Reported July 1963
From ‘Old Crop Circles’.
Background: The Charlton Crater
In July, 1963, a crater measuring 8 feet in diameter (2.4 metres) and a foot deep (0.3 metres) was discovered at Manor Farm in Charlton, Wiltshire. The farmer was Roy Blanchard, and it was he who found the hole in the ground. The crater was reported to the media, and soon thereafter a veritable storm of interest arose, which went as far as the House of Commons. The crater was supposed by some to be evidence of UFO activity.
The army attended the site with bomb disposal equipment, and the BBC sent down a camera crew, with a young Patrick Moore in attendance. The cause was never discovered however, and no explosives were found at the scene. Speculation over what had caused the crater gradually subsided, the case being unresolved to this day. However we are not interested primarily in the crater itself – but in the discovery of crop circles at the scene.
Note: It has proved difficult to find the precise location of the crater. It is believed to have appeared at Manor Farm, Charlton. However Charlton is extremely small and not marked on all maps. It lies across fields to the south west of Ludwell, a village on the A30.
Patrick Moore wrote a letter to New Scientist magazine, describing observations and opinions on what he observed at Charlton. This was soon after the site visit and so has good reliability. Moore had clearly taken careful note of what he found. Fortunately, his account does not just focus on the crater itself, but also on the adjacent crop formations. His letter was published in the journal on August 8, 1963. This letter is reproduced in full below. Fortunately, Moore elected to go into some detail about the crop circles, which had hitherto been absent from the record. His site description is superb:”Circular or elliptical areas in which the wheat had been flattened… One, very will defined, was an oval, 15 yards long by 4.5 broad. There was evidence of ‘spiral flattening’, and in one case there was a circular area in the centre in which the wheat had not been flattened.”
‘Movietone News’ 1963 – covering the ‘crater’ aspect of this story… Vid is pure class..