A cyclist feared he had encountered a flock of sheep under alien mind control when he saw hundreds of them standing in an unnatual circular formation.
Christopher Hogg, 47, was cycling through Rottingdean in East Sussex when he spotted the fleeced beasts acting unusually.
Photos he took of the unsually quiet grazers showed them standing in a near perfect geometric shape.
At first glance it evokes memories of the mysterious crop circles of the 1990s, which left Brits fearing an alien invasion or that extraterrestrials were trying to communicate with them.
Christopher said: “I was on my daily cycle and came over the hill and saw this magnificent circle.
“At that point I was about half a mile away, which made me think that whatever it was, it was huge.
“It was saucer-shaped, like an alien ship. It was beautiful, but also in 2021 a bit too weird for comfort.
“I cycled closer and closer and then realised the circle was sheep!”
The Royal Holloway University lecturer was also unnerved by their “weird” behaviour.
He said: “The sheep are usually noisy, I go past them every day, but this day they were very still and calm.
“It was so quiet, like they were in a trance. It was very eerie.”
Suddenly consumed with a desire to get away from the sheep, he rapidly pedalled home and showed the photos he had taken to his wife Victoria and son Louis who both thought it was ‘nuts’.
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He also shared the snaps to Facebook where other users tried to figure out what was happening in the shot.
Chris added: “There was lots of debate whether it was a crop or flock circle or if the sheep were being summoned by a strange force. Others thought they might be pranking the farmer.
“We all agreed it was a mystery that warranted the recall of Mulder and Scully!”
If The X Files’ super sleuths had come to check out what the “flock” was going on, one line of enquiry might have been if the sheep were grazing on or near a ley line.
These are mystical invisible lines of energy that criss-cross the Earth, and are regarded as important points of worship and healing by New Age practitioners and Druids.
The mystery solvers also might have looked in to the ancient standing stones of the area which are seeped in folklore – some of them involving sheep survivng the mysterious deaths of their shepherds.
But it turns out there was a far simpler explanation. The sheep were merely following the pattern of a ‘sheep snacker’ which had left their food in a circular trail.