The crop circles at Jim Stahl’s farm appeared as they always do — out of nowhere.
Amid a 90-acre field of soybeans Stahl discovered the oddity Saturday morning. He called the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, he said, but wasn’t entirely sure what to say.
“I said, ‘This is not an emergency, but I think you might want to take a look,’” he said.
About 11 a.m. Saturday, Sheriff Gib Cady issued a news release, treating the mysterious appearance with levity.
“The Henry County Sheriff’s office is investigating some damage to soybeans west of Geneseo,” he said. “The damage was several circles in the middle of the soybean field with no obvious explanation.
“If anyone happens to see a UFO with attached soybeans, please contact Henry County Crime Stoppers.”
The scene was so bizarre, Cady said, that the responding deputy wasn’t sure how to handle it.
“He called me up and said, ‘I haven’t got a clue, and I don’t even know how to write the report,’” he said. “We joke about it, but we can’t explain it.
“There’s no path to the circles and no path from them,” he said. “There is just no sensible, reasonable, intelligent explanation for these things.”
Stahl had no explanation, either.
The five circles in his soybean field create a geometric pattern. Three of the circles are the same size — about 50 feet in diameter — and are connected like beans in a pod. The other two circles are half the size of the others and flank them on either side. They appear to be precisely the same distance from the main circle.
“My neighbor said he noticed them Thursday,” Stahl said. “The beans aren’t dead. They’re just lying in a perfect, clockwise circle.
“Even though they’re laid over, they’re still growing,” he said. “When I first saw them I thought some kids had driven into the field, but then I couldn’t find any tracks leading in or out of the field.
“Then I saw that the circles made a perfect design and the beans aren’t broken.”
The mystery of crop circles isn’t new, and several theories of their origin exist.
A common explanation is that the circles are manmade, probably a hoax.
“If somebody made them,” Cady said, “they sure got in and out of there without leaving a trace and made some perfectly round circles.”
Some say the crop circles are made by whirlwinds, which are created by heat thermals.
Another theory, of course, is that the circles were created by extraterrestrials.
When asked whether he believes in UFO’s, Stahl shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’d hate to say.”
When asked whether he would have answered the question differently before the circles appeared in his bean field, Stahl remained cautious.
“I just don’t know,” he said. “I wish I could explain it.”
Barb Ickes can be contacted at (563) 383-2316 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Quad City Times