Who created the complex crop circles

Crop circles - how do the patterns get into the grain?

Often there are simple circles, but there are also spirals and even real little labyrinths: every year in summer so-called crop circles appear in the fields. The wildest guesses are made about their origin

It was in July 2003 when the twelve-year-old Philipp discovered something unusual in his parents' field. Something had happened to the wheat stalks - so far they had grown well, but now ... Philipp ran into the field on a tractor track, behind him his sister Nina and his friend Patrick. And then they stood in the middle - in a crop circle.

The phenomenon of "circles" is being researched

The three were amazed. The grain had been trampled over an area as wide as a motorway and about 120 meters long. "Well," said Philipp, "they were definitely not extraterrestrials. But I would like to know where this giant shape comes from!"

Other curious people wanted to know that too. In the next few days there was a lot of activity around his parents' field in Sinsheim. Small planes with photographers rattled high above the field. Self-appointed "crop circle researchers" drew sketches. And even people with divining rods trudged around looking for magical streams of energy. "Our field became a real place of pilgrimage," says Philipp, astonished.

Crop circles? Nothing new!

Crop circles are really a strange thing. The first reports about it made the rounds centuries ago. There are now 150 to 300 new pictures worldwide every year. And these are seldom just simple circles. Snails, spirals, stars - real works of art can now be found in the grain. One hears again and again that huge patterns were created within seconds; Eyewitnesses tell of mysterious lights over the fields. And in the crop circles too, mysterious things are said to happen frequently. Reporters say that their cameras were suddenly bewitched and took strange pictures or went on strike completely.

Was it the devil?

But how do the patterns come into play? There are a number of crazy theories about this. People used to believe that the devil had pressed the grain to the ground with his hands. Today, quite a few are convinced that the images are messages from aliens in UFOs (unknown flying objects). Most think that's nonsense and claim: people made the circles!

Anonymous perpetrators

That is certainly true in most cases. So-called "hoaxers" (that is English and means "tricksters") trample through the field with boards at night or roll tree trunks through and thus bend the pattern into the grain. However, these hoaxers rarely admit what they have done. Which is easy to understand, because they are actually destroying a field and for that they could be punished.

Or is it aliens?

But there are always crop circles in which one does not find any human traces at first glance. So far, only a few scientists have attempted to research how these mysterious specimens could have come about. The fear of many is too great to be portrayed as a "crank" because of it. And the others who are serious about enlightenment have not yet found convincing explanations.

Are crop circles a natural phenomenon?

Some believe that microwaves, others suspect that some kind of heat storm has swept over the fields. Where are microwaves or heat supposed to have come from? The experts don't know. It is possible that the weather researcher Terence Meaden discovered the secret with his theory. He believes that small whirlwinds form over the fields that are electrically charged. These eddies arise in a matter of seconds, press the grain to the ground and dissolve again. However, this idea has not yet been proven either.

Anyway: Until there is new knowledge, you can just find the circles beautiful, as Philipp does. He says: "Next year I would like to have the pattern of Skat cards in the field!"

Interview with "crop circle researcher" Jan Schwochow

GEOLINO: What do you do as a crop circle researcher?

SCHWOCHOW: If a crop circle is discovered, I need to be there as soon as possible so that I can examine it while it is fresh. Before entering the field, I try to rent a plane to take aerial photos. Then I check the field for footprints from "hoaxers". In addition, I measure the figure in the grain for later investigations, draw the laying direction of the stalks and create a sketch.

GEOLINO: You have created a crop circle yourself. How so?

SCHWOCHOW: Because we wanted to find out what traces people leave in the field. That was harder than we thought! In the end, some of our patterns were very crooked. But we could see typical edges at the places where we had flattened the ears with the lath. So in July we found out about a crop circle maker who had created over 100 crop circles in northern Germany. At least the circles on Rügen until then I thought could not be explained.

GEOLINO: Are there no human crop circles at all?

SCHWOCHOW: After our discovery on Rügen, I'm pretty sure that most of the crop circles come from humans.