Saskatoon - In Prairie fields, the 1993 crop of circles is beginning to
sprout, Canadian researchers say.
Two circle formations have been
reported south of Calgary and one near Altona, Man.
Paul Anderson, national co-ordinator
for the British-affiliated Canadian Centre for Crop Circle Studies, said the
phenomenon has also been confirmed this summer in seven U.S. states. Reports
are also trickling in from other countries, including Switzerland, Japan and
Spain. As usual, many formations are appearing in England, where the strange
patterns of flattened grain were first spotted around 1978.
About two dozen circles are reported
each summer in the three Canadian Prairie provinces, mostly in Saskatchewan.
Skeptics figure they are caused by plant diseases, animals, the wind or
Anderson said the number of incidents
is decreasing, but the formations that are appearing have increased in
complexity. They are also surfacing in more and more countries.
One formation that appeared Aug. 1 in
a New York state oat field was the size of a football field. It was a complex
pattern, Anderson said, with circles and pathways. Strange lights were seen
above the field the night the pattern developed.
One of the Alberta formations was
similar in size and design.
"There is a new trend this summer,"
Anderson said Friday. "Many of the formations are appearing close to highways
where they are certain to be seen by many travellers.
"There are also some bizarre
incidents. In England, when circles appear, a lot of farmers are cutting down
their fields immediately to stop trespassers. They're tired of people stomping
through their property to see the configurations.
"One farmer cut down his crop over a
newly discovered formation and the next day, in an uncut area nearby, an
identical formation appeared.
Anderson said the Centre for Crop
Circle Studies is anxious to hear about new crop-circle formations so plant
and soil analysis can be conducted.
"You can quickly tell if a formation
is a hoax," said Anderson. "They are not all hoaxes and they are certainly not