Flimsy Sanity: Apologies

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


So sorry. I had every intention of writing exciting entries on this blog but things have been happening fast here. I put my house up for sale on one of those For Sale by Owner sites and it sold the first day. Makes me think I priced it too low as the buyer didn't even counter offer. He just casually looked around and said "I'll take it". And to think I spent all that time painting the insides of cupboards.

So this is one busy old lady sorting, selling, and giving away stuff so that my load is just the essentials. I like going to rummage sales and thrift stores so replacing things is a fun thing. If it weren't for the books that make up my business I think I could just go in my car. So soon I will be in the land of Garrison Keillor and Al Franken - green, lush, lake-filled Minnesota. For too long I have lived in dry, dusty climes with mean spirited mostly delusional (read Republican) people and I want to live in a blue state and a bigger town. Why should anyone live in a place that is hostile to them? I can be the exchange person for this guy's nephew who went to Montana.

Minnesota prankster makes waves with crop circle joke
"After I got to the edge of (Curtis') field road I pushed the stake into the ground," Olson explains. "I hung onto to the string, tied one end of twine to the stake and started stepping the corn down. And voila, after a few minutes you got a perfect circle about 30 feet across."

Then he made a second circle and singed the leaves with a butane torch. He even went so far as to grind up radium from his watch with a mortar and pestle. He mixed the radium with dirt and sprinkled it in the center of each circle.

Coincidentally, Olson says, on the same night a police officer drove into a ditch and reported seeing a flying saucer about a mile from Olson's circles.

The next day, when Olson's nephew discovered the formation, he called his friend who was a deputy sheriff. Olson says the deputy came out to the farm and detected a radioactive substance with his Geiger counter. Then word spread quickly. And suddenly Curtis Olson's farm was swarming with reporters and police officers.

"There were barriers, 'Do not pass beyond this point,'" Olson recalls. "There were cop cars. There was a CBS sound truck. There were people walking around in uniform and my heart sank. I thought, 'oh my God, I'm going to go to jail for this one.'"

So Olson remained quiet. He waited for seven years for the statute of limitations to expire. He worried he'd face criminal charges or have to pay for the cost of the investigation. In the meantime, FBI agents and paranormal activity researchers investigated. Reporters and camera crews also visited the site. Olson's nephew told reporters he believed they had been "visited."

In 1986, Olson decided enough time had passed for him to fess up. He read about a professor at the University of Minnesota studying the paranormal and the so-called "Lake City landing." So Olson sat down with the professor and a Pioneer Press reporter and told them his story. Olson was surprised to see his confession on the front page the next day, and his family was even more shocked.

"They were flabbergasted. They were upset. I think it was such a big deal because I revealed a hoax of what a lot of people believed was a landing of flying saucers. The biggest believer was my nephew. I didn't mean to make fun of him but I think he took it that way. He hasn't talked to me in almost 23 years," Olson says. "It isn't that I don't believe there is intelligent life out there. I believe there is. But I don't think it's going to manifest itself in a cornfield."

Olson's nephew Curtis, who now lives in Montana, was unavailable for comment. Olson says the rest of his family can now laugh at the incident.


  • At 4:30 AM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said…

    Good luck on the move. That is truly an exhausting thing, but it also cleans out a lot of burdens. Living in a red state myself, I know how it feels; however we are turning a bit purplish these days.

  • At 8:06 AM, Anonymous anan said…

    dang, that sounds like fun! *gets out a stake and a wee piece of string*

    I hope your move goes smoothly; i always feel that the hardest part of moving is waiting for the soul to catch up.

  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said…

    My Dad was born in Great Falls and grew up in Butte.

    He always said his big goal was to get out of Butte. He didn't know what he wanted to do, but he damn sure didn't want to work in the mines.

    I have to confess I have a soft spot for Montana though. Parts of it are beautiful...but then, the same is true for Wisconsin.

    Keep us posted and take care of yourself.

  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    good luck on the move

    and far too many people are far too damned gullible

  • At 8:45 AM, Anonymous RJ Adams said…

    Seems we've both been busy elsewhere of late. I hope your move not only goes well, but that your new hometown brings the serenity your old one lacked. As for Mister Olson - folks are just way too gullible. I'm sure other 'crop circles' have similar explanations.

  • At 12:18 AM, Blogger Graeme said…

    Welcome to the general area! (I live in Fargo ND/ Moorhead MN.)


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