The Sandown Clown: Alien, Ghost, Fairy, or Hoax?

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By: Alex Postrado

Is The Clown-like “Alien” Of The Isle Of Wight Actually Real?

Clowns are creepy — even the ones we see in children’s parties — and there is no denying that.

After all, if we trace the origin and history of clowns, we would learn that they were — in fact — meant to be like that:

A comical representation of things that may be far too disturbing to actually be put into words.

Although there is a certain feeling of general unease whenever most of us see clowns — partly due to how they have been portrayed in modern pop culture — it is still a different thing when that feeling is suddenly turned into reality as far as one can tell.

In 1978, the British UFO Research Association, or BUFORA, Journal published a report containing a bizarre encounter with a mystifyingly strange clown in the seaside town of Sandown, Isle of Wight, UK.

The encounter was said to involve two kids who allegedly spoke with the clown and found out that its name was Sam and it was “all colours“.

Exactly what that meant, though — nobody knows for sure.

And even decades after the incident, there still isn’t much we know about the mysterious Clown of Sandown.

The Encounter with the Sandown Clown

Hello and I am all colours, Sam.”

That was how the Sandown Clown introduced itself to Fay and her playmate — a boy about her own age — when the eerie encounter happened one Tuesday afternoon in May of 1973.

At the time, the children were on vacation with their families and were staying near Lake Common in Sandown, south of the Isle of Wight.

The two were outside playing when suddenly a “weird wailing noise“, similar to that of an ambulance siren, caught their attention.

Naturally curious, both of them started to follow the sound — wandering past a golf course and through the meadows — until the noise ceased.

Then, from under the dark corner of a footbridge nearby, “a blue-gloved hand” emerged!

Soon, it unraveled into an unidentifiable figure that sort of resembled our perception of clowns — except something was not quite right about it.

The first had something to do with how it acted.

It clumsily held what looked to be a book, only for it to fall into the water below, leading the figure to splash about and retrieve it.

The next was about its supposed house.

Continuing its odd way of moving — hopping with its knees raised high — it entered a metallic hut that looked closely as the ones from construction sites, but without any windows.

This would have made anyone run away in fear, but the intrigue kept Fay and her playmate hooked — prompting them to wander around more and move even closer to the bridge until the clown appeared once more!

With its black-knobbed microphone, the siren-like sound started again.

This startled the children and caused them to run. But, as soon as the clown realized what was happening, it quickly stopped the noise, which made the kids break off their getaway.

That was when Fay and the boy first heard the figure speak.

Hello, are you still there?”

The kids hesitantly approached. Then, they saw its writing on a notebook — its famous greeting where it referred to itself as “Sam”.

What Does the Sandown Clown Look Like?

When the encounter happened, there were several things the kids noted from Sam’s appearance — starting with its height.

The Sandown Clown was reported to be about seven feet tall. And that was not even including the height of its tall, yellow, pointed hat, covering its “frizzled, reddish-brown” hair!

From this hat stuck out two wooden antennae — similar to the ones protruding from both its wrists and ankles.

Despite that, the Sandown Clown had almost humanlike proportions:

With “two arms, two legs, and a round head with identifiable facial features“.

However, these facial features looked nothing like what humans have. If anything, it looked more like the scribblings of a toddler who was only learning to draw humans.

The face of the Sandown Clown had “triangular markings for eyes“, a brown square in place of a nose, “paper-white cheeks“, and a pair of yellow, motionless, oval lips.

Furthermore, its head was weird-shaped as well — resembling a nearly perfect sphere that was too large for the rest of its body.

Much like its pale face, its entire skin was also very white. And its hands and feet only had three digits each!

At this rate, just about anyone would have been frightened by the looks of the Sandown Clown.

But Fay — and the boy we never got the chance to know the name of — had a different thing in mind.

Probably due to the figure’s clown-like attire — complete with a green tunic with a red collar, blue gloves, as well as long and frilly trousers and sleeves — the children were initially amused.

But that amusement immediately turned into puzzlement when they noticed that the clown’s feet were bare and its otherwise colorful costume was actually ragged.

When asked about it, Sam the Sandown Clown replied that those were the only clothes it had.

Though, back in its blue-green-walled, metallic shack, it had a couple more things — including a set of chairs and a table, books, papers, and a pencil.

But all of these only added to the mystery of the strange clown-like being.

Is the Sandown Clown Evil?

In spite of the Sandown Clown’s uncanny appearance, its demeanor when faced with the kids was rather timid and friendly.

It allegedly spoke kindly to Fay and her friend and hung out with them for about half an hour before the two went home.

During that time, the Sandown Clown told the kids about where it gets its food and water, which happened to be from the stream it “cleaned” and from the bushes of wild berries nearby.

The children also witnessed the clown’s utterly peculiar way of eating — reported to be by “moving the berries back and forth between its eyes and then down to its mouth” — along with other displays of seemingly supernatural abilities, such as remarkable agility and flexibility shown when the Sandown Clown contorted its body to crawl out of a hole in the ground; a form of telepathy as the clown’s mouth remained still even when it “spoke” to the children; powers to apport and to teleport; and omnilingualism.

Regardless of these powers, none of them were used to harm any of the kids — possibly even any other person it may have encountered.

Drawing of The Sandown Clown From the British UFO Research Association

Because, in the end, the Sandown Clown said that it was actually him who was afraid of humans and that had any person tried to attack him, he would not defend himself.

Ghost, Alien, Urban Legend, or SOMETHING ELSE?

Over the years, many have tried to decipher the mystery of the Sandown Clown — whether the encounter was factual or not, and if it was, what type of entity Sam actually was.

When Fay and her playmate got the chance to ask the Sandown Clown if it was human, it said it was not.

When asked if it was a ghost or other being, it only answered a vague, “Well, not really, but I am in an odd sort of way” or a simple, “You know“.

But none of it answered the undying question. And now, we are left with several theories as to what the Sandown Clown could have been.

Some believe the creature was just a human in a costume. Others think it was a ghost — maybe even a fairy or some type of supernatural being.

There are also those who say the Sandown Clown was — in fact — a robot.

Or maybe an extra-terrestrial being, since the story first appeared in a UFO journal.

A prank that blew out of proportion, perhaps? A folie à deux?

Or probably even a hoax.

A story seized from human imagination and told as if true.

In any case, the encounter with Sam the Sandown Clown remains open-ended to this very day.

It is said that the children grew up insisting that all of it actually happened, but until there is proof, there would still be room for doubt.

What we do know is that ever since then, the Sandown Clown never showed up again.

But who knows? Maybe he’s just waiting for someone to discover him once more.


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