Dressed head to toe in a chequered morph suit, there is little evidence to help identify who this man is.
He has caused something of a stir after turning up at a village fete and getting people to guess who he was for £1 before running off with the cash.
Now villagers in Woolaston in the Forest of Dean have asked the man to come forward before they get in touch with police.
He communicated only through mime and some villagers think they know who he is but are staying tight-lipped to prevent a witch hunt.
He turned up at Woolaston Carnival and handed out entry forms that said: ‘Is it a bird, is it a plane. No it’s Woolaston’s Mystery Man’.
The winner would receive £100 if they got his identity correct and most people assumed he was a local resident raising money for the hall fund. He even had the audacity to pose for selfies.
The last known sighting appears to be of him melting away down a public footpath with a deckchair under one arm and an old music bag or briefcase under the other.
After failing to return Sue and husband Tony – chairman of the committee – put an appeal on Facebook for him to reveal himself.
The mystery deepened when organisers then received an email from the ‘Woolaston carnival mystery man’ offering to transfer £100 to them.
They declined, instead offering him a chance to hand over the cash.
It is thought that he made several hundred pounds before fleeing with the proceeds, sparking a Midsomer Murders-style investigation.
Villagers say they still don’t know if they have been duped or are victims of a bad joke by the man who hid his face and communicated with everyone only by mime.
Carnival co-ordinator Andy Morgan Watts who led the parade in his vintage car dressed as a ringmaster, said: ‘He just appeared. Everybody was applauding him because it seemed such a clever way of raising money,
‘But when he disappeared it left a bad taste because people thought they had been giving money to charity.
‘I still like to believe that he is just dragging it out to get the maximum amount of money possible from a good idea.
‘Some people think I’m being too kind but we will have to wait and see which way it goes. It’s clearly as black and white as his suit.’
He even cheekily put his belongings in the back of a vintage car during a carnival parade and made a thumbs up sign so he would have his hands free to hand out leaflets.
Carnival committee member Sue Anderson said: ‘There’s nothing unusual in people joining the parade so we didn’t think much of it when he snuck in.
‘Everyone thought it was a great idea and he was dancing with the samba band and putting his arm around children who wanted their photograph taken with him.
‘It was a beautiful day and everybody was having a good time but later on towards the end, when everybody thought he was going to climb on stage and do the big reveal, nobody could find him. He had just disappeared.’
She added: ‘We want to give him a chance in case it’s someone who means well and has just taken a joke a bit too far.
‘But I know some people are losing patience because there are older people and children who gave him money from their pensions and their piggy banks.
‘We could go to the police but they are hardly going to be able to identify him in a line up and as everybody keeps joking, he’s probably already got a chequered past.’
Mum Donna Haywood was one of the villagers who came across the man and said: ‘We paid for three guesses and an extra pound for Kane to have his picture taken with him as my son is a massive Fortnite fan.
‘Thinking it was for the hall fund it didn’t bother me paying, but to then see the post on Facebook that he was actually a con man it’s such a shame that people feel the need to do this type of thing.’
Sue says the whole village is talking about it and there has been much speculation about his identity, with many suggesting he had the slight paunch and the gait of an older man.
But others say he he is young and the only thing everybody can agree on is that it was definitely a male not a female inside the skin tight suit which sells online for between £20 and £30.
‘I have a feeling I know who it is but I can’t say and add to the speculation,’ added Mr Morgan Watts who fears villages will blame the organisers if he does turn out to be a conman.
‘The person I am thinking about fits the bill in terms of height and sense and humour but we will have to see if he comes forward.
‘If he doesn’t there’s not a lot a we can do. I know people will be upset about the money but we had really good day and that’s what it’s all about. Community spirit.’
The post on Facebook said: ‘Woolaston Carnival conned by this man! Other Carnivals – BEWARE!
‘He slipped into our Carnival Parade and field fun. He dished out these leaflets, was voiceless and was very entertaining.
‘He disappeared by the time people started asking questions and he’d made his money!’
Source: Read Full Article