June 10, 2011 2:18:00 PM
Remember crop circles? Not too many years ago mysterious circles began to appear on crop lands in England, then later in the U.S. and perhaps elsewhere. I don''t know; at the time I didn''t give them much thought. But some people did.
There are people in our population who firmly believed that extraterrestrial aliens were responsible. Or else, they enjoyed the attention, maybe even made a little money on the story.
I think some of the circles turned out to be clearly hoaxes, but they provided a topic for speculation that kept our imaginations occupied for a while.
Mmmm ... What does a skeptic do with mysterious circles on land? Well, let me tell you. Dear readers, I have a crop circle! Of course, mine is not spectacular, quite small, actually. It is a little more than a yard in diameter and nearly a perfect circle. It appeared, not in a field, but in my yard, which from time to time does resemble a wilderness.
It obviously is not a fungus or a "fairy ring," because it really looks excavated to a depth of 2 or 3 inches. My aliens have either destroyed the ground beneath, perhaps because of their space craft; or they carefully cleared the area to get rid of clues.
Odie Tucker, an intelligent man who cuts my grass anyway, was at a loss to explain it. Neither could the men from Smith Landscaping. I knew I could not have done it myself, and my neighbors would not. What was going on here? Surely you can see, it had to be E.T.
I just can''t help fantasizing about it. That I am greatly handicapped in doing so does not disturb me; after all, the massive efforts of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) have so far come up with nothing. All any of us can do is guess. Therefore, never having seen a UFO myself, I try to infer from the scar in my yard what it was like.
Heave. For such a small circle, it had to weigh a lot to push the earth down. Maybe it had rotor blades that demolished both grass and earth.
Was it a manned space craft? Stephen Hawking says that, given the history of discovery and colonization, we''d better not assume aliens would be helpful, or even just a little bit friendly. And no telling what kind of space disease they carry. However, I (not to argue with intelligence like Hawkings'') can''t help optimistically wondering what my guests would be like.
Little. They would have to be small to fit into a vehicle no bigger than a washtub. Would they be bipedal like us and have two arms and one head? Or would they be a blob like what we see in old horror movies? Or maybe something dreadful with an exoskeleton like grasshoppers and roaches?
Perish the thought! I had rather confront traditional little green men. They would take one look at me and say, "Take me to your leader."
"You''re looking at her," I reply. "At least on this plot of ground. Uh ... would you like to come in and have a cup of coffee?"
(Darn! I shouldn''t have done that. After all, this is a perfect stranger. In the fullest sense imaginable. Still, I tend to be hospitable, and it is a habit difficult to break.)
"No," say the little green men. "We are here on a very important mission. We have no time to spare."
Enter the little green women. "Oh please, Verdy. It has been such a long, tiring trip. Surely it won''t hurt to have a little refreshment?"
"Chartreuse," he said, for that seemed to be her name, "I never can get anything done when you tag along. You are too easily distracted."
"No, I''m not! I am a great help to you. Remember that splendid circle we did near Stonehenge?" She looks at me. "Perhaps you''ve seen it?"
"Well, I''ve been to Stonehenge. After all, we share a name. I remember the big stone circle, but I thought ... "
"Oh, that was just the first one. We have done many since then. And some of us have finally established colonies in Ireland. Do you know anyone there?" Obviously, wherever my little guests are from, Chartreuse has a Southern spirit. She likes to make connections.
I shake my head to clear my thoughts. Such fantasies will not help solve the riddle of the mysterious circle in my back yard. It is not the figment of anyone''s imagination, no matter how far-fetched. I know I cannot explain it. Any ideas?
Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.