By Tim Binnall
A crop circle flap unfolding in France has seemingly turned into a full-blown frenzy as another five more formations have reportedly appeared in the country over the last few days. As is often the case with the enigmatic phenomenon, the designs vary in complexity and details as to their origin. To that end, there is little information regarding the first of the newfound formations, discovered in the community of Parcay-Meslay last Wednesday, although the layout itself is rather elaborate.
Similarly, the second formation was purportedly found in the field of a cooking oil company which posted photos of the curious design on their Facebook page. Although they insisted that the images were genuine, they also joked that "this night the little green men have passed us an oil order," which seems to suggest that the company may simply be trying to get in on the crop circle craze by having one created on their field.
The third crop circle from this latest batch is both the least mysterious and perhaps the most intriguing. That's because, as was the case with another design discovered earlier in the month, this particular formation was the work of a college math class partaking in an elaborate lesson in "life size geometry." According to an enlightening local media report, the work was done by 15 students and two teachers this past Saturday under a strict veil of secrecy that precluded even parents knowing about the "end of school year outing" that the class had actually codenamed 'Y.'
After creating something of a buzz about the 'mysterious' formation that had appeared in the community of Saulx-Marchais, the teachers and students stepped forward the next day to take credit for the work and reveal how they had done it using compasses, ropes, and boards. Beyond merely being a geometry lesson for the class, one of the instructors explained that the project also served to "sharpen their critical thinking about what they read on social networks."
Rounding out this latest spate of formations was a fourth design discovered on Sunday near a site known as the Twin Terrils. And, in a testament to just how fast the French flap is unfolding, a fifth formation was actually reported literally as this update on the surprising number of crop circles in the country was being written. All told, the total number of designs found in France so far this year stands at a whopping 11 and could increase exponentially over the next two or three months.
Remarkably, while one might think that this development would be cause for celebration in the community of researchers who study the phenomenon, one observer expressed concern about the flap. "This year, there are a lot of fake crop circles in France," lamented Jean-Charles Bourquin, who expressed concern that they are the work of debunkers and that the faux formations will soon spread to England as well.
Whether that winds up being the case or not remains to be seen, but one should not be surprised if we see more formations being made by educational institutions, either in France or in other countries, now that the idea has undoubtedly caught the attention of teachers looking for a unique and fun way to reach their students. Though crop circle aficionados may decry such a development, at least these designs are being done with the approval of property owners, which more often than not isn't the case with the mysterious phenomenon that has proven to be maddening to some farmers.