05/27/04 — Crop circles found in Dudley

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Crop circles found in Dudley

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on May 27, 2004 1:58 PM

DUDLEY -- Kerry Smith ventured outside Wednesday to mow the grass near his uncle's house and stumbled upon something quite peculiar.

In front of his uncle's house is a four-acre wheat field that has been in his family for generations. Never before had anyone seen unusual shapes outlined in the field.

Crop circle

News-Argus/Dennis Hill

Kerry Smith stands in one of the three areas that resemble crop circles in his family's wheat field in Dudley.

Smith said he noticed two areas that resembled crop circles. He later found another area toward the back portion of the field. His first inclination was to associate them with something extraterrestrial, but he then realized they were probably man-made.

"I have seen them on TV, but it's kind of different when it's in your backyard," said Smith.

He first called his uncle, Marvin Hatcher, who tends the wheat field on Stanley Chapel Church Road in Dudley. Hatcher said it was the wind that caused them, but Smith ruled that out because he said the wind would have also pulled up some dirt or caused some kind of ground damage.

He also ruled out wind because all of the wheat in the areas is lying down facing the same way and the areas are scattered throughout the field. It seems like the wind would have caused a much larger area of wheat to lie down, said Smith.

Although he believes they were manmade, he is not completely sure how they got there. The areas are not really circular, but look more like mazes in the wheat. Smith has heard of people mapping out areas with glow sticks in fields and then holding onto a rope tied to a board.

They then follow the map while stepping down on the board, which causes the wheat to fall down facing the same way. There are no footprints in the areas though. He said it would take one person around 45 minutes to make the areas. The wheat is dry now so it is easier to push down, he added.

The areas are between 20 feet and 80 feet wide and fairly close to the back of Smith's house.

His main concern is that if they are manmade, people have been coming near his house and invading his and other's privacy.

He said there have been several break-ins on the road over the past few years and it is scary to think someone has come that close to his house without him noticing it.

"I just wonder who is walking around here," added Smith.