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The Somerton Man Case. The body of a man found on an Australian beach close to a major Atomic Testing ground, he was probably poisoned, a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and an unbroken Code page found and associated to him. Set against a Cold War background in 1948, was this man a spy? We think so and this blog focuses on the evidence that was left behind and in some cases missed, the Code page, Dry Cleaning numbers, A Poem and a small, torn piece of paper bearing the words TAMAM SHUD.

Saturday, 22 October 2016



More than 500 of the Dunera Boys from the Tatura Internment Camp 'volunteered' to join one of a number of Labour Battalions, comprised almost exclusively of internees, set up specifically to provide labour for the war effort. 

The Dunera Boys all joined the 8th Employment Company often referred to as the 8th Enjoyment Company. They had many manual tasks to perform, some went to Albury and worked transshipping cargo from the Victorian Broad Gauge railway to the Standard Gauge rail system of NSW. Others were employed in similar tasks but in Melbourne loading at the docks.

'Loading, unloading, shifting, stacking, restacking, stencilling and what not..' wrote one young Dunera boy in his diary during 1942.

Stencilling was not only the work of Navy men, it was commonplace throughout Australia and in instances such as the one described.

In the image below, you can see the stencillers brush amongst the items found in the Somerton Man's suitcase. Further down in this post you can see a modern day stencil brush for comparison, the Somerton Man brush is of a standard size which I estimate to be 3/4 inch.

The knife and scissors would have formed part of his stencilling kit being used to cut through the thin zinc from which his templates would have been made.

If you look closely at the knife, you can see where the taped part of the scabbard ends and then you can make out a short section of zinc fashioned to form the scabbard, it ends just before the handle. There appears to be some kind of marking on tape applied to that zinc, could be writing but not mentioned in the files.

In the image to the right is a modern day stencil brush and the similarity is quite obvious.

Whilst the image below is of a stencil created and used at the Hay Internment camp, the initial home of the Dunera Boys.


So now we can tick off the stencil kit in addition to the shoes, the slippers, the items of clothing with the exception of the Jacket SM was wearing when found. The cigarette lighter was made by an Australian company, Green & Co and was commonly available through most large stores such as Coles and the Myer Emporiums.

The next post will be a key post because it will provide us with locations in Melbourne where all parties could have met during 1942/43. All things being equal, that post will be uploaded by Wednesday 26th October.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016



Amongst SM's belongings were the shoes he was wearing...

we have found the match..

SLIPPERS but with a twist have been found, 

Next post 23/10/16

In the marked image above, you will see a range of shoes that are from a NSW catalogue dating back to 1948. It is from FOY's a subsidiary of Coles at the time and also Myers. Specifically marked are two areas, the top right shows the manufacturers name, J McKeown. The shoe that is marked is known as a half brogue and you can see that there are 6 lace eyelets, the colour specified is either black or brown, also note that the soles are genuine welted soles. In earlier catalogues, the brand name was shown sewn inside the shoe, this is not the case in this catalogue and there was no brand name in SM's shoes which helps to date the purchase.

That shoe description is and appearance is an exact match for the Somerton Man's shoes that you can see to the right.

In the image of SM's shoes, you can see the fairly small size of the punch holes across the toe caps where they join the upper of the shoes, in fact there are 21 on each cap. This is less easy to see in the catalogue image, I do have other catalogues which I will search to see if we can get a clearer image,

The significance of the name McKeown is that I believe it was the name written down by Mr. Cleland in his notes regarding the man's shoes.


In the Somerton Man's suitcase, a pair of burgundy slippers were found. Looking through the various catalogues, there were no felt burgundy slippers for men, however, there were felt burgundy slippers for women. This clipping from a Fays catalogue shows them and you will see that the size range went from 2 to 7:

The slippers are seen to the left at the base of the image below and look to be burgundy in colour, you can also just make out the heel which is very similar to the style of the catalogue image above.


Whilst it is good to find this match, perhaps of greater significance is the fact that these shoes were a catalogue item, in those days also referred to as 'mail order'.

As you know, along with Clive, I have been carrying out some extensive research into the Dunera Boys and Internees who were housed at Hay in NSW and then later at Tatura in Victoria. Many internees were released to either go back to the UK, go to Palestine, join one of the labour Battalions in Australia and some were kept in the camps until 1944. Tibor Kaldor was in the latter category for example. Back to the research, those that went into the labour battalions, the 8th Employment company for example, were able to earn money and, according to one letter written by an internee, it was common practice for them to save up and buy items by mail order from Coles and or Myers.

As you have probably surmised, this post supersedes an earlier one in which I had mentioned that it was quite possible that SMs shoes were made at Tatura by one of the shoemaker internees. Whilst that is still a possibility, this discovery is, in my view, far more likely.

Does this mean that he bought by mail order? Not necessarily, he could have walked in and bought/ordered them in one of the Coles or Myers outlets in Melbourne. As you will read in an upcoming post, it is possible that when bought, SM was in fact in a remote location and from which it was practice to use mail order.

Another piece in the puzzle.

Gradually we are ticking the boxes. To date we have the shoes, the slippers and in an earlier post, we have the knife and scissors that show a marked similarity to tools used in Internment and POW camps in Australia during WW2.

We have also been able to show that many internees came ashore with nothing but the clothes on their backs and that clothing was donated by various charities.

What of the white laundry bag marked Kean? What of the American made jacket with feather stitching? The steel comb?


In the next post we will discuss those items and more plus there will be new information that will show the one place in Victoria where American and Australian servicemen and women would be found along with Dunera Boys/Internees.
We really seems like we are closing in on the identity of the Somerton Man. The next post will take us even closer.

Thursday, 13 October 2016



Following some good discussions with Clive and his discovery of unusual aspects to some of the writing in the various documents associated with Tibor Kaldor, we embarked on a thorough review of those items and the results were quite astounding.

I have taken a series of images of various signatures, date formats and block capital letters and have compared them firstly against each other and then, in the case of the Code page, I compared block capitals from one hand written form to the letters of the code.


    From Non-Communication form November 1940.  A very hurried signature, this was amongst the first forms signed by Tibor in Australia and is believed to be genuine.

From Registration Application January 1948, note date configuration 21/1/1948

From Last Note December 1948. This signature closely matches the Registration Application signature above, the letter, 'd' in this image seems a little stretched though and the flourish on the K has a gentler curve

Compare the signatures above to this next image, this was from the Registration cancellation form and acknowledging his British Naturalisation Certificate, dated 9th November 1948, just barely 1 month before he ended his life:

Note that whilst the letters T and K are similar to the above signatures,

The K is slightly more upright than the earlier signatures

The K does not meet with the letter 'a' in this image as it does in the earlier signatures

The letter 'l' is looped in this signature but not in the earlier signatures.

The letter 'd' is set differently to the earlier versions

The last 3 letters o, r and y are quite different in shape and spacing with the Y being stretched further to the right.

Note also the date and the odd angle of the number 8 in comparison to the January 1948 signature and the shape of the number '4' differs to other examples written by Tibor.

Note also that in this last signature the format does not include the full year of 1948 just the 48.


From Registration Application, note the full year inclusion as in 1940

Note the date format in this image of Tibor's last note, again he uses the full year description, 1948

This last image shows the odd angle of the 8 and the shortened year description, it is from the Registration cancellation form which has wha appears to be a forged signature


 This image is from the initial non communication form dated November 1940, notice the stylised T and the neat and very clear subsequent letters in 'Tibor'. It is not clear whether the prefix is short for 'Doctor'

The image below shows a cursively written Tibor which is entirely different in style to the genuine version above with the exception of the letter 'b' which is similar.. This is also from the November 11th 1948 Registration Cancellation form.


Once again, the comparison is between the January 1948 Registration cancellation form and the November 1948 Registration Application form content.

The first image is from the January form and shows a quite distinctive style for block capitals:

This next image shows a totally different style of capital letters:

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Registration Cancellation form dated November 11th 1948, was not completed by Tibor Kaldor but by another person who filled in the form and forged Tibor's signature.

There is a notable similarity between e block capitals shown in the above image and some letters from the Code page


The comparison between the letter A shows the shape similarity and the slight extension to the right.

The letter L, is of a similar angle

The D is very similar with a small extension to the bottom left of the code page version

The O whilst similar has a curled in point to the upper centre, more like the letter Q on the code page although not as pronounced.

The letter R is not that similar in that there is no outer curve. there is a reason for that related to the amount of microcode that needed to be within that letter. This would account for additional space which could be incorporated by using an outer curve.

The images below are of the actual forms from which the individual images in the post above were derived:

The image of the form below is believed to have been completed by another and the signature forged.

Clean Copy Registration Form




Tuesday, 11 October 2016



The post from 23rd September detailed the outcome of an acrostic decoding exercise on Tibor Kaldor's last letter. It brought up a name, a Jewish girls name, 'Danetta'.

What follows is the output from the decoder as it was presented:

And see observed
Left Leave Like Teaching Leave    
Incident be informed necessary
I and others
Kaldor yours trouble unpleasantness everything
Things inventory suitcase

I have considered this output for some time and have had a number of interesting thoughts sent in to me. Some were well considered and some less so. 

One particular idea was unusual, not that it was left field so much, more that it was based around the way that codes in early days and perhaps even now, were often double encoded so why wouldn't that be the case for Tibor's last note?

I took the output from the first pass of the decoder that was presented in that earlier post and submitted it to the acrostic decoder exactly as it appeared but formatted as a single sentence as follows:

'Danetta And see observed Left Leave Like Teaching Leave Incident be informed necessary I and others Kaldor yours trouble unpleasantness everything Things inventory suitcase'

Here's a screen grab from that exercise showing the results. I draw your attention to the last 7 results at the bottom left of this image:

The question, of course, is would this have been done deliberately by Tibor? Would he have written his last letter in such a way that it would decode in the way it apparently has and have to be double decoded to see the message?

It is almost a sentence:

It can be argued that the decode simply followed the rules of the algorithm that you would use to reveal an acrostic message and the result could be random.

But given that the letter was written by a man whose culture and religion made full use of acrostic codes and that we in the first instance, saw a Hebrew girl's name  in the first pass of the decoding exercise, then it is quite possible that what we see here is Tibor's last message.

That being so, who was Danetta?


Tibor Kaldor and the Code page. A link has been found. Next post.: Friday 14th October a.m. Australian Eastern.

Friday, 7 October 2016



Louis Otto Willi Reese (Reise)

Born 1903, Keil. Germany. Height 6' 1/2"
HairL Fair, Eyes Grey/Blue

This post will be updated over the next two days. 

This man is of interest in our research due to his involvement with a known German Intelligence operative in the time leading up to WW2. He was interned at Tatura and could have associated with many of the original Dunera internees at that location. We are still researching the man but do not believe that he was SM. We do think that he had the opportunity to meet and interact with other people of interest.

More information will be published including an unusual letter that he received from Germany and other documents.

Amongst the documents found on the NAA site is an exchange of letters during 1938 with the German Consul General a Doctor Asmis. Both The Doctor and Louis were in the habit of signing off their correspondence with 'Heil Hitler'. In one note, Louis wrote of his meeting with Count Von Luckner and mentioned that a crew member/cameraman of the Seeteufel, Herr Osterreich, had his 'cinema equipment' stolen.

To all accounts, Louis was a keen amateur photographer and on one occasion a man matching his description was stopped walking in company with another man carrying cameras and headed for a location overlooking Cairns Harbour. The British Submarine HMS Phoenix, was docked there at the time. The other man was a Julius Schroder who was later also to be interned.

In this section we will be looking at Louis' association with the man on the left in this image,

Count Graf Felix Von Luckner, Gentleman, and Spy. At this time we do not have a name for the man on the right.

In WW 1 the Count was the captain of the German raider SMS Seeadler during 1916 and 1917. The Seeadler disguised itself as a Norwegian Wood trader, most of it's crew spoke Norwegian. In it's brief career, the Seeadler captured some 15 vessels before running aground in French Polynesia, the Captain and most of the crew were subsequently captured and imprisoned on an island just off Auckland.

But it was the visit of the Count to Australia in 1938 that aroused most interest from the Queensland, and CIB Inspector Bob Wake who maintained surveillance of the Count, his wife and crew. The inspector dutifully attended a number of public functions and noted the names of all who attended who, on the outbreak of war were subsequently arrested including Louis Reese. After first being interred at Loveday in the South Australian Riverland near Barmera, Louis was transferred to Tatura in 1940.

According to records Louis enjoyed a day at sea on the Seeteufel and spent quite a deal of time talking with the Count.

It was generally thought that Count Von Luckner was on a mission to make contact with German Nationals in Australia and to check out sea traffic in the area off the East Coast of Australia.

We have mentioned Louis because of his connections to a known spy and for his photography activities that seemed suspect.

He would have been in touch with many ex Tatura men and could well have visited with them on his trips on the Mundella during 1947 between Sydney and Perth with calls into Adelaide.

He and his contacts are worth keeping in mind as we progress with our search.

It is worth bearing in mind that there were a  considerable number of Nazi sympathisers in Australia during WW2 and afterwards. Adelaide and surrounding areas had a reasonable sized population of such people.

You can read all 137 pages about Louis, some of which are duplicated, on the website by entering the name 'Louis Reese' into the first page search box.