Thousands of curious onlookers are flocking to central Indonesia to look at a "crop circle" in a rice field following rumors it was formed by a UFO. But a group of college students tried to quell those rumors by claiming responsibility on Tuesday.
The pattern looks like an intricately designed flower. Its 70-yard-wide (70-meter-wide) circle has drawn so much attention that police have blocked off the area with yellow tape.
Villagers have started charging entrance fees.
Guntur Purwanto, chief of Jogotirto village in Sleman district, said the circle appeared in the middle of the green rice paddies over the weekend.
Among those turning out Tuesday and offering opinions were officials from Indonesia's space agency, well-respected astronomers and nuclear agency officials. And while extraterrestrial enthusiasts are excitedly giving credit to aliens, others are skeptical.
"We will not send investigators to the scene because we suspect the crop circle involves human invention, not natural phenomena, nor scientific phenomena associated with outer space creatures commonly referred to as aliens,” Thomas Djamaluddin, the head of atmospheric sciences and chief of astronomy research at NASA, told the Jakarta Globe.
And if the Jakarta Post is correct, that was the right decision. According to the Post, a group of students posted on the website studentmagz.com claiming responsibility. The group of seven students from Universitas Gadjah Mada reportedly made the circle to show off their design and math skills.
In 1991, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley shocked the world when they revealed that they could create, and were creating, crop circles in less than an hour:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.