Sara C Nelson | Huffington Post
Crop circles dating back to 1945 are proof the phenomenon is no modern hoax, a Tasmanian historian claims.
The mystery of the increasingly intricate patterns was supposedly solved after several high-profile cases were revealed to be the work of artists and mischief-makers armed with barrels, planks of wood and plenty of spare time.
Credit for the hoaxes has been laid largely at the feet of pranksters Dave Chorley and Doug Bower, who in 1991 announced they had been pulling the wool over people’s eyes since 1978.
(FYI, crop circles have also been blamed on unusual weather patterns, top secret military experiments and, er, stoned wallabies.)
But research by Greg Jefferys has revealed evidence of the strange circles in the English countryside at least 33 years before Chorley and Bower took credit for the phenomena – which until then had been attributed to UFOs and alien activity.
Jefferys, who has a degree in archaeology, was prompted to research the matter after reading a report on crop circles in an 1880 edition of the science journal Nature.
The 59-year-old’s research focuses on images from Google Earth’s new 1945 overlay, which Jefferys studied for more than 300 hours.
The overlay is a series of photos taken towards the end of World War II by the RAAF and comprises around 35% of the 1945 overlay of England presently available online.
Jefferys points out the material available does not include acknowledged crop circle “hotspots” around Wiltshire.
In a research paper emailed to Huffington Post UK Jefferys writes:
“Using aerial photographs primarily from the Google Earth 1945 overlay, that the number of crop circles appearing each summer has been relatively constant for at least the last 70 years and that these crop circles cannot be explained by the ‘hoax theory’. This removal of the validity of the hoaxer’s claims means that crop circles remain an unexplained natural phenomenon deserving of serious investigation by academic institutions and other research organisations.”