The Sandown Clown
|The Sandown Clown|
An artist's depiction
|Theories||· Costumed human
· Supernatural creature · Robot · Extraterrestrial · Hoax · Shared hallucination
The Sandown Clown was a strange being encountered by two young children vacationing at Lake Common, Sandown, Isle of Wight (UK) in May of 1973. Following a sound like an ambulance siren, the children wandered across a footbridge over a stream, and met a curious, unidentifiable being that has been described as "a cross between a clown, a robot, and an alien". It was a shy, but friendly being, and spoke kindly to the children for almost half an hour before they returned to their parents. It seemingly vanished after the encounter, and has never been seen again.
Despite standing over 2 meters in height, the Sandown Clown had more or less normal human proportions: two arms, two legs, and a round head with identifiable facial features. The similarities to a normal human end there, however: the being's head was described as being too large for its otherwise thin frame, and shaped like a nearly perfect sphere. Its skin was very white, and had the consistency of paper, while its hands and feet possessed only three digits each, and its face seemed to have been crudely painted onto the surface of its head: two blue triangles seemingly represented eyes, while a flat brown rectangle served for a nose, and its mouth had thin yellow lips shaped like an oval, which did not move at all when it spoke or ate. Its hair hung down beneath its hat in sparse, frizzled, reddish-brown strands, and two wooden antennae stuck out from the sides of its head, while more wooden slat-like antennae extended from its wrists and ankles.
It seemed to be wearing some type of clown costume which consisted of a tall pointed hat with a black knob or bobble at the top, and a high-collared suit of red and green, to which the hat was at first attached, but was later removed by the being to show its white and apparently balding scalp. It wore dark blue gloves, but its feet were bare.The suit's trousers and sleeves were long and frilly; whether the wooden antennae were part of the costume, or part of the being's body, is unknown.
It was also carrying a microphone or tannoy system, through which it spoke, and which is believed to be the source of the ambulance-like siren heard by the children. It lived in a two-story hut or shack in a wooded area close to the lake, whose walls were papered with blue-green dial patterns, and whose floors were metallic. The hut also contained rough wooden furniture which was described as being similar to a table and a set of chairs.
The clown-being's demeanor seemed shy but friendly; it told the children it was frightened of humans, and would not defend itself if it were attacked. It claimed to drink water from the stream "after cleaning it", and gathered wild berries, which it ate in a very odd manner by thrusting its head forward and somehow moving the berries back and forth between its eyes and then down to its mouth. It could write in English using a pencil and paper; upon being asked it told the little girl that its name was "Sam", and that it was "all colors". When asked if it were human, it said it was not; when asked if it were a ghost, it is reported to have answered, "Well, not really, but I am in an odd sort of way." All other questions about what it might be were answered solely with "You know."
There are several explanations as to what the being could have been. Theories include:
- A human wearing a costume
- A fairy, ghost, or other type of paranormal or supernatural creature
- A robot
- An extra-terrestrial
- A hoax
- A shared hallucination, or folie à deux
- BUFORA (British UFO Research Association) first recorded the details of the encounter after interviewing the two children. No spacecraft or even terrestrial vehicle was observed at the time of the incident, and only the children saw and spoke to the being; its shack had vanished before further research could be carried out, and workman near the site reported nothing out of the ordinary.
- The children were insistent that this encounter really happened for the remainder of their lives. Their parents initially disbelieved them, but when they continued to talk about the encounter in vivid detail, BUFORA was contacted by the parents, and all details logged in their archives.
- Paranormal researchers Jenny Randles, Albert Rosales, and Janet & Colin Bord wrote about the Sandown Clown in several books. None ever stated definitively any theory on what the being may have been.
- The blog History Disclosure has the most complete recounting of the encounter published to date.