UFO rings fits the general description provided by Hynek (1972) as “either as circular patch (or patches), uniformly
depressed, burned, or dehydrated, with an overall diameter of 9.1 m or more and 0.3 to 0.9 m thick (the inner and outer diameters of the ring differ by that amount, while the ring itself may be quite large).” The most frequently reported diameters are six to 9.1 m (Hynek 1972). In most cases, the rings persist for weeks or
months– sometimes years– and the interior of the ring or the whole circle remains barren for three to six months
(Hynek 1972; Howe 1999). Scientific explanations to the origin and implications of the UFO rings were reported by Condon (1968). He concludes, however, that the main problem with the UFO rings (CE-2) is the difficulty to establish as factual the claims that the rings or imprints actually were made by an extraordinary object or being. The existence of an imprint of odd shape, circular area of crushed vegetation or a barren spot often can be established. Its mere existence does not prove, however, that the markings were made by a strange being or vehicle (Condon 1968).
Fungal Diseases.– The alleged UFO rings I had personally seen can be explained away as hoaxes, meteorological effects, or damages to plants caused by natural factors (abiotic and biotic). Abiotic factors, such as chemical and physical soil effects on plant growth are extremely complicated, so that is difficult to describe the effect of one isolated factor and ignore the influence of others. Examples of abiotic factors include mineral nutrition imbalances (Evans et al. 1991), soil alkalinity or acidity, extreme temperatures, soil humidity imbalance, pollution, and over fertilization (Alexander 1991). The examples of biotic factors are diseases, like those caused by insects, nematodes, bacteria, fungi, and viruses (Agrios 1997).
Take turfgrasses for example. Many rings or patches in turfgrasses are caused naturally by fungal (and/or other microorganisms) diseases, which are strikingly similar to “unexplainable” UFO rings or crop rings. Fungi, which naturally occur in topsoil, may become a plant disease under certain favorable conditions—favorable to the fungus— such as stress, wounds, immunodeficiency, etc. (Alexander 1991; Agrios 1997). Fungal diseases such as: Anthracnose and Basal rot (Colletotrichum); Snow mold (Coprinus, Typhula); Red thread (Corticium, Laetisaria); Leaf spots, Blight, Foot rots and Melting-out (Curvularia, Drechslera); Blister smut (Entyloma); Powdery mildew (Erysiphe); Damping-off (Fusarium, Helminthosporium, Pythium, Rhizoctonia); Take-all or Ophiobolus patch (Gaeumannomyces); Root and stem rots (Leptosphaeria, Ophiosphaerella, Sclerotium); Rust (Puccinia); Brown patch (Rhizoctonia); Dollar spot and Snow scald (Sclerotinia); and Stripe smut (Ustilago) commonly infects creeping bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass or Bermudagrass, among other turfgrasses (Couch 1995; Agrios 1997; Provey & Robinson, 2001; Nieves-Rivera 2001). The photos of diseased turfgrasses presented by Couch (1995), Evans (2000), Provey & Robinson (2001), and those of eyewitnesses of UFO rings (Fuller 1997; Howe 1999) are practically identical. Many of these fungal diseases form rings, spots, or circular formations similar to UFO rings. Curiously, the Powdery mildew caused by the fungus Erysiphe and the Damping-off of seedlings by Pythium produces a white powder or filaments which covers the entire blade of the grass, which remind me of the ‘Angel’s hairs’. These hairs are cobwebs or filaments which sublimate in a few seconds have fallen from the sky and are associated with UFOs.