One of the first documented reports of a crop circle formation - the unexplained geometric designs that occur in fields of wheat and corn - appeared in 1678 Stirlingshire, Scotland. But this phenomenon was largely ignored until the 1970s and 80s when formations began to appear with increasing frequency around the globe. Today most countries - with the exception of China - are said to have experienced crop circle phenomena.
Yet is China really devoid of these unusual creations? Certainly, if someone or something is trying to communicate with mankind through patterns carved into crops, China's sizable population could not be ignored.
Western experts have obviously failed to carefully consider the data from this country. One only has to refer to the work of Zhang Hui, a research fellow at the Xinjiang Museum in Urumqi, to find evidence that suggests China - with its long history - experienced crop circle phenomena long before any other civilization on the planet.
Zhang claims to have harvested more than 20 stone patterns appearing to match crop circle formations from other countries, but pre-dating them by up to 3,000 years.
After discovering several of these stone circle patterns, which range from simple circles to more elaborate shapes, in the grasslands of Qinghe County beside the Sino-Mongolian border, Zhang was intrigued. He quickly headed to Beijing to consult Chinese translations of reference works by British crop circle experts.
He was amazed by the similarities.
Zhang believes the primitive people of the region, after witnessing the formation of actual crop circles, concluded that the designs were a form of communication from the gods and responded in kind to the divine messages by placing rocks in the shape of the circles.
For Zhang, these stone arrangements prove China has experienced crop circle phenomena - possibly more recently than imagined.
According to Zhang, one rare eyewitness described seeing a crop circle appear in a Northeast China field in only a short time while he was in the company of Red Guards. However, as the event occurred during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), when such superstition was illegal, the account went undocumented.
If crop circles are an attempt at communication from an unknown source, then what is this source and who is supposed to receive the message?
Humans, being ego-centric creatures, naturally assume the messages hidden in the crop circles are meant for mankind. But what about the other species inhabiting our planet. As in Douglas Adam's novel, "So long and thanks for all the fish" - where dolphins were actually alien observers studying the human race as a psychologist studies rats in a maze - humans may not be the most advanced species on the earth.
Possibly, the messages are meant for the legions of cockroach species which inhabit the darker corners of our daily life. After all, following mankind's inevitable self-destruction in a nuclear holocaust, cockroaches will be the only creatures left alive.