Crop circles were revealed as a hoax almost 20 years ago, so why do so many people still flock to Wiltshire, convinced of their extraterrestrial powers?
Wiltshire’s a beautiful county and it’s an idyllic Friday evening at the Barge Inn, Honeystreet. Boats are moored on the canal that runs past the pub, there’s a White Horse etched into the chalk just down the road and in the pub’s back room the ceiling is painted with images of Stonehenge, errant cherubim and crop circles. ‘It is,’ one local tells me, ‘the Sistine Chapel of Wiltshire.’
The Barge indeed is Crop Circle Central – there’s even Croppie ale for sale – and circle aficionados arrive to camp here from all over the world: in the visitors’ book Kerry from Australia has written: ‘Great crop circles! Great people!’, while Miranda and Trond from Norway say: ‘Great to be back at Croppie HQ!’ No wonder an official at the Wiltshire Tourist Board tells me that they love crop circles; together with the numinous delights of Stonehenge and Avebury Rings they’re the county’s biggest draws.
Last year was a bumper year for fantastically elaborate, large crop formations – 70 or so, many within spitting distance of the Barge and one taking three nights to fully emerge – and in early August this year, more than 45 had been reported. And, remarkably, in June the scientific journal, Nature, ran a piece on them.
Read more: Telegraph