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Despite a recent US interview in which he appeared to express a renewed openness to the 1996 Oliver’s Castle video of a formation appearing, Colin Andrews has hotly denied any change in his position…

In September (Headlines 13/9/02) we reported how researcher Colin Andrews made a statement to the US journal ‘Newsweek’, in which he expressed a surprisingly open attitude towards the infamous piece of video he had hitherto widely declared fake. As a reminder of Colin’s ‘Newsweek’ statement, here’s what he said:

“We have some film... It's controversial and we're still checking it out. But the film allegedly was taken by a man on a hilltop in southern England. On the film, small balls of light move across a field at great speed, rotate in an arc and, while rotating, [move] over a very large area several hundreds of feet across. You can see plants underneath begin to move. The balls of light are 60 feet above. A pattern of a snowflake is then formed in less than 10 seconds… …All 50 people I've interviewed who say they've seen [crop circles] form, all say they form in about 10 seconds. That is exactly what we have on film here... We have detective agencies investigating the individual who filmed it, his background, his equipment. Both scientists and film experts are studying the tape to see if it is legitimate.”

Quite understandably, this was taken by many to mean that Colin had revised his position on the footage, and the quote was widely distributed around on e-mail and croppie forums (not by us). However, when Swirled News reported this, quite legitimately, Colin was fierce in his condemnation of our coverage, writing to us:

“Let me make it quite clear, I HAVE NOT changed my mind one bit about the Oliver’s Castle video... ...New information regarding [the] Oliver’s Castle Video has been fully checked out and once again confirms my well known and published view, that it is a definite fraud.

…My original work on the Oliver Castle video stands even more sound now than before. No changes of direction at all. Let me say though, that unlike so many, if new data dictates a change in direction of any of my views, then I will always be big enough to state them publicly.”

Various spiky e-mails subsequently went back and forth, which we won’t bore you with. Whilst accepting Colin’s statement that his stance had not changed on the OCV (though what the “new information” is remains largely nebulous), we felt obliged to know from Colin if his words, as recorded in ‘Newsweek’, were accurate or not, as there was an outstanding implication that we had in some way misrepresented them, which we knew not to be the case.

Eventually, once relations between us had eased, Colin wrote the following:

“The Newsweek article IS accurate and I have to admit to one very messy interview. As I was speaking to the reporter on the telephone, I saw flashes of misunderstandings coming out of it, but never quite squared things with her. It’s not that what she said was inaccurate, but that more information would have made it clear what was being talked about. The so-called ‘Confession Video’ has recently been looked at again and through expert’s eyes in light of new information. As I said in my previous e-mail, the findings confirm all the previous findings. We do have our man [this refers to information on the identity of the alleged faker].

One can always be more clear I agree, but you too might like to make the effort to pick up the phone and talk to me personally before conducting differences or questioning such substance via the Internet.”

Our position is that the words were so public domain and definite, there seemed little to discuss. We were simply reporting a widely circulated statement. The overriding moral of this story must be that when talking to the world’s press, one must be VERY careful about how one expresses one’s beliefs. There is no room for ambiguity if the wrong impression isn’t to be given. We thank Colin for acknowledging – eventually, after what should have been avoidable hostilities - that we DID accurately reproduce the ‘Newsweek’ quote.

However, we are happy to acknowledge that Colin’s position on the OCV remains that it is a proven fake.

It must be recorded that despite this a significant number of researchers still hold a contrary view on the OCV and do not accept as evidence the little that has been produced so far to try to show it as fake. This controversy has run for six years now. It is likely to run yet further.

Incidentally, for those wondering what Colin thinks about Michael Glickman’s recent pieces on his 80% / 20% beliefs (see ‘The Voice of Reason’ column), Colin, offered right of reply, has declined to respond, except for giving us the simple statement: “The Voice of Reason, my oh my!”



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