1978 - Headbourne Worthy
The 1978 formation at Headboure Worthy appeared on the same farm as the two earlier circles, on land owned by Ian Stevens.
This formation is famous in the crop circle world as the first case study, and the first full-page photograph, to feature in the seminal book, Circular Evidence. To anyone seeing the book for the first time, this would appear to be the starting point for the circles. Only on reading the annotation would one learn that there have been others before.
Of course, when Doug & Dave claimed to have invented crop circles they gave their starting point as... 1978.
The details of the write-up reveal something very interesting about this event. Although the photograph (bottom) appears to show a plain circle, Mr Stevens recounted to Colin Andrews that in fact, there were five circles present - a classic quintuplet arrangement.
Because the photograph did not reveal the design, it was not widely appreciated that this was a quintuplet, and that others had also appeared before - eg the case on this website at Heytesbury in the 1950s. This led to the false impression that the quintuplet 'evolved' from simpler circles during the 1980s.
historic old crop circles - UK circles