Are we alone in Dorset? Crop circles in the countryside have sparked thoughts that something may have attracted an extra-terrestrial visitor. 

This crop circle appeared in a field near Cerne Abbas. 

Shazz Hooper, 35, took a drone out to take aerial photos of the spectacular pattern. Her interest lies in the mystery behind what created them.

She said: “Dorset is a good place for crop circles throughout the year, I know there have been plenty.

“Some people think it’s alien activity, some people think it’s a hoax. It’s different and it brings people to them.

“I like to think there is something out there. It’s interesting.”

Speculators think this design resembles a religious symbol of Jesus Christ. 

Crop circles, or crop formations, are patterns produced by flattening crops. Experts agree they are man-made although some people claim there are mysterious forces behind the patterns.

Paul Jacobs is an independent researcher of crop circles in Dorset. He also works with farm liaison group Core Group Initiative, who organise access to crop circles in fields where farmer permission has been granted.

Although he doesn’t believe the crop circles are down to extra-terrestrial life, he says the real reason is harder to explain that some might think. 

He said: “I have been researching this now for 18 years and it remains a complete and utter mystery. 

“I take it very seriously, and my conclusion is there is no simple explanation. I have ruled out the explanation that it could have been done by what I call a ‘mundane’ explanation - that it involved human beings.

"I enlisted the help of a chartered surveyor company who gave me a statement on a sample crop circle. They said it would take days and days to create a detailed crop circle, but nearly every time they turn up overnight.

“We do not know what is causing it, but whatever is causing it is of a high order indeed.”

The English countryside has been the site of crop circles that have baffled observers for centuries.The earliest mention of a crop circle dates back to the 1500s.

Circles began appearing in the 1960s and 70s in England and the United States. But the phenomenon didn’t gain attention until 1980, when a farmer in Wiltshire county, England, discovered three circles in his oat crops. 

UFO researchers and media descended on the farm, and the world first began to learn about crop circles.

By the 1990s, crop circles had become something of a tourist attraction. In 1990, over 700 circles appeared in Britain alone and within the next few years, there were thousands.

Although crop circle numbers have declined throughout the years, each sighting still leaves many spotters perplexed.