10 Monstrously Obvious Crop Circles Formations to make you shudder

In The Croppie's world the ideal crop circle is ambiguous. The magic is in the uncertainty. Some circle makers seem to neglect the abstract in favour of still life representations of objects and living things. These can be well made and so they get a free pass here. Others are just ugly, totally obvious and devoid of any meaningful qualities. The ten worst examples found by The Croppie are here; first though are three contenders receiving honourable mentions:

East Field, Alton Priors, Wiltshire (July 1992)

Photograph by Andrew King.

1992's snail formations caused a bit of debate. This example was nicknamed Brian after his cousin from The Magic Roundabout television show. Ho ho, just what would those jolly japesters get up to next? Hopefully something better than this. Nonetheless, croppies were enthralled.

Cerne Abbas Giant, Dorset, May 2017

Photograph by The Crop Circle Connector

Hey, the Cerne Abbas giant has got a massive willy. Maybe it's a fertility symbol. Let's make a giant, wrinkled vulva to go alongside it. Remarkably, it's not the worst example on this theme.

Wilton Windmill, Wiltshire (June 2011)

Photograph by Olivier Morel.

Snakes in the grass became something of a recurring theme over at Crop Circle Wisdom, with the brunt of the insult generally levelled at one particular photographer. In 2011 a dismal snake really did appear in the grass at Wilton Windmill. An anonymous source revealed its location in the chat window of CirclemakersTV, incorrectly spelling Wilton as Winton, a mistake the then owner of Crop Circle Wisdom inexplicably managed to repeat. This individual's conveniently-on-the-ground reporters Sue and Mike then apparently spent ages driving around Wiltshire looking for the misspelled location. Of course they did. If anyone is interested, the symbols were encoded in a cipher created by croppie Larry Brasseur and spell out BEWARE 666 SAM3. S[ue] A[nd] M[ike]? Quite probably.

Onto the real deal...

Ten to Six...


Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire (July 1997)

Photograph by Jeremy Kay.

News agencies jumped on the mystery of the 2016 swastika crop circle. Fingers were pointed in various directions until someone noticed the circle had more in common with Hinduism than Nazi Germany. Not so this dumb little creation. Jeremy Kay, who reported it to the Crop Circle Connector, said he was 'pretty sure it would have been made by a neo local Nazi group (or a load of trendy lefties who don't like the farmer).' Odd how more common scapegoats --- students, bored unemployed people, drunk pensioners and members of the local young farmers club --- were overlooked on this occasion. Nonetheless, a dowser called Geoff Ambler 'got a reaction' when he worked his magic over it. What, he was appalled?


East Field, Alton Priors, Wiltshire (1999)

Photograph by Peter Sorensen.

Ever willing to follow the route of the token tantrum, the 'copyright Lucy Pringle' formation was circle maker Matthew Williams's protest against the ownership notice the photographer placed on her images. (Yes, he's been pulling this nonsense for twenty years or more.) Nobody seemed to care except croppie Peter Sorensen who humorously placed an ironic copyright notice across his image of the formation.


Alton Barnes, Wiltshire (July 2015)

Photograph by Mr Gyro.

At a time when relationships between circle makers and farmers in the Alton Barnes area were at an all-time low, just what could come along to cause further problems? Your answer is above; a clearly manmade, simplistic representation of a rabbit with what seems to be an off-centre bar running through it. The Croppie was told it was a protest against the testing of cosmetics on animals. Okay. Shame it looks more like the work of some miserable land owner shouting 'say no to bunnies'!


Beckhampton, Wiltshire (July 1998)

Photograph by Colin Andrews.

If you're of a certain age you'll still be very familiar with the Hamlet cigar brand and its television commercials. They always featured a man delivering an epic fail before lighting up a cigar to JS Bach's 'Air on the G String'. Considering some of the messes produced by the maker of this gem it's ironic his tribute to the brand should rank as one of the best of his own designs.


Hill Barn, East Kennett, Wiltshire (August 1994)

Photograph by Steve Alexander.

1993 wasn't the best year for crop circles. The phenomenon seemed to be dying, but this didn't stop those people who were determined to show their wheelchair to the world. It first appeared at Silbury Hill on 13 August before the farmer took objection and mowed it out. Four days later it reappeared above East Kennett. Why they bothered is anyone's guess. Maybe it was funny for two to three seconds.

Five to One...


Waden Hill, Avebury, Wiltshire (July 1996)

Photograph by Steve Alexander.

The face of the archetypal grey alien pops up again and again and again and again ... and again in the fields. With the exception of the pipe smoker and the pizza delivery boy, almost every other representation of this cliche has merited no more than a tired yawn. At least 2020's alien-cod chimera caused much amusement, but what appeared at Waden Hill in 1996 defied belief. It's wonky, lopsided and, well, just a waste of wheat. It has been put to The Croppie that viewed upside down it represents a conehead or some lunatic in a KKK hood, although these explanations are less enticing.


Milk Hill, Stanton St Bernard, Wiltshire (May 2005)

Photograph by Steve Alexander.

'The importance of this remarkable event will, I suspect, continue to reveal itself through the season as others work seriously on it. It is a glowing augury of things to come,' enthused cerealogist Michael Glickman. We may never know whether Glickers truly believed this or he was digging himself a hole in a doomed attempt to save face. This formation clearly represents a pair of y-front underpants and was claimed by a chap by the name of Spanish Dave on the CirlemakersTV show. Maybe it celebrated the show host's graduation from nappies? Wait. That still hasn't happened.


West Overton T-Junction, Wiltshire (July 1993)

Photo credit unknown

Nobody has to exercise their brain to picture the scene in The Barge before this hopelessly obvious but curiously effective circle came into being: a group of people desperate to be edgy sat around the pool table. They decide make something to befuddle croppies. One of them suggests finding a quiet road junction surrounded by wheat fields and then whacking down a ring centred on the concrete. Fortunately for them, the T-junction underneath Boreham Wood just happened to fit the criteria. According to Peter Sorensen (writing in issue ten of The Cerealogist), the makers were spotted by the farmer's son as they loaded their garden roller into a car. It's tough to believe that more than a few croppies seemed to take this formation seriously, but they did.


Pewsey Wharf, Pewsey, Wiltshire (August 2010)

Photograph by the Crop Circle Connector

It's challenging to think anyone sane would run the risk of being seen from nearby houses to create this foul, crude, vomit inducing representation of the female genitalia. There is nothing to recommend this grotesque effort whatsoever. The proportions are all wrong, the construction is wretched and the whole thing is hideous.

Really? Why are you smiling? Photograph by Ross Holcomb


Boreham Wood, nr Lockeridge, Wiltshire (July 2012)

Photograph by Steve Alexander

Think back to early July 2012 and the appearance of this cheeky, legless caterpillar (complete with heart shaped antennae) worming its way out of a, err, wormhole. We learned through the pages of Crop Circle 'Wisdom' that everything but the head was freestyled with nothing more than feet and some string. And doesn't it show. The scrawlings around the portal are apparently taken from a code invented by Crop Circle 'Wisdom''s loyal reader Roger Wibberley and spell out F-A-L-S-E G-I-F-T-S. One doesn't need a codebook to spell out S-H-I-T-E. Apparently the croppie world was turned on its head by this monstrosity with each and every researcher facing 'a dilemma whether to declare [the caterpillar] man made or not.' Horace Drew may have genuinely thought the caterpillar to be a sign with some greater meaning, though everyone else could surely see what a naff set-up job this whole thing was.


Lead photograph by Nick Bull