Space Aliens Were Sending Us Coded Messages by Flattening Our Crops
Starting in the 1970s, a belief began circulating in UFO circles, and from there to wide swathes of the general public, that aliens were trying to communicate with us via coded messages in our crops. It began in 1976, when wheat in a field in Wiltshire, England, was discovered flattened in circular patterns. Before long, mysterious circles of flattened crops, in increasingly elaborate patterns, began appearing in other fields throughout Britain.
Once the news spread, the phenomenon attracted self-declared experts, who offered a variety of supernatural and pseudo-scientific explanations for the mystery. Theories ranged from troubled ghosts and spirits to secret weapons testing, to Mother Earth expressing her distress at what humanity was doing to the planet. However, the most widely accepted explanation was that the circles were created by extraterrestrials, who were trying to communicate with us in some cryptic code.
The notion that ETs were behind the circles was buttressed by the fact that only a decade earlier, mysterious circles had appeared in Australian crops. At the time, the Australian circles were attributed by many to UFO landings. Stonehenge is not far from Wiltshire, where the first British crop circle appeared, and the area has plenty of ancient marker stones and burial mounds. New Age types had long claimed that a network of mysterious energy paths, known as “leys”, linked those landmarks throughout Britain.
The region was also a hotbed for UFO enthusiasts – England’s Roswell, if you would. So it was fitting that the first crop circles, or saucer nests, would appear there. Soon, theories combining the crop circles, Stonehenge, ancient Druids, and mystic energy paths, were combined into a complex explanation for the phenomenon. The circles themselves became magnets for New Age mystical tourism.
As it turned out, the crop circles were created by Doug Bower, an English prankster. One night in 1976, he was drinking with his friend Dave Chorley, when the duo started talking about ETs, UFOs, flying saucers and the mysterious Australian circles. As they got steadily drunker, Bower proposed: “Let’s go over there and make it look like a flying saucer has landed“. As they revealed to journalists in 1991, it had been quite simple. As they demonstrated before TV cameras, creating crop circles took just minutes, using nothing more than rope, a wooden plank, and a wire to help them walk in a straight line.
That was tough news for “cereologists” – crop circle “experts” who had made a living for years by writing and lecturing about the phenomenon. One cereologist was called in by a TV program to pass judgment on the crop circles created by Bowers and Chorley. He declared that the circles were authentic. Then the world got to see his reaction when the bottom fell out of his “expert” market, as it was revealed that it had been a hoax and prank all along. Bower and Chorley had created all crop circles until 1987, when other pranksters discovered how it was done, and joined in on the fun.