Date of discovery: July 15, 2013
Location of discovery: Hackpen Hill, Wiltshire, England
Crop formation didn't start in the 1940s-1950s like many skeptics say. Precious few references have been found in early historical records that point to possible crop circles. Probably the most renowned is the "Mowing Devil" case of 1678, in which a farmer's field was said to have been visited by a devilish entity that trampled the crops down in a circle. The event was captured for posterity on a wood engraving, but today's modern cerealogical sceptics dismiss its relevance. Professor Robert Plot published a book entitled "A Natural History of Staffordshire" in 1686, in which he made passing reference to rings, circles and other shapes found in grassy fields. Much debate has ensued over Plot's observations; detailed as his notes were, some researchers still consider his evidence flimsy at best. They feel it more likely that Plot was describing "fairy rings" caused by common fungi. For many more, the jury is still out. Despite having been on both sides of the fence in the past, it is nonetheless my belief that any evidence for early crop circles - however vague - must be considered if we are to remain true to the open spirit of cerealogical research.