Over centuries, people had discovered that the star gods sometimes communicated with human beings through these sacred fields. Time and again, strange circular depressions were seen in the centre of these fields. These depressions were called ‘Izishoze Zamatongo’, the great circles of the gods.
“At harvest time, we left some of our corn standing so that passing birds could share in the bounty of our fields and, by sharing, bless us and ensure us of plenty of food. Sometimes large fields of corn and millet were planted. These were sacred to the goddess and were offered to the vast armies of birds to eat.
No human being could enter the sacred cornfield. The sacred fields were ploughed far from the ordinary millet, maize and corn, as they were left unfenced.”
These circles were an amazing sight to see. The gods never cut the stalks of corn or millet when they form these depressions. It appears as though a great circular, disk-shaped force has descended on the field. It pressed the corn firmly into the ground, without breaking the stalks or damaging the plants. Then the force appears to spin, resulting in the strange spiral appearance of the fallen stalks. Words cannot describe such a phenomenon, which I have seen more than thirty times in the course of my life as a traditional healer. Whenever a circle appeared in the fields, the people rushed to erect a fence of poles around the circle. They would dance and perform other sacred rituals honouring the Star Gods and the Earth Mother. All the kings and chiefs awaited the arrival of these circles. Their appearance would be cause for celebrations that lasted several days. The celebrations were accompanied by prayers to the gods to watch over the people and talk to them through the sacred sites.”
(Ref: Isilwane: The Animal by Credo Mutwa published in 1996 by Struick, South Africa)
Internationally and even more so right here in South Africa, the largest portion of the population is completely unaware of Crop Circles in South Africa, but as Mr Mutwa so eloquently put it, when one speaks to the right people, a completely different view emerges. According to him, the peanut and potato fields (among others) attract these circles, but maize/corn fields generally do not. Not only are there many known sites where these enigmatic designs appear in all sorts of crop, but here in Africa, the indigenous people have known about them for a very long time, as Credo mentioned to Andreas Müller that “we have known about them for more than 4000 years”.
In his article entitled “Crop Circles in Africa” of 2006, Andreas Müller of Germany says that on his visit to the southern-most country on the African continent, several different sources confirmed the existence of these crop glyphs. He mentions an interview with a pilot who “saw a set of strangely looking three circles increasing in size placed there over a total length of an estimated 100 metres”, referring to the area between Sasolburg and Alberton during the period of 1995/6 while completing his flight training.
Then he adds the story of his conversation with a receptionist at an accommodation establishment in the Johannesburg area where she told of “several tourists in the past that have asked her about the strange patterns they had seen from the airplane during the landing procedure”, who described geometrical designs which have been flattened into the crop fields. In addition, she described a sighting she once had of spirals, but could not remember the location or date. And finally he describes having been at a social event where he managed to converse with farmers of the area who all confirmed the existence of these patterns and they had the unanimous attitude of not caring much about the curiosity.
Even though many who have seen these circles thought that the farmers themselves made these designs in the fields, the farmers denied this. Besides two known publicity stunts (of which more will be said a little later) where crop circles were the focal point of attracting the attention of the public (thus hoaxes), there seems to be no logical reason why any farmer would want to hoax these crop circles where there is little or no media, public or tourist interest here in South Africa.
ther hints confirming crop circles in South Africa includes two stories, one related to a design found in the Durbanville area near Cape Town which the farmer ploughed because “it is Satanic”, and another story of many circles appearing regularly in the Free State province area which lies in the central region of the country with many wide open spaces.
Much work still needs to be done in the collection of information regarding crop circles in South Africa, the interviewing of witnesses, uncovering of photographic and other evidence, as well as educating the public about their reality. The two deliberate hoaxes we are aware of relates to a BMW and CellC logo which were crafted on different occasions into some crops for specific publicity purposes. The BMW picture was made in the 1st week of February 1993 in a field of rye located outside of Johannesburg, as can be seen in the photo on the left.
The CellC (a cellular service provider) picture came out just before April Fool’s day more than 10 years later and although these have been fakes, they stimulated an interest from the public and the media to a degree which clearly indicates that there exists a wide interest in mysteries in general, and in crop circles specifically. So from that perspective, we have to thank these two advertisement agencies and their clients for planting and nourishing the fertile ground for the necessary future crop circle research in South Africa.
More from Andreas Müller’s article, here follows a few reconstructions of previously sighted crop circles in South Africa.