When it comes to patterns etched into farmers' fields, these are the cream of the crop.

This crop circle - discovered in an Oxfordshire field - is believed to be the world's first three-dimensional one, and has already left experts reeling with wonder at who, or what, could have created it.

Freelance photographer and crop circle expert Steve Alexander caught it on camera a few days ago in fields near Wayland's Smithy Farm in Ashbury, near Uffington.

He believes the 360ft-wide creation is far too intricate to be man-made, saying: "There is something very strange and mysterious about it.

"Lots of people think crop circles are man-made, but the jury's still out for me.

"At this time of year when there are so few hours of darkness and with a design so intricate it can hardly be people doing it on their way home from the pub."

Mr Alexander has had more than his fair share of weird crop circle exper- iences.

He said: "I have had some strange experiences at crop circle sites and even in daylight hours have seen some weird and wonderful things, such as balls of light flashing across fields.

"I've also heard of other people having camera failures and mobile phone failures at crop circle locations.

"It's a really complex subject.

"Everyone seems to be getting very excited about this one."

Mr Alexander found out about Oxfordshire's latest crop circle after receiving a call from an experts' website, which had been informed about the pattern by a microlite pilot.

He then hired a helicopter to take him up into the Oxfordshire skies - and was amazed by what he saw.

"It's a very striking image," he said. "It really is impressive.

"I've never seen anything like it before, it is extremely powerful. It almost looks like skyscrapers coming out of the field at you."

Having taken a look at it from the air, Mr Alexander is now going to investigate it from the ground.

He is planning a trip to Oxfordshire from his home on the South Coast over the next few days.

He said: "It's a groundbreaking formation.

"Normally the crops just lie flat but in this case the crop is weaved, so it will be interesting to take a closer look."

Oxford crop circle expert Michael Soper, who works for UFO research group Contact International, said: "This is an intriguing and interesting picture.

"Certainly some crop circles are a hoax, but they usually tend to be ones with less features, whereas this one has lots of features.

"It could have many meanings."