IT is a case straight out of The X Files that left even the British Army baffled.

Investigators were unable to “offer any reasonable explanation”

how crop circles discovered on a Hampshire farm 24 years ago could have possibly been made.

The mysterious case was among more than 800 declassified UFO files released by the Ministry of Defence yesterday.

An eyewitness account of a UFO hovering over Southampton in 1994 was also revealed in the top secret Government reports.

A report by the Lieutenant Colonel who led the investigation into the five crop circles describes how they were found on August 5, 1985, on a farm close to the Army Air Corp (AAC) base at Middle Wallop, near Stockbridge.

He described seeing an “exactly circular” hole in which the wheat had been flattened in a clockwise twist, 40ft in diameter. “As if a plank had been put with one end at the centre and then swept round in a complete circle,” he said.

“There were one or two stalks of wheat standing which had sprung upright again. The wheat on the edge of the circle was completely upright and undamaged.”

Four smaller circles, about 12ft in diameter, were set in a precise square north, south, east and west around the large circle.

Strangest of all, there was no damage to the surrounding wheat in the field.

The Lt Col said: “There were absolutely no tracks in the wheat. To have set the holes in such a precise pattern manually would have required a tape measure or string, and the users would have been bound to leave tracks in the wheat.

“All but one of the holes touched on to the main furrows in the wheat, and could therefore be approached from the edge of the field without leaving tracks.

“However, there was no way of moving from one (circle) to the other without leaving tracks in the wheat, except by going some 200 yards to the edge of the field and then back down another main furrow.

One of the smaller holes was completely isolated.”

The second Hampshire close encounter was a UFO sighting reported over Southampton on August 14, 1994, at 11.15pm.

The eyewitness said: “I noticed two bright lights hovering over Southampton city centre. They were extremely close together – without beam and like balls of light.

“Being ex-RAF I thought it could be a harrier or a helicopter… The lights did not get nearer or larger, so hovering was deduced.”

The man described how he grabbed his camera and leant out of the window of his flat to take a photograph. “As soon as the flash went off, the craft rose smoothly and quickly upwards, paused and then flew at great speed towards and over the flats from where we were watching.”

As it flew overhead he spotted red lights and said the UFO made a sound of “jet-like quality” that was like a “deep, resonating force”.

His own investigation found that there should have been no flights over Southampton at that time.