Colin Andrews, considered by many to
be the world’s leading authority on crop
circles, in a field across from his home in
Guilford. Arnold Gold/Register
Colin Andrews’ paranormal life is the stuff movies are made of
Jim Shelton , Register Staff
©New Haven Register 2006
GUILFORD — Like the topographical puzzlers he’s studied for decades, Colin Andrews’ life has taken a dizzying number of twists.
By turns he’s been a British civil servant, a best-selling author, an expert-for-hire, an investigator of the paranormal, a target of derision and a Hollywood movie consultant.
Next on his list? Being the subject of a film biography.
Andrews, 59, who resides in a quiet farmhouse in the north end of town, recently signed over the rights to his life story to Renegade Films, a production company based in Kansas City. The modest, five-figure deal gives Renegade two years to complete the project, tentatively titled "Circular Evidence."
That’s also the title of Andrews’ 1989 book about crop circles, the mysterious formations that many people believe are elaborate hoaxes and others believe are messages sent from an unknown source. Andrews, considered by some to be the world’s leading authority on the subject, says he believes both notions are true.
After more than 20 years traveling the world in search of answers, Andrews came to the conclusion that 80 percent of crop circles are indeed man-made. As for the remaining 20 percent, Andrews just doesn’t know.
"It’s a mysterious hand at work," he says. "An invisible hand."
On the other hand, the up-and-down nature of Andrews’ personal saga isn’t nearly so mysterious. It’s just dramatic.
In 1983, Andrews was an official in British regional government when he chanced upon five crop circles near Winchester, England. His curiosity about the phenomenon led him on a years-long journey for information. Along the way, his notoriety cost him his first marriage and his job.
"TV crews were coming into the house two a day," Andrews explains. "It was crazy."
He left England in 1991 and moved to Branford. For some time, Andrews used his book royalties to support himself and pay for his research. Then he landed additional research money through former U.S. Rep. Laurence Rockefeller. He also spread the word about crop circles through the national press, including "60 Minutes," "Good Morning America," CNN, The Learning Channel and "The Sally Jessy Raphael Show."
He even signed on as an adviser for the 2002 Mel Gibson movie, "Signs."
But by 2005, he had relocated to Guilford and it looked like his resources had reached an end.
He flew out to San Francisco early in the year to deliver what he announced was his final presentation on crop circles, including his contention that paranormal forces are trying to warn mankind about its poor treatment of the environment. Then he put his research database up for auction on eBay.
Wouldn’t you know, that’s when Renegade Films’ co-owner Wood Dickinson came a-calling.
"The crop circle phenomenon is something I’ve been interested in for years, but I never saw a way to get into it as a movie," Dickinson explains. "To me, telling the story of Colin’s life and the things that have happened to him makes this a human story.
"He’s a very logical individual," Dickinson says of Andrews. "He doesn’t accept things at face value. He’s just looking for answers."
Dickinson invited Andrews to his production offices in Kansas City to discuss a movie treatment. He envisions an independent feature in the $2 million to $4 million range, with filming in 2007.
Andrews liked what he heard. "I’ve done a lot of television documentaries, but the way I think this affects people has never been told," he says.
He sold the rights to his story, along with a provision that he’ll receive additional money when the film is completed. He says it’s been a shot in the arm financially and emotionally.
He’s even taken his database off eBay.
Jim Shelton can be reached at (203) 789-5664 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
©New Haven Register 2006