Farmer James Lawson doesn't know what made the perfect 50-foot circle in his cornfield, but he's not ruling out the possibility that it was an alien being.

The corn stalks are flattened in neat rows in a clockwise swirl, hidden from the nearest intersection but visible from inside the field.The phenomenon is common in Britain, with hundreds of such incidents reported in recent years. Crop circle reports have also come in from the Soviet Union, Japan and New England.

"I was just making my first trip (on a combine) through the field," Lawson said. "The first thing I thought of was a UFO.

"I thought `Holy smokes, what is this?' "

"It feels weird. There's no road coming in," said Lawson, 70. "It could have been here quite a while, but the ears are still on the stalks. Maybe it's been a month or so."

"When I went in to tell my wife, she didn't believe me," Lawson said. "She said, `You're goofy.' "

Lawson has farmed for 42 years and although he did not think the crop circle is a hoax, he wasn't quite ready to accept the UFO theory.

"It couldn't have been the wind because the dike would have stopped it. And it's a perfect circle. The stalks are mashed in perfect rows," he said. "Maybe it was a UFO that made the circle when it landed and then took off."

Other explanations from around the world range from the landing pods to crazed hedgehogs to a freak natural event.

Lawson said he would leave the circle alone and harvest around it.

"I think people would be interested," he said. "Who knows who might want to come and see this?"