PLEASANT GROVE An obscene crop circle in a Utah County corn maze is more likely a hoax perpetrated by prurient-minded vandals, the owners said, rather than the work of extraterrestrial visitors.
In any case, Hee Haw Farms owners Kyle and Chalise Smith certainly aren't hee-hawing about the prank.
"Somebody thought they'd be funny," Kyle Smith said. "But we're not laughing.
Two strategically positioned circles, each measuring 36 feet in diameter, and a 100-foot-long rectangle appeared near the maze entrance in the southwest portion of the nine-acre corn field over Labor Day weekend. From the ground they appear random, but from above the shapes' placement appears more strategic, not to mention anatomically correct.
"If I told you what it was, you couldn't print it in the newspaper," Kyle Smith said.
He said a corn maze employee noticed the unusual patterns in the corn field and brought it to his attention Sept. 6. It appears a group of vandals sneaked into the field under the cover of night and used two-by-fours to stamp down the corn stalks to make the crop circles, he suspects.
"It just irritates you," he said. "It's no different than someone pouring a gallon of gas into your back yard and lighting a match."
The Smiths estimate they lost $1,000 in crops, but the pranksters could have cost the family much more than that. The vandalism could have cost Hee Haw Farm a large sum of revenue generated from thousands of people who frequent the maze.
"They don't realize this is a business," Chalise Smith said. "It's something more than a patch of corn."
Pleasant Grove police don't have any leads yet, Kyle Smith said, but he's certain something will surface eventually.
"You know how kids are," he said. "Someone will start bragging sooner or later."
In the meantime, the fifth-generation owners of the 147-year-old corn field intend to open the maze for its seventh season on Friday, as previously scheduled.
"We're not gonna let them do this to us," he said.
The Smiths won't be able to completely repair the damage made by the crop circles, so they'll work around them and include some extra features.
Chalise said they will use the rectangular area to build a 30-foot hay slide. They may also set up an area for younger children to play while older people wind their way through the maze. She said they've also been thinking of setting up alien scenes in the two crop circles along with information about similar occurrences across the world."I don't think it was aliens who did this," she emphasized.