Crop Circles: The Mowing Devil of Hertfordshire (1678)

In August of 1678, pamphlet was released describing an unusual luminous phenomenon seen in a field. The next day circles were found cut into the crop.

The inscription on the woodcut is as follows

The inscription on the woodcut is as follows:

“Being a True Relation of a Farmer, who Bargaining with a Poor Mower, about the Cutting down Three Half Acres of Oats: upon the Mower’s asking too much, the Farmer swore That the Devil should Mow it rather than He. And so it fell out, that very Night, the Crop of Oat shew’d as if it had been all of a flame: but next Morning appear’d so neatly mow’d by the Devil or some Infernal Spirit, that no Mortal Man was able to do the like. Also, How the said Oats ly now in the Field, and the Owner has not Power to fetch them away.” August 22nd, 1678.

According to the pamphlet, that night his field appeared to be in flame. The next morning, the field was found to be perfectly mowed – unnaturally perfect, in fact.
This pamphlet, and the accompanying illustration, is often cited by crop circle researchers as among the first recorded cases of crop circles.

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