1936 - Overboelare (and others)
These circles are without concrete evidence to back them up, but are worth covering anyway since not only does the main account resonate with many of the pre-war UK circles, but there are two separate sources for them.
The first came to light after 1989 circles were covered in the Antwerp Telegraaf. In response to the article a letter was printed, sent in by Jos van Gemert Smits, which stated,
"They remind me strongly of circles I often watched as a child in the cornfields of the Meuse area. There too, we saw small and large circles in wheat and rye fields in the summer ... I also think I remember a long spur of wind leading from one circle to another."
According to his account, the phenomenon was well-known to locals, and attributed to wind activity. Thus, his "long spur of wind" connecting two of the circles is a vague indication that 'pictogram' formations may have appeared, suggestive as it is of a dumbbell shape. (The Meuse, which he mentions, is a river which runs through Belgium.)
One year later, and independently of the above account, Marcel van Nieuwenhove wrote to The Gazet van Antwerp to state that he had seen crop circles before World War II. His letter was printed on July 17, 1990, and he stated,
"Corn circles appear in hilly areas during the months of May until July and they are caused by smaller or larger whirlwinds which press down the corn. I watched this phenomenon myself during my youth in Overboelare."
This letter was seen by Antwerp-based ufologist Wim van Utrecht, who corresponded with Marcel about these early circles. He stated that he had first seen circles when he was nine years old, which pins them to 1936. He also spoke of "irregular places - circles - where the corn was pressed down".
Marcel reported that he had seen circles many times, and that,
"According to my memory, the phenomenon manifested itself in the entire region of the Flemish Ardennes, Oudenaarde, Brakel, Ronse, Vloesbergen, Everbeek, etc."
These two accounts together give a strong indication of circles over a protracted period, and over a reasonably wide area.
Overboelare, where Marcel lived, is indicated by the red spot on the map below. The other towns he mentions are all in the region west and south of Brussels. The River Meuse, which Jos van Gemert Smits cited in his earlier letter, runs more or less in a straight line, through Liege and Namur.
historic old crop circles - overseas circles