Masked farm worker 'fired shotgun at crop circle spotters' after hiding in tent

When a 300 foot crop circle appeared in a farmer's field causing thousands of pounds of damage, the farm workers were understandably enraged.

So it wasn't a good idea for a group of Norwegian crop circle spotters to visit the field.

A farm employee decided to dress in full combat gear and hide in a camouflaged tent to get rid of the pesky Scandinavians.

He blasted a shotgun over the heads of the circle spotters to scare them away - and ended up in court.

The group were on a crop circle tour of Britain, which is the world's crop circle capital.

A 62-year-old man was arrested for possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Masked farm worker 'fired shotgun at crop circle spotters' after hiding in camouflaged tent in middle of field

By Daily Mail Reporter
15th July 2009
Daily Mail

An angry farm worker has been arrested after allegedly blasting a shotgun over the heads of crop circle spotters.

Dressed in full combat gear, the masked farm employee hid in a camouflaged tent in the centre of the crop circle before bursting out and firing the gun over the heads of a group of terrified Norwegian tourists, it is alleged.

He is believed to have become enraged after the 300ft crop circle, which caused damage estimated at thousands of pounds, appeared overnight in fields near Cannings Cross Farm in Devizes, Wiltshire.

As he fired shots into the air the Scandanavians, who had visited the farm especially to see the complex crop circle, scattered in a panic.

Main attraction: The crop circle near Cannings Cross Farm, in Wiltshire. A group of Norwegian tourists were visiting the site when a camouflaged farm worker reportedly fired a shotgun over their heads

The tourists, who were on a UK tour of crop circle sites, called the police and a helicopter and armed anti-terrorism officers descended on the farm to arrest the gunman.

Eye witness Eva-Marie Brekkesbo, 47, one of the Norwegian crop circle party, said: 'We were making our way into the field when we heard a gunshot, followed by another and finally a voice shouting: “Get out of the field! This is private property.”

'The gunman was dressed in full camouflage garments, had a black mask over his face and held a gun in his hands.

'When I asked him if he was the farmer, he said that he was engaged by the farmer to prevent anyone from visiting the crop circle.

'I have been visiting crop circles for a decade and have in various ways been told that we are not welcome, but this is the first time I have been threatened with a gun.

'Farmers have the right to protect their land, but they have no legal right to threaten people.

Repeat offender? A Mayan-themed crop circle, this time in Silbury Hill, Wiltshire

'The police informed us that the farmer who had hired the gunman was also being held responsible for this, so we are content that the police are taking this behaviour seriously.

'It was totally unnecessary and incredibly scary.'

The crop circle was one of several intricate patterns to to have been made in the fields surrounding the farm this summer.

Crop circle expert Steve Alexander, who spotted the pattern last week when flying over the farm, said: 'I have never encountered anything like this before.

'Farmers obviously grow frustrated with crop circles and it is not unusual for spotters to be told to leave farms, but never have I heard them being shot at.'

Nearby Cannings Cross Farm has been victim of crop circle damage twice before, losing almost £600,000 worth of crops when a 500ft pattern appeared in one of their fields two years ago.

Spokesman for the National Farmers Union, Ian Johnson, said: 'There is no doubting crop circles cause aggravation and incredible cost to farmers.

'We know crop circles are man-made and they cause huge problems for farmers because these crops are grown to earn the farmer income.

'As farmers we do not want to prevent people accessing the countryside, but this is vandalism.

'However, there is no justification in using a firearm to intimidate people - that is simply illegal and totally wrong.'

Staff at Cannings Cross last night confirmed an arrest had been made by police nearby.

Owner of the nearby farm, Tim Daws, denied any involvement in Monday's incident, saying: 'The police arrived at the farm and I persuaded the policeman I wasn't a threat.

'I was able to point out that it wasn't on my land.

'As for reports that someone is “employed to keep people off it with a shotgun”, I didn't know anything, but thought it more likely he was there to keep the rooks off the corn.'

A 62-year-old man was arrested for possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was later bailed pending further inquiries.

Read more:
Was it a rye crop? Ergotism can lead to "cereal killers".

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