The crop circle phenomena has puzzled and mystified humanity for many years. Many theories as to the cause of these strange occurrences have emerged. Ideas range from Energy fields to Plasma Vortexes to UFOs. For the most part, the answer to this mystery is still hidden within the cosmos.
Most people, an even some researchers, believe that crop circles began in 1980 in the English countryside. However, there is evidence of crop circles as early as 1678 in Hertfordshire, England. Modernly, the first crop circle was observed in Tully, England, in 1966.
The first modern rash of crop circles, appeared in Australia in December of 1973. Near Wokurna (a community southeast of Adelaide, Australia) a strange circular imprint appeared in a wheat field. UFOlogists investigated, and theories from rotating wind to kangaroos emerged. However, no definite answer to the conundrum was ever reached. These circles were nicknamed "saucer nests". Soon seven swirled circles (up to 14 feet in diameter) appeared in an oatfield near Bordertown, Australia (nearby to Wokurna). In December of 1989, an amazing set of circles (ranging from a few inches to a few feet in diameter) appeared in the Mallee wheat belt west of Melbourne, Australia. The circles were on the land owned by the Jolly family. As many as 90 crop circles were found. Strange nocturnal lights were seen in the area during these occurrences and a strange "screaming" noise was heard by locals at night.
Eduard "Billy" Meier is a Swiss caretaker who claims to have had contacts with aliens from the Pleiadies star system during the 1970s and early '80s. A number of circles have appeared in grass near his farm in Switzerland. The grass in these circles was matted flat and swirled. However, the stalks were not broken, the were only bent. They continued to grow along the ground. This rules out the possibility of a hoax.
A crop circle case similar to that of Eduard Meier's occurred on September 1, 1974, on a farm near Langenburg, Saskatchewan. Thirty-six-year-old Edwin Fuhr watched several dome-shaped crafts spinning above his crop field. As the domes ascended a strong downward wind fell upon the field. During the experience, Fuhr reported a momentary period of paralysis. The crafts had left a number of circles in his field. The grass in the circles was pressed flat, it was not broken, burnt, or dead. Nearby dogs barked wildly and a neighbor's cattle broke through a fence during the experience. Circles continued to appear on the farm. Eventually, seven swirled circles had been found.
The modern spread of crop circles began in southern England during the summer of 1980. They have continued to multiply ever since. Nine out of ten circles remained simple with broken stems flattened to the ground and swirled. The stalks around the circles remained completely erect. The town of Warminster, England and its surrounding land was the main focus for the phenomena. Warminster is a world famous UFO hotspot, and the focus of much British military activity. Hundreds of circles were appearing each summer, regularly between the months of May and August. The formation of the circles usually occurs in the early morning hours. By the end of 1988, 112 new circles had been formed, mostly in England's Wessex counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire. Circles were now being reported worldwide. By the end of 1989, 305 circles were formed. The total grew to an outstanding 1000 newly-formed circles in 1990. In 1991, 200 to 300 circles were formed. At this time, crop circles had appeared in over 30 countries, including Canada, the former Soviet Union, Japan, and the United States. Crop circles had become much more geometrically intricate over the years. Patterns now involved multiple circles, bars, triangles, rings, and spurs. Pictorial imagery also appeared. The smallest crop circle reported had an 8 inch diameter while the largest was approximately an eighth of a mile long. High pitched warbling noises have been recorded at the sight of crop circles and some of the plant stalks within the circles show evidence of being exposed to rapid microwave heating. Crop circles were usually accompanied by unusual lights seen in the night sky (as seen below).
Scientists have attempted to explain crop circles as a result of natural processes. One popular theory that is accepted by many mainstream scientists and academicians was created by Dr. Terence Meaden. It is known as the "Plasma Vortex Theory". It theorizes that electrified air (plasma), on the leeward side of hills, becomes mini-tornadoes and screws down onto the ground, creating the circles. The theory also holds that the electrified air would cause a light to appear above the circle and therefore account for UFO sightings. However, this theory has come under fire because of the highly intricate and complex crop circle patterns that have appeared since 1991. This theory still holds some clout.
Another theory is that the circles are all hoaxes. Major support came to this theory when, on September 9, 1991, Doug Bower and David Chorley of England claimed to have hoaxed approximately 250 crop circles. However, the circles that they claimed to have hoaxed were more ragged than others, and many were already under suspicion of being hoaxes. It is very unlikely that hoaxers created all the crop circles around the world. Many crop circles show strange mathematical traits when analyzed.
One of the most controversial theories is that crop circles were created by extraterrestrials. As mentioned before , UFOs have been seen in the presence of crop circles. Many crop circles are formed in UFO Hotspots (such as Warminster, England) or during UFO sighting waves. Edwin Fuhr witnessed several UFOs creating crop circles. However, if extraterrestrials create crop circles, the question remains: why? Some claim it is to warn us of impending ecological disaster on Earth. Others theorize it is a way of introducing us to a "new physics". For now, the question remains a mystery.
Several recent videos taken by cereologists (people who study the crop circle phenomena) in England have revealed startling clues to the mystery. The films show strange balls of light flying about recently formed crop circles, in broad daylight! The films show lights flying off into the sky and disappearing after "examining" the circles. The video also shows British military helicopters hovering over recently formed crop circles. One video shows a military helicopter hovering over a mysterious ball of light that is right over a newly formed crop circle. The military claims that the helicopters were on maneuvers, and the lights were just reflections. The lights appear to have a diameter of about one or two feet. They show striking similarities to the "Foo Fighters" that followed fighter planes into battle during World War II. Apparently, the British Military has strong interest in the phenomena.
The crop circle phenomena is an enigma. One that has grown from the super market tabloids to a science, cereology. Countless dollars have been spent by researchers and their associations in an attempt to find an answer to this puzzling riddle. A number of people claim to have found the solution. The Plasma Vortex Theory is a highly scientific way of explaining the circles. However, it does not account for the recent mathematically intricate crop patterns that have appeared. It also does not account for the recent balls of light that have been witnessed, and filmed, flying around circles. The theory only claims that a stationary light would appear above the circle.
It is irrational to believe that crop circles are faked for publicity or other reasons. Many crop circles appeared long before the phenomena gained large recognition from the public and press. Too many circles and patterns are formed each year in too many countries for them to have been hoaxed.
The extraterrestrial hypothesis is gaining popularity with the public. UFOs are commonly associated with crop circles and now the British Military is showing interest in the phenomena. This intriguing puzzle will continue to haunt humanity until an answer is found.
For more Information on Crop Circles, visit
AUFORA Crop Circles Section