Note that I am not suggesting that crop circles are in any way paranormal. I know they are done by people flattening down crops, but I would love to know how they do it.
Back in the old days when they were simple swirled circles, I can see how that would be pretty easily done using a board tethered to a simple pivot to flatten the stalks relatively quickly.
But it’s turned into an art form. Designs like this, or this, which can be 200 or 300 feet across. How the heck do people manage to plot out these designs on a cornfield and flatten the crops so accurately overnight (and bear in mind these usually appear in England, north of 50 degrees latitude, during the summer, when there are not many hours of darkness).
This question was prompted by this pattern, which although it is more than 10 years old I hadn’t seen before. It contains an image created from lines of varying thickness (like a TV picture), and a “CD” pattern containing a binary ASCII code, with hundreds of “bits”.
This was apparently done in one night, on August 15, when the sunset and sunrise times in Winchester are about 8:30pm and 5.50am respectively. In other words the makers would have had less than eight hours of proper darkness to do their stuff. Can this really be done with string and planks of wood, or do they have some other tricks up their sleeves?