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Mystery solved: We now know the story behind the Shelley crop circle


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An aerial of the crop circles uploaded to Facebook. | Photo courtesy Jeff Katseanes

SHELLEY — The crop circles spotted several weeks ago off Interstate 15 in Shelley were not of extraterrestrial origin — unless you consider the combination of pretzels and pizza to be an out-of-this-world idea.

RELATED | Mysterious crop circles in Shelley spark confusion

In an email to Monday morning, the popular family-owned pizza chain Little Caesars took responsibility for the alarming markings.

crop circles

Mysterious crop circles visible off the west side of Interstate 15 near Shelley. | Kalama Hines,

The design was, in fact, a pepperoni pizza. But what many missed was the curious design of the crust. We now know that the polka-dotted design on the crust represents the salt on a pretzel. As a whole, the design announces the return of the company’s popular Pretzel Crust Pizza.

“Pretzel Crust fans, we hear you,” said Jeff Klein, senior VP of global marketing for Little Caesars, in a news release. “This pizza is our most popular product request on social media, and we’re excited to bring it back while treating customers to a few surprises along the way.”

Pretzel Crust pizza

Courtesy Little Caesars Pizza

The Pretzel Crust Pizza, which is once again available now at participating Little Caesars locations for a limited time, debuted as a promotional item in 2014.

Centered in the crop circle was a code — M9SD6L. This is not a pizza coupon, but a code to be entered for a chance to win exclusive prizes, like pretzel crust-themed shoes, rugs or a moped.

But, due to the strange winter Idaho has endured, Little Caesars was not ready to place Shelley’s advertisement when the snow fell in early February. They did so anyway when the opportunity was presented. Because of the timing, the code included in the Shelley design was invalidated.

In its place, Larisa Zade, Little Caesars Marketing Communications Manager, encourages east Idaho residents to follow Little Caesars’ social media accounts — on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — for additional codes.

MazePlay, a corn maze design company based in Firth, was responsible for the application of the design.