Aliens in my barley? What utter baloney

RICHARD BALLS A farmer last night spoke of his anger after his field of barley was "destroyed" by crop circles - and he was assaulted by one of the dozens of sightseers who flocked to see them.

RICHARD BALLS

A farmer last night spoke of his anger after his field of barley was "destroyed" by crop circles - and he was assaulted by one of the dozens of sightseers who flocked to see them.

Colin Brister said those who trespassed on farm land to create the strange circular patterns were guilty of criminal damage.

And he predicted that the devastation wrought at his field beside the A47 Norwich-Yarmouth road at Blofield could cost him more than £1,000.

Six distinct circles appeared in the six-acre field. Crop circles have also been found at Martham and Somerton, near Yarmouth.

Mr Brister he tried to remove people who were tramping though his field to get a closer look at the circles and was assaulted by a man who was there with a female partner and a small child.

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"It is absolutely hopeless trying to keep people out, and at the end of the day it will be a complete write-off," said Mr Brister.

"Who will be the loser? Me! It's time something was done about this.

"It is supposed to be my private property, but they are taking liberties and doing what they like."

There is worldwide fascination in the phenomenon of crop circles, with many enthusiasts linking them with the paranormal and others insisting they are made naturally by the wind.

They often materialise overnight and have been appearing in significant numbers since the 1970s in Britain and other parts of the world.

But Mr Brister rubbished the suggestion by one visitor to his field that the complex marks could have been left by an unidentified flying object and said a group of people had clearly drawn up the patterns and had flattened the barley during the night.

The field had contained about 15 tonnes of barley, which was contracted to be malted and for which the farmer expected to receive between £80 and £90 a tonne.

The crop circles had damaged much of the crop, and those who flocked to see them caused yet more damage. At times, traffic had been at a standstill on the A47 as crop circle enthusiasts pulled up in their cars and walked on to his land.

Both Mr Brister and his wife had gone into the field to order

visitors off.

The assault allegation has been reported to the police.

"There were about eight or 10 people in the field and others were standing there," said Mr Brister.

"If I had not been there, they would have come in as well.

"This man was there with his wife or partner and four or five-year-old. He said he could do anything because people have the right to roam. I told them it was my field and to get out, and he assaulted me."