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Old 2003-07-11, 06:31 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
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"Board" teens

Rick Roach/The Reporter
This aerial photograph shows a "practice" formation that four teenagers from Fairfield claim they created prior to carving out the bigger formation found in Larry Balestra's wheat field.


It's a hoax!
The names of the teenagers in this story have been changed to protect their identities - Editor.
By Catherine Moy/Reporter Correspondent

Four Fairfield teenagers claim they created the mysterious crop circles that popped up in a Rockville Road wheat field in June, drawing thousands of curious onlookers and nationwide media attention.

The four agreed to tell their story on condition their identities be withheld.

The young men - three 17-year-olds and an 18-year-old - claim they spent the wee hours of June 28, pressing Larry Balestra's wheat field with boards connected to a rope. They had watched a documentary the previous Friday about crop circles and decided to do it, just to while away summer boredom while showing off their creative sides.

"We don't like when people try putting teenagers down," said John, 17.

They tried confessing several times to different visitors, but no one would believe them. To prove their role, the teens took a reporter to a set of circles that they say they created in a wheat field off Cordelia Road. No reports had been published on that second set of circles.

"This is where we practiced for the other ones," said George, 18.

Three of the boys are on probation for crimes relating to theft. All of their parents know they made the circles. One of their mothers even bought the movie "Signs" to celebrate their feat.

But their probation officers wouldn't be too happy, they said, especially because the hoax destroyed about $500 worth of the farmer's wheat fields. And, Solano County Sheriff Gary Stanton has made it clear that he views the act as vandalism and trespassing. He said, however, that he has not received a complaint and without one, will not pursue an investigation.

The teens don't feel like they've done much harm to the farmer, however.

"He's making loads of cash at his vegetable stand because of them," said Jack, 17.

The Balestra family, however, said this year's profits have been no different than last year. However, they were making plans to start selling $12 alien T-shirts today.

Balestra said Thursday he would never press charges in the matter.

Although he made skeptical statements to the press about alien involvement after the circles first cropped up, he was actually a little bit melancholy to hear the teens' claims.

"It's sad, because this made so many people happy."

He said he will harvest wheat from fields around the circles, but will leave the circles intact for people to enjoy.

The design of the new set of circles revealed by the teens includes one large and one small circle connected by a narrow path. It is in another wheat field near Anheuser Busch. The owners of the property allowed access, but didn't realize the circles existed.

"We shortened the rope on this one," explained George, as he stood in the smaller of the two circles Wednesday.

Since they left Balestra's fields with 14 connecting circles that have drawn UFO believers, extraterrestrial specialists, healers, psychics and gawkers, the young men have returned to the scene scores of times. They said they like watching the reactions of people wandering in the circles. They've even confessed more than once to so-called experts who have pooh-poohed their claims.

"We've told people that we did it, but they don't want to believe (us)," said George. A man pumping gas at the Rockville Road's Tower gas station snubbed the teens when they confessed to him.

Gerry Narito, a former juvenile hall counselor, was passing through when she met the boys.

"They were having conversations with people" at the gas station, Narito said. "They said they did it. One guy told them, 'You don't look intelligent enough to do it.' "

Narito was convinced they were responsible after listening to their story.

On Tuesday, the boys spent more than an hour explaining to a reporter how they pulled off the hoax.

Jack even went home and retrieved a wrinkled paper on which he had drawn a diagram of the crop circles. A second copy apparently went through the wash in John's pants.

The teens said they began their task by gathering the tools: A couple boards, a 30-foot ski rope, scraps of other rope and a roll of blue tape.

Larry's wife, Lisa Balestra, confirmed late Thursday that pieces of blue tape were found in the circles - a fact never publicized.

The largest circles have 60-foot diameters, twice as long as the ski rope.

"Man, we had to rest sometimes," said John, "My back got tired and I laid down in the field."

They initially walked to the wheat field on a path between the wheat and a safflower field, so they wouldn't leave footprints. They jumped into the wheat and began work on their pattern.

One teen stood in the center of the circle, holding the ski rope borrowed from one of the parents. Another would hold on to the other end of the rope to ensure they made a decent circle. Then they pressed down the wheat with the planks of wood connected to a small rope, which served as a handle.

The moon was bright that night, providing plenty of light. As for reports of mysterious lights in the field, the teens say it was their cell phones. They called numerous friends to come out and take a look, but no one came.

Since their story started making headlines, they collected every newspaper and watched every telecast on the topic, enjoying every minute of the attention.

One of their brothers even called from out of state to say he'd seen the story.

They've also enjoyed the people who have made pilgrimages to the circles, especially those who believe aliens made the formations. And they don't belittle any of the believers.

"One lady said she cured her back pain by rubbing the wheat on her back," George said. "If it does that, we'll make more circles for them."

But not all the believers who flocked to the circles have come away believing aliens left their mark. One Albany woman, who told a reporter she is a reincarnated alien, said Thursday the circles just didn't do it for her.

"I was in one group of aliens in a past life, so I think I'd know," said Pat Segrestan. "The design is beautiful, but I don't get any special feelings from it."

Paul Imlah of Fairfield and a friend said they didn't think the circles were alien creations either.

"Unless the aliens are using rope."

The teens have researched the crop circle phenomenon since June 28, and George has seen crop circles on TV that he believes no human could make. Yes, he believes in extraterrestrial life.

Crop circles were first reported in England during the 1600s. Some 250 appear annually in different sites on the globe. Self-described experts study them, believers meditate at them, and skeptics giggle at them.

In the past two weeks, four crop circle patterns have appeared in Solano County alone. The teens take no credit for a smaller circle found near Solano Community College, nor the Vacaville circle, which looks like a squashed bug replete with antennae in a corn field at Leisure Town and Fry Roads.

"That one is funny. What did that pilot say? 'It must have been a drunk alien,' " John said.

The foursome would be glad to demonstrate their skills of circle making - if the law wouldn't bust them for it.

"We just did it for fun - to see if we could do it," George said.

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Old 2003-07-12, 01:06 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Why cna't they do something constructive? Like burn down a building? wait that deconstructive....fuck it, deconstructive is more fun

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