A BEWILDERED farmer thought that aliens had landed in the Knutsford area on Thursday.

Peter Jackson, of Tanyard Farm, was taking a walk at around 6pm close to his home in Ashley when he noticed unusual patterns on his field.

On closer inspection, the 67-year-old saw that a huge ‘crop circle’ had been formed in his spring barley, measuring around a quarter of an acre.

Some believe that crop circles are created by aliens as a message to the human race.

Peter said: “I couldn’t believe it. I thought: ‘We’ve got the aliens here’.

“Crop circles in Ashley. They say there’s a lot in Wiltshire but I’ve never seen anything like this here. I could see myself on the News at Ten.”

But then Peter realised that his ‘invaders’ were not quite as intergalactic as he first thought.

He added: “I came to the gate and saw tyre marks. It’s so pointless.

“We have a lovely countryside and people are out to spoil it. It’s a complete waste of a good crop.”

Peter’s crops were set to be harvested as the Guardian went to press, and the damage caused is expected to set him back £400.

There have been recorded sightings of crop circles in 29 countries and the phenomenon was given the Hollywood treatment in the 2002 Mel Gibson film Signs.

The Ashley crop formation featured three circles of flattened spring barley.

Peter, who is the fourth generation of his family to work at Tanyard Farm in Castle Mill Lane, said: “I was amazed how intricate it was. It reminded me of all the old alien films.”