Further to Wiltshire Police’s recent press release targeting circle makers, the Telegraph has published a piece exploring the constabulary’s ‘crackdown on farm vandals’.

The article leads with the premise ‘a recent surge in crop circles is being caused by drone users who upload their aerial footage on social media’.

This is incorrect. There is no surge in crop circle numbers. Since 2011 the number of crop circles made in England has experienced a significant drop. That year, 63 formations made their way onto the Crop Circle Connector‘s pages. To date, 23 crop circles have been reported in England during 2017. Last year delivered a total of 39. With the largely dry, sometimes uncomfortably hot summer experienced this year threatening an early harvest, The Croppie will be far from surprised if last year’s tally is not reached.

The Croppie also has to ask for the evidence drone users are making crop circles and subsequently photographing them, or inspiring people to make formations.

Wiltshire Police’s PC Mark Jackson says ‘Individuals using a drone in the immediate time after a crop circle, may be connected to the group who have created the circle. The footage is quickly circulated on social media to generate interest and on websites that charge for advertising space.’ To elaborate, imagine circle makers are producing, photographing and then publishing images of their work online. They’re featured on pages carrying advertisements for third parties. Each time the page is viewed, the circle making group is, apparently, financially rewarded by advertisers. Therefore, the group is plastering social media with photographs to draw visitors to their site. Yes, it’s all a money making exercise — at least it is if you believe the article. This could be possible but The Croppie wonders if the police should also consider the allegation made by Crop Circle Wisdom in June:

‘The artist creates the formation. He reports its location to the photographer and Crop Circle Connector. Photographer turns up as soon as he can as crop circles [made in some locations] suffer the fate of being destroyed’.

This notion of eager photographers is certainly more preferable than its cynical alternative. With farmers cutting out crop circles in Wiltshire, are human circle makers and early-morning drone photographers far more desperate than greedy?