Published January 24, 2011
Indonesia’s first crop circles have appeared -- and locals call it evidence of alien life.
Found in a rice field in a hamlet of Sleman, Yogyakarta, the crop circle consists of triangles and circles with a diameter of about 70 meters. While some observes say the shapes are manmade, local scientists and government officials are struggling for a concrete explanation, leaving UFO enthusiasts murmuring of extraterrestrials.
"According to several residents, they saw a tornado on Saturday evening," said Ngadiran, one of six farmers who owns the land in Sleman. "On Sunday afternoon, we saw the footprint in our fields."
The pattern was first reported by a farmer, Tukiman, on Sunday at 6 a.m. His story drew hordes of people, causing heavy traffic congestion in the region. Enthusiastic locals all seem to have their own theory on the genesis of the mysterious occurrence.
"I think they were left by an alien space ship, like one I saw on TV," Krasakan resident Cahyo Utomo told the Jakarta Post on Monday. "It is impossible that this was made by wind or any animal."
Others noted the pattern's unique symbology. "This particular crop circle is fascinating because of its striking resemblance to the muladhara chakra -- one of the basic chakras in Tantric Hinduism," Perdana told local news agency kompas.com.
But officials remain skeptical that the crop circle is evidence of a close encounter of the third kind.
"We will not send investigators to the scene because we suspect the crop circle involves human intervention, not natural phenomena, nor scientific phenomena associated with outer space creatures commonly referred to as aliens," Thomas Djamaluddin, chief of astronomy research at Indonesia's space agency, told the Jakarta Globe.
The emergence of crop circles around the world have become increasingly prevalent since the 1970s, their mysterious appearance causing many to consider them the work of UFOs.
In 1991, self-professed pranksters Doug Bower and Dave Chorley went public to claim responsibility for the trend, demonstrating their skill at making the typically ornate pattern in less than an hour.
At least some crop circles have been proven hoaxes, but some remain convinced of their otherworldly connections. The former head of the Bosscha Observatory, Moedji Rharto, is taking a pragmatic approach.
"If this really is the work of a UFO or extraterrestrial beings, it is almost 100 percent certain they would have left some sort of trace behind. It is highly improbable such beings could cover such distances without bringing along some sort of provisions," Moedji told the Jakarta Post.
No such evidence has yet been retrieved.