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Thursday, July 23, 2015

A New Crop Formation with an Ominous Warning

A magnificent crop formation that appeared on June 28 in a field near Torino, Italy.
Image copyright 2015 Valeria Margherita Zanola
Stephen Hawking is supposedly warning us about alien invaders, at least that's what his handlers are telling us he's saying. I'm not convinced he's even saying anything anymore. His handlers might just be using him as a prop to lend credence to their own hair-brained schemes.
    Some people claim this elaborate design (picture above) contains a secret message encoded in binary. Sure it does. If aliens created it, why would they bother with the binary version of ASCII codes for letters? If they can make this elaborate figure, they can certainly write letters. All this supposes that they understand Roman letters and words and modern pop-culture references, and if they can do all that, why wouldn't they also understand ASCII codes?
    Anyway, I thought I would try decoding this message. Surprisingly enough, I came up with the same translation as the people at Unknown Country did, to wit:
timeo ET ferentes
I also got a 1/2 symbol to start with, but that's just me, I obviously don't know the secret handshake. This 'message' echos the line from the Trojan priest Laoco├Ân during the Trojan war:
Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes
which roughly means beware of Greeks bearing gifts, so our alien message could mean 'beware of extraterrestrials bearing gifts'.
     I translated this message by interpreting the rows of dots between each point around the outside of the design as binary codes. Dark circles (trampled grain) got a value of 1 and light circles (not trampled) got a value of zero. I started at the top of the picture and worked my way around clockwise. There are obviously a lot of problems with this interpretation. What if I got the sense for 1's and 0's backwards? What if I put the high order bit at the wrong end of the string? What if I started in the wrong place on the circle? What if I went the wrong way? Why do I feel like I've been set up?
    I used a spreadsheet to decode the message, and just for grins I tried reversing the order of the bits, but all I got was gibberish. But then I didn't try using EBCDIC instead of ASCII either.
    I think the real message here is that some people are very creative, but we already know that. Why are they doing their designs in fields? Perhaps because they can't afford paper and paint.

Via Detroit Steve and Indiana Tom.

P.S. I originally interpreted the low order bit of the first character as a 1 instead of a 0, which would have made the first letter of the message a 'u', but that wouldn't give us our nice quote from the Trojan War.

Previous Crop Circle post.

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