Crop circles remain one of the world’s enduring mysteries and fascinating phenomena. While many crop circles are admittedly hoaxes and several prolific crop circle artists have come forward with their roles in making the curious designs, some crop circles still defy explanation or appear to contain hidden messages. Aside from being chalked up to human ingenuity, common theories about the causes of crop circles include anomalous meteorological phenomena, unexplained disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field, and of course aliens.
Whatever the causes of crop circles may be, they aren’t always welcome. Crop circles damage landowners’ and farmers’ property not only in a direct way from crops themselves being flattened, but also in the resulting wave of journalists and gawkers who sometimes flood in to witness crop circles. For that reason, police in the town of Wiltshire in southern England, a known crop circle hotbed, have issued a notice warning residents to be on the lookout for crop circles and asking the public to inform police of any crop circle activity. Reports of crop circles have been increasing around Wiltshire lately, and police and farmers alike aren’t happy.
To help combat the growing crop circle epidemic, Wiltshire police issued a statement urging farmers to report not only crop circles, but also any anomalous or suspicious activity that might follow the discovery:
We urge all farmers and landowners if they have a crop circle on their land to report it to us on 101 so it can be recorded. Often 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. We also ask the public to help support our rural communities by reporting any suspicious vehicles, behaviour or people in crop fields to police on 101 they may be attempting to create a crop circle and committing criminal damage.
Whether or not crop circles are an authentic unexplained phenomenon, one thing is sure: they are indeed beautiful works of art. Just like law enforcement officials in some cities have cut down on illegal graffiti by creating safe, legal spaces for graffiti artists to work, maybe Wiltshire police should designate a space to legitimize this art form and let artists make crop circles in peace – particularly if either juvenile extraterrestrial vandals or mysterious alien messengers are indeed to blame.