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No. 31: Jan-Feb 1984

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Mystery Spirals In Cereal Fields

Late summer 1981. Ross-on-Wye, Eng land.

"I live on a ridge 450 feet (135 metres) above sea level, about 100 feet (30 metres) above the adjacent land; it is quite steep in parts on the north side and stretches for about 1 miles (2.5 kilometres). One day, at about noon, I was inside my cottage when suddenly I heard a very loud roaring sound, not unlike an express train. I ran outside to see what it was, but saw nothing; the noise was something like the sound of a falling bomb. I thought no more of this until the following morning when taking my dog for a walk. Then I saw two large circles, about 25 feet (7.6 metres) in diameter, of flattened barley in a nearby field. A neighbor who lives on the north side of the ridge had also heard the roaring noise but could find no cause for it. I wondered if we had heard some part of an aircraft or satellite, or even a small meteor, coming down and, with the local farmer, we investigated the circles, but found no debris at all -- just flattened barley. The farmer said that sometimes growing conditions made barley collapse at its base, though he could not understand the almost perfect circle."

Further investigation turned up people who had seen a whirlwind in the area at the time.

(Anonymous; "Mystery Spirals in Cerealfields," Journal of Meteorology, U.K., 8:216, 1983.)

Comment. UFO enthusiasts usually attribute such circles of flattened crops to flying saucers, but apparently whirlwinds are adequate explanations. However, the noise and action of the reputed whirlwind force us to categorize it with the explosive onset of other whirlwinds, as described in GWW1 of Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Pre cipitation. For more information on this Catalog, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #31, JAN-FEB 1984. � 1984-2000 William R. Corliss