutilation case investigated by Jean Bilodeaux, the magnetite particles clustered in higher concentrations "within proximity of the excision points around the animal."
A surgical pathologist colleague of Dr. Levengood's examined tissue samples from the large black bull and found "evidence of heat cautery artifact and 'blistering' of the epidermis at the edge of the tissue." In 1991, tissue samples from a mutilated steer found near Portland, Oregon, were analyzed by the Veterinarian Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University. The lab concluded that the tissues exhibited "a band of coagulation necrosis consistent with a heat-induced incision, such as an electro-surgical unit."
Dr. John Altshuler, a doctor of pathology and hemotology in Denver, has examined tissue samples from more than 40 "excised" animals since 1989. He has concluded that the cutting was done with "high heat." Dr. Altshuler has consistently observed "cooked hemoglobin" indicating "high heat as in laser surgery . . . probably above 300 degrees F." Have there been eyewitnesses to any of these events? Linda Moulton Howe told me that she has accumulated a dozen cases over the last 18 years involving "the raising and/or lowering of animals to or from an unidentified craft by a beam of light." Howe's research is detailed in her books, Alien Harvest and Glimpses of Other Realities (Volume One and Two). George Wingfield, one of England's top crop circle researchers told me: "One man in particular, Ray Barnes of Wiltshire, who struck me as highly credible, claims to have seen a circle form. The circle just 'opened up' in a matter of five seconds or so." Another man from Warminster described his experience: "Suddenly, the grass began to sway before our eyes, and laid itself flat in a clockwise spiral, just like the opening of a lady's fan. A perfect circle was completed in less than half a minute, all the time accompanied by a high-pitched humming sound."
Lately Dr. Levengood has been branching out in his research. According to Nancy Talbott of BLT, he recently undertook an unpublicized "personal experiment" to attempt to ascertain the reality of the so-called "alien abduction phenomenon." Many attempts have been made in the past to monitor abductees' homes with video cameras, tape recorders and other gear. Invariably, the electronics failed at the crucial moments. A woman acquaintance of Dr. Levengood's approached him for help in determining the true nature of her night time abduction experiences. Dr. Levengood prepared a numbered series of gelatin capsules filled with wheat seeds. The woman was instructed to place one of the gel caps in her hair curlers each night before she went to bed. Dr. Levengood later collected the capsules and set about sprouting the seeds. All the samples sprouted normally except for one, which was "dead, totally fried." Sure enough, the sample coincided with the night she felt she had been abducted. "It was like somebody put a microwave to her head," said Talbott. Not everyone is convinced that mutilations, crop circles and UFO events are other-wordly.
In 1993, Phillips Laboratory, an advanced weapons research facility at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico issued a press-release announcing the completion of its new High Energy Research and Technology Facility. The release stated: "The facility provides a unique capability for the development of high-power microwaves, high-energy advanced pulsed power and very-high-energy plasmas." Familiar terms? The open literature suggest that the military started developing this new generation of weaponry during World War II. According to researcher/writer Jerry Decker: "Since the inception of the Star Wars Program, the military has had the capability of projecting high intensity laser beams (using Eximer lasers) followed immediately by extremely high electrical charges aimed at targets on the planet." We know from government documents that the military already possesses a wide range of High Power Microwave (HPM) devices with such Buck Rogers names as Vircators, Magnetrons, and Relativistic Klystrons. An ancient Babylonian text reads: "If in the sky a meteor from the planet Mars appears, the destruction of cattle will occur in the land." Now we have the Mars "life" rock, meteoritic material at animal mutilation sites and Mad Cow disease. Perhaps we are dealing with something very ancient. Or very new, or both . . . or neither. Sure makes you wonder.
Please report relevant incidents for investigation to Spirit or BLT Research at (617) 492-0415 . Timeliness is important in obtaining samples."