"Professor Phoebus Penrose, who headed the committee which drew up the report, says that Muggles are more observant than we might like to think."
-- article in the Daily Prophet (DP1)
Professor Phoebus Penrose’s committee produced a report entitled “A Study into Muggle Suspicions About Magic” (DP1).
Professor Penrose contends in that report that Muggles notice much more of what happens in the wizarding community than is generally believed. For example, entries into the Annual International Wizard Gardening Competition’s Contorting Cereals competition have been spotted by Muggles, who call them “crop circles”. The report also discusses the fact that Muggles have spotted escaped Quaffles (labelling them UFOs) as well as the ongoing problem of how to hide the kelpie in Loch Ness from Muggle notice (DP1).
"Phoebus" means bright and is one of the alternate names for the Greek god Apollo (the god of light).
Professor Penrose's surname may be a reference to the distinguished physicist Roger Penrose.
While the date printed on DP1 is 31 July 1998, the timeframe for these events is 1992-1993.