Crop circles have been a source of fascination for the media, scientists, and enthusiasts of the strange and unusual for a number of decades. From the 1970’s through to the present day the explanations and suggestions for their appearances have continued to stimulate speculation over their origin despite some fairly ordinary admissions from tricksters and hoaxers.
Whilst Crop Circles have appeared in many parts of the world, the greatest concentration of them have been found in the fields between Amesbury and Swindon in Southern England. Their complexity has ranged from single humble circles of flattened grass to complex mathematical patterns invaluable wheat or barley crops.
Some of the most vocal theorists on the subject are convinced that these strange formations are either the imprints of alien technology or shifting terrestrial energy fields, however, the more evidence-based assessments point toward a more anthropological explanation.
The Crop Culprits
The most compelling evidence for human intervention in the creation of crop circles came in 1991 when two men from Southampton, England admitted having made nearly 200 of the geometric patterns since the 1970’s.
The tricksters, Dave Chorley and Doug Bower, claimed to have been inspired by an alleged UFO sighting in Australia in 1966. Following the event, circles were found on the ground and were attributed to the effects of the supposed alien craft.
Many refused to believe the pair, convinced that it was impossible that just two people could create such seemingly perfect and complex patterns overnight and without breaking the stems of the flattened crop.
Both Bower and Chorley admitted that they were not responsible for all the crop circles that had appeared across England, or the few outside the UK, however, they were clear that it had not been the greatest challenge to create these images. In fact, for construction, they had simply used flat wooden boards and some rope. The only other piece of ‘technical’ equipment used was a baseball cap fitted with a small sight made from wire to help ensure they were following straight lines.
Initially, both men had sought to have a bit of fun following a spate of aerial UFO sightings in the area. However, after two years with no-one noticing their creations the pair were about to give up when it occurred to them to try and sight one more circle in a more prominent place, where it could be overlooked by visitors.
This stroke of genius was all that was needed to spark the interest of the general public and supposed experts alike. Theories for their creation were abound whilst Chorley and Bower quietly enjoyed the elaborate and wildly inaccurate suggestions as to how their works had been created.
Eventually, their designs became more and more elaborate, partly out of artistic expression and partly out of a desire to confound the latest series of theories as the origin of the circles. In 1985, Bower’s wife became suspicious of her husband’s evening activities and questioned the unusually high reading on the car odometer following his alleged Friday night visits to the pub.
Unconvinced of his explanation that he was creating the circles with his friend, Bower asked his wife to design a circle which he promptly created the next evening in a nearby field. Without further complaint from his wife, Bower continued to create the now world-renowned crop circles for another six years.
Bower’s final word on the matter summed up the adventure as a “bit of a laugh” for two artistic people under the stars in a cornfield, who wanted to make fools of self-proclaimed experts on the subject.