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Port Washington 1998 Crop Circle

Location:  Port Washington, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin


Casey Holt reports:

After deciding to take a look at the Port Washington, WI crop circle I drove down to the area. I already learned that the wheat field had been cut by July 19th and BLT Research thought good control samples would not be possible. I was still curious though partly because I actually drove right past that same field about 2 months earlier. I arrived at the field on July 26th after staying at nearby relatives the night before.

When I approached the field I could not see the crop circle since the wheat was cut and rows of straw blocked any view of what was left of the formation. I noticed two people near the South end of the field taking measurements. It turned out to be Chad Lewis and Jason from Wisconsin MUFON who had just arrived that morning. They described the formation as being moderately complex made of 6 circles, a partial ring and 2 connecting bars.

Three medium sized circles about 40 to 75 feet across were in a line connected by 2 bars each about 20 feet long by 6 feet wide aligned in an East to West orientation. The largest circle was in the center with the smaller 2 on each side. The West end circle was slightly larger than the circle at the East end of this barbell configuration. About 70 feet South of the center circle of the barbell was another larger circle about 100 feet across. Connecting at each side of this larger circle was a curved pathway which ran down to connect with the center circle to the North. This pathway was about 5 feet wide and was much like a ring connecting the 2 parts of the formation. Chad and Jason also found 2 small circles about 5 feet across just inside the diameter of the ring with one on each side of the largest circle. They were each about 12 feet from where the ring and large circle intersected and roughly centered in the space between them like they were in corners. The wheat stalks were rotated counterclockwise in all 6 circles and the ring and it was bent outward away from the center circle in the 2 bars. The wheat was bent like it was just pushed over by a mechanical process with no obvious sign of radiation or heating.

Chad Lewis pointed out a large crack in the East end circle of the barbell. The crack was about 12 to 15 inches long, 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide and perhaps 6 to 8 inches deep. It stood out as being unusually large as compared to other smaller cracks in the dry soil near that area. Chad and Jason had already taken detailed measurements by the time I had arrived and were just finishing up. They helped me with a few compass measure-ments and stayed for a few pictures. They then left early in the afternoon to start work on another case. They planned to write a report of their findings and measurements of the formation.

I stayed for a while to look for anything unusual and take some pictures. Of particular interest was an overlapping of wheat stalks at the intersection of the West end circle and its connecting bar. They appeared to be woven together by a 4 step overlap process. The sequence was: Bar stalks were laid first followed by circle stalks then more bar stalks laid over them and also bent to follow the circle rotation. More wheat from the circle was then laid over these. It was like these 2 parts could have been formed simultaneously with the stalks intermingling as they were laid down at right angles.

I measured the overall length as 233 feet and width at 210 feet. The largest circle was situated only 31 feet from a gravel road along the South end of the wheat field. It was nearly centered in the field from East to West being 124 paces from the edge along the road to the East and 118 paces to the corn field to the West. Under one of the rows of straw was another path of bent stalks about 1 foot wide. It formed a straight line con-necting the largest circle at the South to the center barbell circle. I assumed it to be a from a walking trail.

I drew some preliminary diagrams since then and the report from Chad Lewis should give a good documentation of more exact dimensions. Whether this formation was man-made or formed by unexplained methods is not yet known.


Date:  July 10, 1998

Jackie Shanti reports:

On July 10, 1998, strange markings were found in a wheat field. Three large circles approximately 90 feet across and connected by a slightly curved line were discovered. There was no sign of an entrance or exit to the field. 


Date:  January 18, 1999

Thom Reed reports:

I first went up to the farm of Gene Large on Thursday, August 6, 1998, to view the crop circle. The weather was fine when I left McHenry, IL but by the time I got to Port Washington there was an incredible thunderstorm. I resolved to just interview Mr. Large and visit the circle at a later date.

Gene Large is middle-aged, very down-to-earth, and very open about the crop formation. He said it must have happened between 2100 hrs., Friday, July 10, 1998 and 800 hrs., Saturday, July 11. Gene had gone to work at his other job as he does most nights but his wife, Shirley, was at the house. She usually feels fine staying at home alone but that night Shirley had the distinct feeling that something or someone was outside the house. Shirley didn't see or hear anything but she got a very uneasy feeling. She had to close the drapes all around, even going so far as to use a broom handle to close them so that nobody outside could see her.

The next day, Saturday, after Gene got home he saw the "damage" to his field so he called the Ozaukee County Sheriff. (See Incident Report) Gene said that he noticed right off that he couldn't see any foot tracks or tire tracks into the formation which certainly puts to shame the sheriff department's conclusion that a "4 wheel ATV" was used for the "damage". That day, July 11, Officer Richard Helm and Sheriff Straub came out to the Large farm to inspect the "damage". Officer Helm did the ground inspection and Sheriff Straub went up in a plane with pilot, Peter Didier, and Mrs. Didier who took the pictures. (See pictures) Gene also said that one of the officers mentioned that a UFO report had been made that previous night, July 10, but I wasn't able to get any other info about that.

I didn't discover the officer's names or receive the Incident Report until much later so I called the County Sheriff's Department approximately 5 times between August and October trying to get some information about the formation. I talked to a secretary (possibly a different one) each time and asked her to ask the officers around her about the "crop circle", or "crop formation", or just the "damage" to Gene Large's field which happened around July 10. Each time neither the secretary nor any of the officers she talked to knew anything about Gene Large's farm.

Sometime in October I was able to talk to Gene again and he told me that Sheriff Straub had been up in the plane when the pictures were taken. So I made a couple more calls and was finally able to talk to Sheriff Straub on Friday, November 6, 1998. He seemed very tight-lipped about the formation and wouldn't even refer to it as a "crop circle". I asked Sheriff Straub if any government superiors had told him to not call it a "crop circle" and he said no. I also asked him if when he was up in the plane looking down at the formation, did it look like a "circle". He answered yes. Sheriff Straub seemed like he was in a hurry to finish the conversation and said that he would send me a copy of the Incident Report which he did. (See report)

To return to my on-site investigation of the formation I visited it on Sunday, August 9, 1998 with Christine Nye. I must admit that I was just thrilled and somewhat overwhelmed to be visiting my first(!) crop circle and so didn't do any real scientific investigation. It was a beautiful, sunny day with only a few clouds in the sky. Christine took a whole roll of film but when we developed it, it was blank. We had used the camera before going to the crop circle and it was fine and we had it checked at a camera store after and it has worked fine ever since. I had an instant camera and took only two pictures which both turned out.


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Revised: September 28, 2004