Crop Circles Baffle Iowa Family

Spots Appear In Eagle Grove Oat Field

07/06/04 - KCCI

An Iowa farm family is baffled over some crop circles that showed up in their field during the Independence Day weekend.

Saturday morning, Brenda and Mike Trevis noticed about a dozen spots in their oat field near Eagle Grove in north-central Iowa.

The crops had been pushed over and broken at the roots in various shapes and sizes.

"I don't know what to make of it," Mike Trevis said.

The family called the Humboldt County sheriff to investigate, but there was no evidence of a person or animal going in or out of the field.

"We talked to neighbors to see if there was anything different in their crops. This is the only one," Brenda Trevis said.

There is no weather explanation for the crop circles, and the family said they don't know who or what is responsible.

"We're kind of scared because we want to know what caused it," Brenda Trevis said.

I’ve seem ’em
07/24/04 - Des Moines City View

By Justin Kendall

Mike and Brenda Trevis’ dogs started barking after midnight on July 3, making quite a commotion for about 20 minutes. It wouldn’t be until the Trevises gazed upon about a dozen crop circles flattening their oat field, which sits about a hundred yards from their farmhouse near Eagle Grove, that they would understand what may have stirred their dogs.

“I don’t know what to make of it,” Mike Trevis told KCCI-TV.

“We talked to neighbors to see if there was anything different in their crops. This is the only one,” Brenda Trevis said. “We’re kind of scared because we want to know what caused it.”

No tracks – human or animal – led into the field. No weather phenomenon existed to explain the crop circles, although it rained the night before.

Beverly Trout heard about the crop circles through the TV news report. Days later, she was in North Central Iowa investigating them. When crop circles appear in Iowa fields or people spot mysterious triangular shapes hovering in the skies, it’s Trout’s job as director of the Iowa chapter of Mutual UFO Network Inc. to investigate them. She’s been investigating since 1991, when she joined MUFON, a worldwide nonprofit organization “dedicated through its volunteers to resolving the scientific enigma known collectively as unidentified flying objects (UFOs).”

The Trevises, whom Trout calls “intelligent people who are not easily fooled,” didn’t have a problem with Trout exploring their field.

“They’re extremely concerned and puzzled, and this leads them to think outside the box,” Trout says. “When it happens in your own back yard, [you begin to] … look at this pretty seriously.”

Trout counts the crop circles, or “crop traces” as she calls them, near Eagle Grove as the first reported in Iowa this year. But they are far from the first in the state.

In 1995, a crop circle approximately 11 feet in diameter was found in a cornfield near Arlington.

A year later, Brett Anderson discovered circles – about 30 feet in diameter – in his soybean fields southwest of Nevada in consecutive weeks. The swirls were counterclockwise and the stems of the plants weren’t broken. Trout investigated the circles in Anderson’s field, and found microwave radiation, which is present in many instances of crop circles.

In 2003, Ed Williams discovered his wheat field near Iowa City flattened in a clockwise pattern about 60 feet in diameter.

Trout calls the crop circles near Eagle Grove “extremely irregular.” She found traces of phototropism, the movement of plants that have been laid down to seek sunlight. As the plants rise, the plant’s nodes, the point on a stem where a leaf is attached, bend. These plants were bending to the left or the right; some bent at 45-degree angles. And some nodes had changed in color slightly, to a lighter shade of green.

When vandals use boards to push crops down, the plant stems and stalks break. But even though the oat stems were delicate, the plants hadn’t been broken, Trout says.

“If a small person stepped on them, they may bend over,” she says. “However, if you were maybe 150 pounds, you’re going to break them.”

Her investigation didn’t turn up any clues leading her to believe this is a hoax. Hoaxers usually make pretty designs with swirling patterns, she says. “This had a straight lay on it.”

The real proof is in the lab testing, which would show if there were abnormalities in the crops or the soil. “What they would find with the soil we don’t know,” Trout says.

Talking with the lab liaison in Cambridge, Mass., Trout believes it is a genuine anomaly. But MUFON’s higher-ups have decided not to test the sample, saving their resources for formations with a wider number of signs of authenticity, such as microwave radiation.

Trout seems overly careful not to draw any conclusions. But she’s willing to admit that many times balls or pillars of light and UFOs have been reported over fields where crop formations have been found.

Still the real question remains: Who or what did this?

“We’re not in the business of saying who or what necessarily,” Trout says. “We just observe [the crop formation] and comment on it and find ourselves still puzzled.”

Crop circles explained

08/2704 - Des Moines City View

By Justin Kendall

An anonymous phone call claiming responsibility for the mysterious crop circles near Eagle Grove detailed in last week’s Cityview (“I’ve seen ’em,” July 21) was left on Cityview Managing Editor Justin Kendall’s voicemail Saturday, July 24, at 3:13 a.m. Here is a transcript of the call:

Mr. Kendall, my name is John Doe.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine and I were on our way to Algona. We were in a practically home-built helicopter. Things were going along pretty good and he was getting pretty tired, and asked me if I’d like to fly it for a while. So we put it down in this field by Humboldt [and] switched operators.

Me, I’m kinda rusty on flying. I haven’t flown for about 30 years, and I could only get it off the ground three or four feet and it would come back down again. Well, it did that about 30 times. That explains the circles out in the pasture that everybody’s talking about.

I haven’t talked to the sheriff’s department about it; I haven’t talked to the landowner or anybody else. I did see your article in the Cityview, and I just thought you guys should know what happened. It happened, I can’t really remember, I think it was three times on that property and then about 30 miles away it happened again, [I] had to put it down and take a piss.

Some day I’ll touch base with you and talk to you in person, over the phone preferably. I should send the farmer a check for the damage done to the field. That’s how those circles got there. Later.

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