Is there life beyond Earth? That's the question a group of people I was with this weekend were asking themselves as we explored some crop circles that have recently formed in some wheat fields outside Berlin.
I was accompanying the group for a radio story I'm working on for Deutsche Welle, tying it in to the recent announcement of a new Stephen Hawking project to search for extraterrestrial life (it will air in the next few days on Inside Europe). It was a group of 15 or so youngish people from Berlin curious about UFOs, and you should have seen the looks we were getting as we walked through this small town in Brandenburg.
Perhaps the most alarmed look came as we emerged from the wheat fields. We had stopped to have a picnic within the crop circles, and when we were sitting down we were not visible from the road. Suddenly we all stood up, collected our things and started walking out of the field. I could see an elderly couple had stopped with their bikes and were staring at us, with a mixture of confusion and disapproval. "You guys, we're about to get deutsched," I told the group.