Saturday, July 18, 1998 Published at 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Unravelling crop circles
Crop circles: stunning designs
Experts from all over the world are meeting near Pewsey in Wiltshire to study the phenomenon that has baffled science for years.
The organisers do not believe the conference will provide all the answers, but see it as a useful exchange of views among those who believe greater forces are at work.
The West Country has long been the focal point of those in Britain who believe that crop circles are the work of extra terrestrial forces.
In 1991 two landscape painters, David Chorley, 62, and Douglas Bower, 67, claimed they were behind the phenomenon. They said they conceived their hoax in 1978, while sitting in a pub.
The duo said that for the past 13 years they had been sneaking around southern England at night, fashioning as many as 25 to 30 new circles each growing season.
Their efforts apparently inspired copycats. Other individuals and groups have come forward claiming to be behind hundreds of crop circles both in Britain and abroad.
But enthusiasts maintain crop circles are the work of forces we do not understand.
There is a new scientific discipline based around the study of crop circles. It is known as cereology.