Crop Circles – Impressive Fraud

Crop circles have captured the world’s attention since they were first spotted in the 1970s. Essentially, they are large patterns created in crops such as wheat or barley. The best view of crop circles is from the sky and the Internet is filled with stunning images of patterns created in crops worldwide. When they first appeared, they were a complete mystery. No one knew how they were created, who made them or why. Many believed these massive pieces of art were created by visitors from another world. But what is the real story?

These large-scale formations have featured in films, books and television shows, usually as a precursor to alien visitors. One of the most prominent examples is in the 2002 film Signs starring Mel Gibson. The movie begins with massive crop circles appearing in a small town and the locals being unsure of their meaning. As is usually the case in fiction, there are those that believe and the skeptics who do not. And unfortunately, as is also usually the case, the skeptics are proven wrong when aliens turn out to be the ones who made the crop circles. This is but one of many examples of fiction being used to make skepticism unattractive. The thing is, if crop circles were actually proven, scientifically, to be the work of alien visitors, then skeptics would be the first to admit it. Give us the proof and we are on board, it’s that simple.

Are crop circles evidence of aliens? The short answer is no. Despite what many would have us believe, crop circles are most definitely constructed by human hands. And feet. Crop circle artists are able to achieve the effect by very simple means. They begin by creating a design, either sketching it out or using computer software. The next step is working out how long it will take to complete the design, preferably without being caught. Remember the point of creating crop circles is to make people believe they were created by supernatural means, so getting caught making them would defeat the purpose. A team is assembled to allow completion of the design in as little time as possible and each person is assigned a specific area of crop to flatten. The actual flattening of the crop is actually the easy part. All that is required is a board of wood, with two holes in each end. Rope or wire is tied through the holes to create handles, allowing the user to stand on the board and manipulate these handles to move the board, flattening crops as they go. The person’s entire body weight is therefore used to completely flatten the crops and eventually create large patterns.

No, this is not the part where I say that some crop circles have been caused by aliens. There is no credible scientific evidence for any crop circles being caused by aliens. Some have asserted weather, such as lightning or tornadoes can cause them but science does not support this. In Australia, it was asserted that wallabies created perfect crop circles after eating legally grown opium poppies and hopping in circles, however, this phenomena has not been scientifically studied so cannot be confirmed.

Crop circles are impressive, there is no denying that. A great deal of planning and work goes into them and from the air, they are incredibly beautiful to see. But there is a cost to farmers, as the flattened crops often die, causing them to lose precious revenue. For this reason some have actually been fined for creating crop circles due to the damage inflicted upon crops. Some would argue, however, that the greater damage is done by claiming these formations are made by aliens. Such claims, lead to the spread of non-factual information and mislead people into believing something that simply isn’t true, the very thing which skeptics are constantly trying to fight so hard against.

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