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No. 92: Mar-Apr 1994

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Tractors of the gods?

We are all familiar with the Nazca Lines of South America and the wild theories about the aliens that drew them on the high arid plateaus.

"...now, new patterns have appeared on some parched ground in remote north-western Australia, a series of spirals, circles and broken wavy lines by the North West Coastal Highway near Roebourne.

Patterns on parched ground in remote north-western Australia
"Dick Smith noticed them while flying over the area in June 1988. By virtue of their large size they are, like their ancient counterparts, clearly visible only from the air. Dick photographed them and in due course asked me to try to find out what they were. Simple, I thought, they must be for erosion control or some other form of land management."

C. Hill inquired at several government agencies to no avail. No one knew anything about them.

(Hill, Chris; "Tractors of the Gods?" Australian Geographic, p. 25, July-September 1990. Cr. L.S. Nelson)

Comment. We assume that these curious marks have a modern origin, but one cannot be sure. Ground markings survive undisturbed for long periods in such arid regions. Also, many large-scale ground drawings were made in the past by Australian aborigines. See the sketches of them in our handbook: Ancient Man. Ordering details here.

From Science Frontiers #92, MAR-APR 1994. � 1994-2000 William R. Corliss