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Three Ring Circuits At Tilden Farm Field

07/27/04 - Bloomer Advocate

"Who you gonna call?" If Shelley and Francis Swoboda of Tilden had a choice in the matter last week, probably nobody. It came as a complete surprise to the farm couple when paranormal investigators Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk knocked on their door Monday, July 20, asking to inspect their crop circles. "What crop circles?" they asked.

"We had no idea they were there," said Shelley Swoboda of the mysterious rings which appeared in their oat field just off County Highway N, at some time previous to Friday, July 16, 2004.

The field with the circles is not in a direct line of sight from the Swoboda's home, and the couple noticed no unusual activity on their farm prior to the discovery.

The investigators who called on the Swoboda's were tipped off to the presence of the rings after receiving an e-mail about them including precise directions to their location. The message was sent Friday, July 16. However, neither Lewis or Fisk checked their messages until the following Monday.

The message sent by Adam Prince, recent graduate of Chippewa High School, stated that he noticed what might be crop circles out in a field off Highway N. Deciding not to investigate on his own, Prince e-mailed BLT, a paranormal research firm from Eau Claire, which Lewis and Fisk head.

It didn't take long for news of the ringed formations to reach the media and following that, the general public. "We could have lived without the excitement of it all, said the Swoboda's, "as the culprit or culprits, whether normal or paranormal, damaged about 4-acres of the best oat crop we've had in years."

So, on Monday, the Swoboda's found themselves accompanying the two paranormal investigators - plus a newspaper reporter who had also arrived at their home - to the field where three circles were found.

Leaving the trio to investigate, Francis Swoboda, returned to the house, called his insurance company and inquired whether or not his policy covered "alien damage." A startled agent advised Swoboda to call the police. Shortly thereafter, a Chippewa County police officer joined the others in the oat field.

Fearing hordes of curiosity seekers, Francis Swoboda decided to put out a few 'no trespassing' signs. That approach has been successful to the extent that people are mostly doing drive-by's or parking off the highway for a brief period of time as they try to make out the circles, which are not all that visible from the road.

Of the three rings found, the largest said Lewis, measured 65 feet in diameter. Two others measuring roughly 54 - 55 feet in diameter were connected to the center circle by 30 foot x 5 foot pathways. "We took whole plant samples from both inside and outside the circles and sent them to Cambridge, Mass., for independent study," added Lewis. "Especially important is measuring and comparing the nodes of the plant," he added, noting that the nodules of those plants found inside the circles seem to be elongated. Tests on comparative heat, radiation and magnetics were also part of the site investigation.

"We've investigated other crop circles in Wisconsin, but these are the first in Chippewa County," said Lewis.

The Swoboda's have faced the uproar with equanimity although Fran-cis Swoboda would have preferred the creators of the circles, whether extraterrestrial or not, to have put their time to better use. "We had plenty of hay to be unloaded, it certainly would have been something better for them to do."

Meanwhile, some of the curious, stymied by the little able to be viewed from the highway, have begun buzzing the field in small aircraft.

The Swoboda's, for their part, will just be happy when the whole thing blows over.


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