A mystery has cropped up in a wheat field just west of Stettler.
Alien, human or otherwise, someone — or something — has laid down a set of crop circles in a field owned by Vera Shuckburgh, occupied by members of her family and farmed by Gordon Smith.
Custom sprayer Colby Squires said on Tuesday that he discovered the circles while desiccating the field in preparation for harvest at about 7 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 25.
Because his sprayer is fully automated, managed by a GPS and computer mapping program, Squires said it was already heading through the circles when he realized something was amiss.
“I wasn’t really paying attention. I had the auto-steer on, feet up and radio going and life was pretty good and then all of a sudden I realized I was right in the middle of the crop circles there.”
Squires stopped his machine and called his wife, Toni, to come out and get some pictures.
“I told her to come out and bring a camera, because it’s not something you see every day.”
While he has mixed feelings on whether space aliens could have been responsible for the making the circles, Squires said he couldn’t see any tracks or other evidence of human activity leading into the field.
He said he last sprayed the crop three months earlier and was likely the last person to enter the field until his return at the end of August.
Of the “many thousands” of acres of crops he sprays every year, Squires said he has never before seen one with crop circles in it.
He denies making the circles himself.
Brenda Smith said her husband is now harvesting the wheat, but has been leaving the crop standing in the area immediately around the circles.
Their daughter-in-law, Angela Smith, is not buying any theories about alien visitors. She believes clever humans have devised the method, based in part on a what she learned from a Discovery Channel program that attempts to explain how the circles could be made.
The program devised a system where people dragged plywood around to lay the crop down, using a piece of rope staked to the centre of each circle as their guide.
Squires, who also saw the Discovery Channel program, said the wheat in the Stettler field is pretty similar to crop circles that have been reported in other parts of the world. The plants are laid flat on their sides, as if something had been dragged over them.
He said it’s hard to believe anybody could have made the circles without being seen, given that the field is alongside a busy highway at the west side of town.
“I would have thought somebody would have seen something,” he said.