Fearful New Havenites can rest assured that the mysterious snow patterns that appeared on the Green earlier this week were not the work of extraterrestrials— at least according to one authority.

With the relieving headline “New Haven Green ‘crop circles’ not likely made by aliens, expert says,” the New Haven Register took the lead in explaining the connected circles and swirls seen in the shoveled snow on Tuesday. The patterns supposedly resembled the “crop circles” that have mysteriously appeared in farming fields in recent decades.

Colin Andrews, who coined the term “crop circle” and has researched the patterns of these curiously bent stalks since 1983, provided his expert opinion at the behest of the TV station WFSB.

“[T]he precision of the actual designs lacked preciseness, which has always been evident in the several thousands of unexplained crop circles that I’ve witnessed in many countries around the planet,” said Andrews, according to the Register.

Aliens, however, are only one possible cause of crop circles. In the past, crop circles have been attributed to laser-toting artists, nighttime UFOs, strange weather patterns, secret military experiments and the like. One scientist interviewed by The Huffington Post in 2011 also cited the importance of “rapid air movement, ionization, electric fields and transient high temperatures combined with an oxidizing atmosphere,” in addition to an “ion plasma vortex.”

In an interview with WFSB, West Haven resident Gloria Caprio said she thinks New Haven’s snowy rings are probably the work of “somebody who has a lot of time on their hands,” but the media members scurrying around the Green still need to consider all possible causes of New Haven’s most fascinating new mystery. After all, The Huffington Post seems to think crop circles come from “wallabies ‘stoned’ on opium.”

They should ask the expert about that one.