Crop Circles and Drones ~ Press Report

©Lucy Pringle

On Thursday 13 July a shockingly inaccurate and nasty report appeared in the press. Maybe the most unpleasant pieces in the article is the suggestion that all money collected from circle sites is taken by people posing as the farmer and then pocketing the proceeds. There may be certain isolated cases of scurrilous behaviour but there are several farmers who are persona grata and who are collecting money for charities. There is one in farmer in particular who has raised a substantial amount of money in memory of his wife who recently died of cancer. He set up a charity to equip a breast screening radiotherapy unit to be built on the site at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon, as the closest unit was in Oxford as before people had to travel many hours for a daily treatment lasting a few minutes each time over a period of six weeks which was altogether too exhausting and draining. He opens his fields so that visitors can visit the circles on his land and we are all delighted to contribute to such an excellent cause that is benefiting so many people.

The target of £2.9 million has already raised £750,000.  This is a really splendid and worthwhile charity worthy of support.  The charity, Brighter Futures https://www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk/

who are running the appeal have received support from other companies in Swindon such as Sainsbury’s ‘Stratton and TE Connectivity’.  Staff at other companies including Corporate Events, Arval, Jury’s Hotel, Nationwide and Santander have all supported the appeal by fundraising for the charity.

In addition money raised from a crop circle in Dorset this summer has raised a considerable amount, much of which has been donated by the farmer to the local village hall.

After an objection was lodged by one of the farmer’s involved, an amendment was placed on the Facebook (but not reported in the national press) saying:

The national paper in which I first read the article had the headline “Police target crop circle ‘criminals’ who profit from drone footage.” Who are these criminals? I am not sure who instigated this press release, but they certainly provided incorrect information which unfortunately the police did not check out before providing material for their interview.

The piece suggested that web sites using drones are profiteering from advertising.  I cannot see why they are targeting drone users when other web sites using other means of flying such as helicopters who could also be making money from advertising. I do not see the difference. Could there be something vindictive behind the scenes in whoever got in touch with the press in the first instance?

Another strange statement tells us that there have been a number of drone incidents this summer which have a’huge impact on the hardworking landowners and farmers whose crops are damaged’.  Damaged by drones — how can that be when helicopters legitimately have permission, keeping to the strict aviation laws, to fly just a low as drones and they don’t create any damage (I fly in helicopters so I know). In addition despite the above, it seems that ‘many farmers do not report them’.  We therefore must ask if indeed ANY farmers have reported them this summer and I suspect the answer is NO, else the farmers who complained would have been interviewed for this article.