Drayton Valley Crop Circle Formation
Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
Discovered August 18, 2001

report by Judy Arndt
posted September 3, 2001

This two-circle formation in green oats was discovered by the farmer on Saturday August 18 while swathing.

The location is near the junction of Highways 39 and 759. This is about 65 miles (104 km) southwest of Edmonton, Alberta.

The larger circle is slightly elliptical, with diameters of 41.5 feet to 45 feet. Total length of formation is 88 feet (26.8 meters). There is a counterclockwise spiral lay in both circles. Spiral central whorls are not on the geometric centers. When first found, the laid crop was very flat, neat and uniformly spiraled.

See larger diagram with measurements, including metric values.

The smaller circle is 20 feet in diameter.

We visited the formation on August 26, eight days after its discovery.

Edges between standing and laid crop are crisp. Plants are either bent over hard at the soil level or are completely upright.

All plants were bent over very firmly at ground level. However, the stems were not crimped or broken, and the plants continue growing.
There is an appearance of bundling, which is commonly seen in crop circles with spiral lay.


Stem nodes in formation plants were swollen. We didn't notice any blown or stretched stem nodes while in the field. However, upon examination of the samples we brought home, we found marked differences between the crop formation and standing plants. See close up photos for comparison.

What is not normal plant response, is that only a small percentage of the plants have begun growing upwards in a normal phototropic response, as shown in this photo. The majority of plants, one week after the event was discovered, were still green and growing, but remained horizontal.

See larger photo.

This is the center whorl of small circle. There was a bare spot about four inches in diameter in the center of each circle, but no evidence of the soil having been disturbed. The bare spot is surprising, considering the dense growth everywhere else.

Geometry. Pentagons galore! Please take a look at my geometric analysis.

The oat crop was seeded on rich loam soil with an air seeder, and with a nurse crop of clover hay. It is very evenly and densely grown at the ground level. The field was not sprayed, so there are no tractor tracks. No vehicles had entered the field after seeding to the time of swathing. It's impossible for any person to walk through this crop without crushing plants and leaving an obvious trail.

The farmers checked very carefully to find tracks in the field, or between the two circles, but there were none.

One of the farmers was up very late the evening before the formation was discovered, tending a fussy baby. She spent some time outdoors on her deck. It was a warm, calm, dry night. She says if there had been trespassers in the field, which is visible from the house, she would have heard or noticed something. None of the horses, dogs, donkeys or llamas in the immediate vicinity showed any signs of upset during the night.

Because of a very dry spring and long stretches of rainless weather, grasshoppers have become a problem in many areas of Alberta this year. I didn't get a photo of one of the thousands of live, hopping ones, but this shell left by a moulting grasshopper is a reminder of the weather and the insect infestation. See larger photo.
Is there a reason for this formation? Environmental concerns.

Here is a pleasant view of the field from the southwest corner.


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This page revised September 6, 2001