An Extraordinary ‘Ice Ring’

in Churchville, Maryland

The First Authentic ‘Crop Circle’ Pictogram of 2001?


By Ed Sherwood


Mysterious ‘ice circles’ or ‘ice rings’, generally measuring between 15 to 20 feet in diameter, have appeared in thin ice ponds, and water courses, in Canada and the US for many years. One of the most impressive events occurred during a night in February 1993 when dozens of ice circles and concentric rings, formed on the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts. The following morning ‘hundreds’ of workers at the acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), were witness to the amazing phenomenon that, like the more widely known and prolific worldwide ‘Crop Circle’ enigma, seemed to occur for the very purpose of inviting serious scientific investigation, and an explanation (Ref.2).


© 2001 Lyn Winer


More recently, in 2001, also reported in February, it seems that the first crop circle ‘Pictogram’ has appeared, not in any type of crop, but in thin ice, near the town of Churchville in Maryland, USA! This new formation, measuring approximately 30 feet in diameter, was particularly unique and interesting in that it consisted of a ring with a straight edged spur, or rectangular pathway, extending from the rings outer perimeter (Fig.1, estimated from a photograph). Reminiscent of a very similar pictogram that first appeared in barley near Whiteparish in Hampshire, England, in 1987 (Ref.3), this little but profoundly significant spur seemed to challenge any idea that the formation could be explained as a ‘natural’ event.


In the late 1980s a new crop circle design impulse seemed to enter the crop fields of Southern England, as if to question the view held by some at the time, that the crop circle phenomenon was either manmade, or somehow naturally produced. Like the prevailing view of many people today, in the wake of claimed and evident crop circle pictogram ‘hoaxing’, that only simple circles and formations are likely to be authentic and most probably a phenomenon of nature, it seems that another ‘psycho-spiritual’ spanner, in this case in the form of an ‘ice pictogram’, has been thrown into the machinations of such assumptions.


Beyond challenging our assumptions of causative reality, and being a possible continuation of a very ‘psycho-interactive’ phenomenon that often manifests in the form of a ‘response’ to researcher, public and media views and observations, does the design glyph of a ring with a straight spur meaning anything?



Interestingly, it does. The sign of a filled in circle with a straight bar extending from it represents in meteorology: ‘A coating of ice’ (Fig.1)!


Though clearly not identical the two signs do have more than two things in common: They both depict a circle with a straight edged spur, or pathway protruding from it. In addition to this, the Churchville ‘Pictogram’ is especially interesting because it appeared in thin ice, and the meteorological symbol denotes a ‘coating’ of ice. Although there are differences in their pictographic proportions I think their similarities are more significant, considering their related iconography. Also, in keeping with the design conception of many authentic crop circle formations over the years, the pictogram sign was an ‘opposite’ variation of the symbol (modern and ancient) most associated with it, making an exact identification a little allusive, and clearly an exercise of inquiry. This indicates in my view that the authentic crop circle pictogram phenomenon, forming in many terrestrial mediums, is alive and well, regardless of being currently perceived by some researchers and the public to be ‘on thin ice’ due to recently projected high percentages of manmade circle making, and media announcements to the contrary.


Was the angle of the spur significant?


This I don’t know without accurate measurements. But if it pointed to North, or especially ‘Magnetic North’, it would be significant, with a great many authentic crop circle formations of the past aligned to this primary geomagnetic and geomantic compass bearing (Ref. 4).


Between the latter months of 1990 and spring 1991 I discovered numerous literal and metaphorical references to ‘International Meteorological Symbols’ depicted in authentic crop circle design symbolism, challenging and supporting, in my view, that certain meteorological conditions do play a role in the physics of authentic crop circle creation. One of the largest and most impressive authentic pictograms to illustrate this point occurred during the pre-dawn hours of July 11th 1990, when amongst other things, its design symbolism depicted a forecast of the prevailing weather conditions over the very field it formed in, hours before and after its appearance. I soon realized upon ‘reading’, or deciphering it, that it actually represented the most suitable meteorological conditions, first observed by Dr Terrence Meaden (a meteorologist) back in the early 1980s, for ‘atmospheric plasmas’, or ‘earth lights’, and authentic crop circle formations to form in!


Additional information, including in-depth research documenting the depiction and meaning of international meteorological symbols and themes referenced in authentic crop circle pictogram design ‘statements’, can also be found in my article entitled:  Let Us Remember Dragons: A Meteorological Connection in Crop Circles’.


Another meaning attributed to a glyph consisting of a circle with a straight sided spur projecting from it can be found in medieval alchemy, when it was sometimes used to represent ‘night’. In astronomy, a sign consisting of a straight spur attached to a filled in circle is also sometimes used to symbolize an ‘eclipse of the sun’. Though I’m not sure if this latter meaning has any relevance to the Churchville ice pictogram, it probably did, like most authentic crop circle pictograms, appear during the night, when most ice circles and rings also seem to form.

Alchemical Symbols for "Fire" and "Night".

The alchemical symbol for night Kris (Sherwood) first observed in a pictogram that appeared in 1998, in Wiltshire England, that also incorporated a sign used by ancient alchemists for ‘fire’. When combined she realized the formation could be read as ‘Night Fire’, and a perfect metaphor to symbolize an atmospheric plasma: a type of ‘physical’ luminosity generally reported at night, that has been seen to precede and follow authentic crop circle creation.


Additional information, including in-depth research documenting the depiction and meaning of alchemical symbols and themes referenced in authentic crop circle pictogram design symbolism, can also be found in an article Kris wrote entitled: The Philosopher’s Stone: A Stone Most Precious.


Another aspect of the ice pictogram that seemed to be a matter of intelligent design was its placing in the landscape near a town called Church-ville. The importance and significance of ‘Sacred Space’ has been repeatedly referred to in authentic crop circle design symbolism since the early 1980s; as well as in the geometry, mathematics, timing, and placing of non-manmade pictogram events, that frequently occur in close proximity to ancient sacred sites, and/or associated place names (Ref.5 ).


It was a parapsychological researcher from England, Andrew Collins, who first coined the very apt term ‘Temporary Temples’ to describe the energetic spaces occupied by crop circle formations, in his 1994 book ‘Alien Energy’ (Ref. 6).


Forming in a pond; a concentration of water and a place where ‘leylines’ often cross (Ref.5), can the Churchville ice pictogram now be added to the long list of sites visited by this continuing, profoundly spiritual, worldwide modern day miracle we call the Crop Circle phenomenon? I think so.


Ed Sherwood

© Millennium Research

May 2001


Photograph © Lyn Winer 2001


Special thanks to Lyn Winer for reporting the ice pictogram and giving permission to include her photograph, and to Paul Anderson for widely disseminating the report through his CCCRN E-News bulletins.


For additional information and images visit Paul Anderson’s site and Ice Pictogram report
German Ice Rings 1998


Also, visit:  A Mysterious 'Ice Circle' Discovered in NE, USA



1) CCCRN News – The E-News Service of the Canadian Crop Circle Research Network, Paul Anderson, April 23rd 2001.

2) The Cosmic Connection – Michael Hesemann, Gateway Books, 1996.

3) Circular Evidence – Pat Delgado & Colin Andrews, Phanes Press, 1989.

4) The Sophistication of Agriglyph Geometry – John S. Martineau, Wooden Books, 1993

5) Let Us Remember Dragons: A Meteorological Connection In Crop Circles – Ed Sherwood, 1997

6) Alien Energy – Andrew Collins, ABC Books, 1994.


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