Circles Baffle Iowa Family
Appear In Eagle Grove Oat Field
GROVE, Iowa -- An Iowa farm family is baffled over
some crop circles that showed up in their field during
the Independence Day weekend.
morning, Brenda and Mike Trevis noticed about a dozen
spots in their oat field near Eagle Grove in north-central
crops had been pushed over and broken at the roots in
various shapes and sizes.
don't know what to make of it," Mike Trevis said.
family called the Humboldt County sheriff to investigate,
but there was no evidence of a person or animal going in
or out of the field.
talked to neighbors to see if there was anything different
in their crops. This is the only one," Brenda Trevis
is no weather explanation for the crop circles, and the
family said they don't know who or what is responsible.
kind of scared because we want to know what caused
it," Brenda Trevis said.
07/24/04 - Des
Moines City View
and Brenda Trevis’ dogs started barking after midnight
on July 3, making quite a commotion for about 20 minutes.
It wouldn’t be until the Trevises gazed upon about a
dozen crop circles flattening their oat field, which sits
about a hundred yards from their farmhouse near Eagle
Grove, that they would understand what may have stirred
“I don’t know what to make of it,” Mike Trevis told
“We talked to neighbors to see if there was anything
different in their crops. This is the only one,” Brenda
Trevis said. “We’re kind of scared because we want to
know what caused it.”
No tracks – human or animal – led into the field. No
weather phenomenon existed to explain the crop circles,
although it rained the night before.
Beverly Trout heard about the crop circles through the TV
news report. Days later, she was in North Central Iowa
investigating them. When crop circles appear in Iowa
fields or people spot mysterious triangular shapes
hovering in the skies, it’s Trout’s job as director of
the Iowa chapter of Mutual UFO Network Inc. to investigate
them. She’s been investigating since 1991, when she
joined MUFON, a worldwide nonprofit organization
“dedicated through its volunteers to resolving the
scientific enigma known collectively as unidentified
flying objects (UFOs).”
The Trevises, whom Trout calls “intelligent people who
are not easily fooled,” didn’t have a problem with
Trout exploring their field.
“They’re extremely concerned and puzzled, and this
leads them to think outside the box,” Trout says.
“When it happens in your own back yard, [you begin to]
… look at this pretty seriously.”
Trout counts the crop circles, or “crop traces” as she
calls them, near Eagle Grove as the first reported in Iowa
this year. But they are far from the first in the state.
In 1995, a crop circle approximately 11 feet in diameter
was found in a cornfield near Arlington.
A year later, Brett Anderson discovered circles – about
30 feet in diameter – in his soybean fields southwest of
Nevada in consecutive weeks. The swirls were
counterclockwise and the stems of the plants weren’t
broken. Trout investigated the circles in Anderson’s
field, and found microwave radiation, which is present in
many instances of crop circles.
In 2003, Ed Williams discovered his wheat field near Iowa
City flattened in a clockwise pattern about 60 feet in
Trout calls the crop circles near Eagle Grove “extremely
irregular.” She found traces of phototropism, the
movement of plants that have been laid down to seek
sunlight. As the plants rise, the plant’s nodes, the
point on a stem where a leaf is attached, bend. These
plants were bending to the left or the right; some bent at
45-degree angles. And some nodes had changed in color
slightly, to a lighter shade of green.
When vandals use boards to push crops down, the plant
stems and stalks break. But even though the oat stems were
delicate, the plants hadn’t been broken, Trout says.
“If a small person stepped on them, they may bend
over,” she says. “However, if you were maybe 150
pounds, you’re going to break them.”
Her investigation didn’t turn up any clues leading her
to believe this is a hoax. Hoaxers usually make pretty
designs with swirling patterns, she says. “This had a
straight lay on it.”
The real proof is in the lab testing, which would show if
there were abnormalities in the crops or the soil. “What
they would find with the soil we don’t know,” Trout
Talking with the lab liaison in Cambridge, Mass., Trout
believes it is a genuine anomaly. But MUFON’s higher-ups
have decided not to test the sample, saving their
resources for formations with a wider number of signs of
authenticity, such as microwave radiation.
Trout seems overly careful not to draw any conclusions.
But she’s willing to admit that many times balls or
pillars of light and UFOs have been reported over fields
where crop formations have been found.
Still the real question remains: Who or what did this?
“We’re not in the business of saying who or what
necessarily,” Trout says. “We just observe [the crop
formation] and comment on it and find ourselves still
08/2704 - Des
Moines City View
An anonymous phone call claiming responsibility for the
mysterious crop circles near Eagle Grove detailed in last
week’s Cityview (“I’ve seen ’em,” July 21) was
left on Cityview Managing Editor Justin Kendall’s
voicemail Saturday, July 24, at 3:13 a.m. Here is a
transcript of the call:
Mr. Kendall, my name is John Doe.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine and I were on our way to
Algona. We were in a practically home-built helicopter.
Things were going along pretty good and he was getting
pretty tired, and asked me if I’d like to fly it for a
while. So we put it down in this field by Humboldt [and]
Me, I’m kinda rusty on flying. I haven’t flown for
about 30 years, and I could only get it off the ground
three or four feet and it would come back down again.
Well, it did that about 30 times. That explains the
circles out in the pasture that everybody’s talking
I haven’t talked to the sheriff’s department about it;
I haven’t talked to the landowner or anybody else. I did
see your article in the Cityview, and I just thought you
guys should know what happened. It happened, I can’t
really remember, I think it was three times on that
property and then about 30 miles away it happened again,
[I] had to put it down and take a piss.
Some day I’ll touch base with you and talk to you in
person, over the phone preferably. I should send the
farmer a check for the damage done to the field. That’s
how those circles got there. Later.
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