The 1999 Avebury Avenue 3-D Cubes, Another Scam?

by Chad Deetken

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

As many people know, claims of hoaxing are a perpetual nuisance. Ever since 1991 when beer-loving English pensioners Doug Bower & Dave Chorley stepped out of total anonymity and onto the world stage to sing their "We Done ’em All" duet, claims of hoaxing have hounded the circle scene like a bad smell stuck to the bottom of one’s sneaker.

Unfortunately, no media sleuths ever asked the former picture farmers how they made three or four in a single night, 50 or more miles apart, occasionally in appalling weather or how they got into the crop between the tram lines so as not to leave a trail (they later claimed they pole vaulted), or why they were suddenly many thousands of dollars richer shortly after the story broke in the tabloid, "Today".

Of course nowadays, a younger and more sociopathic gang of thugs has taken over bragging rights from 79 year old Doug and dearly departed Dave to continue the tradition of audacious claims unencumbered by the nuisance of having to provide an iota of evidence.

Magic In The Moonlight

Enter 1999’s "Avebury Formation". On the night of July 28th, my wife Gwen and I joined 3 friends at the Avebury megalithic site under the full moon. We arrived at 10 PM and found the site deserted, bathed in the golden glow of the moon. It was a perfect night for contemplation and meditation. We walked the length of the site several times with our friends Dr. Chet Snow, his wife Kallista and Barbara Lamb until about 11:00 PM, at which time they left. Gwen and I decided to stay on our own.

We were in a long, narrow grassy field through which ran a double row of giant megalithic stones called the "Avebury Avenue". Along the length of one side of the field was a paved road travelled by the occasional car. Along the other side, a hill sloping down toward us, covered in wheat. We wandered the length of the Avenue several times soaking up the atmosphere under the full moon. When Gwen sat down to meditate at a large sarsen stone, I busied myself with taking time exposures of the stones with stars in the background. At 12:30 AM, we left the site but drove twice along the "Avenue" as well as nearby Silbury Hill and Beckhampton before heading back to our room in Alton Barnes.

Next day about 2PM, we happened to be driving back through the area. As we came around a corner past Silbury Hill, the Avenue came into sight. What we saw made us gasp. Right there, 200 feet from where we had stood the night before was a huge circular crop formation crawling with curious admirers. The hair stood on the backs of our necks.

We stopped and entered it with a great deal of excitement but that excitement soon turned to disappointment. Although a fabulous 400 foot design featuring six 3-D cubes, the ground features were a mess. In fact, it was one of the most unsightly lays we had seen in ages. That is not to say untidy ground lay is indicative of hoaxing but it does generally generate a healthy sense of caution. The public was mostly enthusiastic but those of us with experience remained guarded. What to make of this one?

Blind Sided By Six Cubes

An answer seemingly came 10 days later. On Aug. 7, 1999 the British tabloid "Daily Mail" ran a three page special entitled "The Night Those UFO’s Didn’t Land". In elaborate and often sarcastic detail, reporter Sam Taylor described how on the night of July 28, her newspaper commissioned hoaxers John Lundberg, Rod Dickinson, Will Russell of "Team Satan" (this is for real folks) and two helpers to execute a sensational pattern to prove they could pull it off PLUS fool everyone.

At 11 PM, with farmer Tony Farthing’s permission, Team Satan, reporter Taylor, photographer Nick Holt and farmer Farthing, eight in all, entered the field commando-style to begin the assault. Taylor describes the operation step by step from the moment they ditched the cars in the nearby village, stole through the shadows along the edge of the field by the Avenue, dove over a gate into the wheat and then lay low for six hours while Rod and the lads worked their talents. They finished about five hours later just before sunrise.

Their handiwork was discovered about 5 AM next morning and Taylor and Holt, not letting on they were involved, hung around the field to prey on the unsuspecting curious. Quite a few people, encouraged by Taylor and Holt, volunteered exotic theories allowing Holt to take photos for their upcoming news story.

Most of the public, no matter how enthusiastic they may be, are not well versed in the intricacies of this phenomenon. To draw them into making statements they would later regret was a cheap trick. When the article came out there were a lot of red faces, embarrassment and concern. Another clear-cut case of fooling a lot of people?

But wait a minute, something smelled fishy. After reading the article several times, we noticed a lot of problems and inconsistencies.

Explain This!

(1) Would my wife and I not have seen and heard eight people a mere two hundred feet away diving over a gate, hiding in the brush and then working for the 1 1/2 hours we were all there together? Would we not have heard or seen anything on the side of a hill, sloping toward us, on such a bright, still night?

(2) Since they had a photographer with them all night, why was not a single photo taken of the formation in the process of construction? Shades of Doug and Dave! Of the more than two thousand creations Doug & Dave claimed to have made over a period of 13 years, they forgot to take one single photo which would prove authorship.

(3) Two flash pictures appearing with the article shows the team sitting in a field looking at plans, but one can not tell where the picture was taken. It could have been any field, any night. And if they did take it there would the flash not have been a dead give-away to anyone in the vicinity such as ourselves, passers-by or people living in the village?

(4) Why dive over a gate along the "Avenue" when the closest and simplest access to the field is along the road where there isn’t even a fence? Surely farmer Farthing would have been aware of this.

(5) A number of people walked along the field at 3AM and 4AM. All swore there was nothing in the field at that time.

(6) For four consecutive days I phoned the newspaper attempting to reach reporter Taylor and photographer Holt for some clarification. Neither would respond. As well, veteran investigator George Wingfield spent many months trying to get a hold of the pair using different names and pretexts for wanting to talk to them. To date he has heard nothing. The paper refuses to give out their phone numbers and will not even confirm whether or not their names are real. Messages still go unanswered. The official response from the paper is "no comment".


Further investigation has revealed that the name of "reporter" Sam Taylor is fictitious. Likely that of photographer Nick Holt is also fake. As well, persistent prying into the whereabouts of the pair led to Graham Brough, the "Today" tabloid reporter who masterminded and printed the infamous "Doug & Dave" scam back in 1991.

1999 crop circle photos by Chad Deetken

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Barbury Castle

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Liddington Castle

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