Crop cirlces in the Marlborough countryside
The phenomenon of crop circles, a phrase first coined about thirty years ago, relates to flattened areas of cereal crops which appear in fields prior to the harvest in circles or much more complicated patterns.
Over many decades crop circles have appeared worldwide but recently their appearance has been frequent in the Marlborough countryside.
Speculation has been rife as to the cause of these crop circles. Anything from visitations by alien beings during the night to groups of hardened individuals (possibly in the pay of farmers who reap a rich reward from crop circle enthusiasts who visit the sites) who steal out in the hours of darkness and carry out their tricky work.
While there is no doubt that some of the designs in the crops are remarkable – even beautiful – connections with outer space, spirituality and divine knowledge are a matter of conjecture. Contrasting reports include a report by two men, in 1991, that they had executed crop circles as a prank to tease UFO believers and in 1915 a ‘crop circle expert’ claimed that aliens had landed but he had been unable to take photos as the visitors’ powers had jammed his camera. On a lighter side, some Wiltshire folk were not above preparing to offer Martians hot chocolate when they landed!
How does one get better acquainted with this phenomena? Besides published work, keep your eyes open! Crop circle appearances are reported in the local paper so one can take a trip out to the Marlborough Downs. Helicopter rides have been known. There also exhibitions. In St Peter’s church, Marlborough, where Cardinal Wolsey was ordained a priest in 1498, a quite stunning exhibition was held in 2015 and again from 19th July to the 14th August in 2016. Marlborough College has held two crop circle conferences in recent years but no more are planned. Other international exhibitions and conferences are often advertised on-line.
A visit to an alien landing site in deepest Wessex? See ‘An English Baby Boomer: My Life and Times’ (Neil G M Hall)