CROP circles – now they’re a crime.
Wiltshire Police has officially outlawed the phenomenon, issuing a public decree this month.
That could make for some interesting arrests – last year an off-duty Wiltshire policeman reportedly saw aliens inspecting a local crop formation, according to national newspaper reports.
Within the last few days the force issued a press release, which stated: “With summer well and truly under way, we have seen an increase of crop circles appearing across the county.
“They might seem harmless but they actually have a huge negative impact on the hard-working landowners and farmers whose crops are damaged.
“Creating a crop circle is criminal damage and an offence.”
The force has urged all farmers and landowners to report crop circle formations using the non-emergency 101 number, “so they can be recorded”.
The force added: “Often immediately after a crop circle appears, individuals will arrive with a drone to photograph it.
“Take note of any vehicles, their registration plates, and any individuals and pass this information to the police.”
If a crop circle is created on your land, Wiltshire Police advise informing the crop circle community “if you decide to allow – or not allow – access to the general public, and if you intend to cut the circle out”.
The force points landowners to the following three websites to do this:
Finally, the force asks: “If you can see a crop circle creation in progress, call police on 999.”
One spectacular formation appeared in a field in West Woodhay in 2001, followed by reports of strange lights in the evening sky.
That formation, dubbed the cosmic serpent by enthusiasts, spanned 11 tractor tram lines and was one of the largest seen in the UK.
It immediately attracted hundreds of sightseers and simultaneously earned the ire of landowner Harry Henderson, who said at the time: “Some say it’s to do with aliens but it’s not – it’s a team from Holland.
“They’ve been caught at it.”
However, some formations are not so easily explained, displaying amazingly intricate ‘basket weave’ patterns; brittle stalks being inexplicably bent rather than broken; nodes rent by steam holes as if from a mysterious heat source and genetic changes in the affected crop reportedly recorded.
Physics World magazine has even speculated that the high-tech creators of such formations are somehow using microwaves generated by a device called a magnetron, directed by GPS satellite.