Crop Circle Development
Nobody is truly certain when the first crop circle was discovered. The earliest known report of what could be considered a crop circle, albeit one attributed by the author to 'storm damage', is to be found within the 29 July 1880 edition of Nature journal. Solicitor John Rand Capron, in the English county of Surrey. He wrote:
The storms about this part of Surrey have been lately local and violent, and the effects produced in some instances curious. Visiting a neighbour's farm on Wednesday evening (21st), we found a field of standing wheat considerably knocked about, not as an entirety, but in patches forming, as viewed from a distance, circular spots.
Examined more closely, these all presented much the same character, viz., a few standing stalks as a center, some prostrate stalks with their heads arranged pretty evenly in a direction forming a circle round the center, and outside these a circular wall of stalks which had not suffered.
The first major development in the appearance of crop circles occurred in May 1990 at Chilcomb Down, Hampshire. Two circles of different sizes were linked by a straight corridor and flanked by four straight avenues of flattened crop. Further examples of this new style occurred throughout the season. Such formations were christened pictograms by cerealogists (circles researchers) to differentiate them from round crop circles.
The first pictogram: May 1990, Chilcomb Down, Hampshire. Photograph by Colin Andrews.
1991 was a notable year in crop circle development. Pictograms were accompanied by insectograms, formations bearing some resemblance to bugs. More importantly, we saw the appearance of the first type of large formations resembling the modern day phenomenon. The first of these was located at Barbury Castle, Swindon, Wiltshire, and resembled a crooked triangle with a wheel at each corner. This was later followed by a representation of a Mandelbrot fractal in Cambridgeshire.