Crop Circles – Elaborate Hoax or Alien Art?

Copyright: rmorijn / 123RF Stock Photo

Crop circles have been a topic of debate ever since they began showing up in significant numbers in the 1970s. Although they had been witnessed before that, it was only really from that time period onward that they gained traction in the media.

The term ‘crop circle’ was not coined until the early 80s, so they are a relatively new phenomenon. It is believed that the first circles began popping up in southern England. The circles themselves are created by either flattening, chopping, or burning away crops (usually cereal-based) in order to create a design within a crop field that is optimally viewed from above.


Although many crop circles appear on the surface to be mysterious and elaborate, it is widely known that many of them are in fact man-made. Two hoaxers in England owned up to creating a number of them in the early 90s and with that, it was generally accepted that all crop circles henceforth were man-made.

But therein lies the problem – if we consider every crop circle to be artificially created, we gloss over the fact that many crop circles are, to this day, unexplained and really could have been formed by external forces.

Other Explanations

Some have claimed that crop circles are the result of meteorological phenomena, with a broad range of theories having been put forward. Some experts have stated that ball lightning could be responsible, while others believe that whirlwinds or tornadoes are the cause.

While some of these explanations may at first sound credible, the fact remains that there is no hard evidence for any crop circle having been formed by any of these meteorological processes.

One theory claims that animals could be responsible for some crop circles, while another states that shifts in the Earth’s magnetic field could cause imprints resembling crop circles to appear on the Earth’s surface.

What Else is Left?

When we strip away some of the more plausible but ultimately unconvincing arguments regarding crop circles, we are left with two certainties – some are man-made while others have no real explanation.

In cases that fall within the latter category, numerous and sometimes complex designs have been observed, with no trace of human intervention. In these instances, there is sometimes no identifiable cause as to what tool or instrument damaged the crops to begin with.

Other noteworthy features of unexplained crop circles include those formed in terrain that is difficult for humans to access as well as those that are formed in (seemingly) the blink of an eye – where they appear in too short a time frame to be man-made in origin. Unusual scorch-marks left in crops and unidentified residue left behind are two additional factors in some of the more mysterious circles and both have been reported a number of times.

The designs themselves have included all types of depictions, ranging from simple geometric shapes to more complex designs such as molecular images.

Going Back in Time

As mentioned above, the attention given to crop circles grew exponentially from the 70s onward, but there are in fact quite a number of crop circles that pre-date that period, in some instances by decades.

Circles dating back to 1945, 1880 and even the 1700s have all been documented. It is difficult to imagine humans from centuries ago possessing the tools and know-how on how to create crop circles, much less having the inclination to do so.

Possible Extraterrestrial Link

We can reasonably surmise that it is possible some crop circles were created by external forces such as extraterrestrials. But what could aliens have to gain by leaving designs in our crop fields? This is a question that is central to the debate on these circles.

Some have theorized that they are warnings left behind – hinting at what is to come for humans in the future. Others believe it is simply harmless fun on the part of aliens while others still are convinced it is a show of power. Leaving elaborate designs imprinted on our planet’s surface and being able to get away with it undetected could indeed be a way for them to thumb their noses at us, but again, to what end?

What is well-documented is the fact that in the presence of UFOs and extraterrestrials, electronic equipment (such as cameras) tends to malfunction. This is an aspect worth investigating and would explain why we have no hard proof of aliens creating these designs. Again, the show of power theory comes into play – if alien life forms can leave their mark upon our planet while making any attempt to document it futile, then they surely are aware of their superiority over us and willing to make it known. It almost seems like the ultimate tomfoolery.

Ultimately, the jury’s still out. But we certainly cannot discount the possibility that some crop circles are created by aliens.

By the same token, we must remain skeptical and impartial to the information that is available to us – it makes no sense to continue down the path of believing aliens are responsible in certain instances where that is clearly not the case.

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  1. Excellent article, and it makes me wonder. Is there nobody in our government that is prepared to fund real research into this fenomenon?

    Are they all asleep or do they really think all these complex circles are made by hoaxers?

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