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16 The Cropcircle Connection
Jan 23, '12

Chapter 16: The Cropcircle Connection

After a good nights sleep we met with Jean in his office at La Voix du Nord just off the Grande Place in the centre of Lille. He was extremely interested in our account of what had transpired in Orleans. Understandably he censored the Gilles de Rais episode but was more than happy to have us write about the arrow incident timeslip and the Battle of Patay. Pictures of the Maison Jeanne d’Arc and Les Tourelles monument were accepted for the article.

Lille and I spent the rest of the morning roughing out the copy and viewing the photographic footage. It seemed that we had been there forever as we reviewed the evidence. We then came to the circle pictures which we analysed and that was when we had a shock; on the last picture of the circle we spotted an Unidentified Flying Object! It was a metallic looking structured craft of saucer shape with a raised central section. In profile it looked as though someone had cemented two dinner plates together. Would anybody believe us? On that frame there was no point of reference so we looked at other frames for clear evidence that would deny the charge of hoax.

“I’m amazed I saw nothing through my view finder when taking the picture and we both saw absolutely nothing!” Lilly spoke in hushed tones to avoid other workers in the over hearing our conversation. We had taken so stick over the paranormal flavour of our last article so she wanted to be doubly cautious not to become a laughing stock.

“Well, I have nothing to lose as it’s the end of my career, but for you my Fleur d’Lilly it is the beginning.” I understood her caution and left the decision on how to play this one to her.

“Thanks, Yann. I will stick my neck out though if we find more hard evidence that provides undeniable proof that we didn’t hoax the whole thing!” We continued to look at the photographs and finally found what we were looking for. There on one of the early shots from the Roman road was a frame showing the small wood in the distance and there at the back of the right corner was a partially exposed UFO identical to the full on image that first alerted us.

Lilly smiled as she enhanced the frame and zoomed in on the anomaly. “We have it!” She exclaimed and sat back in her swivel chair; I went over to her screen to take a look.

I spent several minutes examining the image in depth and finally gave my decision. “You are right! It’s a bit pixelated at that resolution but it will stand up in court. I’m quite happy to publish and be damned.”

The whole experience had just taken on a much larger perspective. The craft was clearly behind the trees which eliminated a hoax as the size of the craft could be calculated which proved it was not a model. I estimated it to be some 26 metres in diameter with a height of approximately 10 metres in the central raised portion. Lilly also noted that the shadows of the trees were distorted in the vicinity of the saucer.

“The space around the craft must be warped by its energy field and therefore the light from the sun bent as it passed through the UFO’s space.”

I was getting very interested in the photograph as it resonated with my teenage studies on Einstein and relativity. “Matter tells space how to bend and space tells matter how to move! The mass of the craft was refracting the light rays; perhaps that is why we couldn’t see it with our own eyes? It literally cloaked itself from our normal vision.”

Lilly started to understand, “Yes, that’s it! The craft was distorting the space around itself so that we just saw around it but it couldn’t fool the camera. The energy field must pulse at a particular frequency and the camera caught it momentarily when it was uncloaked and therefore visible.”

Lilly sat back again with her hands clasped behind her head. “Wow! This is so cool!” She said with a satisfied tone of vindication.

“I wonder if the circle or military base has anything to do with the craft?” I threw the obvious conjectural point into the ring of discussion.

“Or the other way around; may be our own consciousness created the UFO and the circle?” Lilly threw in her thoughts on the subject which completely caught me unawares as I was being very detached about the whole incident.

“It’s a bit of a coincidence isn’t it? You feel compelled to visit a spot in the middle of nowhere, then I see Roman soldiers, we find an anomalous circle in a field and a UFO appears!” Lilly had the bit between her teeth and was not going to let go of this line of enquiry. “You’re not an ALIEN are you?”

I laughed, but she was being deadly serious, “Might account for your difference in vascular plumbing to the brain and memory ability?”

“Well, best not tell anyone otherwise they might put me in the zoo next to the Citadelle!”

Then it was Lilly’s turn to laugh out loud and make a joke of it, “I can just imagine you there; I would come a feed you everyday!”

“So long as they don’t autopsy me I don’t mind!” All sorts of dark thoughts penetrated my head as I thought of the military base we had seen. “Time for a glass of wine and lunch, lets go to the Le Pot Beaujolais just on the corner near the Opera house? I’m buying before they dissect me!”

Lilly grabbed her bag and we left the office and stepped out into the bright midday sun shining on the Grande Place. As we a walked along Lilly suddenly said, “Do you mind if we go to the book shop across the square I want to buy some things?”

“Sure no problem, lunch came wait a few minutes.” I replied in a quizzical fashion assuming that she wished to purchase a book. After 5 minutes of rummaging in the stationery section Lilly found what she was looking for, an extending tape measure and a pair of compasses. As she paid for the items at the cash register the penny dropped.

“This is about your ★★★★★ of string and the circle isn’t it?”

“Sure is; I’ve got an idea and I want to see if it works!”

“I know this is going to be one of those lunches where we end up nearly getting thrown out for drawing on the table cloth!”

“Sure is! If that happens I’ll just use my feminine charm and you can look innocent.”

Lilly smiled and giggled as she grabbed my arm. It felt like Dad and daughter time again so I thought to myself, whatever, and joined in with the madness. We didn’t have far to walk just a couple of hundred metres to the corner opposite the Opera.

Lilly chose a table inside away from distractions and ordered from the menu. With a large glass of vin rouge I settled back ready to watch the floor show!

“I have a little idea based on something my mathematics teacher once showed me in high school. I want to see if it works and this is the first opportunity I have had to test the theory.”

Lilly carefully laid out her props on the clean white table cloth with the precision of a surgeon. I loaned her my Swiss army knife to open the packaging on her new acquisitions. She gave me the tape measure and asked me to extend it to a length of one metre. Then she proceeded to measure the 3 ★★★★★ of string one at a time by passing the twine through her fingers over the metre measure and counting. After several minutes and a bit of rechecking she had 3 precise measurements written on the serviette:

9.28: 30: 41.68 metres.

“It’s a good job I had a hundred metre ball of string; that last one nearly used up half of it!”

She continued with the conjuring trick.

“Right, now these are the 3 diameters of the circles we measured. I kept seeing stars as I mentioned and I think I know the connection? I got the idea from the roundel insignia on the military transport planes on the way to Patay. In the night I dreamt of the insignia but they mysteriously changed from French roundels to American stars within the circle. Then I remembered this morning what my maths teacher had shown me; watch!”

She took from her bag her A4 notepad and after a pause for calculation drew a small circle with a radius of 4.64 millimetres using her newly purchased compasses. Then she drew a bigger circle using a radius of 15 millimetres by extending her compasses after using a small ruler to adjust them to the new measurement. Finally she extended them even further and drew a larger circle with a radius of 20.84 millimetres.

“Now for the mathemagic!” My attention was 100% as with the deft mesmerising effect of a top conjurer she reeled me in for the finale of the trick. I sat silent on the edge of my chair in anticipation.

Then taking her ruler and a sharp pencil she began to draw straight lines tangent to and touching the centre circle; one after the other in sequence she laid them down with the precision of surgeon. To my astonishment a perfect 5 pointed start appeared!

“It works!” Lilly exclaimed in triumph as the last line connected with the first point, “C’est magnifique!”

I was amazed and found myself applauding audibly. “That’s why you could see stars, your subconscious could see what you conscious mind couldn’t. You intuitively knew that we were standing in harmonically proportioned flattened circle of wheat.”

“And it is the sacred pentagram, the geometric symbol for reincarnation. Let’s see if I can repeat the trick.”

Lilly now flushed with success redrew the original 3 circles afresh and to the exact same dimensions. This time she drew straight lines tangent and touching the centre circle but touching the outer largest circle; one after the other she drew them with deadly accuracy, each one touching the last one until seven lines were constructed and the last one met the starting point.

“There you go; a perfect heptagram! Absolute magic, no?”

I sat and stared at the neat diagrams, the numbers 5 and 7 had been deliberately encoded in the circle of flattened wheat near Patay. I then remembered back to my classics days with lectures on Greek number theory; 5 represents LIFE and 7 the virginal number of MYSTERY and SPIRIT. The name Athena in Greek had the value 777 as she was thrice virginal, because 7 cannot divide exactly into 360 and Jesus in Greek had the value 888 which was thrice perfect.

“I’ve got it! Spirit inhabits matter and gives rise to life; life and spirit are inseparable.”

“That makes sense, what a profound message. I wonder who or what sent it and why?” Lilly was pleased with my insight which gave some meaning to the enigmatic rings in the crops.

After lunch we walked back to our office and Lilly inked her drawings in. She then photocopied them for me and coloured some of them in for pinning on the wall display board by her desk. Using her inkjet printer she also ran off several copies of the photos containing the circle and the UFO. Within minutes several other journalists and co-workers had stopped to look at her handy work and to ask questions.

Passions ran high as the debate developed and Jean came to see what all the fuss was. “You’ll have us all seeing cropcircles!” He said jokingly, “Back to work we’ve got a paper to run.”

Gradually our colleagues drifted off as the novelty wore off. “What did he say they were, Lilly?”

“Cropcircles, but I think he just made that up.” Lilly answered robotically as she was busy typing out a neat copy of the Orleans article that we had put together.

“Sounds kind of exactly what they are; that’s a good name for it.” I found myself tapping it into a search engine, selecting images and then pressing the enter key, suddenly up popped several pictures of cropcircles, each showing astounding precision and remarkably complex geometry. Page after page I view like a lost child in a candy store, there were hundreds. “Hey, Lilly stop what you’re doing and come look at this!”

Lilly came over to my desk and her jaw dropped in disbelief. “Oh mon Dieu! What magic is this?”

“I had no idea such things existed. I hit upon the best website first time. It’s URL is, try it on your machine.”

Lilly went back to her computer and was soon looking at the amazing images. We were both astonished at the precision of the geometry which was extremely detailed and highly accurate. Further research revealed that they occurred all over the world but the epicentre was definitely in southern England around the Avebury and Stonehenge area. At the click of a mouse a whole new world opened up before my eyes. It seemed to be a very ancient world of stone circles, monoliths and prehistoric pagan religion based on the Sun, Moon and Venus. I knew instinctively that I was connected with that world and so was Lilly.

Further research that afternoon on our own photographs revealed several other frames with anomalous shadows probably due to an invisible object distorting the space around itself, plus one other shot of a small object in the distance but too small to be recognised except for its distinct lack of wings.

As I took the metro home that night thoughts kept circulating in my head. What had been a started as a historical quest had now developed into something far more profound and now with present day relevance. That night I fell asleep holding my pop up book and dreamed of my Lady des Armoises.

Next morning it was the usual Friday end of the week workday. I text Lilly on the way into the office to see if she had experienced and dreams, timeslips or revelations in the night? The mysterious reply came that she had experienced a sudden burst of energy which had disturbed her sleep around 04:00hrs but with no other phenomena associated with it, so she had just gone back to sleep.

I decided to have an early breakfast at Café Le Rihour just a stones throw from my office at La Voix du Nord. I read the early addition of our paper to catch up on local events whilst eating. At 09:00 hrs I walked into my office. A white piece of paper sat on my computer keyboard propped up against the screen. It read;


One of you circles has landed near Forest-sur-Marque! No joke!!! A Monsieur Larché was out walking his dog early this morning and reported seeing a large flattened area of crop. Might be worth investigating?


I knew Etienne from the 24 hour news desk had seen Lilly’s pictures on the wall the day before and so he had probably given this story more priority than he would have normally. It was a good lead, so I rang him to check that he definitely wasn’t joking? He confirmed that normally a citizen walking a dog with a mundane story would not have attracted his attention but having seen Lilly’s pictures yesterday he had told us as quick as possible.

Just then Lilly entered the office. “Bonjour, Yann. How are you today?”

“I’m fine thanks, slept really well and didn’t get woken up with a burst of energy either. Hey, take a look at this.” I handed her the single sheet of white A4 and waited for a reaction.

“Mmmmm, interesting I think we should take a look don’t you? It seems more than a coincidence.”

“I’ll ring the car pool and she if they have a vehicle available. It’s the end of the week they should have something we can use?”

Ten minutes later, after a quick phone call and a bit of wheeler dealing, I reported to Lilly that we were all set and had a car from 09:30hrs. We cleared our desks as quick as possible and then made our way to the car pool a couple of blocks from the city centre.

The city was busy as usual but we managed to clear the traffic near the centre fairly quickly and headed out northeast towards Lac du Héron a small nature reserve on the out skirts of Lille and the satellite communes of Hem and Forest-sur-Marque. Turning off the main road at the roundabout towards the village of Hem we started our search. The place was deserted as resident population were either at work or on holiday. I looked for the boulangerie as that would be the local centre of gossip and people would have been buying their fresh baked baguettes and croissants from the early morning.

Luck was with us as we quickly found the boulangerie pâtisserie Delhaye Guillaume at Place de la République. In his scribbled note Etienne had neglected to give an address for Monsieur Larché, again fortune was with us as the lady shop assistant knew him; for even though he lived in Forest-sur-Marque he walked his dog to Hem every morning to buy fresh bread. He had indeed mentioned seeing an unusual patch of flattened wheat to the side of the road that morning. We thanked the lady and jumped back into the car and headed south back out of the village to the turning from the main road. We continued over the junction in the direction of Forest-sur-Marque the next village. Lilly kept looking westward out of the passenger side of the car and I kept glancing eastward. As the road hit a slight bend Lilly shouted she could see the lake ahead, at that moment I glanced eastward momentarily and saw an enormous patch of flattened wheat many times bigger that the cropcircle near Patay.

I pulled the car over and parked it as best I could off of the road so as not to interrupt the flow of traffic. The road was very quiet so I did not envisage a problem. Armed with her camera Lilly was first out of the vehicle and started taking pictures immediately. The she switched to video mode to record her thoughts and the atmosphere of the place. The whole area was deserted with the exception of the bird life on the lake.

“Have you got your string?” I said as I changed my shoes in case of mud.

“Sure have, a whole new 500 metre ball and it looks like I’m going need it; the area looks pretty big to me!”

We entered the crop and carefully made our way along the tramlines to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the crop. A sense of excitement and expectation arose in both of us as we neared the flattened area. We paused at the perimeter of the formation and looked for signs of mechanical damage or human intervention. There appeared to be none; it was pristine.

“We’ll phone Monsieur Larché later to check his story as he may have disturbed the site but it looks untouched to me.” I scanned the formation from where we stood for foot prints but I could find none. “Well nobody has come down this tramline my prints are the only ones and they go only one way.

“It’s the same on my tramline.” Lilly said as she caught up with me having taken several photographs along the way. She stood for several minutes taking close up photographs of the crop from our position on the edge of the formation.

“Here goes, un, deux, très,” and with that she walked into the circular rim of the cropcircle. I followed her lead and could only feel the gentle swirl of energy that went in the direction of the lay of the wheat.

We followed the same procedure we had established in Patay; Lilly went clockwise and I went anticlockwise. It was a big circle with a precise rim, inside lay 4 large flatten circles with standing centres at each point of the compass, the centre contained a fifth flattened circle but with a thin 1 metre ring of standing crop.

It was an amazing construction made with extreme precision. I could see that all 5 circles were of the exact same dimension and I marvelled at the sense of symmetry displayed. I could find no damage anywhere, only expanded nodes and bent wheat that was not broken. I tested my own footprints and could see that the crop was instantly damaged and showed forensically that I had been there. I even found several exploded nodes which I collected as samples. The crop had clearly been acted upon by a force that left no mechanical crush damage, it had to have been microwaves and electromagnetism that was responsible for the effects I observed. I wasn’t sure but the more I evidence I saw the more I became intrigued and wanted to know more. Dew drops still clung to the leaves as did the white dust like patina spore bloom that leaves have naturally.

It was time to measure the dimensions of the circles with Lilly’s string; firstly the dimensions of outer rim; next the diameter of each of the 5 large circles within the perimeter ring; then the diameter of the 4 standing cropcircle centres; finally the dimensions of the centre standing ring that was only a meter wide.

“Hey, have you noticed that you would have to flatten the centres to create the circles manually using string and a board.” I pointed out this sudden revelation that was of importance to Lilly.

“Of course, you would have to stand in the centre to measure the radius as it was being made! That fact alone shows that it is not made by simple human mechanical means.” Lilly was impressed as it dawned on her exactly what I was saying. “The inner ring is unbroken too! It is a miracle. I am have witnessed the impossible; mon Dieu!”

We then sat in the centre circle to meditate and feel the energy. I made several rough sketches of the details and pattern’s design. Satisfied that we had recorded enough data we both lay back in the cropcircle to look at the sky. It had the same feel of peace and healing that we had experienced at Patay near Orleans. This experience was something totally new for us and we both tried to record every detail in our memory banks.

After an hour or so it was approaching two o’clock and time to head back to the office in the centre of Lille. Reluctantly we had a last walk through and around the circle and then headed for the car.

Once back in the office Lilly shared all of her collected data with me and I put duplicate copies on my laptop and desk PC so I could continue to analyse the data freely.

“What do you think about sending the data to the cropcircle connector; do you think they would be interested? I’m sure Jean won’t mind?” Lilly said enthusiastically as the fires of youth burnt brightly within her; the spirit of the chase was upon her and she was in full flight. The circle had energised her soul!

“Well we had better check with him as he may want to run the story as an exclusive?” I always erred on the side of caution as the paper did pick up the cheque for all of this.

We ran the story by Jean and showed him the photographic evidence. He was sceptical about the phenomenon which was something totally new to France but he could see no reason why we shouldn’t share the information on a larger scale and so gave us the go ahead provided we had an article written by Monday.

I made a few phone calls and managed to track Monsieur Larché down once he was home from work. Lilly e-mailed the best of her photographs to Mark Fussell and Stuart ★★★★ of the cropcircle connector along with a short report on the two circles we had visited, including their dimensions.

It was now early evening and I suggested to Lilly that we go eat at my favourite restaurant unless she had other plans, also that there was a Saturday night gathering of my teacher friends at Vincent Callens’ house in La Madeleine. Both invites were taken up enthusiastically by Lilly so we closed down our work stations and gathered up our belongings; then we left the office for the weekend.

The local cropcircle report would fill in the regular article slot after the story of our Orleans trip so we had more than covered the next couple of issues of the paper. We strolled towards the Opera house and turned right into the Rue Faidherbe that led to the main station and the metro terminal. The restaurant Les Charlottes en Ville lay on the left and I explained to Lilly that I was a regular there as the food was excellent and the atmosphere cosy, plus it was convenient for the metro.

I was in the mood for another celebration to mark the appearance of our own cropcircle in Lille, I some how felt it was a personal gift from beyond to mark our journey of discovery. Who or whatever had made it was in tune with our minds and seemed to appreciate our contribution to history via Jehanne d’Arc. Lilly ordered our now Kir Royale aperitif and we sat discussing the weeks events and then our personal lives and histories.

Both of us were more than content just to enjoy the moment and watch the world go by after such a hectic week of adventure. I learnt that Lilly’s father had lived in Lille and that her mother was a concert pianist of some note. When a teenager Lilly had moved away to live with them in the mountains close to the Swiss border. She was the oldest of three; had a younger sister Clara; a younger brother Darius and they all loved their beautiful Bouvier Bernois mountain dogs.

I was surprised to find that she had spent a year attending a famous English preparatory school in Broadstairs on the southeast coast, when only 10 years of age and that she had returned there as a gap student for another year before attending Lille University.

I reciprocated with some of my life’s adventures and managed to drag up several old funny stories to make her laugh. In the course of conversation I began to realise that what looked random in my life had a pattern and that it was no coincidence that she should walk into my office that fateful day just a few short weeks ago.

The meal was exquisite and after settling the bill, I escorted my Fleur d’Lilly home safely.

“A bientôt, mon chevalier noir,” Lilly said as I left her at the door of her apartment. The simple phrase echoed in my head as I walked the streets towards Place Alexander Dumas and home.

Next morning, I started work at home on the Lille cropcircle diagram following what I had learnt earlier from Lilly. I made several accurate drawings and pinned them to my notice boards in both the study and in the kitchen. There was something compelling about the design and dimensions of the circle, it spoke to my subconscious direct and I could not help staring at them for long periods of time. I knew the design was familiar, so familiar yet I could not consciously recognise the encoded message.

In frustration I text Lilly, she responded in an upbeat manner and said that she had already decoded the design and that it would be good for my soul if I tried to puzzle it out myself! Then she text me 5 minutes later with the message that she would reveal the answer at the party tonight. After another 5 minutes she text me;

Ths is wat U nd (33.85:30):10:(5.64:5):3.09 metres

Go figure???! LOL =:^D XXX

Now I could analyse my sketches properly so I set about re-drawing them precisely using my old geometry equipment and lots of sharp pencils. Within an hour I had the answer; I scanned them into my home computer and printed off lots of copies. Then I set about my geometric dissection of the harmonic proportions in the same way Lilly had demonstrated with her circle analysis. I could see immediately that the 4 satellite circles contained hidden pentagrams with respect to their radii ratios of 1:30917 and 5 connected straight lines drawn tangent to their centre circles. I then tried to find other patterns:

Outer rim (33.85:30) = 30/33.85 = 0.8862629 = Squaring the circle – solution; when a square is constructed tangent to the inner circle of the rim, it precisely squares the outer circle such that the square’s perimeter is exactly the same distance as the circumference of the outer circle.

Using my calculator I realised that the exact diameter of the outer rim circle must have been 33.851372 metres which would give the precise ration necessary to give an exact ratio of 0.886227 – The inaccuracy I felt sure lay with our measurement and not the circle makers. I sat and stared at my proof for an hour, continuously checking and re-checking my drawings and calculation; it was staggering!

Squaring the circle was the old Greek conundrum of reconciling Heaven and Earth; Heaven the circle with Earth the square, such that both had the exact same dimension of circumference and perimeter. It was the same message as Patay the reconciling of the invisible Spirit with the material plane of existence; invisible with the visible.

I then moved on to the centre standing ring:

Centre standing ring (5.64:5) = 0.8865248 = Squaring the circle – solution; when a square is constructed tangent to the inner circumference of the standing crop, it precisely squares the outer circumference of the standing crop such that the square’s perimeter is exactly the same distance as the outer circumference of the standing crop. This would be precisely correct it the true measurement were 5.6418953

They were identical! The outer rim and the inner circle of standing crop where precisely the same geometry; both squaring the circle.

My mind was totally blown by the sheer devastatingly accurate geometry being displayed in of all things a wheat field just outside of Lille. I reviewed all of Lilly’s photographs as a slide show and just gazed in wonder at the mind that had created this elegant miracle.

I grounded myself by doing household chores and then taking a shower. I was still mesmerised by the precision and detail of what I had witnessed. I was sure that I had missed an obvious connection that my subconscious was screaming out but I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. I would have to wait for Lilly’s solution that evening to fill the gaps; perhaps she had decoded the obvious?

I found myself drawn again to the cropcircle connector on the internet as I had a spare hour to kill before meeting Lilly. The hypnotic effect of the myriad of designs that had occurred in June and July struck a chord with my inner self as I now understood the geometric perfection being displayed. I noticed that the very next weekend there was a Cropcircle Conference in Devizes, Wiltshire, England. I contacted the organisers Karen and Steve Alexander by e-mail to enquire if tickets were still available? I intuitively knew it was the right thing to do as we needed to plunge into the heart of the phenomenon in order to understand it more fully.

I text Jean to tentatively suggest that this was a worthwhile line of enquiry and that we might need the end of the week off plus the Monday following. His answer came back pretty quick and emphatically stated that we could go but would have to fund the trip ourselves as it wasn’t directly related to our series of articles or in France!

Happy with his answer I decided to wait for an e-mail reply from Karen Alexander before telling Lilly. Evening was fast approaching and made ready to leave for the party. Lilly was expecting to meet me at Vincent’s house in La Madeleine as it was equidistant from our addresses.

It was a pleasant summer’s evening as I walked over the bridge that spans the auto route from Lille centre to Marcq-en-Baroeul. I reached Vincent’s house in Rue Jean Mermoz at 18:45hrs ahead of time. Richard and Bruno were already there along with Deborah a new mathematics teacher from Vincent’s school; Ecole Charles Peguy. Bruno was interested to know what adventures I had been on that week. So I drew a quick verbal sketch of our trip to Orleans as I enjoyed an Absinthe and iced water aperitif. Deborah was particularly interested in the decoded geometric solution to the cropcircle at Patay, but our conversation was cut short by the arrival of several other guests which broadened the conversation. We seemed to hit it off immediately and I felt strangely comfortable in her company. It was as if we had known each other forever. There was also something very familiar about Deborah’s face and her empathy for the subject. I could feel my subconscious was tugging at its lead but my conscious mind had no idea what the connection was at this point in present time.

Then the bell rang and I answered it being the nearest to the front door. There stood Lilly in her little black dress with a mulberry coloured tailored jacket and matching Dior handbag, she looked absolutely stunning. In her other hand she clutched a bottle of Pouilly Fumé.

“I thought they might like a taste of the Loire!”

“You are a treasure Lilly come on in and meet the gang.” She gave me the bottle to hold and then unbuttoned her jacket. I it hung up on the hooks by the front door, “You have exquisite taste my Fleur d’Lilly such good tailoring and colour choice!”

She smiled, “Merci, Monsieur.” I then escorted her through the main living room and into the kitchen. There I introduced Lilly to Vincent who was busy selecting some more cheese from the fridge for the guests in the garden. Vincent owned a 1900s Lille town house with a long narrow garden, he had sensitively restored it over the years and it retained many of the elegant original features. The guests sat and mingled outside as it was such a nice evening. I introduced Lilly to them and she spent the first part of the evening mixing and making friends. Many asked about our latest articles as they had read them in the paper.

As the sun set Lilly came over to me and with a cheeky grin she enquired, “Did you decoded the pattern hidden in the circle?” She was fishing for clues as to how far I had got with the problem.

“I could see clearly that it was 4 symmetry and that there were pentagrams in the 4 large satellite circles, then I discovered the squaring the circle twice which blew my fuses. That was as far as I could get before I had to get ready to come out. I know there is more my subconscious is screaming in my ear but I just can’t see it! What did you find?”

“Well done you did well and you are going to like this a lot! It encodes the sacred cross of the Black Brethren!”

“No, are you sure? You must be joking, it can’t possibly...”

“But is does, I am 100% sure and here is my proof.” Lilly reached into her Dior handbag and withdrew a crisply folded piece of white paper. “Go ahead and open it!”

I took the paper from Lilly and slowly unfolded it. Even though I was prepared for the result it still gave me goose bumps when I looked at the design. Sure enough the cross was there!

“The trick is to draw diagonal lines at a tangent to the 4 satellite circles; they delineate the cross precisely and in the correct proportions. The clever bit is that the width of the outer rim encodes the value of Phi Φ 1.6180339 and the centre standing circle gives a square as you have found. It is without doubt a neat and geometrically eloquent solution to the illuminated cross of the Black Brethren.” Lilly looked very pleased with herself.

“It is as though the circle makers have read our minds. I could never have come up with such a wonderful solution!”

As is just on cue my phone vibrated indicating the arrival of an e-mail. It was Karen Alexander saying that they had 5 spare tickets left due to cancellations. “It’s the number 5 again! Meant to be, say how would you like to spend next weekend in England?”

“When, where, what, why, how?” Was all Lilly could splutter.

“Leave Thursday, come back Monday, Devizes in Wiltshire, England, a cropcircle conference, for our research, by car and tunnel sous la Manche!” I was pretty sure that I had answered all of her questions succinctly.

“Formidable, let’s do it!” Lilly was as ever decisive and positive.

“Right, that’s settled, I’ll book it in the morning...”

Jan 23, '12
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