Residents of this rural northwestern Ohio farm community aren't sure what created the crop circle that appeared in a farmer's field last week.
"If it is a hoax, people went through a lot of effort to do it," Paulding County Sheriff David Harrow said Tuesday [July 9]. "They were very meticulous."
Crop circles have been found around the world. They usually are found in fields.
Some people claim they are formed by supernatural forces. Doubters think they are more likely the work of clever pranksters.
The Paulding circle was found July 3. Local pilot Mike Dobbelacre, his wife Sandy and two relatives spotted the circle during a plane ride.
The circle, which measures 93 feet in diameter, was deep in a field farmed by Dan Arend and his two brothers.
They couldn't get the site out of their minds.
"I couldn't sleep that night," Mrs. Dobbelacre said. "So I said, 'Take me back up. I want to take a picture of it.' It was just too wierd."
On Friday, they went back up and saw the circle. When they landed, they told Arend. He went to the field to see for himself.
"It's fascinating and we can't explain what it is," Arend said.
Arend's wife, Natalie, doesn't think the circle is the work of vandals.
"It's pretty awesome... I wouldn't rule out a UFO," she said.
Mrs. Arend contacted John Timmerman, a Lakeview resident who studies UFOs.
"I was very much surprised to see such a well-constructed mark," said Timmerman. "I saw no evidence of crushing, and all the grain was moving counter-clockwise. It was as if something was moving as it came down."
Timmerman said an Ohio State University agronomist will examine the site Thursday, taking samples of the wheat to see if there has been any cellular changes. He said the soil and wheat would be tested for radioactivity.
Harrow can't tell how the circle was created. There is no path leading to the circle, which is in the middle of the field, and can't be seen from the road.
If it is a hoax, the person responsible could be charged with criminal trespassing.
Original file name: .CNI - Ohio Crop Circle 7.12
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