Crop Circles In The Year 1678?

911347 The phenomenon of “crop circles” became widely known in the 1980s, but the eerie Old Crop Circles site collects similar reports and references from earlier periods — in some cases, far earlier. The oldest is a woodcut news pamphlet titled “The Mowing Devil”, from Hertfordshire, England, 1678. It tells how a farmer refused to pay a laborer to tend his field, and swore that he would rather have the Devil himself mow it. The following morning, a strange, large-scale pattern had been cut into his field:

The artifact pictured left is a pamphlet dated August 22, 1678, entitled The Mowing-Devil: Or Strange NEWS out of Hertford-shire. It takes the form of a primitive news report, which started life as a woodcut — a type of early printing plate created by carving into a wooden block and then inking it.

The image depicts a demon, scythe in hand, felling crop stems in what seems like a systematic fashion.

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  • Cptcallamity

    Oh cmon…we all know it was a bunch of 17th century kids playing a joke! They just needed somewhere to go and something to do.

  • Cptcallamity

    Oh cmon…we all know it was a bunch of 17th century kids playing a joke! They just needed somewhere to go and something to do.

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised he wasn’t denounced as a sorcerer and burned at the stake.

  • Redacted

    I’m surprised he wasn’t denounced as a sorcerer and burned at the stake.

  • Wanooski

    But was it mowed or not? Crop circles generally have the grass bent over, not cut.

  • Anarchy Pony

    But was it mowed or not? Crop circles generally have the grass bent over, not cut.

  • Haystack

    Very cool…though the explanation that lends itself is that the disgruntled laborer simply vandalized the farmer’s field. 

  • Haystack

    Very cool…though the explanation that lends itself is that the disgruntled laborer simply vandalized the farmer’s field.