Yogyakarta Crop Circle Stirs Curiosity, But Experts Rule Out Aliens
Yogyakarta. Hundreds of curious visitors have flocked to a small rice field in Yogyakarta to witness what could be Indonesia’s first documented crop circle, an occurrence attributed by some to close encounters of the alien kind.
Ngadiran, one of six farmers who owns the land in Sleman district where the crop circle, measuring 70 meters in diameter, was found on Sunday afternoon, told the Jakarta Globe on Monday that he had not seen what had caused the distinctive pattern but others may have.
“According to several residents, they saw a tornado on Saturday evening,” he said.
“On Sunday afternoon, we saw the design in our fields.”
He would not say if he believed that an unidentified flying object was behind the crop circle, which contains a number of symbols.
The farmers have fenced off the area to prevent their fields from being trampled by sightseers, while police have cordoned off the area.
The latter have declined to speculate on how the circle was made.
“We photographed the trace evidence found in the rice field, but we’d rather not comment on that yet because the case requires further research,” said Sr. Comr. Anny Pudjiastuti, a spokeswoman for the Yogyakarta Police.
Thomas Djamaluddin, the head of atmospheric sciences and chief of astronomy research at the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Lapan), doubted, however, that the Sleman crop circles were an indication that humankind had been visited by aliens.
“We won’t be sending investigators to the scene because we suspect the crop circle involves human invention.
“It’s not a natural phenomena nor the non-scientific phenomena associated with outer space creatures commonly referred to as aliens,” Thomas said.
“The existence of aliens is unconfirmed and cannot be proved scientifically.”
Budi Waluyo, head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geology Agency (BMKG) in Yogyakarta, said the agency had no reports of a tornado in the province or its surrounding areas on Saturday or Sunday.
He said even if a tornado did occur, it would leave a distinctive snaking trail, not a crop circle.
He added the two closest weather systems — Tropical Storm Vince in the Java Sea and Hurricane Anthony in Australia — were not effecting the weather in the area.
“We always communicate with aviation authorities at the Adi Sucipto Airport in Yogyakarta, a few kilometers from the site,” Budi said.
“If anything suspicious was caught on radar, we’d have been notified, but the fact is that there were no reports.”
Thomas said crop circles had been — what else? — cropping up since the mid-1600s all over the world.
“However, the facts show that the majority of crop circles can be attributed to human activity,” he said.
“The motives for creating crop circles are many, ranging from fun, to attention-seeking, to art and for commercial purposes.
“I believe what happened in Sleman was similar to the phenomena we’ve been seeing for centuries. There’s no scientific development or new facts to be drawn from it.”
Thomas said there were several reasons why aliens or other phenomena could be ruled out as being behind the crop circles.
First, he said, the existence of extraterrestrial life on Earth could not be scientifically proven, with no traces ever found of a spaceship landing.
Second, any spaceship hovering over a crop field would leave behind telltale signs such as a crater or residual radiation.
Third, the crop circle in Sleman was found to be almost perfectly symmetrical, indicating it was made by humans rather than a landing UFO or a tornado.
Thomas added that speculation high voltage power transmission lines above the field had created the circle were absurd because it was not possible for an electromagnetic field to effect rice stalks.
“We’ll wait and see,” he said. “Hopefully, someone will come forward to claim responsibility for the crop circle.”
He said the hubbub surrounding the discovery was the results of being accustomed to “a delusion generated by movies.”
“In England in the 1990s, two young men admitted to making crop circles, which reinforces our views that there’s a human hand behind all this,” Thomas said.