Krshanna Duran has just republished an interview between crop circle researcher Colin Andrews and Jon King, former senior editor of UFO Reality Magazine and author of Cosmic Top Secret: The Unseen Agenda.
The interview describes the career of one of the most influential figures in UFOlogy and so I publish it in whole, in three parts.
Apparently, the interview was originally done in 1995 but gives significant background on the manner in which the intelligence community tried to defeat crop-circle research.
INTERVIEW WITH COLIN ANDREWS
When I first met Colin Andrews he was still working as an electrical engineer for local government (Test Valley Borough Council, Hampshire, England) and had just begun work on his excellent crop circle video documentary, Undeniable Evidence. The year was 1990 and Colin was riding high on a wave that promised much: crop circles falling from the sky like prophetic rain; TV and radio interviews every other day; a best selling book that sold in excess of three hundred thousand copies worldwide, enough in itself that he was soon able to give up his job and dedicate himself full-time to researching the crop circle phenomenon. Then came the MI5-orchestrated `Doug and Dave’ debunk campaign. The wave lost its momentum. The world to which Colin had dedicated himself suddenly began to crumble.
Since those heady days Colin has pursued his endeavours as the world’s leading crop circle researcher with some tenacity. In the face of jealousy, ridicule and derision aimed at him by many of his so-called `peers’ he has doggedly-and often painfully-stuck to his task, and today still remains the leading figure in the field of crop circle research. However, the fact that he is the leading figure has provoked its own comebacks.
For instance, since 1989 Colin has been consistently hounded, intimidated and often threatened by British and US intelligence agencies. So much so that, at one point, he was offered an undisclosed sum of money by the CIA, a `Swiss bank account’ that would have set him up for life. In return he was to denounce publicly the crop circle phenomenon as a hoax. True to his character, he refused. The intimidation of him and the close scrutiny of his work by the intelligence community continues to this day. I recently spoke to Colin at his new home in Connecticut, USA. What follows is a verbatim transcript of our conversation.
JK: Colin, how did an electrical engineer become embroiled in the crop circle phenomenon?
CA: Oh, I just couldn’t resist it! I’d entered local government in 1974 as an electrical engineer and, following a series of very rapid promotions, I became a senior officer at the Test Valley Borough Council. It was during that period – in July 1983 – when I was driving along a major highway near Winchester, that I saw my first crop circle. In fact it was a `quintuplet’ set of five circles. Together they formed a major pattern in a wheat field at Cheesefoot Head.
JK: And the attraction was instant?
CA: Yes, very much so. I returned that evening with my camera and took the first photograph I’d ever taken of the phenomenon. Having looked very closely at the ground features, the first thing that impressed me was the absolute symmetry, the precision of the formation, and the total lack of damage to the wheat – you know, I couldn’t see any tracks or footprints leading in or out of the field. In those days a lot of the formations were like that. Sometimes circles would appear between the tramlines made by the tractors, and there would be absolutely no tracks leading to or from the patterns. This one at Cheesefoot Head was like that. It was very impressive. And it really called for the engineer inside me to fathom how this could possibly have happened.
JK: So how did you set about achieving that?
CA: Over the following days I returned several times to the same area, making contact with the farmers and landowners, and as a result became further impressed with what was happening there. You see, the locals and the farmers were not only telling me that, yes, they had seen the patterns on their land, and that they had been seeing them for a number of years, but they also told me how their fathers before them had also seen the patterns, and that they had been arriving on their land for thirty years or more. Indeed, records of crop circles go back many, many decades. This is not a new phenomenon. Although, I should say, it has certainly evolved very rapidly over the last few years.
JK: What other enquiries did you make?
CA: Well, for one thing I got in touch with the Ministry of Defence, the Army Air Corps at Middle Wallop, and made enquiries there. I also made enquiries with the local police at Winchesterand Andover, and it seemed that the phenomenon was clearly known about in those areas.
After this I sought out two other people who had commenced their own research about a year earlier – Pat Delgado and Terence Meaden – and the three of us began meeting regularly. We began working as a team, informing each other of events in our own immediate vicinities and cross-referencing our findings. In 1985 Busty Taylor became involved, and then there were four of us. And that’s how it all got started.
JK: There must have been any number of theories in those days – theories about how the patterns were being formed.
CA: Absolutely. Of course, it’s a whole lot easier now, looking back over a decade and more of researching the phenomenon, with so many possible causes eliminated from the equation. Nowadays the probable causes consist of maybe half a dozen, no more. That’s all we’re left with after years of eliminating other possibilities, like whirlwinds, hedgehogs and Doug and Dave.
JK: Nice analogy.
CA: I thought so, yes!
JK: OK, Colin. Seeing as you brought the subject up, what about Doug and Dave? Did they hoax the whole thing as they claimed?
CA: I’ll tell you something about Doug and Dave. Firstly, what helped to carry me through the whole Doug and Dave episode was that I knew there were at least a handful of patterns they simply could not have made. In those days – and still today – certain patterns arrived that defied the laws of physics as we understand them. One of those patterns became extremely important to me personally.
I don’t understand quite how this works, but I have certainly come to believe that there is an intelligence involved in the making of the crop circle patterns, and that there has been an element of interaction with that intelligence. I know that you have had a similar experience, Jon, and I know that others have also. For me it happened like this.
I had reached the end of my tether in terms of researching something that seemed to be giving up few, if any, solutions. In fact I was almost ready to pack the whole thing in and get back to my normal, fairly comfortable life, when something occurred that has kept me on the case ever since.
One night whilst lying in my bed I wished – almost prayed – for a sign that would take my research at least one step further towards solving the mystery. At this point I was convinced that an intelligence was involved, an intelligence we don’t yet understand. With this in mind I visualized a pattern – a Celtic Cross-and I asked, you know, I asked, at a deep level inside me: could this pattern be reproduced, and for convenience sake, could it please arrive close to my home?!
Well, you know, we’d been given the runaround for so long, chasing patterns all over central and southern England. I just thought, well, you know, just for once, you come to me instead!
Anyway, the next morning I received a phone call from a local farmer, telling me that he had discovered a new formation next to the double-ringed formation I’d been looking at the night before. When I arrived to investigate the new arrival I could hardly believe my eyes. For one thing it was indeed a Celtic Cross formation, the very pattern I had asked for the previous night. It was the first time ever the phenomenon had produced something of that nature. And secondly, it had arrived in the crop field closest to my home! I was completely overwhelmed. I vowed there and then that nothing would ever convince me that this was a hoax phenomenon, not even Doug and Dave.
JK: Speaking of whom…
CA: Yes, quite. Well, now you see why I could never believe that those two had made all the crop circles. I never believed that anyway. But now I had gained, at least for myself, proof. As others began to `fall’ around me, succumbing to the whole hoax situation, I became more and more resolute about the phenomenon, largely of course because of my personal experience, of somehow being involved, in some mysterious, interactive sense, with the formation of the Celtic Cross pattern. So when I was confronted by a reporter from the Today newspaper who told me about the claims of Doug and Dave, I was ready to challenge them publicly. Especially as one of the claims made by them was that they had made that pattern -the Celtic Cross. Indeed, they made this claim to the Today newspaper. Apart from the fact that, speaking from a research point of view, this particular pattern was very unusual – in that the lay of the crop was at right angles to the circumference, and included other anom
alies which have never been found in man-made circles – I of course was convinced that neither Doug nor Dave could possibly have made this pattern.
So I challenged the two of them to tell me how they had made this pattern. I didn’t say anything about what I’d discovered concerning the unusual floor-lay, nor indeed about my experience. I simply said: ‘How did you make that? How did you make that?’ [. . .] They’d been with the Today newspaper for a week before our meeting – the paper had already published their claims. The story had hit the headlines on the previous Monday morning, and as anybody in the media knows, if you really want a story to hit, then publish it on a Monday morning. So far as the media is concerned the world goes to sleep on the weekend.
So if you can conjure up a story for Monday morning then you know you’ve got a story that is likely to capture public imagination. This is what people in the business have always told me. It was all so perfectly timed, and of course, the story went worldwide. I don’t think there was a television or radio station that didn’t cover it. Somebody wanted this story out there. And they made sure they succeeded. We had worked for years trying to encourage serious scientific investigation, and that one day, that one story, set our program back many years. It has never fully recovered.
Soon afterwards people started saying things to me like, well, you know, Colin, at least Doug and Dave have spread knowledge of the crop circles abroad; you know, at least they’ve managed to reach people who otherwise would not have heard about it. Well, that may be true. But they heard about it in a way that made them, from then on, think about the phenomenon as a hoax.[…]
JK: Do you think it was all planned from the outset?
CA: There’s no doubt in my mind about that. This was one of the – well, I should be careful here – in my opinion this was possibly one of the best executed (. . .] planned disinformation programs, of modern times.
JK: My own information on the dissemination of the Doug and Dave story is that it was indeed a premeditated propaganda exercise perpetrated by the British and US governments and executed via their respective intelligence agencies. Do you agree?
CA: Yes, I do. Indeed, there are three significant events that I can think of right now which have probably been the result of some sort of government planning or involvement.
Firstly, of course, there was `Operation Blackbird’.
JK: Can you say something about that?
CA: Well, it was a very sophisticated, well-planned, and extremely expensive surveillance operation, the largest of its kind anywhere, whereby we cordoned off acres of land and set up a whole collection of cameras and equipment in order to see if we could catch a crop circle being formed on film. We had more than a million pounds’ worth of hi-tech equipment there, some of it on loan, some of it provided by the British Army, some of it paid for by the BBC and Nippon Television (Japan). It was a highly sophisticated operation set up in conjunction with the media and – in the event – the military, too. It was planned to go on for ten days.
JK: The military were involved?
CA: It turned out that way, yes. Although I don’t want to name names, I can say that within the first twenty-four hours – and remember we were on MoD land – two Army officers turned up and volunteered the technical assistance of the British Army. We were asked to leave the site for a confidential meeting with them, which took place in my car. We were offered the assistance of military personnel and equipment, but only if we would collaborate with them. As far as Operation Blackbird is concerned, on the second day, with a huge media presence – I mean, it really was the Fleet Street Circus at its height; even people in the business said that only the Royal Family had pulled more cameras and hype than this; thirty-two major national and international networks were there, bouncing their stories off satellites and beaming them all around the world – we all felt that something had to happen.
And of course, it did. A hoax appeared. I then had to go on live television and tell the world that a triangular UFO had been seen over the field where the hoax had appeared, and that in my opinion, the formation was genuine. Indeed, I was pulled out of my bed to do this! I was really made to look a fool in front of the world.
But what, in retrospect, is so blatantly obvious to me now that the whole thing had been a set-up was this.
In my car, on my way to the scene, I made five telephone calls, which were private calls – no one knew about these calls. I was alone in my car, on a radio telephone. When I got to the site I made an announcement based on what I was told – it was pitch-black; I could see nothing, but I was put under immense pressure to make the announcement. The next day it became very obvious that we’d been set up. The world’s media heard me say that we’d had an event – there was a crop formation in the field, UFOs had been seen, we’d got it all on film: we’d had an event!
However, as soon as daylight came I saw that the formation was clearly a hoax. I remember thinking at the time: `Somebody has set this whole thing up; somebody has infiltrated our operation and knows the technical parameters of the equipment so well that in front of at least twelve infrared and low-light cameras they’ve managed to execute a major hoax.’ The making of this hoax was not captured on film – at least not officially-because it had been made just beyond the design criteria of the equipment installed. Whoever hoaxed that formation knew the equipment inside out – somebody had a very good inside knowledge of what was there.
JK: And you think the British Army or Intelligence may have been behind it?
CA: Well… I have to be careful here… but two army personnel had arrived the day before, as I’ve said, and had offered their assistance in return for my… cooperation, shall we say. To add to this, another person – again, I have to be careful here – a person who entered the research arena on that very day, the first day of Operation Blackbird (a person who has since gained an international tag, someone who is well known in the research fraternity) also arrived. And so far as I’m aware, the arrival of this person was the first step in the intelligence community’s infiltration of the crop circle research arena.
So this was the first indication to me that `someone’ was very keen to find out about this phenomenon. The military were there. The world’s media were there. And also, of course, the government were there, represented by this person, whose name I dare not reveal publicly.
Then came Doug and Dave, and phase two of the disinformation program got under way.
(Continued in Part 2)