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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.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Somerton Man, A Reconstructed Image of Somerton Man

Following a number of emails and discussions with some friends about the last post, (the Somerton Man image), I have done some work on reconstructing a new profile image which may bear a better resemblance to how he may have looked just prior to his death.

If you are well connected on Facebook or LinkedIn then please feel free to distribute this image as widely as you can. Remember this was how he may have looked in 1948 so people will have to think about relatives or friends of their family who went missing about that time.

Here's some words that may be suitable to put with this image:

'This is a reconstructed image of the Somerton Man, he was found on the Beach in Somerton South Australia in December 1948. He was never identified and  lies in a grave marked 'Unknown Man' in Adelaide, South Australia. If you have a photo of someone from the past who resembles this man or you know someone who does, please contact We would like to give him a name and return him to his family.'

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Somerton Man, Was his Picture Real or Was it Faked?


There were a number of images of the Somerton Man distributed after his death, in fact, to be more precise, the pictures were taken after his autopsy.

In this post the focus is on the official image distributed by SA Police at the time. I am putting the following images forward for everyone's consideration and review. I will start by saying that there is something amiss with this Police image:

At this point if you could take a close look at the profile in the headline and then let's move on to this next shot.

This image simply corrects the positioning so that we are now seeing a vertical version plus, I have increased the size of the image so that we can see the individual pixels. Look more carefully now at the side of the cheek between the lower lobe of the ear and a mid point on the chin, you should see an almost straight line that connects the two points, we will see more of that shortly.

In this next image I have marked up the areas of interest and they show a number of points worth considering.

Firstly, and with apologies for the gory aspects, the circled area at the hairline shows where the skull cap has slipped back after the autopsy.

Next there are a series of X's that commence from just beneath the circle and then progress down past the front of the ear and then in an almost straight line along the jaw to a point central to the chin. just join the X's to see what I mean.

Now here's a comparison image showing the marked and unmarked versions alongside each other:

The idea here is to illustrate clearly how the line appears on the forehead and then progresses down to the ear, across the front of the ear and then directly down to the centre of the chin.

Notice also that the neck and forehead show wrinkles and signs of age but both stop abruptly at the line highlighted. This suggests to me that this image has been altered and that it is quite possible that what we see here is a young face superimposed on an older head.

I must stress that I have not interfered with or altered this image in any way apart from increasing it's size.

So, how could this have been done given that in the 1940's the smart tools and software we have today did not exist? A simple answer is that skilled photographers could create a 'Montage' by cropping images and then manipulating the cropped parts to achieve the desired results.

Below is how this 'montage' effect can be achieved today.

In this image I have cropped the area that has been outlined so that only that area is visible.

As you can see it's a much smaller image of the Somerton Man's face and again in my view it seems to show quite a 'young' looking face.

Next, here's a head shot of a man taken in the 1930's, this man has nothing to do with the case as far as I know.

What we will do now is to 'superimpose' the Somerton Man's face shown above onto this man's head structure.

To do this I used Gimp and some simple tools that it has including, 'move', 'rotate' and 'smudge'.

Here's the resultant 'superimposed' image, I have deliberately left the original texture and shading on the Somerton Man face portion as this is purely an example image.

It is quite possible to match the colours and shades and then blend the two images together.

Is it possible that the lines we can see were caused by the application of Morticians wax, a common practice to improve the appearance of a corpse/ If that were the case, why did it stop in a straight line, from what I understand such 'wax' was applied much like make up and was meant to provide a smooth all round finish.

The question is clear, is the image of the Somerton Man as distributed by the SA Police in 1948 a genuine untouched image or was it altered by using the 'Montage' effect and a younger face included that replaced the real facial image of the Somerton Man? If that were to be the case it would certainly help to explain why nobody has been able to identify him in the 64 years since his death.

Another major aspect of the case to be questioned and yet another reason for the exhumation of his remains.

Please take the time and sign up to the petition calling for that to occur right here:

Friday, 15 February 2013

Somerton Man, New Images Added to Spy Museum Page

Just a reminder that 3 new images of equipment have been added to the Spy museum page:

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Somerton Man: Example Micro Writing

It struck me that it would be a good idea if I were to post a modern day example of Micro or Miniature writing, so here it is:

In the section below you will see three lines the first being extremely narrow and then growing in size, they are in fact miniature writing examples as you will find out if you copy and paste them into a Word document and then increase the font size:

Name: unknown. Cause of death: unknown. Occupation: unknown – but perhaps a former ballet dancer. Possessions: one pack of cigarettes (half filled with a different brand of smoke); one hidden pocket, concealing a scrap of paper with two words in Persian, torn from a rare first edition book;five lines written in an unknown code. Welcome to the world's mostperplexing cold case. Can you help to solve the mysteryThe discovery of a body on an Adelaide beach in December 1948 sparked aninvestigation that remains active to this day. Was the dead man a loveror a fighter – a new father or a spy? Why might an expert witness at theinquest suggest that he had habitually worn high-heeled shoes? WasAustralia's most eminent pathologist right conclude he had been killedby an ultra-rare muscle relaxant normally used to tip poison arrows inSomalia? And what of the mysterious phrase'Tam├ím Shud'? It's from OmarKhayyam, but how is it that the two editions of the poet's famous Rubaiyat that are central to the case seem not to actually exist?It's a fifty-one-star, gold-plated puzzler, all right. Confused? I'm afraid you probably still will be even after reading the full article here...

From this I hope you can see how smart the people involved were in those tomes now almost 65 years ago, they din't have computers or......

The Somerton Man: The TAMAM SHUD torn piece

This is believed to be an image of the original torn piece from 
the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam found in the Somerton Man's
hidden pocket.

Found tightly rolled up in a, small and difficult to find, waistband fob pocket was a torn piece of paper. It contained the words typed TAMAM SHUD which were and are to be found beneath the last verse of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. A copy of that book of poetry was found some time after the discovery of the Somerton Man and the torn piece was found to be a match.

There have been a number of theories advanced on just what this discovery meant, these are the two most popular:

  1. The words are Persian in origin and mean 'The End' or 'It Is Ended', could it be some form of suicide note?
  2. It was common practice in the world of espionage to have some form of identifying another spy of the same persuasion by bringing along something that was a fit to another piece held by the person you were meeting. For example two halves of a beer coaster or a stamp and son on. Could this torn piece have been a form of identification?

There is no secret that this blog holds the view that the Somerton Man was indeed a spy and that examples of miniature writing have been found on various items including the Code Page, Jestyn's Poem to Alf Boxall and the Dry Cleaning tag. It should therefore come as no surprise that once again miniature numbers have been found on the torn piece.

This is a close up of the torn piece and in this image and across the top of  the T in 'Tamam Shud' you can see a set of numbers being 55968 and possibly 54 to follow that 5 number set.

Other numbers and markings appear in the rest of the letters.

Of interest is the fact that the numbers are exactly the right size to fit within the outline of the 'T'.

There are other numbers in the upright section of this letter.

Here's another close up image taken at a different time and angle, the numbers are a bit harder to make out but they are there nonetheless:

The evidence for the existence of miniature writing associated with this case is considerable. There will be more images posted on this torn piece over the coming days.

There is an online petition that could do with your help, the good people of Adelaide are attempting to reach a target of 3000 signatures which they can then present to the SA State Government with the aim of getting an exhumation order and then carry out DNA testing; we support it and hope that you will to:

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Spy Museum Page

Just to inform those interested, we have a new page, Spy Museum, that contains images and details of various items of espionage equipment in use through the WW2 and Cold War years. 

New items will be added to this page on a regular basis.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Somerton Man, The 'Code' is Not a 'Code', More Micro Writing Images...

As per yesterdays post, there are a number of images of the Somerton Man code page that contain good examples of micro writing. Some of this writing is extremely small as in less than .7 mm, and some a little larger.

The outcome of the work done is quite surprising in that the 'Code' is not a 'Code', that's not to say there isn't a code on the page but the larger letters that supposedly formed the 'code' page were most likely not letters at all, they are and always were simply trace marks made by the Police and because they didn't have the tools that we now have, they did not see all of the markings that exist in the page and thus only partially completed the tracing task. The real code if it exists is to be found amongst the mass of micro letters and numbers on the page.

To the post..

A number of different styles of disguising the micro writing have been identified and for reference here is a list:

1. Horizontal number sets found in various locations
2. Numbers and letters within the larger letters of the 'code', sometimes these actually 'overhang' the markings made by the SA Police.
3. Circular pattern, numbers and letters appear within a circular pattern in a number of locations on the page, it is thought possible that each pattern contains a completed message.
4. Wavy line, these lines are almost like small banners within which a number or letter set can be found.
5. White or negative shade letters and numbers. There are many instances where white or negative numbers and letters show up, they are mostly in a moderately straight and quite lengthy line.

In the images below I have attempted to include one of each style of writing:

 Within the letter 'D' you should be able to make out a number 765 with smaller numbers beneath. You may also see how the numbers actually cross through the trace lines made by the Police.

Between the 'B' and 'D', the letters AWRX are shown with smaller numbers and letters stretching down to the base of the 'D' This example is quite interesting as it highlights a point made in an earlier post, you will be able to see a line of writing that stretches between the 'A' and the 'B'. If you follow that line carefully you will see how it actually goes on to from an oval shape. That probably means that the 'B' and the 'A' are not letters just incomplete trace lines.

A little above and within the space between the letters 'N' and 'E', you will see more  micro writing. Similarly there is more to be found between and slightly beneath the letters 'T' and 'P'.

 This is the first set of 'letters' in the code, to the left of the 'letter' 'M', you should be able to see 4 sets of numbers in a sort of column with what looks like the word GAP at the bottom.

To the right of the 'M' you can see a circular pattern with letters and numbers within it.

Not highlighted but between the two upright strokes of the 'M' close to the top. there is a small 'banner' containing numbers.

Across to the right now and to the left of the 'I' through to the 'A' and beyond, you should be able make out some negative or white letters and numbers.

Beneath these, across  the 'I' the 'M' and the 'P' there are micro numbers and letters to be found.

There are several examples of micro writing in this section even outside of the highlighted areas. Between the 'B' and the 'A' there is writing and numbers, between the 'B' and 'D' there are what appears to be 3 banners connected and alongside that within the D there are micro numbers shaped to fit within the D. If you look closely you will note that again these numbers overlap the trace marks made by the Police.

Beneath the second 'B', there is a number set highlighted.

Micro letters and numbers appear between the 'I' the 'A' and the 'O' and above and within the two crossed lines, there are examples of micro letters and numbers.

There are many more images that I will load over the next week or two, the bottom line here is that the Somerton Man 'Code' is looking more and more like it was never really a 'code' per se. It was always a page that contained a mass of micro writing which was only partially traced over by the Police at the time. The micro letters and numbers must have had some significance and it may well be that when they have all been recovered in full or in part, a deciphering task could be undertaken. We are certainly not at that point yet.

So, this is a breakthrough and one I am sure will not be that popular with some. There are many people who have devoted enormous amounts of time and effort into cracking this code and working through scenarios all of which now, with all due respect, need to be re thought.

This is not meant to be a criticism of the work of the SA Police, far from it, they did not have the luxury of the tools and techniques that we now posses. The fact that they found anything at all is a real tribute to their skill and perseverance.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Somerton Man Upcoming Post

Just a quick reminder that there is a special post due tomorrow morning, Wednesday 6th February, Australian Time. There will be a number of extremely clear images of writings and numbers from the Somerton Man Code page with some new and only just uncovered material.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Somerton Man, Does a US Hymnal Hold the Key to the Somerton Man and Other Codes?

As pointed out in the image found on the code page within the letter P, the numbers could also read X535 and X555,  in the case of the former, X535,  it refers to a US 1940's hymnal, in fact it's a Quatrain, 'Rise Up O Men Of God' Given the mind of Leo Marks, (Bletchley Park Leading Cryptographer) and his use of a Poem code, this has also been recorded.

And here's the X555 result from the US Hymnal, it's called, 'My Soul Be On They Guard', this is also a quatrain, easier to memorise, here it is in full:

My soul, be on thy guard;
ten thousand foes arise;
the hosts of sin are pressing hard
to draw thee from the skies.

O watch, and fight, and pray;
the battle ne'er give o'er;
renew it boldly every day,
and help divine implore.

Never think the victory won,
nor lay thine armor down;
the work of faith will not be done,
till thou obtain the crown.

Fight on, my soul, till death
shall bring thee to thy God;
he'll take thee, at thy parting breath,
to his divine abode.

Does this Hymn contain keywords or phrases for a code as per Leo Marks's concepts? On reading this particular quatrain it certainly pertains to the times. Which spy or spies would need a 'one time pad'?

Could this US Hymnal contain the keys to the Somerton Man micro writing and other codes?

There's more to information and downloads on their way in the coming weeks, why not register at the top right of this page...

Somerton Man, The Code Page, Putting The Findings Into Context

In the end, whilst finding instances of micro writing on the Code page is a breakthrough, those findings need to be put into some form of context. When do we start to make some sort of sense of what we find?

The good news is that we can make a start but we need to be careful that we first have derived all or most of the information we can. Having said that, here is an example of context that can be drawn from a micro writing instance on the code page:

This image is of the last letter 'P' in the third line of the Somerton Man  or TAMAM SHUD code. The letter sequence is PANETP.

As you can see, a different camera angle had to be used and lighting is a key issue.

We are looking at a prefixed number set, X533 (Could also read X535 or X555 see below). I used this number to carry out some quick research viewing first on Google and then on the TROVE website.

In Google I entered X533 1940 to relate it to a date range. The results showed amongst other things that X533 was a torpedo in use by submarines and surface craft during WW2. The 533 apparently referred to the dimension of the warhead being 533 mm. Perhaps this will have some value in the future and the result has been recorded.

Whilst adding value, it struck me that just maybe the use of the letter 'X' before a number set was, I understand, common practice in the Military at that time to signify that a number followed.

The Trove search yielded a number of results including one of a 'Lonely Hearts' nature whereby in 1947 the box number for an ad, X533, was owned by a widower aged 38 looking for a 'country girl for outings'. As said there are other examples, this one has been recorded as will others.

Why not join us and register at the top of the page? There are more interesting revelations on the Somerton Man case and others yet to come plus we will be adding more downloads for your information.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Somerton Man, The Code Page and the M that Wasn't

Numbers and letters beneath the 'Crossed Lines' as highlighted.

Across the top of the first letter T there are numbers and within the top stroke of that T and the second T you should be able to make out numbers partially hidden.

At the base there are two short strings of numbers.

The Somerton Man Code page as most who visit this blog would know, has long been the focus of much attention. This 'Code Page' was in fact found by the South Australian Police, it had been written very faintly on to the back of a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that was associated with the Somerton Man. Interestingly this book was a Fitzgerald 1st Edition published by Whitcomb and Tombs of NZ, it was a plain white copy. No other copies of this particular book have ever been found.

As revealed in earlier posts, the so called 'letters' of the code aren't actually normal letters, they are in fact sets of micro letters that have apparently been formed into the approximate shape of normal English letters.

In one post an image of the letter C, the last letter of the 4th line was shown and when examined it was shown to contain the word JESTYN and that name formed the bottom half of the letter C.

Not all the letters have quite the same dramatic words hidden within them. In the most part they contain strings of letters and/or numbers written microscopically.

One of the letters that has been much discussed and reviewed is the first letter in the 'Code', the strange looking letter M. People have actually gone to the lengths of trying to analyse the handwriting style of this and other letters. The truth is there is no handwriting style, these letters, all of them, are formed from much smaller micro letters and numbers and that includes the first letter 'M'.

What I've done here is to bring together 2 of the same image and then highlight specific areas of interest. You'll probably need to click on this image t get a larger shot.

The two oblong shapes on the highlighted image show two distinct sets of micro numbers each one having an x within a circle as the suffix.

As you can see these letters and numbers are extremely small, in fact less than 1 mm in height.

As an added feature, just below the 'M' and running across left to right you will see more strings of numbers but this time they start in black on the left side of the letter and then turn to white on the right side

In this next image, once again I have brought 2 of the same image but this time I have rotated them 90 degrees clockwise.

Within the highlighted area on the 2nd upright of the "m" you will see a short string of numbers, they are decidedly blacker than their surrounds.

I have highlighted the other two letters, the 'L' and 'I' as you should be able to make out the shapes of micro numbers within each of these.

 The conclusion is that the 'M' really isn't an 'M', it is a series of micro letters/numbers that follow a similar shape as the letter 'M'. When you get really close to it with a magnifying glass, you will see that the shape is comprised of a number of different smaller shaped 'containers' that when joined actually give the impression of a letter.

Here are two more views of the Letter M to fill out just how much information there is to be found on just this one letter:

What's special about this image is that it shows how, on the second upright stroke of the 'M' the micro writing was put in place and then the Police traced across them so that you can see them literally overhanging the trace marks.

There are also numbers visible within the circled area.

In the 'Crossed Out' line you should just be able to make out the outlines of micro letters and numbers beneath the trace lines.

In the first 'M' you can see a clear set of numbers as highlighted.

In the second 'M' you can once again see how the micro letters actually overhang the trace marks. Another point of interest that isn't highlighted is the similarity between the firs highlighted 'M' and the second one, they both have what looks like a figure 6 that joins the two upright sections.

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Saturday, 2 February 2013

Somerton man, What Does The Somerton Man Code Have In Common With The Pigeon Code?

Late last year David Martin from Bletchingly in the UK hit the headlines with news of the discovery of teh remains of a carrier pigeon found in his chimney. The pigeon was complete with a capsule that contained a coded message apparently from an Allied unit in France and possibly heading for Bletchley Park.

I have had a few discussions with David and a nice person he is. He kindly provided me with a high resolution scan of the code page he had found, a copy of which appears here.

This code has a number of aspects to it that are reminiscent of the Somerton Man code.

First of all it uses a code that in this case is broken down into 5 letter sets. The SM code when you incorporate the so called 'crossed out' line 2, actually has 50 letters which of course can be seen as 10 sets of 5.

The Pigeon code has one Code letter set that repeats itself, the AOAKN seen as the first set is repeated in column 3 line 7.

SM's code has a similar issue with line 2 and line 4 with the MLIAO sequence.

But perhaps the most striking comparison is the use of micro letters in fact in this case letters and numbers within the larger code letters.

This image shows a segment from the Pigeon code with its marked up version. If you enlarge this image by clicking on it you should be able to see number sets within the highlighted areas. these numbers are not crystal clear and you may need to use a magnifying glass or at least decent glasses, I use 3X for the purpose. 

All well and good but what can be learnt from this example?

There are two things that spring to mind, firstly the use of micro writing within larger letters has, to this time at least, has only been found in one other place, the Somerton Man code. Secondly, the repeated code letter set is also a feature as pointed out in this post. Putting both together these facts may be telling us that similarities in format happened because both codes were generated by people who were probably trained in the same way. In other words the same organisation produced the training materials and courses that led to both examples being created. That organisation looks like it was British who shared many of their ideas with Australian Defence forces. Maybe even down to their recruitment techniques and selection of suitable personnel.

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