AFIO Disclaimer

The author of this blog is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and as such the views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent the views and opinions of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, its staff or Directors.
Learn more about the Association including membership requirements at

Saturday, 6 September 2014


POST UPDATED 14th September

A big statement but that is what the evidence now says as you will read in the following post. Here we have someone deeply involved in the case openly saying that the original body was to be disposed of and that was in a note of a conversation with a Police Officer.

UPDATE: 10th September. This post will be added to over the next 4 days, more important information to be included.

In October of 2013 I posted on the question as to whether the Somerton Man image was faked in some way, to support it we looked at an image that was broadly publicised and showed where there appeared to have been 'adjustments' made.

In April of this year the profile image of the man immediately before his burial was posted and made another detailed comparison. The images appear to be quite different and many have commented that the second image was an entirely different person.

Both of these earlier posts have been incorporated in this page.

The evidence:

For those who aren't aware, Lawson was the man who created the bust of the Somerton Man and it has often been said that perhaps Mr. Lawson knew far more than he was saying.

Trawling through the information I found what could be a damning statement written in Lawson's diary, here's the image taken of the entry made on June 8th 1949:

Read the top section in particular:

Police Job
Interview with Detectives (Brown + 1)
Ring from Constable Durham re DISPOSAL of ORIGINAL Body
Casting of ears and piecing together mold.

Does that sound right to you? Why say 'Disposal of Original Body' ? The man was to be buried. Why not just say 'burial of the man'? You 'dispose' of something unwanted, you bury a body. The use of the word 'original' also sounds odd, you might use 'original' if there was more than one body involved which may have been the case.

Why 'Detective Brown + 1', who was the other one? Surely Lawson knew the name of the other Detective if that was indeed what the extra person was?

There is something decidedly chilling about the terminology used in this diary entry. What was Lawson really saying?

September 14th, update..

As promised, I have added to this post by including two earlier posts related to the images of the Somerton Man that appear to show some significant differences in one instance and what might be evidence of alterations made to the picture in the other.

The issue here is that taken in isolation, each of these posts raise serious questions about the identity of the body that was buried in June 1949. When you bring all three issues together, the Lawson Diary entry, the Somerton Man initial profile image and then the pre-burial image, then there is quite an argument that the body in the grave in Adelaide was not that of the man found on Somerton Beach on December 1st 1948.

This information and the images is presented for you to make your own decisions.

Nick Pelling on his Cipher Mysteries Blog puts forward a different view and I encourage you to visit his page and gain an insight into his thoughts on this matter. But first, here are the earlier and very relevant posts made on this issue.

Original Post Dated 15th April 2014

In the previous post we looked in some detail at the post embalmed image of the Somerton Man and attempted to highlight what appeared to be differences in his facial appearance.

Please note that working with digital images is a fine art and whilst I have some level of skill I am not a technical person in this regard, having said that I have made every effort to maintain the integrity of the original images and to present as accurate a picture as possible.

In this follow up post we look in greater detail at just where those differences lie.

The challenge was to ensure as far as possible that we had comparable images in terms of size on which to base the analysis. I have used a simple grid approach and as you will see there are 4 distinct areas that do not appear to match. I have used the ear as the basis of sizing the rest of the image and then plotting the additional areas from there. As you can see the ear is very close to being an exact match in shape, size and location. 

To the grid:

A. At point A we can see the forehead, you will see in the lower image that the forehead has a pronounced bump, this bump occurs at the point where I believe another facial image had been superimposed on to the Somerton Man's head, you may well see the light line that commences on that bump and continues to the hairline and then beyond. Others have written that the bump is a relic of the autopsy but in the post embalmed image there is no such bump apparent. Is that because it was never there or because of the effects of the embalming process and subsequent cold storage? My belief is that it was never there and is the result of adding and superimposing another face on the SMs head.

B.  The bridge of the nose at point B in the lower image shows a pronounced 'dip' which is not there at all in the upper image. A different shaped nose.

C.  At point C we can see that in the upper image the nose appears to be significantly larger and of a typical 'Roman' type. Again, this appears to be a different nose type and shape to the lower image.

D.  Finally at point D, the lower face appears quite different to the upper, post embalmed, image. In the top image, the area above the mouth appears to have more depth and the lips and chin are at a different angle and moved forward, some of this is no doubt due to the jaw having dropped and manipulated in the embalming process.

Elsewhere on the web the upper image, post embalmed, has been described as flattened, in this comparison, the opposite appears to be true.

From Post Dated 25th October 2013:
A big question. Was the whole Tamam Shud Case a cover up right from day one?

The question is prompted by a recently released Trove News article dated December 1st. 1948, that date should ring a bell, it was of course the day that his body was found on Somerton Beach. To be precise he was found around 6 in the morning and this News item was posted in the Adelaide News, an evening newspaper which I think came out at around 4 p.m.

In a busy Police Station, the sequence of events would have been something like this:

1. 6 a.m. body found and inspected for any obvious signs of violence or unusual marks
2. Transport arranged and body taken to the morgue
3. Body again inspected for any wounds or marks cleaned up and prepared for an autopsy, a Police Officer sometimes known as a 'Coroners Officer' would have had control of that process and may even have organised or carried out the washing.
4. A detailed description of the body would have been taken by the Coroners Officer and that would have formed part of an initial 'sudden death' report.
5. A duty, uniformed, inspector would have authorised the release of the mans description to the press
6. The News Police reporter at the time would have made what was probably a regular daily phone call when he came on duty sometime around midday on the 1st December.
7. The press article, based on the Coroners Officer's information would have been prepared for publication.

Worth bearing in  mind that at this stage there was no hint of poisoning or Codes or the Tamam Shud torn piece.

As you will read via the link below, is that the Coroners Officers description of the man was as follows:

Height 5ft 11 inches, quite precise
Build, Well built, again a reasonable description
Hair colour, Fair, quite definite
Eyes, Hazel and again quite definite.

The problem is that subsequent descriptions of the Somerton Man were quite different, in those he has been described as having auburn hair and blue eyes.

Does the picture below look like his hair is fair?

Remember that in a recent post the Police announced that a 'Reconstructed photograph was available for inspection' that very weekend following the finding of his body.

This image is the one posted earlier that appears to show that his photograph was manipulated:

When you examine this image carefully it could well be that the face of the man in this image is not that of the Somerton Man, if it's true in this case then it could also be true of the full face image shown here:

Two of our followers, photographers, agreed that it was likely that one or both had been altered, I checked that with other photographers and they agreed. The question is why would you go to these lengths, and it was a tricky process in those days, to alter a photograph? Any other photographers out there, your input would be appreciated.

So here we have it, the first description that was released, one which would have been written by the Coroners Officer who would have been an experienced man to hold that position, described the man as having fair hair an Hazel eyes. The man in this altered image does not have have anything like fair hair as far as I can see.

Did the December 1st Press release about the discover of the mans body on Somerton Beach slip through the 'net' and is that why the Police hurriedly announced the availability of 'reconstructed' images? Why did his description change so quickly after the first press release?

Add to this, the 14 instances of fingerprints not being taken from the mans possessions, the laundry marks that were supposedly traced to Victoria but never followed up, the evidence, in terms of his clothing, possessions and the book, being destroyed despite it still being an open case and I would say there is genuine cause to think that something was sadly amiss at the least and that it was a deliberate cover up at its worst.

Somerton Man: The Suitcase Contents

Over the last several years I have managed to amass a collection of images related to the Somerton Man case. They range from the suitcase contents to possible SM candidates and whole lot more, but first an acknowledgement.

I want to acknowledge those people who freely gave input and provided some of the research and sometimes images that will appear in this gallery. More than happy to include their names with their permission. The background is that we all belonged to the original Facebook group, 'World Search for a Rare Copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam' set up by Professor Abbott and then later we set up our own group known as 'Inner Sanctum'. The bottom line is that I make no claim to being the sole author and I am grateful for having had the experience of working with a super team of researchers. So, here are their initials or pseudonyms:

Grace, TJ, JP, BT, BB, JR. If I have missed anyone please let me know.

In the end there is no one person who can rightly claim that they are the premier source the exception being Detective Sergeant Gerry Feltus (Retired) who had the Somerton Man case on his desk as a Cold Case and who actually knew and interviewed Jestyn.

Anything I do here by way of extending the range and depth of information on the case will have its roots in the work done by Gerry in his book, The Unknown Man. You'll see a link to Gerry's website to the right of this page.

This page starts off the Gallery and I will be adding more links over the coming days and weeks. I thought that the best approach would be to show some of the images here and then place a link to Google Drive where you can find more from the files described. The Gallery itself is also found on a separate page to the right of this post, it will be added to and new additions posted here as a reminder

First off the rank is a collection of images of the suitcase items.

Scarf, more like a shawl? Notice label bottom right of scarf
Image enhanced view of suitcase and contents

Video still
Negative view, sometimes negatives
show up additional information

Lamonte Tartan

This Lamonte Tartan is similar to the SM version, however so is the Black Watch tartan.

McDonald/Keane Tartan. This was found on a tartan search, web based, the notation made mention of Mcdonald and Keane families.

Irish variation of the Keane tartan

Dressing Gown

With regards to the dressing gown, some research unearthed the details to be found on the sleeves of similar gowns to SM's


SMs ties.
Tootal Ties Ad from 1948

                     Elasta Strap trousers

Negative of inside of trousers

Elasta Strap Trousers 

Trousers, button missing

Close up of trouser pocket/laundry labels. Very feint.

Laundry Marks

Sundry Contents

Group, toothbrush, loupe, tie.

Razor Strop close up, adjacent to the brush handle..

Loupe? Notice the 'grips' within the

One effort to identify the toothpaste, unsuccessful

Lion Toothpaste? Razor Strop

Engraved brush end


The man was found with a packet of Army Club cigarettes which had Kensitas cigarettes inside it. This was apparently common practice in those days, the idea was to not let others know that you had a better quality cigarette in order to conserve your supplies. Another option was to make others think that you were ex service.

Just below you can see an image of a 1948 style packet of Army Club cigarettes and the same year packet of Kensitas.
Kensitas 1948

The Lighter

The lighter was Australian made by Green & Co. It came in 2 variations, one was military as you will see below and the other was civilian. What you will notice is that this is not a throw away 'zippo' style of lighter. this lighter has a separate fuel tank into which lighter fuel was poured, a wick that extended into the tank and of course wheel and flint.

The question is that, given that SM was a relatively heavy smoker, what happened to the packet o flints and lighter fluid that every smoker with a lighter, especially one with a fuel tank, would carry with them?


Fuel Tank and Lighter fluid advert together with a similar ad for lighter flints.

                                           A 1953 Ad for Lighter fluid


New Pelaco, Australian made, Shirt from case

Close up of scissors

Scissors maker

Canadian Army 'housewife' kit
including Barbour's Thread. Slightly different card shape
Barbour's Waxed Thread.
The only item that tied SM to the suitcase, this thread was 
in common use. Of note, is that Barbour's threads were military 
issue items and included in 'housewife' packs.      

Feather Stitch Jacket. The machines capable to do feather
stitching only existed in the US at the time.

Glass dish and button


Labels Removed


Contrary to common belief, the 'envelopes' found in the suitcase 
were in fact pre-paid letter cards

Example lettercard

Negative of a lettercard


Note the scissors, brush handle, knife, scabbards ( made from wrapped zinc) and the black case to the right is believed to be for the 'cut throat' razor. You can just see the corner of the razor strop above the piece of zinc plate, as you will see the razor strop end has a wire triangular piece with a wire loop at the end. This is quite different to the image of the suspected jeweller's loupe shown earlier on this post.

Pencil sharpener

John Lobb, London & Paris. Similar shoes to SMI contacted Lobbs and John Lobb told me 
that the number 204B was one of theirs but, that number belonged to a pair of mens riding boots. 

A Spit & Polish job on the example shoes above. Interestingly some will remember their service days when a heated teaspoon was used to apply polish and then buffed. Pete Bowes from asks the question, 'Where is the polishing cloth/rag?' Good question!

SM's shoes, note 6 lace holes and there are 21
brogue punched holes across the toe.

Negative of SM's shoes, Wide Welt

SM Shoes, close up and colour enhanced
Shoe Polish

Typical shoe ID marks location

US Military Issue