A constant source of interest for conspiracy theorists and a form of entertainment and inspiration for those who enjoy science fiction, crop circles are something that most people know little about. One would usually assume all of them are a hoax, or simply that there are so few out there of substantial size that the concept of aliens creating them is preposterous. Though you might think all crop circles are just some poor attempt at publicity and catch the attention only of those wearing tin foil hats, there is actually a science behind these things. Yes…a science behind crop circles.
As you might suspect, there are a great many instances when those mysterious crop circles are nothing more than a simple hoax. In fact, a group of pranksters led by Dave Chorley and Doug Bower admitted in 1991 that they had been pulling the wool over people’s eyes with these phony circles since about 1976. These two are undoubtedly not the only people doing so, which would lead many to falsely assume that all are just sophomoric attempts to gather attention. Of course, if this were really the case, then why are there actually scientists out there looking to study them?
Among the most well-known academics interested in crop circles is Richard Dolan, who spends a good deal of his time studying these occurrences. Those who follow people like Dolan might be aware that crop circles has been appearing since 1945 and there was even a mention of this as far back as 1880 in the popular science journal Nature. Of course, the fact he also writes about UFOs and seems to firmly believe aliens are the ones behind these circles bring some doubt into the equation.
Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) for scientists everywhere, he is not the only man of science looking to study and explain these phenomenon. Richard Taylor, a physicist at the University of Oregon has also spent some time on these circles. He reports that since the 2000s the complexity of these circles has continued to become more and more intricate. By studying the sites, he suggests that GPS must be used and microwaves could presumably then be used to create the shapes. In essence, he compares it to a large-scale show of art and he doesn’t (at least not openly) suggest it has to be aliens doing it.
As mentioned above, one of the earliest official documentations of crop circles spans back to the 1880s, so disproving aliens as responsible altogether may not be possible, but the question really rests in how much research has gone into those fields. The reality is, people haven’t been seriously studying them until recently and with the increase in complexity, it seems to favor the idea advanced technology is what allows them to be produced so well.
More specifically, it is possible the original stories of crop circles, like the one from the 1880s, are just stories. Eventually, people got the tools to create sloppy ones and did, but studying them wasn’t really a concern of science so they were never disproved. Today, technology has made it possible to make even more complex designs, but it is also quite possible that technology comes right here from earth.