Are crop circles a recent phenomenon?
Many people believe that crop circles have been known for centuries, according to The Smithsonian Magazine. His main piece of evidence is a woodcut from 1678 that appears to show a field of oat stalks arranged in a circle, according to The Independent. Some consider this to be a first-hand eyewitness to a crop circle, but a little historical research proves otherwise.
The book itself, entitled The Mowing Devil (according to Oxford Reference), illustrates a folk legend, in which an English farmer told a laborer with whom he was quarreling that he “would rather pay the Devil himself” to cut down his oat field. before paying the required fee. The source of the harvest is neither unknown nor mysterious; it is, in effect, Satan himself, who -with his characteristic horns and his tail- can be seen in the woodcut holding a scythe.
According to Australian Geographic, the worldwide phenomenon of crop circles was heralded by an event that occurred in Tully, Australia, in 1966, when a farmer reported seeing a flying saucer rise from a swampy area and fly away. When he went to investigate, he saw a roughly circular area of debris and apparently flattened reeds and grass, which he assumed had been made by the alien craft, but according to Australian Geographic it could have been unusual animal behaviour. Dubbed in the press as “flying saucer nests,” this story is more of a report on UFOs than crop circles.
As in the reaper devil legend of 1678, the case for linking it to crop circles is especially weak considering that the impression or formation was not made on a crop of any kind, but on ordinary grass. A round impression in a grassy area isn’t necessarily mysterious (as anyone with a backyard kiddie pool knows). In fact, mysterious circles in the grass have appeared around the world that are sometimes attributed to fairies but are instead caused by fungi, according to RHS.
In fact, the first real crop circles didn’t appear until the 1970s, when simple circles began to appear in the English countryside. The number and complexity of circles increased dramatically, reaching a peak in the 1980s and 1990s, when more and more elaborate circles were produced, according to a Nature article, including those illustrating complex mathematical equations.
In July 1996, according to Harry Eilenstein (“Crop Circles for Beginners”, BoD 2021) one of the most complex and spectacular crop circles in the world appeared in England, across a road from the mysterious and world-famous monument of Stonehenge , in the Wiltshire countryside. It was an amazing fractal pattern called the Julia Set, and while some simple or crude circles could be explained as the result of some strange weather phenomenon, this one unmistakably showed intelligence. The only question was whether that intelligence was terrestrial or extraterrestrial.
By claiming that this impressive circle had been made in less than an hour, the mystery only made it grow and grow which, if true, would be virtually impossible for pranksters to pull off. The circle became one of the most famous and important in history.
What creates crop circles?
Unlike other mysterious phenomena like psychic powers, ghosts or Bigfoot, there is no doubt that crop circles are “real”. The evidence that they exist is clear and overwhelming. The real question is instead what creates them, and there are ways to investigate that question.
To evaluate crop circles, we can look at both internal and external evidence. Internal information includes the content and meaning of the designs (is there anything to indicate that any information contained in the “messages” is of extraterrestrial origin?), and external information, including the physical construction of the crop designs themselves. (is there anything to indicate that the designs were created by something other than humans?)
According to National Geographic, Crop circle enthusiasts have proposed many theories about creating the patterns, ranging from the plausible to the absurd. One of the explanations in vogue in the early 1980s was that the mysterious circle patterns were accidentally produced by the especially vigorous sexual activity of horny hedgehogs, according to the Washington Post .
Others, like molecular biologist Horace Drew, suggest the answer lies in time travel or extraterrestrial life, according to The New Zealand Herald . According to his theory, the patterns could have been made by human time travelers from the distant future to help them navigate our planet. Drew, assuming that the designs are messages, believes that he has deciphered the crop circle symbols and that they contain messages such as “Believe”, “There is good out there”, “Beware the bearers of false gifts and your broken promises” and “We oppose deception” (all of them, presumably, in English).
However, these strange pseudo-biblical messages undermine the credibility of the crop circles, or at least the meaning that is read in them. Of all the information an extraterrestrial intelligence could choose to pass on to humanity – from how to contact them to the engineering secrets of faster-than-light travel – these aliens chose to deliver intentionally cryptic messages about bogus gifts, broken promises and hope for humanity (along with what appears to be a reference to a popular “X-Files” catchphrase).
Many who favor an extraterrestrial explanation claim that the aliens physically make the patterns themselves, according to Lockhaven University . Others believe that it is human thought and intelligence, and not extraterrestrial, that is behind the patterns, not in the form of jokes, but a kind of act of God, according to the BBC .
Although there are countless theories, the only known and proven cause of crop circles is humans. Their origin was a mystery until September 1991, when two men confessed that they had created the patterns for decades as a prank to make people believe UFOs had landed, according to an LA Times article . Supposedly, according to Australian Geographic, they had been inspired by Tully’s 1966 UFO report. They never claimed to have done all the circles – many were copycat pranks by others – but their hoax launched the crop circle phenomenon. .
Although most crop circles are now attributed to pranksters, crop circle researchers are still searching for the unexplained, “real crop circles,” according to Smithsonian Magazine .
What are the most characteristic of all crop circles?
Although there are always some exceptions, virtually all crop circles share a number of common characteristics.
Circles . Crop circles, as the name suggests, almost always include circles, rarely triangles, rectangles, or squares, although some designs do contain straight or curved lines. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that a circle is the easiest pattern for pranksters to create.
Night Creation . Crop circles form overnight, and are often seen by farmers or bystanders the next morning. While there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason for aliens or terrestrial energies to only create patterns at night, it’s obviously to a great advantage for pranksters to create the designs under cover of darkness; full moon nights are especially popular.
Hidden from the cameras . Crop circles have never been recorded (except, of course, those created by pranksters). This is a very suspicious trait; after all, if there are mysterious terrestrial or extraterrestrial forces at work, there’s no reason to think they won’t happen when the cameras are rolling.
Access to highways. Crop circles often appear in fields that offer reasonably easy public access, near roads and highways.
Very strangely they appear in remote and inaccessible areas. For this reason, passing motorists often become aware of the circles a day or two after they are created.
There are many theories about what creates crop circles, including aliens, mysterious vortexes, time travelers, and wind patterns, but they all lack one important element: good evidence. The only known cause of crop circles is humans. Perhaps one day a mysterious and unknown source for crop circles will be discovered, but until then it is best to consider them collective public art.