From time to time, as a Brit now living in the US, I get asked about Crop Circles. And one case that seems to surface time and again in conversation is that of the so-called Mowing Devil. So, for those who may be interested, I figured I’d relate the odd tale for you in all its weird glory!
This is an interesting case here, I also watched a part of the UFO Files on the History Channel about this specific case. I tried to read the document as slow as possible to try to understand the old english. But it does sound very odd that this tale suggests that crop circles are sometimes supernatural events, instead of extraterrestrial.
Though, I call this a tale because the only proof that this event ever went on was in some very old woodcut. Also, it does sound a little too much like a fable, instead of a true account. The foreshadowing and everything gives it away.
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Great link. I have heard about this time and again and figured that someone must have a better grip on the issue than the claims that crop circles have been known for centuries. I realy do not see the link between crop circles and this story.
Well the woodcut itself can be discounted as an accurate representation, it was an early-day artist's impression created after the event. The woodcut is certainly not the only piece of evidence for this event, there is a detailed written account; at no time was a devil-like creature, or indeed creature of any kind seen, but the account clearly indicates that the crop was not cut or mown, but laid down "in round circles... every straw placed with that exactness that it would have taken an age for any man to perform in one night" - sound familiar? Indeed the account suggests that strange lights were seen over the field during the night, to the extent that it was believed to be on fire - so there were elements of a UFO type event. A modern witness would most certainly think of this event as 'paranormal'.
Research1 has shown that crop circles were reported and known across the UK and Europe the late 1800s. Multiple circles or pictograms were reported from the UK - yes, Wiltshire - as early as 1905. Circles in the US can be traced back to the 1920s. There is an admittedly weak anecdotal account of some sort of 'trodden' rings at Assen in Holland in 1590. Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was postulating theories of airborne electrical vortices to explain the occurrence of grass and cereal circles nearly 200 years before Terence Meaden put forward his Plasma Vortex Theory in the 1980s - so what phenomena was Darwin investigating?
The crop circle phenomenon (or phenomena) is certainly not modern; circles and formations in cereals and grass from the 1800s were largely known by names connected to the devil, witches or faeries etc; for them to have such common-usage local names suggests they were well-known at the time. Our ancestors were apparently more aware of natural, or perhaps supernatural, explanations to the circles and formations, they did not see a need to attribute them to messages from ETs or aliens - that is an entirely modern belief.
1: See The Secret History of Crop Circles, by Terry Wilson - ISBN 0 906290 7 10
Edited by Shadow_Wolf, 06 August 2010 - 09:09 PM.
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