Robbie Williams buys home in Wiltshire UFO country
He is a multi-millionaire international pop star whose decision to buy a West mansion has prompted fevered speculation that he is lining up a return to the band that made him famous.
But the Western Daily Press can reveal Robbie Williams' purchase of a luxury Wiltshire house has a lot more to do with UFOs and crop circles than any possible reunion with his bandmates in Take That.
The UFO-obsessed star's new home is slap-bang in the middle of crop circle country, with the added bonus that the headquarters of the summer's phenomenon is based just yards from his new home.
Another, perhaps clinching, reason for moving to the area is that his close pal Jonathan Wilkes recently moved to a home near Wootton Bassett, just a few miles up the road.
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Robbie has bought the £7 million Compton Bassett House, in the village of Compton Bassett. The local pub, the White Horse, turns its skittle alley into the research centre for the thousands of crop circle investigators and devotees who flock to this part of Wiltshire every year.
The pop star might have been ostracised in Los Angeles for his beliefs in UFOs and other mysterious phenomena like crop circles – but moving to Wiltshire, and the edge of the Downs, puts him at the heart of both the crop circle community and the UFO hotspot that is central Wiltshire.
Over the past few years, friends of the singer reported he had become increasingly reclusive and obsessed about UFOs, spending his time sleeping during the day and watching the skies at night.
And he will find it a lot easier to spot a UFO in Compton Bassett than in LA, as well as finding many more like-minded people.
Villagers said yesterday that they knew about a fortnight ago the identity of their new neighbour, whose new home dropped in price from £10 million to £7 million in the 12 months before he bought it at the start of December.
One local said yesterday: "It's been a bit of a secret for a week or so now, but word did get out in the end.
"Of course it's a really nice place, in a nice village with lovely scenery and handy for London, but the word was that one of the big reasons why he chose this particular part of the world is because of its location – and that it's more about UFOs and crop circles than wanting to get back in Take That."
Tara Adams, landlady of the White Horse, said : "It is exciting in a way, but he'll be welcomed here like everyone else. We had our village Christmas dinner last night and had more than 80 people in and had to close the doors.
"There is something special about this village, particularly in the way there's a real mix of people and everyone gets on.
"I have to say his moving here wasn't exactly the hot topic of conversation. There are probably some people here that have four times the money he has, but it's the kind of place where money and fame aren't talked about.
"Everyone is very discreet and if he wants somewhere to come where he will be treated normally, then it is here."
This summer, the village pub transformed into the research centre for the crop circle and UFO phenomenon and Robbie will be just one of many people who have moved to the area to get closer to the baffling mystery.
The research centre is run by crop circle researcher Charles Mallett, and hosted by Tara and Danny Adams in the pub's skittle alley.
Mrs Adams said: "I was amazed at the thousands of people who came through the door, from all walks of life and from all over the world. There were professors, scientists and ordinary people all keen to find out more. We can't wait for next April when it will open again."
Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group founder Francine Blake said: "I'm not that bothered about anyone's background or who they are, as long as they are open and interested in the subject and willing to discover more.
"We spend our energy trying to document and unravel this mystery and if he is interested in joining us then that will be wonderful."
All year round, but especially during the summer, the hilltops around Robbie's new pad are often full of people watching both the skies for UFOs and the fields below for any signs of crop formations.