Five Crop Circles in Cottage Grove, MN 25 July, 2004
At 6 PM on the evening of July 25, 2004, a farmer noticed 5 crop circles in his oat field. The farmer is prominent in the community and appeared to be a reasonable and logical person. Since there was no disturbance of the oat stalks near the circles, the farmer feels there is no way that hoaxers could have gotten into the field to make the circles, which are about 75ft from the road at the edge of the field. Between the road and the field is a 6ft high padlocked chain link fence about 1 mile long. The only access to the area where the circles were found from other directions would have required disturbance of the crop for several hundred feet. Furthermore, the farmer said that if any mechanical device had been used to down the crop it would have separated the dry and brittle oats from their stalks, which was not the case. The farm is near Cottage Grove, MN, which is some 30 miles southeast of St. Paul. The people (not the owning farmer) in the nearest residence, about a half mile from the circles, could not see the circles from their house and reported no unusual lights, sounds, or other activity on the night of the 24th or during the day on the 25th. The 5 circles are shown in the photo above and the schematic diagrams included in this report. (The photos were modified to fit internet loading requirements; the original high resolution photos are available upon inquiry to the Minnesota MUFON website.) The field was investigated by certified Minnesota MUFON investigators on August 8. The results of the investigation and sampling procedures are described in the sampling report below. By August 8, the oat crop had been harvested, so it was difficult to determine the exact outline of the circles and the lay of the crop had been disrupted by harvesting equipment. Nevertheless, it was possible to get reasonably accurate measurements of one of the circles (circle D in the sampling report) and to carry out soil and magnetic sampling procedures. Scientists associated with BLT Research plan to study the fungi on the roots of the plants to determine whether the soil was abnormally heated. Preliminary results of the magnetic sampling indicate that there were tiny iron particles in and around the circles. The density of these particles apparently was greater just outside the circles than within them. This preliminary finding is consistent with the plasma vortex theory favored by some BLT scientists. The oat field had been seeded with alfalfa, which grows after the oat harvest. The farmer will report to investigators any abnormal development of the crop.
Field Data Magnetic Drag, Crop and Weed Samples Magnetic Drag For the magnetic drag samples, a flat, 3.5 in. dia., 1/2in. thick magnet mounted on the end of a 4ft. wooden handle at a 45 degree angle to the plane of the magnet was used. It was very convenient for the task. Zip lock bags were placed over the magnet inside-out and taped to keep them in place. The bags were dragged once 1-2 ft inside and 1-2 ft outside each of the 5 circles, A, B, C, D, and E. The outside drags were confined largely to the North and South sides of the circles to avoid confusing the sampling procedure because the circles overlapped or nearly overlapped on their East and West sides. The edges of the circles were ill defined because most of the oats had been harvested. However, Circle D, the circle for which soil samples were taken, had a well defined edge. The bags were marked A-inside, A-outside, B-inside, B-outside, etc. A control drag was done starting on the north edge of Circle D, extending radially outward 100 ft. This bag is marked Circle D - Control. Field Diagram Circle D Sampling Intervals NOTES: 1. Diameter 1 orientation 180 – 360 deg. 2. Diameter 2 orientation 300 – 120 deg. 3. Diameter 1 samples: S1 – S10 at 3 ft intervals starting from southern edge. 4. Diameter 2 samples S11 - S21 from edge. 5. In–circle soil sample intervals: 3 ft, starting from inner edge. (except S9 and S10; also S20 and S21 separated by 1 ft). 6. Control Samples: Diameter 1 C1 – C8 and C9 – C13. Dia. 2 C14 – C19 and C20 – C25. 7. Control intervals: outer edge, 5ft, 10ft, 20ft, 40ft, 80ft, 160ft, 320ft. When each drag was completed, the bag was carefully turned outside-in and sealed while still in contact with the magnet to preserve the magnetic particles collected. There was a noticeable difference between the amount of magnetic material gathered inside the circles compared to the outside. Approximately 2 to 3 times more material was collected outside than inside. The 100ft control drag gathered approximately twice as much magnetic material during the 1st 50ft of the drag than the second 50ft. All of the magnetic material from this drag was placed in 1 zip lock bag. Anomalies No magnetic anomalies of any kind were noted by compass observations. A farming couple located ˝ mile from the formation noted nothing unusual. Their animals displayed no unusual behavior. Soil Fertilizer It should be noted that the field was fertilized about 6 years earlier with silage sludge which might have contained metallic content from sewer pipes. A record of the material content is included in this report as Appendix A. Crop Samples A sample of the downed crop (oats) was taken from a point about 1ft east of the center of Circle D, the circle from which soil samples were taken. This sample is marked Circle D Downed Crop. Although most crop in the circles was downed, a few crop stalks remained upright in a few of the circles. A thorough count of these standing stalks was not made, but a sample was taken approximately 2in. North of the center of Circle D. This sample is labeled Circle D Upright Crop. A control sample of the remaining crop was taken about 100ft east of the formation near the field edge. The crop from which this sample was taken was cut but left behind when harvesting down the east edge of the field. This sample is marked Control - Crop Sample. Weed Sample There were very few weeds in the field. Most were very immature and unbent and probably grew there after the formation was laid. A weed sample (approximately 2ft. long, including the root, and 1/4in. dia. was taken from the northeast quadrant of circle E, approximately 1.5ft. inside the circle edge. It was laid down in the same way and direction as the oat crop around it but was not damaged at the bend over point. Rather, it was bent cleanly where it emerged from the ground. It had begun to grow on the leafy end, curving up towards the sun. There was no damage of any kind visible at the bend point or the root or above the bend. This sample is labeled Circle E Weed Sample. Another weed of equal size and diameter, and type was found on the east side of the field approximately 150ft. from Circle E. It was tested for breakability by pushing it over to it's side. It snapped clean at the bend point (too stiff to bend without damage) even before reaching the ground. This weed is not included in the normal sampling procedure.