1947 - Pilling
This circle is unusual in that it formed in a crop of potatoes. These plants are bushy and leafy, and are not normally associated with circles. The photo right shows a typical potato field.
The case was first reported by John Salisbury, a former worker at Eskham House Farm near Pilling. (His report was originally submitted to Lewis Sharp of Fylde UFO Investigation Group, who sent it to Colin Andrews. He in turn published it in his CPR Newsletter no. 3.)
Mr Salisbury dates the event to June 1947. One morning he entered a field of densely sown potatoes, to find a "flattened area almost in the centre of the field". His description of the flattened area indicates a typical crop circle event:
"I could see it was a huge circle, almost 50 yards in diameter, with all the plants swirled in a clockwise direction and almost as though they had been plaited. There was no other damage in the field, no sign of tracks or anything ... the edge of the circle was so well defined that one plant was normal, and the next one to it completely flat."
Mr Salisbury was somewhat alarmed at this mysterious sight and summoned the farmer, Mr Clark, to take a look, although he showed little interest. Other farm workers at the time were apparently also uninterested. Mr Clark suggested that the effect was caused by wind, but this was dismissed as implausible.
Interestingly, when the crop was harvested, the potatoes from the affected area were small ("the size of large marbles"), as if they had stopped developing at the time the circle formed.
Although circles in potatoes are rare, this case is not unique. Another potato circle is on record from 1971, in Quebec.
Pilling lies to the north of the A528 in Lancashire, between Lancaster and Blackpool as the crow flies.
The farm involved here, Eskham House, lies in open countryside to the south of the A528. The Ordnance Survey grid reference is SD441440.
The image left is an aerial view of the farmhouse today, at the centre of the photograph. The circle probably formed in one of the fields shown.
historic old crop circles - related cases