EVEN the aliens could be backing Swindon’s radiotherapy appeal.

For the past three years, farmer James Hussey has been charging visitors £3 each to see the crop circle that appears in his wheat fields every summer. So far, he’s raised more than £20,000 together with crop circle guide Paul Jacobs.

But this year the pair were shocked when a second crop circle appeared in a nearby field, a few weeks after the first.

Paul Jacobs, founder of the Core Group Initiative, which works with farmers to open crop circles to the public, struggled to explain how the second crop circle had appeared literally overnight.

“I was living in my camper van here opposite the crop circle I originally came to look after,” he said. “It was a bright, moonlit night, approaching a full moon and there was no cloud cover at all.

“I was in my van. I’m not a heavy sleeper, but I didn’t hear anything, I didn’t see anything and in the morning there it was.”

Paul’s interest in crop circles was sparked 10 years ago, after an impossibly complicated design appeared on a Cambridgeshire hillside, representing a complex number sequence called the Mandelbrot set.

Asked who created the designs, Paul said: “The jury’s out. I’m a researcher and I’ve been looking at this seriously for 10 years. Some of the designs are so complex how would you go about making them. It’s a complete mystery. There’s no simple explanation. If there was I wouldn’t be spending my life doing this.”

Paul spends several weeks sleeping in his camper van at the crop circle site and has taken hundreds of visitors around the circles since mid-June: “Their reaction is consistently positive. People know in their hearts somehow these are utterly mysterious. They bring a joy and happiness to anyone who goes into a crop circle.”

Visitors are charged £3 to view the crop circles, with every penny going to the Brighter Futures radiotherapy appeal.

“I know how important something like this is to the community,” Paul said.

Farmer James Hussey lost his wife, Gill, to breast cancer four years ago. She mad to make the regular 70-mile round trip to Churchill Hospital, Oxford, for radiotherapy treatment.

James, who owns Weir Farm in Broad Hinton, said: “It affects you at a terrible time in your life. It’s absolutely essential that we get this radiotherapy centre in Swindon and it’s important that we make life easier for other people and save them a lot of travelling time.”

So far this year the crop circles have raised £4,995 for Brighter Futures and with at least a week left before the field is due to be harvested, the final total is likely to be significantly higher. Over the years, James has raised more than £20,000 for the radiotherapy appeal.

Cat Newman, head of fundraising at Brighter Futures, thanked James and Paul for their support:: “It’s been quite mindblowing. I love the idea that, if it’s aliens, we’ve got their support. The radiotherapy appeal is even bigger than international, it’s intergalactic.”

“I like the mystery behind the crop circles. It’s always good fun. We’ve had two this year – we’ve been so lucky. When the second one popped up we couldn’t believe it. It’s a really unusual design.

GWH fundraisers need to bring in £2.9million to kit out a new radiotherapy treatment centre in Swindon. The appeal has less than £500,000 left to raise.

Cat urged Swindonians to get behind the final push: “Over the last three months I’ve never seen anything like it. It feels like there’s a real groundswell of support now to get us over the finish line.”

There’s still time to see the Hackpen crop circles, 400m from the White Horse. Entry: £3 (children free).