Strange circles

One of the more elaborate designs to appear
One of the more elaborate designs to appear

In the early 1990s the Evening Telegraph reported on a series of mysterious sightings in the countryside around Northamptonshire.

Strange circles were appearing in the fields, some basic circular shapes, others far more complex.

It mirrored the growing number of reports of crop circles across the UK.

But the first circles appeared much earlier than the 1990s – there is even evidence of crop circles as early as 1678.

One of the most complex ever reported was more than 1,000 feet wide and consisted of nearly 200 circles.

Visitors to crop circles have seen a wide range of physiological, psychological or emotional effects.

These range from feelings of elation and joy to sensations of nausea, fatigue and disorientation, though farmers spraying their fields with toxic pesticides may account for many of the negative effects.

Various theories about crop circles exist. Many think they are down to hoaxers and in September 1991, Doug Bower and David Chorley admitted to creating about 250 circles across southern England.

But while their confession may have prompted other hoaxers to get in on the act, experts claim there is no way all reported crop circles are man-made.

Other theories put forward suggest they are the work of UFOs trying to communicate with us, Earth energies or wind vortices.

Farmer David Pack contacted the Evening Telegraph in September 1991, after spotting one in the area.

He said: “I don’t know if it’s the young farmers having a joke but I think someone will admit that it was a hoax.

“It would make life a bit more exciting if it were real. Can you imagine little Martians running around flattening the corn?”

But crop circle expert Gary Rose, from Kettering, believed the circle to be genuine.

He said: “There are many features about it which are consistent with others I have seen. Around the perimeter there is a neat, narrow band of wheat lying in the same direction. Then next to that all the crops are pointing towards the centre.

“A hoax sticks out like a sore thumb. It would be quite obvious. The corn would be bent and broken further up the stems.”