By Tim Binnall
It would appear that crop circle season for 2020 is underway as the first formation of the year has been found in an Italian village. The enigmatic impression appeared in a wheat field in the community of Santerno earlier this month and, shortly thereafter, received a bit of press coverage from area newspaper Corriere Romagna. It was not until last week that word of the formation reached the larger crop circle research community at which point it was determined to be the first of the season. Details surrounding the crop circle itself are fairly scarce, albeit rather intriguing.
According to the newspaper that reported on the find, the formation appeared overnight, the ears of wheat were "bent one by one," and there was "no trace of passage" in the field where it was discovered. Easily the most puzzling aspect of the impression is that burn marks and traces of coal were noticed in the center of the impression. Beyond that, as far as crop circles go, this particular formation is a far cry from the more elaborate designs that have been seen over the years.
Specifically, it seems to be simply a circle pressed down into the wheat rather than an elaborate display meant to inspire interpretation. Be that as it may, the appearance of the formation has sparked considerable discussion on social media in the region, which is not altogether surprising considering that it's not every day that a crop circle is spotted in a small community. While the discovery of the season's first formation would normally be cause for celebration, the response this year is somewhat muted by virtue of its rudimentary design and the fact that it was found outside of England, where the vast majority of crop circles are discovered each year.
To that end, the appearance of the impression does little to allay concerns that, due to coronavirus-related lockdowns, 2020 will see a considerable downturn in the number of formations found. Those who believe that crop circles are crafted by creative individuals understandably have reason to wonder if this year's formations will be few and far between because of such restrictions. Meanwhile, advocates for the proverbial 'alien theory' may see their argument bolstered if the season unfolds like any other year when, presumably, less people ought to be out and about in the middle of the night making crop circles.