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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.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Somerton Man. Was it a Cover Up From Day One?

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.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Somerton Man: He May Have Died on 30th November But When Was He Poisoned?

It's an intriguing question. From the outset it does seem that everyone, myself included, simply assumed that the Somerton Man had been poisoned during his short stay in Adelaide.

But what if that wasn't the case? What if he had in fact been poisoned before he arrived in Adelaide on that train? There is reason to think that this may well have been the case.

Let me relate to you how this option came about. It was a discussion regarding an aspect of the Autopsy, in the report mention is made of the enlarged spleen, almost 3 times its proper size and it also spoke of how other organs were engorged. It was these issues that caused Cleland to reach the conclusion that SM had been poisoned and that he thought it was Digitalis.

One of the particpants in the discussion on this matter made mention of the fact that it can take 3 days and more for a spleen to reach the size that SMSs had. Consider that very carefully, the enlarged spleen was associated with digitalis poisoning and the Somerton Man was found to have died around Midnight on the 30th November, if this is true then he had been poisoned between 1 and 3 days before he arrived in Adelaide.

The question is this, would a man carefully pack his bags and hop on a train to Adelaide and then on the way decide to take his own life? It doesn't seem likely, especially when you add to this the information on the likelihood of a male of SMs age ending his life with Poison which calculated out as more than 150000 to 1.

For me this information now makes it all but 100% positive that the Somerton Man did not take his own life and that he was probably poisoned sometime before he arrived in Adelaide.

When you take all of the circumstances into account including the most recent posts made here about the number of incidents were evidence was 'overlooked' and the nature of the code page, the book and the torn piece in his pocket, the balance of probability is clear, the man was murdered and he was involved in Espionage.