A mysteriuos set of circles has appeared near Silbury Hill firing speculation that the area has received a visit from extraterrestrials.
Clearly visible from the A4 road, the five circles were apparently first reported on Friday morning. But the farmer on whose land the circles sit believes they appeared on Thursday night.
An eye-witness, who asked not to be named, claims that while driving along the Avenue from Avebury to the A4 at West Kennett on Wednesday night, saw a golden glow in the sky.
'As I looked, a constant beam of white light stretched from the clouds to the ground. The area of was definitely being reflected from the cloud. I have never had an experiance like that before.'
The witness drove towar Silbury to investigate, but the beam and the glow had gone on arrival at the hill.
Roger Hues, who farms the land adjoining the ancient monument, found the large circle of flattened corn surrounded by four smaller circles on Friday morning. The larger circle was 16 meters in diameter. It was bigger than any previously seen in Wiltshire. Thirty meters separate the central circle from the out rings.
Over 400 sightings, similar to that at Silbury, have ben recorded around the world. Fifty six have occurred around Southern England in the last 2 1/2 months.
One theory is that a high-power beam of energy, similar to that seen by the Silbury eyewitness, flattens the crops in a circular direction.
The phenomena is being monitored by Mr. Colin Andrews, of Andover, who heads the Circles Investigation Group. The group consists o fa number of specialised scientist.
Mr. Andrews stated that this theory is consistant with a number of reliable sightings around the country. In recent months both a policeman and a vicar are on record as having similar experiences to the Silbury eye-witness.
Mr. Andrews spent several hours at the Silbury site on Monday examining traces at the site. The Silbury circles are larger that previous recorded and the direction of rotation of the crops on the ground is opposite to the previous traces.
However, he is keeping an open mind to the validity of the Silbury circles. 'It could be that we are seeing a new pattern of phenomena in the Wilkshire area.'
Mr. Andrews added that sightings in Wilkshire are becoming increasingly frequent. This year 13 have been found at the former Yatesbury Airfield, seven at Beckhampton, five at Silbury, five at Upton Scudderhouse and six at the White Horse, Westbury.
'These things are rising at one hell of a rate,' he said.
And while not committing himself to the theory of extraterrestrial visitations, Mr. Andrews said that some sort of aerial component is resposible.
Roger Hues telephoned RAF bases in an attempt to discover the cause. He was told there had been no military activity in the area that night. A power line runs immediately above the circles, making it unlikely that anything could have landed there.
Similarly, a spokesman for Bristol Weather Centre told the Marlborough Times that weather conditions in the district were stable. This would discount suggestions that the circles were formed by a freak storm.
A spokesman for the Met Office at Bracknell, stated: 'I would not have expected any weather conditions to have resulted in a pattern so regular.'